more than just another bike blog

Thursday, August 30, 2007

my legs are made of ice cream

.....and I'm melting!

I love the sun and heat, but this has been a bit oppressive. I'm sweating just sitting at my desk. I've actually had a hard time dealing with the heat since my thyroid levels are corrected. Longer summer races just destroy me, but that's neither here nor there.

Wednesday is my weekend (sort of). I try not to schedule any appointments or big projects and just answer email and run errands. And I usually do a long ride.

My Wednesday riding partner for the past few years is my best friend, Kim. She's a super-skinny climber-girl and she's been pushing me to keep up with her (not easy when I was almost 200 pounds). Most weeks, I try to get in a good solid 4-5 hour ride with lots of climbing. We don't usually ride super-fast, and sometimes we even stop for coffee (even in the summer, Hutch).

Two weeks ago we climbed Page Mill. I was killin' it for the first 3rd of the 9-mile climb, but then the heat and my dehydration sucked the life out of me. Last week we couldn't ride together. So this week, we decided to climb a less-exposed climb -- Old La Honda.

Everyone knows their PB up OLH. I've watched mine drop (early in my cycling career), then rise (while I got fatter and fatter), and it's again been dropping. I haven't ridden OLH since May, and my weight and power have both improved so I assumed I'd be on track for a good time.

I jammed up the early parts of the climb. Because I was trying for a PB, I didn't wait for Kim and just rode my own ride. A couple of times I glanced back and didn't see her, so I thought I was doing great. I kept calculating my time and thought this would be the day.

Alas, about half way up the climb, I started waning. I could feel my breakfast in my belly and my heart in my throat. And even in the shade of the big trees, I was sweating buckets. But I kept pushing on.

As I passed the second sign for Upenuf Road, I glanced back to see Kim around the switchback. That was motivation enough to push to the point of recycling breakfast to the top.

But dammit, my time was 2 minutes slower than in May! Overanalyzing the ride, I realized that first of all, it was about 300 degrees out and secondly, I'm back on my weight-loss plan, so I'm not fueled as well as I should be to ride with high intensity. Oh well!

On a positive note, I kicked butt on my descents (Skyline and 84). 84 has always been my nemesis descent. I love to descend but there are certain points on that road I always touch my brakes. I did pretty darn good yesterday.


It was so hot yesterday that after climbing OLH and then climbing West OLH (because OLH just wasn't enough), Kim (the camel) actually needed to top off her bottles, so we stopped at the little store at the junction of 35/84 (across the street from Alice's). While there, we were approached by a man in his 30s or 40s who was very clearly drunk at 11:00 in the morning. I just hope he didn't drive there and then have to drive down the mountain, risking himself, other drivers, and cyclists alike. I mentioned him and the fact that I found him a threat to the store owners, but they didn't seem to care, even though they sold him a beer.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

.....makes my ass look great!

just for kicks,
what would YOU substitute for

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

why women are bitches

I teach women how to race bicycles. I've been doing it since 2002. I currently coach a six-week road racing development program. During this six-week period, the women in the program receive 30+ hours of on-bike instruction in both individual bike handling and also group riding skills. We also teach them basic tactics. When they've completed the program, they have the tools to be darn good bike racers and we've shortened the learning curve of bike racing for them.

Many of the women I've taught how to race have gone on to win lots of races and are now CAT 1 an CAT2 racers, competing at the national and international level. But it all starts with that first race.

Last week, one of the women in my current program participated in the Dunnigan Hills Road Race. She's a tiny little girl with a tiny little bike (with only one bottle cage capable of holding a short bottle). Since this is a longer race in a hot climate with a questionable feed zone, I suggested she race with a hydration pack. I warned her that some women might be judgemental about this.

Alas, judgemental was an understatement. Waiting at the line, one of the women from another team looked at her, noticed her Camelbak, and then loudly proclaimed "that's scary!" Her response, being a kind and sensitive girl, was tears.

Grow up ladies! If a racer, especially a new racer, utilizes tools that will help her race in a safe manner, why do we have to be such freaking critics! You should be thrilled that someone wants to learn to race and wants to be safe during races.

Get over yourselves, okay? We say we want to see more women racing bikes. If that's true, then we should try to be welcoming and friendly. We should mentor new riders, not ridicule them.

So, if you see someone at a race who dares march to a different drummer.....someone with a mirror or a camelbak or something traditionally frowned upon by the road racing crowd, don't give 'em shit -- give 'em a cheer for being a unique individual.


Don't be a hater!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

what's temporary?

in this fast-paced, instant-information world, how do you define temporary? my email has been down since 2:00am. apparently this is still considered temporary by AT&T. argh!

Sorry for the inconvenience.

You've stumbled upon a temporary problem we're having with Yahoo! Mail. Usually this problem gets resolved quickly, without you doing a thing. In fact it may be taken care of now.

* Try pressing the Reload or Refresh button on your browser, or logging out and then back into your Yahoo! account. Hopefully that will take care of things.

If that doesn't fix the problem, please be patient while we sort it out and try again shortly. The fact that you're reading this page means we've been automatically notified of the issue, and chances are we're working on it now.

* If you think you've been more than patient and tried the tricks above, feel free to contact Customer Care about Error Code 5.


The AT&T Yahoo! Mail Team

Monday, August 20, 2007

too busy relaxing

we were so darn busy relaxing that we didn't take many photos. no clocks/watches, no agenda, just naps and trees and relaxing and eating and presents and fun.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

third time's a charm (again)!

earlier this year, my older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. she had already retired, purchased a house in Fiji, was in the process of selling her home here, and was ready to escape the madness of the valley.

everything changed pretty quickly.

because of the form and size of her cancer, she was able to have a minimally-invasive surgical procedure to remove the cancerous cells. unfortunately, one surgery in April turned into a second in July and a third last week. we thought it would never end and that she'd need to have a masectomy.

today, I accompanied her to her post-surgical consult. in the car, she told me she didn't know what she would do if the result wasn't good.

as we sat in the examination room at the Stanford Cancer Center, the tension grew.

then, we heard a quick knock at the door and her doctor entered the room. the look on his face was dire (or is that dour?). and then, within seconds, he gave her a thumbs up. I screamed "YES!" and then realized I might have misinterpreted his body language.

the silence in the room was again thick with tension. Susan didn't say anything. I quickly looked at the doc, looked at her, and then at the doc again. and then I mumbled something minimally cohesive to the effect of "was the surgery successful?"

YES! finally, they were able to get all of the cancerous cells! no more surgery!

but Fiji will wait until she can complete six weeks of radiation.

Fiji will always be there. now my sister will, too!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007


progressive overload (along with recovery) -- the key to creating physiological adaptation in athletes. yeah, yeah, yeah, I know! it's been a big block of training for me the past couple of months and half way up our nine-mile Page Mill climb this morning the body screamed "uncle!" of course, we had to keep climbing, but it wasn't pretty. I guess that's what happens when I try to log too many 15-20 hour weeks in a row. ouch! good thing I've got a nice block of recovery coming up......fresh and fast legs for San Ardo -- can't wait!

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off to the big trees

the dutchboy and I are heading out for a short but hopefully fun and relaxing weekend. a bit too much driving for a two-day weekend, but we'll make the most of it!

we're driving north to the

we'll be

we won't be

but we will definitely be

we'll probably also

and we might even

we'll have some of this

and some of this, too!

and we might even do this (probably not)

and if that isn't enough fun, on Sunday we'll be doing this

oh, and I need a Julie-sitter. would you like to spend the weekend with her? she love you long time!

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

things that make you go buzzzzzz

in all the years I've been riding bikes, I think I'd only been stung by a bee twice before (and once was during childhood). come to think of it, I think I'd only been stung once more besides that. 30-something years old and I'd only been stung by a bee three times!

all that changed this year! I think I've been stung six separate times while riding my bike this season. the latest was tonight! I was riding with a client and we were totally pumped on adrenaline from dropping these two parasites on foothill when suddenly, a bee hits me on the helmet, bounces to my optics, and then stings me on the forehead. try as he might, my client couldn't find a stinger, but I know it's still in there because my forehead is swollen and throbbing.

of course, this made me ponder why all the sudden stings. come to think of it, I don't even really remember bugs in CA until this season, except in the wettest areas. and then there's the poison oak! is our environment rebelling? are we being attacked by nature? is it time to run and hide?


sometimes we don't realize just how good we've got it!

California is a hot-bed of cycling. we all know that. we have one of the largest cycling populations in the country. and yea, the racing world isn't perfect -- many women wish there were more opportunities to race against their peers in single-category races instead of combined fields.

but you know, we've really got it pretty good.

one of my former clients lives in Idaho now. we chatted recently about how she could help develop women's racing there. in our conversations, I didn't realize just how dire the women's racing scene was in Idaho (check out the license stats in the article). but she, and some other women (and men) are doing something about it and hoping to develop new women racers in the coming seasons.

extra, extra! read all about it in the Boise Weekly.

good job, Marti!


Monday, August 06, 2007

let's tri that one more time!

Wow! I just realized that I never posted my Wildflower report from May – it’s still in my blog draft folder. Oh well, I guess it's too late for that now. But anyways, after our victory in the Wildflower Olympic distance relay, my teammates (Janet and Kim) and I decided we had so much fun we just had to do it again. So, we registered for the Vineman Half Ironman relay in August. Ironically enough, this had been my very first race in 2002, so I had a little something to compare my aging self to. Kim was excited to run a half marathon (something she'd never done), I was committed to getting my TT bike out of storage (where it's been since Kern in 2006), and Janet just loves triathlon so she was game.

Long story short, Kim hired a running coach, upped her distance, but got injured and we had to find a replacement runner. I was a lazy-ass and never got my TT bike out of storage. And Janet, as always, was the rock -- organized and prepared to race.

Our "girls weekend" disintegrated and we headed up to the race for the day. Yeah, there's nothing better than getting up at 4:00am to drive to a race, but fortunately, Kim decided to accompany me to the race so I had great company and expert assistance with all my gear.

I had planned to do a trainer warm-up in the transition area, but once again, my lazy tendencies kicked in and I didn't feel like carrying the trainer to transition so my warm-up consisted of runs to the porta-potty line. There were a few relay guys on trainers, but I figured I'd just go easy the first 15-20 minutes and call it soup.

I decided to race on my carbon tubulars rather than my heavy powertap wheel, hoping that I wouldn't flat and let down my teammates. Besides my aero shoe covers, my skinsuit, and the tape over my front helmet vents, there was nothing particularly aero about my bike, but I felt pretty confident that over a 58-mile course with some climbs aerodynamics wouldn't matter too much but lightweight and cool would be more important. I kept the 13-29 on my rear more because of familiarity with the shifting patterns than a need for the 29, but I was glad to have it once we hit the 10% + grades of Chalk's Hill at mile 40-something.

I was really well pre-hydrated and took two bottles of GU2O on the bike, along with GU and Clif Bloks (in a Bento Box no less). I was pretty sure this would get me through the race and I wouldn't need to get additional nutrition or hydration at the aid stations.

Janet posted a super- solid time for the swim (35 minutes), but there were some uber-swimmers who posted times in the 20 minute range, so we already had some ground to make up on the bike and the run. Our transition was good, I ran down the "red carpet" to the timing mat, did a cyclocross mount, and climbed up the little stinker and out onto the road. It was still pretty cool in the morning and I started out pretty hard so I could feel my asthmatic lungs screaming, but I kept hammering. My mantra was "pedal harder -- don't rest" and I tried to keep this up the entire race.

One fun aspect of being part of a relay team is that the relays typically start in the last wave of a triathlon, so you're chasing other folks all day long. I like the chase. I got down into the drops immediately and held a threshold pace for most of the race. The only times I got out of the drops were on the steepest climbs.

Hour one rocked. There wasn't much wind, I felt super-strong, my legs were happy and I held an average pace that would put us in good position for the win (or so I thought). I just kept picking out rabbits up the road and passing them. There were a couple of traffic hiccups where I had to slow down a bit, but nothing that should impact our result too much.

Hour two I started feeling little twinges in my legs, probably because I didn't really train to TT for three hours, but I was still jamming. The course was hillier than the first hour and the wind had become more of a factor. I had moved up in the “ranks” to passing lots of guys (relay and full ironman competitors).

There was one particular guy in a Specialized jersey who I watched in the distance for a while. He drafted a car for a while and then drafted other racers. I passed him and he immediately jumped onto my wheel. I got sick of him (the word parasite kept crossing my mind), so I took a flyer out to the center line. He followed so I flew back to the shoulder. He was still there so I turned and scowled at him. I ramped it up a bit and dropped him, but suddenly he was back. So I turned back to him and told him if he didn’t get off my wheel I would piss on him. He picked up his pace and passed me (only to sit on some other guy’s wheel ahead). As we climbed the infamous Chalk Hill, I passed then dropped his ass, never to see him again.

Hour three I was ready to be done. The wind had really picked up and I had some severe pain in my right leg that seemed to originate from my sciatic nerve and run all the way down to my foot. I wanted to stay in the drops, but had to adjust my pelvic tilt to alleviate the discomfort. I assumed that since I don't typically ride in the drops AT INTENSITY for hours at a time, my body was simply rebelling. I was ready to be off the bike. I was counting the miles. I was on target for my goal time. I was happy.

Of course, my Garmin is set up for my mountain bike and I'm too lazy to figure out how to set up another bike, so my distance was off and the course didn't have very good distance markings. This meant I didn't really know how many miles I had left. As the 2:40 mark passed, I'd ask the course marshalls as I passed them, but most didn't have an accurate answer. Oh well, just keep pedalling, Lorri! You’ll be done when you’re done.

Finally, the course enters the town of Windsor. The end is near. But twice I got "stopped" at traffic lights -- during a race no less! I bit my tongue and kept riding even though I was pissed at the police officers for waving through the extra few cars that caused a delay for the bikes. It's just a race, right? The final “climb,” a highway overpass, felt like a 20% grade in the wind. But it was short and I kept spinning.

The last mile of the course was lined with spectators, and I found a last little reserve of energy to hammer to the finish. Last time I did this race (2002, remember) I didn’t know you had to dismount and cross the timing mat on foot so I sprinted to the line and almost killed myself with an emergency stop. This time I knew better. I dismounted, heard my teammates yell my name, and started running toward the transition area like a crazy-woman. I had never met our runner and didn’t know where she would be, so I yelled out “Velo Girl” repeatedly until she saw me and ran up to me. We ran together to the bike rack, racked my bike and attempted to remove the timing chip from my ankle and transfer it to her ankle. After a few fumbles, she was off and I “crashed” mentally and physically.

Pain rushed through my entire body, I fought not to puke, and I started to cry. Isn’t it funny how that sudden adrenaline rush, released at the end of an event, can make you cry? I laid down on the ground for what seemed like 10 minutes, heard my teammates from the spectator area, and attempted to walk over to the fence in the transition area. I couldn’t put weight on my right leg. Ouch! Finally, I was able to limp over to them.

I got a post-race massage (apparently I had a severely inflamed muscle in my ass caused by impact with the saddle), ate lunch, and we waited for our runner to finish. Once Jennifer finished the run, we checked the current results and learned we were in 3rd place. Not the win, but we were still happy. But that meant we had to wait around in the hot sun for the podium (almost 2 hours later).

My goal had been to ride the 58-mile course in 2:50. Of course, that goal was based on nothing other than the fact that I raced it in 3:16 in 2002 and I wanted a faster goal and 3:00 didn’t seem like an aggressive enough goal. Silly coach -- do as I say, not as I do, right? I finished in 2:56 (averaging 19.94mph), one of the fastest bike splits of the day, but not fast enough to beat the two uber-teams in our category. Oh well, third place was good, too!

During our wait for the podium, I had the pleasure of meeting Marco Fanelli. He's a SoCal bike racer and has a link from his blog to mine. He heard our names at the finish and came up to introduce himself to me. His lovely wife was racing (she won her age group), so he was waiting around for her.

When the podium presentations took place, we were a bit disappointed that the promoters didn’t really have a podium (no photo opportunity). AND they only awarded prizes two-deep for the relays! Hrmph! So, we spent two extra hours in the hot sun waiting for something that never happened. Oh well. But we all received a pretty pink “finishers” medal. And had fun. And raced hard. What more could a girl ask for?

I think I’ve been bitten by the tri bug. I’m ready for my next adventure. I think I’ll register for Scott Tinley's Dirty Adventure in September. It’s a 3-event mountain bike triathlon stage race. What the heck, it will be good motivation for me to begin running and swimming again and a nice change in my training routine. Afterall, in 2002 I had been training for tri. Why not go for it now, right?

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

you know it's August in California....

......when you see the naked ladies.

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