Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What's up next.....

I would have liked to have done the inaugural Chicago Crit, but having just driven home from Superweek the weekend before and needing to get moved, I opted out. Some of my teamies did it though and Carrie Cash ended up 5th, which was pretty darn cool given that Tibco showed up in force. Kristen Wentworth (Kenda Tire) did a nice write-up.

For me, Tour of KC, Gateway Cup and the Women's Criterium that's part of the Tour of Missouri on 9/8 will polish off the road season.  Still deciding on Downer's Grove because getting to Chicago is expensive in time and cash. Kind of doubtful right now, but we'll see how things play out.

'Cross is on the horizon. The latest Cyclocross Magazine has a fabulous feature on nothing but tires. What to choose? Tubulars, clinchers or tubeless sets and which tires to run on what set-up?  Whew. So much to consider.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No murders. Whew.

According to my source, in 1951 a bunch of college co-eds did some performance thing called the "Gates of Hell." Their party was crashed by 250 men. I think it must surely be a misprint. There's not room for that kind of mischief, but that's what's on the record.

Once I get situated, I'll check the historical register paperwork and figure out why it's listed.

Friday, July 25, 2008


This isn't what you want to hear from your friend when you tell them about your new house, especially when they're in the know about historical stuff.

See, my house does have a certificate giving it some kind of special historical status. I haven't made time to check up on that stuff yet, being too busy with carpet cleaners and painting to wade into it.

What might it be like to just have things be humdrum?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Superweek 2008

This is the podium pic. I'm 4th. Next to me is 2nd place, Samantha Schneider, 1st place Theresa Cliff-Ryan, and 3rd place Jenette Williams.
Picture from Triple Crankset

I know, I know, I said I'd post and then I didn't do a single thing. Moreover, I didn't even post upon my return. Can't explain it, other than I am somewhat reluctant to return to the keyboard life even though I am glad to be back home.

What I'll remember most.....

The Crashes
With the exception of the final race, there was at least one crash in every race. A couple were horrendous. Twice races were stopped for over twenty minutes while ambulances carried the wounded to area hospitals. One of these casualties was our very own Bri Kovak, who won her first NRC race the previous weekend. Bri is now "Brionic" with titanium plates holding her broken hip together.

The Teamwork
By the end of the week, we finally felt like we were reading each other and working together. You wouldn't think this would be that big of a deal, but our strongest riders have also spent most of their time previous to Team Rev riding essentially solo, so it's taking time to get a group rhythm and by the end of the week, it seemed like we were starting to get it together and it was fun. I enjoyed riding that race even more than Ripon where I got my win.

My Win
At the start of the season, one of my goals was to get a top-five finish during Superweek. Ripon gave me that opportunity and a crash perhaps gave me the win.

The .6 mile course was my kind of course. Short power climbs and fast corners. Although it only had four corners, each was at the base of a hill such that you came into it fast from a downhill and out of it into an incline, with the exception of the 2nd turn, which was downhill into and out of it to corner 3.

Kristen Wentworth made the initial move. I think she attacked on lap 5 or 6 of a 50 lap race. Nobody moved, including me. All I thought was, "Dang, there's a lot of race left and it's so hot." But, she stayed out there looking strong and still, no one made a move. A couple of laps later, still impressed with her show of strength, I jumped and bridged. An HP rider did so as well, so then we were three and even though there were so many laps yet to go, I thought that just maybe we'd get away with it, for in all the previous races, breaks had stuck. The climbs and the heat seemed to be dampening the enthusiasm of many riders and the nature of the course made it possible to get away fast, so we turned on the gas and eventually lapped the field, but none of us really wanted to get mixed back in. I mean, one of the benefits of being off the front tends to be a safe sprint finish.

However, with two laps to go, we were mere feet from the back of the pack and I was nervous. I couldn't figure out how we would sprint for our finish without running into and having to go through the pack. Consequently, I decided to do what the masters break had done and rejoin and move through the pack. I figured best case scenario - I get a leadout from my team and at worst, all three of us would come through and have an open road for the finish, which I felt was critical since the race was really to corner 4. Moreover, Kristin outsprinted me the night before for a prime and I had noticed the HP girl was pretty darn quick too, so I felt I needed to be the aggresser and choose the time and place.

A prime was called for the next lap and the pace stayed slow till we turned corner four. My teammate, Bri, gunned it, took the prime and flew down the hill and around the corner. Her actions triggered a surge in the pack through the finish line and as we came around corner 1, Bri was already half-way up the hill and slowing. Before the prime call, I had been thinking she would be the one to lead me out. Now, she was needing to recover and I needed to get gone, so the moment the pack surge ceased, I attacked up the hill instead of repositioning for a leadout.

My instinct said go, so I did. If I could make it to corner 3 with at least a bike's length gap, I thought maybe, just maybe, I could win. I jumped clear, but the pack quickly moved to follow. I popped gears as fast as I could and hit corner two tight and accelerating. Zing, I was through it with a clear wheel. Unfortunately, the clatter of carbon hitting and sliding across the pavement soon followed.

I glanced back across the gap and Bri screamed, "Gooooo, Syd!" And, I knew what she meant. It wasn't "Go!" like "Rah, rah!" It was "Go!" like "Get your @$$ down that road or I'm going to be kicking it for weeks."

I kept accelerating, focused on the next two corners and came across the line alone.

I think what happened was that the HP woman took a wider line on that corner, also still accelerating, but may have been on a part that was a little off-camber or something. I don't know, but she didn't make it through and her wreck tied up the pack including Kristen, which secured my win.

I was bummed there'd been a wreck and felt a bit bad about moving back into the pack after we'd decided not to, but I thought it would be both safer and strategically smarter. Was it the best decision? I don't know. Our team got the win, which is priority one, so I'm going to say yes despite the accident.

Bike races happen fast and you don't have time to ponder or discuss decisions. You make your best call in light of team priorities and execute it in seconds and at high speed. This is both the challenge and thrill.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nav man rocks

Nav man rocks
Originally uploaded by sydney_b.
Definitely one of the year's best buys. Radio shack. About 120 dollars

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nebraska Connections

Cascade Classic
Ian Gray and Jarred Berger, both formerly of Team Kaos and now riding for Team Legacy Energy Ciclismo finished 27th and 61st respectively in stage 2 of the Cascade Classic. This puts Gray in 37th for the general classification and Berger in 52nd. As a side note, friend and Team Successful Living rider, Brian Jensen, from Lawrence, KS., finished 8th in the stage and sits 21st in the GC.

In Europe...
Omaha's Aaron Pool will update you on his exploits on his blog, Wielersport.

Giro d'Italia Femminile
Amber Neben (Flexpoint), who ran cross-country for UNL, finished 10th in stage 4 and now sits 10th in the GC. Fellow americans, Kimberly Anderson (Columbia Women [ formerly High Road]) and Kori Seehafer (Menikini-Selle Italia), are 15th and 23rd.

Neben was also nominated to the USA Olympic squad and will join Kristin Armstrong and Christine Thorburn in the road race.

In other news....
Personally, I'm headed to the Omaha Cycling Weekend this Saturday and then on to the International Cycling Classic aka "Superweek" where the women's races begin late Monday (14th) afternoon, so updates will likely be a bit spotty and audio based. I'm feeling good and looking forward to a strong week of racing. That's all for now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Revolution shows up on Triple Crankset

Was browsing my news list and saw a Revolution reference on the Triple Crankset RSS feed. Lo and behold, twas a quick article about my team when they were rockin'in it at Grandview.

Monday, July 07, 2008

So... I'm looking forward to the Olympics

I know, I know, we're watching THE TOUR right now, but I have to tell you I'm looking forward to Bejing. Why? Four reasons so far:

+ Kristen Armstrong. In what other sport can someone like me get to ride in the same race as someone like her?  After watching her annihilate the rest of us at Nature Valley, I can't wait to see how she fares with the rest of the best.

+ Dora Torres. This 41-year-old swimmer and mom just set a record for the 100 meters during the trials and will go on to represent the U.S. Her complaint? Her middle-aged eyes couldn't quite see the board thing.  Hip hip hurrah for masters.  Speaking of which, if you missed it, 49-year-old Jeannie Longo will make her 7th trip to the Olympics representing France in the time trial and the road race. Of course, there are some who would say a masters athlete simply can't beat younger top athletes, at least not without a little something extra and illegal, but Dora has submitted to a high level of testing and when I can remember were I read or listened to the testing regime I'll post it. Of course, there's quite a bit of dispute over whether dopers can even be properly identified (NYTimes). Nonetheless, I'm gonna watch. I'm gonna cheer, and if she or Longo tests positive, I'm gonna be bummed.

+ Shawn Redhage. This Lincoln, Nebraska-raised East High graduate who I babysat a few times will be supporting Australia's bid for the basketball gold.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

cRash report....

Tch, tch. Team Rev captain, Carrie Cash, or maybe it ought to be Carrie Crash, went and did a little mountain biking this week. Guess she wanted to look good, uh, I mean tough, for our upcoming photo shoot. (more on that later)Anyhow, with Superweek coming up, she said she did the right thing and spared her legs by landing on her face. This ability to think clearly under pressure is why she's the boss.