Sunday, October 25, 2009

NCCX Race #2

I don't think this will be a long post....I'm tired and my legs hurt a bit after the race this afternoon.  I arrived around 11am and hadn't been there more than maybe 5min when Dallas rolls up.  We chat for a bit then he goes to change into street clothes while I get my bike/stuff ready.  We meet back up near registration, then just hang out watching the ongoing race.

He tells me about a few places to watch out for and then I head out to get in a practice lap or two.  The course isn't really all that bad - there's a section near the last part of the course, near the finish, that is a very short/steep uphill and a right-hand off camber turn in another section.  The first practice lap, I wasn't prepared for that short hill and had to unclip & walk.  Made it through 1.5 laps and then lined up for the race.

I did pretty well for the first 2 laps, but going hard & fast in cool air will bring on the exercise induced asthma that I've had some trouble with previously.  I haven't had much trouble with that in over a year, so I wasn't really expecting any trouble.  But, hit me and I had to just slow down.  Crap.  And, I was doing pretty well, hanging with a couple other women, passing a few of them.  I just had to slow down and ride easier.  Oh well.  Then there's "That Hill".  I climbed it 3 times, each one harder than the last, but made somewhat easier by the fact that there were so many spectators in that area, encouraging you to dig deeper, telling you that you can do it, you're almost there! that there was no way I was going to unclip.  

So, that's pretty much it for today's race.  I'll be very surprised if I'm not DFL for this race.  Dallas didn't seem to think I would be when I talked to him afterwards, but I'm not so sure.  I finished up, went and changed clothes, started to head over to the Start/Finish to see my placement, but, just was too tired.  I'll have to wait on the results to be posted online.

Next week, is Race #3 in Boone.  That one is probably going to be a hard one with mucho climbing, which I totally suck at, whether it's on the road or in the dirt.  No pictures today, other than the few I think Dallas took while I was racing.  I'll post them up once he sends them to me...

Pretty tired now - had a shower and I'm going to lay on the couch with my kitteh and watch a little football this afternoon. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

NCCX Race #1

First cyclocross race of the Fall Series was today at Bond Park in Cary.  I was waffling about going to the race Thursday & Friday, but talked to Dallas Friday evening and since he registered, I couldn't not register/race.  My hesitation was due to the fact that I haven't been on the cx bike since probably March and the weather forecast was calling for 60-80% rain for the time of my race (12:30pm).  But, rain is good in cyclocross!!!  Makes it a lot more fun, especially when you can get all muddy!

I arrived around 11:30-11:45a, enough time to get myself ready and over to Registration to pick-up my number, take a lap or two around the course.  It didn't really seem to be too hard of a course until you came upon the very steep downhill, leading to a long run-up and then back down.  Oh boy.  That run-up & back down was something else.  I just got off the bike and either pushed it or carried it up the hill, doing the same on the downhill side.  Just didn't have enough confidence to ride down, but stopped about 2/3 of the way down and hopped back on.  After that section, it was a long stretch running by the Start/Finish, rinse/repeat.

I get lined up for my race, near the front (learned my lesson about starting in the back from the Wolfpack Classic Road Race in February) and we're off!  Of course, I hammer with the group, but very fastly realize that I better knock it down a notch, as there is no way for me to keep that pace up for 30min.  I settle into a pace I think I can ride for 30min and just do my race.  I get passed by men, women, and children!  But, I just keep on going...2 laps down and when I get to the S/F, I'm told I have 2 more laps!  Holy Crap!! Thankfully, I knew I would only have one more at the pace I was going. 

So, last lap, coming out of the woods to the steep hilly section, there is a woman in pink ahead of me.  She gets to the top first, hesitates a bit and I catch up to her.  We both walk the bikes down the hill a bit, she hops on her's but has trouble and almost falls.  I'm on mine and see my hole....I get clipped in and then turn to the final's a sprint between Pink and myself and I beat her to the line by, maybe, half a wheel length.  YES!! :)

Afterwards, I meet Dallas and we talk about the race a bit, then I go change, check the results and discover that I am not DFL!!!  Awesome, because I was figuring that I might be last or next to last.  I placed 16th out of 19 women in the CX4 race.   Hang around for a bit to get pictures of the fast guys, then head on home.

Tomorrow, I'll be back at it for the 2nd race of the series. 

Pictures from the race:








And, finally, the pizza I made for my lunch/supper this evening.  Spicy Italian Sausage, sauteed peppers/mushrooms/zucchini, spinach, jalapeno's, fresh mozzarella, and thinly sliced roma tomatoes.

Sacramento, CA: Last Day

My last day in California was a fairly lazy one.  My butt still hurt and not a one of us wanted to get on a bike this day.  Mid-morning breakfast of a "pie" made, again, by Cook Extraordinaire Chris.  It was made of diced potatoes, leftover veggies from the other night and on top of all that, he added 6 eggs.  The potatoes were sauteed/cooked, the veggies added and eggs, covering to cook the eggs.  Yummy!!!!  Wish I had someone to cook like that for me, though, I like to cook well enough, that I could be the Cook Extraordinaire for someone.  I forgot to get a picture of breakfast. 

After breakfast, all of us were working on our respective blogs/reports and just being pretty dang lazy.  Chris and Deb took the dogs for a long walk around 12:30-1pm while I remained home working (or attempting to) on the blog...once they returned home, I left and took a drive to Old Sacramento/Sacramento for some touristy stuff.

This first picture is for my friend Vega Vixen:

The rest are from various places around Old Sacramento...







I thought, after visiting Old Sacramento, that since I was basically "in" Sacramento, I would find my way to downtown and get a few pictures of the Capital Building and maybe see if Arnold was home (he wasn't home).










Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sacramento, CA: Day Four/Foxy's Ride's my take on Foxy's ride....I'll have to edit/add more (later tonight) because I posted this in the NorCal subforum of BF..........

I really had plans to do the full ride, but even though I brought my saddle & pedals and Chris & I set his bike up to the measurements from my Ruby and Fuji (he rides a 54 and i ride a 52), I had some very serious butt pain.  OMG.  Even during and after my 200k in April and after AoMM, my butt never hurt as bad as it did during the ride up to the lunch rest stop.  I felt great, my legs felt great, but my butt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMFG.  Hurt like a mo'fo and the thoughts of riding 45-50 more miles was just too painful to endure.  I'm sorry, but I just couldn't do it....Lesson learned from this - either ship your own bike or borrow teh correct size bike. 

That being said....the ride was great!!  The company was great!! It was so very nice to finally meet everyone. dauphin (John) - baybuh!!  You are pretty quiet!  Everyone was very strong and I was totally comfortable riding behind/with anyone in our group.   The route was fairly flat with a few rollers (similar to riding in the Wendell/Zebulon area here).  After the first water stop, we're going along and all of a sudden, I hear Chris coming up and saying that the next section of rollers was their favorite to ride...and, he started to blow by me!! Curtis jumped on and I was a tad slow to catch the Tandem Train.  But, I didn't let that deter me.  Down in the drops and I put out a really good sprint to catch up with them.  It was an awesome ride up & down those rollers.  Butt be damned!!  I'm riding this train while I can!

But, unfortunately, my butt just continued to hurt more and at one point I asked Chris & Deb if we had already passed the point where we could decide on the metric or the century.  Yes, we had.  Damn.  OK, well, I'll try to go on, but I'm not sure I can.  Oh yea...the Flat Fairy only visited us once on the ride too.  So, we finally reach the lunch stop and I have decided to SAG in.  Very disappointed because I wanted to do the climbs.  Oh well, maybe next year.

I bid farewell to my group, got the car keys from Chris and tried to find someone to tell me where to find SAG.  I was initially told that it would be 3pm before anyone would be able to take me back to the start.  Finally, a SAG wagon arrives, but the guy is unsure of whether he just takes our bikes back to the start/finish or does he take bikes and riders???  Yes, you take me and my bike!!!  There is another guy wanting a ride back due to bad cramps, then one more with some serious back problems from a previous injury last week (plus his friend).  We eventually get it all worked out, but we have to take the route back to the start/finish.  OK, whatever, just take me back.  Actually, that worked out pretty well because I was able to take a few pictures along the route and wouldn't have to come back for pictures.

We drove up Cardiac and I don't think I would have had any problems climbing it, would have been slow, but I could've done it had I not had the butt issues.  Finally arrived back at the S/F, went and found some food (2 kinds of pasta, salad, bread, soda, and an ice cream sandwich) and sat outside waiting on Chris & Deb to arrive.  They were about 30min behind me.

We sit outside, finish eating and lo 'n behold if bigbossman=bbm=John and bs=bikingshearer=Rich didn't show up.  bbm is better looking in person than his posted pictures.  I was sorta hoping to see that pretty red bike that he always takes pictures with - maybe another time.  And, bs is such the BS'r.  Had a great time sitting around listening to everyone tell their stories.  All great guys!

In the end....I had a great ride at Foxy's, albeit shortened, and I've had a wonderful time out here in NorCal.  I would really love to come back next year, bring my own bike and do the full ride.  We'll never know what ole wolfpack will be up to next year this time.....
Slideshow of the ride

Sacramento, CA: Day Three

Let's see....Friday was a busy day - getting a ride in and getting teh house cleaned up, food fixed in preparation of the Pre-Ride Par-tay!
Not really sure where we rode on Friday, but it was a very flat route through groves of walnut trees and open fields. Even though it was flat, the area around here is very pretty. I could see myself living out here if I ever decided to make a move to CA.

Riding through the walnut groves, we noticed LOTS of walnuts laying on the ground, but not many were close enough to the road for us to take. Being close to the road means they are on the DOT right-of-way and free for the taking. Or so one would think. So, we finally see some which are right next to the road and we stop to gather a few to take back with us, thinking we might offer them at the Par-tay. Well, guess who gets busted picking up walnuts off the edge of the road?? Yep - me. Some guy comes up in a pick-up and tells me to only take what I can eat. Well, duh. Does it look like I have a basket on my bike? No. And, you can only get so many into jersey pockets. And, you know what? They weren't all that good - they were still fairly green, so not too crunchy.

So, we left from there (picking up the walnuts) and headed on into Winters, CA for some lunch at Speedy Eddy's (think that was the name of the place). I wish I had taken some pictures of the town, but didn't think about it. Lunch was a Greek Chicken wrap, coleslaw & ice tea. This was very good and a large portion - so large, that I took half of the wrap back with us. I planned on eating it later that afternoon, but once we got back home, I was hungry - so that was gone pretty quickly.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent helping Deb & Chris around the house - cleaning up and making it presentable to the other guests we were expecting for the Par-tay. On the menu for the Par-tay was ribs, salad, rice, Pumpkin Chip cookies, some beer tasting.....

OMG. Chris can seriously cook! These ribs are/were to die for!! The meat just fell off the bones. was a TLO for the mouth! Everything was absolutely great. Diana (Overthere from BF), Curtis & Trisha (don't remember their BF names) were the only guests to make it - others either had something else come up or had to cancel at the last minute. That's ok...we had a great time! Curtis brought some beer and the beer tasting by the women - well, let's just say that was some of the nastiest beer I have ever had!! Yuck. The rest of the food/wine was exceptional.

So, that was pretty much Day Three - another fun and exciting time. Stayed up a bit too late and had one or two too many glasses of wine.

Slideshow of the ride with Chris & Deb Friday afternoon and a couple of pics from the party...

Beau & Ollie having dinner:

Good Beer (i.e. not hoppy!!):



And, nothing left:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sacramento, CA: Day's One & Two

I'm not really sure why I decided to fly out to Sacramento this fall - other than my friend Deb mentioned this very popular century the weekend of October 17th and just said "hey, why don't you come out and do the ride??".  I procrastinated a while on registering for the century (Foxy's Fall Century), eventually registered and then it was....ok, I'm registered so I guess I had better see about getting a flight out there.

Tickets for the flight were purchased and I the rental car reserved...I packed Sunday evening, knowing that I always like to unpack and repack again...I'll usually decide to leave items or find out that I need something else when I do this.  Tuesday evening was the unpack/repack night and I was also like a little kid waiting on that big vacation, meaning I wasn't very sleepy.  I finally went to bed around 1:30am, but getting back up at 3:30am to shower and get ready to leave for the airport 4:20am.

Day One: 
Yuck.  It was raining Tuesday evening, rained all night, raining Wednesday morning as I drove to RDU to catch my flight.  Arrived at the Park 'n Ride lot around 4:50am, caught the shuttle to the airport, checked my bag and then waited in line to go through security.  It was now around 5:30-5:40am and my flight was to take off at 6am (sorta long line to wait in too).  Once I finally made it through security, I did the fast walk to get to my gate and on the plane.  Window seat on an exit row....I like that, more leg room.   I was pretty tired/sleepy at this point (only 2hr of sleep) and all I remember about the flight is taking off and landing in Atlanta.  It was raining in Atlanta too.

I had to find some food before I did anything else - I was pretty hungry.  My next flight was scheduled to take off at 8:25am, we arrived at 7:35am - so I didn't have a lot of time to search out food.  Ended up eating a spicy chicken sandwich, fries & diet Coke for breakfast.  Another fast walk to catch the next flight, Exit Row/window seat again. 4:48hr flight...slept for about 2-2.5hr, probably somewhere in the middle of the flight and was awake for the last part of the flight. Interesting fact during the flight....Captain told us that we were passing over Winslow, Arizona....a particular song came to mind...

Landed in Sacramento around 10:45am (1:45 NC time), picked up my luggage, got a ride to the rental car agency, picked up the car and headed towards Vacaville, CA.  Finally made it to Deb's house around 12pm (had to stop for a drink & some food and a restroom break - I never use the restroom on these long flights...).

After meetin' 'n greetin' both Deb & Chris, getting my stuff to my room, meeting the doggies, they made a grocery list for the next few days and we all went to the store for food.  Pizza was on the menu for Wednesday night...OMG...Chris can cook!!!  This pizza was great!!  Sausage, stir-fried Italian veggies, fresh mozzarella, basil, parmesean...delicious!!!  Rounded out the meal with a few glasses of wine.  I'm not much of a wine drinker, but so far, I've really enjoyed what I've had.

Deb also made some very good Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies.  I'm coming home with that recipe. :)  We had a few of those for dessert.  That's about it for Day One...I think I finally went to bed around midnight (CA time) and didn't hear a thing all night long.

Day Two:
Well, I slept great last night! Finally went to bed around 12-12:30am (CA time) and slept till 7 or 8am. Felt pretty good when I woke up. Looked out the window after a bit to discover there were wet roads, slight rain/overcast conditions. Uh oh. We had a 30-something mile ride planned for today and we weren't going to let a little bit of rain stop us!!! The plan was to meet Scotty in downtown Vacaville and then head out on the ride.

It's about a 2-2.5mi ride from Deb's house to the meeting place - this would provide a nice little warm-up...I think I brought the Rain Fairy and the Flat Fairy with me from NC! About 10min into the ride, I had a rear flat. No biggie, Chris fixed it in no time. Met Scotty and we head out - into a bit more than a drizzle. Oh well. I didn't fly all the way out here to not ride and a little water, hopefully, wouldn't cause me to melt too much (you know, since I'm all sugar & spice).

Very nice route we took this morning, mostly flat but with a few rollers thrown in - pretty much like riding in the Clayton/Wendell/Zebulon area. It's very pretty out here, a big contrast to the San Diego area where I visited last year. We saw lots of wild turkeys, walnut trees, peaches & apricot trees (farms really), pomegranate & olive trees. 

I didn't take too many pictures after meeting Scotty because it started to rain a bit more heavily, didn't want to get the camera all wet, and I was trying to keep out of the spray from the tandem.  Not really a safe time for picture taking.  I did go back later in the afternoon and drive the route so I could have a few pictures from the route.  I also drove up Mix Canyon Rd, which is a narrow route to the top of Mix Canyon.  Wow.  I think I could make it up to, maybe, just maybe 3 miles, but after that??  I'm not too sure I could go further than that.  It is VERY steep after that point.  Took a few pictures as I drove up to the top....

Well, after about an hour or so into the ride, the Rain Fairy left us, but the Flat Fairy was in no way done with us.  After the first flat at the start of the ride, I had 3 more rear flats with the last one coming as we were HAULING it down the service road of the 505.  I have no idea how fast we were going, but I was tucked in behind Deb & Chris (on the tandem) and we were really rolling.  Next thing I know, I hear the "whomp-whomp" of the rear tire going flat AGAIN.  Damnit.  Oh well, Chris get's this one fixed, but is out of CO2 and gets it pumped up enough with the pump well enough to get us back to the house.

Finally back home, we're standing around in the driveway chatting and I hear the sound of air being released...damn.  I look at the bike and it's the front tire that has now gone flat!  That makes 5 flats for the day.  I sure do hope the Flat Fairy feels like her work has been done for this trip!  No more flats please!!! 

Pics from the ride:
The neighborhood where Deb & Chris live:

Chris & Deb

Mr RR, me, & Scotty (why didn't anyone tell me my glasses were all cock-eyed?):

I think this was the 2nd AND 3rd flat.  Repaired the first flat, put the wheel back on and immediately had another flat (patch failed)

The next pictures are from my drive in the afternoon:

From very near the top of Mix Canyon:

A sampling of the very abundant wild turkeys in the area:


After my drive, I arrived back at Deb's home around 5:30-6pm,  we hung out for a little bit, then Chris fixed Teriyaki Scallops with fresh veggies and a wild rice blend.  OMG...yummy. 
So, that was pretty much the day....a little bit of Foo surfin, writing up the days events and then off to bed around 11pm (I think)....

OK....up next will be Day Three, which will include another bike ride and a little Pre-ride par-tay at Deb & Chris's.....