Friday, March 30, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
My mtb avatar

Arkansas cops r nice. 13 mph over the limit. Gotta warning. & u guys hassle me about my lipstick.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Junior cycling club needs a catchy name

OK. Friday, the 13th of April will be the inaugural junior cycling club meeting at Lux Middle School at 5:30 pm. So, if you know any under 18s who might be interested, please point them to me. Going to focus on fun, competencies, and getting them involved in the local racing scene. BUT, I'd like a better name for the club and I'm just not feeling all that creative in light of preparing to race at Ouachita this weekend. Please help o witty wordsmiths.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another dull day

So I'm driving home from work today, which was my first mistake. I should have rode in today same as always. Goodness knows I wouldn't melt in the rain.

Anyway, I'm driving home and am in the south lane where it narrows to a single lane there by Gere library. I have my blinker on to merge and this big black suv has opened the gap. I start to move into the gap to merge and the SUV surges forward to close it. But I'm already committed to action so I keep merging and he chickens first and I hear brakes and then a lot of angry honking. Being I have the window down it's rather convenient to use commonly understood sign language to let him know I think he's a jerk too.

We drive on. He tailgates. I drive the speed limit and let another car in front of me at 70th & VanDorn. He tailgates closer and follows me up Van Dorn. I turn into my complex, wondering if I've miffed off a neighbor or really have a jerk to deal with. Deciding to proceed as if it's the latter, I park in front of the office. After all, if he's going to get heavy on me, he might as well have an audience.

I slip off my coat so I can move easier and get out of the car and meet this pig-eyed dude in the lot dead center in front of the office doors. He tells me I drive like shit. I tell him he's the crappy driver being as he opened a gap and then charged forward. He calls me a bitch and squeals off. I try sign language again in case he didn't catch it the first time.

So yeah, don't lecture me about non-conflict. I know I'm smaller but bullies and jerks like that really bug me and I'm not going to take it like a scared little mouse. I should have just pulled my cell phone on him tho and got a picture so u all could see how ugly a face can get when it wears an attitude like he was sporting for 40 years.

Then I went for a bike ride with Kelly who teaches spin classes at the Y. She's a runner who really ought to be racin' bikes. That was fun and a nice way to finish yet another dull day in the life of sydney_b. :)

Monday, March 26, 2007

David Butcher: Pedal Powered Generator - DIY Plans

Now, would you put miles on your trainer if it was the only way to fire up the TV? The video game console? Charge your iPod or computer? Those last two would get my workouts done no matter how tired I was -- probably. AND... would there be an obesity problem in the U.S. if you had to pedal to watch American Idol?

David Butcher: Pedal Powered Generator - DIY Plans: "'Power From The People!'

Every morning, I pedal to generate electricity. The Pedal Generator I ride charges batteries, that run an inverter, that produces 110v AC, that powers LED lights, the monitor on my computer, and many other small battery-powered things. It is the most inspiring workout you can imagine."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hands to be Happy in Arkansas

This has been a good week. Decent weather, lighter workouts (thx coach), french silk pie, and ... (drum roll please) some most excellent handle grips. I mean if they're good enough for Luna Chix, methinks I'll dig 'em big time. So, a HUGE thank you goes out to Mr. 24 aka Jeff Kerkove for hooking me up with these Ergons. I think the green'll look pretty sweet with the blood red Badger.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Iowa has a new happenin' cycling site

Interviews, how-to articles, easy to read calendar.... pretty cool...
----------------------------------- - Midwest Cycling Racing News - Home: "Interview: Steve Tilford, HRRC/Trek Midwest
Tuesday, 20 March 2007

small-roadnews.jpgtilford-1.jpgYou’re at the biggest race in the United States in decades – it is a rock-star atmosphere with the big names, international teams and huge crowds."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling

See... I told you I wasn't just making this up .....

PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling: "
Toolbox: Positive Self-Talk
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 7:04:13 AM PT

There’s a conversation that goes on in your head while you’re riding, and it doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Take a look at it. Are you encouraging yourself? Worried? Beating yourself up? Self-talk can have a big effect on cycling performance. Increasing your awareness of negative self-talk and correcting it could become your most important mental skill."

Cyclist, 81, hunts down shoplifter | Oddly Enough |

Cyclist, 81, hunts down shoplifter | Oddly Enough | "AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - An 81-year-old Dutchman who saw a shoplifter flee a supermarket in The Hague chased after the thief on his bike and crashed into the man to stop him, police said Tuesday."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New Team Website

The Lincoln Plating/Lemond cycling team has an updated website.
Check it out.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Landahl - Baptism by fire

baptism of fire
1. A soldier's first experience of actual combat conditions.
2. A severe ordeal experienced for the first time.

Hmm. My trust in the mtb kind is a little sketchy these days. When I first learned of the Landahl race, I asked around to see if it would be good prep for Ouachita, to which I was already committed and nervous about. Everyone said, "yeah you should go." No details. No nothin', even when I told 'em I was new at this sort of thing. As the date neared, a couple said, "it's a little rocky." I thought, ok, a few rocks, I can do that. THEN, Friday nite when I arrive at Rob's shop to pick up the Badger, he asks me if I've ridden Landahl before.

I say, "No. I told you I've never done this kind of thing. I've done two mtb races and I rarely ride any trails." And, do you know what he says?

With a big ass grin and shaking his head, he says, "Oh man, you are gonna die." You can imagine how confident I felt at that moment. (But seriously, what else would you expect of a Texan who spent his youth hunting up team ropin's and bike races in close proximity?)

By about 9-10pm he and Josh finished putting the bike together and I rode it across the yard and off the curb. First time I'd experienced shocks. Wow. And then it handled like nothing I've ever ridden. It just felt immediately as if it were an extension of me and small bit of confidence returned. At that moment I thought to myself, "It'll be ok. I'm gonna wear my helmet. I probably won't die."

The next day we arrive at the course and it's cold, windy, and cloudy. Yuck. Some folks who know me from the 'cross season say hi and it cheers me up. I then pump Rob and Josh for info on such basics as how does it start? What do you do when you come through? What do I need to carry with me? And all sorts of things they do without even thinking about it. Then Rob and I rode the first tiny non-rocky bit of the course. Not too bad. Gave me a much needed illusion of doability.

The start was one they call "lemond" "LeMans" (see oldmanandhisbike's comment for origination) style, which apparently means you run in a 50-70 yard circle, pick up your bike and pedal like mad for position on the single track. It's to spread out the racers at the start. Because running is one of the things I'm not half shabby at, I got a good start and it was at least 20 minutes or so before I blew it and had my first wreck. Upon going down, I drug my bike and myself off the trail and watched oodles of people go by. The racer in me hurt something fierce, but the brain kicked in, reminding, "you're not here to race today. You are here to learn to ride the bike." Then my dad's voice in my head, "slow down and be fast." So, I started talking to myself -- out loud.

So yeah, if you heard me being chatty, the technical term for such activity is called self-talk and is a well-researched learning and performance strategy. Children do it naturally and as we age we take the self-talk into our heads.

When I saw the rocks for the first time, not only was I shaken from the first spill, I was scared, so I knew positive self-talk ALOUD was maybe the only way to get myself through it.

"OK baby, you can do it. Just relax. Keep your weight back. Focus on where you want to go. Good. Good. You did it." The only thing missing was the type of hand clapping you might give a small child. Laugh if you want, but this will save you when you're scared and stuck with what seems an impossible task because it helps to initiate positive neural nets (the interconnected synaptic paths of your long-term memory) which leads to confidence (expectation/belief that you can do it), which improves the liklihood that you will have a successful outcome. I'm not making this up. I've spent a lot of time in grad school. ;)

Anyway, I finally caught up with Roxy, who does this sort of thing a lot and so I followed her close and tried to learn. When she got to this thing called "Perry's Revenge" or somesuch, she dismounted and ran her bike. If I coulda taken my hands of the bars, I would have bopped myself on the head. DUH! Use your 'cross skills! If it's too nasty looking, get the hell off the bike and use your ability to run and lift the thing. DOH! Sometimes it's so hard to see the obvious. So between that and Marc's suggestion to use the hills and the more open spots to make use of the power I've developed with the roadie training, I finally regained my spot and managed to eek out a win.

I should let you know however, that I had another endo that really slammed me hard and bruised the heck out of my left thigh, took out a dead tree, and had numerous bar slams into other trees, and multiple instances of not so positive talk during the race. The laps showed steady improvement tho and laps 6 and 7 were pretty clean.

I was told that Ouachita won't be as bad, although it will also have some 'rocky bits.' Do I believe this? Not really, but so long as it isn't too much worse, I'll be able to finish and I'll just ride what I can ride confidently as fast as my energy will allow, then slow down or even get off for the rest, and that will have to do. After all, you can't even place if you don't finish. And to finish, you really need to keep the tire side down. :)

Oh, and the Perry Lake Spring Road Race the subsequent day was nothing really to write home about other than I had to pull up towards the end of the second lap. We came around the corner and Catherine and the leading masters men put on a little power and I stepped to do the same and felt where I hit that left leg send an alarm. So, I backed way off, rubbed it a bit, then slowly cranked it up again to a level I thought I could sustain for the rest of the race and got a good workout. I know, some of you might say I should have just dug a little deeper and done it anyway, but I'm telling you I've spent a lot of time following a carefully crafted training program and I'm not wanting an injury to biff it up when the important races are yet to come.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spoke pony showdown women's 6 hour solo - won. 7 laps just shy of 56 miles of a lot of rock.
My friend barb backed into my car this morning. Knew i shoulda got a push bar on that thing.


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
The bad boy i'm ridin' tomorrow


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
From this..

Hit a deer. The vic sustained broken grill and it smells like burnt hair in here now. No other damage or delay.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

To those who skipped out on last nite's ride....

The wind and the cold might have kept some of you inside on the trainer last nite, but it didn't keep my mom in. She took her cross-check and rode into the wind on the loose gravel WITH one of those one-wheel tag-the-kid-along bikes AND a bajillion quart beer bottles. Yeah, my 5-year-old niece is into recycling and riding her bike right now, so when grandma and Anya are toodling around the Bennet area they have to stop and pick up bottles. :)

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Wednesday Worlds '07 kick off all one could hope for....

Windy, cold, and just a little brutal. Started with 9 and finished with 7. The cold wouldn't have been so bad, but most of us were suffering illusions of balmy spring weather thanks to Tuesday's temperatures. Consequently, the arm and knee warmers were fairly inadequate and I would have appreciated some shoe covers. Nonetheless, sometimes you just know it's going to miserable, but you know it won't last forever, so you just suck it up, put the hammer down and don't let the speedsters get a gap on ya. Kevin, Marc, Ian, Dave, Troy, John, Jeff, and Jim -- twas great to see you and maybe conditions will be a tad more pleasant next week. :)

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

1st '07 Wednesday Worlds

Daylight savings time triggers the start of the Wednesday Night Rides from 33rd and South, and like flock of multi-hued birds, racers and other masochistic types will again gather at 33rd and South for 'Wednesday Worlds' at 5pm. If you're new to the area bring a map because this is not a "no-drop" group ride. This is a kind of ride where you can get some real practice at hanging with folks faster than you plus pack dynamics, including getting blown out the back and riding home by yourself. Sounds like fun, huh? See you there. :)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Outing with the boys

Sunday, March 11, 2007

and so it begins ...

Did 6 hrs today on the mtb 3 of which were hours doing a local adventure race thing. It was a lot of fun. Mix of gravel roads and sloppy "trails." The quotes are necessary b/c it seemed these weren't standard trails but rather routes they decided to mark across the grass. My bike was muddy but the generous spacing on the karate monkey meant I didn't have to stop and clear the mud. Just rode right through it. The highlight for me was feeling all the time spent training over the winter payin' off and I think I'll be OK at Landahl next weekend.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

No thermal, no shoe covers

After an hour of intensity work at the Y spin session, it nice to get out on the road today and not have to layer up or ride back in the dark. Aaron, Marc, Kevin, Mark A. and Jay did the Adams/77 route. Jay peeled off early, but the rest of us did the loop and had some good chit chat, but Kevin and Mark ended up blazin' back to town once they had the tailwind. Oh, and Kevin, I have your wind vest. Musta fell outta your pocket. I'll try to remember it tomorrow.


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Adams break

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thank you, Mr. President! Daylight savings early!

Well, word on the grid is that Wed Worlds kicks off next week 'cuz Daylight Savings time starts this Sunday! Yipee! (Sorry dad, I know you hate it, but you'll have to take it up with the president.) For us in cube-ville, daylight savings means we have another hour before the sun goes down to get some city slicker recreation time in.

NSC Racing | Panama MTB Enduro

I'm thinking to support the local scene and get out and do this on Sunday. Maybe it'd help me get in the mtb mood for Landahl and the subsequent Ouachita Challenge.
NSC Racing | Panama MTB Enduro:

Time & Date:
Sunday, March 11
Check in/Gear Check begins at 1 p.m.
Race begins at 1:30 p.m.

Panama Trails, Panama, Nebraska"

Monday, March 05, 2007

Heartland Racing - Spoke Pony Showdown

Heartland Racing - Spoke Pony Showdown: "March 17, 2007: Spoke Pony Showdown 3/6 – Landahl Park Reserve, Independence, MO."
OK, I'm thinking of making this race my first of '07 in preparation for the Ouachita race on 4/2. Folks who oughta know say it'll be good prep for the technical aspects of the AK race and goodness knows I could use that.

So ... not having done something like a 6hr mtb race ... what'll it be like? I know there won't be a wheel pit, so do I pack a couple of tubes and gear? Do I need one of those water backpack things? Or do folks use bottles? How much food do I need to carry? Newbie needs help with her packing list and racing item inventory. :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.

Snow day!

Snow day!
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Perfect day for some cooking and filling the ol'spice tin