30 November, 2009

after Thanksgiving and my first CX race

preface - apologies for it being so long! I am not known for my brevity. That's another lesson I could learn from B2

First, let me say that I went back and forth about buying a bike for cyclocross. Many times. As you know I had borrowed one so I could work on skilz and drilz. It's a nice bike, but coming in at 25 or more pounds is heavier than I wanted to invest in. So I worked with a couple of local bike shops, inquiring price, components, weight, financing, etc. Friday I bought a red and white Van Dessel Hole Shot, 12 months same as cash, good price and nice bike.

So, I rode it Friday for a short 40 minutes as the sun was setting too quickly to stay out longer. A very few mounts/dismounts and runups. Then, not knowing what to expect I rode it 30 miles with the club on Saturday morning. Now, it was 38F at the ride start and I wasn't sure how my asthma would do except when I rode Thanksgiving morning with fellow Rogues in cold temps I was fine. Cross bikes have fat tires that are somewhat knobby, not heavy duty like mountain bike tires though. The chain rings are more compact at 46/36, so you wind up spinning much more than on a road bike with a 51 or larger ring. I tried to take this ride easy, not sure if that worked for or against me for race day.

Sunday I got up @4am, dressed, ate and put the bike on the car. Drove to a friend's place, moved my gear to his car and left for Dayton about 5:45. He hadn't slept much at all. Despite that we had a very nice 2.5 hour drive. We arrived an hour before my race start. As we pulled into the park my stomach started feeling weird and I muttered a few things. B2 said, "just calm down". Exactly what I needed, firm yet level headedness. Went to register, but they weren't ready to register people. So we went back to the car and changed. Funny, 2 people of opposite gender in the front seat under beach towels, changing clothes. Humor is important when you are a nervous wreck with race jitters! Pump up the tires, take off the tool bag, check list...

We prerode the course, we had about 35 minutes til my race start. I reached a technical section and wasn't looking ahead, where I should be going, but right in front of my front wheel. Couldn't turn sharp enough and pedal or unclip so I fell. Embarrassed, but up and keep going. I sell a second time on a technical part. The whole preride I kept thinking, this is a long course. It had everything, off camber portions, single track, double track, 180 degree turns around trees and boulders, barriers and 2 DEEP sandpits. Preriding the course was good for me. I made the mistakes before race time. Not to say I didn't make mistakes during the race, but I didn't fall during the race.

It was about 42F and the race start was about 100 yards or so down the hill on pavement. I was warm from preriding, but not warm enough (wish I'd been on the trainer some too). Standing at the start, in the shade and a brisk breeze blowing was cooling me down too fast. There were about 30 women in the race, 12 in the 35+ master's race. I'm not aggressive enough and didn't line up where I should've. Gotta be smarter about that!

At the start I was able to pass quite a few by the time we got to the grass. The second technical turn found 2 women down right in front of me, but I managed to pedal past them somehow. My adrenaline kicked in and my heart raced and I tried to stay on a wheel in front once we hit the straight section. All was going fairly well until I got to the geasy muddy single track in the woods. First I attempt to pass this woman and she moved into me her rear wheel meeting my front wheel. I bounced off of her with no problems, but again I expended too much energy with that. A few minutes later we are going through a tight s-curve through 3 trees and my rear wheel fishtailed The racer behind me gasped. I lost some steam. After that once we hit the grass I thought everyone had passed me. I kept everyone in sight through 2 laps, but couldn't get enough power to bridge up. I decided I was going to ride and learn. I worked through my gears, tried to find a sweet spot for different sections. I was happy with the off camber, the sand pits and the barriers. I wasn't thrilled about my remounts from the barriers though. Just no fluidity of movement. It was great having B2 cheer for me as I came by (he was on his trainer). That helped me refocus on the race quite a bit. When I finished I was exhausted, but happy I finished and didn't fall. I stayed in the pedals the entire race except for the barriers and the last 2 feet of the 2nd sand pit on the last lap.

When I got finished the Cat 4 master's were already lined up at their start. I had no oxygen in my brain, but I knew I wanted to get pictures of Brians race, so I rode to the car and grabbed the camera and back to watch. I snapped a few but didn't catch him in any. I went to the sand pit and snapped a couple but was freezing and remember my jacket was at the start. As I rode past the parking lot Cooper yelled congrats and Christian said I finished 9th. I was like, no way. I kept going to get my jacket and rode back to check the finish. They were right! 9th out of 11 finishers with 1 DNF Ok, think. There were 3 laps to go so I changed into dry clothes and went back to watch the last 2 laps of Brian's race. I finally got a couple of decent pictures with him in the frames.

I started back on my Advair 2 weeks ago, one puff a day. Other than about 20 minutes of coughing after the race, I felt great. No wheezing! While I'd love to be drug free, I'm thinking that's a pipe dream. Between growing up with smokers and having smoked for 3.5 decades, I should be thankful I can ride and race my bike like I do.

I have great team mates and friends and family members. Yesterday was the best way for me to wrap up Thanksgiving weekend. I'm not sure I tell people enough throughout the year how thankful I am that they are part of my life. BUT please know this, I am so thankful you are. I love each one of you. You've given me good stuff.

26 November, 2009


I have so very much to be thankful for, too much to list. Always the standard things.

But right now am a big dolt, a weenie. stupid feeling all sorry for myself.

24 November, 2009


is impossible for me. I keep trying, breathing, meditating. I think too much. Say too much.

I'm venturing out, last two Friday's or maybe three, solo date night. It's getting a little easier. Still feels awkward though.

I have some very good friends. But still no one I can say anything to uncensored. It would be nice to hold hands or have an arm around my shoulder.

I have 5 days off work, maybe I can find the stillness I require. Increase the love within and share it - get what you give, right?

21 November, 2009

The 4 Bs

Bikes, Bells, Beers, and Boys - not necessarily in that order

So, I borrowed the cross bike from DR's wife last weekend. I've been on it 3 or 4 times. Segal was kind enough to offer some guidance in drillz and skillz. He met me on Thursday and Friday.

Thursday we started with an "easy warm-up" lap. Okay, easy for him but took all I had to stay on his wheel and lost it a few times. Was good though. Told me how to gear, stay in drop, keep eyes on destination. I love the sand, even if I fall down.

Next was mount/dismount. Still having issues getting clipped in my shoes. Seems about the time I get in, it's time to dismount. I fell once trying to get back on the bike. Rammed my leg under the saddle instead of over and had my bodyweight committed to being over the bike. crunch! I laughed and laughed. Got back up and did some more. Then we went back on the course and did the barriers a few times. Segal showed me where to grab the bike to get it high enough to clear the ones @ RRCC. They are taller than most. Then we practiced the stair run-ups. forty minutes and I was wiped out.

Friday, I arrived before he did. I did a warm-up lap, to the best my memory allowed. I then went to mount/dismount practice. Still have issues clipping in. Took another spill. Segal had pulled in and saw me go down. Funny! We did a lap and I told him to go on. I was already winded. I did a couple of barriers and stairs and went for water. Next time I need to have air or a pump. That way I can ride on lower pressure which should help out a lot in cornering, etc. Just need to air them back up so I can ride home comfortably.

Today was race day #1 in Indianapolis. We couldn't stay for the women's race, 2 Rogues represented but I've not heard results. The 2 Brian's raced today and I rode with them. Not as good results as last week, it was a tough course and large field. But still respectable. Tomorrow we go back with a larger men's contingent.

My ass hurts! All this cross practice I must be using new muscles. When I got home today I jumped on the bike and rode for an hour and a half. Was good til I flatted about 4 blocks from home. No worries. The weather has been fantastic, so just pushed the bike home and enjoyed the walk.

18 November, 2009

Quick, short trip to RRCC tonight.

Mostly just wanted to test pedals and feel the bike out. Pedals are definitely different, but not in a bad way. Still having issues getting clipped in on my left foot for some reason. By the time I got to the course it was 4:30 and everyone was on the course, except Catherine. She looks to be about 11. She asked to tagalong with me. Ha! I said it'd be best for me to tagalong with her, 'cause I don't know the course. She said only the fast kids showed up tonight and she's too slow to keep up with them. Yeah, well this old lady had all she wanted and more trying to hang with Catherine. We did the "regular loop". It was a little soggy and muddy. Nothing like getting mud spattered all over and sprayed in your face.

I have so much fitness to gain if I want to do this right. I started wheezing, but not horribly, once I got home. Since my asthma kicked in last week I started back on the Advair. I wonder if I'd have it if I'd never smoked. Doesn't matter really, I have it and I smoked for too long.

As daylight dwindled and people gathered to leave, Luke Haley asked me if I was at Columbus on Sunday. He said, "I heard you cheering for me, but didn't know who you were". So, I introduced myself and said he'll probably hear me yelling his name for some time to come. Nice young man that Luke. Those RedZone kids are great people.

So, I send this email to the Rogue crossers. They are trying to get me to race this weekend. LOL I told them I have no skills. I've never jumped a barrier and done any technical sharp turns. I can see myself talking down rows of tape or worse. That would be no way to represent the team! Give me the next two weeks. See if I can make time working on drills and skills. Then I'll DFL at STG.

14 November, 2009

stupid asthma

came back, WTF Had an episode Thursday after the trainer. Then on Friday went for an hour + ride before sunset and it hit me 10 minutes into the ride. Took me 45 minutes to ride 10 miles. My inhalers are almost spent and can't refill before Dec 3. Hate this shit! Going back to the Advair once a day for now, see if that helps.

Went to see egret at the Swan Dive last night. Another solo date night. Music was good, at least first and last acts. Drank too much and didn't get to bed til almost two am. I am so out of shape for late night fun. I slept in way late. Spent an extraordinary day off the bike.

Going to bed now. Getting up at 4 to catch a 5 am ride to Columbus with team mates. They are racing and I am cheering

12 November, 2009

Melancholy times

I need some high vibrations. A good friend is close to death.

I saw my sister and hugged her today. First time since August.

My horoscope read today: The next year and a half is a time of many changes for you. There will be restructuring in your life, and especially in your career. Don't be afraid to let your current job crumble so that you can start over with something new - something you enjoy.

After the recent changes this makes me think three times. What does a 51+ woman do as far a career change?

So maybe it's not cool to say this here but I'd really like to get laid. I miss sex. Riding the bike is great fun and helps release a lot of the built up tension, but it doesn't quite cut it.

09 November, 2009

another first

I was so tired last night after the 60 miles on Saturday (legs felt it all day Sunday) and spending a full day cheering friends at the cross race. At some point about 11:30 or so I woke up on the couch. Sitting back in a reclined sorta. I've not done that since I moved. Well, post crash doesn't count.

I was disoriented and turned off the receiver and lights and climbed into bed. No wits about myself at all. Almost like a drunken stupor. Bad thing this morning! when I finally got up after 8 am the sandalwood candle was still burning (thank goodness it's a nice big size) and the door was unlocked.

I took my time getting up, eating and such. Why get in a hurry if it's vacation, right? I got dressed and took my bike for an all afternoon jaunt. I went to Clarksville, Shawneed, Iroquois, Old Louisville, Highlands and home. I wasn't in any hurry to get anywhere, but got in a few good efforts just the same. 48 miles in 3:15. I made a couple of stops and the time out and about closer to 5 hours.

I was starving by the time I got home. So glad that I had soaked the 13 beans the other evening and cooked them in mushroom stock. All vegan dish! I'm pooped and happy. The weather is still warm enough to have the windows open, comfortably. Life is good. I rode with no real plan and loved my day

08 November, 2009

Cyclocross @Promotion in Lexington

Rogue had a fantastic day in cross. The weather was unbelievable for 8 November. The afternoon saw mid 70s and not a cloud in the sky. The morning started in low 50s, but the course was dry and fast.

I was fortunate to have a fellow Rogue and good friend give me a lift to the venue. Always better to have company in the car each way, for me anyway.

My world keeps growing with new friends and acquaintances. The youth are having so much fun! Why wouldn't they, many are racing against and beating the adults on the course. I think it's the one sport that competitors want to reach 35 so they can race masters and deal with the teen/pre-teen-agers. LOL They are very strong cyclists!

I have cheered several times this fall and bragged about not losing my voice. But tonight it's starting to be very raspy and fading.

The 60 miles yesterday in the wind has my arse and legs sore and tired. After standing and walking a few hours this morning my legs were tight so I stretched out a bit through the afternoon. Now, I am very tired and it's 8:15! There's one or two things I'd like to be doing, but takes another person and don't have one.

On vacation tomorrow. I think the weather is supposed to be good so will ride with abandon, no plan.


07 November, 2009

Something new all the time

It's been an interesting life and I've experienced lots of years and learned quite a bit. But something I'm finding out is I am clueless when it comes to dating. Now, I never really dated, unless dating at 16 cxounts, which it doesn't.

I either come on too much one way or another; aloof or overpowering. geez this is gonna take a while What I have found out is that I just need to have fun. Meet some intelligent and hopefully funny people. I have met many, but dating has been limited.

Will just have to see how all this unfolds

05 November, 2009

Limited mostly by myself

There is so much more I could be doing. Trying to figure out what the next things should be.

Today, I finally "got it" on the rollers. I've been on them about 3 times before and never got past the fear of falling. So before today the entire time I was expending energy holding onto the chair and the wall. Those suckers are all slippery! Not really, but closest adjective I can find.
I got home from work and was getting ready for a club ride, when I realised I missed it. Ditz, had the wrong time. As I readied to get on the trainer I was thinking about it being time to give the rollers back to their owner. I looked over at them and thought, "I can do this".

I got all my stuff; phone book and wood block to stand on, towel for the sweat, fan, kitchen chair. The hardest part was getting my second hand on the bars. First couple of times I used my shoulder (newly fixed one) to steady against the wall. I knew I had to get my cadence up, but my gait was so uneven! Finally after about 5-8 minutes I achieved a good cadence, but still didn't feel in control. I remembered a previous conversation and shifted to my big chain ring and moved into my 15. control! I reached a good cadence and was drenched! I stopped and opened windows for a cross breeze. The last 10 minutes was fun. I just watched the odometer and listened to World Cafe' and focussed on the window.

I have a long way to go before roller races (if they happen). But I know I can do it now. Crazy; start riding a bike (again) at 49, first race at 50, first broken bones at 51. If I can do this, anyone can. All it takes is setting a bar and working to attain it.

The thing is there are more things I can do with my time. I just need to get better organized and decide what those things should be. hmm

04 November, 2009

Budgets, planning, research

So it can be an expensive sport/hobby/interest. Cycling that is. And I've been pondering if I should: hire a coach, upgrade my road bike, buy a cross bike, put power on my current road bike, upgrade my HR monitor as it needs work since my crash and lost the sensor.

Can't afford a coach for now, that's a monthly payment I'm not willing to make. yet So, I've been reading and learning and now trying to put together a training plan for 2010, that should have started on Monday. Building the spreadsheet and a friend or two said they'd look it over for me.

Cross bike - should I wait til season is over and find something used? There's a deal on a new 09, at least I think it's a deal.

So I emailed a friend about all this research and learning and wonder if at the end all of this is too much for me to afford. They said, "quit now!" boy that was helpful NOT.

Maybe I should go ahead and borrow some $$, but I don't want to. Wishy Washy much? yes - and think too much and and and and and

01 November, 2009

Long weekend again

So, I worried about Friday as the forecast called for rain all day. It rained Thursday, so I rode the trainer after work. Then Friday morning the rain ended early and moved on out, so I posted I was going to ride on FB any takers? VP called and said she and C were riding. We met up and rode to Iroquois, did the hill and went around the park and repeated the hill before heading home. Beautiful weather with leaves raining all around us. It was 70F f*ing degrees on Oct 30th.

I also bought tickets to a concert on a last minute whim. Went to see the Avett Brothers. Thing is, I called and emailed and posted to try and take someone. No takers so I went solo. Need to get used to this solo stuff and try to enjoy it. Not so easy for me. Learning, slowly.

Saturday was much cooler, it rained Friday evening late and into early Sat morning but ended around sun up. I knew I wanted to ride, but slept in and missed the Halloweenie ride in Indiana. Again I posted that I was riding for undetermined time to destinations unknown. VP and P were leaving for a ride, but too soon for me to join. So I took off solo and wandered a bit, headed downtown and found a headwind. Turned south and found an even stronger headwind. I think it was following me head on! :) Wound up dropping in on a friend at work for a short chat. Then on my way home ran into 5 peeps and joined their ride to Shawnee. Got in 33+ miles and it was so good riding with others instead of solo.

Halloween was another first, walked down Hillcrest and attended to Open House/parties solo. Oh my, the food was great and saw some creative costumes. One girl was Archeologist Barbie and a fellow came in as Liberace in a green tux with his own candlabra! funny

Today was cyclocross at Gun Club in Cincy. Wow what a beautiful day of sunshine. I drove, took a team mate along and cheered all day. VP came in first in Women's cat 3, ShamWow got 5th in cat 4, Segal came in 17 in Masters 35+ and B2 brought in 10 for Masters 45+ FUN Times, I love these people. All of them are very special. You'll have to check out the race report on Lovethepain.net as I only cheered, others did the hard work racing.