Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Erik's self-designed costume

Erik's self-designed costume
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
I'm scared

Brrrrr ....

Well, I was gonna just take a pleasant little recovery day cruise of Wilderness park after work, and ended up riding a little harder than I intended and grabbing the jamaica trial south to 14th. When I turned to come back to town, boy was I sorry. What a cold ol' wind to chill my sweaty self to the bone. And that, my friends, is all the whining I'm going to do this winter.

Dress right. Keep turnin' the cranks, and be ever so thankful for hot showers. :D

Monday, October 30, 2006

Boulevard Cup a winner all around

No podium, but there was a stone wall. From left to right: Michelle Jensen, Me, and Jennifer Herrell
No podium, but there was a stone wall. From left to right: Michelle Jensen, Me, and Jennifer Herrell
Twas a hot sunny day and a fast course. There was no sand, 3 dismounts for barriers, mostly grass and a little mud on the two-mile course. I took the Monkey because in Lawrence the race promoter had said that I would either want to gear down the Waterford or bring something with a derailleur, but the course was pretty darn flat I, and I think the Waterford would have flown, but my thighs would have been a bit sore today. As it turned out, the Monkey rode a little better than fine (Thanks to EP's [MWC] efforts and a shorter stem]) and we won the women's open by a pretty good margin. I do need to make my mounts smoother though, so will be working on that this week.

The highlight of the trip was watching Catherine Walberg race the cat 3/4 men and getting to meet her aftwards. She's a 1 and amazingly fast and smooth. As it turns out, she used to ride hunter/jumper horses before opting for a bike saddle, and we talked about the similarities between bikes and equines in terms of movement/balance/etc. We also both agreed that many folks underestimate how good a shape you gotta be in to ride those ponies well.

I also got lucky and won a raffle - probably only the second in a lifetime. Two silver mavic 220 rims. Actually, how it played out was that when they called the number, two of us had it. So the guy walks up there and gets a 6 of Boulevard (I think) or a cap or something, and I show that I have the same number and ask for set a rims. They gave 'em to me. It was great because I don't have any wheels for the pit and now I've got some rims to build up a set.

I'd also like to thank the folks that put the Cup on. It was really well done with a fun course, great food and wonderful company. Racing down there is tons of fun and if haven't been making the trip, you should start. :D

Friday, October 27, 2006

If it doesn't kill you ....

Training in cold wet weather differs greatly from merely commuting and when done on muddy gravel roads can make one question one's resolve, well, at least for about 30 seconds. :) No really, I remember helping turn back cattle and whatnot a-horseback in the winter with freezing toes and fingers, thinking that when I was the boss 'o me I would NEVER spend my time out the cold.....And where do I opt to be?? In the October chill working on my spin with the Monkey's front wheel throwing mud up into my face. Sheesh. No sense. That being said, the Maxxis sponsored Mid-America Cross Cup kicks off this Sunday in Kansas City with the Boulevard Cup and I'm looking forward to racing with the speedy chicks down there. Doing so will help me further identify what I need to work on to be as ready as I can be for the larger November races.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Proper warm-ups

Nebraska Cyclocross SeriesThe importance of a proper warm-up cannot be overstated. Yesterday, thx to a flat tire, I arrived at the race with just enough time to enter, change and ride to the starting line. The first two laps were awful. Legs felt like they were filled with sand and I couldn't ge enough air. By the fourth lap I was starting to feel better, but by then there wasn't much left of the race. I did manage to catch a couple of the guys in front of me, but I wasn't up to racing the way I'd planned. Warm-ups are critical! Oh, and putting cold muscles to hard work in frigid temps will leave you feeling sore sore sore the next day. (Photo from TrueSport.com article)

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Troy suiting up to tear up the turf with the 1/2/3s. He's making it look balmy, but it was pretty darn chilly and it snowed for a bit. There were 4 women - me, Janna, Stacy, and Teresa - and we raced with the cat 3/4 men. Race went well and the Karate Monkey was the right thing to be riding - at least I was sure happy to have gears. Also, I was worried the KM would be too heavy to carry across the sand pits, but no worries. The slanted top tube makes it pretty easy because I really don't have to lift. Just hold it there where the TT joins the seat tube and run. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sure a pretty sunrise

Was up early today to get some work done and caught a beautiful sunrise - kinda like the red of the sun pushed back a dark purple blanket.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


WheelsOne 2003 black Ford Crown Victoria police intercepter (only 24k miles) and one black Surly Karate Monkey set up for 'cross (thx Nate and EP). Let's go racin' -- car's so big I can just take off the front wheel and pop a bike in the trunk. Oh, and there's enough room between the front bucket seats I can fit my messenger bag or my backpack pack there. (That's been one of my pet peeves with all previous autos -- where the heck are you supposed to put your purse (bag, backpack) if someone else is sitting in the front passenger seat?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Waterford earns its keep

Cross bike.
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Chris Cross - Lawrence, KS
At the last minute, I opted for the Waterford instead of the Karate Monkey. I didn't know how the gearing would work out (42/16) but figured it would be OK and the singlespeed option gave me my first 'cross win. Including me, there were 5 beginner women and we raced with the cat 4 men. I should have gone ahead and done the open women's race too, but didn't, opting instead to watch and learn.

The course had a lot of loose gravel, two series of barriers, one like in the pic below and the other out of natural logs, and a sand pit. Running through the sand was the worst part. Other than that, it was a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to doing more of this 'cross stuff.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cross win

Cross win
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Winter's coming .... What's in your closet?

There's been a little discussion about cold weather wear on various blogs, but I thought it might be worthwhile just to list favorite gear. My must have's: PI Amphibs, wind-blocking mittens, wool socks, shoe covers, wind pants, wind jacket, wool and silk scarves, ski goggles (for that super cold week in jan), and chemical hand/toe warmers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

ooo la la, il fait froid

Yowza. What a preview of what's to come. Guess I better go through the closet and find my winter gear. Sigh. Was very happy to arrive at my workshop on East Campus today and have a big ol' cup of coffee and hot cocoa -- yes, mixed together. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Not so bad ...

After riding home I did 30 dismounts and mounts. No problemo.
Mounting on the move is much like swinging up on a high-withered pony.
Must need an audience for wrecks. And....I think that Waterford is
going to do a little 'cross. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 09, 2006

If you can't afford the SUV ....

If you can't afford the SUV, but just gotta get some kind of Hummer .... here's the bike for you. Says you can fold it up and it looks as if it does so rather nicely -- not that I know anything about folding bikes.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Congratulations in order ....

Morgan was recently spotted and asked by UNO's swim coach to join the team! Big congrats, Morgan. You're a dedicated athlete who's going to do great.

(Picture from Team Kaos Cycling site)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Rage in a cage

So, today 3 of us were riding back into town on West VanDorn - one in front a ways and two of us close to the white line - after a rather arduous bout with the wind and all the sudden a black SUV roars by. As it passes, the blondish white 50+ year old driver and what looked to be his wife screamed out the windows, "Single file you [deleted to keep this safe for work]. Single file!" The SUV then swerved around us, jerking to the right and then again to the left to pass our friend. Five minutes later a loud speaker was heard, "Single file. Thank you." That was a police officer making use of his loudspeaker.

What was funny is that in 10 minutes, only those two vehicles had come by and there was plenty of room for passing. Moreover, we were hugging the right side of the road. Are people really in such hurry on Saturday afternoon? Would it have been so difficult to lightly tap the horn to let us know they were approaching? Is sharing the road such a foreign idea??? I hope never see hate like that in anyone's face again.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

First real session on the trainer

Whew. Tonight I had a busy schedule and there was no way I was going to get outside to ride, so I opted for my first trainer session, and it wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. I thought I would be bored to tears and hate it. In fact, I'm feeling like the winter won't be so bad after all. I think the key must be a clearly defined workout. Here's what I did tonight.

15 min warm-up HR < 130
5 min HR 168-170 pushing hard
10 min rest
15 min HR 155-160
5 min rest HR < 120
15 min HR 155-160
5 min rest HR < 120
15 min HR 155-160
10 min cool down

Time passed rather quickly with my iPod and HRM. Legs definitely feeling the effort, but not painful.

What's in your office?

I have a green thumb.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Exquisite Weather

I hope you got out for some time on the bike today. 'Tis gorgeous.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Short essay worth the time to read it

Thx to the old bag, here's a link to an essay that'll confirm why ya do it.

Sweet treats for october

Sweet treats for october
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Mmm mmm good. Monthly licorice run. My friend who works down at Licorice International always turns me on to at least one new thing every time I see her. This week, 'twas those licorice/peppermint caramels in the lower right of the pic. They are super yummy and even my licorice-skeptic friend, Janna, thought they were good. Of course, I got some of my favorites: Chalk. These look like pieces of chalk. They've got black licorice on the inside with a peppermint candy coating. Perfect dessert treat. Finally, the Kookaburra raspberry. Tasty stuff. Get on down the shop and try 'em out.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Training with HRM & Time

Been on my new program for a bit now and must to say having a clear plan is super nice -- 'specially when you're a little stressed or just not feeling as motivated as you might like. In these cases, looking at the calendar, seeing what you need to do and then just doing it is MUCH easier than having this kind of conversation with yourself:

"Well, time to go ride."
"where we goin'?"
"I don't know, where do u want to go?"
"Roca Rollers?"
"I don't feel like that one ..." and so on and so forth.

Instead, having a plan like .... 2.5 hours with 60 minutes of HR (heart rate) between 150-155 focusing on smooth, fast spinning -- not only makes getting out on blustery days like today easier, it also helps me tweak my program more efficiently in response to progress or the lack thereof.