Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day, Skiing, and Nationals

Heres a couple of pics from Nationals:

Racing the elite race
Junior Girls 17-18 Podium L to R Michelle, Kaitie, Coryn, Me, Kendall
cornering during the elite race

Wow, well I'm sorry I've been so lazy about posting, I had a TON of school work to catch up when we got back from nationals, but we had over a foot of snow dumped on us here, and school's cancelled so i finally have some time to write.
Sunday's race in Kansas city was super fun, there was no pressure and I was really able to just get out and enjoy racing. I was hopeful when we woke up because it was 58 degrees out when we went for breakfast, however around noon the temperature dropped about 2o degrees in 5 minutes :(. I'm a wimp, and by the time I was on a trainer warming up it was very very very cold, thats the first time I've ever warmed up while wearing a scarf. The start did not go particularly well for me, it was very agressive and for the first half lap or so I was getting shoved around quite a bit, and losing places. Finally through the barriers I was able to find a rhythm and start making up some lost ground. I was catching and passing lots of people on the climb, but visibly losing time on the descent, which was frustrating but at least i know what i need to work on. During the last lap I started making up some good time on Anna Milkowski and Coryn, who were right in front of me. Luck, however was not on my side and after the run up i went to remount and realized that i had dropped my chain, the usual dismounting and frantically trying to put my chain back on ensued and about 45 very frustrated seconds later I was back on my bike and headed down the hill. At that point all  I could do was stay calm and work to make sure that the riders behind me didn't catch me. I rolled through in 22nd place, a bit annoyed but mechanicals are part of cross, so oh well. I had a great time and I'm so proud of my teammate Kristin who placed 15th woot woot!

The mens elite race was great to watch, I was wearing so many layers that I couldn't raise my arms above my head and I had a blast running around the course cheering for JP and Mark and ringing one of the 160 bells that Diane, Kristin, Lauren and I had spent Saturday evening stickering. Mark rode a great race to come in 11th, and has a recap on his BLOG. Jonathan also rode very strong against some tough competition he ended up third and overall Planet Bike had a great day.
As I mentioned the week has been a bit insane, with school work and college applications (I'm almost done YAY) but I found some time on Thursday to go for my first xc ski of the year. The snow conditons were amazing, and after an hour of skiing I realized that I had forgotten two things; one, how much fun skiing is (it really is great) and two, cyclists don't use their arms . . . skiers do. Lets just say I'm not going to be lifting anything heavy in the near future.
Thats all for now

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Planet Bike Nationals Part 1

Well we made it to Kansas City OK and it's been non-stop ever since. My Dad raced on Thursday and did the Men's B's 45+, unfortunately he had a mechanical in the first lap but after falling behind he worked his way back up and passed a few people. Overall I think he was really happy with his race and had fun! He was thrilled to complete his first mud race!!!!
I raced Friday morning at 9 a.m. and it was like night and day compared to last year. The course was frozen but not nearly as wet and muddy and rutted as last year, thank god. I ended up riding a pair of zipps with tufo flexus tires because we had been told that our edge wheels we're not UCI legal, of course they told us we could ride them right as I got to the start line, but oh well. The course was great, it went up and up and up with some switch backs and then right after a tough little series of stairs and steep hills it became a long descent with lots of off camber turns.
Coryn attacked right from the gun and had about 15 seconds on me from the start, but I gapped the rest of the field and so it was me chasing Coryn for the whole race. I started to make up time on her during the second lap, especially on the up hill, and my the second half of the third and final lap I had the gap down to five seconds when I crashed, hard. It took me a bit to get myself up and back on the bike and by then it was to late. I finished muddy and second about 30 seconds down. It was a fun race, despite the disappointment.
I've spent the rest of the weekend cheering my teammates on to some great results, Kristin had an exciting sprint finish, which she won, for fifth and the final spot on the podium! Diane repeated as the 55-59 national champ, Patti just missed the podium to finish a strong 6th and Bob, despite being sick and having a mechanical fought through a tough field to finish 7th.
I've got to go get ready for the elite race, but i'll try to post pics and more details later!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Long Drives and Tough Decisions

Well after about 8.5 hours in the Planet Bike Sprinter Van we made it to our hotel in Kansas City! I'm soo excited to finally be here and race, its the race I've been working up to all year. The weather is supposed to be nice 38 or 40 and no rain or snow on Friday. I'm racing bright and early at 9 a.m, but it'll still be fun.

A couple days ago I had to make a tough decision about my season after nationals. I had planned to go over to Europe right after this weekend to race for about two weeks, however with my road season starting to take shape I realized that the trip would probably do more harm than good. So, after a lot of deliberation I canceled my flight; I'll just have to wait for a better time :(. I'm disappointed but I think that in the long run it was the right choice to make. 
We're going to go pre-ride the course and cheer on my dad whose racing mens B's soon so thats all for now!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rooly is HERE!!

my sad attempts to take pictures with photobooth

The collection  :)

Well I've been neglecting the blog the last couple weeks, doing lots and lots of work on college applications. But I've got some very exciting news that I wanted to share :) I have a new sunglasses sponsor, Rooly a company that I'm very excited to be working with. Last night UPS delivered a box full of sunglasses and I have to see I'm impressed. I got a pair of navy blue partials and a pair of champagne colored 2partials and I'm going to take them on a ride this afternoon, but they fit great! Check out the website I've posted some pictures of the glass above . . .

Nationals is next week and I might be racing IL state champs this weekend as a warm-up, but either way Kansas City should be fun.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Crashing in the Mud

Well the first day of the New Jersey Grand Prix is over. We left Thursday and went on a 15+ hour adventure in the car, which ended with 2 hours of driving around Princeton trying to find our hotel because Almira (Kristin's GPS) thought it was somewhere in a river.
 We got to the course the next morning and it was very very very MUDDY. There were long stretches where the course had been so chewed up that running was much faster than riding. I had a bike in the pit but I figured I wouldn't actually need it . . .little did i know.   I made the mistake of not wearing glasses, I figured they would just get muddy, but maybe 200 feet off the line I got a big gob of flying mud right in my eye. I'm never starting with out glasses again. My bad luck for the day was over because about two turns in the girl behind me completely missed the corner and came barreling into my left side ( and knee). I made it another half lap before my knee just wouldn't work anymore and i ended up (to my embarrassment) sitting on the side of the course. A very kind racer who was also an EMT stopped to help me until one of the the medical staff from the race came PICTURE. I came out of the day with a bone bruise on the top of my fibula and a lecture from the race medic on how if my knees weren't so bony i wouldn't have bruised it. ( Thanks! I'll try to work on that . . .?) It wasn't the best day for me, but Kristin and Kaitie rode very strong to finish 14th and 18th respectively in probably the fastest field I've ever been a part of!  Heres a link to a picture of me on before the start from cyclingnews 
Mark also raced incredibly well, coming in 9th!!!! there's a great picture of him remounting on PICTURE 
More racing again today, I'll try to update and post some pictures when I get home!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hey, so this is my first post on the blog . . .YAY. I traveled to Toronto with Kristin and Kaitie this weekend for two UCI c1 races.  We had a lovely 10ish hour drive up to the race, though honestly I don't remember that much of it since I was asleep. We're staying with Kristin's teammate on the road Anne and her husband, Malcolm and their adorable black lab Winston. They have been amazing hosts and we even got to cheer Malcolm on in his race on saturday! It's incredibly kind and generous of them to open their home to us, and it really makes traveling so much more fun. We even played a crazy game of scrabble on friday night.
The course on Saturday was rolling with some flat sections, fast barriers and one medium length steep climb. It had been raining on and off on friday and the course was a mess. there were a couple of mud pits and one hill where I had to dismount and run through a COLD puddle of mud which came up right above my ankles. brrrrrrrrrr. I had an ok start on Saturday and managed to avoid the puddle 10 meters from the line ( kristin was not as lucky). I settled into a group with Josie J-M and Anna Milkowski for about two laps but I didn't have the legs to stay with them in the flats and I dropped back a bit. From then on I was riding alone, somewhere between Anna and Rebecca Wellons, My legs started to come back a bit in the last lap and I made up ground on Anna, but it wasn't enough. I finished in 6th about 5 seconds back from Anna and the podium. Kristin was flying today and rode an amazing race to finish 3rd!!!!!!! Kaitie was also riding strong and came flying into 10th. Overall a pretty good day since we had three wisconsin girls in the top ten.
Sunday's course can best be described as "epic". Basically we rode switchbacks up a ski hill, and then zig-zagged across the top before plummeting down the other side. after that there was a flat section which was a bit like a maze, which had lots of tight, slow turns before powering over to a set of fast double barriers and then heading back up the hill. It was one of the harder courses I've ridden this year, but it was super fun. I had a bad start and spent the first flat section trying to pass people, as soon as Kristin came tearing by me i hopped on her wheel and was able to pass a good number of people following her. She was on fire today! once again I found myself riding with Josie J-M and Anna Milkowski, but on the first descent Anna crashed and had to get a pit bike, and on the second time down the hill Josie gained time on me. once again I was in the middle, unable to reach the person in front of me, but with comfortable gap on the person behind me. Thats how I spent the rest of the race, in no-mans land. I made up time on the climb, but i would lose it again on the descent and through the "maze". Kristin made some progress today, riding to a strong second behind Natasha Elliot, and Kaitie made up ground as well, coming in 8th! Frustratingly I finished just out of the top five again, in 6th.
The race was incredibly well organized, and the promoters included a junior girls classification, based on the elite race. I won both days of this and was rewarded with a very nice pair of specialized glasses with transition lenses. I'm trying to sell them, and I'll post more info and pics soon! I think its really great that they had a junior girls category, most of the time junior girls don't get any recognition, and I hope that more promoters will follow the example set here.
It was a great weekend, with lots of fun adventures and some of the best cupcakes I've ever had, but I'm tired and we have a long drive tomorrow so I'm going to call it night. I'll post pictures when I get home!