[code"> [/code"> Courtenay Brown: May 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Graduates

This is my sister Sarah (on the Right) and my cousin Elizabeth (on the Left). Don't be fooled by the sweet smiles - they graduated from high school on Sunday and then suckered all their friends and relatives into helping them pack more junk than you can possibly imagine from their rooms into various cars because they didn't feel like packing ahead of time or something! It was an event. My mom was fuming! And Taitt and I got enormous bonus points for our patience, since we had to take Sarah and a friend to Rumson NJ for their senior parties on our way to Somerville NJ for the bike race...

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Race Reports - BikeJam and Somerville

Now it's time for some race reporting...
This past Saturday, Taitt and I raced at the BikeJam Kelly Cup "criterium" - I use quotation marks because this was not really a criterium course, it was more of a miniature circuit race, a one-mile loop with a hill, lots of curves and turns, and not a whole lot of pavement (think Bike Path). We got OK starts, but the course terrain combined with the wind and the mild pace made it really hard to move out of mid-pack. And there was so much bumping, I thought I was going down so many times. I finally got to the front about halfway through the 20-lap race, covered a couple of moves for a couple of laps so my mom and her friends would be sure to see me, and then promptly sunk back into mid-pack, never to re-emerge. Taitt fared a bit better than I, but not quite as well as she hoped - she came across the line 18th, in the money, and I finished 27th, 2 spots out of the money. We had 90 starters. All things considered I was happy with my race - all the big teams were there, given the course it was a big advantage to have a bunch of teammates, I did get into the action for a few laps, and I muscled my way around as best I could. I just wish I were a little stronger.
The cool thing was we had a cheering section, led by my brother. My mom and her friends had never been to a bike race - beforehand my mom was like "now sweetie do you want us to say anything when you go by or will that distract you?" and of course I told her to please cheer and to remind me to go faster! Apparently the first time she chose to cheer, there was a big crash right in front of her right after she cheered, and my brother told her it was all her fault those girls crashed! We are so nice to my poor mom.
Then yesterday was the Tour of Somerville, in New Jersey. We drove up on Sunday with some massive detouring thanks to my little sister - will blog about that separately. Somerville is actually a pretty part of New Jersey, and we went on a nice morning ride that was very picturesque (and included a Turtle Rescue! See below). The race is the oldest continuously-run race in the country - it started in 1940. The course was cool - a downtown course just over a mile long, the most technical elements were the first two turns, because they were more than 90 degrees, and the long sprint finish had a slight rise and then slight downhill. All the big kids were there and were set on making it a faster, harder race than Saturday's BikeJam race - they succeeded! And it was about 90 degrees in the shade so I don't remember much else. But we had a good time.
Next race: Captech Classic in Richmond on Thursday.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Save the Turtles!

Taitt and I rescued a turtle from certain death this morning here in Somerville NJ (see speeding car in background)! I hope this bodes well for our race in a few hours...


Friday, May 26, 2006

The Trip Begins

My teammate Taitt and I got to my mom's house in Maryland last night. We are here for a little over a week, for 4 races, my sister's and cousin's high school graduation, and lots of family, pony, and Mikey time. Mikey is the dog and he is awesome! I am doing this from my mom's dial-up connection which is an interesting exercise in patience. Anyway here are some photos:
the car before leaving for sfo - i had to sit crammed between the bike boxes and the front seat, with no seat belt!! living dangerously. dan drove carefully.
mikey is sleepy - we got in at 11 p.m.
taitt and the neighbor's horse fire - who can't find the carrot for some reason.
meanwhile i have decided to ditch my bike in favor of my cute and speedy new friend!
behind all the trees and flowers and bushes you can see our house.
my mom on top of the house!
ok, that's it for now... i think i will go sit on the porch and enjoy the rainstorm that just got here and maybe find a kitty to play with me.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Some Statistics...

i had my old bike for 14 months, including like 9 or 10 of racing.
i never crashed it once.
i have had my new bike for less than 1 month.
i have crashed it twice already!
one time was in a race, at gila, my "crash" was sort of anticlimactic because i came down at the end of a huge, unavoidable pile of girls and bikes. but i saw it happening and therefore wasn't going especially fast when i came down.
the second time was today when i dumbly assumed that since every other roundabout on california (btw berkeley's idea of a roundabout is pretty weak. they don't slow anyone down because they are too small, they just impede visibility, because there are signs and plants in the middle) was a 4 way stop, anyway i assumed that this other one was but it was just a 2 way stop and the stop was in my direction, which i only realized after i was halfway through the intersection going like 17 mph and headed straight for a speeding shiny subaru outback station wagon. i can confidently say that the side of a subaru station wagon is very unforgiving on impact. thankfully the guy was really nice, thankfully he stopped to make sure i was ok, thankfully i didn't dent his car, thankfully he wasn't yelling at me since it was *totally* my fault, the only scolding i got was "you know, there was a stop sign there..."


Friday, May 19, 2006

Mrs. Tiredpants

I have been so tired all day. Now it's bedtime and I feel like I just drank 3 cokes and chowed on a movie-theater box mike and ikes.

I'm stoked about this new blog. Yay photos! I am going to post some more.

But maybe tomorrow. Suddenly I am tired. Gotta take advantage...


Thursday, May 18, 2006


This is a new blog for me. I have been blogging on myspace for a year or so. Ambitious Me was going to transfer all my previous blog posts over to blogger so they would all be in one place... don't hold your breath. If you are DYing to know what's up in the world of Courtenay (who isn't?!) my page is http://www.myspace.com/cour10ay.
Anyway the motivation behind the switch is it's hard to get photos onto a myspace blog. And my New Year's Resolution for this year was to start using the camera I got for Christmas last year, actually technically it was 2004. And I want my favourite little brother to be able to keep up with my life and he refuses to join myspace so maybe he will read this.
That's all. I have been waiting for my dear boyfriend to call me back so I can listen to him talk to his teammates while we are on the phone. We do this a lot. It's marginally fun, and not my preference - it just happens.