Thursday, December 30, 2010

The troops return

The crew returns after an epic day both on skis and en macchina. Now fortifying themselves with Lone Star football burritos, plotting tomorrow..
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Oh no you di'int!

Just got my sweet new CUSTOM Nique saddle courtesy of Dash Saddles in Boulder, CO. Holla for the pink! Everyone knows pink IS the new black. Its looking forlornly out the window as the blizzard rages. It also knows its too good for the it will save itself till it can be united with its home on a BH bike next week at team camp. (woohoo!)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Climate roundtable

Johannes, Drewster and la Paquita having a serious scientific discussion...while wearing ski gear. Man I love these guys.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Gallons of goddess goodness

We had a relatively uneventful drive home punctuated by a brief but awesome visit with moira and C. The sunset at the Colorado-Utah border was almost as amazing as the zucchini corn tamale in Durango. Towing a piano with the limosienna also kept things interesting. It gave the hubs and his male relatives some great opportunities for some bona fide man moments (wiring the limosienna, obtaining the trailer, and loading said piano).

Limosienna demonstrates its badass-ness once again
Not bad considering I may or may not have been driving when I snapped it

Dave (bro di hubs) caravaned from New Mexico with us. Awesome to have him here in the 801 with us. After a good coffee session with the bros Lawrence yesterday morning, I headed down chi boulevard to Avenues yoga. My favorite instructor, Jami was teaching this all levels flow class to a room packed with good-energy brewing women. In addition, studio owner/fab instructor Erin was also in attendance. While I cannot really explain the phenomenon, it is practically impossible to be stressed or otherwise poopy-diaper'ed around this fountain of fabulosity.
Jami and Erin-Bellissime!

With Jami and Erin in the same room there was no way I could avoid capturing the gallons of goddess goodness with this pro quality phone camera. Lucky for me they were happy to oblige. C'mon, you know you are getting some of the good vibes right now.  That might also be the good energy of the sweet space that is the studio (pictured in background).  Whether you are looking for a workout or a timeout, this sweets space offers a ton of different classes.  I love all the yoga studios here in the 801 (that I have had occasion to visit), but at Avenues I feel a home court advantage. Not that I'm challenging anyone to see if they can come and dis-balance my chi flow while I'm there...But, there is ZERO attitude and the space is light and calming.  Good, safe bike parking as well!

Since returning to the 801 we have amassed a house-ful of guests. I love it!!! Dave and some of his best buds from grad school have descended on the beehive state JUST IN TIME for a major dump of snow (they're here to ski).  Yippee!  While my knees are no longer resort-worthy, I'll be joining the peeps for some ski-touring on the weekend--should conditions warrant safe adventures in the Wasatch by then. 
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Funtimes with la famiglia de hubs

Steve's Gram, Cousin, Moi and Jane
Gramma Steph, Uncle Sid, Gene, Chris and Cousin Cassiope
Christmas Day Zia State Bike Ride
This is about everyone
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No offense to the snowshoe'ers, but...

We have been loving getting holiday cards!  I really do like the winter holidays and getting the cards is such and awesome part.  Everyone's cards are AWESOME but I have to give special props to the 2 best ones (in no particular order):
- Christmas card from my awesome high school bud Ellen; She has 2 kids and she and her fam are waaaaay into the Cabela's variety of outdoor sports...She doesn't really fit the normal mode of your garden variety outdoors it makes it even included of some large caught fish, snowmobiles and beach fishing...I loved this card--THANKS ELLEN!
- Holiday card from the Jowegawas: On the front there is a picture of some extreme snowshoeing (I guess that exists) and on the inside the following holiday message : "Here's to lots of extreme snowshoeing...for other people" And then a picture of some ski tracks.  (reasoning: the more people snowshoe, the less they ski Mrs. Jowegawa's lines in the backcountry).  Mrs. Jowegawa is one of a kind and no one loves skiing as much as her!

In other holiday awesomeness, the planets aligned for me to get pressies from both Coach and Coach K on Saturday!  I previously referred to the HTFU wristband and the ipod cover (hint: get your ass on your bike and get it outside--that's how said pressies were delivered after all!). 

These photos will never get old: 4 letter words! Thanks for this one Bob and Ben!
In addition, Coach K sent me some winter reading material: "Thinking Body, Dancing Mind" and "Once a Runner."  I'm really into the "Thinking Body" which talks about being a Tao Athlete.  Good stuff.
Coach K models her recently acquired Master's National Champ 'cross jersey along with a recovery beverage

I also experienced some winter wonderland up at Mel's cabin in Tollgate Canyon 2 nights ago.  It was like going on a hut trip without the skiing in part.  We actually ended up doing some extreme snowshoeing so we could do a little exploring up and unplowed road.  Super amazing up there, I can't wait to go back.  There was a shit ton of snow...It was actually sad to drive back into the SLC which was just wet, not white...

In spite of the good stuff, I've been feeling pretty poopy...low-grade body funk or some such.  Have been hitting the z's pretty hard and was able to motivate to hit the weight room with Richie and il Justino last night.  I *heart* these guys...They were some of my best buds in law spite of the fact that both have crazy lives with hard core careers and family lives, its been so cool to be hans and franzing with these guys.

Hope everyone is getting into some sweet holiday spirit.  We'll be road tripping in a snow storm tomorrow (because that's what you do) heading south towards New Mexico.  Planning on a Moab ride and some hang time with the Durango peeps--should be awesome!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday awesomeness

It was back into the swing of things with Holiday Cheer at the Woodies last night.  Everyone came out of the woodwork for this one: The Kimo, the Julie Js, COACH, TomJow...It was awesome.  Special guest appearances by Mel and Seth, JemClems, Richie and Renee, Wade, the Yohnson-Gammons, Lizzie and Mini G along with Thanksgiving celebs the DBs, Harris and Fraser, and the Schnolnick sibs.  This is not an exhaustive list and there were many other awesome specimens in attendance.

Woody proclaimed it was nothing fancy and that he wasn't cooking.  I guess the FOUR DIFFERENT SOUPS he cheffed up didn't get that message.  There were lots of other tasties accompanied by much fruit of the vine and other adult beverages. 

Got some good QT with Coach and notorious hardman Zeus...The hubs and I are used to ALWAYS being the last ones to leave the Woodies--but this event brought out some serious talent.  Eventually the evening wound down to the final 4 (Tiff/hubs, Wade, Craig S and Lauren/Zeus).  I couldn't believe it...I was fading fast but couldn't bear to leave when there were that many people!  I knew we weren't going to beat out Wade since he was staying over...but the others were hanging tough with no signs of cracking!  It was impressive.  It was a standoff till 2 am when most of us decided to call it a night.  What did I get for my victory?  The inability to get out of bed this morning and a big headache.  When I checked outside to see how wet it was--there was a HTFU wristband on my doorknob.  DAMMIT!!!!!!  And I'm not even joking.  What does this mean for me?  Its hard to say.  Santa and Coach both know if I've been bad or good (with training) I guess and they're WATCHIN'. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Photographic post mortem

Its taken a few days to get back to normal but I'm feeling more human today.

Here are some pictures from the last day at Cronulla (All photos courtesy of Anthony Sill):

Liza and Tiff

Diving into one end of the hotdog

What an amazing trip.  Unfortunately, I had some shifting problems coming into the final sprint at Cronulla.  That was--by far--my favorite course.  In the end I ended up 10th overall in the series so I was pretty happy.  Cycling news did some race reporting here

Kate Bates was interviewed about Rochelle Gilmore's dangerous sprint tactics too.  Bad times.  I hope the Russian is ok...

In the meantime I'm still waiting to get ahold of some Kiwi birthday Haka video.  Will hopefully get that up soon.

Thanks to everyone for following the adventures and for the awesome encouragement and support!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back in Kansas

I have returned from Oz rich in stories and poor in energy.  But I guess that's what happens when you time travel (I left Sydney Monday afternoon and got to Salt Lake on Monday afternoon).  It would've been great to touch down, grab a few banana peels out of the trash and head back to the future, but instead I'm here in the gray, cold, polluted weather feeling like I got hit by a truck.  Truth be told, while I miss the amazing weather and awesome, adrenaline filled life of the past week, nothing beats coming home to the hubs who I really missed like crazy.  And of course I can't wait to catch up with my beehive peeps!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tiff and HTFU both have 4 letters

A lot went down today.  We had to do some logistical people moving to get from Terrigal to Coogee for today's race.  The resort town of Coogee was a fantastic locale for a race.  It was a fun car ride over with Kiwis Sam and ARay along with superawesome Nicky from Brisbane (and of course team captian Jennx).  We arrived at Coogee a few hours before our race so we could soak up some of the scene.  There was a beautiful beach and tons of people barbequing, playing cricket and just generally hanging out.  I still haven't gotten used to seeing Christmas lights on the houses here with it being 80 degrees.

While doing a few laps of the course (another hotdiggetydog), I heard my name and there were Bobo, Sylviar and there peeps holding up a 4 poster cards with the letters T-I-F-F!!!!!!!!!!!!  Was that possibly the most amazing highlight of my trip??  But hold on, it gets better...They flipped the cards over like they were in an opening ceremonies arena and the cards read HTFU (harden the f- up)....Dear god....You know you're going to have a good race when something like that happens. 

As it was teammate Starla's birthday, she got a shout out from the race announcer who made some comments about her body art.  Differences in Aussie and American announcers I suppose.  Today's course was really fun and there were a ton of spectators.  The race started out pretty active.  We were launching some attacks and trying to light it up.  About halfway through the race, a break started to go up the road and there were no Vanderkittens in it...I heard Liza yell my name and I buried myself.  Nicky bridged up and I jumped on her wheel in order to make it the rest of the way to what became a 7 person break.  The course had two 180 degree turns and a LOOOOOOONG uphill finish.  I struggled hard to stay in the break and just when I was on the verge of complete breakdown I would hear our director, John Vandevelde yelling at me from the sideline that I HAD to stay in there...and so I would dig into the depths and make contact again.  Hey its December, remember?  But then again, HTFU.

The break had the other 2 major teams represented along with several strong individuals.  As the laps ticked down I tried to transition my brain from "please god let me just stay in here" to thinking what I would need to do to win...but race brain + tongue on the stem made it so that I gave it everything but ended up coming in 6th...Its always a little disappointing not to win (or at least be up there) when you make it into the break, but I can honestly say I gave everything and then some so I really am proud of what I (and this awesome team) was able to accomplish.

Hearing Bob and Sylvia and their peeps on the course was so huge.  Nothing rules more than travelling halfway across the world and being able to cross orbits with fabulous specimens of humanity such as these.  Though I had only met these gems once, they are good buds with one of my oldest friends Erin...So it was so great to hang out with them here!  The only bummer was that Erin wasn't there to join in on the fun. 

After the race we went for a dip in the Tasman Sea, which was only a few hundred meters off the race course.  The water was cool and refreshing the beach was gorgeous--Starla did get attacked by some killer seaweed though.

After the dip, we met up with Bobo, Sylviar and their cycling buddies Ben (who has a brother in Salt Lake--random, and I'm on the lookout for this cat now!) and Alice at a beachside bar.  I got some AWESOME hang time with these guys and their super cool friends....along with my teammates, and new Aussie racing friend Nicky.  I have never had a sign made for me at the race--its one of those things that goes down in the annals of my life as one of the coolest things ever (up there with getting the Italian Stallion t-shirt from the New Hampsterians!)

After grabbing some food and beverages, we said our goodbyes to Bobo, Sylvia, Ben and Alice and loaded up for some more grubby hours in the car.  At one of the pee stops, teammate EK and I undertook a covert cake purchasing operation for Starla's birthday.  Because EK is a ninja in all aspects of life, we secretly and successfully got a cake which we busted out once we arrived back at the hotel.

As we brought the candle-lit cake into Starla's hotel room, the Kiwis: Sam, A-ray, and the rest of them filed in wearing their underwear and proceeded to bust out a HAKA FOR STARLA'S BIRTHDAY! Ok usually sports teams do that as a way to seriously intimidate the other team....but this was the COOLEST BIRTHDAY SONG(?) I've ever seen.  The haka is some badass, primordial stuff.  I can't wait to show the hubs the video (which I will have to mooch of my teammate's cameras).  I would like to announce that I will only be accepting Hakas in lieu of singing Happy Birthday from here on out...

And we're turning in for the night after what had to be the best day of the trip so far.  Last race is in Cronulla and its the queen jewel of the series from what I hear.  I can't wait!

Check out Jenn's blog for some photos and additional sweet wrap-ups.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A country of abbreve-rs

This is my motherland...because everyone abbreves everything.  Woolworth's is Woolies and we all know what brekkie is.  It is so awesome.  I cannot figure out how the roads and cars work and keep getting in on the driver's side of the car.  I need supervision to cross the street.

The racing has been super fun here!  Day one in Bathurst was a 4 corner 500 meter course.  That's right, 500 meters.  It reminded me of our state crit champs in the Beehive state.  Fellow guestrider (and teammate for next year) Emily took 5th with me 7th and Starla in 10th.  Bathurst is home to huge racing track (a la Laguna Seca) and were super lucky to be staying right on it!

On Day 2 we headed to Paramatta (home of rugby legend Peter Sterling, thanks Drewster) for a diamond shaped course in a city park.  The park was home to one of Australia's oldest buildings (a dairy cottage on land taken from the Burramatta clan of the Darug Aborigines).  With an uphill finish, I got pretty worked.  However, Liza dug for top 10 and I finished somewhere in the top 15.  The other epic aspect of the day was the drive to our next destination at 10 o'clock at night.  The VK team has been split between 2 cars and Jennx and I have been rolling to the various races with some Kiwis (including a JAFA---just another f'ing Aucklander) and a Queenslander.  Its been awesome to learn some new lingo and do some sweet cultural exchanging.

Yesterday we race in the AMAZING beach town of Gosford.  The hotdog course (which refers to the shape) was held right along the water.  Vanderkitten was super active launching lots of attacks.  Liza ended up 4th with me in 6th and Starla around 8th.  Rochelle Gilmore won again with Russian track star Eugenia Romanuta--The Russian (just like in Rocky) getting crashed out in the finish.  That part definitely sucked...But Rochelle ended up getting disqualified and it sounds like the Russian will be ok (eventually) but is definitely not racing anymore.  A real bummer.

Today we've got another drive to our next race in Coogee (which rhymes with would she--thaks Drewster) for another hot dog course.  In super potential awesomeness--Erin's good buddy Bob from accounting and his wife Sylviar (who both live in Sydney) may be making a guest appearance.  HTFU signs have been promised.

And we're off more adventures.  I love this place...Turns out that's a bird, not a person whistling outside our room.  So cool.

So for now, cheers!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What day is it?

Day 2.5 (depending how you count it) in Australia.  There are birds here that sound like people and the gardenias smell AMAZING!!!
O captain my captain Jenn posted a photo on her blog from our sweet ride yesterday.

We are heading to Bathurst for the 1st race today.  Sounds like we will have an interesting drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Will have to pour a little out of a water bottle at Drewster's favorite climbing spot.

I might also get a chance to hook up with some of Erin's peeps, Bob and Sylviar.  Friends on the other side!!!

Off to see the wizard

When you get a phone call from one of your fave teammate peeps asking if you want to go race 5 crits in Australia, you know there's only one answer!  I'll be racing with Vanderkitten rockstars Jennx Reither, Starla Teddergreen and super Aussie DJ Jazzy Jeff Hurikino.  Primal teammates Emily Kachorek, Liza Rachetto and moi are super lucky to be representing Vanderkitten in the land down under! Its been a total the call Thursday, was on a plane 3 days later.  Jono is a super star, Coach, CoachK, Tom Jow, co-worker John and all my friend peeps did a major push to get me sorted out for the trip (with the best supporter being the hubs---he's been the sanity rock through all this!).

I joined up with 4 of the girls in LA and we traveled together on the BEST AIRLINE EVER--V Australia.  I *heart* them.  It was like a disco at the check-in counter.  They rule.

After an interminable flight, we landed in Sydney and were met by our director for the week, John Vandevelde.  This day has been surreal.  It felt like dinner at lunch and now I don't even know what's going on.  We did a sweet ride around Cronulla and then got some lunch a trendy abode in a little cool spot near our hotel.

Tomorrow is the 1st race.  Racing in December---WOO HOO!!! This has been so amazing and I feel super lucky to have this opportunity.  I can't even believe it!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A VENUE to some calmness

Yeah holidays! Waiting for some photo documentation from the Thanksgiving extravaganza (hint: J9--send me some photos!)...But it was EXCELLENT!  A horde of 22 descended upon the Woodies.  Prodigal friends Mel and Seth (not really, but finally they're BACK from Canadia) also joined in the goodtimes.  Along with the fabulous standbys (Harris, Fraser and coolest kidnotreallyakid Neah and the DBs), there were some sweet new additions including Craig and Saram, Lauren, the Nezzies and J9's parentals.  As usual Harris's brussel sprouts and Fraser and Neah's hilarity failed to disappoint.  Fraser and I tend to be quite catty to anyone new that shows up--especially if they are really good cooks.  We scared off some friends of J9's last year (as Neah and Mel pointed out--so who ends up winning? Bring back those brownies) and this year Woody's co-worker JJ seriously BROUGHT it with the desserts.  Fraser and I tried some of our normal scare tactics but anyone that makes a chocolate creme like that isn't going to back down for nothing.  This girl was tough and got right back in our faces...that is when our faces weren't full of her amazing confections.

It was a lot of fun.  The hubs unfortunately gave (received) a little too much thanks and had a pretty unstable walk home (viva le friends living within stumbling distance!).  He ended up not doing so well but he was pretty funny in the process.

On Friday, I got a few hours of riding outside (thank god) and got a chance to get a little meetup time with CoachK who was down for the cyclocross race series (which she continues to dominate).  On Saturday I rallied with my new teammate Nicole for 4 hours in the frio frio which was SO GREAT!  So psyched to have such a cool, STRONG, lover of the 801 elements teammate for next year.  Looking forward to some more Belgian style rides with this badass.

I've also been enjoying some great calm within the storm (have I mentioned its a winter wonderland here?) at Avenues Yoga.  This little oasis within an oasis (its in the Avenues) has generously agreed to sponsor me this winter--a serious boon for my brain and my body!  They have a ton of awesome classes and it is THE BEST space for downward dogging in my humble opinion.  I plan to do some flow-ing and some restore-ing this week.  Its worth checking out--and the 1st class for UT residents is free!

Enjoy winter whether you have the white goodness or not!  The only bad weather is weather that doesn't change (sorry so cal dwellers! love visiting you guys though!).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Primal/MaymyRIDE Professional Women's Racing p/b BH Bikes

 Write-up in Velonews
 Daily Peloton
Bike World News and
Podium Insight

And the Sleaze's response:
"This is so awesome, I can now cyber stalk you where ever you go.  Then I will look at your watts and compare them with mine.  Finally I will get another mapping program that lists all the dessert shops around SLC and call your director to let her know when you are slacking."

Hey Sleaze, maybe I'm just filling up my water bottles at those bakeries!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Top 5 things of an otherwise pooh week

I came down with a minor form of the Sars-Ebola last week and was just in a pretty serious pooh-funk.  I think the hubs considered installing some Koala stations in our house so I could change my pooh diapers.  The head was just NOT in the game.

Nonetheless, I still have a list of the top 5 things that happened last week, in reverse order as follows:

FIFTH PLACE GOES TO...Making this soup.  I had to go out of my ingredient comfort zone for this witches' brew soup with the ginger and lemon grass---but it was awesome.  Even culinary cognoscenti the Woodies thought it was good.  I was technically *unaware* that lemongrass is used for flavor and not for consumption (though the internet says you can eat it--but maybe just vegans, and not pregnant people? so who knows--I'll take Woody's advice and chop it in bigger extractable pieces next time).

IN FOURTH PLACE...A visit to the Wasatch Community Garden's "Tomato Garden" where I'll be volunteering this winter.  What an awesome space.

IN THIRD PLACE...Trip to a farm in Warren, UT to buy cheap straw bales for my cold frame!!!!  I've been wanting to find a way to get cheap straw or hay all summer and thanks to an awesome tip from the community garden volunteer coordinator---I found it!

SECOND PLACE...Dinner with the Woodies, Liz with a special Justino guest appearance.  Everyone knows that vitamin C, zinc and buffalo meat are the secrets to kicking a cold.

TOP STEP OF THE PODIUM goes to receiving this most awesome t-shirt from New Hampsterian readers Rick and Kim.
I wore it all week to fight the funk.  No joke. In addition, I feel that this just *might* be my ticket to a a real pull-up now...Though I'll probably need to get a blessing from Father Carmine first.

And its pink.  Hell to the yes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2011 Team

I am really excited for my 2011 team:Primal MapMyRide Professional Women's Racing Powered by BH!  Check out the write up in Cycling Utah on account'a the roster boasting 3 beehivers (its on Page 5)!

Big win for smalbany

Albany Knicks take DII National Championship!

This photo obviously not taken from my sweet camera phone
Last week I found myself watching a lot of women's roller derby movies while riding the trainer and it really got me in the mood to support badass women's contact sports.  Fortunately for me, my sister's rugby team, the Albany Knicks, was going to be playing in the U.S. Women's Rugby National Championships in Mesa, AZ on the weekend.  The chance to go support my sister (and get some warm weather training) motivated me to do some laundry and put down some skidmarks out of the 801 on Friday morning.  

On the way down, I stopped in Panguitch, UT (is it a cross between a penguin and a sandwich?) for a little spin.  The hubs raved about the riding there after doing the Desperado Dual and he directed me to ride part of Red Canyon while I was there.  Though it was rather chilly, my rear wheel had about 40 psi and I had forgotten a floor pump, I set out on my ride at about hour 4 of my drive.  I'm so glad I stopped because the short ride was long on views (breathtaking, actually) and there wasn't much traffic.  I even got accosted by Slyfox when I was fighting a headwind back into Panguitch (he was heading to Tucson for some bike transactions- random but fun to run into someone).

As usual, things turned somewhat ugly around hour 6 and as it started to get dark.  Nonetheless, I made it to Phoenix without much incident, timing my arrival perfectly with that of the Wilsons as they arrived home from a party.  The Wilsons=the coolest family ever.  I knew Tim from a long time ago 24 hours of Moab team (There's a Bush in my Chainey) and whenever I have the good fortune to cross paths with him and his awesome family--it NEVER disappoints.  

The next morning Tim and I headed out on a sweet 4 hour ride around the valley.  It was great to get in some cruisey miles and catch up with this awesome specimen of humanity.  We returned late afternoon in time for some chillaxin' in their backyard while shooting the breeze with pretty much everyone coming off the trail (as Tim is the mayor of South Mountain).

Elevated legs and a sweet blurry desert view (glass of vino not pictured)

That evening, chef Justin (Tim and Jeannette's 9 year old) and I made some pizzas and salad.  When Tim left to watch the fight at a neighbor's Jeannette said "hey we don't have to watch sports since Tim's gone--what movie do you want to watch?"  Justin picked Toy Story 3 (which I had never seen) and since the Wilsons have the totally sweet home layout (you can cook and watch the big screen at the same time) I was thoroughly entertained while cooking.  Justin was a great sous chef and probably the coolest 9 year old I have ever met.  Obvious credit to the parentals.   

The next morning I did a short mountain bike ride with mayor Tim before heading to my sister's CHAMPIONSHIP game.  I hadn't brought a mountain bike but Tim had a 29er for me to borrow while he did the rounds, shaking hands and kissing babies out on the trail.  I really enjoyed the 29er on that roll-y desert single track!  I can see where they hype comes from.

After our ride, I headed out to watch the Albany Knicks crush the Albuquerque Atomic Sisters in the DII championship game.  After blowing out their opponents in their games on Friday, Albany was ready to rumble in the final.  I'll admit I don't know much about rugby--but this was NATIONALS and there weren't many fans for the far from home Albany team.  Aside from the rules, I also didn't know that people don't do cowbells at rugby games.  I guess that's more for the endurance sports.  However, I was undeterred and rolled onto the field ringing the shit out of that cowbell.  And I was the only one.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't get some looks..

Albany got off to a slow start with Albuquerque scoring twice.  I really had to go for it with the cowbell and Albany rallied hard by the middle of the 1st period charging ahead.  Both teams played really well and I had a great time watching.  Mary--the prop--was a machine out on the field.  Impressive.  

When the whistle blew the score was 34-22 Albany--WOO HOO!!

I was super proud of my sister and of all the girls that gave it everything out there.  
Celebrating with the trophy
Nevada, Mary "she doesn't need a nickname Pezzulo and Claudia "mom/attorney/worldcup player" Braymer
Mary Pezzulo and Albany Knicks #1 cowbell ringing fan
After the game I headed back to the Wilsons to get in a few more hours on the bici.  I rode a beautiful, mellow climb up South Mountain--great vistas. I headed back in time for an awesome dinner and some more hangtime with the Wilsons.  While alternating snoozing in a comfy recliner chair and watching Phoenix play the Lakers--I got a text from Mary about the "social" that was happening.  I motivated to go and buy my sister a drink to celebrate her victory...I walked into a bar full of partying rugby chicks.  Let's just say its not exactly like anything I'd ever seen before.  In addition, it took me a while to find my sister since there were about 10000 people that look like her. 

These girls were A) not shy and 2) not afraid to have a good time.  There were costumes.  There was also a mechanical bull. Damiano would've loved it.  When I asked Mary where her other teammates were she said that some had left for the airport while others had already gotten themselves kicked out of the bar (they had arrived 2 hours before the social technically started).  I had a blast meeting my sister's teammates and the players from the other teams.  These girls were a riot and everyone has a nickname. 

I stayed way longer than I was intending before heading back for a little sleep and then an early departure for my all-day drive.  Upon my return I was met by the 2 greatest things EVER: the hubs and a little GIFT from some readers that is going to get play in its own post.  Let's just say, I can't wait to get back in the weight room.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Get your scrum on

 With the advent of colder temps and atmospheric disturbances (awesome!), I've been having to log some trainer time.  Not really used to this whole training in the winter thing...And I have never really been a fan of the trainer. I knew I was going to have to spice it up with some entertainment.  Both CoachK and Coach had suggested the sufferfest workout videos, and I know other people like to watch bike racing videos...However, I've decided I much prefer to watch roller derby while riding the trainer (THANK YOU NETFLIX!)

 How could you ever watch cycling after you got a taste of this??

My 2nd favorite has been watching running documentaries--because runners are crazy.  This documentary of the New York City Marathon promoter, Fred Lebow, was AWESOME.  While I was sweating A LOT, some of that saltiness was definitely tears.  Lots of sweet 70s coverage and music.  Makes me think of my dad and his DA buddies banging out 5 milers at lunch back in the day!

Since I've been watching a lot of roller derby documentaries while riding the trainer--I've decided to do a last minute rally to watch my sister play in the DII USA Women's Rugby National Championships.  I will also get to ride and hang with awesome Tim Wilson and his hilarious family Jeannette and their 2 boys.  At this point the plan is to squeeze a ride in somewhere around Panguitch--a little bit of the Desperado Dual if you will--before heading the rest of the way to hooked on Phoenix.

My sister's team, the Albany Sirens, qualified for nationals after beating Portland in their league playoffs.  It was a sweet underdog move as they had lost to Portland during the regular season.

My sister Mary Pezzulo, former captain of her Syracuse University Rugby team, is a 3rd year law student at Albany Law School where she continues the legacy of our dad GEP Esq at both the institution of higher learning (the law school) and at the local institution of higher consciousness (the Elbo Room).



Thursday, November 4, 2010

Order is restored

Awesome vessel of brilliant humanity--Mel--has returned to the 801.  Well she currently roams the 435 but she is at least in this beehive state again after being gone for a billion years.  She is my friend that has a worse mouth than me (that's for you Sleaze) and roughly equivalent time management skills.  I AM SO HAPPY SHE IS BACK!

In other not so sweet news, we have to get a new furnace.  Well, we technically don't *have* to, if we want to walk around in sleeping bags, which we kind of already have to do anyway...But we are going to do it.  Really its just because the furnace guy is a Sopranos cross between Pussy and Silvio...I don't even know if he's of dago stock--but the mere fact that he evoked those images made me feel safe in his heater installing hands.  Let's face it, we do not always enjoy such flavor (or in my case, familiarity) here in the 801, so basically he had me at "hello, how yous doin."  I swear to god I kept waiting for him to drop a mingia. 

So we get to drop the cost of: (insert awesome sweet list of things we want) we get to have a new heater.  But it is 95% efficient so we can feel good about that.

In no particular order of importance, I would also like to report that the hubs is having a man-date with Woody tonight.  This was AFTER I uncorked the mag of vino.  So I'm taking a page out of the Erin book of blogging and letting the creative and viney juices flow...or leach onto the it were.

And on that non-sequitarial note...I finished "Recipes from the Dump".   An ok read, but the main character got on me nerves.  I started John Irving's "Widow for One Year" till about paragraph 2 when I realized I had definitely seen the movie.  I don't think it was called Widow for One Year--but it was brutal, and kind of gross (the movie, not hte 1.5 paragraphs).  John Irving and his weird sex stuff.  I don't know.  Or maybe that's living in the uptight 801 talking. I think I need to treat John Irivng like after dinner liqueur--heavy and kind of gnarly and only to be enjoyed on very rare occasions.   So I then started "A Free Life" by Ha Jin.  Much better, but stressful.

In further non-sequitarity, I rode the shoreline to work today and that was awesome.  Yes I carried my commuter back-pack.  No I did not ride Bobsled.  I was nervous that something important would fly out of the already stuffed pockets (last time it was my keys).  The trail was great (no one was on it) but the 801 has the pooh air layer totally creeping back in!  We need some atmospheric disturbance stat!

Finally, I have a confession to make.  I got home from work today and the front door was open (the hubs was home).  However, instead of the hubs being right inside the front door--the only thing visible was his new FS 29er mountain bike and my road bike.  I'm not a stickler for details...but I hate bugs getting in the house and I also hate advertising the grab and go bike shop.  So something completely awful came over me.  The Arrested Development father possessed my mind and body and I grabbed the hubs' mountain bike and put it outside in a hidden spot (don't worry--it was still totally visible to any passerby on the street).  I sauntered into the front door and the hubs came from the back of the house.  I asked him where his bike was and panic ensued.  Ok I can't even type anymore.  I can't believe I did that.  What a class A shitty human being.  Right before the panic turned to despair I told him his bike was outside.  With his visible relief, I somehow became my normal self again and was totally horrified. 

At least I didn't say "And that's why you don't leave the front door wide open."

Anyway, I'm going to straight to hell.

But then who went out for man beers with Woody?  Yeah I still think I'm ahead in the sucky person points.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bring on the raw eggs

Some may say I, too, have now drankened the kool-aid...and while it BURNS, it tastes good.

Me and my good bud Richie (a seasoned cross-fitter--before it got huge), met up with Jason Moreland of SLC Crossfit last week.  The goal was to help me design a secret weapon strength program for the winter.

This put me way outside the comfort zone...We worked on some movements I had only seen on TV (Hans and Frans and the All Drug Olympics), like deadlifts, cleans and kettlebell swings.  The gym has a no nonsense come to taste blood kinda deal.  Unlike a 24 hour fatness, the only cardio equipment consists of a few rowing machines.  Its a sweet space with a lot of room and the entire floor (room?) is padded so you can throw the big meat around without consequences.

The first meeting was to evaluate my goals and to make sure I could do the movements safely.  With my octogenarian body (2 knee surgeries and a host of other injuries), we had to be careful and anything super jumpy is pretty much out for me...

Though Jason is a pretty serious badass, he was super patient and encouraging and really broke down the intimidating movements.

Richie and I went to 24 Hour Fatness to do the first session on Sunday night.  I knew I was in trouble when sweat was pouring during the warmup. Good thing I had Richie, he helped me modify a lot of the stuff.  Turns out real pull-ups are not something that are accessible to me at this point.  I'm not ashamed.  I had to do the push-ups chick styles.  For that, I am ashamed.  That is going to have to change.

In any case, I'm pretty psyched on the program!  Even though I can't straighten out my arms today (this is after 2 sessions).

I'm asking Santa for an Italian Stallion t-shirt.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm not sayin' its a good thing

But sometimes (in the wise words of Johnny G), karma really is a beeyatch.  For those of you who are mystified by links...There was a story in the Minneapolis paper about a guy getting hit by a truck while riding a bike he had stolen (carrying bolt cutters).  Death is always a tragedy...but I do wonder how the bike fared in the wreck?  And how have I messed up my own karma by even writing about this?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The weekend of almosts...

Another good weekend here in the 801.  After an awesome chick mountain bike ride with Mrs. Yohnson-Gammon and Jem (its one word, it doesn't stand for anything--she's just truly outrageous), the hubs and I had Fab dinner with uberbadass Laura and Rodney on Friday night.  I finally nailed rosemary whole wheat pizza crust.  Taking Caterina's advice--I also sassed up my anise-almond biscotti with a chocolate dipping.  I had been scared off of choco-dipping biscotti as I do not possess a double boiler.  Thanks to Caterina's, cool-inary tip on melting chocolate in a ceramic mug in a pot of boiling water---I don't even NEED a double boilder!

I served up some pizzas topped with the remainders of my garden...They were pretty tasty if I do say so myself.  If I only had a cow I'd be almost completely in house.  Despite the hubs' predisposition to lactardation, he still hearts hisself some queso...We can have chickens here in the SLC...maybe cows are next?  Then I wouldn't need to buy manure from Home Despot...That would be sweet.

Saturday was the Black Diamond swap...The hubs *almost* made it out of bed to join me...but he just couldn't hack the 7 am car pack up and departure.  As a consequence, he can't get mad about my selling our tent and other items (for cheap).  Caterina and Wayne-o let me crash their table at the swap.  I had a lot of fun peddling my wares with Caterina's "merch-ing" assistance. We even had some bike tire fare wars to the benefit of the swap shoppers.  Though I had to get up too early, I had a lot of fun with Caterina, I got rid of a bunch of stuff and made a little cash...

I almost thought about doing the cross race but I was knee deep in haggling world...What is that people love to feel like they're getting a deal.  Like "Hey I'll give you $3 for this, you have it priced for $5."  Whatever sure.  Plus getting to the cross race would've violated my carbon footprint cyclocross status (only racing the ones I can ride to).

I downward dogged with Lizzie on Saturday afternoon before doing a spontaneous stop-by Damiano's new place.  Got to see a bunch of my favorite kiddos including an in-town Zach.  Had some good laugh times with these most excellent of peeps before walking home where I *almost* made it to the skitini party.  The moresocials were having a soiree which I had really been looking forward to... However, upon returning home to a stressed out/working all day hubs, I opted to hang tough at home with him.  We watched a GNARLY movie called Wardance.  I cried through the whole thing but loved it anyway.  It was an amazing film about kids at a refugee school in Northern Uganda who compete in a music festival.  BRUTAL is an understatement.  An excellent experience all the same.  Richie and Renee stopped by on their way home from the party (I love living in the hood!) and plied us with some Dark and Stormies and lightened up the mood a bit. 

This morning, I *almost* raced cyclocross but opted for staying in bed so that my bike would stay clean.  Its about the bike, after all.  Had a nice morning with the hubs (who had to work AGAIN) before catching a yoga class with a visiting Carmen S.  We caught up over some lunch afterward, which was great. 

In this weekend of almosts, the hubs has worked almost the whole weekend.  It just does not compute.  How can a human being take it?  Well, he is pretty smart and very motivated. 

Snow on tap here in the 801!  If you think my garden is over--you are wrong!  I'm going to attempt overwintering a few items and I'm also going to try to construct a cold frame (without drilling somehow).  I rescued most of the green tomatoes this afternoon which I intend to freeze for winter-time soups and sauces.  Yum.

A weekend of almosts was a perfect weather preface to week that might be almost winter!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Puttin' in the big miles

Still basking in off-season mellowness...but I have spiced things up a bit with a little riding here and there...On Wednesday I rode in Millcreek with my old teammate Jen Dial (different last name now--but that's how I know her).  We were teammates in 2000!! And then I fell off the face of the racing map and totally lost touch.  She and her husband recently moved to the 801 from the east coast and we finally connected for a ride.  She is retired but she and her husband totally kicked my ass on the mountain bike (of course).  It was really fun to catch up and Millcreek was GORGEOUS!  There was a bit of frost on some of the shaded parts of the trail.  Winter feels much more realistic up there than down here!  I'm also happy to report that my Yeti is back in action after a trip to the warranty hospital (rear shock).  On the winter note, the Insane-o helped me get my new badass T-Races customized to my sasquatch-ian feet...I don't have to be embarrassed by my pre-historic ski boots anymore.  I also can't use them for excuses anymore either. 

Yesterday I hooked up with Superfit and Tayler (last name not Swift but I always think it is--and she is swift on her bike too).  These two fun cuties made 2.5 hours on the bike go by like it was nothin'.  Superfit had already done her pool workout for the day. do they do it?  Much laughing and funtimes abounded.  Definitely look forward to more miles with these kids.  They just might be my secret ingredients to winter-time fitness.  And in terms of other secret ingredients, Richie came over to show some mobility "moves" last night after running his mental health loop.  I'm looking for some moto for the weight room and Richie is definitely the guy for that!  Look out Hans and Franz.
Winter weather on tap for the weekend.  It has been absolutely gorgeous here in the 801--but that has also lent itself to the prolific aphid bug populations that have been driving me crazy and are just disgusting in general.  So bring on the killing freeze!  That means real cyclocross weather too!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Business opportunity

Mrs. Jowegawa and I are going to look into franchise opportunities:
Awesome-ness.  And I really do need these!

Or I can always see if I can get a job at Cox, Payne and Shaftman...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just when I thought I might be ready...

Just when I'm considering getting on a certain social networking site which we will call visageliterature, something like this comes out and I just can't do it.  Of course I have a blog that has me on display, but its just got to be different somehow. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Off season sort of

After almost 2 weeks off the bike, I hopped in 2 cyclocross races this weekend.  Ouch.  Saturday was held at the State fairgrounds.  While the race wasn't until 11:30 I didn't wake up till after 10 am thanks to a little too much fun with the Yohnson-Gammons, Justino, Sil, JemClems and Richie.  The Yohnson-Gammons were especially motivated to hang out since La Nocciolina fell fast asleep in her pack and play and hasn't been sleeping through the night so well.  We hung out, drinking vino till the wee hours and then finally called it a night.  If I hadn't pre-registered for the race there's no way it would've happened.

So they called it a "roadie" course.  I must not be a roadie, because I was seriously flailing on the course.  I did enjoy it though.  CoachK and Sarah Kauffman got off the front which left Erika, Jen Hanks and I chasing.  I rode off the course at one point (well many points) and Erika gapped me.  I caught back up to her but just couldn't deal in the corners.  Kris took the win and I finished 4th.  It was an AWESOME scene!  Tons of spectations and TONS of women racing!  It was really great to see such a big field.

Saturday afternoon Caterina and I helped the Woodies in their backyard.  This involved much shoveling of dirt and using a pick axe.  I had "I've been working on the railroad" in my head.  Caterina and I still had a lot of laughs (does Woody give you breaks?) and I think we got a lot done!

This morning I woke up sore and tired.  Who's to say whether it was the cross race, the manual labor or both?  Unfortunately for me, I had pre-registered for today's race (because the hubs wanted to race too!) so I had no choice but to roll myself out of bed 1 hour before the race started (I love races within riding distance!).  Kelsey smoked us in the women's A's.  It was impressive.  Erika was 2nd and I finished 3rd.  Many of the girls that had raced the day before were absent, unfortunately.  Today's course was so different.  Once again I was not a model of fluidity in the turns and was generally doing much flailing.  I still had a good time and got a good workout. 

The hubs lined up in the men's singlespeed race.  He rolled up with 2.5 tires and a front shock.  Not exactly a picture of speed next to the skinny tires and rigid bikes.  Nonetheless, I'm very happy to report HE DID NOT FLAT OR CRASH and finished 3rd in his group.  Considering his tank of a bike, I think he rocked.  Seeing him out there racing, and doing so well on the Queen Mary-esque bike made me want to sell some bike stuff so he can get a real cross bike...I think he's just going to get some different tires and ride a rigid fork next time.  So I guess I get to keep my Easton tubulars for now.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is enjoying fall!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reality check through film

It is officially the off season.  Ten days off the bike for a physical and mental reboot.  Lots of attention to other home and garden projects and time for general catch-up with all the peeps.

We celebrated the return of our law school prodigal son: il Justino on Friday along with the 1st compleanno della Nocciolina on Sunday.  The Glennbro and Soigneur Meme were also in town over the weekend.  Glennbro made us all feel lazy with his daily 11 mile runs and afternoon workouts... We also enjoyed hearing about Meme (and her friend Joyce's) adventures at Outerbike and on a road bike tour down in Moab.

With all this fun, the hubs and I have been balancing it out with a sobering movie kick.  A few nights ago we watched City of God--movie about kids growing up in the Rio de Janeiro slum.  Last night we stayed with the general do-you-realize-how-fortunate-you-are theme and watched A Walk to Beautiful.  A documentary set in Ethiopia, it chronicles one woman (a girl, really) and her attempts to travel from her village (6 hour walk from a road) to a fistula surgery hospital.  I recently read Cutting for Stone which deals with the same subject.

We are having ridiculous weather here in the 801.  I broke the riding dry spell yesterday with a little mountain bike ride (yes that's right) up City Creek and down Bobsled.  I basically had the trail all to myself--which is a good thing as I needed to change my shorts after riding down Bobsled.  Avoiding all those jumps and tricks was hard work!  I need to channel the badass-ness of Caterina's baggies!

Hope everyone is enjoying the seasonal gear shift.  There really is nothing like fall in the 801.  It typically only lasts a few days--so seize the ephemera!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Photo update

Pics from the trip (hubs finally dug his camera out from under some dirty clothes).

Supercutey Maura and Teej's fancy pedicure

Mayor's Cup:

Awesome fanclub: 'rents, hilarious Ferraros and Drewster


Post race 'splaining

My sister's place at Albany--notice the bikes in the storage room dining area


Soggy but safe in Phoenica, NY

Buonissimo dinner in Bainbridge, NY

George and Kathy perform a crux sag maneuver, relieving us of our packs 40 miles away from Rochester (they just happened to be in the neighborhood)

Awesome last 15 miles on the Erie Canal--Where is the mule named Sal?

More photos here.
Forgot to mention the grand finale where Drewster took the stage win (because the hubs and Dave missed the turn onto my parents' street).  Whatever a win is a win.  We also awarded him the best young rider (not that he's young--but he's young in riding years--and he totally rocked the house on the ride)...The hubs got the maglia gialla, because he is a monster stud and was carrying a coffin-sized pack the whole time--while kicking our asses on all the climbs.  Post event Jens Voigt award goes to Dave because he is the ultimate hard man/go-to guy in the truest sense of the word.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The return

The hubs and I made it back to the 801 last night--thanks to J9 for the airport pickup.  Great to be back home, I harvested a ton of tomatoes today along with a butternut squash and a crookneck.  House is in disarray but I think this week's rain + mandatory off-bike time will take care of that. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010


We have had such a fabulous week.  After racing the Boston Mayor's Cup, I headed to Albany with my sister.  The hubs, his bro Dave, and our  non-blood bro Drewster rode from Northampton to Albany in the rain.  Monday night we had a sweet intersection of old and new getting some pizza and wings at the Elbo Room around the corner from Mary's apartment.  I'm told the Elbo Room was the site of many a great night for my parents during my dad's law school days.  From what I heard, my sister has continued the legacy there. 

Tuesday morning, Drewster, Dave, the hubs and I set off into the Catskills from Albany.  We got rained on some, but it was a fabulous ride along the Hudson River and then into the mountains.  We rode through Woodstock as the rained turned cats and doggish, which was--of course--the moment Steve got a flat.  After dealing, we rolled into the little town of Phoenicia for our 1st night of credit card camping at the Phoenicia Belle B&B.  Owner Tom was awesome and let us clean our bikes by the woodpile.  We grabbed dinner and some z's after our 75 mile ride.

Wednesday we had marvelous weather!! Blue skies and crisp air provided an excellent backdrop for another challenging day in the saddle.  We rode through parts of New York I had NEVER heard of (despite growing up here), and ended up in the town of Bainbridge.  After buying some groceries, we pedalled a few miles out of town to our destination--a cottage along the Susquehanna River.  I cooked up some pasta and we enjoyed some vino with a neighbor before turning in for the evening.  I think it was about an 80 mile VERY HILLY day.  Yes, they do have hills here in the northeast.  Just ask the Drewster.

Thursday was a slight debacle.  Definitely type II fun.  We woke up in a SERIOUS downpour.  F-bomb.  And we had about 75 miles to our next B&B on Cayuga Lake--just north of Ithaca.  We made it 30 miles to the town of Whitney Point and figured out there was a bus we could take to Ithaca.  We had some sweet pizza and garlic knots (the lunch special) before catching the bus to Ithaca.  We were SOAKED and freezing.  Once in Ithaca, we still had to figure out how to get another 15 miles to Trumansburg.  Oy, I'm not ready to really talk about it yet.

However, we did end up at our destination---probably my favorite spot.  The Black Walnut Inn is a new B&B on Cayuga Lake along the Fingerlakes wine trail.  The owners were fabulous people and the accomodations (and breakfast) were amazing.

Friday we were treated to gray skies but no rain.  It was a little chilly but we had a gorgeous ride along the lake and then home to Rochester (75 miles).  We had buonissimo lunch in the town of Seneca Falls before Steve dropped the hammer for the final push into the Roch.  It was really neat to ride with these guys into my hometown on routes I've ridden over the years. 

It was a GREAT way to end my road racing season--though not exactly what I had on the training schedule (time off the bike for the week).  I really enjoyed having my world consist of my little backpack, my bike, and my friends and family.  Talks were had  about future trips--and I'm definitely game--it was a really great way to see some cool parts of the northeast!

Another grande festa tonight before heading home.  More details on the trip may be forthcoming; but wanted to give a little rundown for those who were wondering if we made it (which we did though we had to cheat by taking the bus for 45 miles).  Final words on the trip?  If it wasn't raining, it was a headwind--but it was still awesome.

Recovery in Rochester

Bros Lawrence watching recovery football

Recovery cider doughnuts

Have been enjoying some post-ride recovery action in the 585.  We have a full house here in the Roch.  The hubs parents, Drewster, Dave, and of course the hubs and I are all crashing with my 'rents.  So awesome to have everyone here.  Much recovery vino and good family times.  The hubs' parents went to the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum and to a quilt store in Victor.  They are serious about seeing stuff when they travel.  My mom took us all to get cider doughnuts in Webster and then we went for a walk in Durand Eastman Park along Lake Ontario.  Awesome.  One last Big Night dinner and then we all scatter to the winds...

Made it!

After a week of awesome riding across Mass and New York (I only did the NY part), the hubs, Dave, Drew and I rolled into Rochester.  So cool to see some sweet parts of New York...Details to follow soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wicked sweet

Checkin' in from my sister's laptop in rainy Albany, NY.  How did I get here?  I will 'splain accordingly...

Thursday night the hubs and I took the redeye from the 801 to the home of the Red Sox, Pats and Celtics...We arrived on Friday morning pretty worked over.  The most awesome-est race organizer offered to let us use her car so we could transportate ourselves the first part of our trip which was totally huge.  We took a cab to her place in Jamaica Plain and loaded up her 1990 Honda Civic with BOTH BIKES and all our crap.  Those are such bike racer cars--I can see why teammate Lins and others *heart* them so much.

We made our way to Acton, where one of my best high school buds lives--TEEJ.  The hubs and I rode bikes to a local bagel shop and the collapsed on Teej's couch in her awesome house...We eventually regained consciousness to go for a little pre-dinner spin in beautiful Acton.  We rode past some farms and around a cool lake...all basically in Teej's backyard.  Friday evening we had a lovely dinner with Teej, her husband Chris and their 2 awesome kids Thomas and Maura.  We kept making Thomas say dump truck (as he loves all trucks... This awesome kiddo unfortunately pronouces "tr" like "f"--so we were snickering at the unintended profanity out of this super cute 2 year-old's mouth. 

Saturday morning we had another lovely ride to Concord and around the neighbs.  You gotta love the northeast.  Good luck planning a route.  Better to just ride around with a general idea of where you want to go and you'll probably end up there somehow.  Those roads are ridic. 

Teej's parents drove up from the Cape that day.  It was so great to see Pat and Gar (which Teej called her parents in high school)--they are such great people--an awesome family.  We had a lot of laughs and more fun times with the kiddos before heading back to Beantown to meet up with the rest of the fam.

We made our way to the Marriott on Fisherman's Wharf where my parents were staying and were Randypants was waiting for us.  Let's just say the 1990 Honda Civic--which has been ridden hard and put up wet--was SLIGHTLY out of place in front of the Marriott.  As my 'rents rolled up in their Mercedes my mom was dad commanded "don't park that thing anywhere near me."

Pretty soon we were joined by Steve's bro Dave and our non blood bro Aussie Drew. The hubs 'rents George and Kathy also detoured from their vacation in the northeast to come join in the fun.  We strolled along the water and then reconvened for dinner.  Teej and Chris came in from Acton and my sister Mary also eventually rolled in after her rugby game in Albany.  Her partner Rachel also appeared after HER rugby game in Boston.  After dinner we walked to the North End for some dessert treats.  I don't know if anyone was aware that I *heart* cannolli?

It was a fabulous night with some of my favorite people in the whole world.

After a great night's sleep at the Marriott (thanks mom and dad), the hubs and I grabbed a bagel on Quincy Market and I got ready for the race--the Boston Mayor's Cup.  I rolled over in time to meet up with teammate Kat--bruised and battered from a crash the previous weekend--but ready to roll nonetheless. 

Yeah urban bike race!

The race was held at City Hall circling a total downtown block.  Olympian and former pro Nicole Freedman works for the city and puts on the race--so there are equal purses for men and women--so awesome.  While rolling around the course, I flatted about 15 minutes before the start.  Luckily the superstuds at Sram hooked me up with a wheel and I made my way to staging.

There was a good field.  Tibco and VBF had teams with Colavita and Peanut Butter also represented.  Many of the best sprinters were there like Laura VanGilder and Jen McRae along with the large number of strong riders that live in the northeast...

The race was pretty active and a lot of fun.  There was a midrace crash that neutralized our race for 5 laps.  That was a slight bummer because it would've been cool to see if a break might've happened.  It was a major bummer because a girl was taken off the course on a backboard--yikes.  Really hope she's ok. There were a ton of $$ primes with a sprint line on the front and backside.  I snagged a $300 prime (yippee).  VBF definitely did some serious cleanup in the primes department.  They just kept sending people.  In the final laps, things got a little hairy.  The course was definitely technical with some sketch pavement and tight corners.  On the last lap I made my way into position and then got caught up in the shuffle--I re-made  my way into ok position on the backside...Lauren Tamayo, Jen McRae and LVG jumped right at the corner before the slight bend to the finish.  We were still in a group, I jumped to the left and was in my full on sprint but had to slam on the brakes when a leadout person satup right in the middle.  It was like a brick wall shooting up in the final 200 m when you are in your full on sprint.  Several people passed me but I still managed to get 9th (which is an improvement from last year's 10th).  Lauren Tamayo held off Jen McRae and Laura for the win with the other 2 finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

It was an AWESOME RACE.  Great crowds and it was really special to have family and friends there to cheer me on.  It was a really fabulous way to end my road season--and what a season its been!!!

Bella cena in Northampton.

But don't sit back just yet...After the race, I headed back to the Marriott and spread out all my crap (again) to repack for the upcoming week--which will see the hubs, Dave, Drew and I riding our bikes to my parents house in Rochester (about 450 miles).  I had to switch my brakes and wheels and pack the little pack I'll be carrying with everything I'd be needing for the week.  We said goodbye to Randypants and my parents and then my rad sister drove us (5 people and 4 bikes in a Pontiac Vibe--hell to the yes) to Northampton.  We had an awesome dinner at Viva Fresh Pasta and the left the boys to stay in Northampton while my sister and I made our way to Albany where she lives. 

The boys are riding from Northampton to Albany a rainstorm.  Awesome.  I'm kicking it at my sister's apartment that smells like my Italy...or at least my cousin's apartment in Bari.  Combination of cleaning products and coffee?  I don't know, its awesome.  Mary has lawyer college today and she is currently on the 5th hit of her snooze button.  I so remember that from law school days.  Well all days realy.  She has cases she has to read next to her bed and she is trying to ward of the day that awaits her.  It is awesome.  Our dad went to law school here (which is across the street from my sister's Italy smelling apartment) so we are going to try to honor a few select spots including the Elbo Room (right around the cornet) and the Italian restaurant across the street from my parents old apartment (where I spent the 1st year of my life!)

I am also going to try to buy a rain jacket today as I'll be joining the pan-NY ride tomorrow.  We'll be riding through the Catskills and then through Ithaca and up to Rochester over the next 4 days.  Aside from the rain, it should be awesome.  Ask me again halfway through tomorrow's ride though.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The hubs and 'cross do not mix

The hubs and I did the local 'cross race here in the 801 on Saturday.  I remember reading that last week's race at the same venue had hardly any flats (a little foreshadowing).

The race was held at This is the Place state park.  Its like the Genessee Country Museum (for those that hail from the upstate NY) but with Mormon pioneers.  I've never actually seen the monument itself and I do have to say it was cool seeing some of the super old cabins they had there as we rode through on our way to the race.

In any case, the hubs and I rode to the race from our house.  You really can't beat that.  I carried an extra set of wheels in a super packed messenger bag and nearly asphyxiated on the way there (its all uphill).  But it was worth it.  Especially since the hubs wasn't carrying anything.  He was riding his single speed so its all about low profile for him.

I got there about 40 minutes before me race.  I had time to take a few laps on the course which was good as that warm up accounted for the sum total of minutes spent on my 'cross bike this year.  The course had a very loose run-up and then some techie turn-y parts with a few climbs.  Emphasis on the technical.  The race started and the mountain bikers took off, along with the rest of our field.  Kelsey, Erika and Sarah quickly distanced themselves from the field.  I COMPLETELY flailed on the run-up and ensuing techie sections.  I was really not impressed with myself.  Its like the quote from Bicycling magazine said about the great things about 'cross "Watching pro roadies go nowhere fast."  So TRUE.  Awesome Laura Patten just laughed when I almost took myself out on a rock. Oy to the vey.  At least she didn't swear at me--because I wouldn't have blamed her.  I basically got to where I had Erika in striking distance.  I was feeling good--albeit still riding like a supertool in the turn-y sections when I almost ate slid out in a corner.  Thank god for tubular tires.  The tire stayed on but was totally flat.  I made my way around the lap and was fortunate to get a front wheel from a karmically owed individual on the sidelines (as the hubs had hygrated the tube from one of the wheels I almost choked on carrying up to the race).  Fortunately no one passed me with the flat but it definitely took away the chance to try to move up.  Sarah Kauffman took the win with a big lead.  Kelsey also flatted way early in the race which was really unfortunate as she had pulled into the lead prior to flatting.  It was really great to see the 'cross ladies and I had a lot of fun clucking after the race.

The hubs lined up right after me for the single speed race.  He flatted once while warming up and then twice in his race.  He crashed 3x.  I figured that was the end of the hubs and 'cross.  We had to borrow a tube from Laura (she is awesome) so I could ride home and get the car to come back and get him.  He was not that psyched about 'cross...but later in the day he mentioned he would probably get some stan's no tubes, *IF* he was going to do any more races.  HA!  I love it.  The hubs has turned into a bike racer. 

And now we have matching war wounds on our left sides.  Mine have mostly healed.  Lucky for us J9 hooked us up with the tegaderm healing magic.  What would we do without our friends. 

Saturday night we hit up dine around with Richie, Renee, Grant and Brittney.  We went to the Wild Grape.  It tasted good but then I felt like I had aliens in my stomach later.  Its officially off the list now.  The company was fabulous and we capped off the evening watching The Town at the Gateway.  It was on ok movie--but well timed as we will be in the vicinity of that hood (Boston) in a few short days!

On Sunday I rode Big Mountain as I'm swearing off riding the canyons on the weekend.  The traffic causes too much tightness in the buttcheek-ular regions for me.  It was SO BEAUTIFUL and a very nice ride.  The hubs and I headed to the Woodies for dinner (I feel sorry for anyone that doesn't have friends like this).  Woody cheffed up steamers (which I didn't eat on account of they're invertebrates) and turkey and bison burgers, homemade pita chips and the BEST cannellini bean dip!!  Caterina made a chocolate cake with amaretti.  Oh my delish.  Best part was getting to meet Woody's long time friend Rick and his girlfriend Kim from New Hamshah.  Got to hear some more good Woody stories from back in the day.  Those will never get old.  It was a fabulous night with awesome peeps and buonissimo nourishment.  An excellent weekend for sure.

Let the fray of logistics and organizing begin...T minus 3 days till we leave for the east coast.  Packing for a race and then a 4 day bike tour.  I can't even talk about it.  It will all work out.  Whatever, I'm excited!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Its fun having a teammate in town

Teammate Kat has moved (temporarily/permanently) to the 801.  It is fun to have a teammate in the hood.  We downward dogged at Centered City on Monday.  Turns out I'm a big fan of the Express class.  Its easy on my mind (45 minutes, sometimes I can't handle the hour+ classes) and the wallet ($8).  It was definitely more the Erin-named-drop-and-give-me-20 styles of yoga---but it was still GREAT!

Last night we rolled out to the RMR together which was also excellent.  I have to admit that I loved getting the "uh oh you brought a teammate" and "Hey, cool bikes" lines that got thrown out.  Thanks guys for playing along with the idea that my having a teammate might actually mean I could be a factor in a men's A race :))

We met up at 9th and 9th so I could introduce Kat to some of the peeps.  Luckily-there were some good ones for her to meet (PB and A-ron, KK and young Julian).  Unfortunately, I forgot how annyoing the ride out to RMR can be (i.e. the race before the race--with a bazillion railroad crossings).  It was hammer fest and then it started raining.  How much more awesome could it be.  After the 1st sprint out of the 1st red light to the next red light--Kat looks over at me and I just say "yes this is how it is, sorry,"  and she just replied "I'm not even looking down at the numbers."  Ah yes, everything about Tuesday night worlds is awesome: from the annoying ride out there to the fights that happened after.  Welcome to the 801 Kat.

But I AM super grateful that we have such awesome training options here.  Getting to race with the men is so helpful.  Last night was gnarly crosswinds and the boys put the hammer down (for real, not like on the ride out) FROM THE GUN. Ouch.  I hung for 35 minutes, got dropped, then jumped back for about the last 7 laps or so.  Great workout and not too sketchy.

I hung around to watch the hubs tear it up in the C flite.  Lucky for me, the cycling powerhouse Putt family was hanging out to watch their youngest hang touch in the D's.  Papa Putt had done the B race with one of the boys who normally terrorizes the C's.  It was a lot of fun to hang out with such a nice family--Mama Putt is awesome--4 boys and she is team support extraordinaire.  Its just a nice thing to see!

The hubs jumped a little early in the final sprint and was part of a massive drag race about 10 guys across on the line.  He puts out crazy ridiculous numbers in his races and he needs to start racing with the B's so he can not have to deal with the tea party that happens in the C's.  He has requested his upgrade from 5-4 so hopefully he gets it in time to do the last B race of the season!!!  I am REALLY enjoying seeing him get into the racing.

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

Total Pageviews