Saturday, May 24, 2008

Little Cabins

For the past eight days we have been racing the Tour de l'Aude in Southern France. It has had it's ups and downs. Lots of climbing. Lots of decending. Three podium finishes for Team USA (so far). Some days most of Team USA getting dropped. Ups and downs.

Where we have stayed has also had it's ups and downs. Always it has been in camp gounds in "little cabins". Sometimes nice little cabins, sometimes not so nice little cabins. Sometimes with internet sometimes without internet. Good food, bad food. Every single thing about every single day has it's ups and downs.

Take food for example. I am tired of eating, but without eating I will not ride my bike fast. Same goes with drinking Gatorade and water, eating gels and bars while riding.

I have learned a lot and it's been a great experiance. We have two more race days left and that means two more chances to have a great result.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Favorite Color

Some people, cyclists mostly, will say their favorite color is yellow. Yellow usually signifies you've been really fast in a particular race (ie the race leader).

I don't care what cyclists are supposed to think. I don't really like the color yellow. AND, it never matches anyone's kit so the wearer usually ends up looking like a really fast rainbow.

My favorite color is blue. Straight up blue. Not baby blue, not light blue, not navy blue, not blue-ish purple-ish; blue. I like blue. Up until yesterday, I never thought it was possible to win a blue jersey. Take for instance the green jersey. Except for one fluke-y instance, I do not win the green jersey. Not because I don't sprint very quickly, but because I don't really like the color green.
Yesterday there was a blue jersey up for grabs. I wasn't sure what it was for, but I thought it would be great if I got to wear it.

With luck, strong legs, and strange french timing, I am now the leader of the Queen of the Mountain competition at the Tour de l'Aude. I was 4th, or 3rd (we still are not sure), yesterday in the Prolouge. It was awe-some!
Today, I get to wear my favorite color jersey.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Big ride needed

When this man, Pizza Master Pino, makes 20 pizza's

for these 10 people (USA Staff, riders, friends, and family)

and this is all that is leftover,

a big ride is needed the next day.

Over four hours and four climbs we saw some interesting things. Beautiful views of the ocean and mountains were accompanied by other non-traditional sights.
Yum. I wonder what would happen if I were to drink that many shots of espresso in one day...

This guy has been neglecting a muscle...

Monday, May 5, 2008

5th Grade

Many people wonder what we do with our spare time. Cyclists can only ride their bikes for so many hours in a day. On Saturday, the answer to that question was "go back to 5th grade".

After pre-riding the course for the Bern World Cup, it came out that I not only do not like math, but I can't remember how to do any math beyond the 4th grade level without a calculator. Carmen, being the math teacher, took it upon herself to re-educate me in her most favorite field of study; mathmatics.

After an hour of re-education, I was given 4 problems to do on my own.

When I was finished, I had a feeling of accomplishment and actually said "Wow! This was fun. I had fun doing math". Then I needed to go to bed because my head hurt.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Turn

Since my parents have taken me such wonderful places, now that they are in Lucca, it was my turn to be tour guide. I was ready with great loops and grand plans. They are my first visitors here in Lucca. It is exciting and I wanted to show them the best parts.

The first day, after only losing each other once, we rode to Pisa to see the leaning tower.

Next was a stop at The Best Coffee Shop in the World (sorry Cup), and to fill our water bottles with "healing water" as the town is known for.
The next day was a ride into the hills of Tuscany. I had no idea where we were going (so much for the plan), and we had to turn around at 2 dead ends. BUT it was THE most beautiful ride I have ever done here around Lucca. It was amazing and the Mom and Dad (and me) were quite pleased.

Having the Mom and Dad visit has been really rejeuvenating for two main reasons. One, I fianlly got to share Lucca with family. Sharing is always better than experiencing things alone. And two, it can get a little tiresome being away from home and loved ones for so long, especially when things aren't going according to plan (ie results, health, weather, etc.) I now feel more balanced and ready to tackle the next month of racing (could it be all the gelato we ate?).