Saturday, September 30, 2006

Lefler rockin'

Lefler rockin'
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Gigglebox @ embassy suites

Thursday, September 28, 2006

2005 Subaru Outback for sale

Green 2005 Subaru Outback
Less than 28K miles, $17,750
Yep. That's right. I'm selling my Subaru. Something else has caught my fancy and I'm gonna give someone else the chance to enjoy this nifty vehicle. Check out all the pics. If you're interested, let me know. "sydney dot e dot brown at"

For the kiddies ...

After resolving NOT to arrive at the office sucking air and sweaty, I'm coming down 17th and look up to see half a dozen tow-head elementary kids grinnin' and pointin' out the back of a school bus. Irresistable. I give 'em a big smile, flip to the big ring and crank it up. As I pass the bus, they're a wavin' and a laughin'. I arrive at the office in my usual state of disarry. For the kids, you know.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bike Polo?!? You gotta be kidding.

I heard about bike polo for the first time this week and those crazies up in Omaha get together for games? Sets? Don't know what you call 'em but I guess they happen every Sunday henceforth.

At first it sounded like a lunatic idea, but I checked out a few vids and am gonna concede it looks entertaining and a good way to improve handling skills, tho I think it'd still be more fun a-horseback.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Inaugural mounts/dismounts

Jenna dismounts
Jenna does her second dismount. She didn't fall either, darn it.

'cross practice
Going for the lift.

Had lunch with my good buddy, Jenna, who is spending most of her time these days measuring thousands of small tropical fish. After stuffing our bellies with sandwiches from Bison Witches we decided to use up the rest of hour learning how to do cyclocross dismounts/mounts.

We went back to my office and surfed up some how-to directions. I then swapped my flip-flops for Sidis, taped up my fingers, armed Jenna with my camera phone, grabbed the Waterford, and prepared to get some grass stains. To Jenna's disappointment however, there was no fall -- just pedal the bike, get off, lift, run, set down, jump on, rinse repeat. I'm guessing I need more witnesses around to trigger a fall.

Jenna did even better. She was smooth the first time.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Branched Oak and Wind

Started the 'cross training program Sunday with a ride out to and around Branched Oak lake. The wind was from the northwest and pretty stout. Made for a tough ride there, but a really fun return trip. Another bonus was getting to see the air show jets.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wilderness Perk ride

Did the Wilderness Perk ride this morning but didn't wear enough clothes. Got chilled and then was late so ended up cranking it up to speed home -- made it there only 10 minutes later than I'd promised. Big apologies to the group for taking off. Will work on my poor planning.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Having fun on Friday

Playing on Tim's cruiserTim F. snaps a pic as I grin my way round the parking lot.
With the Cave marathon cancelled, no road race or training plans, I was feeling kinda ho-hum, so when Tim messaged me "'bout tryin' his ride," I zipped right out the door. Glad I did. Was a great way to spend 15 minutes. Funniest thing was I had to relearn the back-pedal brake technique. About crashed going down the handicapped ramp without my hand brakes. Ha! BTW ... I've been tire-side down all week.

Cancelled! :(

Rave in the Cave has been cancelled due to unsafe riding conditions. Oh well, have to go down there and enjoy the fall colors in a few weeks anyway. See Ryan's Nebraska Cycling News post for details.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Healing nicely

4 tidy stitchesSorry 'bout the blur but my phone camera doesn't do close-ups well.
The between the fingers tear is healing nicely I think and I've opted to do w/o the bandage today. Just sticking with tape. The 4 stiches are on the front even though the tear continues to the back of the fingers. I'm thinking keeping the two fingers taped till it heals is a good idea. Hope the rain isn't keeping everyone off their bikes. I'm riding MG's loaner today and at caves if it doesn't get rained out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gateway Cup Pics

Thx to teammate, Marc, here's a link to the non-crash pics from the St. Louis Gateway Cup. Been looking at them myself and have butterfiles in my gut. Can't wait to go back there and race again next year.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Back on the keyboard again

Rubbermaid's FastTrack system is a great way to organize your bike stuff.
A couple days and now I can type again. Laugh if you want, but just tape a couple of your fingers together and see how fast you can communicate. Anyway, thank you all for your well wishes -- they really cheered me up and prevented me from kicking my own butt for being too wound up and stiff to take that dip properly.

Was down at the shop and ep was emphasizing how much I've crashed lately .... It's true. 3 weekends in a row, but I only for sure claim Saturday's as totally MODF (my own dam fault). Methinks it's because I'm a beginner and have managed to get to a point where my speed outstrips my skillz. Oh well, I'll keep working on 'em and figure next year will see much less of me in area hospitals.

In other news, I am finally getting organized and found great way to store my bikes. Rubbermaid makes these strips you hang on the wall and then specialized hooks for various items. It's not an expensive system and you can get it at HomeDepot. Rubbermaid calls it their FastTrack product. I think I'll be able to get four bikes on one strip.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

few stiches

ick. all stiched up. thx christine for the ride and a big thx to nate & crew for gathering up my stuff. as re: this xc stuff .... i'm a gonna keep working on it.  :)  gotta learn to keep the tire side down.

Crash test dummy

Crash test dummy
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Sigh. Need stitches. Didn't finish race. But Matt got a pic before I quit.

Ugg. 6 laps. I'm gonna die. O well. Just have to finish to get my money back.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

2nd XC Race Saturday

Surly in the cube Saturday will mark my 2nd XC race ever (1st was Manawa). For this week's Swanson race, I went and pushed to be put in the expert catagory so I could race with Roxzanne Abbott (what was I thinking???!). Got to ride the course last nite with her and she's prolly gonna kick my behind, but the SS Karate Monkey and I will do our best to make it a race. Stay tuned. (Pic of Roxzanne from Nebraska Cycling News)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

hmm. should i trade in my bike saddle?

This is Cosmo, half-brother to a barrel and roping horse my dad sold earlier this year. Cosmo came to us as an emaciated 2 year old and has grown into a big, speedy, good-looking true black quarterhorse. He's looking and riding so good I'm almost tempted to trade back to stirrups 'stead of pedals. (I should also mention Cosmo is for sale. Let me know if you're interested.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Thot the day would never come ....

The eldest of my 3 most favorite guys got a job yesterday! Congrats! Now if you could just get paid before homecoming .... ;)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Today's crit - NCA Grand Prix

Matt Farnham, Tim's little bro, is right behind me and I have his mom, Jean, to thank for this pic.
I reported on "Summit" the nicest dog I've met for a while and demonstrated how to entertain oneself during a long elite rider race, but I haven't yet told u how today's women's race went. In short, there were only 3 of us and we opted to up our time from 35 min to 45 and race with the men's cat 4 altho our awards were separate.

I won the open and Janna won the cat 4.

More interesting ...

"you don't win races by crashing. It's part of the game but you'll learn to avoid people and situations that cause crashes." -- cominatcha

Very good point and a skill I practiced today racing with the cat 4 men crit. Instead of racing to win, I just worked the group, monitoring wind and position, and watched the riders, picking out who was wobbly, irresponsibly aggressive, etc. then worked to maintain a decent position, but away from those riders. Also focused on looking up the pack in order to have some time to take evasive action if necessary. I think my recent asphalt encounters have given me the motivation to make these skills top priority -- Not because I'm scared of hurting, altho I don't much care for it -- but because of the reason pointed out above. If you wreck your bike and put yourself on the ground, you aren't going to win the race, or even place. Better to play it smart AND fast. :D

Nice dogs rule

Nice dogs rule
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Summit. Stacey's super nice dog. If all dogs were like him i wouldn't have a prob with them.

Annoying crowd

Annoying crowd
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Found a plastic hand clapper. Great annoying toy!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ima Winner

Today was the NE state RR championships and they ran the women 1/2/3 with the men's cat 4. Yeah, u probably know where I'm going with this. There was blood. ;) Anyway, yesterday I woke up and my legs felt like solid lead and I hadn't even got out from under the sheets. I made it to my comp and popped an email to my teammate and asked, "My legs are gone! What should I do?" He said relax, drink lotsa water, keep your feet up and gave a prescribed pre-race spin workout. Sure enuf, I felt a lot better by nightfall. Got my gear together and went to bed.

Woke up @ 5 and started pumping some accelerade. Topped that off with a double-mocha-soy and eggos with peanut butter and chocolate syrup. Breakfast of champions fer sure. Janna showed up. We picked up Marc and headed for the venue.

They ran me and Morgan, the defending state champ, with the cat 4 men. Lotsa chatter during the first 3 laps among all the racers. Jokes, some singing, and of course, TJ razzing. But, on the 4th lap things picked up a bit and on the final circuit the group began to split for real. Unfortunately, the 56 mile race was starting to get to some folks and towards the end of the 5th lap there was a wreck. I don't know what happened. All I know is that John Vondacek was right ahead of me and suddenly there was a pile of bikes in front of us and gravity had its way. At this point, I was ahead of Morgan but thot she was right on my tail and had passed me while I was down. Furious that I'd got the wrong side of the bike down two weekends in a row, I grabbed my bike from the top of the pile, hopped on and tried to pedal off. No go. Dang chain was off. Fixed that, but still had problems gettin outa there. Looked down. Bars pointed one way, front tire the other. Damn. Grabbed the wheel tween my knees and twisted the bars mostly straight and took off. John V. had already cleared the zone and I put everything I had into catching him. I figured the two of us might be able to catch the front group. I just couldn't stand it if I lost cuz of asphalt kissin. So, I caught John and we traded a couple of pulls with him doing a bit more work, (I did work on the hill tho), and managed to catch the front group. Whew. First problem solved. Where was Morgan? I searched. I was so sure she was going to jump me on the hill while my legs were dead from bridging and I wouldn't be able to escape the pack and try and run her down that I was nearly in a frenzy. Didn't see her tho and got my mind back on riding soon enough to run right over a dropped water bottle. Criminey. This is a road race. How many obstacles must there be?

Anyway, kept trying to move to the front of the pack cuz now I was nervous about the sprint. I didn't want to be in the middle of these guys when they went to sprint. I'd had enough road rash for one day and I still hadn't found Morgan.

So, by the time we come around the second to last corner, I've given up on finding Morgan and am focusing on just getting into a spot and gearing that will let me pick up speed when the group goes. Then we come round the final turn and the sprinting starts. I just give everything I've got cuz that's all u can do and cross the line.

About a block later when I can breath again I realize I probably look a bit dramatic. during the crash I'd lost the scab on last weeks right elbow wound and put a new shiner on the left leaving me with two forearms covered with plenty of blood. It was kinda cool. I've seen a lot of my own blood and it doesn't bother me much unless it's like shooting away from my body. Then I get a little nervous.

Had a great time. Can't wait for tomorrow's crit even tho there's only one 90 degree corner. ;) Is three the charm?

America rox

America rox
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Yep. Jumped out me car to get a pic of the freedom grill on the yukon's tail. That plate says sampson.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Crash pics

I know. I'm milking it for all it's worth. Forgive me, it's my first one and someone got a coupla pics.

rider still down

rider down

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What I learned ....

Not if but when
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.

  1. First torn up team lycra. Prolly b more.
  2. Falling isn't so bad.
  3. Get my @$$ to the front going into the final run.
  4. I can be competitive at this level of competition.
  5. I wanna be a crit specialist.
  6. Specific training pays off. Working up to the Cup, I spent a lot of time emphasizing power and working on my sprint. It made me feel a lot stronger and quicker on my bike and I'm starting to get a sense of how to jump it forward. It needs a lot of work, but I now think I know what I need to do and how to arrive there.

Where am I?

Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Got any guesses?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Finish this sentence ....

The best way to put an end to squeaky brakes is to ....

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sitting out today

Today I'm a gonna watch and learn. Once I got the skin suit off yesterday, I learned the damage was a lot more than I reported yesterday and I sure felt it this morning. Despite ice, there's quite a bit of swelling in the left hip and right elbow and the symmetrical hip scrapes are pretty darn uncomfortable. Also, feeling the bruises from getting hit by other bikes (ribs and back). So, I decided I'd had enough for this weekend and am going to cheer for my Iowa friend Amanda and watch the speedsters kick some butt.

Even tho this weekend didn't go as I planned - thot I'd do four races - the experience has been tremendous and I'm setting St. Louis as a peak race for next year along with Tour of KC. Amanda says there's a good one over Memorial day that she's going to email me about, so I'm gettin amp'd for 07 already. :)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Final turn. Crash bounce flip slide. Swollen left hip. Scraped right butt cheek. Both elbows left shoulder blade and calf. owie.

News so far from the Gateway Cup

On the way here ...

Coming into St. Louis during rush hour we saw a couple of motorcyclists ahead of us. Marc said something about it being boxed in for them. Not but a few minutes later a car swerved in front of us. Looking back in the side mirror I watched as one of the aforementioned bikers rolled and bounced down the middle lane like a log down a steep slope. The scene was made more dramatic by a semi bearing down on him. As the semi jackknifed to a stop, the biker bounced up, landing on his feet.

Friday night ...

The first crit ends on the second lap in humiliation. My body whent
numb-like and chilly and I had to throw up, so I quite the race and
spent some time by a big tree. If I was the crying top, there would
have been tears, but instead I went for a walk and tried to figure out
what went wrong. Ended up going to bed early and sleeping the whole
next day until a couple of hours before the Saturday race.

Saturday ....

Feeling really good. Skipped any coffee, stuck with accelerade and
endurox. Warmed up and had a really good race placing 13th in a field
of 25. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I think i'm one of
only 3 cat 3s racing in the open women and if I'd played the backside
of the course smarter I might have done better. I think I let too
many folks get ahead of me there and then didn't have room on the
sprint side to get by them again. Not sure why they are narrowing the
final sprint, perhaps for making it easier to track results?

Sunday ...

Breakfast nap Lunch at Panera's then maybe another nap, then race at
3. More news later.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Headed to St. Louis

I'm off to St. Louis today. I'm a little nervous because the majority of women are cat 1s and 2s but that's ok, it'll be a great opportunity to learn a lot and be able to put what I learn right into practice the next day. I guess I need to relax. I've done all the training I could do to be as ready as I am able in the time allowed. All I can do now is to remember to apply the skills I've got and make use of the advice given. It'll be fun. Look here for pre-registered racers and results later. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.