Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fun and games

Bike racing isn't all about the racing. The actual racing part is small section of each day and we don't race every day. The rest of the time can be filled any way you like. For me and my teammates on Team Vera Bradley Foundation, we fill our free time with a lot of fun stuff.

The pre race routine usually involves a stop for espresso. In Bend, Toni and I were lucky because there were great coffee shops to be found by each and every race start.
Lasting less than an hour, Criteriums offer plenty of time in the day to do other stuff. For Muck, our mechanic, he spent his time preparing to look his best while he worked the pit.
Post race routines included a jump into the river.
On the days we weren't racing, we were also doing fun stuff. After Cascade ended, we made stops in Portland and Eugene to visit team sponsors; Nossa Familia (coffee), Rolf Prima (wheels) and Ninkasi (beer).

If you combine coffee, beer and bikes, you're bound to have a fun time. And we did! We had a women's ride in Eugene from Rolf Prima (I loved learning about the wheels. That was the best part of the trip), and a ride from Nossa Familia in Portland.
Tuesday nights in Eugene is the local "training" crit, so after riding with the girls, we went and beat up on the boys. Then we drank beer and got a tour of Ninkasi Brewery.

One of my favorite things about traveling to all these different places is going to local coffee shops. I love espresso and I love hanging out at good coffee shops. Vero Espresso in Eugene is one of my favorites. I visited it twice in two days. Maybe I liked it so much because of the brown border collie I saw the first time. It reminded me of home, which I love so much.
Home is where I am now. The next trip is to Charlotte, NC then on to Chicago. That trip will be 9 days away from home with only 2 hours of racing. Imagine the fun we can have then!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The CCC- first half

Highlights from the first three days of the Cascade Cycling Classic.
2 mile Prologue- First Place!!
Proof of the most awesome teammates ever: I got home from the awards ceremony and this was on the door (that was the sign the limo driver had for us at the airport. Yes, Mom, my name is spelled wrong).
We have fun times as a team. Last night was a dinner at the Bend Athletic Club put on by the promoter of the CCC. We even got to play fun games! (Toni and Anne)
Today was the TT. Felt like I just raced it (oh I did. At nationals 3 weeks ago). I got third, but don't have a picture right now to post.

Tonight is another team dinner, this time at my host house. Kiwi Toni is doing most of the cooking. She's pro.

Tomorrow, we get to race to Mt. Bachelor. I like riding my bike to a ski area. Extra motivation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Too old for this

Yesterday was one of the first days I have thought to myself "I am too old for this". What am I too old for? I am too old to wake up at 2:30am and I am too old to catch a 6:20am flight.

But, I survived. It was not pretty nor was it enjoyable but I am now in Bend ready to start the Cascade Cycling Classic tomorrow evening.

I was lucky enough to enjoy the miserable travel day with two teammates; Anne and Toni. We had two layovers, and at each stop at least one of us got coffee. Mine was in Portland and it was espresso.

When we arrived in Bend, we were greeted by a nice man holding a sign with my name on it (that was a first). He loaded our bags into his limo and took us to Bend. Yep, you did just read "limo". It was Pro.
We enjoyed the 30 min ride to our host house in fashion (though we did have to share the space with one of our bikes and the liquor flask was empty).

Our host house is AMAZING! Big, spacious, view, nice people and on the top of Bend.
Check out our neighbors flag. Reminds me of home.
2 mile race tomorrow evening. I am for sure NOT too old for that. My grandmother can ride her bike 2 miles and she is pushing 90. So I've got a good 55 years left. Just make sure my flight is no earlier than 9am.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Skills Days

My coaching business, ALP Cycles Coaching, is offering Skills Days in August.

It's a cool concept-Learn to ride your bike better. A better bike rider is a better bike racer. Simple as that.

Click here for more information.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cross training

Question- what does a bike racer do for cross training?
Answer-ride a different bike.

The 16" wheels are proving to be a little bit difficult for me. But, as with anything, my riding is getting better with practice.

Maybe one day, if I'm lucky and keep practicing, I'll be able to ride the bridge too.That's skills.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Today, because I was finally riding my mtn bike well, I thought "maybe I'll do mtn bike nationals again this year". So, I came home and checked out the course, the start times and the registration fee.

$75. Really? Yep, for the Pro XC race it costs $75. HELLO, race organization! I am a FEMALE cyclist (ie. I do not make tons of cash riding my bike). You'd think "you'd" make the race more affordable to the people who actaully want to race it but don't have a sponsor to foot the bill. I'll skip the race, stay at home and ride my bike for free.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Lack of blogging usually means I am at home...or I'm being lazy. This time it means I'm at home. I have been home for 4 days and it's been wonderful (though it would be better if I could go riding with my mtn biking friends. But my body and mind are in need of a rest, so I'll get my riding and my friend time next week).

The reason I don't blog when I'm at home is because, I'm home. As much as I love bike racing, I love getting away from it. I love coming home to a non bike racer life. None of our neighbors ride bikes. They think I'm crazy for riding as much as I do. Many of my friends are not bike racers. And one of our dogs will bite my ankles if I ride my bike near her. Near home, no one knows any teams or any results of any races. To them, I'm just Alison who is gone a lot and now is home.

No offense to everyone out there but, for the most part, cyclists are weird people (me included. Sometimes I can hardly stand my own weirdness), and cycling can be a strange sport. I enjoy getting away from it all; I get refreshed, re-energized and motivated so that when it's time to race again, I'm ready to kick ass.