Sunday, June 29, 2008

FIAC 6-Day National Champions

Couldn't sleep in this morning as I was so excited about the week's conclusion. Miranda and I made the history books yesterday by becoming the first women's FIAC 6-Day National Champions. We got received national jerseys (slightly different than USA Cycling's), medals and the Assos rep kicked in a killer 6-Day set. Stoked!

And one thing is for sure - I'm really looking forward to this week's rest week!

Also got to have an excellent pizza dinner with Mark and Miranda in South East Portland at Ken's Artisan Pizza. Super yummy! We each ate our own salad, pizza and had two beers a piece. Yet I still woke up this morning at 5am hungry. My metabolism is kickin'!

Let's see racing highlights.... we had a 20 point a lap race. I was able to contest several laps and barely managed to win. The legs and mind were tired! In the meantime we lapped a lot of the field. The key to those - stay in the front! I gave the final sprint a big effort, which I think tapped into my already depleted reserves. The next race - a progressive points - was DOMINATED by Jen - which is great as she and her team were quite a few laps down on us. And then our last race - a 20 minute Madison was slow and quiet. It felt good to suck some wheels during the race but during the final sprint, I thought I was going to pass out from heat exhaustion. I got that tingle arm feeling and was talking gibberish for a good twenty minutes afterwards. It was hawt!

All in all a fantastic weekend with some great riders and fun racing. We're really looking forward to representing it again at the women's Madi in a few weeks....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Last Day...

It's going to be a scorcher today. Temps are predicted to be in the upper 90's and we're racing in the dead heat of the day - 3pm. Someone mentioned they might bring a kiddie pool - I hope they don't forget! A cool dip in some water will be just what the doctor ordered!

We had another successful night last night. I tied with Jen for points - but we were able to take the omnium again for the win. First up - a 20 lap points race. The last set of points are worth double down here - so if you don't place in the first couple of sprints, you can certainly make up lost ground in the final. Jen had an excellent sprint for the final lap and obtained maximum points. I love competitive racing!

Next on the agenda - a miss and out. I got to the front and led it each lap, only accelerating as much as necessary to ensure I was in the final three. Once we whittled down the field, we had three laps to go to determine the winner. Jen lead it out - and as we were on the back straight coming into the final lap in corner three and four, she stood up, giving it more gas and some how I was able to muster up enough energy to come around her at the end for the win. It felt great but I felt like collapsing afterward too.

Last race - the Madison - this time 20 minutes. The first sprint things stayed together, but once the second sprint happened, the pack shattered a little bit. Next thing I know, I'm chasing down Jeanie for the sprint lap and we end up having a serious gap. Then we just maintained tempo - grinding it out, dialing in our exchanges, collecting maximum points in the sprint laps and next thing we knew we had lapped the majority of the field, putting us up three laps on the nearest competitor. A very warm and successful night - and killer training.

Afterward we decided to go for a quick spin on our road bikes and I almost bucked myself off the bike on the first pedal stroke. What's this free wheel shit? Oh - you have to pedal to go forward! Nonetheless it felt strange to get on my road bike after being on my Tiemeyer all week.

So - one more day of racing and then I get to enjoy a well deserved rest week. YAY!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pooped with a capital P

In the process of trying to rip other peoples legs off tonight, I in turn ripped my own off. Won all three races tonight - including my specialty - the miss and out. In the Madison we lapped a tired field and I'm too tired to type... headed to bed and will give you the gory details in the morning...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fatigue, Points and Miranda the Madison Rock Star

Fatigue settled into the legs today. The first race, a 9 lap scratch felt like I was pedaling with brick columns for legs. Andrea had an excellent move on the field, taking a high flier on the group with 2 to go and holding off a charging field for the win. I was boxed in for about a 1/2 of lap - wiggled my way out and then charged toward the finish with some not-so-zippy track legs for 2nd. Miranda did well too - coming in 4th. Go Veloforma!

I started to worry though - especially since my legs felt sluggish and exhausted since I didn't spin down last night and didn't eat enough food at the right time today. Lesson learned though - I made sure to spin, eat and hydrate tonight.

The points race was super short - 15 laps, with sprints every 5. I think I was able to hold off the rest of the field for first - and Miranda, the wonder woman, has found her track legs today!

Because they combined the regular Thursday night racing program with the 6 Day, all of our races were short and condensed. This made for some HARD racing. Better suited to the sprinters in the bunch, that's for sure. Our final Madison was only 10 minutes due to lack of sunshine (they don't have lights at the AVC) and Miranda gunned it from the start. We made the other teams work and were in the front the entire race, with the exception of maybe two or three laps. At the first sprint lap and with 1 1/2 to go, I gunned it and sailed through to collect max points and then set up Miranda for the final sprint and she ROCKED the house!!!

It was funny - as I was laying on the massage table getting the nightly rub down by the miracle worker Molly (who is the best masseuse in the world and if you are ever lucky enough to be at a bike race in Oregon, it would be ridiculous for you to pass it up!), I over heard some woman say something about "those Veloforma girls..." A smile spread across my face and a deep satisfaction settled into my soul.

Day three of 6

Last night my legs felt refreshed and ready to go. We had a 25 lap points race to kick off the night and the field shattered fairly quickly. I don't see how the officials keep it all straight - who got lapped, who's on lead lap, who's bridged and eligible for points, etc. But somehow they manage to kick out the results by midnight each night tabulating the previous evenings pedaling in circles. Not to mention the final sprints in a points race are worth double the points!

Miranda and I both collected some great omnium points in the points race - always contesting the sprints and being the front mix at all times. The 20 lap tempo race or point a lap, was brutal. Poor positioning from the neutral lap left us digging to bridge up to the three leaders who were gobbling up the points for about 10 laps. The front straight had a serious head wind so you either dug deep to be in front or played it smart, sitting second wheel and had power left in the legs to contest the constant sprint laps. Miranda and I obtained some points - but by no means were we in contention for the win. It was fun - but I think we were both really looking more forward to the Madison.

Have I mentioned that I have a new love in my life? :)

It was an action packed Madison - and being reduced from 30 minutes down to 15 left little room for error. If you weren't chasing a recent attack, then you might be left in the dust. We had some dead on exchanges - one of which I heard a little whoop! from Miranda. We decided to exchange on the front straight to be eligible for the sprint points (you cannot be in contention for the points if you exchange after the 200m mark on a sprint lap) so each time we dialed it in, and gained as many points as possible. I had one scary moment though when approaching another team doing an exchange on the track and another team who was trailing me just about to exchange. The front team had the right of way and I was going to pass over the top like normal, when the relief from the second team trailing my wheel came down and pinched me in a tight spot. BACK PEDAL BACK PEDAL BACK PEDAL hard! I escaped collision by the hairs of my chinny chin chin. I'd rather not experience that again!

I did manage to kick off a chain ring bolt during a sprint. I came back to the infield after the race and found it, and had Dean help me tighten them. He also informed me my Mavic wheels are LAME in that the hub doesn't line up with the chainring and it's ruining an expensive chain. The wheels are best used on a fixie - and as soon as I get my Cane Creek's I'll retire that wheel set to my Bianchi. POS (the wheels that is!). By having an improperly aligned hub, I'm losing massive wattage and trashing a $60 chain. You learn something new every day!

Miranda and I won underwear from Day two - who knows what's in store for today! More action packed racing later tonight....

The After racing party...

This is just way too funny NOT to post. Adrian and Dan doing some baller moves.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Racing starts in a little less than two hours and I'm getting nervous already! Today I killed time by getting a pedicure, stopping off at Bike Central and buying a new track sack and some fresh water bottles. Super cool shop owned by Jen Featheringill and her partner.

Tomorrow I'm meeting up with Miller for some breakfast goodness at Mother's Bistro. Should be fun!

But tonight - we tonight there's more racing! YAHOO!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


That's my new nickname after tonight's Madison. Some Assos rep came up to Miranda and I and told us nice job Quadzilla. It's okay to laugh. ;) I have no idea what he's talking about.

Seriously though - Veloforma is off to a kick ass start. Miranda and I rocked the house with a Madison Pursuit time of 4:33, and then placed second in the Madison. Not bad for our first hand slinging contests. We recognized some weaknesses and some areas to work on - and honed it for tonight.

The coolest thing about this whole six day experience is being part of the first all women 6-Day of our time. We're adding to the history books! A quick google search revealed we are WAY behind the times though. The first women's 6-day was held January 6, 1896 at Madison Square Garden. And check this title out, " Women Better Than Men from the New York Times circa 1909. I will admit, the other google results included Bahama 6-day cruises, 6-day sales and travel adventures. But soon we'll be part of the Women's 6-day search.

Tonight we had a 10 lap scratch race, win and out and 20 minute Madison. Our goal: obtain as many points as possible on other teams and try to lap the field if possible. Our mission = accomplished. With a convincing win in the scratch race, 2nd and 4th in the Win and Out and then lapping the field in the Madison - we are sitting really good for the week.

I swear though - the madison is the coolest bike race I have ever done and I'm addicted. Talk about a test of skill, endurance, athletics, upper body strength, suffering - jubilation, all rolled into one race! Why didn't I do one of these before?

My next goal - get as many women involved with the Madison as possible up at Marymoor. They have no idea what they're missing!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Heat, Wins, PRs, Friends - what more could a girl ask for?

Just a quick post as I am leaving this morning for Portland for the Madison 6 Day this week...

Had a excellent weekend in San Jose. Although the temps were record highs (103 on Friday, 99 on Saturday) I really enjoyed feeling overly warm to the bone. The nice thing about the heat is that the joints and muscles are already warmed up and good to go. Plus it makes the track faster.

The Hellyer velodrome is a 333m track with 22 degree banking. It's very similar to Marymoor except the straights are shorter. As I've learned - each track races differently and you have to know where to launch an attack to come around someone whether that be to set up with two laps to go (as you would on a small track) or come around coming into the final lap on corner 3. Gearing is different too - but we won't go into that - maybe later.

First up - Keirin heats. Two places advance to the finals. I made it into the finals the first try. Though I had the WORST case of cotton mouth ever. Something about that race makes my mouth dry up and gives me the fish face look. Later that evening we had our final - where Jen Featheringill handily won , though looking slightly possessed.

And last but not least that evening we had our 40 lap points race with sprints every 10. Proman was in full force - employing all of their squad to secure Shelly the win. And superstar Shelly handily won each sprint - though I was kind of expecting her to go off the front and try to lap the field. But only Larrsyn attempted such feats - and to no avail, we swallowed her up coming into a sprint lap. I managed to place in every sprint - placing me 2nd! Not bad!

We didn't get back to Rick's house until well after midnight - he had a super long evening as well. Thanks to his hard work - he promoted the event, obtained sponsorship, was the chief official and is leaving Monday for France for a month, returning on a Thursday right before the Portland AVC and then flying up to attend. What a life! But his passion for the event and sport was definitely a success - and I'm really looking forward to coming back next year. Make sure to mark your calendars....

Saturday we woke up and headed out to the track early for the sprint tournament. First up - flying 200m. I was near the end of the line up and went in it with no expectations and an open mind. Amara posted a fast time of 13.46 - and my fastest time that I could remember was a 13.63. I put on a monster gear, wound it up in the first two laps, then screamed in posting a 13.05, the second fastest time of the morning. Did someone install rockets on my bike while I wasn't looking? Holy cow! A personal best and it set me up nicely for the tournament.

Next up - Round one of the sprints with three ups. Two laps - winner goes onto round 2, second place goes into the rep (second chance). I luckily won my rep and then got to relax. Second round - against Heather again and barely made it. Third round (semi-finals to determine gold/silver or bronze/4th) and I got nipped at the line by Becky Lang. So on she went to the gold medal round and I went to third vs. Andrea Fisk. Session broke until the evening. (Wow - this is a much longer post than I intended!)

I hung out with the Boursaws (Grant and Amara both rode REALLY well this weekend!) in their AC hotel and laid down for a couple hours. Recharged the batteries and headed back to the track for the final evening session.

First up - our sprint rounds. In the finals it's the best out of three rounds. The first match up Andrea picked up the speed on the first half lap, pulled up track and I shot like a cannon out of the gates, going the long way and winning with a little bit of breathing space. On the second round - we made small talk during the first lap saying how neither of us were sprinters and knew what we were doing... and then charged on the second lap. Most importantly we had fun - and were happy to be done with sprints.

Our Miss and Out was next - and with a field of 25 or so - it's always smart to play it in the front. Although this time I wasn't leading out every single lap - but rather sneaking in mid pack and nearly getting nipped at the line a few times. As the numbers whittled down, I started to hang in the back, then accelerate over the top placing myself out of harms way. Next thing I know there's three of us contesting the finish. Jen was keeping a careful eye on us all - and as she looked up track, I hit my rockets and sprinted the last lap, winning the race. Later Jen admitted being absolutely cooked from the sprints (she had to go three rounds, instead of two). I was tickled pink. ;)

Last but not least - the 30 lap scratch race. We had tons of primes - a bottle of wine every 5 laps. At the 15 lap prime, there was another 16 lap prime worth not only a bottle of wine, but $75 and a massage. I was in great position to gather the first prime, but when Shelly blasted by me for the second one, I had no snap in the legs to chase. Then Larrysn took a flier and caught Shelly and then they worked together to lap the field. The final sprint came and it was all I could do to muster a 5th place finish. If you had taken my temp you would have known I was cooked.

All in all a fabulous weekend - lots of podium time and some cashola. Met some great people - including a lot of the locals who race at the AVC every week. They were so welcoming and super nice. And of course I got to hang a little with Beth - who is a riot. Next stop for the traveling circus? Portlands AVC. See you soon my friends!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Canal Place Drama

Days, weeks, months fly by at Canal Place and nothing happens. It gets boring at times - watching the paint peel off the walls and finding things to busy your time with (thank you Al Gore for funding the Internet!). But when things go awry they happen in threes.

1. The elevator in the 130 building stopped working. People get all bent out of shape when our 25 year old elevators break down. I understand this perspective from the people that need to use it - but will it kill you if you took the stairs for once? It's only three stories. (Sorry to the disabled and UPS man - it'll be fixed soon.) (Hand off to someone else.)

2. The light bulbs are burnt out in a tenants office. Unfortunately this is something we have to call the electrician to do - because more than likely it's the entire unit. (Hand off to someone else.)

3. Dead bird. According to one tenant who deals with "earthy" clients, this bird is disturbing and might ruin their session. The crow is absolutely smashed into the pavement with guts and gizz all over the ground. Unfortunately there's no one to pass this one off to - we just picked it up and dumped it in the trash. Glamorous, I know. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Haps..

June and July are busy months for racing/traveling. I head this weekend to San Jose for the AVC and fly home Sunday. Only to leave Monday morning for Portland for the 6 Day to partner up with Miranda Moon. I practiced some hand slings with Bilko last night and think the slings will be the easiest part - weaving through the traffic will be more challenging.

Should be fun though! Ah track racing - my love.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tim's 15 seconds of Fame

My coworker Tim, daylights for us in the office as our receptionist and moonlights as a promotional guru for KISW 99.9. He spends his afternoons going to bars, concerts, gatherings, rock girl auditions at the TACOMA DOME etc. handing out stickers, key chains and other promos to fans throughout the Seattle area.

Yesterday he was down at the Save Our Sonics rally at Key Arena. Thousands of people showed up - in Sonics garb and memorabilia with hopes of preventing the inevitable relocation of the Sonics to Oklahoma. KIRO TV was live filming the scene and Tim was in the right place at the right time. Hopefully this secures him one step closer to his goal of working at a radio station full time.

Check it:

Needless to say Tim's boss was pretty stoked with the coverage. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A BIG old dose of Vitamin D

Two days of straight sun - it's been a while. And my pasty white body was ready to soak up the rays - deepening my embarrassing biker tan lines. Rough life, eh?

I think I have a weekend hangover. It's Monday - and I'm exhausted. I would think most people have a normal, relaxing weekend of chilling out, recovering from the long work week and preparing for Monday. But mine is usually the exact opposite. Thankfully my job is perfect for the bike racer/ weekend warrior lifestyle. It rocks. Today will be filled with catching up on what happened this weekend in the world wide web. I know, I suck.

Anyways - here's the weekend in review. Friday we packed up the mounds of gear I take for a stage race, including a fridge for the cabin, making Makiah's trip over the pass a little squished.

It was raining and cold in Seattle when we left and as soon as we hit Darrington the skies brightened revealing a shade of blue I haven't seen in a while. The views along the route are absolutely breathtaking.

Liberty Bell poked her head out and greeted us too. Ryan was stoked to ride the pass on Saturday morning.

Our friends Josh and Camille showed up and built a fire while I jumped on the rollers to spin the legs out for the weekend. Check out our little home away from home. It's very rustic but suites its purpose.

The next morning we woke up to beautiful blue skies and warmer temps. It hit the spot. The TT was a challenging course - somewhat hilly and mentally challenging. Robin rocked the house with a fantastic ride though - followed by Allison and Trish for third. Nice work ladies! Personally I hurt really bad after that effort - thinking it was good for something since I went so hard. Nope - 7th. But I'll take it!

The crit was held in Twisp, about a 45 minute drive down valley from our cabin. The roads are pretty torn up from the cold icy winters - and there were lots of bumpy potholes throughout the entire course. Wines had the biggest team presence, followed by Group Health, Byrne, Bob's and First Rate. Then there were a lot of us lone riders who allowed the teams to do their work. It was a fast race - lots of attacks and counters. Staying in the front played to my advantage - and I was able to position myself well for the final sprint. Suz lead it out and I think I was sitting in about 4th wheel. We rounded corner 4 and I hit the gas sailing through the finish line first! Good thing too - my mom, her boyfriend, Ryan, Melanie, Mark, Josh, Camille and Makiah made the venture out to watch the race. It was great having a cheering squad! Robin and Trish rounded out the podium.

It must have been that HUGE plate of spaghetti I had for lunch.... Thanks Mom for coming out and cheering me on! I love have the LOUDEST person there cheering for me. :)

Thanks to Trisha and Carol for letting me poach a shower at their bungalow - it hit the spot! That night we had more peeps show up at the cabin and had another roaring bonfire. Ryan ate 4 smores and I laid low, chilling for the final stage, a 54 mile road race based out of Winthrop. Unfortunately I didn't sleep well that night - waking up in the middle of the night hungry again and worried my alarm wouldn't go off. Then at 4am I started to hear my battery run low in my phone and then it shut it self off. I woke up around 6 frantic, thinking I missed the start of the road race because it was so sunny out. After a nice breakfast of pancakes and eggs, I was charged and ready to go!

The race course was my dream course. No really challenging hills - nothing technical. Beautiful terrain and nice roads. Absolutely perfect. And we were all playing nicely together too - until the final 1k. Suz made a move off the front of the pack, securing 1st and 3rd in the omnium and Jenni jumped with her. The rest of us fought for scraps for 3rd and with 1k to go, no one would come around me. Then Lisa from Wines jumped with 400m to go and I reacted a little too much but at that point, it was all or nothing. And I ended up 8th, 5th in the GC. Not shabby without teammates - but I sure did miss having some red in the peloton!

A HUGE thank you to Trish for the sammy and the river lounging - that was just what the doctor ordered. I feel so lucky to be part of such a nice group of people all out racing their bikes in the sun.

Meanwhile, Mr T and friends climbed rocks at the Fire Wall. It is so pretty there! Here's a shot of Ben mustering up something us mere mortals would never attempt...

What a great weekend of hanging with friends, racing bikes, rock climbing and living our passions!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


A picture says a thousand words....

Here's Christine, bracing herself from feeling slightly overwhelmed by the start of the weekend...

We entertained ourselves by roaming around Super Target where I quickly located some Incredible Hulk gloves and relived my glory days as a boxer...

Karen is modeling the pink dryer, made of plastic and small motor. A must buy if you're ever in S.Target.

Stop poking me dude! Adrian and Dan show you how it's done with their big manly fingers...

Sherbet colored sky - amazing!

Chariot Final.

Team Broadmark Capital.

Team Markbroad uncapital... check out those tan lines!

Podium Hair! Thanks Karen...

Crossing over

Not long ago, I asked the question - when do training races become racing races? Well now, in retrospect, I can say it happened in May when my mindset shifted and created a new sense of confidence and ability to hang with the lead group. Suddenly I found myself part of the pack nearing the finish, and although I botched it with 500m to go - I think it's safe to say I finally had arrived.

Flash forward to last weekend. All of my mental and physical preparation were ready to be put to the test. At first I panicked when I placed lower than anticipated in the standing start one lap time trial. But over the past three years I have learned that in track, you roll with the punches. One races performance has no bearing on the next. I used that TT as a reminder to stay humble, yet a motivator to show my ability. And great things happen when you can block out external emotions and live in the moment. Fueled by the fact that I love to race my bike and have learned a lot over the years, I was ready and eager to give it another try.

I think the best example of doing this from the weekend is the Keirin. I have been relegated from Keirin's every time I fly somewhere to race them. First it was the Independence Grand Prix in Colorado Springs. I didn't take the motor fast enough. Then I pulled my rear wheel on the restart and they booted me out. Fair enough. Then it was the race in Trexlertown, PA - in what turned out to be the only race I competed in for the trip thanks to the rain. I advanced on the apron to claim the motor, which according to ms. Lackintosh was hers. BANG BANG! Relegated. In every other Keirin I've done - from the AVC in Alpenrose, to the AVC in San Jose - I've made the finals and then strolled in last place each time. I've even opted out of the FSA GP Keirin - saying it was to save my legs for the points race. But in reality? They scare the shit out of me because I've failed at them so many times.

Then there was this weekend. I mentioned my failures on our ride from the airport to the velodrome to Miranda and Christine. We all laughed at my trials and tribulations. But yet when I strolled up to the line for our Keirin heat, and selected the lucky number one position for the start - I didn't blink an eye. I knew what I had to do. I got on the motor, (and that reminds me - I need to work on my standing starts!) and relaxed as the pace increased. The motor swung off, I was still relaxed, swung up track, expecting a move. Nothing happened. Then with one to go, I gave it some gas and no one immediately followed and I handily won the heat. Whoa?! Was that me? Holy Moly! It's ON for the finals. :)

This time I pulled the upper most position - 8. I seeded in about 5th position, no one contesting a better spot. Things were mellow - no bumping or grinding. The speed increased, Cari in front. I was behind Collen, I think. The motor pulled, a slight lull in action, then Cari hits it, trying the long sprint approach. Collen and I started to weave through traffic. With 1/2 lap to go, we passed Cari and I find myself trying to contest Collen, nipping at her heels, and then the race is over. 2nd place?! Wow - something is definitely different. When I called my mom later that night I told her how I placed in the Keirin and she laughed out loud. We both couldn't believe it! And I received the exact same laugh from Ryan when I told him. Just goes to show you can never give up - you've got to keep trying. Even if a race isn't your thing, and you've failed at it more times than you'd care to remember and the officials are on to you... one day those experiences are going to add up and you'll know just what to do - since you know what not to do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mazama Bound

Can I tell you how excited I am to head East for a weekend filled with sun and biking? STOKED!!!

Now off to do some sprint intervals... ciao!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MN Recap

What a weekend. It still feels like I'm winding down from it!

As mentioned, Christine and I arrive on Friday and checked out the track that night. We woke up Saturday, had a nice breakfast and lunch then started racing around 6:30. First up - the women's standing 250 tt. Karen aka Kenny's Gal (they had no information on her at the start) was up first - putting up the third fastest time of the night! I rolled in at 7th out of 16 ladies. Little did I know how this would help me in the long run for the handicap races the following day.

Next up - a one mile scratch race heat, with top 4 qualifying for the final. Nothing fancy - and only 6 laps. I made the finals.

Then one of my favorites - or what has become my specialty - the Miss and Out. I like to sit in the front, out of harms way and just accelerate enough to use as little energy as possible. We whittled down to a field of three, Cari, Annette and I. On the bell lap, Annette was leading just outside the sprinters lane. Cari and I both dove for the sprinters lane at the same time and she won, pushing me onto the apron. Annette then moved down into the sprinters lane, and I accelerated to avoid a crash. Then I was relegated. A tough call - but justified. Luckily I didn't get DQ'd - just pushed back to 3rd.

I came back with a vengeance in the Keirin qualifier and won it. For those who know me - Keirins are not my type of race. I have been relegated more often than not. And to pick the pole position, get on the motor, win the race and advance to finals? Shocking. Apparently I ate my Wheaties that morning!

Back to the 1 mile sprint finals - I delicately wove through traffic, made the move and cruised in 2nd. Same with the Keirin! I couldn't believe it. That one little race behind a motorcycle has given me more confidence than the entire weekend!

Lastly we had a 10k Points race. My gear felt small for my inflated legs and I had lame placements and position. My head wasn't in the right place - probably still in shock from the Keirin. :)

That night we went to bed waaaayyyy too late - thinking about the racing, chatting with our new friends and anxious about the next day's racing.

Sunday started with Handicap heats based off our 250m TT's. I had a sweet spot and qualified for the finals. It was followed by another Miss and Out - and I placed 2nd again. Collen, this amazing Junior National Champion won it with her sprint skills. That's the only downfall of my method of riding the Miss N Out - it makes you work! Thank goodness for all of those Golden Gardens sprint intervals!

We also had two lap Chariot heats - and I made the finals again. For both the Handicap and Chariot, I put my head in a wrong spot, telling myself I would be perfectly happy with 5th place for a point in the omnium. And guess what? That's all I achieved. Funny how your mind can be your greatest limiter.

We were signed up for the Team Pursuit - but opted out to save it for the 12k Scratch race final, our longest race for the weekend. The Miss and Out opened my legs up and I was starting to feel better and better as the night wore on. I remember lining up at the rail, having tranquil thoughts and an inner stillness and focus that happens only once in a while.

We did a neutral roll out, the gun went up and off we were racing. It was more aggressive than other races, often stringing out the pack as we chased and countered each move. I recall talking out loud when moves would go, and tell people to move left or right to better their position. I was in a move at one point with Clare and Annette, thinking it would stick but the Dahlmann sister's reeled us back in. Around and around we went and the laps counted down. With 5 to go, the two sisters came to the front and I seeded in right behind them. I knew I was in the zone and in perfect position. The first sister ramped up the speed to 27, peeling off with 3 laps to go. The second sister kept the speed going standing up with 1 1/2 laps go. We rounded corner 4, I stood up, put the rockets on and gave it every bit of energy I had left to the finish line. I kept thinking my brother was chasing, my brother is chasing, he's going to catch me! Faster, FASTer, FASTER!!!!! And then I was sailing over the finish line, out of harms way and chills ran all over my body. Success! And what a note to end on! I was on cloud nine the rest of the night.

Ended up 3rd in the omnium and we went out with Gwen, Andy, Val, Josh, Dan, Adrian, Steph, Tara and Brian to celebrate at Psycho Suzi's followed by late night hardcore bowling in Minneapolis. Fun times! But those Belgium beers on an empty stomach did a number on me and I was HUNG OVER until I snoozed on the flight home.

As with every track race, you meet new people and get to know the wonderful characters in cycling. We all love what we're doing and it shows. Two weeks and then down to the AVC.... yay!


For all of you on the fence as to whether or not to buy your tickets to Seattle for the FSA Grand Prix July 25-26 - the prize purse has just increased from $10,000 to $14,000!

Big money + big track + big fields = FUN!

More to come on the MN trip....

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Current Conditions: Sunny and Warm

Christine and I arrived yesterday after a SUPER long flight direct from Seattle to Minneapolis. We were stuck in an hour long holding pattern, circling the 10,000,000,000,000,000 lakes while we waited to land on the lonely airstrip still available to planes due to the heavy winds. Our poor ride, driven by the wonderful Miranda, circled outside the airport in upward of two hours while we waited in a congested full flight of screaming toddlers and loudly snoring passengers. A few hours later, we arrived at the dorms, not even 100 feet from the track and proceeded to be treated like rock stars with dinner at Chili's and a late night stroll on the wooden planks.

We hit the boards around 10pm last night - spinning out our heavy, flight filled legs and it felt like something out that Kevin Costner movie; "If you build it, they will come." Super surreal and amazing.

After sleeping a solid 9 hours, we woke to the sound of sleepy riders rummaging around the halls and as the day has progressed, so has everyone's excitement. The biggest topic is of course the weather - where everyone is hoping against all odds that the thundershowers potentially forecasted tonight will hold off just long enough for us to get some racing under our tires.

A HUGE shout out the the amazing people who have invested weeks of preparation into this event. From housing, to sanding and painting, getting sponsors, mowing the lawn, picking up weary and late travelers, etc - THANK YOU! The US needs more events like this put on by such passionate people as you - it makes an enormous difference.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sprinting between rain clouds

Wednesday nights are my nights for speed work. I head down to Golden Gardens and do some intervals. Let me rephrase that, I do a SHIT load of intervals. And last night I hit a max of 1018 watts - not bad for a 5 second effort. Though I'd love to be in the 1500 range....

We've had a WET week here in Seattle. So being able to do sprints outside without wet streets was a nice little bonus. Back and forth I cruised along the boulevard - strange to most. Though I'm sure the residents in the area are used to spandex clad riders cruising up and down their road. I probably did 20 laps last night alone!

At the end of my hammerfest I ran into the Wines ladies who were doing some "sprints" - or more like 40 second efforts. I mustered one and was done. It sure made those 15 second sprints seem like a joke! I got to share with them my bull dog approach toward sprinting - hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me!

Today's Ryan's Birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN! My 31 year old hot stud muffin. He won his mountain bike race yesterday and will quickly be knocking on the experts door. Tonight we're headed to Tavoata for dinner and then to Circus Contraption. Should be an entertaining night!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I just let my dog Makiah out to use the toilet in the pouring rain and let her back in. I was so absorbed by the computer that I didn't notice how much of a fluff ball she became in a matter of two minutes. She just verbalized she wanted some attention and I looked at this fur ball. Too funny.

It was way too entertaining to look up furballs... here's another one.

or this one...

This is what happens when you reach your flow.

Congrats Bolt!
I woke up this morning to the sound of pouring rain. What's that saying? June showers bring July flowers? Or is it - WHERE'S SUMMER?

It's funny how you can stay motivated to ride outside in the rain in the winter - yet as soon as the precipitation starts falling from the sky in June I'll be the first one to ride the rollers. And it's even 20 degrees warmer. Oh well.

This weekend I'm headed with teammate Christine to Minnesota to do some track racing. A land full of mosquitoes and bike races. There's a joke that the state bird is a mosquito. Uh oh. Those pesky little insects love me.

And for the first time in my cycling career - the promoter is helping pay the way to the event - how cool is that? They're also televising the event locally as part of the cycling fest in conjunction to Nature Valley GP. Christine and I get to wake up early Saturday morning and help them do some filming. Look for bright yellow!

I also booked my tickets for the San Jose American Velodrome Challenge and am really looking forward to it. That's in another two weeks. Rick Adams, the chief official for Hellyar, said they're approaching the AVC as a party first and track race second. It's about as close to being a rock star as a bike racer can be. Should be fun!

Then close on its heals is the AVC at Alpenrose and then FSA GP in July. Ah the life of a track racer - gotta love it.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Weekend Warrior vs Burning the candle

Let's play a little game called recommended vs not recommended!

Recommended: Racing your heart out on Friday Night with the cat 3 men and contesting sprints.

Not Recommended: Racing Friday Night Track before a three stage omnium with hills.

Recommended: Signing up in advance for a plush crit corner marshal 4 hour shift because it is your team race and bringing your favorite lawn chair, umbrella, compression socks and lunch.

Not Recommended: Buying a Safeway Club sammy and having a 1/4 cup of orange mayo layered on thick - yet eating it all because you're famished.

Recommended: Not wiping your mayo hands on your $100 compression socks.

Recommended: Getting your tubulars re-glued weeks in advance.

Not Recommended: Checking the stem length before having them glue it in a disc wheel. It makes it difficult to inflate your tires! And then breaking your bomb proof pump right before a TT.

Recommended: Always park next to the Boursaws. They'll bail you out of a pickle every time. ;)

Recommended: Going full out for a 10k TT and having someone in front of you to chase.

Not Recommended: Catching the person in front of you before the final corner, and coming in so hot while in your bars that you off road, almost crashing into the ditch with 200m to go. Then losing for the second stage race TT in a row by three seconds to Beth! It was that off road portion, I swear!

Recommended: Having a dry crit in Enumclaw.

Not Recommended: Being in the Cat 4 or 5 men's field and watching 5 crashes!

Recommended: Going full out for a crit - playing it smart with Liz and covering all attacks and counters.

Not Recommended: Going for a $20 prime, then having a gap and hearing the prime bell ring again for omnium points. Trying to hold off a charging field and getting swarmed with 2 corners to go. At least I tried, right?

Recommended: Taking which ever wheel you want in the crit - you open an inch, and I'm going to take that wheel from you! (Thank you track!)

Not Recommended: Taking the 4th wheel back, getting swarmed and then having to go the long way around with 2 corners left till the finish.

Recommended: Driving the follow car in any race. You get to know the ins and outs of racing - how the officials communicate, etc.

Not Recommended: Getting home at 10:30 pm, trying to fall asleep and then up at 6am to drive back down south. Ouch.

Recommended: Starting the hilly road race, listening to your body when the hammy starts to talk and calling it a day when you're too far off the back and it's cold out.

Recommended: Checking the results when they're posted - turns out they didn't score me as starting the RR so I didn't get omnium points. A quick fix in an excel spreadsheet and viola! 6th place in the GC! Even if I had finished the RR it wouldn't have changed my placement. Deal!

Highly Recommended: Scheduling a massage with the miracle worker Sarah Ellis to iron out all the kinks. Turns out my back was super duper tight - thus pulling the hammy. Wise choice!

Very highly recommended: Eating sushi after a long weekend of being a warrior and burning the candle at both ends.