Saturday, March 31, 2007

Two kinds of Friends

There are two kinds of friends in the world. There are friends, and then, there are cycling friends. Friends are people you get together with for dinner, coffee or just to hang out with. Cycling friends, on the other hand, are people you can call and without hesitation will come and save you when you get stuck in a bad situation while out riding.
Such was the case on Friday when I was out riding in the mud, thinking I was burly, getting ready for the cobbles in Belgium when I heard a very horrible sound. Shortly after, I could no longer pedal and my bike came to a screeching halt. It doesn't take a genius to see that I had done some major damage to the rear derailleur (see photo). My ride was instantly over and I needed a way home.
I called my best cycling friend, Megan, and told her what had happened. Without hesitation, and without even knowing where I was, she asked if I needed her to come get me. She was on her way before we had even ended the conversation, and showed up with a smile. Now that is a true cycling friend, and a really good person.
Thank you Megan for saving me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An Infected What??

I woke up yesterday feeling like death, and to swelling and soreness on the left side of my neck. I figured it was a swollen gland from having a cold then racing with the cold and now just being totally exhausted. However, the pain and swelling got progressively worse throughout the day and by the time I arrived back in Boulder last night, I had already planned on going to a doctor in the morning. After a brief discussion with Chris, my roommate, we decided that doctor would be the ER. That way I wouldn't have to get referral after referral and could have all the tests and scans done at the hospital.

Five and a half hours later, me and my "tumor" (which was MUCH bigger and MUCH more painful) were on our way to the ER. After blood tests, a cat scan and a lot of waiting around, it was determined I have an infected saliva gland and am to take antibiotics and to see the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor tomorrow (a referral after all).

Despite my weird infection, I get to see The Mommy tomorrow and that always makes things better (almost always). :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Thousand Deaths

Actually, it was only 2 deaths, but it felt like a thousand. Today was the Oak Glen road race here at Redlands. The promoter was sad that he had to lose the stage last year so he brought it back this year, in a big way. 114 km, 3 climbs (only one decent. How does that work?), and a very motivated pack made for a hard race.

Our leader, Dotsie, managed to get a flat when everyone was gearing up for a mid race sprint (14 miles into the race). This was the call I heard over the radio, "Alison, put on your brakes and come back here for Dotsie. Alison, PUT ON YOUR BRAKES!"

Dotsie got back on and I got to "drive it" up the first climb. It was SO fun. Imagine riding up I-70 from Sliverthorne to the tunnel. It was just like that. I dropped 2 of my teammates, oops, as well as some other "riff-raff" we didn't need in the race in the first place so it was ok.

After some more racing (that was hard) we get to the second feed zone and our feeder is no where. So, for the second time, I go back to the car and stuff myself with bottles. I am an expert at doing this as the first time was a most horrible experience I don't care to write about (it involved me getting passed by the team car, having to chase back on followed by a lot of cussing and being mad). Now, I have 6 bottles in my jersey, the road goes up, and girls are attacking. Are you joking?? I'm about to cry. Death #1 has occurred. I say over the radio, "I can't do it. I have the water, but I can't make it up to you. I need help. I'm dying." Finally, I make it up close to Andrea and yell "Andrea! Do you need drink?" She yells back, "YES!" I peddle a little more, then yell, "Then you have to slow the FUCK down!" That got her attention quickly (her radio wasn't working) and she slowed down and helped me with the bottles. After feeing Alex and Dotise, Dotsie said, "you have been fucking amazing today." (we cuss when we are tired) That made me happy enough to promptly got dropped. :)

Surviving that death in the middle of the race was, in the end, a really cool experience. It sucked at the time (really badly), but it will make me stronger. Plus, it made for a really funny story at dinner.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Double Dipp'in

A team and teammates-We are all one big happy family. Share equipment, share rooms, share clothes, share food, share the hummus, share desserts, share left-overs (actually, in my case, eat all the left-overs), share the olive oil dip for the bread, share the chip dip (not that I would EVER eat any chips and guac...), share illnesses... Yep, that's right. Two of us are ill. Yes, US as in me too. Son of a...!!!!!

Now, we have to share positive attitudes about getting healthy or in my teammates' cases staying healthy. I had a case of bad attitude this morning. "whoa is me. It is the biggest race of the spring and I am sick. How could this happen? Blah, blah, blah." I almost called the Mommy so I could cry to someone and she would feel sorry for me. But, instead, I cried to our swanie and teammates and they said, "Ya, it sucks, but get over it. Be positive and fight this thing. Half of the battle is mental anyway. You can do it!" That right there is why we are a family. We are here to support each other and also give someone a kick in the ass when they need it because we are here together and have to fight together. Tomorrow is the race and we all have to be on the start line ready to give 100%, if not for yourself, then for the team.

Here's to fighting!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Picture!

Yeah! Here is a picture of the TT podium from yesterday. I also won a huge big case of oranges (you can see that picture on The Navels are really good. Not bad as they are from the "Citrus Capital of the World" (aka Exeter).
The Crit today was a suffer-fest made worse by my masochistic self. But I had a fun time, and that's all that matters!

Am ersten Platz!

Yeah! My first win of the season! I won the TT yesterday it feels good. It was a good effort and great for the team and teammates. Plus, I got an extra long massage last night. That is always a bonus!

I was hoping to have a picture or two to post but, 1.) Mini is still sleeping, and I was going to use the pictures from her camera as I didn't bring my camera's cord, and 2.) one cannot steal photos from So, hopefully, I will be able to put some pictures up later today or tomorrow (that just keeps you coming back. Actually, I don't know if anyone looks at this blog, so maybe it doesn't really matter. BUT, I look at my blog and I like to look at pictures of myself...)

Today is the Crit. I can't say I am really looking forward to it. They are usually just a fast, dangerous suffer fest. However, with that being said, that just means I have more opportunity to view Toph while I am in the pain cave. :) (too bad I can't post a picture of that. THEN maybe people would look at my blog.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

This is the Life

I had THE most amazing ride yesterday. It was just one of those days when being out on your bicycle is the best thing in the enitre world. It was as if at that one time, everything was perfect. I rode around Millerton Lake outside of Fresno, where we have been staying for almost 2 weeks. No cars, a windy-twindy road, good legs, a happy mind, wildlife to been seen, beautiful scenery, a hard mo-fo of a workout, and no snow or cold to been seen for miles. :) Plus, I learned a few new things too. I love learning new stuff, especially while riding. I also found a steep little hill to go up 3 times on the way home.

This bike riding/racing is the life. I like it. Ride the perfect ride, get a massage in the afternoon (a real one; not a "pet job". See below), it's all good. Much better than the freezing ass cold, every run could blow out your knee, I must beat my teammates kind of job (bitter much?). This is fun and friendly and a lot less stress.

Though, tomorrow is the time trail and it is calling my name. We had inspection (pre-rode the course) today with the Mayor of Exator, which calls itself the citrus capital of the......I can't remember if it is the world or nation it is the capital of. Whatever it is, it is really pretty and a great little town. Hopefully Mini T (Alex) and I can go 1 and 2 tomorrow. That would be really great.

I'll try to have some pictures up next time. I know a blog is boring without them.

This is "Pro"

You know your Pro when during a training ride, you can call your "swanie" to bring you a new rear wheel so you can finish your ride. This happened to me yesterday. I was riding and got a rear flat. No problem, that's why you carry extra tubes and a pump/CO2. I fixed it with the help of a very friendly Grandpa out riding after a full knee replacement (he has hopes of racing in a few months). Twenty minutes later, another rear flat. Son of a.....! I didn't have a second tube, I couldn't find the "flat making" culprit and I really wanted/needed to ride more. What to do? I called Jessi, my knight in pink tank top armour to come and save me. She arrived 25 minutes later with a smile and new rear wheel. She was an angle. It was beyond awesome. I was able to finish my ride and all was good.

Now that's "Pro".

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A $21 "petting"

I was all excited to get a "cheep" massage yesterday. We went to the School of Massage and Cosmetology. For $30 an hour one could get a massage from a student "massager". After hearing a few not so good stories about places like this, I really wondered "com'on now, how bad could it be"? In short, Bad. In long, really not very good at all.

I laid under the sheet and got a firm "petting". Back, arms, hands, calves, and feet. Then she told me I was done. WHAT? It hasn't even been an hour and what about my L-E-G-S? Instead of a relaxed just out of bed look one usually has when leaving a massage, I had a perma- frown. I just spent $30 for 50min of petting?? (not good for the hoarder)

Then, came a gift from the frugal gods. A coupon for 30% off. Yeah! $21 for a firm petting is acceptable.