more than just another bike blog

Monday, July 31, 2006


Um, how did this happen?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Real Men Drink Beer (or does beer make men real?)

The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on the Urinary Testosterone/Epitestosterone Ratio

By Dr Simon Davis B.Sc., Ph.D.


Intoxicating beverages contain a number of different forms of alcohol, the major constituent of which is ethanol. When a beverage is consumed the ethanol content passes through the stomach wall and digestive tract into the blood stream. Once the ethanol enters circulation it begins to alter the bodies' biochemistry. One such reaction is to differentially increase the rates of testosterone (T) and
epitestosterone (E) metabolism
. The overall effect of this reaction is
to increase the ratio of T to E excreted in the urine.

It has been reported that ethanol consumption can increase urinary T/E ratios by 30% - 277% in healthy individuals. Observed changes in plasma T/E ratios can occur with the consumption of less than 2 pints of lager. The ingestion of ethanol by an individual will increase the T/E ratio observed in a urine sample.

It follows that if the effect of ethanol on T/E ratios is calculated relative to urinary E concentrations, it can be seen that increases in the ratio are exponential as E concentrations decrease. Individuals with naturally low E concentrations could, therefore, experience increases in T/E ratios of 940% greater than increases experienced in an individual with normal E concentrations. Calculations estimate that in individuals with low urinary E concentration, ratios of 17 to 1 or higher could have resulted from ethanol consumption without any administration of exogenous T.

The current T/E ratio test as performed by Kings College Laboratory and approved by the UK Sports, the IWF and IOC cannot discriminate between a 13 to 1 T/E ratio resulting from ethanol ingestion or a 13 to 1 ratio resulting from endogenous T administration.

Editor's Note: There also appears to be a question of the T/E ratio test validity.

New Toyz -- part two

Because I'm such a stud, I decided I wanted to build up a single-speed mtn bike. Actually, I just think there's something pure and simple about SS. So, in May, after thinking about it for a year or so, I finally ordered a Sycip. And Tuesday I got to pick it up. Happy birthday to me! It's pink and sparkly -- not sure about the blue logos, but if I accent it right with some pretty little blue bits here & there it will be schweet!

Now, I have to sell three or four bikes before I let myself build this one up, so I guess that's motivation to start selling.

Anyone need a 56cm cyclocross frame (I've got two), track bike (complete) or titanium road frame?

Say it isn't so.....

New Toyz -- part one

In April I bought a new digital camera. This is my third digital in the last decade (I guess that's what happens when you take a nice camera on the bike with you all the time). The first was a fugi and it was HUGE. The second was a Canon Elf -- loved it! This one is a Canon Powershot -- almost the same as the Elf but smaller and thinner and lighter with a big huge display screen. I had hoped I could use the same batteries and media cards with the new camera, but Canon is smart and obsoleted the old stuff for newer and smaller. Oh well.

Sometimes it takes me a long time to learn how to do something new. So, since April I've been snapping pix like crazy and they're all still sitting on my camera. Last night I decided to finally plug in the new card reader -- doh! What took me so long? So, here's the first pic I took on my new camera in April (over three months ago).

This is Julie, the love of my life!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Kitsch Therapy

I hate to shop. I always have. But, my clothes are all too big and I've got some social "stuff" on my calendar, so I had to go shopping. The bike shop was once again hot this afternoon, so I rode over to Burlingame Avenue to see what I could see.

It's amazing how fashion trends come and go and come around yet again. What's with all the maternity-style tops with princess cut bodices? I hated them in the 70s and I don't find them particularly flattering now (although I bought two). And sun dresses? And tube tops? My oh my.

I've never explored some of the shops on Burlingame Avenue and was amazed at all the Euro-trash boutiques with $250 tops and $400 skirts. Excuse me? For $250 I can get something totally sweet for one of my bikes.

As I was heading home, I rode by a new shop called Therapy. My boss at the bike shop owns the building. They've been there almost a year, and Leslie said I should stop in some day but I never did. Wow! I actually started laughing aloud for a while. It was like walking into my closet 25 years ago. Totally retro 60s and 70s clothing (and some cool non-clothing stuff too). Knit dresses, tube tops, handkerchief halter tops, moire skirts, peasant blouses, wrap tops, ruffles, eyelets, embroidary, and crochet, you name it! It was like being in Goodwill but all the clothing was new. The funny thing was that the teenagers who were shopping there probably didn't realize that their mothers used to wear clothes like that (and if they did they probably wouldn't shop there). Unfortunately, the clothing sizes didn't seem to work for me, but I'll definitely try again sometime soon. Oh, and the prices were lower than anything on the Avenue -- very reasonable.

BTW, shopping by bike wasn't too bad. I'm a bit disappointed that Burlingame doesn't have any bike racks on Burlingame Avenue. Maybe I need to contact Maureen (Velo Girl and Burlingame City Planner). I was able to bring my bike into some of the larger shops and locked it to meters with flag pole mounts at others.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weird Science

Is there a doc in the house?

Yesterday after LHRR, I weighed half a pound less than my morning weigh-in. Seemed logical since I was a bit dehydrated. I actually expected to be down a bit more.

This morning, I'm mysteriously up 3.5 pounds (from my morning weight yesterday, so a net gain of 4 pounds).

This afternoon, I'm now up 5.5 pounds (from my morning weight yesterday -- net gain of 6 pounds).

I'm almost afraid to step on the scale again! I assume this is some form of electrolyte imbalance but I have no idea exactly what's going on.

Oh, and to make everything just a little more interesting, my temp is running just over 100.

Can someone explain this to me? What's out of balance? Too much electrolyte? Not enough? Or is it simply the Coldstone we had after LHRR?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

112 Degrees

That about says it all. Women were melting like an ice cream cone in a two-year old's hand. I'd estimate that only about 1/4 of the women who started the race finished. Packs were almost non-existent. Stragglers just pulled out. Ambulances were called. I'm still burning up hours later, my HR is crazy-high and my eyes are bloodshot. I didn't pee for over eight hours even though I've been drinking like crazy since 5:00am. Maybe they need to move this race to March?

On a positive note, my power numbers were excellent on the first lap. I recorded my high one-minute and five-minute power. So, I guess my legs are recovered and I've gained some strength.

Elf, I think you're great and it was nice to hang with you (even in your catatonic state). I hope you cool down and have a kick-butt race tomorrow at Albany.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Acclimatization Training

How to prepare for hot races? Work in a bike shop, in the second floor loft, where the temperature is at least 40 degrees warmer than on the sales floor, with a boss who makes you feel guilty for turning on the AC.

Think I'm ready? Guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Close Encounters of a Wile Kind

Arastradero -- 5:00pm. Headed out on the fire road climb to test the legs and do a bit of a warm-up before the group ride. Thinking about the tour, see a turkey, see a bunny, see a what-the-hell-is-that? Yup! Right in front of me, sauntering toward me on the fire road is a coyote. Not that I've ever seen one before, but I knew it wasn't a mtn lion so I figured it was a coyote (it was).

So, I stop and look at her. And she stops to stare at me. I start thinking about what I should do. Turn around? No, I'm just starting my warm-up. Keep riding? No, what if she attacks me. I don't think coyotes are dangerous but I'm not sure. So, I make some noise with my bike hoping she'll run off.

She's kinda scrawny and sickly looking. But she's got a big bushy tail and a long powerful jaw. She starts approaching me again and as we're now only about 10 feet apart, I decide maybe I should turn around. And then she heads up the hill off the fire road. I ride on, watching her as I go. She squats and pees (and since I know girl dogs squat to pee, I assume she's a girl).

Back at the trailhead, I read the bulletin board -- apparently coyotes are more dangerous than I'd thought. One of the girls tell me they're like Velociraptors -- one of them will distract you while the rest of the pack circles in for the kill.


Oh, dead banana slugs look like over-ripe bananas (just in case you were curious). Do you think banana slugs were named for bananas or were bananas named for banana slugs?


"I came here to win the race and I'm not done fightin' yet." -- Floyd Landis after killin' it on stage 17

We believe you, dude.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

An American Class Act

"I had a very bad day on the wrong day'"

TdF Spoilers

I watch the tour in the evenings -- no desire to get up at o'dark thirty if I don't have to. That means I typically have to avoid hearing about it all day long until I get home to watch it. I've been pretty successful so far this year.

So, yesterday, I successfully avoid blogs, emails, websites, OLN at the bike shop, conversations at the bike shop, and eight chatty women at training last night. LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-I can't hear you!!!!

I get home, cozy up with the pupster to watch OLN........and I fall dead asleep with about 70k to go.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

NorCal CX Calendar

None of this is official, but here goes:

Season Opener (Sacramento) -- September 17th!

-- September 24, October 1, November 26, December 10, January 7

Bay Area Super Prestige -- October 8, October 22, November 5, November 19, December 3

Surf City -- October 15, October 29, November 12

Career Change?

Bike Educator Needed in Hawaii
Enthusiastic and energetic bicyclists are wanted to teach the comprehensive BikeEd Hawaii, a program of the Hawaii Bicycling League, bike safety program to 4th graders at Oahu elementary schools. Start August 3 with two weeks of on the job training and then 10 months teaching as a member of a three person team. Total 30 hours weekly. Weekends and summers off. Call for more details, e-mail or fax a brief resume with references to: Chris Clark, Director, BikeEd & Events, Phone 808-735-5756, E-mail, Fax 808-735-7989.

Gee, I like kids (even 4th graders). And I've always wanted to go to Hawaii. Tempting......what's holding me here in the bay area? Well, I guess the five years I've been building my business. Dang, it's still tempting!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Two Months from Today......

......the season opener cyclocross race in Northern California!!! I'm all aquiver with anticipation. The real racing starts soon!


Any word on the DFL races?

Why Campy Rules

I converted my road bikes to Campy a few years ago and never looked back. I'm even switching to Campy on my cross bike this season. Love it! Fits my hands, shifts like butter, and it just looks cool. And I can drop the stack!!! But one of the best things about Campy is that the components can be repaired (unlike Shimano where you just have to replace stuff).

I've got Campy Record on my Trek. 15 months old, 4,100 miles, and no winter riding at all. In the past month, my rear shifting has been a bit touchy. My mechanic said the return spring on my right shifter probably needed to be replaced. We were hoping to make it until August (when I put the road bike into storage for winter and just ride my cyclocross bike).

Well, that plan didn't work. Riding in Livermore yesterday, my right shifter decided it was time. But, the cool thing is that now it's a friction shifter (not an index shifter). I could live with that if I had to, but luckily I've got another record gruppo on a bike I'm selling, so I just swapped it out.

Now, a shifter should last more than 4,000 miles, shouldn't it? Yup! But, Campy's got a three-year warranty! Yippee -- new shifter and no charge. Gotta love that!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Argh! I pre-rode the XC course at Infineon today. It's essentially the same course as last year. I remember not liking the course last year, but since it was my very first mountain bike race ever, I didn't have anything to compare it to.

Well, I still hate it!

What a demoralizing experience. I felt like a poser -- like I didn't know how to ride a mtn bike and I didn't have the legs to climb half the course. I guess it didn't help that I'm still not recovered from the Death Ride and still struggling with dehydration.

Did I mention that I hate myself right now?

As I was riding, I decided I wouldn't race on Saturday. Of course, as I drove home and had dinner, I'm kinda changing my mind. It doesn't make sense to race if my legs are dead though.

Highlight of the day: Barry Wicks is riding behind me on the single track and says something like "I think I'll swing by on your right if that's okay." If that's okay? What a nice, polite guy. Of course, I recognized his unique voice behind me immediately. The pros are usually pretty cool, it's the freds that are total jerks. Not five minutes later, I'm climbing the fire road from hell and some old, fat hairy-legged dude who smells like cheap cologne rides up to me and makes some comment about speed. I honestly can't tell if he's hitting on me or insulting me. He says he's a "rookie" -- this will be his 3rd race. I ask him if he's trying to make friends or enemies (since it felt like he was insulting me).

So, near the end of the course, the local ABC affiliate is set up with a camera crew. The XC and Super-D courses merge, which means only one thing: Y-I-K-E-S!!! Apparently the XC course was supposed to go down the fire road and some yahoo thought it would be more fun to descend the Super-D course, with two steep drops and a bunch of bermy off-camber stuff. I stand at the top, knowing I feel crappy and totally without confidence, hoping some folks will go by so I can watch them. A group of guys from WTB are hanging out too, one of them with a helmet cam. Then all the lovely pro Bellas go by. And then one of the guys who works at the bike shop with me. Anyways, at this point I've decided there's no way I'm riding that drop with all these folks around so I turn back, head around the tape and start down the fire road. About half-way down there's one more Bella (the new one from Oklahoma, soon to be Idaho, she said, I can't remember her name). She askes me if this is a joke (riding the Super-D course). We chat, she gives me a little pep talk and off we go. Thank you, Bella, whoever you are!

Anyways, I feel a little better getting this out of my system. Still not sure I'll race on Saturday. Tomorrow is a clinic with Marla and Allison so I'll get to check it all out again and maybe get a little mojo from the big girls.

Please, God, let me have my legs back!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Insomnia -- night 2

Sheesh! I hate when I go through phases like this. And this isn't the week for it -- I'm too darn busy.

Anyways, after working at the shop until almost midnight, I'm wired as all get-out, so I cruise the web for a while and then head to bed. I lay in bed for a good hour and still can't sleep, so decide to see if I can luck out with another snoozer on CMT.

Lo and behold, Hulk Hogan has his own television series -- Hogan Knows Best. The premise of the show is that Terry (Hulk) Hogan and his platinum blonde wife are just like other suburban Floridians with two teen-age kids (daughter aspires to be a pop singer; son a race-car driver). Terry is trying to find an alternative career to wrestling and falls into the endorsement game (which he thinks is gonna be a winner).


ps -- I'm not a country music fan. I just popped onto CMT because it's the channel next to OLN and there's no late-night tour coverage.

Monday, July 10, 2006


How can I have insomnia when I rode my bike 8 hours on Saturday! I watched the tour last night on OLN and then flipped through the channels landing on CMT for a two-hour documentary on the selection process for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Fascinating stuff, I kid you not. I now feel my life is complete.

I know, you were expecting a Death Ride Report and all I give you is fluff. Here's the Reader's Digest version. Altitude sickness along with hyper-thyroid reactions killed my body on Saturday. I succeeded in completing three and a half passes -- almost 90 miles with about 12,000 feet of climbing in just under 8 hours. I'm not disappointed. Full report at 11:00.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

GULP....What was I thinking?

Did I really think this would fit into my "if it sounds fun, do it" plan for this season?

Now the big question is 15 pound Trek with 34-29 or 20-something pound Rivendell with 22-34. If I'd actually been riding my Riv besides commuting to the bike shop it would be a no brainer. Maybe I'll just take them both.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Get your head in the game -- you've got schtick to do! Let the distractions go.

Okay, this is a meaningless post, but I wanted to get blogrolled by Olaf (thanks for adding that little toy, now I'll never get anything done).

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dog Bless Amerika!

It doesn't get much better than this. Today was one of those perfect days, doing the thing you love most, surrounded by friends. No stress, no pressure, just a good old-fashioned fun day. Beautiful scenery, delightful weather, and ice cream made it all the better.

Sometimes you need to stop training and just ride. And since today is a holiday, it was the perfect reason to do that. I gathered a random collection of my cycling friends from different areas of my life together for an all-day road ride. It was so fun watching new friendships develop among folks who I care about. We had an awesome ride, lunched in a quaint town, stopped for ice cream, and got some good solid miles in the legs. Ahhhhh.....nothing better in my mind.

Although not a political or particularly patriotic person by nature, I couldn't help but ponder how lucky we are in this country. We saw so many cyclists enjoying the day. We have the opportunity to do just about anything we want to do. We live in a country that embraces diversity (most of the time). We have freedom to make choices that affect our lifestyle. And we have the chance to succeed and thrive.

Dog bless Amerika!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Tears for a Lost Soul

saddened by a stranger

paths intersect only by chance

senseless death

Flandria Who?

Okay, I have fun figuring out who everyone is on their blogs. But I haven't been able to peg Flandria yet.

Here's what I do know:

  1. She's a girl.
  2. She's also a Velo Bella (Sabine lists her on the member blog list).
  3. She apparently rode CCCX yesterday (because she noticed the mouse). Julie? Nope. Mary? Nope. Daphne? Don't really know her. Ah, ha! It's Angela, isn't it!!! Angela, is it you?

BTW, I just remembered that section in the first lap of the race when you kept turning around looking for me and encouraging me to go for it. You're such a nut! When I said "race your own race" I knew you could kick some bootay and wanted you to go for it. You did great yesterday and I'm glad you were out there.

Monday Morning Hangover

I'm the first to admit that I have a non-traditional work schedule. As a coach, I work many early mornings, nights, and weekends (the times when clients are free). However, I haven't been really good in the last five years at scheduling in a "weekend" for me (even if it's in the middle of the week). I think I need to look into that.

So, here we are on Monday morning again and I'm exhausted. 12 hours jockeying my desk with a work project on Friday followed by a bike fit. Four-hour training in the east bay on Saturday, then two bike fits, groceries, and race prep. Sunday, it's up at 4:30am to go race mtn bikes (and not back home until about 6:00 last night).

Maybe Monday should be my weekend?

Sunday, July 02, 2006


What's the talley this week?

One scuffed elbow (right). Good thing I had the arm warmers on.

One hematoma on my butt/hip (right).

One big bruise on the inside of my knee (right).

One chain-ring gash on my calf (left).

Oh, and my left wrist still hurts from my crash two weeks ago.

And apparently I have poison oak on my right shin (confirmed by lots of eye witnesses today).


Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!

Today was the 7th and final race in the CCCX Mountain Bike Race Series. My goals for the year were to win one race (best finish so far was 3rd) and podium for the series (guaranteed 4th going into this race).

I was excited to race and hoping I had good legs today. I did a massive training load this week -- 22 hours in the previous seven days (ouch) and my legs were fried for our Tri-Flow training yesterday. So I wasn't sure how I'd feel, but I didn't burn going up & downstairs to load the car this morning so that was a good sign.

Dani Weber went to the race with me and we pre-rode the course together (even though she wasn't racing until the 11:00 sport race). It was great to pre-ride with a more experienced racer. I liked the course -- very fast, pretty flat, and a couple of pavement sections. There were a few technical sections I wasn't sure I'd clean, and a bunch of sand, but all in all a course that seemed to suit me well.

At the start, I still wasn't sure how I'd do. Angela asked me (in a secret whisper-voice) if I was going to win. I just smiled, knowing that I probably wouldn't win, but vowing to die trying.

My start was strong and I was nose & nose with the leader as we entered the singletrack. I sat on her wheel through the pre-lap and maintained contact on the climb (yippee). I didn't look back to see if we had a gap so I didn't know who was where behind us. The leader passed one of the men and I couldn't get around, so I lost a bit of ground, but when we swung out onto the pavement, I caught and passed her.

As we approached the ledge (a jump-like short, steep uphill), I got a little nervous. I had cleaned it in my pre-ride, but I hadn't worked so hard approaching it earlier. The trail was congested, I didn't get enough speed, and I fell, causing a train-wreck of beginner women behind me (drat!). While I was untangling myself and getting back on the bike, one girl passed me. I was slow to mount, hit a root, and fell again, while another girl passed me. Shortly after that, a third girl passed me. I started chasing, confident I would catch them on the singletrack, but I got behind two slow guys and one slow kid. I lost minutes before I could pass and I never caught any of the girls again.

So, it was a crazy day. Once I lost the lead women, I was out there alone for the rest of the race. My legs were great, but I just kept falling off my bike (and riding off the track). What's with that? I never fall. The weather was weird -- cold and foggy. I was sweating like the hyper-thyroid pig I am. So, I couldn't see for shit. My eyes were foggy and I felt like I was losing depth perception. And my helmet was sitting too low on my forehead, obstructing my vision. Whine, whine, whine.

Random thoughts from the race in no particular order:

On our pre-ride we saw a little grey mouse lying dead on the singletrack. I carefully steered around him. On my first lap, it appeared that 100 riders before me had hit him -- bright red guts everywhere.

I had decided I'd bring a flat coke on the bike for a late-race sugar/caffeine boost. Since I don't drink soda or coffee anymore, I thought it would serve as jet fuel. I bought a coke yesterday and let it sit open to flat. On lap 3, I decided to take a sip. As I opened the water bottle with my teeth, coke blew up in my face (and out my nose). Choking, I almost fell off the bike again.

Mountain biking is just so cool and the people are great. I've gotten to know lots of folks during this season and it was so great to come through the finish circuit each lap and hear folks cheering my name -- thank you everybody!!! I love the kids, families, dogs, post-race beer, the way everyone comes to stay for the day, the whole enchilada.

I've met some great women. I felt a little teary-eyed today when I said good-bye to Ayshe and Shelly. They've motivated me and I feel like we've all grown as racers together. Thank you both!

During the race, I kept thinking "I'm more of a mud girl than a sand girl." I'm actually proud that I nailed all the sandy sections except one. But I feel more comfortable in the mud.

I'm bummed that my mtn bike season is almost over. I've had much more fun and positive experiences than with my road races or crits this year. Next up is Cougar Mountain and then I think that's it for this year. Bummer.

Hey, maybe I'm not a beginner anymore.....I've done seven, count 'em, seven mtn bike races now, including Sea Otter!

Now, back to those goals. I finished 5th today, so I didn't win a race in the series, but I'm okay with that. I improved a lot and have been racing well (when I'm not falling off my bike). And I moved up into 3rd in the series, so I can check that one off.

***Congratulations to MARY (2nd mtb race) and ELIZABETH (4th mtb race). It was great to see both of you at the line today!!!***

***And finally, big thanks to Keith and Rod for putting on such a great series! Can't wait until cyclocross starts!***

ps -- Thanks for making me feel pretty, Dusty. "Fast riding and good looking" carried me through the week. It's been a while since I've felt attractive.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wake Up Call

We were riding in Livermore today when we came upon the scene of a terrible accident. One of our riders is a veteranarian, so she was able to provide some medical assistance until the paramedics arrived. I've seen so many bike accidents, but I've never seen anything quite like this.

Everytime we hop on the bike, we place so much trust in others -- the technology, cars, fellow riders, the weather, ourselves. And most of the time they don't fail us. Today was a grim reminder that once in a while they can fail in a big way.

I'm not one for prayers, but my heart-felt thoughts are with Pat Caurant today and during his recovery.

ps -- also a reminder to have emergency contact information readily available on your body or in your phone. Pat's riding buddies had a heck of a time trying to find a contact. Also, if you have any medical conditions, list them as well. As fredish as this seems, ROAD ID is a great idea.