[code"> [/code"> Courtenay Brown: March 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Go Coach Go!

Cool thing: my coach was selected to go to Europe to race for six weeks.

Funny thing: he's racing for the U-23 national team! I feel so old. I am not even close to being U-23... when I was 23 I was living in Charlottesville, dj'ing and honing my music snobbery at the radio station, and cursing the cyclists who were clogging the roads I took to the barn every day.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

The Price of Fame

I've had to go and take down or edit several previous posts. Sigh.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Made Me Laugh

"This porridge is TOO COLD!"
-Kelly Benefits' Johnny Sundt, to someone who was complaining...

"The bums drive me nuts! I mean, you drive down any street in my neighborhood and you have to look out so you don't hit some dude hauling a trash can in a shopping cart with sleeping bags or whatever down the center of the street! But now I feel like a bitchy white chick. I mean, it's like, whoa I have to dodge the bum on my way to my MASSAGE. Poor me."
-me ranting and raving about Oakland tonight whilst getting my, ahem, second massage of the week

"You girls all made all your special mix bottles with your names all over them, and then all any of you asked for was Coke! For all 4 feed laps!"
-Mike S. after the Sunset Road Race at Redlands. He had to send Sharon out to knock on neighborhood doors to see if anyone had coke, we ran out so fast!

"Hey! I listen to my iTunes out loud at work!"
-my brother who says he has good taste but in fifth grade he listened to Bette Midler for like 3 weeks straight

And here's one that I supposedly said during a phone conversation last week but I have NO RECOLLECTION of making such an assertion... nevertheless I have not yet heard the end of it!:

"I'm a hot commodity right now."

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Playing one's iTunes out loud at work should be BANNED. Get HEADPHONES.

(note: perpetrators are the assistants to the non-recycling rich parents mentioned yesterday)
(note #2: none of these folks are my co-workers. they are space-sharers but not co-workers)

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I find it ironic that people I know who have children are also the people I know who don't recycle.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Store

Soy Milk.
Chocolate Milk.
One Grapefruit.
One Apple (of which I will probably have only one bite).
Three Pints of Ben and Jerry's.

This is my I-have-been-gone-for-eleven-days-and-there-is-nothing-in-the-fridge grocery store trip. Egads.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Home Again Home Again

jiggedy jig, or something. Isn't that a nursery rhyme?

Anyway, Sharon and I got up at 5:30 this morning and hit the road from Redlands/L.A. back home to San Francisco, thinking we were early enough to "avoid traffic." We thought wrong, but it wasn't so bad.

At some point pre-coffee and pre-breakfast, we realized we needed gas. S.F. Mission Blvd sounded pleasantly Bay Area-like for a Southern California freeway exit, so that's the one we took. We were actually in search of Starbucks and gas but we quickly realized we didn't hit the right demographic for the former and opted to take care of the latter instead.

A little civic packed to the gills and topped with 3 fancy bikes pulls into the least sketchy and most busy gas station in San Fernando (the "S.F." from the freeway sign). Out hop two white girls in form hugging pants to stretch and pump some gas. Heads turn. Bum asks us for bus money. We say sorry. Homeboy says "You ladies picked the wroooong place to stop." I take out the pump with only half the tank full and we get out of there pronto. (For the record, Sharon thought I was overreacting, then we talked about my reasons for getting uncomfortable and determined that it's high time I hightail it out of Oakland).

Anyway, fast forward to my stint at driving, which happened a little later. Remember last week when I discussed the reasons for my solo drive to Visalia? WELL, here we go again...

Me: Whoa. How are we suddenly on Highway 99?

Sharon: I think we've been on this for like 50 miles.

Me: Oh. Shit. Sorry. We're supposed to be on 5. Can you look at the map? How far off course did I take us?

It turned out to be only about 30 miles west through some crop-dusting farmland to get to the correct and far more scenic highway. Phew. But by this point my driving skills are exhausted.

Me: So anyway, (blather blather blather about probably nothing)...

Sharon: Um, you are really close to that center yellow line. Like over top of it close. You have tons of space over here.

Me: Oh sorry! I didn't notice. Oops!

Sharon drove the rest of the way. She is a much better driver than I am.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Yay Redlands!


I just finished a really hard stage race! AND I finished in not-worst place! The team finished in 9th place overall, right up there for qualifying for a travel grant for the Bermuda Grand Prix at the end of the year.

This was a really great race, one of my favourites. The courses were demanding and rewarding, the competition was top-notch, and our host family was absolutely amazing. So amazing that Sharon and I were like "oh, we'll just stay in Redlands for another night and drive home tomorrow, since it will be better for recovery and everything..."

Good thing we didn't hit the road tonight, today's stage was super hard (all warnings about the full-gas uphill "neutral" roll-out proved valid) and I am giddily wasted.

Anyway, the highlights:

-Jill McLaughlin, who we borrowed from Touchstone, is so great! She somehow is still friends with me even though I had to ask her to repeat herself like 200 times - she has lived in the U.S. for 13 years after moving here from England so I seriously doubt her accent is that thick, I am just getting old-and-hard-of-hearing I guess! Sigh. The funniest was when she kept asking me "Am I all salty?" after the Oak Glen stage on Friday. I kept hearing "am I assaulting?" and I was like "who? what? you assaulted who? was he cute? what HAPPened?! tell me tell me tell me!" Anyway...

-An anonymous teammate gets up and drinks a Diet Coke first thing in the morning, which apparently gets her going enough to make and drink her coffee.

-Sharon and I are sharing a bed during this trip and last night she thought I was her dog and she reached over to pet me-who-she-thought-was-Buster but instead she poked me in the eye. I was knocked out with Ambien so I didn't even notice but she apologized this morning, which is how I found out about it. Hmph.

-Sharon also thinks that my pony Pox is a purple unicorn. What do you think?:

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Friday, March 23, 2007


We just did the infamous Oak Glenn stage of the Redlands Classic.

It was pretty awesome. Really awesome.

I am lying in bed at 4:30 in the afternoon trying to regain my usual spunky chattiness but it's taking me a while.

So, no pdf's of the stage profile or statistics of climbing and miles and watts and kilojoules with which to impress you. Acquiring such details requires energy that I simply don't have.

But, the gist:

-our own Martina P. took the second of two intermediate sprints!

-no crashes (a FIRST for this NRC season)!

-gorgeous views of the San Bernadino mountains

-rumor has it that there is a new oh-my-god-what-is-she-DOING-peeing-method racer in the women's peloton...

-Webcor's young talent Mara Abbott, the current National Under-23 women's road race champion, took the mountain-top stage win over some serious international heavy-hitters. Way to go. That made a lot of women happy, even people who aren't her teammates, because she is a great racer and a rising talent. Interestingly, at the CVC road race a few weeks ago, Mara was in the 7-person breakaway, but Webcor's director didn't believe in her and put the rest of the team on the front of the field to chase the break down and also they had Mara drop out of the break to help. Tina Pic wound up winning the stage after the break was caught with 1 mile to go. So, good job today Mara!

-despite my businesslike I'm-tired tone, I had a great time in today's race and I can safely say that was my best road race ever. I felt confident and comfortable the whole time pretty much, I was climbing better than I think I ever have, I helped my teammates on (gasp!) multiple occasions, and crossed the line with Ina Teutenberg, her teammate Anke, Webcor's Helen Kelly and Laura Yoisten, Kirsten Robbins, and a few others. Not bad, not bad at all. Especially for a girl who spent a lot of last year off the back and/or on the sidelines...

O.K., back to serious laziness. Sorry for the subdued post but if I were all bubbly then I'd be worried that I didn't give the race everything I had.

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Podium Girl

We cheated a bit, and brought our own podium girls... Our host sister, Caty (right) and her friend Island are the podium girls for the race this weekend! The guys are psyched to finally have hot podium girls after Tour of California's doozies.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

They Go Like NORMAL!

This is left over from Visalia... but I really needed the visual for this story so I waited until today to post it.

Anyway: us VAC girls have all been racing for a good 4 or more years. That's a lot of number pinning, believe me. Nevertheless, our fearless leader Lisa seems to have had some fears that we were not going to be able to figure out number pinning for the Visalia criterium. On Sunday morning we all went out for a ride before the race, and came home to find this:

Whoa, complete with a diagram and everything...

Being my usual punchy self I decided to call Lisa about it.

Me: Hey Lisa! We just got back. I saw your note and picture. I'm confused. What do we do with the numbers?

Lisa: They go LIKE NORMAL! They go on your SIDES! Like NORMAL!

Me: Um, joke Lisa, it was a joke. We got it! I was just teasing!

Lisa: Oh. I was worried. Sorry.

Me: You have no faith in us!

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Stanley Kitty

OMG I am ready to go to the race a half hour early! So, I have time to post another blog. How exciting.

I mentioned the kitty here the other day. Here is Stanley:

There is a second kitty, Stella, who we don't see as much because she is a feral cat. But she is gorgeous and is slowly getting used to all our loud tramping around.

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Hostage situation is OVER!

I got my laptop back! At like 10 p.m. last night, so not in time for picture-posting yesterday, but still: yay! I got my laptop back!

Really quick. Here are our new kits:

Here Sharon and I are making fun of each other in our new kits:

Now it's time to get ready for the Redlans Prologue... I am excited about it. Short hard flat-then-uphill effort, it's going to be great.

I am practicing optimist skills garnered in Visalia:

O.K. more later, lots of catch-up blogging to do this afternoon. I can't wait!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Getting between a Girl and her Laptop...

... bad idea. Super bad idea. Especially if you want the girl to be nice to you.

I was being nice when I loaned it out. I was also being nice when it wasn't ready to be returned to me at the appointed driving-by-on-my-way-to-Redlands time on Monday. "Sure, we can do the exchange tomorrow, since it's an hour between our host houses I can just drive and meet you halfway!"

Then, I got a hands-on reminder of how ridiculous afternoon traffic is in the greater L.A. area. So we postponed the computer exchange until today, Wednesday, when laptop-borrower would be coming in to Redlands for the race weekend anyway, preferably early so that I could maintain at least some semblance of un-crankiness.


I just got a phone call, at about 3 p.m.

Me: Where are you? Do you need directions up to the house?

Him: Um. Uh. Um. Well, that's kinda why I'm calling. I did my ride and packed and everything and Mike said just now that I shouldn't leave. Apparently the traffic is supposed to be terrible. So, um, I'm still here.

Me: "Apparently"?? It's L.A.! Of course it's terrible! Why didn't you come ride in Redlands this morning, and check out the course like everyone ELSE?!

Him: Sorry. I didn't think of that. That would have been really smart. Are you mad at me?

Me, in full temper-tantrum mode by now: YES I am MAD! Everyone else has their laptops to play with except ME! I am stuck here watching stupid MTV instead of doing stuff I want to be doing like posting picture blogs and watching my Lost DVD's and productively wasting time! You are NOT allowed to be bummed that I am mad because it's MY comPUTer!

etc. etc. etc.

There is not a real moral here, other than don't act really nice and flexible if you are going to suddenly get tired of being nice and flexible during the period of time when you are supposedly being nice and flexible. Bleh.

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SORRY!! Sorry sorry sorry.

Please accept my HUGEST apologies for being so incomunicado over the last two days... Lack of blog updates has hurt me more than you, trust me. I feel so removed.

My laptop is still out on loan so I am borrowing my host sister's computer.

So, no photos till later today when I can download them onto my own computer.

Anyway, enough with the logistical excuses. On to recent occurances...

1. I love Redlands! The race starts tomorrow and ends Sunday, so we'll see how long I feel this way, but it's a really nice town, the mountain views are beautiful, and the people are great.

1.a. Sharon loves it here too. Massage last night, hair-do appointment right now - she's here for vacation for sure.

2. Our clothing finally came! It looks great, props to Martina and Taitt for their design work. Shall post photos later.

2.a. So I am still not really used to the look of the new kits yet. This morning 4 of us set out to ride together, but everyone except me was doing 2 hours. So I split off and headed down to the Starbucks in town to get a coffee and call everyone in the world that I know because my cell phone gets reception in town but not up here at the house and I've been going stir-crazy with no new influxes of gossip. Afterwards, I headed home, and when I was nearly here I looked up the hill and saw some girls in blue kits with red. "Sh!t!", I thought, "some other team has a kit that looks like ours! Gah!" Um, yeah. Some Other Team was actually my team...

3. I am hearing a suspicious noise emanating from my hip whenever I walk. This weird popping noise. I've had it before but not with such alarming, disconcerting frequency. AND my knee has started feeling suspicious as well. The real bummer about all this is that Coach says to put on my old pedals and shoes for the weekend, since it sounds like I haven't quite got the new stuff set up right, which means I can't wear my super cute new Nalini shoes!! I tried telling him that it's more important to look good than to feel good but he wasn't buying it.

4. Speaking of super cute, during my coffee-shop-phone-session, I talked to new-best-friend Emily Z. who is apparently coming down to visit and spectate this weekend! How exciting!

5. What's with my mom and the library?? I called her at Starbucks this morning too:

Me: I'm bored! My phone doesn't work at the house, I loaned my computer to someone and he still has it so I can't photo-blog or watch DVD's, AND I finished my book and my magazine!

Sal: Well, sweetie, sounds like you need to go to the library!

Me: Why did I know you were going to say that...

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Redlands #1

I sat down at our host house computer to type a nice blog. But a very nice kitty, Stanley, just jumped in my lap to say hi.

So I am going to play with the nice kitty instead.

I still don't have my laptop anyway, so maybe it's just as well that I wait because when I get my laptop out of its hostage situation I will be able to post photos!

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

More Team Quotes #2

I'm on Martina's computer because I gave mine away for a couple days. I don't know HOW I will survive without it - risks of both severe withdrawal and severe pummeling by teammates who are annoyed at my constant plaintive "can I please borrow your laptop for a minute? please?? i will be nice! promise!!" requests.


I know I keep using Martina's quotes but she really does have the best ones. Tonight we were at the dinner table here in Visalia with our awesome hosts. Our host mom, Susan, is a cyclist, but her husband Terry is not. He was outnumbered however, and we talked about cycling for a while. Long while. (Imagine that, us yammering away...)

Me: Oh my gosh, Terry you must be so bored. Sorry! We can change the subject. Susan says you play golf?

Martina: You play GOLF?! Cool! What's your birdie?!

Terry: Um, isn't that kind of a personal question?

Me: I think it's called a "handicap", Martina.

O.K. That's all for the quotes. Tomorrow we are heading down to Redlands, where will be staying for the rest of the week. I am actually looking forward to it, we have a lot of fun together and the racing will be good!

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More Team Quotes

Us gals are here in Visalia racing the Quad Knopf Sequoia Cycling Classic this weekend. Try saying that 3 times fast. Anyway, as usual, get a gaggle of bubbly girls together and you have some funny moments...

Martina, to our director Lisa Hunt: Lisa, am I ever going to be as popular as you?

Lisa: No. But I was talking to Matt Willinger today and we agreed that if I put you in the middle of the Sahara Desert you would still find someone to talk to!

I took a photo of them under our tent at the TT yesterday but it was not a very flattering shot so I am afraid of what might happen if I post it. Second photo attempt today...

Here's my other favourite quote from yesterday:

Martina: My sparks fly on their own!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Passenger Side

I am not the world's best driver. Ask pretty much ANYone. Here's a sampling of choice quotes heard from my passenger seats over the past couple of weeks:

"Red light. Red light! RED!"

"OK, left turn here. Um. The other left."

"Why is that guy honking at us? Did you leave your house keys on top of the car again?"

And my personal favourite:

"Good job Court, you're almost going the speed limit!"

Anyway, surprise surprise, no one took me up on my offer of a ride to Visalia. So I hit the road alone this afternoon, armed with Google Maps directions, my reggae playlist, and my new favourite bad-for-my-teeth-and-bones caffeinated carbonated beverage, Coke Zero Cherry. The weekend has been good to me so far, because I made it!

More tomorrow, gotta pin my number and go meet the host dog and get a snack.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I have spent the past few Sunday late afternoons/evenings driving back to the Bay Area from the Central Valley. It's a beautiful route. Green velvet hills beg to be touched. But I painted them instead.

Maybe I will throw in a cow later. And some windmills.

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A Sure Sign of... Something

I just decided to spend my frequent flier miles on a last-weekend-of-April trip to Athens, GA.

The alternative was to spend them on a last-weekend-of-April trip to Hawaii.

Hmm. Normal people would probably opt for the latter, but for a bike racer, the Athens Twilight is pretty close to paradise.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cute Little Bunny

Remember Bunnicula, the vampire rabbit? Well, Bunnicula lives. In Lafayette. I met her today.

See? Cute little bunny:

Who tears you to pieces when you go be really nice and pick her up to hug her and squeeze her and kiss her and love her because she's so fluffy and cuddly:

I should have known better. Forcing my idea of enjoyment doesn't often work out so well - I have several scars from cat scratches and horse bites, and Taitt will never ever ever again go along with anything about which I exclaim "come on, it'll be fun!"

That's how I got her to watch Open Water last year...

(P.S. I know that Bunnicula actually is blood sucking towards vegetables not people, so my allusion doesn't quite work, but close enough.)

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Monday, March 12, 2007

In Love Again

I am once again in love with my little TT bike. It was in the doghouse for about a year, because every time I rode it I would come home with some new saddle sore or knotted muscled or bruised knee after only an hour of riding. Granted, this was mostly my fault, because about a year ago I messed around with the fit and just made things worse.

Then a few months ago I enlisted some apparently unqualified outside help and made things much worse. Much much worse.

THEN, I got pointed towards Christopher Kautz at PK Racing. I had my fit appointment last week, headed down to Fresno for a stage race two days later, and miraculously survived the time trial without an ache or pain.

Actually that's a lie, that TT was long and hard (see post below about Fresno), but the hurting had nothing to do with poor bike fit. For the first time pretty much ever, I stayed in the aero position the whole time until the finish hill, and I didn't feel like someone was pulling some serious voodoo action on every major leg and back muscle in my body.

What remains to be seen is if I can put this nice position and cute little bike to good use - i.e. practice my time trialing and actually get good at it. But at least I am in love with the bike again, it's kinda hard to practice your TT'ing if you hate and avoid the bike!

Here is Devon putting the finishing touches on the new cables and shortened steer tube while also telling me that I should leave tha black bar tape on rather than switching to silver (I think silver would tie in nicely with the saddle. Silver is my new favourite bar tape colour, but I am being shot down on all sides. Sigh):

And just for fun, because I like taking pictures of guys on my bikes since they look like they are on tricycles, here he is on my Serotta:

I am going to try to talk some nice big pro guy into getting on my TT bike at Visalia this weekend. I wonder if Henk will be there?

P.S. Let me know if you want to know who not to see for a TT fit...

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Difference between Boys and Girls

I seem to be focused on fashion and its gender-specificity lately. Hmm. Anyway, the incident:

Me: WELL, Martina had on this super cute black spandex jumpsuit yesterday. I mean, it was really cute. I want one! But like, I don't know if the stretchy spandex pants would look that good because you know I have that weird shape on my thighs, the upper part of my thighs, you know? So the stretchy pants might look bad. I don't know. What do you think? I mean, should I go get a super cute black spandex jumpsuit outfit? Would it make my legs look bad?

Devon: -slight pause combined with blank stare- Um, huh? What are you talking about?

Me: Well, the pants might make my legs look bigger right?

Devon: Oh my god. I don't even know what you are talking about. What's wrong with your legs again?

Me: Nevermind. You think I'm nuts.

Devon: For the record though, I think you would look good in a spandex suit. Good idea.

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Where was my camera?!

Post-race fashion faux pas of the day, for which I totally wish I'd had my camera:

BMC's Mike Sayers.
Red baseball cap,
Ankle socks with some sort of athletic sandals,
and capri pants.

Not joking. The look was wrong wrong wrong.

For one thing, if you are short, which I am so I know this from experience, and which Mike is so he needs to know, anyway if you are short and you wear capri pants and socks you will look even shorter.

For another thing, if you are a guy, don't wear capris. Wear either shorts or pants. Capri pants are for girls only because they draw the eye to the butt and hip area, rather than bulging biceps and broad shoulders and other manly physicalities. If your shorts hit somewhere in the calf-range of your leg, that means that the crotch of the shorts better be at mid-thigh or lower, because crotch-of-shorts-in-groin-area combined with hem-of-shorts-at-mid-calf means you are not wearing shorts, instead you are wearing girly capris.

I am spending entirely too much time on this explanation. If you are a guy and you are confused just let me know, I'll draw you some pictures or something, but I will spare the rest of you...

Anyway, back to Mike: For the sake of his as-yet winless team, I hope he goes along the same path as another pro whose appearance I recently critiqued - Henk won today!

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Saturday, March 10, 2007


Sometimes things come together.
Sometimes they don't.
Sometimes you think they might if kharma and the universe didn't seem hell-bent on teaching you a lesson.

So far this weekend seems to have all three things. For one thing, I managed to finish with the main group in a road race. An NRC road race. With a big hill. Whoa change from last year - I spent most of the first lap waiting for the inevitable moment where I'd get dropped until T-Mobile's Kim Anderson was like "move up! You've been at the back the whole race!" Then I got my head in the game. It was actually fun.

As for the second scenario (i.e. things sometimes not coming together): yesterday, as I passed Christine Thorburn at the finish but not Katheryn Curi, I sinkingly realized that the order-of-GC time trial would make me feel like a Cat. 3 again since I would be sandwiched between a former national TT champ/Olympic Medalist, and a former national RR champ at the start ramp. I wondered how long I would actually be between the two whilst out on the course. The answer: about two minutes. No sooner did I get my rythm going, telling myself "look! I can be a time trialist!" did Katheryn whoosh-whoosh past me. With 10K to go, Katherine Carroll stormed past. Then with 2K to go, a T-Mobile rider passed me. But I saw her falter, and I passed her back on the uphill. After the finish I was like "Lisa! T-Mobile passed me and I passed her back! Am I a fighter or what!" and Lisa was like "good job Court, but the T-Mobile rider actually got a flat..."

As for the kharma thing: I'll be brief. a. Sharon and I found men's tighty whiteys in our hotel room yesterday. b. We all were given the wrong directions today and wound up navigating around Fresno (oh the scenery) for an extra hour. Lisa did so on her bike so actually for her it was probably about 2 hours of being lost. c. Speaking of lost, my check card is gone. d. Internet is spotty and I don't know if this will actually post.

Once things start to unravel, it seems to take no time at all for everything to fall apart. Hope to get it all back together in time for the crit tomorrow, but GAH! It's daylight savings tonight! So I'd better get on it.

I'll leave you with today's hysterically amusing scene:

We are at the finish of the TT, packing up our bikes and simutaneously watching the last of the women and the first of the men come in.

A certain unnamed woman storms across the finish, breathing like a horse (as I suppose one should after a big effort, but this is some pretty intense breathing), shoulders heaving up and down about 2 feet with each breath. She drops her bike, and lays on the asphalt. One of her teammates strolls over to investigate. Martina shouts across the road to the teammate, asking if she wants us to call an ambulance. The teammate laughs and says "yeah right!" Lisa offers to call a psychiatrist. The drama queen tells someone who says something I don't hear that she is going to remove that person from her Christmas list. Then the 5 of us hightail it out of there in search of Cokes, PB&J, and hopefully a little sanity.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Cat's Hill

Well, here I was yammering away about babies and work, when there was a much more interesting conversation going on elsewhere about the demise of yet aNOTHer lower-category women's race in favour of some Master's race.

In the words of my late grandfather: Let me say Three Things.

1. I appreciate the fact that Master's racing is the "bread and butter" for promoters and the cycling industry as a whole. They generally buy all their stuff, they like and afford the nice stuff, and a lot of them seem to race multiple times a day since they are eligible for multiple events. So to a certain extent, creating extra master's categories will be profitable for a promoter.

2. But this seems to be a case of viewing the short-term rather than the long-term, because adding masters' fields usually comes at the expense of a women's or junior's field, both of which tend to be smaller than the regular men's fields. How is limiting development-category racing good for the future of our sport? From a woman's perspective: as it is, we basically go from being a beginner to being a circus lion's plaything once we accumulate enough points to go from Cat. 4 to Cat. 3. Pitting juniors against adults calls up a similar image. Getting thrown in WAY over your head usually makes you feel like you suck and then makes you want to quit. Yeah, that's really great for development...

And 3. Regarding the Master's 45+ 2/3/4 so-that-the-cat-1's-can't-win-like-they-always-do... it's retarded. A win is definitely cheapened if you stipulate-out and qualify-out all your competitors. If you don't like losing, go do a charity ride or race against yourself. Or go ask a little kid if they want to play 52-pick-up.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


When faced with an enormous list of crapola to do: blog. It's productive procrastination!

Here are the things I am not doing right now.

-Dishes/sweeping/general apartment cleaning that I never do since I live by myself and therefore don't care

-Putting away the laundry I did yesterday

-Cleaning energy gel off the car (see previous post)

-Core Exercises (one of my most frequently procrastinated tasks)

-Working on the next little painting

-Writing my women's-specific training tips for our sponsors. I can't think of any. "Only ride with boys if you enjoy town line sprints and ceaseless talk of genitalia and bodily functions!" Or "here's how and when to lance a saddle sore!" Sponsors will be like "who's the unhelpful chick and why's she on the team?" Sigh. Stress.

-Fixing an endless list of issues with my too-much cycling equipment. For example: need narrower bars, which I ordered, but they won't be here for the weekend, so should I scrounge for others? Need to retape TT bars, but also need to recable TT bike, which I am so not qualified or equipped to do. Need to wash both bikes, but shouldn't I do that tomorrow after riding? Need to put sponsor tires on race wheels. Need to figure out why TF my stupid powertap wheel is acting up AGAIN even though I very responsibly had the whole thing professionally rebuilt. Need to play musical cassettes on a bunch of wheels, which will involve lots of "righty tighty lefty loosey" chanting as I struggle away and try not to get grease all over clumsy dyslexic me. Need to put the 55-42 chainrings on the TT bike but that will involve moving the derailleur, see previous comment about my re-cabling ineptitude... When I first started cycling, and had exactly one bike, I wiped that little Bianchi Brava down every day, checked tire pressure and tire wear constantly, and replaced the bar tape about every month. But I guess I was riding a lot less, and I wasn't racing, so I didn't have this obsession with feet-propping-whilst-being-engrossed-in-mindless-inactivity, a.k.a. "recovery".

O.K. Time to at least make a dent in this list. Especially since I didn't even give you the full list, which includes things like removing flannel sheets from my bed since summer has suspiciously arrived already.

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The Latest Reasons...

I called my brother yesterday to catch up, since we hadn't talked in like 3 days.

Me: You want to hear the latest two reasons why I am dumb?

Than: No, but go ahead.

Me: WELL, first of all, last week I drove home from a bike ride and accidentally left my gel flask in the side pocket of the driver door in my car, then this morning I was like "why isn't the stupid door opening?!" and finally I wrestled it open and there's this sticky mass of energy gel all along the base of the door. I guess it all leaked out of the flask and through the holes in the bottom of the pocket and down to the base of the door. But I don't have time to clean it until tomorrow or the next day.

Than: Smooth move, ex-lax. What was your other genius maneuver?

Me: Somehow I stabbed my lip with my fork while eating dinner! The fork tine went right through the skin! Can you believe it?

Than: Oh jesus. Yes, I can. Don't go telling people that story. And by the way, I have a photo I'm going to email you in the morning.

And here's what just arrived in my inbox:

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Notes from Merco

First of all, and this has nothing to do with the races this weekend, for some annoying reason I have developed the habit of sleeping on my stomach with my face smashed into the pillow.

Results are not very attractive, or comfortable for that matter. Pugs and bulldogs are cute and everything but that's not exactly the look I am going for.

O.K. Regarding the Merco Credit Union NRC Season Openers:

-We started out the season with top-10 finishes both days. Not bad, not bad at all!

-Apparently Sharon likes to apply lip gloss on the start line. In a pinch, however, Blistex will do. She also likes to change clothes a lot of times, and she responds well to teasing. So she fits right in on this team!

-Holly wins the undeserved-bad-luck-of-the-weekend award. Both her races were cut short by other people's poor bike handling, and in both races she was riding strong and at the front. Get well soon Holly! She still had a sense of humour about it. Me: Is your bike O.K.? Holly: I hope not, I hate that thing!

-Don't get between a girl and her post-race sandwiches. I threw a temper tantrum yesterday, I fully admit it... Someone put my post-race sandwiches in the dashboard of a sealed-up car that was parked in the sun for the duration of the race. Baked roast beef, cheese, mayo, and bacteria delight. Mmm. I wasn't very happy about it. But can you blame me? Instead of my yummy sandwiches I had to bum a bar and some baby carrots off of Taitt. Not exactly what I'd had in mind after a long race.

Quote of the Weekend:

"Ooo! There's JONAS! And he's coming over to say HI!" - entire twitter-pated VAC team and staff.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007


I remember in middle school if someone asked "what's your favourite color?" and you said "purple", the popular kids gleefully, and condescendingly, accused you of being sexually deprived. Because apparently that's what purple means.


Should I be worried about the true motivations behind my latest little painting?

When I get home I might smear some red and black and white on this, to tone down the pervasive purple.

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The Funny Pages

Hmm... my Peet's campaign from last month smacks of breakfast-wrap-ness. Sorry!

This one's for Tuffy, inspired by a comment he left on Smithers' page regarding the war a while back...

Both of these are courtesy of the Feb. 19 & 26 New Yorker, my favourite magazine ever.

On the other end of the periodical spectrum, I got a renewal notice in the mail from VeloNews yesterday and I put it in the shred pile.

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