Thursday, May 31, 2007


Hey June,
please email me.
Need to visit with you about something.
sydney dot e dot brown at gmail dot com

Bigger time...

These are going to be some fast hard crits. But, as Carrie Cash said..... time to "kick some tulsa tush."

(I think a spoonful of her attitude is gonna help me out more than a 6 pack of Gu)

stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Just in case you thought I fogot ... Tour de l'Aude

On the second to last stage, American and former University of Nebraska runner, Amber Neben sets the stage for a Flex Point tour victory and an overall 5th page finish in the GC.
Tour de l'Aude - Stage 8b (second to last): "'Amber Neben opened the course for us,' explained Team Flexpoint manager Jean-Paul Poppel. 'She knew a gap to hit, but after the descent she totally sacrificed herself for Susanne Ljungskog, when she heard that Arndt could no longer follow. She let the German riders Worrack and Haussler pass, waited a full minute for Ljungskog. A beautiful example of team tactics.'"


Got schooled in the Quad City Crits and I'm finally ready to stop being mad at myself and instead study the lessons and move on to apply them in the next go.
  1. Be patient. I don't have teammates and should let the teams battle it out a bit before I burn any matches.
  2. Attack from the back.
  3. NEVER broadcast an attack. DOH.
  4. Choose a small enough gear in which I can really spin to speed when the time comes to move up
  5. Always keep track of where the key players are in the field.
  6. NEVER lose sight of the key corner and what needs to be done there. (Rock Island 2nd to last corner)
  7. Slow down and be fast. Tis better to look down and ensure I have my pedal than to miss it in haste.
  8. Picking lines on corners before the race helps when things get dicey.
  9. Sprint, girl, sprint. Got some watts, get in the top 5 and put them out, dangit.
Am I gonna go back? Heck, yeah. Gonna go back and do them right next year.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Yep wreck on final lap. I saw it start but my friend amanda had no choice but 2 hit the mess. Several women in bandages afterwards.

Sissies need not apply

Sissies need not apply
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Amanda's face.
Looks like 8 fast wet corners. Think i'm gonna do 2 races today. First race easy to warm up & get used 2 the corners.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Was towards front were i was supposed 2 b. But got scared in the field sprint & ended up 18. 2 races 2morrow oughta help cure that

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Got 10th. Missed pedal @ start so lost 1st group. Scary descents in the rain. Looking 4ward 2 the next 1.

Men's 50 plus

Men's 50 plus
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.

The snake

The snake
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
From the top

It's raining. Will make for a very scary descent after the alley. Gulp. 2:15 is race time.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Men's cat 3 4 race went ok. Stayed towards the front and still have all the skin i started with. Didn't get mixed up in the sprint

Tour de l'Aude - Stage 6

Arndt maintains 18 sec lead for first and Neben slips from 7th to 8th in the GC. Read all about it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I've been getting a lot of advice.
Been trying to review it and keep it in mind
so when I see *that* spot or *that* corner,
I'll recognize it and remember what I'm supposed to do OR NOT do.
Put on a new chain and a 12/25 cogset. Eric from MWC has got it shifting smooth as silk. Sounds and feels a little different, but plan to get used to it tomorrow during the road race. Then I'll preride the course. I've reviewed the start list and think I know who to watch. Not sure what else I can do to prepare. Everyone says this is such a fun race, but I know what cyclists mean by means it was so hard their brains promptly erased the pain with completion giddiness -- that feeling you get from merely surviving something in one piece. I'll be txt'ing the news. Here's another racer's story. presents the 23rd Tour de l'Aude

Neben moves from 19th to 7th in the GC.
Arndt extends her advantage from 1 to 18 seconds.
---------------------------- presents the 23rd Tour de l'Aude: "The toughest stage of the 23rd Tour de l'Aude continued to sort the general classification contenders from the pretenders, as the peloton faced two brutal Hors Categorie climbs. As the peloton rolled back into Osseja some 110 kilometres after starting in the city, it was a lone rider that crossed the line, Fabiana Luperini (Menikini-Gysko), some 2.16 minutes ahead of second placed Claudia Hausler (Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung).

The day's action got underway at the first of the two major climbs, the 1836 metre high Col du Calvaire, where the first major attack took place. Russian Natalia Boyarskaya (Fenixs - HPB) and B�atrice Thomas (France) broke away as the peloton settled into a rhythm on the climb.

The duo stayed away for the massive ascent, forcing a higher pace to develop within the chasing bunch which inevitably led to a divide in the field similar to yesterday's stage. Riders in the pursuing bunch caught Boyarskaya and Thomas by the second climb, the 1866 metre Col de la Llose, a much more dramatic climb than the previous."


Midweek intensity.
Finally crack a 1000.
Only by a single watt.
But it's a start.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tour de l'Aude - Stage 4 presents the 23rd Tour de l'Aude: "It ended in identical fashion to stages one and three, with a sprint, yet the 107 kilometre Stage 4 was the most action-packed day to date of the 23rd Tour de l'Aude. Despite the day of drama, as the lead bunch rolled back in to Castelnaudary, it was 20 year-old world champion Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) who was the first rider across the line.

The youngster was hard to miss in the green points jersey, as she rolled through metres ahead of second placed Judith Arndt (T-Mobile), who continues to hold the general classification lead. The Netherlands' Vos looked surprisingly refreshed as she rolled home, proudly holding three fingers skywards to signify her third stage win in the event."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stage 3 - Tour de l'Aude

Superstar youngster Vos wins her 2nd stage,
veteran Judith Arndt retains the leader's jersey,
while former husker Amber Neben slips to 24th. But, Neben, known as a "classy climber" may just charge back up the standings when the really hard ascents begin.
------------------------------- presents the 23rd Tour de l'Aude: "The women's cycling phenomenon that is Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) added another page to her amazing career story today, taking her second stage victory in the 23rd Tour de l'Aude. Despite being the 20 year-old's first attempt at what's dubbed the toughest race on the women's calendar, Vos has shown her incredible talent in full effect over the opening stages of the tour."

Dont' stereotype yourself

PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling: " Too often in cycling, riders are constantly convincing themselves they are not a certain type of rider. Conversely, riders will often desire to excel in a specialty they may not be suited for. Let's look at some of the myths and truths associated with stereotyping bike racers and see how it applies to you and your program."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The US Air Guitar Championships

Cross training for the off-season???

The US Air Guitar Championships

Dark Roasted Blend: Link Latte 9

Just gotta say "Dark Roasted Blend" is most truly a great source of imagery and whatnot. Worth a view. Scroll down for a link to a photographic view of Hong Kong's density.

Dark Roasted Blend: Link Latte 9: "All Sorts of Weird and Wonderful Things, Updated Daily"

Too nice to be cooped up in the trees

Slept all the way to 6:30 this morning.
Opted for road miles into wind and wide open spaces
instead of the twisty, rooty trails of Swanson.

Turned out to be a good choice. My legs were tired from yesterday's time trial and ridin' horses that evening. Wouldn't have had the necessary focus.

Speaking of the time trial, it was too bad more folks didn't show up. Norfolk always puts on a good event - great course and well run. I ended up first, but it was uncontested. However, time-wise, I wasn't too disappointed as I ended up 11th out of everyone that participated. Shoulda pushed it harder up some of those hills.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
U gotta b joking.

1:03:17 for 25 mile tt. Pretty ok with this time given the terrain and wind

Dennis's ride

Dennis's ride
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Is this legal?

Corn ape

Corn ape
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Rising city


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Forecast: 30 mph winds. Fun.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.

Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Feminin presents the 23rd Tour de l'Aude: "Neben tries for record three Tour l'Aude wins"

American Amber Neben returns to the Tour l'Aude to shoot for a record three consecutive wins. After squeaking out the win in the 2005 edition by just one second over German Trixi Worrack, Neben held on to win the 2006 Tour l'Aude by only 14 seconds over her team-mate, multiple World Champion Susanne Ljungskog. Neben credited both of her wins to a strong team effort, and she returns with several of the same women who helped her to victory in the past two editions, including Ljungskog and Dutch woman Mirjam Melchers."

Not for the squeamish

Mogan "Miss Staple Head" Chaffin grinning after getting fixed up after her post road race crash in Arkansas. Unfortunately, this bid for attention (just joking) has put her out of the Nebraska State Time Trial Championship this weekend. See, Morgan actually likes time trials and is good at them. I sure hope she gets better soon and is back to racing asap.

Oh, and you should have seen her helmet. It's all cracked up, but her cool shades survived.

Early Bird Ride

Nothing quite as fun as
getting a flat in the dark
on the way to a ride and having to change it
with cold skinned up hands. I confess I had some malice in my heart for beer bottle tossers. But, after texting my predicament to a fellow Early Bird, I got it changed and was back on my way. Upon seeing Janna, Jen and Nicole waiting for me at the iHop, I cheered back up. Better yet, shortly after we headed out, who should we see but my mom and dad coming down the road at a good clip. They turned around and rode with us back out to the Bennet corner. Gonna have to watch those two, every time I ride with them I notice they're going further and getting faster. :)

If you don't think a 5:45 am ride is for you, consider giving it a try. You might like it and the company is great!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Did u know Amber Neben was a Husker?

Amber Neben - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"She attended the University of Nebraska
on a track and cross-country scholarship,
but developed stress fractures from running. Forced to curtail her running activities, she became an undergraduate assistant coach with the distance running program. Only subsequently, after graduating from college, did she take up the sport of cycling."

Oh.... and who is Amber Neben you say? She's a rider for Team Flexpoint and is currently ranked 13th in the world UCI standings, which makes her the highest ranked women's rider from the USA.

Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Feminin kicks off tomorrow

//// Team | Official Website ////:
The Tour de l’Aude Cycliste Feminin is arguably the most
prestigious women’s tour in the world. It is definitely one of the longest and most unpredictable; originally four days long, this year the Tour will run for ten days and will include a team time trial, a double day and six 100km days! The hilly countryside of the beautiful l’Aude region of south central France will provide some fast technical riding. The fluctuating temperatures and altitudes in the area mean the riders have to be prepared for extremes, from hot sunny days, to wind, rain and below freezing temperatures.

In 2007 Team will be the only team present representing North America!"
Tour website
Wikipedia Info

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

crossing the lines

For what it's worth, I wanted to do well at Joe Martin, so my coach set up my workouts so the lines would cross again. I know a lot of folks don't follow such a tight regime, but doing so gives me the sense that I'm controlling the factors I can which ought to help me hit my goals with greater accuracy. Seems to be working so far.

Racing strategy

PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling: " Last month’s article featured tips on what NOT to do in a race. I wrote about creating awareness within yourself at all times so that you never make a move without a clear purpose or do a lick of work that isn’t going to take you towards your ultimate goal. This month we’ll have a little more fun and talk about what you CAN do to stir things up while always keeping the team’s goal as your number one priority."

How I got the scrape

Nicole asked how the scrape
came to be.... well.... here's the story.

I wanted to win at Joe Martin, but knew the uphill time trial and the extra short crit wouldn't play to my strengths, so I had to make the most of the road race, which was also shorter than I'd hoped.

I consider my greatest strength right now to be an ability to wind it up and hammer for a long time. Thus, I had to get away as soon as possible in the RR and build as big a time cushion as I could because I knew there would be at least 1-4 other women who wanted a win as bad as me.

The biggest uphill was right at the start of the race pretty much and that was the first pack split and I think about 8 of us came off the front. After some discussion about was there a split and how many were there me, Anne, and AnnaJean stayed at the front of the group and started pulling. Pretty soon, it was just us three, and we hammered. This gave me a chance to observe how strong my companions were and how well both, esp. AnnaJean, climbed. I didn't think I could get away from them on an uphill jump and wasn't pulling away on the flats. Thus, when a long fast decent with a sharp corner presented itself and some apprehension was expressed along with recommendations for considerable slowing, I perceived an opportunity.

Maybe, just maybe, if I descend fast enough and sweep the corner I can get out of the line of sight, hammer like hell, and get away. Speed doesn't bother me and everything seemed a-ok speed and distance wise. The gap was opening as planned and I was perfectly comfortable UNTIL I began to feather my brakes.

You see, our race start was 10 miles from the finish. Thus, we'd taken a shuttle to get there and just before I got on the shuttle, my rear tire popped and I'd had to quickly change a flat. Then, after I got off the shuttle, POW! another flat. I borrowed a tube from my good friend Jen and quickly changed the tire again. This time I asked her to double-check my tire and rim in case I'd missed something. Totally smooth, but I was really twitchy about that rear wheel.

Five minutes before the race started, I got off my bike and inspected the rear tire again and found the problem. There was a crack in the tire and a tiny bubble of tube was beginning to show. Crap. I quickly ran to the wheel truck and grabbed my carbon rear wheel, swapped 'em out, and hoped for the best.

Now, you have to keep in mind that I'd only used the carbon wheels once so far and that was a time trial in 40 mph wind, so there weren't high speeds involved and little cause for brake usage. So, when I began to feather the brakes on my breakaway descent, the rubber pads weren't smooth. Instead, they grabbed at the carbon surface and there was a small skid. Yikes! I released my grip and tried to feather again. The bike shuddered and the corner was coming up way too fast and I noticed that if I missed the turn lotsa rock was my fate. I applied pressure as gently as I could but pretty soon I locked it down. The back end started fishtailing like crazy and I so nearly kept it upright, but just at the last I went down on the right side then slid on my behind to a stop while the other two women went round the corner and began to disappear down the road.

I jumped up and snatched up the bike, gave it a quick check to see if the bars were lined up, jumped on and chased up to the other women. My leg and arm burned and I was missing chunks of skin off the knuckles closest to my nails on the left hand, but there wasn't much blood and after AnnaJean sort of gave me a "told you so" we took off again. Anna Jean was probably right, but I remain convinced I would have made that turn just fine if I'd had my other wheels. Consequently, I'm going to spend some extra time on these carbon sew-ups so I feel as comfortable with their behavior as I do my clinchers.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend summary: Joe Martin Stage Race


She's doing fine but awfully sore. She hopes to be back on her bike
in a couple of weeks.

My results: Ended up 3rd in the GC. The 3rd place finish in the crit was a disappointment to me, but the gal I needed to beat was an excellent climber and that combined with a lack of smart racing on my part, the steep uphill finish, and a slipped gear 10 ft from the line put me in 3rd. More work on my time trial focus will also help. The 1st and 2nd place finishers did EXCELLENT uphill TTs. Mine wasn't bad, but this is where I lost time on them both. If you'd like to look at the results, please visit the Joe Martin Stage Race results page. Look under women 3/4. Something to note, however, is that all three of us had TT times that fell into the top 21 of the pro/1/2 women. The caveat is that those women had had long road races on Friday and Saturday (60+ miles) and we only did 34 miles on Saturday, so our legs were fresher.

Strangest moment: I was star struck for the first time in my life and rendered speechless upon observing the pro women lined by teams for the TT. They all looked so strong, lean, and powerful that I was both awed and inspired.

Coolest thing: Watching all the women around a big race like this. To see so many of all ages, shapes, and sizes around with their shoulders back, chins up, and a swing in their step was wonderful. They exuded confidence, independence, and strength.

Upgrade to cat 2: Mission accomplished.

Big thanks to Paul Forsythe, Manager Team Kenda Tire, for the pics.
Time Trial start
AnnaJean beating me across the crit finish line

Me leading when I should have been letting someone else work. To get 2nd instead of 3rd, I only had to beat one person and I didn't race smart enough to do that. Race and learn. Race and learn.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Morgan conscious and coherent. Awaiting head and shoulder scans
Morgan crashed. Hurt her head. Currently at washington regional. I was 2nd in the final sprint

Friday, May 11, 2007

Off to Joe Martin...

We're outta here this afternoon.
Legs are feelin' good.

Sat 10:35a Road Race
Sat after 2p 2.5 uphill Time Trial
Sun 8:05a Criterium

As of this morning, there are 21 women registered for the 3/4 race, which means the field qualifies as an upgrade race, but the distance doesn't (34 vs. the required 40). I don't know how they handle that. I think the regional director for one's area has some discretion though. I hope that 's the way it works out. It would sure suck if all these women come from all over looking for a race with enough registrants only to find that the race organizers were too time conscious to give the extra 6 miles on the RR for qualification.

Thursday, May 10, 2007 - Midwest Cycling Racing News - Interview: Catherine Walberg, Mesa Cycles

Iowa's Cycling Update has a nice interview with Catherine Walberg. They also did one with Steve Tilford, but I don't have the link to that right offhand.
------------------- - Midwest Cycling Racing News - Interview: Catherine Walberg, Mesa Cycles: "Catherine Walberg has created her own legend in midwest bicycle racing. If you see her roll up to the starting line, you can be guaranteed a fun race to watch. This compact powerhouse has the strength to animate and win the big races, including the a 2006 National Cyclocross Masters title."

Early birds

This morning I heard an awful sound.
Couldn't figure out what it was. Well, for a moment, that is.
Turns out it was my alarm. Usually don't use one of these, but got to bed
a little late and didn't want to miss the first "Early Bird" ride.

Met Janna, Jen, and Kim at the iHop for a lovely ride out to the Bennet corner. Hwy 2 isn't my favorite, but it's worth it just to see the sunrise. I did this a lot last year and it was about 3x as much fun sharing it with friends.

Jen is only on her 2nd or 3rd time out on her new road bike and she got a flat. Janna taught her how to change it and pretty soon the four of us were cruising down the road again. 'Twas funny tho, it's so rare to see a group of roadie women that a couple of guys who habitually do this route appeared to do a double take. They caught up and passed us after the flat though.

Great way to start the day. 5:45am at the iHop. Lemme know if I should watch for you next Thursday. :)


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Jen learns to change her tire


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tunes at work

So, I like listening to "The 1920s Radio Network" at work when I get bored with my iTunes library. Who else has some internet radio favs?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Outdoor office

Outdoor office
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
I love wireless


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Janna @ work. Well, today Janna is video taping a cichlid eating its prey, then showing the video to little prey fish and measuring the ensuing anxiety attack.

See what interesting jobs cyclists have?

Not to harp... but ...

The importance of nutrition cannot be overstated
and part of good nutrition is understanding
how your body works. Pez has several good articles and the one below is a good primer.
PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling: "Every cyclist loves to eat, and half of the fun of cycling is in having a built-in excuse to eat in large quantities. What we put into our bodies before and during our rides, however, can have a direct impact on our performance and exercise capacity. The topic of sports nutrition is immense, but we’ll start with a primer on fuel utilization during exercise and the importance of carbohydrates."

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lumberjack 100 a go

I think this is gonna be fun.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ethan and Nick off to have some fun

Originally uploaded by sydney_b.

My son Nick and his good buddy Ethan stopped by to get my big black car for prom. Both were a little less than thrilled to be paying for expensive dinners tonight and thought the girls might be using them 'just for show,' but I think they'll end up having a good time.

Rain rain rain

I guess it's a perfect day to
clean house, put up all the ebay items
and watch the Tour de Romandie on

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

O crystal screen .... let my lines be crossed ...

Ok. So some time ago I mentioned I was working with a coach, training with power, and on a periodization program. For what it's worth, I'd like to say it's working very nicely. If you look at the image, you'll notice all three of those lines crossing there about the same day as the Old Capitol Crit. I think the actual crossing was Monday, my day off, but it was close enough to say, that according to the data, I peaked at exactly the targeted time. I'm not sure what the acronyms all stand for, but basically I think you're looking at the quantitative representation of my fitness, fatigue, and performance. The best thing about training with power is that it gives your coach such accurate data: watts produced, heart rate, cadence, etc. -- pretty much all the details of your training and races, which let's the coach make more precise edits to your program. If you want to know more, you should talk to Marc or spend days surfing and reading. :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007