TTFN, or whatever

Today's required reading.

Very very early tomorrow morning, so early it will still be dark even though the summer solstice was only a week ago, I'm getting on a plane to fly out east for a friend's wedding. I think my boss has forgotten this, so won't that be a pleasant surprise when he comes in tomorrow and I'm not here.... heehee. Anyway, I won't be back until Wednesday, and I promise exactly no blogging between now and then. If you need entertainment... just go read that article I linked to. No, really, go read it.


there should be a law against races WITHOUT lemonade

Race Report: State Championship Road Race, June 24, 2006

Friday night Nate and I drove down to Plainview, a little middle-of-nowhere town about half an hour north of Rochester. Both of us started at 9:30 sharp, so we figured we'd get more sleep if we went down there the night before. The registration and staging area for the race were in the parking lot of a campground, so we planned to stay there.

It's never a good sign when they spell it "kampground," because kamping is not at all the same thing as camping, but all we needed was a place to stay. Unfortunately, this particular style of kamping was pretty heavy on the beer. Nate and I rolled in around 10 p.m. and went to the "lodge" where we were supposed to check in. This "lodge" was painted in peeling seafoam green and had neon Budweiser signs in the window. We opened the door, fearing the worst, and yep, it was a bar. The kind of bar that serves only Bud and Bud Light, with a jukebox pounding out Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl. Country boys and girls gittin' down on the farm, I guess. I paid for our campsite--excuse me, kampsite--at the bar, didn't have to provide our license plate number, any ID, nothin'. And we didn't get an assigned site. I'm not entirely sure why I even paid, since I don't think the bartender would have noticed.

Not long after we crawled into our sleeping bags, the drunk people began stumbling back to their sites. One woman apparently could not find her husband and began bellowing "Joe! Joe! JOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEE!!" After a while it turned out that Joe had been right there the whole time, because he started bellowing right back. "God damn it, I'm right here, what do you got to be yelling Joe Joe Joe for, god damn it!" Then, despite their obvious drunkenness, they began discussing how they had to move their truck and where they were going to put it. Nate and I were both fully awake by then, and more than a little concerned that Joe was going to run over our tent. Fortunately he didn't.

The steady stream of drunk yelling people didn't let up until at least 4:30, and we had the alarm set for 6:30. It was one of those nights where I was actually relieved when the alarm went off because it was just too frustrating trying to sleep. So after we packed everything up, registered, changed, and lined up at the start line, I made sure to warn everyone that if they saw me starting to swerve off the road it was because I had fallen asleep and pretty please would they wake me up.

But I didn't fall asleep. Fifteen of us took off at the whistle, all cat 4s (my favorite kind of race!). We had a neutral start of about three miles, which took us to the start/finish line halfway up a mile-long climb, then we de-neutralized for the second half of the climb. Three girls fell off the back right away, leaving us with a pack of 12. Yeah, I know, you men think that's pretty funny, but there are a lot less crashes when your pack is that small, so nyah nyah.

The rest of the course was pretty flat, with some gentle rollers but nothing that wasn't big-ringable, and then a monster descent back to the bottom of the river valley. We more or less stayed together for the first of three thirteen-mile laps, with one exception: my rockstar teammate Cam, who soloed the entire Avon course for the win a couple months ago, attacked hard halfway through the lap and no one went after her. It helped that Birchwood had five of the remaining twelve riders so we were pretty much in control, but there was never any organized chase. Later I talked to a couple girls from other teams and it turned out they were thinking no way can she stay away for 35 miles, she'll be back, but my teammates and I were looking at each other and laughing, knowing we were racing for second.

Cam disappeared into the distance, but the rest of us stayed together until the end of the lap when we hit the Big Hill again. I didn't look back, just made my way to the front of the group and stuck on the leaders' wheels until we got to the top, looked around, and saw that only six remained. Four of those six were ours! The unlucky minority was made up of Penelope (of course) and a GP rider whose name will be.... uh.... dang, this pseudonym-inventing stuff is hard. Maleficent, there we go. Evil yet ultimately doomed. Tee hee hee.

We went around again, then up the hill again. We did what we could to shake Penelope and Maleficent, attacking over and over and forcing Penelope to chase and then forcing Maleficent to pull the entire way up the hill, but when we hit the bottom of the hill for the last time all six were still there. I was laying low at the back of the pack, waiting for someone to jump. We passed the 1k sign, then the 500 sign, and nothing. Then we came around a curve and the finish line was in sight, and that was it: Penelope stood up and went, hard. I sprinted after her with everything I had, but it was like Lance passing Ullrich on the Alpe d'Huez in 2001, with my tongue hanging down to my knees and her flying like she'd been slingshotted. All that was missing was "the Look." A second later Gilby came around me, charging hard. I stood up again, looking for more power, but my legs seriously would not hold me up. I sat back down and just spun as fast as I could trying to hold the others off, which I did, crossing the line in fourth just as my hamstring cramped. My legs nearly gave out as I climbed off my bike, but fortunately our awesome crew was there to instantly shove a cold bottle of water in one hand and an icy lemonade in the other, while pushing a chair under my butt at the same time! Talk about the rockstar treatment. Plus Dylan was there, being the official Race Dog, and he was pretty happy to see me.

So after Cam's superstar solo victory, Penelope was able to hold Gilby off for second, then Gilby in third, me in fourth, Maleficent in fifth, Alix sixth and Maria seventh. I then corner-marshaled for the afternoon races, ate Chipotle on the way home, and slept for twelve solid hours. Dylan slept for 15.

1.Yeah, that flag photo really is from the campground. Nate took it. You just can't make this shit up, folks.
2. Notice Gilby in the yellow MWCMR jersey, which she still has after her third place finish. I am presently holding down third in the series, but I have to miss the next series race for a friend's wedding and that'll be the end of that. Oh well.


open wide.....

Well, Shawn wins the prize for guessing the number of cavities I have. I don't yet know what the prize is. I was thinking he could dictate the topic of my next post, but if any of y'all out there in cyberspace have better ideas for a prize, let me know. But be NORMAL AND DECENT. My PARENTS read this blog.

Anyway, despite it being at least five years (maybe more, possibly even since January 1999) since I last saw a dentist, it seems that I only have one cavity! Go me! I guess it was a good thing that the Communists put that fluoride in the elementary school drinking fountains. The dental hygienist wasn't even mean to me, although she did poke my gums with a sharp stick many times, supposedly to "measure" my gums, which is not something my old dentist ever thought necessary, so I am suspicious of her actual motives. Maybe X Bunny was right. But it may have helped that the first thing I said to her was "I haven't been to a dentist in at least five years, so HAVE FUN! HAHAHAHA!" She was probably expecting to be confronted by a reeking horror with little monsters snarling at her from between furry, festering brown teeth. If they expect the worst, they will always be impressed, right? Hey, it worked for George Bush. At least for a while.

Also, it seems that this was my very first visit to a modern dentist. Perhaps they have invented lots of nifty new stuff since I last got a checkup, or perhaps my dentist in Indiana was behind the times, but instead of rinsing your mouth by swishing water around then spitting it out, they now spray water directly onto your teeth and then SUCK IT BACK OUT WITH A VACUUM. Nate was astonished at my astonishment, because apparently all dentists do this, but holy crap, guys, having a vacuum hose stuck in my mouth was quite possibly the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. The first time it sucked up my tongue. In fact, there may be a hickey on the end of my tongue now, I haven't checked. After that I figured out how to keep it away from my tongue, but then it sucked all the air out of my lungs! Twice! The hygienist nearly peed her pants laughing. I'm glad I could provide some entertainment, but jeez. I kind of needed that air.

So that's my dentist story. I have to go back on July 12 to get that cavity filled and to get one of my old fillings (which is apparently falling apart) replaced. Hopefully I will not have any more stories, but if they bring that vacuum hose back out you never know what might happen. Seriously, it might eat me. I think it had fangs.


help me, i'm scared

Folks, I am about to go to the dentist for the first time in at least five years. I've never been scared of the dentist before, but this time I am. Place your bets as to the exact number of cavities I have. First person to guess correctly gets a prize!



Rob is now in Kansas, having ridden 1300 miles from California to get there. 1300 miles since Sunday morning. Holy saddle sores, Batman.

I'm volunteering at the Birchwood booth at the race tonight. If any of you are downtown, stop by and say hi. You can buy ice cream from me. It'll be tasty.

And because I've been unfairly picking on the men lately, here is proof that bad taste in cycling clothing knows no gender boundaries:

You know, ordinarily I'd make fun of the panties-under-the-shorts thing, but good god, just imagine if she hadn't!


eye candy

Wow, you people turned out to be awfully passionate about those pink shorts. Well, I aim to please, so:


it just ain't right

I hope the guy who designed these shorts never works again. Really.

wouldn't want you to have too much excitement on a monday

Yeah, I know, I promised you a race report from Hutchinson, so here it is.



good luck, rob!

While you're all waiting in anticipation for my Hutchinson Crit report, why don't y'all take a moment to send some positive thoughts in the direction of Rob Lucas, as he gets his last few hours of sleep for a very long time. You see, early tomorrow morning Rob is setting off to race his bike across America. Yes, the whole thing.

You may have heard of RAAM. You get on your bike and you ride as fast as you can from California to Atlantic City. Yes, that is over three thousand miles. And no, you don't sleep. (Not much, anyway.) Don't try this at home, kids.

I don't know Rob very well. I mostly only know him through the internet, having come across his blog sometime last fall, and then there was that day at Hell Week where I rode with him for 20 miles before putting two and two together and asking "Wait a minute, are you Rob?" I then rode with him for the rest of the day. He was a pretty cool guy, very mellow yet very motivated. Yet obviously a touch insane!

Anyway, send good thoughts Rob's way, because all the RAAM racers will need them and as a first-year racer Rob could use as much positivity as he can get, whether positivity is a word or not. And as I line up at the start line tomorrow for a measly 30-minute crit, I will be sure and think about the difference between a half-hour race and a ten-day race. It ain't me who is the badass here.

Good luck, Rob!


Hooray! I just bought my tickets for BodyWorlds! I told Nate I would take him out for a steak dinner afterward, but he was not interested.


or i might just take up smoking

One of the secretaries added up all the time the receptionist spends on cigarette breaks per day, and it comes to nearly 40 minutes. Yes, there is a secretary sitting down there timing the receptionist's cigarette breaks. That's how bitter you get when you sit in a cubicle suing people all day. Apparently these cigarette breaks last an average of just over seven minutes. Nobody else at this office smokes, but in the interest of fairness we are thinking that every hour or so we will all go mill around outside doing nothing for seven and a half minutes. Fairness, people.