Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PEZ Toolbox: Handling pressure

This is a good article for all the racers out there. As I lock into the 2nd season of cyclocross, I've noticed my feelings about the races have changed. Last year, it was just exciting to do and I didn't really feel any pressure beyond normal heightened anticipation to race. This season, however, I feel the stakes are higher,because so many have invested in my development and I want to represent their investment well. Consequently, I've been working on managing my emotions better and keeping a tight watch on the self-talk. (Can't stress how important that's been for me.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Revolution women win AND have a good time

Cross is fun, ladies. You all have to come on out. This weekend I learned a lesson or five on Saturday and served myself up a second place finish, but Sunday, got the win I traveled for and had a blast doing some beer hand-ups to the 1/2/3 men. If you want to read a little more about the races, stop by my personal site... sydspinnin.

Where in the World am I ?

Here we are in late October....drinking coffee, beer, and taking the last few moments of freedom before we start really training again. This past weekends activities
were a blast!!! I enjoyed the unreal atmosphere!! and the beer too.. I enjoyed them after I was done riding for the most part.
.....in a tornado like state right now. Whew!!!! Help!~

This is what I need and what I want....
1) I want to ride this Saturday Day with the girls...Forest Park??? Cool Weather acclimation ride. Around 2-2.5 hours, maybe or we could do less to start with
2) I would like to delegate some of the responsibilities of the club to willing individuals. We need ride leaders for a regular Sat. road ride, a regular Sunday road ride, and maybe a MTB ride.
We have lots of girls that have not been able to ride with us, due to their weekly committments, and I would like to remedy that.
3) Indoor Ride. Having a spin night is good, and we also are working on the trainer night. I just need a willing location for a 2 hour block. Anyone know of an establishment that would donate their space once a week? I have a couple of feelers out.
4) Our race team is looking for monetary sponsors for the '08 season. We have a professional proposal and are wanting to provide a very intuitive marketing platform for companies and their branding.
Thats my rants for now.
Today....I am out!!!
Check out the Ning site tooo, there is new stuff there also.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Weighting Game

It's post-season, the days are shorter and air is brisk. There seems to be a subconscious signal going off in my brain to start packing it on for the long, hard STL winter. How do you know you're gaining weight? You say to yourself, “I think I'll change into some ‘jammie pants’to sit on the couch and watch television. I'm wearing jeans, people! Everyday, all day. Jeans.

It was an actual thought I had after a long freaking day of work and eating like I'm racing tomorrow (and the next day and the day after that). For me, it's not so much weather-induced as stress-induced; I'm hoping against all hope that stress also increases metabolic activity.

So, this gets me thinking about what we’re gonna do instead of sitting on the couch... You might remember the post I had about “winter activities” a WHILE back. Well here we are, staring down the barrel of November and a delayed daylight savings change (thank you).

I see like 55 people on the ning site—it’s time to get together and discuss winter prep (and I’m not talking about expanding your wardrobe to include more “jammie pants”!). We need a gathering, to match new faces and guilt some people out of the house for cold-weather riding and, oh yeah, maybe have some adult beverages. We know it’s been a long time. We’re on it. More details soon. Seriously.

We still need a place to have our movie/spin night. In the short-term, you can join Tracy and others for Spinervals on Tuesdays at the Alpine Shop (**exact dates and times coming soon***).

I haven’t quite figured this one out yet, but I want to do a scavenger hunt meets bike race involving procuring various goods necessary to prepare a holiday meal....details will be forthcoming as I make it up.

Again, not fully put together in my head, but I want to do a multiweek series, where you buck up in the beginning...let’s say 10 weeks for $100. Every week you show up to ride, you get your 10 bucks back....I’m not sure breaking even is a good reason to get out and ride in 20 degree weather...still thinking of incentives. This will be on the weekend, maybe one for each discipline: road AND mountain bikes.

I should have titled this entry “Details to Come”.....hey, we’re busy. Feel free to help or come up with your own. We’ll promote it, if we dig it! Thoughts and suggestions are welcome. Email me!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No Impact

So, I keep thinking about this green thing. It's becoming a new obsession (hey, it's my off-season!). I've been constantly astonished at how unconsciously wasteful we are, none more than today.

I was thinking we'd have a "green" tour next year. Maybe we'd get a hybrid team vehicle. Done.

Wrong. Not even the surface. Still working on the plan, but I'm committed.

In the short term, enjoy reading this guy's crazy plan and start to get a handle on your own denial or apathy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gettin' dirty in the off-season

Sure, back to back, why not?
Fast towards the lake

Team Revolution women don't sit around idling away the days till the next road season. Instead, I like to think we're all out rockin' it in other ways. Some of us are swimming, others running and putting miles on their other bikes, and me, I like to mix it up on the 'cross courses. This last weekend found me just south of Des Moines, Iowa at the inaugural "Spooky Cross." Payouts were good and the course great -- well, great in a 'cross sort of way.

The first day it had rained and parts were a little slick, but it was relatively fast between the painful run-ups. The second day -- big OUCH. It had rained most of the night and hadn't let up when my first race, the men's 3/4, pulled up to the start line. An hour later, the rain had paused, but the slop was plentiful and the course full of suffering for my second race -- the women's Open.

Two days. Four races. Results: 4th (Men's 3/4), 1st (Women Open), 8th (Men's 3/4), 1st (Women Open).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Green Revolution: Tree huggers

It's not just during MTB season that we love to hug trees (actually, it's in MTB season that we hope we don't!) I've had green on the brain for a while now. (Here's my default web page!) And one of my favorite articles from their bicycle archive.

Being in the midwest, it's fairly easy to be in a certain amount of denial about the state of the world. I've done a handful of information graphics in the last decade on various aspects of global warming and the like. Download a recent one for Popular Science *here*

I've also had the oppurtunity to spend over 6 months (spread over the last 2 years) in San Francisco. Often in those travels, I felt like I had dual identities. I had the "Bay Area me" that walked everywhere, learned public transportation, ate organic and local foods and reduced my footprint to a minumum. And the "midwest me", where I drive the few blocks to the store and the 4 miles to work, never use a bus to get anywhere, still use plastic bags at the grocery store. OK, yeah, I recycle them and everything else I can. But there's more to it and I've recently come to be embarrassed at my apathy.

Maybe "apathy" is too harsh, but am I right in thinking that the social, economic and political pressure is just not HERE in the midwest? Why not?

Here's my *challenge* to myself and anyone I know that owns a bike. It's a simple concept. It's a small start, but let's start somewhere.
Get your commuter bike and go.

On a similar note, we've been relentlessly working on our 2008 sponsorship proposal and marketing platform. We're going green. As green as we can. We're hoping to find partership with companies that jive with that. I've been on the computer for like 15 hours a day, scouring for information on a handful of businesses we've fallen in love with. On the commuting note, and just generally cool vibe, here's*one* we want to marry. The short of it is: they make clothes that you can actually live in, they're cool and so environmentally aware, you'll want to recycle your own wardrobe and replace it with just about everything they peddle. (Except you'd have to rob a local bank to do that. So, instead you can be like me and do it one piece at a time.) Can you imagine our team kits designed by these guys?!

Got a green company you love? Let us know!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fun + Laughs= Sore Muscles

Carrie learns that "All things come to those who wait", does not apply to Racquetball!

Whew, this taking time off the bike thing is about to kill me, I think. Between chuckling so hard at turning circles on the racquetball court, to dodging trees due to the fact I can't figure out how to stop my roller blades.....my sides are in a stitch!

Today, Chris and I made our way to the racquetball courts to mix our non-cycling, non-routine up a bit. I gotta tell you, I do not remember the last time I used my racquet. Now, hey, it is not a vintage model, okay?! (within the last 3 1/2 years), but the handle tape just kept disintegrating in my hand. I think that was what was wrong with my game!!! Chris was lucky.

Carrie learns that "All things come to those who wait"

...does not apply to Racquetball!

I cannot wait to get on my mountain bike or my fixed gear, but I have patience. I respect the time my body and mind needs to recover from all the hard work and training I did this season. I appreciate the returns I received, and look forward to more in 2008, therefore, I am sticking to the regimen. So, quit asking me until the end of the week, okay!!!!???

Take it easy on yourself now, enjoy the fall. Enjoy your family, and make sure the ones around you know how much they appreciate everything they have done.

Thanks to Chris, for putting up with my mood swings, and still believing in me; she helps make me tough; thanks to mom for learning how to use email; thanks to all my family here, from Lake St. Louis to Troy, that make a person feel loved; thanks to all the girls of Team Revolution (and those who have yet to join us) for taking charge and getting out to ride, with or w/o me or us; thanks to all the shops that participated in our clinics this year(Ghisallo, Mesa, The Hub, Alpine Shop, Big Shark); to Amy and Tracey for knowing that we appreciate their help when we are on the road; and last but certainly not least, to Gavin and Aubrey for being 4 going on 5!!!! Without them, I would have no gray hair.
To may team for making 2007 an incredible season, with a great incite and promise for a good ass whooping team, in 2008. Look out competition!!

Yee Haw...Let's get it ON!!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Yo, I am alive!!! When you are going through hell, keep going!!
So we went to Vegas to thank profusely our sponsors for the 2007 season and to ask them to take a bigger leap with us in 2008. Wish us luck, we had some fantastic supporters this year, and more wanting to come aboard.

A lot of you have been wondering how the race went. I'll get to that in just a bit.
The Interbike show. Some cool stuff coming up in the 2008 season, but ask the local shops. I saw alot of representation from St. Louis there!
Okay, now to my favorite part, other than the other favorite part, where the beer I drank later, was really cold.
Not knowing what kind of situation the race would be, in terms of course, technical, etc., I pushed on to getting my bike. We arrived from the airport Wed around 11:30, got our car, went to the hotel and off to the strip we went (the convention center was at the Sands, on the strip). We walked around the show for just a bit, and then I called the MasiGuy, Tim Jackson
Wow, how he went out of his way to take care of a scrappin' girl from the Midwest, looking to mix it up in Vegas. I picked up the sweet ride and continued to the hotel
for a 7:30 1 hour spin then off to Mexican food!!

The next day, I wake for a cup of Java, and a 45 minute spin to check out the course being assembled in the parking lot of Mandalay Bay. Wow, now thats a technical course. Can you say "snake". I thought, this will be interesting.
We walked all day around the show, until 3 or so, and then we were off for pre-race food and some downtime. My hydration levels were off due to the climate change and the travel, but I dealt with the increase heartrate. 1 hour until the race, I boogie the maybe 1600 meters on the overpass from our hotel, to ready myself for game time---------------------
I line it up with the likes of Kat Carroll, Laura Van Gilder, Jen McRae,Kelly Benjamin, Shelly Olds, and Brooke Miller, just to name a few domestic riders. Nerves were good, heartrate steady but a little high, and then off we went!!
Like bats outa hell, and it didn't stop until a brief half lap 2/3rds of the way through. Prime after prime, and attacks, following by teams trying to bring the breaks back. No break stuck, but man, what a fun time, flying through that "Go-Cart" like course. At 8 to go, if you weren't hunting your gameface, it was too late. At 5 to go, Julie Bishop gave it one last galiant effort to stay away, no dice. 3 to go, mamma said...HANG ON, we're getting a good dose of Cheerwine. Giddy Up. I tried really hard to position myself so after the leadouts had peeled, I would still have good position, but I was about 3 riders off the pre-peel and lost 2 at the last turn---------------------
Man, all in all, WOW!!
I came in with a goal and a plan and I met 78% of that. So not top 5 but, with the field and speed of the race, 11th suited me fine. Look out 2008.
The full carbon MASI 3VC Volumetrica, rocked. Never ridden it before, I adjusted measurements, and bam! Thing stuck so tight to the barrier lines I was taking it took my breath. It was an awesome ride. The corrections were smooth, and believe me, with the incorrect movements from some of the girls, I needed it.
Plainly put, this bike is a sleeper; sleek, quite, yet dynamically fast when you needed to step on it and get the job done. Nice job MASI!!!
***Check out the Inferno boys bringing in a nice team second in the overall teams classification (USA Crit Series) behind AEG.

Video of the Vegas races can be found here:


Tim Thanks for helping a girl out...
Until 2008, I bid farewell to the crit course.

All's quiet

My wheels are not rolling. Dust gathers in my shoes and settles on my bike....as it waits patiently for me to finish my two week hiatus. As I'm running instead, lactic acid gathers in my quads after months of being spoiled by consistent peddling....now, pounding the pavement, I remember how much I love riding. (and did I mention how sore I am? Carrie, too.)

Don't get me wrong. I like running. But a forced vacation from the bike has been challenging. Every day that I get in my car to drive my 6 miles to work, I wince. I miss it. I missed my Wednesday night ride last night and can't wait to join them with lights next week!!!

But for now, I can dust off my running shoes and my nano and hit the road and reinvent my obsession with constant workout data! If only Apple would bother to sell nanos with decent factory headphones; I'm constantly poking them back in my ears!