Friday, October 31, 2008


A bike racer and a weight room: not something that mixes very well. Such was the case when I went to the gym for "fun" with my parents during a family visit.

This is how it went-
"Hey Alison! Do you want to come to the gym with your Dad and me in the morning?"
"Sure, why not? It's almost time for me to start training again anyway, this could be a good jump start."
"Ok good. It's early though. We leave at 6:30am."
"Whoa. That is early. Well, ok. I am usually awake anyway. If I am awake I'll come, if not, don't bother waking me up. I'll see you when you get home."
-Wake up at 6:09am (I guess I'm going to the gym).
-Drive to the gym. It's dark, it's 14 degrees, and there has been no food and NO coffee consumed.
-Start working out (try to decide what would be best for someone (i.e. me) who hasn't been in a weight room for almost 2 years and has not done any kind of working out for the past three weeks to do).

It then went like this-
"Whoa! That's heavy"
"Ooo. That is going to make me sore"
"Ouch! I can't do that"
"Oh my gosh! I can't even do that"
"What am I doing in here?"

Go to Coffee shop (aah, much better).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Velo Swap part Deux

Success! I got rid of most of my stuff. Hopefully, everything found a happy home and will be put to good use.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Velo Swap

I have a lot of stuff. Most of my stuff has to do with cycling. I've been riding full time for almost 4 years and due to my inability to get rid of anything, the stuff has been piling up. It is now time to get rid of the stuff.

Hopefully my stuff will find a home where it will be used. It will be ridden in cold snowy weather, in hot sweltering heat, raced in time trials and crits, and worn on big group rides. I want my stuff to make other people's body, feet, head, eyes, tushy, hands, chest, arms, legs and bicycles happy. I want my stuff to continue to spread the love of cycling to others that it has given me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's official

-It snowed.
-I had to scrape my windows this morning.
-It was less than 20 degrees outside.

The off-season has begun.
It's time to rest.
It's time to eat all the wrong food.
It's time to see all the people you haven't seen since last off season.
It's time to chill and be a "normal person" for a few weeks.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pictures (finally)

Track Nationals is over. I am home and the season is over.
I had a great time in LA last week. I learned a lot, rode hard and came home with great memories.

Team Pursuit win with Kim Geist and Shannon Koch (the most fun race of the entire Nationals)

Start of the Scratch Race with Shannon behind me.

To celebrate her birthday, Cari Higgins won EVERY SINGLE event she entered. She also took amazing care of me and is a true role model.

Team Des Dicky cleaned up.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Totally different

Four days of "Tracking" (racing on the track) has left me feeling happy, humbled, excited and tired. I thought I knew what to expect when I had the grand idea in July of coming to Track Nationals. I was pretty sure I would be prepared, I was pretty sure I would ride fast, and I was pretty sure I could take care of myself. Never mind the fact I had never done a track race in my life, I felt like I could go and do well. No problem.


Day #1 left me feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
Day #2 left me feeling bitter.
Day #3 left me feeling like a doe-doe (forgot Pursuit bars, got the "crack pipe" stuck in the disc wheel and realizing I forgot to pump up my tires the day before), happy (Team Pursuit win), unprepared (almost missing my "Scratching" heat), and hungry (carrots for a snack wasn't the best idea).
Day #4 left me feeling disappointed but satisfied (2nd in Pursuit BUT a huge learning experience), and tired (I felt like I had raced 140 windy km in Holland instead of 16km while "Pursuiting and Scratching").

I have a new appreciation for people who race on the track. It's not easy and there is a lot of stuff involved in something that seems so simple. It more than just picking your gear and riding. People who race the track do it because they love it. There is no other reason than that. They don't do it for the money and they don't do it for the fame. They do it because they love racing their bike -fast- in circles.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Annoying...but typical

-Track Nats.  Day 1.  Mass start test.
-Time standard-unknown (not on Internet, coaches don't know).
           -assume time standard will be similar to last year.
-Arrive to the start.  Find out time standard is 3 seconds faster (impossible).
-Wonder why I'm doing the test.  Hard to motivate when you know the new time is unattainable.
-Think about not starting.  Save energy for Pursuit (still don't know the time standard for that race either.  Probably will find out at the start.  Again).
-Try to find the positive.  I did pay $42.75.  Mom and Dad in the stands ready to cheer.  Good practice/experience for future events.
-Race.  Hard to dig deep into pain cave when you know you have not and are not going to pass the test.
-Realize today's situation was annoying but typical (ie. Olympic announcement-am I going?  I still haven't gotten the call)  I can't worry about what I can't control.
-Look forward to Track Nats day #2.  Team Pursuit.  There are Jersey's on the line.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Today is day #1 of Track Nationals.  Yesterday, day #0, was an eye opener for me.  

After the airport, I got to the track and put both bikes together.  Nice guy Des helped me take my stuff into the track and down into the infield.  After riding 'round and 'round for awhile with my super fast Team Pursuit team, it was decided I needed to try out my race  wheels/gear/helmet since I am racing on day #1.  Back outside, to the trailer to find the proper wheels, fill them with air, put the correct cog on the rear, change handle bars etc (I am still wearing my chamois while doing all this "non-riding" stuff).  

By the end of the day, I had stuff spread all over the infield.  Chain rings, cogs, tools, 2 sets of wheels, 2 bikes, shoes, clothes, 3 water bottles-and there was nobody to take care of it for me.  

I never thought I would turn into one of those "spoiled bike racers" who expects everything to be done for them, but I am.  I didn't realize how  nice it is to have mechanics, directors, and teammates to help make things go smoothly.  I was overwhelmed by all the stuff.  Track racing requires a lot of stuff (thank goodness The Mom and Dad are arriving today to take care of me...I mean help me out).