Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dragonflies r cool


Dragonflies r cool
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Henna for good luck

State fair


State fair
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Giant flathead catfish

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wednesday Worlds

Whew. That's all I'm saying. It was a gorgeous evening and if I hadn't been working so hard to keep up, then I might have taken some pics. Even at the stop, my hands had to be busy stuffing carbs in my system. That being said it was a GREAT ride and I think others would agree. The only bad part was getting my dead @$$ dropped on the Rock Island Trail by John Vondracek. I tried to catch up once on Sumner, but he topped the hill and vanished. I guess there's no way to chase down a man with a water heater to fix.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bed is soundin' mighty fine

Well, now that I can run my HRM a little bit, I can do some pretty targeted workouts. For the two weeks before St. Louis, the goal has been to ramp up speed and intensity using specific HR targets. I'm here to tell you that what you've heard is true -- it will make a difference. You might be using your comp or the way your body feels as a guide, but compared to an HRM, it's all guesswork. That being said, I can now appreciate the power taps, but don't expect to see one on my bike anytime $oon.

Anyway, did 4 intervals at VO2 max, which is just under time trial speed, with 2 min. recoveries between and man do I want to crash. So, goodnight.

Happy to report ....

NOTHING. That's right folks -- a completely uneventful morning. No crashes. No near misses. Just a regular old commute made barely interesting by a non-signaling SUV.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Do you know where your jelly donuts are?


If not, I found 'em. You left them on the top of your car and they're all over the sidwalk. Thank goodness I didn't have to ride through them and get cherry goop all over my tires. I tell ya, all kinds of hazards today.

A simple plan



"I (teen girl 1) sneezed and you know you can't keep your eyes open when you sneeze."

I had a simple plan. Car needs servicing so I'll take a spare bike to my friend so she can ride with me tonight, drop off the car, then ride to work, but I didn't account for teenage drivers. Yeah, you know where I'm going with this. So, I stop in front of the Unitarian Church because the Pius teens have the road clogged up and WHAMMO! Then WHAMMO again. A red ford escort had smashed into the back of my car and a red jeep into that. My stomach lurches - MY BIKES!!! Ahhrgggg! blankety blank blank blank! However, upon inspection, the bikes were OK and so was the car. Only the rack got wacked. So, the morning got a little more complicated for me and a couple of teenage girls.

Summer's official end


Summer's official end
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Two of my favorite guys head out to take over lux middle school

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Heart Rate Monitor (HRM)


Woo hoo! I can finally run my Sports Instruments HRM to some degree. As some of you know I have whined and cussed to no avail for almost 3 weeks for want of being able to enter my Lactic Acid Threshold info (LAT) info and start really putting this tool to use in my training. Today, I had a breakthrough. I gave up. I went to the website to sift through pages of marketing info in a sure to be vain attempt to locate someone to help me. However, I am happy to report that I had the info I needed in two clicks. First on the "support" tab, then on my model. Viola. The manual was deficient and they'd published an update. I read it. Put in my data and practiced using the features. Look out world! I too, now know what you're talking about when you say, "...eighty-percent for 40 minutes..."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pella, IA summary


Well, it was a long ways to drive, but I'm glad I did. Got to race with about 13 or so other women, several of which were dang strong. I ended up coming in 3rd, but only just, and the woman who won it was rumored to be a cat1. I don't know the second place winners category, but she stayed tight on first place and slipped in just ahead of me. I need to practice reading the lay of the course better so I know when I need to be shifted into what. I had great positioning after coming off the final turn plus folks to lead off, but I blew it by not getting the right gear in
time I think. Oh well, I guess that's one of the things that intrigues me about this sport ... the complexity of it. Knowing when to go and when not to and all the little things you have to pay attention to in order to do well. It's not enough to be strong and fast, you have to learn the game and play it well too.


In the Cat 1/2s, Tim Farnham blazed to a 30 sec lead win after taking off on the 5th lap or so. He said it wasn't his original plan and it was darn lonely out there wondering if the rest of the crew would swoop up and catch him. Marc Walter won a cash prime, came in 8th, which was in the money, then turned right around and raced the Masters. There he also won the cash prime, and very nearly won the race after opening up a large gap on the field. Unfortunately, he got caught on the final sprint to the line, ending up second. I'm not sure where Craig and Troy came in on the Masters. (please post, guys)

After the Masters race, Troy and Craig lined right back up again to do the Cat 3 race, which turned out to be pretty fast. Troy led for quite a bit, and Craig sort a sat back and hurt today. Craig said he wanted a 'do over' tomorrow and Troy thought the race should have been longer with a longer sprint since he felt better as it went on.

Anyone know this sleeping beauty???

Anyway, that's about it. Met some new folks, enjoyed watching teammates and friends compete, got some experience on the new bike, and am feeling like I learn a bit more every race.

I got third in the women's open. Tim totally scorched the cat 1 2s with a 30 sec lead. Troy leading the masters currently underway.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Day off the bike

Yesterday, I took a day off the bike. Felt weird.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Donate


Donate
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Alright cyclists u might need blood someday so u oughta get down and support the blood bank

Monday, August 21, 2006

Gets bigger every week

The Husker recovery ride from Blues Bike & Fitnes gets bigger every week. It looked like there were 35 people tonight. I didn't ride far -- just over to Blues then through Pioneers and back, but that ended up being about an hour of easy spinning, which is what was on my plan for today. The bulk of the group headed on out to Denton and seemed to be staying together for once. Only five of us got dropped out. Chet had mechanicals, I stayed with a new rider, and a couple of other guys decided they didn't want to go long either.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Preacher dude


Preacher dude
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
So, the "preacher dude" as Erik calls 'im is on the corner by the theatre hollerin' like there's no tomorrow -- again. I think it's his regular Friday night gig. Some folks mumble about how annoying he is, but I think he adds texture. Kind of like that guy that used to walk around with the biggest hat you ever saw and the campus can man. Unlike the blue-haired and goth kids, who are more of a demographic, distictive guys like the preacher dude and the can man become the type of characters you miss if you don't see them. You wonder where they are and why they aren't at their posts. I wonder what would happen if preacher dudes clustered like coffee houses or the homeless guys up on 14th? Isn't there a Monty Python scene like that??? (I know there are some experts out there, so speak right on up. Heck, if you have a link to the clip that would be cool plus plus.)

Whew...peaches and kool-aid


This shot's for you Sean. Rummaged thru my stuff and came up with a ti selle flite from back when ti was the new cool thing.
Today's ride ended up taking me out to Unadilla and back. Alternated sprinting with recovery. Also had the pleasure of running into Jeff Hart at Palmyra. We visited a bit, then resumed our respective missions. The highlights of today's work out included delicious Princeton peaches purchased at a stand in the TSC (Tractor Supply Co. for you city folk) parking lot. Then, after pulling onto my street, I spied a kid with a Kool-aid stand and some granola bars. I told him to hook me up with what he thought was best. So after a glass of cherry sugar water and a s'more bar I finally made it home.

Aww...


Aww...
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Don't they look sweet together?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Novel idea


Novel idea
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Does it get cuter than this? This kitty lives at A Novel Idea bookstore here in Lincoln, Ne. Even keeps his toys under the bed. This is a great place, by the way. Hundreds, maybe thousands of great books, comfortable seating, and cool folks. Check it out.

Hey Derald, I pay taxes too

Did y'all see Derald's letter in this morning's paper??? Guy thinks we don't pay taxes. He oughta remember that 'cause we ride our bikes, he's got fewer motorists to contend with, less pollution to breath, and more tax money to fix the streets his car ruins faster. Did you write your letter? L'equipe Lincoln has the first comments in response.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The bug


Got the bug
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
O dear, my OC side has begun to defy repression.

So far this year, I've been riding my bike a lot and trying stuff out, you know, for fun. I'm a commuter, did a supported tour, and have sampled the racing thing, which was very dangerous given my competitive inclinations, and I think I may well have slipped over the edge.

One sign of infection surely includes my racing dreams, which lead to kinks in my neck from looking up over the bar and awakening with a new idea of something I could have done differently in previous races. Sheesh. Bikes should come with warning labels.

Oh well. I guess when you have a disease, you need to figure out a way to live with it in some sort of measured, targeted way. So, I'm going to start with this text. Any of you read it? Have others you prefer or recommend?

Yum


Yum
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
I'll go to any meeting serving cookies. They rank right up there with tootsie pops.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Spoiled


Mike Munson
Pic: Mike Madcharo
Wow. What a difference the bike makes. Going from steel to aluminum is quite a change. Today Mike and Marc set me up on Marc's LeMond from last year. Marc also put on his posh cross groupo. So, on tonight's ride I got to taste a sweet modern setup and I'm here to tell you there aint no goin' back.

Marc Walter
Pic:Mike Madcharo

The integrated shifting/brake set-up makes it so one doesn't even have to really think about shifting. Your brain does a subprocess of sorts and keeps the pedal resistance right about where you want it while you consciously try to figure out how you got stuck in the wind *again*.

Also, the aluminum frame is much stiffer than the steel one. Where the steel felt springy and absorbent, the more rigid aluminum transfers power to the road much more effectively. When I applied power I could feel the bike jump forward. It was almost like it wanted to zip up the hills on its own accord, and with the modern drive train, I didn't spin out when I was trying to keep pace with the boys down the hills. Previously, this had been quite the frustration. It was great being able to shift and get something that could keep me with the pack.

Fantastico. I am amp'd up for St. Louis.

08-16-06_1735.jpg


08-16-06_1735.jpg
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
I heart marc n mike. This bike is so lite and lively feeling. Woo hoo!

Osama


Osama
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Who would've thot it?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

heck or high water ....


Headed to St. Louis over Labor Day. Anyone else up for some races?

Roca Rollers

Did the Roca Roller loop (77, Roca, Bennet, Hwy 2) tonight with my friend Janna and going counter-clockwise requires a lot more climbing. I worked on attacking while on the hill and carrying momentum on over. Hopefully this will also help me build more power for sprints and making breaks. Who knows? Janna is working on building her base and improving her spin. I think she'll be good tho. I mean, even after only having her road bike for a couple of weeks, she won the cat 4 time trial in Norfolk.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What did I learn this weekend?

Marc posed this question as we cooled off and had a bite to eat after his race. Having had some time to think about it, here's what I got:

- Be aggressive. A good defense might keep you in the top bunch but an aggressive offensive may win the race. I know this one in theory -- heck my dad has been pounding it into my head for years, but it takes a while to build the confidence to apply it. During the KC crit I finally began to feel some confidence and attack a little. Ended up being out in front nearly the whole time, but was feeling strong so kept hitting the pace hard. In my mind, I kept thinking of how much time Jon Randall spent out in front at the Norfolk crit and that gave me confidence to keep crankin' it. It also helped to see Marc on the corner - helped me stay strong and represent.

- If an experienced racer like Marc is there and offers to ride the course, listen up. He rode the course with me and offered some suggestions like what side to take and some warm-up suggestions. I did what he said and it paid off big time. On the downhill switchback, the other women in my group had their brakes clamped down, but thx to the advice to stay left, I was able to sweep around the curve, which opened a gap. This followed by an application of power made the others have to work harder to stay on my tail.

- No brake corners. The crit was another chance to apply what both Tim F. and Marc had been telling me..... be aggressive in the turns and stay off the brakes. Tim told me a while ago that women tended to play it safe in the turns and that if I could learn to no brake 'em, I'd have an advantage. So, between practicing that on the street and working hard to hang with the MWC crowd in Wilderness, my turns have really improved and effort paid off hugely this weekend.

- Race to win. Watching the cat 1/2 men is always informative. Got to watch a break and then a failed attempt to catch it. When the break happened, Marc jumped to the front of the group to try and start a chase group, but unfortunately there were no takers. Had he been joined by some guys, they might well have been able to sweep up to the breakaway group. By not joining, the guys in that group basically resigned themselves to racing for 10th place (at best) and doomed Marc to the same fate 'cause one person alone cannot catch a breakaway group working together. So, if I am in a race, and see a break happen that I'm not on and don't have a teammate on, I need to jump out there immediately and see if I can get something going, 'cause I am racing to win, not just to place. Moreover, if someone else takes that lead before me, I need to pump it up and immediately help.

- Teamwork is key. This was the first race where I really got to work with someone else, and boy was it fun. Shari and I were both lacked teammates so we hooked up to work together and rocked it in both the road race and the crit. How it happened: I checked out the chicks I was racing with and looked for the most conditioned physique and then watched her ride the first lap. My plan was to get up beside and convince her to make a break with me. Shari had decided to do the same with whoever came off the top of the devil hill first. So, 'bout midway the second lap we were parallel and I said, "let's go," and after confirming we'd made a deal, we started makin' some good time and opened a gap the other gals couldn't close . We were also able to catch the bulk of the women who started 30 sec before us. . If you don't have teammates, make a friend.


Oh, and I've decided I love sports photographers. They're always making you look good. ;)

Cliff Drive Classic
1, 2,3,4

Overland Park Crit
5,6,7,8,9,10,11

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Where am i?


Where am i?
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Name the town

New good buddy


New good buddy
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Me and Shari - first and second in the crit respectively

Noooo... Not the pet shop boys loop. Sometimes ones brain is just cruel. Race @ 930

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Makin the wait look easy


Makin the wait look easy
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Marc hangin b4 the cat 1 2s do their 50 some miles in the heat

Podium


Podium
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Gotta check so can race tomorrow

Friday, August 11, 2006

Well ... what goes around, comes around


Craig Schmidt
Lincoln Plating/Lemond
Picture by Mike Madcharo

So, I spent some time last weekend making fun of skinsuits....and I take it back. I take it all back and most humbly beg forgiveness, for guess who is very likely to be donning something like this? Yep, you're truly. Tried it on this morning and it fits, well, like a skin. Go figure. Want to make your lycra shorts and snug jersey feel like something you could wear to church? Put one of these babies on. Need motivation to stay svelt? Get yourself a skinsuit, get on a bike, and plant a camera man with Internet access along the road. Yikes. I'm inspired.

In other news, I'm headed down to KC for the Tour of Kansas City. Lots of these racer types say "it's so much fun, you should go." I think they really mean "it's pain times 12, but I did it and you should experience it too," but I'm game and my aim is to get as much experience as I can this season, so stay tuned for that report.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lincoln Roadies MargRide


Looking for something leisurely to do Friday nite? Drop in on the Lincoln Roadies Marg ride meeting @ the 84th & Mopac trailhead between 7-7:30. Folks then ride out to the One Eye'd Dog Saloon in Eagle. The margs out there are over-priced and under-potent, but a name was needed and that's what we had the first time. Come on out, have a bite to eat and ride home in the dark. The pace is slow and the company pleasant.

Street fun.


Street fun.
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Adrian and i go to check out rib fest

Pics from Norfolk Stage Race are up


Here's the podium shot of my guy enjoying his victory. Hit Madcharo's site to see 'em all.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wed ride.


Wed ride.
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Good company can be had on the Wednesday ride, but be prepared to work and if you don't know the area, bring a map 'cause isn't anyone going to wait up. This isn't because they're mean or anything, it's just that everyone going on this ride is there to improve and that means pushing a little. Tonight was my first time and it was great. I didn't pull too much, being mostly content to stay on the wheels of others and watch. These guys are wonderfully generous with thier knowledge and I learned a lot just in the couple of hours we rode tonight. For example, when a train comes zippin' by, get ready to grab the end of it even if you have to sprint for it - you can rest when u get on. During the road race this last weekend, that's something I missed - the opportunity to have a bunch of speedies pull my tired butt along. :D

Anyway, if you're wanting to push yourself a little this would be a good ride to go on. I wouldn't recommend it if you haven't had much experience drafting or moving in a group though. You should also be able to fairly comfortably keep a 20 mph+ pace and be confidently steady in the group, even while checking for others' locations or getting your water bottle. If these are things you want to work on, join the Monday night ride from Blues (6pm) or maybe the Saturday (8am) from Wilderness Perk and let someone know you want to practice. If you're of the feminine portion of the human race, there's a sunday morning ride (8am-Blues) that might also be a good choice.

Summer


Summer
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Freaking hot for a bike ride.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rain rain rain


Rain rain rain
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Fenders good but won't help here

I've always thought dragonflies were cool.

A big thanks to Midwest Wheelmasters aka Lincoln Plating/Lemond for inviting me to be part of their '07 program. I'm really looking forward to contributing as best I can to its further success.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday nite ride.


Monday nite ride.
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
20 tonight. Several new faces and great to see new folks from last week make it out again. Big welcome to Robert, Nicole, and Jennifer. Also hadn't seen Kim for a long time. Another great group ride happens Saturday mornings at 8. Meet at Wilderness Perk - 14th and Pine Lake. Route isn't set and you can turn around when you like. Starts out slow and reasonable, get's faster the longer you hang on. Or, at least that was my experience when I went last time.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fast guys


Fast guys
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Cat 1 2 super fast. This race was so fun to watch - except for the crash, which happened because one racer didn't know another was deaf. When the first racer communicated his intentions around a tight corner, the second didn't hear, and four riders went down.

For one prime, the audience pitched in cash and the riders ended up sprinting for about $105. It appears the race directors use the primes to get the racers busting loose to make it more entertaining. And these guys sure did ... sprinting into the wind and getting speeds over 35 mph.

Second again but that pays my entry fee and a bite to eat. Also won a prime - huge container of drink mix stuff and some tubes.

Kid's race start


Kid's Race Start
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
The kid's race was a lot of fun and I have to boast a bit because I called the winner.... no, I recruited the winner right off main street. Janna and I were watching the races down on the corner of 4th and Norfolk Ave. when a mom and her two boys came across the street. When I saw the older boy pop his bike up over the curb I could tell he spent a lot of time on it and I asked him if he was going to enter the kids' race. He shyly said no. I told him I was sure he'd win and that he should ask his mom if he could do it. After a short conversation in spanish he said he could and I loaned him my helmet. Sure enough, Rodricko (sp?) won the race by a long shot, and got a cool prize along with a podium appearance. He seemed very happy with himself. The nicest thing was how he really tried to get his little brother to run go get his bike too. But the smaller boy was too shy and wouldn't do it.

08-06-06_1154.jpg


08-06-06_1154.jpg
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Kid's race.

Crit


Crit
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Setting up for the crit

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Posting weirdness

Well, I see some of my posts didn't come through. In short, I am sitting a solid second and Morgan Chaffin has a humonguous lead after her blistering time trial. She also managed to beat me and Marie Neville in the road race by a good margin. I have to do much better tactically if I'm going to hang with her in a race.

Tomorrow's crit is in downtown Norfolk and has eight 90 degree turns. We're riding with the cat 4 men so it ought to be interesting. I'm very tired and will probably crash by 8:30 or so.

It wasn't all work though today. Several of us really got to giggling as the time trialists started suiting up. They truly look like space aliens when they're all decked out in the skin suits, strange helmets and modified bike setups, but it makes a difference. I was told the most timetrial bang for the buck is a set of areo (sp?) bars. So, if I ever want to do more than simply endure these particular stages, maybe I'll have to look into that.

Morgan beat me and marie with her break away blast. I'm sitting second but just barely.

1 hour to time trial


1 hour to time trial
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Tj prepares for time trial

alltel_logo.jpg


alltel_logo.jpg
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Goofs on the loose

08-05-06_0739.jpg


08-05-06_0739.jpg
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Goofs on the loose

Friday, August 04, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Norfolk Classic

The Cornhusker State Games were inadequately painful to deter me from this sport. Consequently, I'm headed to Norfolk's first annual Norfolk Classic Stage Race this weekend. The women start their 53 mile road race at 8:09 am tomorrow morning from the Norfolk Beverage Co. Following the road race is the 17.7 mile time trial. Sunday's crit starts at 9am with the cat 5 men. Results will be posted on Nebraska Cycling News.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Just need the hub


Just need the hub
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Fenders - now no threat of rain. DH (dear hubby) gave me gift certificates to Monkey Wrench for my bday, so I decided to give up on the idea of putting on my own fenders and outsource the frustration to one of my favorite bicycle professionals. This leaves only the Rohloff hub and the racks to complete this bike. The hub is an expensive and hard to get item - at least in silver - so I may be single-speeding this for a while.

Happy birthday to me ...


Yesterday was my birthday, but it didn't feel like it because it was cloudy, so I feel more celebratory today. Me and sun. That's the way it ought to be. I made myself a fine breakfast (walnut banana pancakes with peanutbutter and honey plus a double-mocha-soy over ice) and jumped curbs and whatever else was in the way of the Karate Monkey all the way downtown. 'Twas lots of fun. Tonight, going to see my little niece whose birthday is really today and who has agreed to share her birthday dinner with me. Can't think of a better way to spend an evening. Make it a great day - or not - it's your choice.
:)