brickhouseracing

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!

December 13, 2008

Saturday at KCCX

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 4:03 pm

Ryan raced today in the Masters 30-34 race. See photos from the race & his report HERE. I doubled as photographer and pit crew, though I wasn’t totally successful at both- his rear tubeless tire burped flat and I had to give him a bike change. That went well, but instead of getting a replacement rear wheel from the SRAM neutral equipment, I wasn’t thinking, and just re-inflated the flat tire and handed his bike back off to him 1/2 a lap later. The re-inflation mostly worked, though it still burped a couple more times during the course of the race, leaving him with the unsettling feeling of not knowing how flat his tire was during the remainder of the race.

I did manage to snap a few other random shots:

On the trainer before the race

On the trainer before the race

Too much meat in the meat grinder! (wreck from the start line)

Too much meat in the meat grinder! (wreck from the start line)

To be on the Kona team, you must be over 6'2" tall and under 150 pounds

December 12, 2008

Fun with Kansas City Mud

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 6:02 pm

Ryan and I arrived at the cyclocross nationals venue around 10:30 thins morning. After checking in and getting our numbers, we suited up to ride during the 12:00-1:00 open course time. There was some rain earlier in the week, so the 1.6 mile course was a combination of both the greasy-slippery and sticky peanut butter types of mud. I guess now is a good time to mention… I’ve never really ridden in the mud.

Needless to say, I fell down a few times! The sun came out and the winds picked up, and the surface actually improved a bit during the hour that we rode, and by the time the masters women started racing, it was getting a lot faster. As long as there is no more rain between now & Sunday, it should be in great shape for my race Sunday morning.

Afterward, I took some photos of the women’s 30-34 and 35-39 race since Kym (Vantaggio) and Kristen Wentworth (former teammate from Kenda) were racing in their respective categories.

Here are a few photos:

Post-ride mud

Post-ride mud

The Legend

The Legend

Kym cornering- MTB style

Kym cornering- MTB style

Kristen @ full-speed over the barriers

Kristen @ full-speed over the barriers

Kristen in a sprint for the finishline

Kristen in a sprint for the finish line

December 9, 2008

Andrea’s Rules of the Weightroom

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 8:56 pm

If you’ve visited the “about me” section of my long-un-updated Brickhouseracing homepage, you know that I’ve spent my fair share of time in the weightroom. Lately, I’ve been hitting the weights a couple of times a week, and I thought that maybe a few of you could use some help… (this goes for cyclists as well as you run-of-the-mill “meatheads” out there!)

1. When you see/hear about how desirable it is to have a “V” shape, it is in reference to your torso ABOVE the waist- NOT your entire body. PUT THE DUMBELLS DOWN AND DO SOME EFFING SQUATS ALREADY! If you see me “checking you out,” it’s probably because I’m in awe of how large your upper body is and how stupidly small your legs are.

2. While we’re on the topic of squats: IT’S A SQUAT RACK. NOT A BICEPS-CURL RACK. Biceps femoris > Biceps Brachii. If this confuses you, check your muscle anatomy charts.
-One last thing about squats: top of thigh parallel to the ground or they don’t count.
-One last thing about biceps curl: elbow goes through a full range of motion or they don’t count. Stop lowering the weight to ~90-100 degrees @ the elbow just so you can use the 30s instead of the 25s.

3. If you sweat a little, use the paper towels, etc. that the gym provides to get your booty/back/head sweat off of the machine you just used. If you sweat a lot, save some trees and bring your own towel. Either way, don’t leave a damp patch for someone else to lay on.

4. Learn correct form. Don’t be “that guy” that’s turning a lat pull-down into a row or a bench press into anything that doesn’t involve the bar contacting the chest in a way other than a giant bounce.

5. There are two types of women in the weightroom:
-Those that are there to pick up guys (either at the weightroom itself or by “toning up” a bit to make themselves more attractive outside the weightroom)
-Those that are there to get stronger and, as an added bonus, possibly make themselves more attractive to themselves regardless of how they appear to the opposite sex.
-Do not gawk or stare at the latter of the two. She does not want your number, does not want to talk to you unless you honestly need help with your workout, and she does not want you using the mirror in front of her squat rack to watch yourself do biceps curls while she’s squatting.

6. Don’t sit on benches/machines in between sets if you even have the slightest inkling that someone may want to work in with you between your sets.

7. Stop treating your abs like they’re made of something other than skeletal muscle. There’s no reason to do 11ty billion repetitions of a bunch of rediculous “core” exercises. See that decline bench? Hold a 10 pound plate behind your head and do some situps.

8. Put your weights away when you’re finished with them

9. Don’t use lifting straps unless you absolutely HAVE to. Ever hear the phrase “wet noodle” used to describe a handshake? Yeah, that’s you, Mr. “I use straps for my entire back workout.” My grandmother has more grip strength than you.

10. While you’re at it, do some deadlifts… and no, I’m not talking about the “straight leg” type…

Me and 275 pounds of iron

Me and 275 pounds of iron

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