Wednesday, December 12, 2007

blunt force trauma @ the jingle cross rock

the weekend after thanksgiving was the Jingle Cross Rock , the biggest badass CX race that this area has to offer. i have to say that the Meehans and all of the volunteers really throw down and make this event something to behold.

i felt a little guilty at first for registering for the beginner's race... you would think after however many years it's been, i would be strong enough to at least consider myself "intermediate". then i saw the rosters for the other races and realized that my field was definitely in the beginner's. note to self: one full winter of lazing about and drinking beer will really fuck up a racing season. who knew you couldn't get faster by sitting on your ass? i'll chalk that one up to experiential learning.

anyway, i'm psyched that i did the beginner's, because it was the first race both days-- opening up the rest of the day for spectating and a little carb replacement. it was also an "easier" course, with the run-ups shortened (which in turn shortens the descents). this "easier" course completely maxed out my current abilities, so i had no more guilt for registering 'beginner'... especially since i finished 10th both days. no puking at all... not even any jitters. i think it has something to do with jumping out of that plane. this just doesn't seem all that dangerous any more.

of note here is Kathleen Porter (KP) of Bike Tech, who has sprung out of nowhere to become really strong. this season, she was seen doing multiple races at events like Psyclofest and the Iowa State CX Champs. guess it paid off: she stomped us on saturday. nice work! another reason i'm a KP fan: she gets cleaned up faster and better than anyone else at the race. while some of us can barely bother to throw on sweatpants, KP will be in full makeup and heels before we're off the course. since my biggest pet peeve in the world is when a (female) bike racer throws caution and hygiene to the wind and wears their kit all damn day (chamois and all), KP's astounding ability to look attractive after slaughtering a field is refreshing.

anyhow, the course had a lot of fun in it, including long straight sections to pick up speed, slippery run-ups, rockin' descents, even a barn full of sand. we went one direction saturday, and then reversed it for sunday. i felt much stronger and was having a much better race on sunday until i decided to lay my bike down a couple of times. the first time wasn't such a big deal; i just slid too much trying to climb a weird switchback that a lot of folks were having trouble with. i lost about three postions in that first fuckup, but it was the second one that really cost me. i slid out again, but this time on a flat, sweeping 180. the ground was icy, too much air in my tires, blah blah. whatever happened, i wet down hard and hit my head. not sure how many girls came around me at that point, because i was on my hands and knees trying to figure out where i was. one girl asked, "are you alright?" me: "no. i hit my head." apparently the question was meant to be rhetorical, because she kept riding and didn't bother to alert the officials, even though they were stationed at the next turn. what-the-fuck-ever. no one was coming to the rescue, so i got on my bike and kind of coasted forward to the officials. they told me it was the last lap and i should "stick it out", so i did... and ended up 10th again.

the elite races fucking ruled, with crazy-ass people like todd wells, steve tilford, sue butler and wendy williams. andrea was in town for the holiday and raced as well, which ruled equally.

the weekend would not be complete without Team Skin, who created their trademark course-side pyramid and supplied many a stranger with music, cold beer, and/or a tambourine. i swear to god that JJ was looking at me when i tossed him a beer across the course- but when the beer reached critical arc he turned away... and received a full can of High Life to the forehead. holy shit- there's a classic deb wood for you: hey, thanks for the good times and beer, guys! have a little blunt force trauma on me!

but what's a bike race without a little injury? i owe JJ a bunch of beer.

results: 10th twice, animosity for racers who don't help other wrecked racers, mild hangover, blunt force trauma for JJ & myself

Monday, November 5, 2007

just a sweet transvestite

friday after the freefalling experience, i headed in to cedar rapids to see a theater production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. one of my best buddies from early high school, Bryant, was Frank N. Furter himself!!

it was a great time. the theater even had bags for participation already prepared! and Bryant was beyond brilliant. i swear to god, he has been rehearsing for that role since the day he left the womb.

afterwards, lindsay, molly, and myself hunted bryant down. we had to follow him to the dressing room before we could steal him away for some late-night perkins. while in the dressing room, we encountered many interesting things, including The Love Phantom and Jolly Green Peter Pan. Jolly Green Peter Pan (JGPP) earned his name by changing into his completely green street clothes and offering us chocolate pudding. he had this really bizzarre, slow, matronly way of speaking; almost like Frank N. Furter. "would you like some puh-ding? after we all denied said pudding, he asked, "would any of you ladies like to carry my surrogate child? maybe we'll have a hermaphrodite." hmmm... sweet transvestite, indeed!

The Love Phantom simply wanted to hump my leg. molly has an incredibly funny picture of him huffing me in the dressing room. in the photo, i am completely oblivious.

terminal velocity

so i took last thursday off of work to go and jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

i went to the Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Hinckley, IL... home of the highest tandem jump in the U.S.
at 14,500', leaping out of the side of a plane (or, in my case, getting shoved out by my tandem instructor), results in a brief period of falling at 170-180 mph. the instructor then throws a small parachute to create drag and slow you to 120mph--terminal velocity--and you will remain at this speed for 60 seconds (known in some areas as one full minute).

sean jumped, too (it was his idea) and brought his buddy bruce. bruce and i were both green.

surprisingly, i wasn't nervous at all (at first). i did, however, bring a full extra set of clothes just in case i did shit my pants or vomit down my shirt... i was not sure that my vomit-direction controlling skills would apply in this particular situation.

but it was okay; i was chill suiting up, taking direction, even on the plane. it was not until we were at the door of the plane, with me hanging over the edge, that i began to freak. while my instructor, Rob, hurled me over the edge and for the first six or so seconds of freefall, i really felt as though i had made an error.

there is no sensation of falling when you are dropping at terminal velocity. i'm not sure if it's the lack of objects flying past or the inability to gauge speed. but there is intense pressure. at one point, i was pretty sure that i was going to puke out my heart and lungs, and that the veins in my forehead would explode, drenching Rob and myself in blood. gross.

but then i came around, and really enjoyed it. every now and then, my heart would drop suddenly and panic would strike, but it would pass quickly and i'd be right back to enjoying the ride.

at 6,000', Rob gave me the "signal" to pull the ripcord. i looked down and couldn't see it. i tried to tell him that he needed to pull it, but he just pointed in my face (the "signal") again. i reached back and, surprisingly, found it right away! i pulled it and we bounced forward as the parachute released. we took our time floating down, and were able to land on our feet.

of course i have pictures.

Monday, October 29, 2007

wreckin' the bullshit with schleprock

how many people can wreck in one day? is someone keeping track of this? if not, i'm going to start. sunday was the Iowa State CX Championships. the course was over a mile of bullshit, with unrealized descent potential, off-camber switchbacks going down a hill of loose leaves and walnuts, and bonus barricades placed five minutes before the start of the first race—making it impossible to pre-ride them. i am sure at least half of the racers yesterday went down at least once, if not more. almost everyone had the same grass stains on their right side... except for me. for some reason, mine were on my left side. yet another stupid fucking CX course. why do we do this? because it’s a fucking blast.

in iowa, there aren’t enough women participating in these things, so most races are “women’s open”. this means i get ruthlessly thrashed by a field composed of both newbies and hardcores.

this race started on a short paved section and made a sharp, bottle-necking left turn—this was of course the first wreck on the first lap. the course then chicaned through some grass, along a short gravelly section, down around some logs and over two more, and back to grass for a nifty area for bottle handoff (thanks, david!). the next section was placed in an area that had the potential for some rockin’ downhill action, but instead the course was set up to fuck with us, having us constantly braking, clipping out, or both. for example, the course would start downhill, but then—psych!—a 180 and you’re back to the top. or worse, the course would go all the way downhill before a muddy 180 into some max-height-limit barricades on a riser.

here’s me on this section: bombing, brake to 5 mph, slide, correct, lose more momentum, dismount, crawl over barricades, remount, remotivate.

the whole course was an exercise in staying motivated in seriously unmotivating circumstances. i think this is what CX has become for me—learning to suck it up when i really just wanna puke blood and quit. especially when i am getting my ass kicked yet again by fresh faces. seriously, where are these people coming from?

after the raw bullshit section came a short paved section into the loose off-camber switchback section. this is where most of us went down. any speed at all would throw my bike from under me. yes, i realize that i’m a shitty off-roader. but this is also where bruce grell and other skilled bike handlers went down, so i have to assume—you guessed it—that this section was also bullshit. on the last lap, i came around the second switchback and started sliding into a group of spectators. just as i was about to yell, “bad fucking place to stand!”, i saw the bike on the ground. then i saw the rider.

after a multiple-year battle with tuberculosis, Lindsay Wetzel’s internal organs have been functioning normally for a good three or four months now. so it must be time to separate a fucking shoulder, right? nice work, Schleprock. i realized it was lindsay after i had ridden past and could only muster a warbled “Lindsay?!”

sadly, this is me being helpful. also helpful: lindsay’s new name is officially “Bad Luck Schleprock”. at least they gave her vicodin at the hospital.

the weather was beautiful, by the way.

Results: second from last, swollen shin, desire to puke blood.
Lessons learned: never trust a CX course. ever.

psyclofest 2K7

i was afraid this race was going to be another CX on the MTB debacle, but Healthy Habits got my new Redline in and built it in a max speed effort! i got it on wednesday, it rained thursday, i went to chicago on friday and didn’t get back until saturday night… so the first time I rode my new ‘cycle was two hours before the race. good thing the folks at the shop know what the fuck is up—the bike worked and fit great—no thanks to me.

this was a freaky fast course with a bigass paved section in it—again, so happy for the CX bike here—so it was a fabulous opportunity to get my ass seriously kicked. the run-up was retarded as always, but i sucked it up and was even able to gain a little there.

afterward, we tapped the keg of Bent River Pale Ale for the traditional bruce/deb birthday celebration. scott & karen tapped it with CO2. this was good, because at 9pm we still hadn’t killed it—but now we can have it at the next race.

Results: second from last of the finishers, massive bruising on right thigh/knee, mild hangover

Sunday, October 7, 2007

sick like a monkey on crack

What's better than not being able to ride your bike-- or even function really at all-- because breathing is laborious and your bones feel like you have tripled in age?

I know! All of those things, except during black panty week!

I am having so much fun.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Village CX, minus the CX

A few weekends ago was the Village Cross cyclocross (CX) race in the Village of East Davenport. I woke up that morning to Lindsay calling me asking for directions to the race. I could hear David in the background squealing... apparently, this was going to be a good race.

Let me set the scene: The day before the race, when I tried to go out for an opener ride, I discovered a rear flat on my trusty MTB. You may ask why I would care about my MTB tires the night before a CX race. My MTB is my CX bike ever since I decided to pull into my garage with my Surly Cross Check on my roof... double fucking boo. I had about five and a half hours of sleep under my belt and was really in no mood for competing in a race for which I didn't even have the appropriate equipment. I told Lindsay I'd come out and cheer her on, but I was under no circumstances going to race.

I took a shower and changed my mind.

Hammer changed my flat and us girls--me, Lindsay, Christie--rode a test lap... and for the first time ever, I was glad I jackassed the Surly. There was one particular downhill that was off-camber and had some loose shit at the bottom into a 90-degree right. With the MTB, I was able to bomb brake-free until the bottom, where I grabbed the rear brake to slide into the turn. Tons of fun. But then there was the hauling of the 34 lb. bike up the giant run-up, which was not tons of fun. Just tons.

Results: third from last, appreciation of downhilling on the MTB, one consumed sausage sampler

Sunday, September 23, 2007

blo-chunk lanes

This is yet another non-bike-related blog. Apparently, blown chunks are the secret ingredient to a fantastic game of bowling.

Work had me in Raleigh, NC the day after I got back from Chequamegon. After a day of shooting, myself and a few colleagues decided to unwind a bit at the hotel's hospitality suite. There were taco fixings and three free tappers. I made a taco or two and had a Shiner Bock.

One of us (to remain unnamed) thought it would be wise to go bowling-- always a good time. Everyone agreed, but when it was time to go only two of us were really down. Whatever-- the two of us went anyway.

About halfway through the second game, my belly began to grumble a bit. Knowing how this usually pans out, I suspected that the taco might make a second appearance. I warned my co-worker who, of course, was horrified. I got up for the eighth frame. My first ball took down about six pins. I headed over to the garbage can and puked up the tacos. I picked up the spare with the second ball.

I wonder if I should be alarmed by my ability to vomit without missing a beat.

We bowled a third game before I insisted that we leave.

That second game, I bowled my all-time best game-- a 166.

Bowling alleys are now officially fucking nasty.

Friday, September 21, 2007

the mushroom tattoo

So, I wasn't originally going to blog this, but at the prodding of some friends I have decided it is time to heal the wounds and share this beautiful learning experience with the world.

I'm not much of a dater. I have, quite literally, no game. Worse than my lack of game is my incessant need to be nice to people, even ones that suck pretty hardcore.

The day after a breakup I decide I need to hang out with some girlfriends. We head out to a bar mid-Sunday to watch a ball game. Before we had left this particular venue, Lori had brought over a guy-- she was trying to hook me up. Her intentions, I believe, were good (if not misguided). I was honest with the guy and told him I wasn't looking to "hook up". He was cool about it and we exchanged numbers to possibly hang out some other time.

In the weeks that followed, I talked to the guy a few times. It was just general, run-of-the-mill, gettin' to know ya stuff. He seemed normal enough to me, but what the fuck do I know? After about a month, I took him up on an offer to meet for a few drinks and another Cubs game-- he would be out with his friends, so there was no pressure. I said I could be there at 7:30.

When I got there at 7:30, dude was so fucking blitzed that he could barely keep his eyes open. According to Mary The Bartender, they had been drinking (shots and whatnot) since about 3:30-- which was about an hour after we had made plans. He was chain smoking, which took him off my waiting list immediately. I asked politely at first if he would mind keeping his smoke out of my face. He obliged, but it was less than a minute before the cigarette incense was scenting my hair once again. We went back and forth a few times-- me asking him to move his smoke, him begrudgingly moving it-- until I finally said (sweetly): "Look. It's not that big of a deal. Just keep something between my face and that cigarette, or I'll sit somewhere else."

To which he replied (brace yourself), "I've got something I can put between your face and the cigarette."

Now, those that know me will realize that this kind of challenge is a cardinal error. In addition to the pint of social lubricant that I was drinking, I had also just come off a 5-hour drive from Omaha, where I worked that morning. I was in no mood for games.

So I say: "Really? Whip it out, then."

But here's where I made the error: he fucking DID IT. That's right, he took his dick out right there in the middle of Jack's in Moline, IL. But wait-- it gets better.

I put my hand out to block my view of the offending member, saying "Put that fucking thing AWAY."

He stands up. "No, come on, it was your idea." At this point, he proceded to put his cock against my thigh. I jumped back and said, "Pull your fucking pants up!"

At this point Mary The Bartender saw what was happening and came over and shut him down.

When I took my friend Brooke about the incident, she asked: "Did you punch it?"

Seriously, I really don't know why or how I attract these people. I am on dating strike... effective until conditions improve.

Monday, September 17, 2007

i'm a superfan

Another highlight of the Chequamegon adventure:

Two of the racers at this year's event were none other than Greg Lemond and Gary Fisher. That's right-- these guys suited up and braved the cold for the 40 miles of fun.

Gary Fisher was at the awards ceremony. When I saw him I winked at him. I headed out to get a round before the ceremony started (Rage was NOT happy to be at the event; I needed to placate him with booze) and stopped by to say hi to the man himself. I shook his hand and told him I loved my Tassajara. He said, "Oh, cool, thanks." He finished off his beer, so I offered to buy him one. He said, "Alright, but you choose!"

I brought him back a beer and he asked my name. Later, when I was called up for my award, he yelled, "Alright Deb Wood!"

So, there it is. I now want to dry hump Gary Fisher, simply because he said my name. I am a total bike whore.


fat tires galore

This past weekend was the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival up in Cable, WI. For those who don't know, this is a fucking sweet MTB race on & around the Birkebeiner trail in Northern Wisconsin. Pronounced "Schwa-muh-gun", the options are the 40-mile course (the Cheq40, or "Freakshow") or a 16-mile route (the "Short & Fat"). I did the Short & Fat this year, because the Freakshow damn near killed me back in 2005.

Mike "Rage" Frasier braved the seven-hour drive with me. A group of us stayed at the Valhalla Townhouses. Rage and I shared a room with two tiny single beds-- try to sleep on a balance beam the night before a race you are totally unprepared for-- it rules. The townhouse was basically right at the finish line. Nice! Since my bed was directly under the stairs, I woke up to the fucking sound of an elephants-in-ice-skates parade. I stumbled upstairs grumbling horrible things and made a PB sandwich-- which I never touched. Some of my bunkmates had whipped up some batter and Rage set me up with a small pancake, which I was able to eat. I tried to make a second, larger pancake which I got about halfway down before the gag reflex started up... boo. I let the gag win and killed a bottle of orange juice instead.

The morning of the race, the temperature was 22* F. Now, it isn't odd for me to be lining up in cold weather (sometimes even subzero), but I have usually been training in cold weather when I do so. This was a total suckerpunch-- for the opener ride I did the day before, I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeve jersey. I had no idea what I wanted or needed to wear.

I was pretty much the only one in the house who was doing the Short & Fat, so I was on my own for race prep. I headed over and got to the start at 8:15. I got my bike set up and put it in line. I was only ten rows back from the preferred start, even though some people were there at 6 to stage their bikes. Either the S&F is way more laid back than the 40, or the cold scared people away. Whatever-- it worked out well for me. I had a great position.

I killed time and chatted with other racers. I was amazed at how chill I was. Other people were freaking out-- one woman was bawling. Hmmm- I've been there before. I saw Mad Dog McCoy and Bob from the DICE camp, and we hung out a little. The time was near, so I got out of my sweats and headed towards my bike, now buried at the front of 800 bikes. I left my Kenda jacket on until I got to my bike, then stashed it in my Camelbak Pixie. I raced in a windproof shell under my SS jersey with arm warmers and leg warmers. I had thermal booties over my shoes (with the Pearl Izumi logo blacked out, of course). Again, many comments on the rockin' Kenda gear. Folks love those fucking red flowers.

As I stood over my bike waiting for the start, I choked down a raspberry Hammer Gel. I nearly lost it, but kept it in check this time. Lucky for me, there was a random annoying teenager nearby babbling nervously to distract me. I should have fucking puked on him. Instead, I opted to point out an opening in front of us and offer it to him. Poor kid. I had water in my Pixie and a bottle of grape Cytomax on my bike. I was good to go.

The race ruled. It went much faster than expected. The Colesburg gravel RR did it's job; I didn't freak at all on the gravel. Actually, on one particular downhill, something beautiful happened. Not only was I able to stay off the brakes, but as I was bombing pell-mell, I shifted into my big ring and dropped the hammer. Yay!! It's official: I love downhillin'. I had a lot of little opportunities on different surfaces to test my new-found love of descent in this race: grass, prairie with babyheads, sand, gravel, dirt, etc, etc.

I ended up 2nd in my age group, and 36th female overall. I was psyched! I had never thought I would need to go to the awards ceremony at Chequamegon. I won a cool ceramic plaque and a nice SRAM X-9 rear derailleur. But-- oh, yeah-- I don't have SRAM on any of my bikes.... :)

Time: 01:18:45
Div Place: 2 out of 20
Gender Place: 36 out of 229
Overall Place: 283 out of 857

Monday, September 3, 2007

suckin' gravel dust

Today was the Colesburg 40, a ridiculous event that puts us on MTB's and sends us into one of the hilliest areas of Iowa (a "drift-free" zone) on the sketchiest of gravel roads. Now, my friends in CO and CA may snicker at my complaints of Iowa hills, but fuck you guys, you were not there.

Since this was only my third time EVER on gravel (and the other two times were on a CX bike that no longer exists), I bitched out and did the "beginner" route-- 24 miles instead of 40. From here on out I will refer to this as the "bitch" route. I have no fucking clue how they could call this course "beginner" or even "sport" class. The gravel had been graded two days ago (translation: loose, thick gravel) and us bitches started right in with the hardcores: the Eppens on a tandem, T. Gillihan, J. Kerkove, etc., etc. Actually, our course stayed with the hardcores until 18 miles in, where we turned left to do a mile-long climb on pavement while they turned right for more loose-rock torture. I say this as if I witnessed the hardcores making this turn; that is not the case. I fell off the back like dropping anchor the second we hit gravel at mile two.

This retarded course had climbs that would turn your butthole inside out followed by gum-flapping downhills-- all through quicksand made of ping-pong-ball-sized rocks. Now I may exaggerate a bit here, but there were two climbs in particular that had NO good lines and lasted for WAY TOO LONG. There were countless downhills where I could not lay off my brakes. Even Brian Eppen called the downhills "scary". I have no idea who thought of this race, but I need to go back and avenge myself. I do not recall any flat sections along the bitch route. The bitch route also followed the hardcores through a water crossing that was deep enough to wet my chain. Oh, and also my feet, after I had to stop because I was in too large of a gear.

I caught a couple of people along the way, including Todd from Iowa City (unattached) and a father and son from Free Flight. Sadly, because I am guilty of pride, I felt the need to outsprint the boy-- who was maybe twelve years old. His dad beat me, though. Whatever... he started it!

Time: 02:13:00 (one minute slower than it took the Eppens to finish the 40-mile course)

After cleaning up a bit, I came back to the cars to find Wm, Uncle Tom, and $5 Phil already at the vehicles. Phil had gone down pretty hard, and couldn't really talk, bend over, or sit. He had a lot of bloody gravel chunks on him. I gloved up and wiped down his wounds. Tom went and found his bike in the ditch (after an hour of searching) while Andy drove him to the Manchester hospital. Phil is always good-natured and ready to laugh, no matter how sucky the situation, but today he was stone-faced and obviously in serious pain. It was pretty scary. $5 Phil came away with four broken ribs.

After seeing Phil to the hospital, we were going to head to the Team Skin potluck in rounds. T. Gillihan's parents live in Manchester so it was nearby, and we were all famished. Those of us that went first weren't there for 30 minutes when we got the call that Phil was sprung from the asylum. He showed up at the potluck ten minutes later, still in pain but hungry. Such a trooper! Skin had an awesome spread, but we couldn't stay long.

Anyway, no puking this time! I think it is because I went into this with no expectations.

you keep it down, too--

Friday, August 31, 2007

hey, let's run through stinging nettles!

So, Moon and I are going to partner up for the Southern Kettle Moraine Challenge 12-hour. Our as-yet-unnamed team had our first group practice together last night. I rode the MTB over to Healthy Habits around closing time, and we ran from there up to Crow Creek Park and around the Psyclofest course and back. On the way back, we decided to be "adventurous" (get it?) and go off-road into some brush prairie. We discovered a small creek that we got to jump and a little hill to climb. I noticed a little blood and scratches and poured some of my water bottle on my legs. It was all good fun until we got back to the shop and I noticed that my knee was no longer bleeding... because it had completely swollen shut. Both of my legs, from mid-thigh to sock, were covered with bumps in random shapes and sizes. This gave my legs the overall appearance of gourds. Mild burning was to follow. I'm just glad I got the whole stinging nettle thing out of the way.

Lesson #1: Always wear pants when running through foreign brush.

I got to ride home in the dark after that, which came as a welcome distraction from the freakshow that was my lower extremities. Brilliance abounded that night when I got about a quarter of a mile from the shop and my headlight began to dim.

Lesson #2: Always charge your headlight battery and/or carry a spare.

Luckily Moon was headed along the same way (kinda) and was willing to share some wattage. I owe him a growler of Bent River.

-Keep it down!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This past Sunday was the Du-State-Du, a duathlon out at Loud Thunder State Park.

My buddy Laurel Darren is a pretty solid runner, and she was looking for a cyclist. It was only 15 hilly miles, so I agreed... even though my road season has sucked thus far.

Saturday morning I did the X-stream Cleanup along the Mississippi. After a day of picking up the trappings of our local white trash, the free-beer-and-brats party was a welcome event. Too bad I was racing the next morning at 8am. I only had a handful of beers and skipped the brats. By the time a got home, I was just stinky and tired-- so I chugged some water and passed out.

Getting up the next day was a little easier than one would expect. I hosed myself down in the shower, choked down a waffle and some juice, and hit the road. I got to the race before Laurel and had some time to have Moon look over my bike and get in a warmup.

It rained a little during my warmup, which had me a bit concerned about the supposed mile-long 15% descent on the chip-and-seal surface of Illinois City hill.

My biggest mistake was nursing Clif Shot Crisp Apple all morning, and then trying to take a Clif Shot Sonic Strawberry gel as Laurel started the run.

They had all of us bike suckers in what could only be called a holding pen, waiting for our runners to tag off after the first 2-mile run. I got down half of the gel, and felt that familiar tightness in the back of my throat. Lucky for me, I brought a bottle of water to help me out. As I stood there, poised and ready with my hands on my knees, a fellow biker asked if I was okay. I nodded, and just as I was about to say something really witty-- up it came! This was a good one, coming out of my nose and launching forward by at least four feet. And bonus: Crisp Apple is green.

Other Biker: "Oh, shit! Are you okay?"
Deb: "Yeah, just lightening the load for the climb."
OB: "Wow, that's dedication."
D: "No, that's Clif Shot Crisp Apple. And I've got about 12 minutes to get rid of the rest of it."

I caught one woman and two caught me on the bike. Only one woman that caught me didn't have a number (bikers in teams didn't wear numbers). We ended up getting second place, so that was on me. Laurel set me up to keep the first-place team at bay and I didn't swing it. Illinois City hill was not nearly as epic as legend would have it. It was only about .25-.5 of a mile and pitched at the top to max out at maybe 8-9%. I did it in my 36/23 and was fine, spinning past the dorks on MTBs. The turnaround was soon after the summit, and on my descent I saw a few people actually walking their bikes. Hmmm... maybe if I had run first it would have sucked harder. Who knows.

Lessons learned:
1. Eat a meal of solid foods the night before a race.
2. Minimize beer intake the night before a race.
3. Get the electrolyte beverage down. Chug it and finish it... don't sit there and suckle it. Use water to satisfy any nervous oral fixations.
4. Waffles are gentle coming back up.

keep it down,

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

why i blog

This blog is intended to help me deal with my pre-race bullshit. I have been road cycling for a few years now, and am struggling to make it past the Cat. 4 realm. This is in part due to my apparent inability to feed myself.

Anyone who has traveled to races with me, parked next to me, or even pulled up to the line with me knows that I have some serious issues with nourishment. It goes like this: I hate cheese and most things that are green. I do not like to be surprised by ingredients, so casseroles, stews, and the like are out. Ironically, I can eat hot dogs and bologna. Based on how nervous I may be, textures really start to fuck with me, and I develop a gag reflex with projectile capabilities.

On race day (and before some group rides), it takes me over an hour to choke down one Clif bar or, God forbid, a PB & J sandwich. Accelgels, Gu's, and Clif Shots inevitably make an attempt to come back. Accelgels always make it. The only real greens I get come from a supplement called Nanogreens, which I have to mix with cran-grape juice in order to stand the moldy-foot-dipped-in-green-apple flavor. I can eat raw spinach (my only organic green) if I slice it up and drown it in whipped raspberry yogurt.

So there you have it. I promise to give fair warning of any photos of vomit. The plan is to give race reports that include eating info to help me figure out why I'm such a puker.

in the meantime-- keep it down.