Pedaling with a Purpose
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
ABD has a rich history of supporting women, and I'm proud to be part of it. There's possibility of a few more, but so far here's our team:
Looking forward to another great year of racing!
Cost for this is a $5 drop in fee
FREE for 46 session pass holders.
Yoga/CORE class following at 6:30
Sunday, October 24, 2010
New and exciting for this year we are adding a Sunday Endurance With Molly ride from 9:00-11:00am, for a total of 3 classes per week. Paying for the sessions is still done in the same punch card format. You can attend any of the sessions you like until you run out of punches.
Workouts start Saturday, December 4 and we'll meet every Saturday and Wednesday until March 27. No PWP on Christmas or New Years which fall on Saturdays.
Sunday workouts begin on Sunday, December 12 and meet every Sunday until March 20**
**Sundays start a week late and end a week early
Saturday 8-10:30am 2 hours on the bike, 30 min of core work and stretching afterward
Wednesday 7-8:30pm an hour and a half on the bike
Sunday 9-11am 2 hour endurance ride with Molly
Check out the brochure for all the details. Email Kristen for registration information.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Click here for a printable version of the brochure
Monday, September 13, 2010
It's been a great season and although I was hoping to hang on for a few more events this year I've decided that I'm done. As I enter the off season I am ready to relax, reflect about this year, and plan for next year.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Kim Gialdini (Flatlandia) and I drove down to St. Louis for the 19th annual Labor Day weekend Gateway Cup, four days of racing all over St. Louis. We were so lucky to stay with an amazing hostess, Marsha, and her cat Ivy. We were treated well and had a great time. This weekend was the end of my road season, and I'm so glad I went.
Gateway Cup Friday "The Tour de Lafayette"
Kim and I roll up to the course fresh off a five hour drive to St. Louis. It's breezy and warm, but NOT HUMID, which is great. Our race, scheduled to go off 15 seconds after the cat 4/5 men's race, is the first wave of races all weekend, so we have the very nice opportunity to warm up on course every day. I take advantage of this, trying to ease the car ride out of my legs and assuage my nerves. The course is a wide open square with a significant amount of headwind on the backside which is also ever so slightly uphill. I do my warm-up, feel ok and roll around to the start finish. It's a bit nerve wracking to be in a group of 30 and only recognize four or five. The men start, we start. I stay fourth wheel for the first lap, then decide to attack and see who bites. everyone. rotate through two riders. I attack again, get a little gap, the field is brought to me. wait wait, around and around, Prime lap. I jump before corner four and carry it through to win the $25. I keep going, but get caught. I slow down. I decide for the rest of the race I will just try to keep the pace high when I'm in front, and see who in this group will do any work and who I can maybe work with later in the weekend. In the final lap, the woman who shows herself to be the strongest sprinter, and who wins the overall for the 3/4 women, jumps out of corner two and in an amazing show of power, sprints through the course to win the race. I am impressed. I do not consider myself to be a sprinter, and I am aware it's something I need to really work on. I know that I will have to try harder to break up the field if I want to beat her and the other top sprinters tomorrow. I come in tenth. I feel good, and my legs feel good.
Gateway Cup Saturday "St. Louis Hills"
Kim and I get to the "Tour Des Hills" race to warm up on course. This time, it's a longer rectangle with an incline for about a block right after the start finish. It's not a hill, but it's an incline. The top of the rectangle is flat, then the backside is downhill-ish, and into turn three, another slight incline, then downhill-ish in a headwind to corner four and the straight to the start/finish. I want to attack today and try to break up the field. I feel like it's my best shot to place well. I warmed up well, and the weather is absolutely perfect. It's about 75 and breezy. The men 4/5 go, we go. I am immediately in front. I lead the first lap, up the incline, I push the pace, then someone else pulls through. We go through turn 2, down the longer backside and turn three. I attack and pull through the start finish, on girl is with me but it's obvious the pack is coming. I slow a bit and let her pull me up the last part of the hill. I recover quickly and for some reason, decide to just jump immediately after the pace starts to settle. I guess if no one else is going to counter, I will counter my own attack??? I dunno. It works though, and when I get back in the saddle and look behind me, the field is just a group of people in a clump behind me. I am shocked. I keep going. No one is coming???? I push really hard for the next 3/4 lap. I hear my name yellowed out by the announcer "and Amelia Moore, number 222 is off the front". I push it up the incline. I keep pushing ooooh crap am I really going to try and tt this whole race? Can I actually do this? am I really committing to this right now? YES! I can do this. This is just like the so called "fitness check time trials" I do with my team, right? I know how it feels to push myself for those 30 minutes, whats another 20? I can't stop now anyway, the moto ref just told me I have a 15 second gap....oh man I keep going. I have to say, it is amazingly encouraging to have your name and number yelled out over the loud speaker every 3 minutes and to have people all along the course cheer you on, dogs barking and cow bells clanking. "This young lady from Chicago has a great pair of legs on her today". Gah, I hope I can do this. Once the clock gets to 27 minutes to go (plus 5 laps) I imagine that I am on the lake front path, following the Fitness Check Time Trial route, passing things I know to mark the time. 23 minutes, oh, the ducks, 20 minutes, that low tree branch that I almost hit my head on. I stand up every time I hit the incline for optimum cheering from the crowd. The moto ref tells me I am holding 45 seconds. wow. and I am like almost to the long open curve out to the lake in my mind's TT. I keep going. 10 minutes (plus 5 laps) to go. "number 222, I'm looking at her shoulders and it looks like she just started, doesn't look tired at all" YEAH RIGHT! Ten plus five, I can do this, it's just like turning around at the bridge. All I have to do is make it back to Randy, those last five laps are nothing. The moto ref tells me I am too far ahead to get splits any more. Thumbs up ! I keep going. 5 laps to go. 4 laps to go. 3, 2, 1 lap to go. The moto ref comes up to my side and says, "it's been a pleasure working for you" we bump fists, and I finish the race well over a minute ahead of the pack. I cannot believe that I did this. What a way to win my first race, only one in the picture :)
Gateway Cup Sunday " Giro dell Montagna"
This course is much narrower than the past two wide wide open courses. There is a hill which is not steep but covers about three or four blocks, a short flat top to the rectangle , a downhill to the start finish and a fast tight corner one. My legs feel pretty good after a nice warmup in the hilly neighborhood surrounding the course and a bunch of laps of the actual course. The setting is an old Italian neighborhood. The community loves the race so much that they have pooled together extra prize money for the pro fields. There is a Bocce Club on the downhill which will be serving a free pasta and meatball dinner to all the racers. At 10 am, people are already setting up chairs and BBQ's all around the course. Today is the 25th anniversary of the race. The officials have decided to shorten and separate the men's 4/5 field and the women's 3/4 field today. I am happy about that. I watch my teammates race really well in the 4/5 race. We line up and are off. I am in front for the first lap. I push it a little up the hill to see if anyone drags. Doesn't look like it. Someone else pulls through. I try to attack a couple times up the hill, but it's not really steep enough to be a climbers hill, and the course is short enough and with enough downhill that separation is going to be tough, and take a lot of energy. I try to spin easily up the hill and keep pushing the pace right after the up hill corner two and through the start finish. I figure this will tire people out and maybe I can attack on the final climb and outlast the girl in the leader jersey. Last lap. I take my position behind the two strongest sprinters. Perfect. In corner one, I get passed on my inside (I am already on the inside line) and she can't hold herself up after the corner and slides out right at my wheel. I have nowhere to go but over her. Luckily, my dive and roll instinct from childhood tumbling classes seems to be still intact! I jump up, shake appropriate bones to make sure they're ok, assess minimal skin loss, and bike scratching and get cleaned up. I am bummed that I couldn't finish. Now I HAVE to do well tomorrow.
Gateway Cup Monday "Benton Park Classic Criterium"
This course is really nice. It's a two mile circuit course shaped like a figure 8 with 10 turns. the route goes through an up hill start finish, across the freeway, past two breweries, back across the freeway, through a nice little neighborhood, an s bend, a downhill, two more corners and a long straight slightly uphill finish. I know I want to stay in the top three positions for this race. No more malarkey in the corners. I warm up on the course and assess the best places to attack. I know that I am marked and no one is going to let me get away, but I hope that I can a least break up the field. The race starts, again, I lead the first lap. This is fine. A couple other girls and I attack and counter attack and we are left with a small group of 8 or 10 including a 12 year old Tibco girl, who races really well the entire race. I jump a couple times right before the 's; bends and try to separate the group further, but no one is having it. I look up 2 laps to go. I am pulling through corner 2 and I hear Newt yell, "NO MORE FAVORS". He's right. I have to pick a plan for the last lap. I fall back and position myself behind tow strong sprinters and a group of two Momentum women which I know will turn into a leadout. I lap to go. The woman leading the series gets stuck in front after corner five. The little group slows down after the s curves and into corner 8. As they all try to jockey for good position into the final corners, I feel like it's my chance. I pull to the left side of the course and attack as hard as I can. I fly around the downhill corner and no one is on my wheel. I keep going. downshift, down around corner 10 no one is on my wheel, I stand up for the final 300 meters to the finish line. I DID IT! I won. I CAN sprint! wtf?
aaaaaand those are my upgrade points! I am so glad I came to do this series. It was very well put together and all the courses were awesome and fun. The people in St. Louis are a friendly bunch, my host housing was amazing, and we ate the best deep dish pizza ever. It was fun to race in a field of 30 women and get to know a new set of strong racers. I will be back!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
*Tonight I'm heading up to Northbrook Track for the Elaine Nekritz Race
*St. Louis for Gateway Cup over labor day
*4 person Team Time Trial on Sept 12
*My last race of the year will be the TD Bank Mayor's Cup Criterium in Boston.
I'm really struggling with a bad case of end-of-the-year-itis. Trying to stay fresh and enthusiastic is difficult. I'm also having some lingering pain from my crash at Elk Grove. It's really not bad, but it's grating. Rest is key, and I'll be laying low and just trying to finish the year on a positive note.
Since I don't really have any recent race pics of my own I will leave you with some photo's from Peg, Sue and Diane's excellent adventures to New York this Summer. Three awesome PWP'ers who do some serious touring!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
We fielded questions from the internet and a live audience consisting of media, sponsors, and the public. I was incredibly nervous, but by all reports it went well and was a ton of fun!!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Glencoe Grand Prix Race is a local race that is now in it's fourth year, and having a reputation of being incredibly well run, was able to host the Pro Men Championships! Even though it wasn't our national championships, or even on the National Race Calendar for the women, we had a large prize purse and rode the same course--a new longer version-- as the pro men. Vera Bradley, Tibco, and Colovita were well represented as well as some other strong individuals including Laura Van Gilder. Not sure exactly how many started but though strong, the field was fairly small. It was a long course, and there were lots of corners but 3 that were narrow and downhill and proved especially challenging. Even though I knew that positioning was everything I found myself struggling to stay in front. I don't take a lot of risks in races and tend to ride where I feel safe and while I think it's one of the reasons I don't really crash that often ( I know I know --Jinx!!) I often find myself wasting a lot of energy closing gaps. This was the case for the whole first half of the race. We had some good breaks go and get caught and I only watched. At four to go, I found myself gapped and was not able to close it. I really thought I was dropped and almost threw in the towel. It was so disappointing, but the screaming crowd which consisted of tons of friends, was highly motivating so I decided to make the effort to catch back on. I was able to go so much faster by myself through those corners that I did catch back on. At this point the break was in sight and when we hit the start finish at 2 laps to go I went to the front and made one final effort to bridge. I knew if I failed I was kind of blowing the field sprint, but with those tricky corners I didn't want to risk getting gapped again. It was covered immediately and although leading it out that early was not a great position I was happy to be in front through the tricky corners. Unfortunately I led for the whole lap until 1 to go when there was a huge surge and my effort had left me without resources for a sprint. I finished at the back of the pack, but was elated to find that I got the last money spot!
I had mixed emotions about the race. It would have been so much better to be in a break!! I felt pretty good and was mad that I had spent so much time in bad positioning and missed the breaks. It was exciting to catch back on and still be able to make a positive effort at two to go and just wish it had panned out.
Friday night before the race I was invited to participate in a press conference since I'm a "local". It was a lot of fun and I hope to be posting some pictures of it soon.
Monday, August 2, 2010
My cousin Lynn from Minneapolis was hired by the production company to write the copy for the hour long Comcast special on the race so she was there all weekend documenting everything. It was awesome to get to see her and hang out a bit. Also super cool was she asked if they could hook up a camera to my bike to film the race. It turned out great. They promised to send me dvd and as soon as I get it I'll try to post at least some parts of it.
We had two races, Sat & Sun on the same course. I have never cared much for the hairpin turn in corner 1, and mid race on Saturday I crashed in it. In ten years of racing this is the second time I've crashed in a race....I know I know, I'm totally jinxing myself. I was going pretty slow, smacked mainly my elbow and only got run over by one person. I got minimal road rash, a little soreness, and a headache. I'm fine, but it was unpleasant and I hope I don't do it again soon. When I got back in after my freelap I was nervous in the corner so I was finding myself struggling to stay connected after it. At 2 to go I moved up with the intention to hit the corner first so I could maintain a good position. After the hairpin I looked back and had a pretty big gap. "Oh $#(^!! " I thought. Now I have to go. So I went for it, as hard as I could. I held the gap until the final 1/4 of a lap. When the leadout train came by I had the right instincts to jump in but was not strong enough to maintain it and got knocked out. I fell to the back of the pack and that's where I finished. I got a gambler's prime at 1 to go, and it was a glorious feeling to be off the front so late in the game. Thanks to everyone who was cheering! It was really fun and I only wish I could have pulled it off. Jen Purcell won, Laura Van Gilder was second and Lauren Tamayo was third.
Sunday other than being a little sore I felt alright. The race was fairly fast, and we quickly whittled our field down to about 20 or so riders. At 1 to go I was in second position (perfect!) into the hairpin turn and felt good about things until the final stretch when things got slow and we all bunched up. I got boxed in and had no where to sprint. When I checked the results I was twelfth and felt lucky to get that. Carrie Cash won, Laura Van Gilder was second and Sam Schneider was third.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
When the races moved up to Wisconsin, logistics got a little tougher and I had to call on the help of Auntie Reenie and Uncle Danny who graciously housed our entire family for a couple of days. My friend Ellen and her husband Dave who live in Racine, WI were also especially cool housing both Kim and I and all of our kids for multiple days.
photo courtesy of Douglas Fox
Of course I didn't. The last race, Whitefish Bay was really fun. I decided to help out my buddy Jeannie Kuhajek who was in contention for the sprint points--not that she needed it-- but since I had nothing to lose I thought it would be fun to lead her out for the sprint laps. It was fun and I think I did a pretty good job! She ended up third in the sprints, and won the series top amateur jersey. I was tired from the lead outs, but still felt good on the last lap. When it came down to the final two corners, I was in decent position but when I got pinched I chickened out and sat up. After 15 days of fighting for position, I had nothing to lose and just sort of gave up. It's the one thing I regret (only a little) about Superweek this year.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
"It was last year March, as my 2nd PWP 'season' was coming to a close when Kristen told us about the inaugural Half Acre week-long criterium series for beginners as she softly encouraged us to, 'Just give it a try.' What simple words that have unleashed so much unexpected fun!
With more teams on the line this year, strategy has become more important. With some effective teamwork early in the season, my teammate Ginger consistently finished well in the Half Acre series and was able to cat up to a 3. She then helped me win the Urbana Criterium. A few weeks ago, I helped her win Sherman Park. What a great feeling for the team to win - regardless of whether or not it is you on the top podium. Without the team component, I don't think I would enjoy racing as much.
Last week, my teammates and I spent the week racing in the Tour of America's Dairyland (ToAD). In its 2nd year, this exceptionally well run series of 11 races was held in a different Wisconsin location each day. With approximately 30 women on the line for each race, some races getting up to 45, the competition was deep. Chicago PWP'r Jannette Rho was phenomenal as she has been since we both lined up for our first race ever at the Half Acre series last year. I have been chasing her ever since! Unfortunately Jannette and I were both chasing Whitney Gaggioli who won the coveted "cow jersey" for all but two of the races. Although I had not locked up third place, I knew that the cow jersey was most likely unattainable so I left ToAD to travel to Peoria to make an attempt for a different jersey, the IL State Criterium Champion.
Ginger agreed to join me in Peoria. We devised a strategy that we hoped would result in a win for Project 5. Nearing the mid-point of the race, it looked as if Ginger would be in a successful break. But as happens in racing the circumstances changed. With that it was my attempt to establish a successful breakaway. Remember the 30 on/30 off drills in the final moth of PWP? Well that is the pattern I followed along with my 3 break mates. Nearing the end of the race, I decided to go for the finish earlier than my competitors - what does Kristen say? You can do anything for a minute. So I pushed it as hard as I could towards the line and WON! Not only did Ginger help me win the IL State Championship Jersey, but with that win, I also secured 1st place for the IL Cup Series. Oh -and I then learned that I secured 3rd place for the ToAD series - the gamble totally paid off!!!!
Thanks Cathy!! Congratulations on your fantastic season. Best of luck for the rest of the year.
Monday, June 28, 2010
"Diane and I went trekking in Peru on the Inca trail, which terminates at Machu Picchu. We were part of a group of 18 hikers that completed the hike. I am not sure of the distances, but we hiked for 4 days and crossed over several passes in the Andes mountains, including a mountain pass at 14,000 feelt! It was pretty cool. amazing scenery. Ancient ruins. Beautiful people. Here is a photo link.
Sue Butler and Diane and I will be bicycle touring in New York State from July 25-31. The ride is in the fingerlakes region and called the Bon Ton Roulet. It should be a challenge with the hills and keeping Diane and I out of the wineries.
I am training to run the Chicago Marathon. Earlier this year I created a mental "bucket list". Two things populate my list. #1 complete a marathon. #2 ride my bike from coast to coast. This year it will be the marathon because that is actually the bigger challenge for me and won't be easier for me as I age. It is now or never for that goal."
Have fun in New York (not that you guys are ever in danger of not having any!) and I'm sure that the marathon will be great. Keep us posted and thanks for checking in!
Friday, June 25, 2010
"...my biggest accomplishment at Nature Valley was that I allowed myself to really enjoy the entire experience. While nervously awaiting the gunshot that would initiate the race, I would force myself to take a deep breath, pause and truly appreciate the moment. I was possibly the most fit I have ever been, I was racing against some of the best women in the world, and cheering crowds of people were lining the streets to watch ME race my bike!"
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The view from the top of the hill at the Stillwater Criterium the final day of the Nature Valley Grand Prix:
The upclose and personal view of the hill at the Stillwater Criterium:
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I was very intimidated having only raced a 250 meter track, or anywhere other than northbrook , once. 2 years ago I went up to Blaine in Minnesota and tried it out. I remember being absolutely terrified. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like a roller coaster. You have to keep your speed up so the centrifical force can keep you on the track. If you go too slow, you fall over and slide down--which I learned the hard way. Blaine is a wooden track made of special African wood and if you crash you end up with splinters.
The event was to take place on Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. On Friday during the day, they offered a clinic with Colby Pearce, a national champion and olympian. The morning was supposed to be a Madison clinic on the track. The Madison is a points race done with a partner. Only one partner is racing at a time, and while one partner is racing, the other is riding as slow as possible (remember you have to go fast enough to not fall over) around the top of the track. When it's time to switch, the resting rider slams down the track and the rider who is going out grabs their hand and slings them forward on their way out. Since it was pouring rain Friday morning, we ended up having the clinic inside.
Here's Colby demonstrating a Madison exchange with chairs. Not exactly the same as on the bike but for a beginner like me I think it was almost better to have some classroom time first.
The afternoon part of the clinic was on training for endurance events. Colby is the former National Track Endurance Coach, and I learned so much! There is talk of him coming to Chicago for a clinic and I'm really hoping that happens. There was just a lot of really basic stuff I didn't know and he patiently explained everything and didn't make me feel dumb for asking questions.
Regarding the actual event, I honestly did not know what to expect. I was told that there was a sprint omnium and an endurance omnium and I could race as many or as few races as I liked.
Since I didn't know what the events were I just signed up for everything. I think had I not been racing the Nature Valley Stage Race later in the week I probably would have raced everything just to try it out, but in the end I decided to race all the endurance events as well as the Kierin, the race where you start out following a motorcycle, which is a sprint event. Carrie Higgins, one of our country's best track racers raced all the events and won both the Sprint and the Endurance Omniums!
Here's the start of the women's Keirin final. You draw a number for a starting position and then you are started with a holder. You are started with a gun when the motorcycle comes around and you can ride anywhere you like as long as you don't pass the moto. They gradually go faster and faster until they pull off at two and a half laps to go and then it's an all out sprint to the finish.
It was fun hanging out with some other Chicago folks. Al Urbanski, Jason Garner, Jeff Whiteman and Franco all came up. Here's Jason and Jeff about to do an exchange in the "Madison Kilo" which is a time trial with exchanges.
I did all right but for the most part I was trying to learn and figure things out. I knew I was a little nervous and didn't quite have the technical skills so I would have to get away if I wanted any points. It worked in the first points race and I ended up in fourth place and getting some press!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
"It's Paul-Brian from PWaP. I just wanted to give you a brief update on my early race season. So far, so good. Just last weekend I rode/raced the HAC/NCC Gravel Metric Century--65 grueling miles of gravel farm roads through and around DeKalb. I'm embarrassed to say that 65 miles is the longest I've ever ridden a bike. I'm not embarrassed to say that I came in 10th out of 50 riders, finishing the ride in 3:40. In terms of my proper discipline, mountain biking, I haven't had too many opportunities to race. A couple of weeks ago I rode a race in Winona, IN. It's one I've done a couple of times before. Last year I came in 7th in my age group (which translated to 53rd overall in cat 2). This year, I came in 3rd in my age group (a bigger, more competitive age group at that, which translated to 17th Cat 2 overall). I'm racing again this coming weekend--a race I did terribly in last year. Lots of climbing. I'm looking forward to the race this year. I'll let you know how I do.Thanks again for your help and encouragement this winter.-PB"
Way to go PB Keep up the great work!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
This weekend was awesome fun. Jason decided to stay home with the kids and let me be a bike racer this weekend. I missed them terribly but had a blast with the folks I was traveling with. We had a group of 7 of us travelling together and stayed at Molly's parent's mansion on the hill overlooking the river in Davenport, IA. Our group consisted of teammates Molly, Kim and Leah, Jannette from Cuttin Crew, Mia from Triple X and Molly's husband Josh who gets mad props for travelling cheerfully with 6 ladies :). We were a great mix of people. Kim's gifts in the kitchen, Leah's mechanical skills and Molly and Josh's awesome hospitality made for a great time.
Also worth a mention is Avi, from Cuttin Crew. Here he is at the start line on his first of THREE snake alley races on the day. A glutton for pain, he is a living legend :)
Monday, May 17, 2010
It's a great place to practice race tactics. Every category gets three races per night, and women are allowed to race in the corresponding men's category (or one lower) so there's the opportunity for 6 races/night.
On Thursday, it was great to see some PWP women trying the track for the first time this year.
Women are welcome to just show up on Thursday nights. All you need is a track bike which you can borrow for free at Turin or Albertos. Men need to earn their cat 4 upgrade on Friday nights before racing on Thursdays. If you want to practice beforehand, there are clinics every Monday and Tuesday. Friday night is practice racing where you can ride a track bike and/or your road bike. That starts on June 4th.
If Thursdays don't work out there's lots of weekend stuff too. Check out the website for more info, and don't be afraid to just show up! It's a super friendly place and people love helping you get started.
Leah and Molly hanging out at FRG
Sunday was Fox River Grove. I've never done this race, and didn't know it was in it's fifth year, I think it's been moved around a little on the calendar, but this weekend was perfect for this race. What a COOL race. It was a long course with a huge hill in it--perfect training for Snake Alley and Nature Valley. The course resembled the finishing circuits at the Road Races for Nature Valley so I decided to make it a full on training day. JRW, Molly and I rode the 50 miles to the venue, (thank you John for the gorgeous route!) and got there just in time for the race. They raced us with the 50 + men. Jessi Prinner fresh off some European racing, was immediately in a break off the front. I was doing allright the first three times up the hill, but then after that was struggling. The amazingly strong Stacy Applewick, in her second race of the day, caught me and I hung onto her wheel for dear life to the finish. She really made me ride a lot harder than I wanted to! In true suffer fest fashion I think everyone finished in groups of 1 or 2. Leah and Kim (also in her second race of the day) finished well. We were happy with our effort, but that was definitely the kind of race you are happy to be done with! What great training!
It was fantastic that both of these races were within riding distance of my house. If you're from out of town, this would be a great weekend to visit Chicago for some racing. Mark your calendars for next year!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
The weekend before I got a little sick. Maybe I should have just cancelled the trip; but by then my parents were already on their way to help with my kids. I didn't mention it to my coach that I wasn't feeling great because I know what she would have said.
Without going into too much detail, on the way down, about an hour from Fayetteville just on the Missouri side of the border, I ended up in a police station in handcuffs getting my mug shot taken and fingerprinted. I got to sit on a bench next to a guy being arrested for drugs who told me , "rehab is for quitters." Needless to say it's important not to ignore letters from the state regarding your drivers license. I had to pay to get my car towed off the highway, but they were all very nice and they let me go saying that what I did after I left was my business but I better not get pulled over again and maybe it was best if I just didn't come back to their county.
I pulled in to the hotel just as the manager's meeting was starting. As daunting as it is to show up entirely by yourself at an NRC stage race with no team or support, the organizers and everyone involved with the race really try to make you feel welcome. Even so, after the meeting I went up to my room, unloaded my stuff and took some time to decompress from the exciting events of the day. I was daunted by the logistics of the weekend. How was I going to get to all the starts of the races? The time trial was a 45 minute drive each way? One false move and I'd be back in the slammer.
The next day everything was brighter and once I got to the tt location safely I felt much more settled. I happened to run into a super nice guy who was hosting another individual rider from Canada and it was after he generously offered his house for me to stay he mentioned that the XXX Chicago folks were going to stay there too!! Kevin and his wife Pam, the Canadian rider, and all the XXX folks were terrific! We had a fabulous time together and I could not believe my good fortune running into them.
I wasn't feeling great, I never had a fever, but I was manufacturing an amazing amount of snot and coughing a nice deep productive cough. I'm not exactly a good stage racer to begin with, and in top form I'm hoping for field finishes, so my expectations were not high. Even though I gave it my best, my time trial was a full minute slower than the year before.
Saturday was another 70 mile road race. I was dropped on the second significant climb and resigned myself to finishing the race. I found a nice group of 5 to ride with. An Australian national rider, a Canadian rider, and the two Bicycles of Tulsa riders I had ridden with the day before. The Australian, Canadian and I were sharing the work evenly and the Tulsa riders were struggling, skipping pulls and falling off on the climbs. We waited for them so we could stay together and after a bit I asked if it would be ok if I stopped and took a "nature call", and the Australian and Canadian said they were going to drop out of the race so they would just keep going. The Tulsa riders said that was fine and would wait for me. But when I pulled over only one stopped with me. A little confusing, but I figured the other woman was just going to drop out of the race and didn't really care. While I was stopped on the side of the road we saw the Sram car come by towing a rider who had gotten a flat. The remaining Tulsa rider and I continued together but when we hit the turn around point, she told me she was going to turn in. I still had about 35 miles to go but was determined to finish and was in a seriously positive mood considering the circumstances. I had driven all that way, was in gorgeous rolling Arkansas country and was going to finish that race. I did finish, alone, and when I crossed the line I ran into the girl who I had waited for but didn't wait for me. She told me that the Sram car had pulled the girl that had flatted up to her and the two of them finished the race together. Turns out the two of them had made the time cut and I didn't. This derailed my "ray of sunshine" attitude and I had a few dark moments. Luckily I was able to come around. In reality, who really cares, I shouldn't have been off the back in the first place. I had been arrested in scary hillbilly country and survived, I did get to meet some super cool people, and ride my bike through some beautiful country. No I didn't get to race the crit but I was super happy to be able to get home (safely, without arrest) on Sunday in time to see the family on Mother's day. Gotta say I've never been so glad to get home safe and sound!