brickhouseracing

December 26, 2008

“Reality Show” Training Camp: Day #1

Filed under: Training Camp '08 — Andrea @ 10:31 pm

After a windy drive from Memphis, I arrived in Grapevine, TX around 4:30. I met up with a few of my teammates & we went to an Italian place near by for dinner. Afterward, it was back to the hotel for the first team meeting.

Nathan, the team manager, cut to the chase and let us know that in the grand scheme of things, our team is not much different from a pro team, and he expected us to act and ride accordingly. Camp is going to be a little bit like “tryouts” for the 2009 season- our performance this week will have a large impact on who goes where next season. Also, during this week, if anyone doesn’t perform as expected, it could mean an early end to his or her contract. He expects a lot from us, and I think it’s pretty awesome, because it’s going to insure that noone is there who shouldn’t be.

After the meeting, Some of us hung around in the conference room to work on our bikes- I had to swap out my worn rear tire for a new/old stock of Ryan’s, and others were assembling their bikes out of the flight cases. We discussed how the earlier lecture reminded us of some sort of reality TV show where people get eliminated after a series of challenges (hence the title of this post). Then Coryn got excited and rode ashley’s bike around the conference room…

December 25, 2008

The 12/25 Report

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 10:01 pm

Today was mostly a day for family. We drove down to Drew, MS to my Grandmother’s house to have some delicious Southern cuisine (including shrimp grits and various jello fruit salads), then came home just in time to ride trainers for an hour before Ryan’s brother & sister-in-law arrived from their drive down from Wisconson.

Meanwhile, I started packing for training camp. The prospect of spending 10 days in Texas is pretty exciting. I’m pretty amped to meet all of my new teammates and get some serious hours in on the bike since life has been interfering a little bit lately.

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 6:47 pm

…and the icing was flying like MAD!!!!

Ryan’s mom is in town, and she baked some killer sugar cookies. Ryan & I finished them off with some equally fabulous buttercream frosting.

December 23, 2008

What happened?!?

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:25 am

Somehow I had a few random baby/kid photos laying around the house, and Ryan scanned them for me. The first one is probably the youngest picture of me that exists. I was kind of an ugly baby- it’s a good thing that I grew to be so damn cute…

This is me just before dance recital:

I have no idea what we were looking at:

December 21, 2008

Weekends are for Training: Sunday Edition

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 7:59 pm

Well, this morning didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped. I had all intentions of busting my guts on the CX course, but, alas! The temps were in the upper 20′s when we arrived at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. I was well-dressed for the weather, but as I warmed up, the circulation to my hands shut down. I could tell based on previous experiences that if I’d kept going, that they would have lost all feeling… which isn’t the bad part. The bad part is when the circulation comes back, and I end up in tears because feels as if my fingertips are about to explode and my nails are being ripped from their beds. As much as I love racing, there’s not much that will entice me into putting myself through that type of pain. So, I resigned myself to being Ryan’s photographer/mechanic.

After the race, we hurried home to do some more riding. Lauren (from Probike in MS) was in town for the weekend and came over to ride with us. It was nice to get in a chilly 3 hour ride and do some catching up. I avoided cold hand issues (for the most part) by using some Bar Mitts that Ryan gave me as an early X-mas present. I’ll post a review once I’ve had a few more chances to use them.

December 20, 2008

Weekends are for Training: Saturday Edition

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 6:05 pm

After sleeping in until almost 7:00am (Woohoo!), Ryan and I had some breakfast, putzed around on the internet for a little while (I started working on a new look for this site, which, as of right now, is still somewhat “unfinished”), then headed out after 9:00 for a 4hr ride. Even though it was cloudy, temps were relatively mild (upper 40s!), so it was nice- we took a route up through Oakland and Lambert which ended up being 73 miles.
By the time we got home, cleaned up, had lunch, and stopped by RB’s Cyclery, it was dark outside! I realized on the way home just how much of my life is dedicated to this, and how lucky I am to be with someone who shares and understands the dedication…

But enough of that mushy stuff!

Tomorrow is the “Martin Luther Cross” fun race put on by some local guys who love CX, and advertized by our beloved lone pack of hipsters who run the FixMemphis site. Ryan and I will be going to race, then soon as we get home & get our feed on, will be heading out for another chilly 3.5 hours or so of riding. Looks like it’ll be another full day on the bike! I should be in full zombie mode again by the time I get to the end of my 3 hour ride on Monday…

December 19, 2008

Olympic Lifts Appreciation Post

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 3:07 pm

My favorite way to get strong and powerful:

Snatch:

Clean and Jerk:

Yeah, they’re hard to do, but, like anything else, it’ll pay off at some point next year!

December 16, 2008

Seven-foot Tall Flower Arrangement

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 9:20 pm

Today, I picked up a hand-me-down X-mas tree from my parents. I was rummaging around in their attic for some decorations when I found a bag full of artificial flowers. I figured since I like spring & summer a lot more than I like winter, that I’d give the tree a more “floral” look. Here it is so far…

Favorite Photos from Kansas City

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 6:56 am

Some of my favorites from Sunday:

Secret Spy Photo from the "Holy isht, this is awesome" tent.

Secret Spy Photo from the"Holy iSht, this is awesome" tent.

Katie Compton also knows Riverdance.

In addition to being a great racer, Katie Compton also knows Riverdance...

Apparently, Laura Van Gilder does, too

...as does Laura Van Gilder

Cool photo of Kym (Vantaggio)

Cool photo of Kym (Vantaggio)

Compton takes a second to smirk at the sideline shennanigans

Compton takes a second to smirk at the sideline shennanigans

Best cheering section of the day

Best cheering section of the day

Notice what the person in the background is wearing

Notice what the person in the background is wearing (also notice that clown-hair guy could be bordering on hotness)

These three stayed in a group for most of the race. Im still wondering if they tried to drop LVG so that they wouldnt have to try and take her on in the finish sprint.

These three stayed in a group for most of the race. I'm still wondering if they tried to drop LVG so that they wouldn't have to try and take her on in the finish sprint.

One of my new Metro Volkswagen teammates, Coryn Rivera

One of my new Metro Volkswagen teammates, Coryn Rivera

Runners-up in the fun with costumes category

Runners-up in the "fun with costumes" category

The shirtless guys make another appearance just before the elite mens race.

I didnt know that Kanye West rode CX?!

I didn't know that Kanye West rode CX?

Ryan Trebone makes my Ryan look fat

Ryan Trebone makes "my" Ryan look fat

December 15, 2008

Day 3- I finally race @ KCCX

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 9:11 pm

I think it’s some sort of sick joke that the powers that be schedule the singlespeed CX race to go at 8:00a.m. on Sunday morning. Other than the potential for frigid temps, it doesn’t bother me (and lucky for me, it was unusually balmy Sunday morning). However, singlespeeders are notorious debaucherers…

From the singlespeed world championship event in Portland, OR:

I was hoping for some craziness at the line for my race, but, alas, other than being weird enough in the first place to want to ride a cyclocross race using only one gear was as odd as it got.
There were 82 starters, though only 55 official finishers. Why the 27 DNFs? Honestly, I have no idea, but I’m guessing it was a combination of a wreck in the first 100 yards as well as the countless riders I witnessed with dropped chains… I’m going on a little bit of a rant here: What’s with the dropped chains?!? I consider chain tension something to check along with tire pressure before every single ride. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but it’s never been an issue for me.

Anyway- back to the race…
When the official blew the whistle, we took off at full spin. As we passed the beer tent, someone from the sideline yelled, “SHIFT, DAMNIT!” A second or two later, someone must have tried, because there was a giant pile-up just before as well as just after turn #1. I used my elite wreck-avoiding skills to jump up a few positions as I negotiated my way through the melee. From there on out, I rode hard and had fun. I don’t know if I ever “turned myself inside-out” (in the words of the great Dave Towle), but I was pretty damn exhausted when I got pulled in 45th place just before the leader (who lapped me about halfway through my last lap) got the bell for his final lap. The only other woman in the race (Elizabeth Shogren- Sobe Cannondale) finished in an awesome 22nd place and went on to finish 35th in the Elite women’s race.

Some photos:

I tried to channel the energy of Laura Van Gilder while I warmed up (ok, it didnt really work)

I tried to channel the energy of Laura Van Gilder while I warmed up (ok, it didn't really work)

SHIFT, DAMNIT!

SHIFT, DAMNIT!

wreck-avoiding skills  nunchuck skills

After the first couple of turns

still with the pack

leading some random guys around course

leading some random guys around course

Runup!

Runup!

I finally figured out how to get my freakishly long arm though my freakishly small front triangle! (side note- that guy in front of me wrecked hard @ the start of the masters race the day before)

I finally figured out how to get my freakishly long arm though my freakishly small front triangle! (side note- that guy in front of me wrecked hard @ the start of the master's race the day before)

I got a little over-confident in the chicane and went trolling for earthworms

I got a little over-confident in the chicane and went trolling for earthworms

These are just a few of the singlespeed photos that Ryan took. For more, including Master’s men 30-34, Women 30-34 and 35-40, elite women, a few elite men, and some candids, check out Ryan’s KCCX PHOTO PAGE

After cleaning up and checking out of the hotel, Ryan and I went back to watch the Elite races. However, plummeting temps and a parking situation with potential to become a supreme cluster-ufck led to our leaving about halfway through the men’s race.

Fun. Hopefully the race remains centrally located so that we can go again next year!

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