brickhouseracing

February 13, 2009

Valley of the Sun Time Trial

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:31 pm

It was 22k, and I otherwise don’t want to talk about it.

My teammates did well, though. Whitney is 12th in the GC right now!

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Phoenix Pre-Race

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 9:26 am

This weekend I’m in Phoenix, AZ for the Valley of the Sun Stage Race- debut race for me with MetroVW. I got in yesterday(Thursday) around 10:30, and, after a shuttle trip from the airport, arrived at the hotel just in time to inhale a PB sandwich and change into my riding clothes to head out for some leg-opening. I got to ride my new team bike for the first time as well. The BH frame rocks- it’s a lot stiffer than the Blue Rc7. Something else that’s new is that it’s built with Campagnolo components, which, of course, work fine, though I still have a special place in my heart for the Red group on my other bike.

Anyway- the ride was nice. Once we got back and had some lunch, I hunted down a tape measure so I could make some fit adjustments on my new bike. I also needed to swap the 110mm stem out to a 100mm… though since we’ve got Andrew Gonzales here as team mechanic, I sat back & held faceplate bolts while he did most of the work. I think I’ve got it just about perfect, but I won’t really be able to tell until I ride around on it a little longer this afternoon for the time trial.

I just had some breakfast- a couple of packs of Kashi hot cereal with whey protein and some yogurt w/a spoonful of peanut butter mixed into it. It would have been much more enjoyable if there wasn’t a herd of peewee hockey kids running through the lobby yelling about coffee and waffles while the parents ignored them and made life difficult for the breakfast-bar waitress by switching tables and letting their spawn run through the “employees only” section of the dining area. Then they let their kids monopolize the lobby computers to gawk noisily over god-only-knows-what on ebay. WTF?? Are you kidding me? Other people are hanging around the computer waiting and you’re watching your group of 5 or 6 kids eff around and look at EBAY?!? WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS OK?!?!

I digress.

It’s time to race. I like that we’re starting out with a time trial, because it’s somewhat lower-pressure than a road race, and will give me a chance to scope out how I compare to the competition. As always… updates will follow.

February 10, 2009

Tapering…

Filed under: Bike Racing,non-bike,Training — Andrea @ 4:03 pm

“In February?!?”

Yes, in February. I’ll be flying out Thursday for my first “big time” stage race- Valley of the Sun in Phoenix, Arizona. I feel ready- on Sunday I could barely contain myself. I took two days off last week and rode easy on Saturday, so I was ready to tear the pedals off of my bike on the group ride. I managed to hold back, though it meant splitting off from the group for a good portion of the outing.

I’m also excited to announce that I purchased a new laptop! It’s a Sony VAIO. My desktop was working OK, but it was very slow and had a tendency to bog down for several minutes at a time. Not to mention, it doesn’t pack too well in my luggage…

My favorite features are the nice, big screen, an ample keyboard area, and most of all, the built-in webcam, which I’ve already used to take random photos like this:

See you in Arizona...

See you in Arizona...

February 8, 2009

Really?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 5:16 pm

February 7, 2009

What are the chances?

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 9:23 am

I was riding up Pisgah road yesterday when I happened upon some workers cutting trees next to the road. They had blocked one lane, so there was a man standing in the road with one of those stop/slow signs. He saw me and said, “you’d better hurry up if you’re gonna catch the guy that just went through here!” I laughed and agreed with him, though didn’t think much of it once I went along my way into the Latting Rd area that prettymuch everyone rides through on their way out of Cordova and into good riding territory. There are a couple of ways through the neighborhood- I took the slightly shorter route. As I approached the intersection where the shorter/longer routes come back together, a rider in a Healthnet jacket passed by. He was going my way, so I figured I’d catch up to him & say hello.

What is your first thought when you see someone in a piece of pro team kit? (you people from California or other “nice” places don’t answer that) I was thinking the same thing- it’s just the usual recreational dude who was a either a Healthnet fan or happened to get a good deal from PBK. However, as I appraoched him, I could tell that my first impression was incorrect- he looked fit and had the pedal stroke and steadiness of someone who has lived small bits of life on two wheels.

I pulled up beside him. We talked for a while- turns out, his name is Rusty, and he used to ride for Healthnet several years ago, got burnt out, quit, and today- yes TODAY- was his first time back on a bike since then. Seems he & his wife were in Costa Rica the day before (nice!) when they saw some people riding. It inspired him to get his bike back out & try it again. I told him about the weekend group rides in the area, and he expressed some interest in going to the Trinity ride this morning.

Did he show up? I don’t know- I am tapering for VOS, and had another chiro appt. this morning, so I’m going to ride on my own in a little while. Hopefully he went, enjoyed himself and is inspired to keep it up!

When you think about it, it’s pretty crazy that we crossed paths at that moment. All the little things you do before/during a ride that only take a few seconds… seconds that could have potentially placed me just ahead or “just” behind far enough. Goosebumps :)

February 5, 2009

Chiropractor

Filed under: non-bike,Training — Andrea @ 6:12 pm

After nearly 8 hours of riding over the weekend, my neck, which I injured in a previous “stretching incident,”was getting sore. So I decided to go to a chiropractor recommended to me by another cyclist.

When I arrived, the first thing he did was explain to me the purpose & limitations of chiropractic work, which was nice, because apparently some chiros are pretty religious about their ability to treat EVERYTHING that can go wrong with your body.
After talking about that and discussing my injury, he ordered a couple of neck x-rays. When he showed them to me, I was immediately taken aback by the side view- before he could say anything, I gasped an “oh my gosh!” I noticed immediately that my cervical vertebrae were straight as a post! (the vertebrae of the neck should curve forward)
Luckily, everything else- space between the bones, etc.- looked great. He made three “adjustments” and instructed me to come back on Saturday and Monday. He feels that with a series of treatments, he’ll be able to get everything back into proper form, and I’ll only have to come back on an “as needed” basis.

So I went home feeling hopeful. It wasn’t until a few hours later that I realized how much my neck had affected my movements- I was in my car and turned to look behind me to back out of a parking space… only I did it without really turning my shoulders and body- only my head! I felt like an owl! I’m a little sore right now, but even more hopeful since I realized that so little can make such a difference. Updates to follow!

February 3, 2009

Why are you googling “Epic Fail”?

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 12:32 pm

I’m getting hundreds of hits a day because I’ve got that nice “EPIC FAIL” photo with my Southern X report, and it’s apparently a popular google search.

What is YOUR Epic Fail? Why are you searching? Hit the “Comment” link and tell me.

February 2, 2009

Busy Weekend

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 11:35 am

Not a whole lot of interesting stuff going on right now. I dedicated a good portion of my weekend to training/recovery with a side of Superbowl party.

Saturday was power testing day. That was tough, of course, and I followed it with another two hours or so of aerobic-intensity high-cadence riding (well, cadence >90rpms… which is high for me). I think that the cadence work was harder on me than the power tests. I felt exhausted when I got back home, though it wouldn’t have been so bad if my back & neck hadn’t started to hurt during the last hour of my ride. I had my Specialized Ruby saddle on my bike and was painfully reminded that I’d taken it off because it’s too darn flexible. Shifting around and trying to avoid the discomfort in my butt/low back caused by the saddle really irritated my neck. So, when I got home, I took to the whirlpool tub and felt somewhat better. The remainder of the evening was pretty low-key… some homemade pizza, a small glass of Boulevard “Long Strange Tripel” Ale (Ryan drank most of it… I just wanted to get a taste), and general relaxation.

Sunday morning, Ryan and I did our usual ride- Cordova to the Outdoors Store on Union, where we meet with a group and ride to Shelby Forest, then back. My legs felt like hell from the previous day’s ride. I was pretty surprised considering last Sunday my legs felt pretty awesome following Southern X. Even so, we rode in faster than usual. Once we met up with the group it was apparent that they’re catching wind of race season… as noted by the “spirited” pace. I obliged for part of the way- chasing down a couple of attacks and taking a hard pull or two, but then ended up splitting off from the group just before the “every man for himself” point in order to ride my own tempo up to the rest stop (not an easy tempo by any means… just not a pop & drop tempo!)
After the stop, somehow Ryan and I got separated from the group. We turned onto Watkins (~5 mile rolling 4-lane stretch of road) and looked back, only to find that the group was nowhere in sight. We figured they’d catch on, so we kept on going… only to look back a minute later & see that they were pretty far back. I knew that based on the guys in the group that they’d be chasing us down, so I told Ryan to pull me, and when they caught on, I’d counter. It didn’t quite work that way, because they ended up not catching up to us until near the “sprint point” at the end of the road, and they started to blow by us rather than take a wheel… it still worked out wonderfully, though. I’d been sitting in while they’d been chasing at a faster pace, so I grabbed the last wheel of the echelon, took a couple of breaths, then launched into the sprint. There was a bit of commotion as I passed the group, but (unlike other times I sprint with the guys) no one came around me before the unofficial “finish line.” Yay for strategy and group ride glory!!!! Bike racing is all about learning to kick people when they’re down…
Once we split from the group, the ride back was just as hard as the ride in. We kept the pace going most of the way back (I also “won” my second sprint of the day when we reached the Germantown city limits sign). I wasn’t as achy after the ride (saddle change!), but my neck was (still is) feeling not-so-hot.

Afterward was a Superbowl party. I had a little junk food, of course, and almost fell asleep during the game, but it was a good weekend wrap-up nonetheless. I’m pretty shot today. My legs feel like I rode harder than I did, and I’ve got to find a chiropractor to work on my neck before it becomes more than just an annoying ache. If any of my local readers know who is good, please share…

January 31, 2009

One more Southern X Photo

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 7:34 pm

I told you I drug it up the 56% hill…

(Found at j5marsupial.blogspot.com)

(Found at j5marsupial.blogspot.com)

January 29, 2009

Call me a hypocrite

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 6:04 pm

…but I like PETA’s marketing strategy because it’s so damn appealing to huge population of meat-eating males out there. This potential Subperbowl ad got the “thumbs down” from NBC censors:

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