Tuesday, July 31, 2007

PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling

PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling: "The mentally fit cyclist is highly skilled in responding to suffering, and thus has a distinct advantage over many competitors."
When the fitness and skill levels equal out, who can suffer most is the likely winner.

Future racer?

Don't know if my favorite little niece will ever want to race, but she does say that riding without training wheels is more fun and exciting. I barely have to hold on to her bike as she goes, but she doesn't believe me yet. I think she'll be on her own by Friday and we can welcome another cyclist to the club.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dave Babcook Memorial Stage Race

Won the road race, second in the TT, skipped Sunday's crit. The women went with the cat 4 men and thinking to get into a break as well as stay out of any mayhem, I kept myself to the front 10 riders of the pack. But, because of my knack for being where the action is, a surge or pseudo attack came up the left and a guy on the far right decided he needed to be on the left. Consequently, several men were wiped out. I was able to bring my bike to a near stop, but not quite. When my front wheel went up on a downed bike, I tipped over, getting a small boo boo on my knee and bruises on my hands. I also did something to my right wrist. It's still swollen today.

My front tire was rubbing the brakes and I couldn't tell which was out of whack, so I went to wheel vehicle for a switch. They took out all the wheels, but mine turned out to have been put in the wrong car. So, I adjusted my front break so nothing was rubbing and took off after the pack. Thus began my first time trial of the day.

The funny thing was that the wreck happened on the second lap I think, and during the first lap, a guy in the pack had congratulated me on my upcoming win. I had said it was premature, but laughed, because my whole plan was to ensure a big cushion with the road race, because I didn't have a full suite of TT equipment and it wasn't my current strength, and there I was .. waaaaay off the back when my plan had been to get waaay off the front. The best laid plans .....

Anyway, I settled into a groove and each time I'd come up on someone, I hoped they'd fallen off my group and wanted to get back on and were willing to put themselves out for some strong pulls. Some folks really tried (Thanks Janna!) and finally I caught up with Don Rasky who had also been in the crash and he had I made a lot of progress, especially when we scooped up a Powerade fellow. We never did catch the whole pack, but I was able to regain my spot as the women's leader and had a 5+ min. lead going into the time trial. Morgan Chaffin put a 48 second dent in that with her TT'ing abilities. Don't know how that girl does that, but she's inspiring me to improve in that area. One of these days.... :D

The next morning, I woke up, walked out on the deck, saw the rain and felt the pain in my wrist and tailbone (still from last Sunday) and just didn't feel like driving an hour to Omaha to race. I was tired. Sore and mostly just wanted to lay around and read the Harry Potter book. So that's what I did. All day. Laid on the sofa, ate pizza, read, took a nap, and watched a couple episodes of Heroes. See, I have a problem with fiction. I can't stretch it out and relish it. I binge on it. The good news is I'm done with the book and after having spent an entire day doing nothing but laying around in the air conditioned dimness stuffing my face and resting, I actually feel pretty darn fresh today and happy to be on my bike, although my wrist still hurts and I can't lift my leg over my bike or bend down to buckle my shoes w/o at least 3 ibuprofen running through my system. sigh.

Well, that's the babcook report. Now, I want to find out how Danielle and Skip did at 9-mile, and how things panned out for Chris and Amanda at Superweek.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Those crazy cyclists...

Wright brothers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Capitalizing on the national bicycle craze, they opened a repair and sales shop in 1892 (the Wright Cycle Exchange, later the Wright Cycle Company) and began manufacturing their own brand in 1896"

Superweek doesn't end till the month does

International Cycling Classic: 2007 Standings: "Overall - Cat 3/4 Women"
I'm watching the results for these two women: Amanda Miller, Atlas Core Cycling and Chris Roettger, Team Revolution.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What driving does to us....

If this doesn't get you riding your bike to work, I don't know what will...

From Crackle: Traffic Signals

What's Inside: Red Bull

What's Inside: Red Bull
Meat Sugar, Caffeine, and Bile!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Alexian Brothers International Cycling Classic Tour of Elk Grove - Elk Grove, IL

Alexian Brothers International Cycling Classic Tour of Elk Grove - Elk Grove, IL: "COMPLETE RACING SCHEDULE"

Holy moly. Wanna race with the wolves (as opposed to the "big dogs" or the "pups on the porch")? Check out the $ to be won here.... Big paybacks for cat 3/4 women and masters men too! Download the PDF for the full scoop.


Riding on a team is harder, not easier.
It's a hard thing to see your teammate ride off in the breakaway you wanted for yourself. You're so happy to have someone "up the road," but you've now drawn the difficult task of preventing successful chase efforts and will likely be stuck with the finishing field sprint. And, if sprinting isn't your strongest suit, well, you're probably looking at a lower placed finish than you woke up aiming for, but you give everything you've got to do the best you can b/c your buddy is counting on you and you on them.

For example, when I got in that break, I knew Katie wanted it as bad as I did, but I also knew that no matter how bummed she was, she would switch her efforts to pack control regardless of the sacrifices. Consequently, even tho a couple of times I thought I was going to fall off the break, I dug a little deeper and stayed with it. There was no way, short of an actual collapse, that I wanted my teammates to have their efforts and sacrifices be in vain.

Another great example ... look at the results and notice Samantha Schneider's high placings. If you just listened to the guy on the mic, you'd think she'd done it on her own, but if you watched the race with some care, you'd know she mostly stayed in the pack conserving her energy until the last. On the final lap she would find her teammate's wheel (Catherine Walberg) and Catherine would start cranking it out, keeping Sam at the front yet still protected. Then at the very last, Catherine would peel off and Sam would just kick it for a beautiful finishing sprint. It was such perfect team effort, yet the glory is given to the one who crosses the line first. When you're on a team, you need to be prepared for this and take your joy in how the team does and the satisfaction you get from doing your job well.

For XPLANE, we're new to each other, so this week was an opportunity to get to know each other, develop trust, learn jobs (esp. me) and practice things like leadouts, keeping track of each other, getting our sprinter where she wanted to be on sprint laps, etc. So, riding with a team brings many benefits, but also brings a whole new level of pressure and opportunities for personal growth. ;)

I'm OK with field sprints
I took the field sprint advice I was given before Superweek and focused on putting it into practice nearly every race. Consequently, I'm feeling much better about 'em and can now focus on adding more speed. The most important part is learning how to stay on the front, and then not get distracted by the swarm of bikes and bodies at the last. This is tricky and the day after day racing at superweek is what I needed to get over my hangups.

Ready to go again
I just can't wait for some more opportunities to put what I learned into practice. Looks like that'll be in August with the Tour of KC and the Gateway Cup.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The XPLANE / Team Revolution Kit

Thought you all might like to see the duds I enjoyed sportin' for Superweek and look forward to doing proud at the Gateway Cup in St. Louis the end of August. The colors are fantastic and make it so easy to keep track of where my teammates are. Unfortunately at times, I think it helps our adversaries too. Oh well! I'm not one for hiding in the pack anyway. ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Evansten gonna b a good course. Lots of folks out to watch.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Riders wait for the wreck to be cleared and start again

2nd race stopping wreck in the pro one twos. Into the barricades


Alltel has no control over, and is not responsible for, the content or use of this picture or the accompanying personal message.
12th in field sprint. Got katie off the front for a 2nd. Pretty cool

Nice bike

Bamboo frame at karl zach crit


Alltel has no control over, and is not responsible for, the content or use of this picture or the accompanying personal message.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Finished with the field today. Ended up 13th in the series. Pretty happy with that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

For race account pls go to http://stlrevolution.blogspot.com
Got in breakaway of 4. Cheerwine was represented and worked. We got away. Ended up 4th.

racing updates #13

Gabcast! racing updates #13

Monday, July 16, 2007

10th! And in a field sprint to boot. :) katie got 6th and june got 14th. A good day for xplane.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
3 road races up next. Back to flat n fast crits thursday

Finished w/ field.Covered breaks led sprinter 2 front Corners smooth & fast Moving thru field well. 90 min feel fine

racing updates #10

Gabcast! racing updates #10

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Don't feel like talking about bikes

Leaving for superweek tomorrow and I'm just not feeling like talking about it. Gotta focus. So, I've again linked to one of my favorite blogs -- Dark Roasted Blend -- in hopes you'll find it eating up some of your day as well.

Dark Roasted Blend: Best of Office Comedy: "Something's not quite right in the office...

Here I am, trying to run this blog part-time in addition to having the full-time 9 to 5 job elsewhere, - this kind of a lifestyle calls for a healthy sense of humor. You gotta keep your hamsters happy, as they tirelessly run the race... So here goes 'the best of office comedy' on the web."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

That was fun..

Went and led a little cycling thing for kids tonight.
Had a blast. They (the kids) want me to come back tomorrow.
So, I think I will. In fact, I've got some ideas to make it all even more fun.

Cones, chalk, street sprints and a parking lot single speed crit... yeah.. they're gonna dig this.

There's this one girl, she's 6 pushing 7 hard, and she is awesome. She recently learned to ride her bike and races everyone - occasionally putting her foot on her handlebars for extra panache. And she's super strong. Can pick up her big sister and helped the boys turn their bmx's over for service. Ha! Girl power. :D

Yahoo! Sport's TdF coverage

I like reading the play-by-play here:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic: History

SUPERWEEK LOOMS................ Thought those of you who don't know much about it might like a little history. Altho I've got butterflies already, I'm excited about being part of such an event and racing with such a challenging field.

Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic: History: "
The Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic began as a single race at Milwaukee's Summerfest in 1969 and quickly expanded into a successful week-long racing series in the Milwaukee metropolitan area under the name Superweek."

Killer On The Course - mountainbike.com

Killer On The Course - mountainbike.com: "Coming back after a brutal crash may have been Monique 'Pua' Sawicki's hardest challenge ever."

racing updates #8 - Monday madness

Gabcast! racing updates #8 - Monday madness

Friday, July 06, 2007

Google Earth and Smoots

One of the things I like about my job....

I get to play with software and one of my current assignments involves Google Earth, overlays, and logistics. In the course of researching this project, I learned about "smoots." As it happens, I am 1 smoot tall.

Smoot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "One smoot is equal to his height (five feet and seven inches -- 1.70 m), and the bridge's length was measured to be '364.4 smoots plus one ear'. Smoot repeatedly lay down on the bridge, let his companions mark his new position in chalk or paint, and then got up again."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mini water garden

Mini water garden
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Water hyacinth in bloom

Thurs, the new monday....

Not really, but a vacation day in the middle of the week does make one wish it was the weekend, no? So, all I have today is a little entertainment.

An entirely different world view.....
Mauritania seeks to reverse 'fat is beautiful' ethos - International Herald Tribune: "Mauritania may be unique in the lengths it has gone to achieve its vision of female beauty. For decades, the Mauritanian version of a Western teenager's crash diet was a crash feeding program, designed to create girls obese enough to display family wealth and epitomize the Mauritanian ideal."

Push me, will ya?!!!
When I raced in Tulsa a woman shoved me in the hip and then attacked. No, I'm not making this up, Carrie called me later to confirm what she thought she saw. Here's the kind of bystander I needed .... watch the vid.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Congrats to Fred for representin' big time!

Lincoln Plating/Lemond Team Blog: Galata Gittin' R Dun: "Fred Galata of Omaha Velo Club had an exceptionally successful week at the National Senior Olympic Games in Louisville, Kentucky, last week, winning all four cycling events in the 55-59 age group. Fred's versatility was evident in his two road wins, the first coming from a solo attack off from a pack of 6 riders, which broke off from the 60 member peloton in the 40k circuit race, for a 35 second win. He then won by half a wheel-length in an uphill field sprint in the shorter second circuit race.

Fred's time in the 5k time trial was a new Senior games record. He narrowly avoided a mishap, saying that, 'I ended up taking the turn-around a little too hot. My tubulars started to slide out from under me, and when compensating to stay upright my left foot popped out of my pedal. I lost valuable time and momentum., but finished with a 7:11 and a 26.5 MPH average. I was surprised to find out that I had won, and by just 2 seconds over 2nd."

No firecracker 50 for me :(

I would have loved
to have gone to the Firecracker 50
in Breckenridge this year, but it is not to be.

If I went, I'd want to be at my best since it is the national NORBA endurance championship, and there's no way to do that w/o going up a little early and getting somewhat accustomed to the altitude. We'll see about next year. Besides, by then, I aim to be A LOT handier on a mountain bike. ;)

So instead, the now NRC International Cycling Classic aka Superweek, is my focus. Right now we're trying to find a place where the revolution chix and myself can stay all together to give us a chance to get to know each other.

SDA.... please pop me an email [sydney dot e dot brown at gmail dot com]. I think you said you have family in the Chicago/Milwaukee area?

Jeeze. 'Tween ebay & paypal, no $

Is anyone besides me a little surprised
at how big of a bite paypal and ebay
are taking out of sales?

Last time I sold something, I was kinda inclined to not do it again and instead do the craigslist approach even though traffic locally isn't as high as would be nice. Therefore, I've added the craigslist links for omaha and lincoln up in the upper right corner. I put some tires up there today. Lemme know if you're interested.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Like Pandora and other 'net radio? ... better get on it

Savenetradio.org: "Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date. Internet radio needs your help!"

MTB weekend action - fear is the mind killer

I did a little MTB racing on Sunday. Well, 'racing' would be the wrong word for it because this particular course is an internal challenge. Frankly, Swanson scares me. It's twisty, filled with roots and fast, steep little whoop-de-doo things that make a 29er want to take flight, and most of all because last time I rode it a spent the afternoon in the hospital with Marc. I needed stitches from my wreck and he had xrays done which confirmed he'd shattered his clavicle the on the pre-ride the day before. Of course, the cause of the accidents was way too much roadie speed and way to little MTBer skills.

Nonetheless, it's one thing to know the cause and solution in your head, and quite another to let the fear go and apply what you know, especially now that I'm keenly aware of the pain quotient my rate of travel + any given solid object can yield.

So, Sunday I had three main objectives: 1) Safety for Superweek, 2) see if I liked my newly raised bars, and 3) go ride that freaking course despite the sick little feeling in my gut that makes me cling to my brakes, stiffen my upper body, and desperately long for the open road.

As far as meeting the objectives... well, I'm nursing no superweek threatening injuries, I'm still out on the bars and #3 will take some work.

I should have gone and rode the course a couple of times by myself in the morning, but didn't make it up there in time. I rode part of the course once before I raced and discovered on the start line that they'd opened a section closed to the beginners that I especially don't care for. Oh well. Relax, pick the line, keep your eyes on where you want to go.

WHACK. OUCH. Drag the bike out of the way wondering why can't I feel my knee. Oh my whole leg feels charley-horsed. After a bunch of guys passed, most asking if I was alright (thank you! for checking), I drug my bike to the top of the rise and Shim said, "Is that front tire a little soft?" I squeeze it and sure enough, it's so soft it's not even funny. Wonder I made it that far. So, I filled it back up and after rubbing my leg a bit continued on the course. Problem was that I'd lost faith in my front tire which made me more fearful and magnified my caution which in turn made me stiffer and less "into the groove" than I already was and I really kind of wanted to quit. But, one thing I do know, is that once you start letting fear creep in, it'll spread until its paralyzing effect cripples most everything you do.

So, when I forgot the right turn down a steep incline and froze up, I just quick stopped, got out of the way of other racers, retraced my ride to 20 feet, got back on and rode it correctly. I did this multiple times through the course and was consequently the LAST one in. Oh well. There's nothing wrong with being scared, inexperienced, etc. It's what you do in response that matters and defines you.

As far as that tire goes... well, it turned out to be a slowish leak from a small hole in the sidewall that I'd thought the sealant had filled, but maybe the sealant got knocked out? I'm not entirely sold on this tubeless technology. Flat or not flat. That's easy. This is it gonna hold stuff is hard on my peace of mind.