Tuesday, June 23

We Keep Coming Back to THIS...

Before I delve into DAY TWO, a BIG shout out to Stephen Wormser who is responsible for the new header shot, and some other pretty cool pics that will begin popping up! Great guy, awesome location around the corner from work and the bike shop, I have had the privilage of working with Steve for several years, dating back to the Jose Ole days.

Also, STEVE was pretty miffed I have yet to drop his name on this here blog! Steve at one point brewed all of our coffee at Stell....now he tightens my cables and all the other things I am incapable of doing on my bike, while wrenching at Cyclery USA...Then he heads over to the Salon to cut bangs and pick what design to my hair should become. The experience is totally rad...I would highly suggest it.

OK, where were we...OH YES!

Day Two in Costa Rica was the closest I have come to emotional implosion since about two years ago. Serious. Waking up was horrible. I felt wrecked. I looked at my homies and was like, um, can we tap out NOW?!?


22.61 miles

3:28 Ride time.

10,079 Elevation gain. Serious?!

Check it all here!

Racing that day was like nothing I have ever experienced. It was so draining and mentally difficult, that now in races I tell myself to "Go back to that Costa Rica Place" and remember what it feels like to suffer. What its like to have no idea where the top is but yet to continue riding harder and stronger than you have ever forced yourself to go. This experience makes a 100 foot climb look exponentially small.

After the mud and other dark earlthy products caked my bottles and bike on day one, I opted to go with ONE bottle on the bike and two in my jersey. This forced me to wear the ONLY medium jersey I had each day because with all the junk i had in my pockets, the smalls looked like belly-shirts, and nobody wants to look like a hooch in the jungle.
Wash everything at once...cool.

Besides being the most painful day on a bike, ever, this day was the BEST EVER! Getting my mind to calm down enough to focus SOLELY on the task at hand was epic. Being able to look beyond pain and fatigue and just keep pedalling was rad. Each half hour I felt stronger and stronger. My mind was settled all else was unimportant. Finally, I felt like a bike racer.

Riding the Jungle BABY!

Do NOT crash on this stuff...we all avoided it...but were well aware of the carnage it could create in an instant!

This stage popped out on the top of a volcano where we could look out over the valley to other volcanoes and villages. We also go a splendid taste of local single track through the jungle. I ran super fast sand tires due to the high amount of road/dirt road we would be riding, so you could amagine the cluster I created in the sticky, guey, clay-like mud in the jungle. A national named Erik, who I rode with stage 2/3, asked me in broken English as I scuttled up from yet another yard-sale endo: "You like the land?" jejejeje. UM NO!Erik and I nearing the finish of Stage two...Glasses zipped safely in my jersey...humidity plus sweat plus granny gear climbing: zero vizibility.

Water for two, please! Maureen and I opted for purchased local water...That and bananas was all I bought down there.

Super cool option with the race was to purchase, for $20 US a CD with like 100 photos on it! Woohoo! Otherwise I would have never gotten some of the cool shots of the terrain!!

FOCUS! But walking....optional....Maureen did everything in her power to never walk. RAD.


Super smart idea to take brand new white shoes to the jungle. Then hit up a ton of hike-a-bikes. Blisters are yummy.

In the land of Strawberries and Coffee, Maureen did a bang-up job of assimilating.

The crew refualing - awesome local fare!

Endorphine high...Heading back to the hotel!

We sent the bikes back to the shop for TLC...the guy on the right rode about 1/3 of the day with me. He spoke no English but knew the trails, which he was poaching, so was an excellent guide. I gave him my USCUP water bottle and he loved it.

I cried Uncle around 7:45pm. I can't remember EVER sleeping that hard. Serious.

Tami and Danny from Mexico City are at the BC Bike Race!!!Pimping Coach Gareth in Santa Barbara Costa Rica. I so do not fit in. Anywhere.

Friday, June 19

Aw Shucks

Just when I feel all comfortable saying that Missy Giove is one of my heros, she has to go and get busted with a truck-laod, literally, of Pot in her truck as well as a ton of cash in her house and well is now staring down the barrel of 5-40 in the clink.

She still is one of the raddest chicks ever on a bike. I won't take that back.

Monday, June 8

What's the obsession?

For some reason, people are obsessed with my hair! I know, its short, odd colors and just plain weird! But serious, I am perplexed at how shocked people are with my hair, and in some cases, how taken back they are by it. Here you have it, how the hair ranks today. Katrina, Kendra and I rockin' out at senior graduation!

Here are some of the most recent comparissons. All of which i find completely hilarious and borderline insane.

Fantastic!! Syndrome from the Incredibles!! Although I do not feel that my jaw-line matches his, nor my belly fat, but the style is epic.

PINK, must be angry at Mr. Hart...this one the kids at school drop more frequently, because they are wrapped up in that pop-culture crap.

A Hershey's kiss...not sure who came up this one, but I will roll with it!!
MIssy Giove: 1994 World Champion Downhill racer...I will TAKE IT!! Only the few and the proud have dropped this name. Missy was/is one of my FAVORITE cyclists EVER, a hero of sorts, and one whose example and Will for the Wacky I always admired! Rock on!! This chick OWNED her style, her name, and promoted it to the full for the good of the sport. A complete self-starter and do-er. Rad.

Jackie Warner. Another common reference, Jackie is big in the fitness industry, and last year, reality TV. She is pretty BA, but a bit too caught up in the Hollywood scene for my liking. Although she does sport quite the solid sixpack, I would much rather welcome a Giove comparision than a Warner one.

Hair grows back my friends, it ain't nothin' but a thing. What "inspired" me to change my hair? Bordom with the norm frankly, and my bi-daily showers and extremely active lifestyle left my long thick hair unkempt.
That's my story. And I am sticking to it.

Sunday, June 7

The Costa Rican Saga Continues...

Other than flatting on the Saturday World Championships where my "team" all left me, only to be picked up out of Charity by the Santa Crew, and being left off the Power Rankings, nothing much is new in my small world of Cycling.

So, I will live in the past, like many others, and dredge up racing wonders that are now nothing but jpg's on my desk top.

DAY 1 of Racing!

Check HERE for race profile and my Garmin file from the stage!! Over 8,000 ft of climbing in 27 miles...do the math!

Despite high temperatures, the day began in a deep fog. There were times I couldn't see 20 feet ahead of me, climbing up the side of the Volcano. I remember seeing a form ahead and having no idea what it was until i was about 5 feet behind....a wild horse. I seen realized I was in a small herd of them and I could think of was getting decked in the Dome Piece by one of their hooves.

Riding up, up, up. No iPod, nobody to talk to, no idea how much I was about to hurt. There was a switch that I found way down deep inside that opened up the reserves and allowed me literally and figuratively, go where I have never gone while racing. In races since then, I have told myself "Go to that Costa Rica Place" and reminded myself that a 600 foot climb in a road race is chump change compared to what we experienced here.

I think this picture sums it up. No option to wear my shades due to high levels of humidity and sweat. 2 hours plus of straight climbing. Mind numbing climbing.
Javier came each morning to the hotel to fetch us! He waited during the whole stage for us, and carted us "home." Not a single bent rotor....amazing. En Ingles Por favor! Getting race instructions from Henry prior to stage one. Notice i was taking the picture, thus never got the instructions. Everything panned out however. Covered in dirt/volcanic ash from an epic endo while literally glisading down fire roads covered with literally 5-10 inches of silt. We had rooster tails behind us! Thank goodness for all that riding in Fontana sand, otherwise i could have died. The large machine: Cleaning up from January earthquake.

Driving back to the hotel DOWN one of the climbs we came UP earlier that day...

Traffic on the trails was amazing. It puts the Paint Ballers of Fontana to shame!

We all had NO idea what to expect. We were thinking 40 miles for this stage, it was only about 27. BUT...an epic 24. Its hard to gauge efforts/food/recovery when you are in completely unknown territory! Maureen took a CamelBak with a small cot in it (i joke, but that sucker was huge) and I opted for the lower cage mount. which, i never touched. That bottle was completely black after riding through cow pastures, coffee plantations, trash, single track, mud, town roads, and silt. Support for the national riders...

Bike after the stage...SUPER dirty!!

Elated to have finished, coming in second overall for women, and even more stoked have lunch hot and ready!

Getting HOOKED up at the bike shop with wash, detail, and delivery. for $6.oo US!!! It was like the bike came right off the Fisher truck at a national, i kicked down a 20 for the efforts! Awesome!

When in doubt, throw it ALL in the bathtub!!

I believe we all come in just about 20 minutes apart...Maureen decided the camelbak was a BAD idea, and I chose to take off the extra bottle cage and throw everything in my pockets for round two.

Then it was back to the hotel, to plot our attack on volcano #2!

Monday, June 1

Don't question it, just roll with it!

I started this whole cycling madness on a Mountain Bike, and each time I take that bad-boy out on the trails, I remember WHY!! I can't think of any other way to achieve so much fun!

The last couple of weeks have been Chaos - which i completely embrace - but it has not left me a lot of time or mental capacity to put into racing. I have had the "privalage" of attending awards banquets, fundraisers, beach outings, or school parties every...single...night since last Tuesday. Saturday I cracked and agreed to go wake boarding...SWEEEEEET.....oddly, this is NOT part of my pre-race rituals!

Side note: I haven't attempted wake boarding since the summer of '98 on Hayden Lake in Idaho. Cousin Kiff kept telling me, just sit on it like your a frog on a lilly pad. Come again? I never got up. This time, Brian and Nich kept asking if i wanted to a try and i pulled all the "no' answers i could find, which was like 3, then cracked and went for it! Totally fun!!!

Rolling up to Big Bear I was sore, fatigued, and tired. But happy...dang that goes a long ways! The usual FAST suspects showed up as we began our 24 mile quest through fire roads, forests and single track.

Somehow, from somewhere, I tapped a secret store of "I can do it!!" and started the race with the hole shot and was able to complete it with the win.

Racing and riding with these girls is so much fun! Too bad Heather had to leave, otherwise she would be in here too! Allison Mann, Carolyn Popovic, me, and Sarah Kaufman. Pretty much a who's-who of SoCal womens racing! It is always such a blast to catch up with all the racers!
Sarah is about to move to Ogden UT...boo....and super stoked that Carolyn is back and fighting on the bike!!
Besides the National Podium in Vermont, this is hands down the coolest blocks i have gotten to stand on!

We got to do the long course, which eventually popped back onto the short course, where we were encircled by lower category riders. You probably couldn't PAY me to ignore them as we rode side by side or as i passed. One guy was like, hey, your the cheerleader. NOpe, I just teach PE and can't NOT talk.
Complete highlight of the day:
Climbing up, I am passing a ton of kids. Some pushing their bikes, some riding. I come up to one kid who is so small, their XXS cycling shorts look like baggies. They have a curly blonde/brown fro spilling out from under their helmet.
I say: "Way to go man, your doing awesome"
She replies: "I'm a GIRL."
I couldn't help but laugh, and tell her ROCK ON SISTA!!! I get that ALL THE TIME!! (My favorite - "way to ride it out BRO")
I found her post race, medal around the neck and slapped her a high five! She is 10 years old and all bummed out because she can't seem to win. She keeps getting beat by a 14 year old. Puhleeze!! That 14 year old should watch out!! Little Brawlers!!! LOVE IT!!!!