January 22, 2009

Southern X and a random video

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:49 pm

In case the 140 or so of you a day that visit my blog don’t also visit Ryan’s blog, here’s a link to his blog post of Google Earth images that he mapped of the Southern Cross race this weekend: RoadCX Southern X Preview . Take a good look at it and come back…

Yea, it’s gonna be tough! Luckily, I’ve got a song that I’ll probably sing over & over in my head (ok, and possibly out loud) as I climb. This is a nice alternative to “99 bottles of beer on the wall” that I used at the River Gorge Road Race last summer…

January 21, 2009

Fixed gear 4 life, yo

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 7:30 am

January 19, 2009

Tempeh Sandwich

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:59 pm

Most Excellent…


Tempeh (marinated in balsamic vineagerette dressing), sauteed mushrooms and onions, mozarella cheese, and arugula

January 18, 2009

Mt. Magazine Adventure Ride

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 10:28 pm

So last night at dinner, about half of the guys expressed interest in getting over to Petit Jean somewhat early in the morning so that they could get home in time for various reasons. The other half of us wanted to sleep in and let the temperatures get out of the 30s before we got started with our ride.

This morning (after a short hike), we started looking at how long it would take to drive to Petit Jean State Park, and, after realizing that it was nearly a 2 hour drive, decided that we’d just do some more riding around Magazine. At first we talked about an out & back to Paris, but after some searching on Google Maps, came up with a route that had us descending to Havana and circling the side of the mountain opposite of where we’d gone the day before and ending up at the bottom near Cove Lake. We were also well aware that our route could contain some gravel roads, but most of us felt pretty adventurous.

I was secretly hoping for gravel… and lots of it. I probably wasn’t the only one.

We headed out a little after 10:00. After a chilly descent, we hung a left before reaching Hwy 10 in Havana. My wishes came true, because not more than 1/2 a mile after leaving the main road, the pavement ended. Of course, within the next 1/2 mile, two people had flat tires. Jared had flat #1 (of an eventual 3), and Tim Moore had a torn sidewall. He decided that it was too risky to continue, booted the tire, and headed back accompanied by Steve Pavlovic, who was wary of taking the nicer of his bikes into such territory.
The six of us that remained (Ryan, Jared, Susan, Todd, Frogge, and myself) continued on. We had more fun than I think ANY of us have ever had on two wheels- the road climbed, descended, and even crossed a few small streams (Todd rode across while the rest of us dismounted and hopped rocks). Of course, there were several more flat tires, but hey, we were asking for it, right?!


Because we were starting to run short on supplies (mainly rubber and CO2), we decided to cut the ride a little short when we reached a fork in the road that would take us back to the main road. It was fun nonetheless. We rode about 16 miles until we reached the main road for a windy climb back up the Paris side of the mountain. Next time, we’ll come more prepared with tougher tires, a few more tubes, and a frame pump or two…

Here’s Ryan’s GPS tracing of the route:

Sunday Morning on Magazine

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 9:58 pm

Since today’s ride deserves its own blog post, I figured I’d start by posting some photos of a morning hike to the actual “top” of Mt. Magazine.


The top of the mountain is pretty cool- there’s a stone rendering of the state of Arkansas, complete with a rock-star for Little Rock, and a USGS “button” with the elevation inscribed on top. Here are some shots from the top (click to see full-size versions):


After the ride, I also tried to take some artsy bike-porch shots…



January 17, 2009

Mt. Magazine

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 11:21 pm

Today was my third time in the last year to come to Mt. Magazine. It’s officially one of my most favorite places to “get away” to. Ryan and I are staying with a large group of other Memphis Velo guys in one of the cabins in the state park on top of the mountain. It’s GORGEOUS! After riding about 65 miles today, this was the view from our balcony…


Of course, being in a cabin with a bunch of guys can be pretty “entertaining” sometimes…


January 15, 2009

“Fun Time” with Reynaud

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:45 pm

You may be asking why I was briefly considering NOT going to Mt. Magazine this weekend for climbing time. Well, the weather was looking like highs would be in the 20′s, and I just can’t ride in those conditions because my circulation just doesn’t function as it should.
Case in point- Walking from my building at U of M out to my car, my left middle finger started to go numb (no problem w/others, just that one). By the time I came home, got the mail, brought in the trash and recycling bins, it was totally white and had no feeling in it.

No one ever believes me when I tell them that my fingers randomly lose circulation, so I figured I’d snap a photo. I had to let the dogs out first, but still managed to catch the tail end of the zombie finger attack as circulation began to get back to it…

(yes, I have bad cuticles... I know this)

(yes, I have bad cuticles... I know this)

It’s one of the symptoms of Reynaud’s Disease, which has been the source of some severe cold-related finger pain the past few winters. There’s not a lot to do about it other than use it as an opportunity to pretend that I’m trying out for a part in a George Romero flick…

Time to Climb!

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 3:18 pm

Looks like the arctic air mass that’s currently forcing me inside to cower under a blanket will get displaced by the weekend! What’s that mean? It means that I’ll be road-trippin’ over to Mt. Magazine (highest point in Arkansas) for some uphill action. If you search my blog pages back to May (hint: use the calendar-thingy), you can find some nicer-weather shots from around the summit that I took while up there for Tour of Arkansas. It’ll be a good warmup climb for Southern Cross. Here is a MapMyRide link of a training ride from last year where we started at the base near Paris, traversed Magazine (cold decent from Hell), then turned around in Havana and came back (click “view full” to get to an elevation profile):

We will probably hit up Petit Jean & possibly Nebo on Sunday & Monday. More updates to follow…

January 12, 2009

Workin’ on Bikes Day

Filed under: non-bike,Training — Andrea @ 7:09 pm

Today Ryan and I worked on putting his new Ridley together. I helped some with the assembly (taping BB threads, installing crank & RD, and some catchy bar tape, of course), but mainly worked on finishing up the Surly’s 1×9 conversion. The final chore was to put the tubeless tires on another set of wheels- which turned out to be a great move, because even though they were a bit harder to get inflated on a set of Zero A028s, they seemed to not have the burping issues that the Mavic wheels experienced. I didn’t think it was possible, but I think that the Zeros could be a few grams lighter as well.

Once we did some test riding in the cove, we changed and headed out to Shelby Farms to really put the spurs to them…
The only issue I really had was rear wheel slippage. Even though I thought I had the skewer reeeeeally tight, I still had a couple of slips under stress in the horizontal rear dropouts. I’m going to have to find a harder clamping skewer before Southern Cross!
I’m not sure if it was just having gears, lighter wheels, more fitness, etc. (maybe a a combo of all 3), but I was hauling some freakin’ walnuts today! I felt like having gears was cheating. I wonder what would happen if I were on a bike that didn’t weight 22 pounds?

Doing what I do best

Doing what I do best

Post-ride shot of my Hoss

Post-ride shot of my Hoss

Is there a better way to end a day like this?

Is there a better way to end a day like this?

January 9, 2009


Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 6:42 pm

…did I do today?!?

So my training assignment for today was a 3 hour ride w/a 1hour interval… at 275watts. My SRM (hopefully) is in the mail today on its way back from being repaired, so I call up “massah” Rogut for directions, and he says that a HR of about 180bpms should just about do it.

FYI- this is between 85 and 90% of my max HR of 205.

Well, I did the damn thing… it was just slightly easier than I expected. I settled in right at 181bpms (with a few excursions up to 185ish when I’d hit a hill), and kept the cruise control on through a ~15mph headwind all the way down highway 196 from Galloway to Seward Road (with some additional sections of other roads… but 196 was the bulk of it).

Afterward, my neck was sore enough that it started to give me a headache. I’m guessing it’s from being in my drops for a little longer than what I’m used to. I felt pretty crappy once I got home & cleaned up- a sure-fire sign that I need to do this more often! Once I had a snack, some Advil, and a half hour nap, I got out of bed feeling much better (and hungrier). My legs are still wondering what just happened, though…

Luckily, tomorrow is “just” a 4-hour base ride

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