Ramblings, musings and generally boring stuff. Mostly about bikes...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Assaults (the Urban kind), State Crits, Track and daily life

I have been a lazy little blogger.
A lot has happened since I last typed here. I'll try to summarize to catch you up....

Back on July 30, I participated in my first Track Race.
I did the "Kilos" which were actually 500 meters for the Women. About 1 1/2 laps...not too bad.
Except for the Amy Berg part. Amy Berg is really strong, especially on the track. But she's gracious and kind.
Fortunately, she didn't pass me in the 1 1/2 lap sprint.

Here's our times:
Women Open, 500m:
1. Amy Berg: 43.58
2. Stephanie Nadeau: 51.97

I got my first (non 150) medal. The Silver! I was second AND DFL but I'll take it!!

August 2 was my grandmother's birthday. It was also the Missouri State Criterium Championships in Jefferson City. Phil and I drove to Jefferson City on Saturday night to stay at the (not so) Super 8, so we could be rested and ready for my 8am on Sunday morning. I just didn't want to think about driving at 5am from home for an 8 am race! Yuk. Turns out, I would have gotten more sleep had I stayed home. Someone or something in the room above us was doing gymnastics, running and jumping around in the room until well after 2 am. Needless to say, I was not bright-eyed when we arrived at the Crit course at 7am.
For our early morning race, Kate and Alice (my Hub Teammates) drove in from St Louis on Sunday morning. Cory and Jay had stayed at the Super 8 with us on Saturday night. Cory had a long day, with our race at 8 and Jays at 2ish.

I do like this course though. It goes around the State Capital and has a couple of climbs and descents but nothing too tricky. The weather was perfect, cool, almost like fall. A sharp contrast to the 90 degree temps from last year.
With only four of us, 3/4 on the same team, and all of us being friends, you'd think we'd have taken it easy. Well, Cory took the first pull and it felt like a speedy pace to me. She lead for 1 1/2 laps and I teased her that she'd better get off the front before we passed Jay again, or she'd have to hear him telling her to make us do some work. We all took turns pulling and a pattern seemed to emerge. Kate would quickly accelerate around us up the hill to the Capital building, then take a pull. Turns out that she was attacking us several times, but we were able to latch on and ride out this high pace she set down.
Alice also drove the pace up with each pull. When I'd come around, I'd drop the pace a few mph, trying to get my heart rate to settle a bit, but Kate and Alice would only put up with that nonsense for about 3/4 of a lap.
On our last lap, Kate attacked again on the hill to the Capital. I jumped on her wheel with Alice right on mine. We were passing Juniors (Racing concurrent with us) all over the place. We came down the hill, turning into the short steep climb and Alice and I were able to come around Kate. There were more juniors spread out on the road. Just as we were entering the last turn, I started yelling to the Juniors that we were coming around. I saw Alice get pushed to the inside of the turn, where the road was more torn up. I found an opening between two Juniors and took it like I stole it. I then rode like hell. I think there were only 2-3 juniors on the road between me and the finish but it felt like 50. I just gave it everything I had.
As my sprint was winding down to the finish, little did I know that Alice was gaining on me. I looked to my left right as I was crossing line and there she was! It was a photo finish, that revealed I won by INCHES!! WOW!
I WON the Missouri State Championship. I got Medal number 2, a GOLD and a few weeks later got the State Champ jersey.

My second Track Race was the Match Sprints, held on 8/13. With my participation, we filled the podium, which included Mariasol Johannes and Amy Berg. This enabled the winner (Amy) to get the State Champ Jersey.
We did two heats; the first was three laps (felt like 4!) and the second 2. We had holders at the start line.
I got my ass handed to me on the first sprint. I was back by 1/2 the track, 100 meters or so. I was sucking in so much dry air and so forcefully, I started coughing hard after the race and tasted blood. Yikes.
One the second, I actually took the lead for a second and stayed closer to Soli, who passed me just before turn 4 for second place.
The highlight of this night was when Phil was holding me on the first race. I was fumbling to get clipped in as the race was starting and just after I got clipped in, we were started, but I thought Phil was still holding me. LIttle did I know that I was doing a track stand. I said "GO" "GO!" to him, and then Phil tells me that he doesn't have me any more. I think I said, Fuck, fuck or something like that and proceeded to go. Fortunately, Amy and Soli had a slow start and I caught up to them... but then they took off.
Later Phil commented that he was thinking, "you are telling me to Go? I am not the one on the bike!." Funny. We also later learned that some pushing from the holders was permitted. OH well.

That brings me to this weekend.
Saturday morning was normal life. I got up, did the Hub ride with Kate and Alice. I got stopped at the light on Geyer/Manchester and some of the guys waited for me. Then we caught up to Kate/Alice (who also waited) and a group of about 8 of us rode the whole thing together. The Hub guys included Devin and Andy. The pace was higher than we normally do on our own, but it wasn't awful. The guys even let us take the short cut at Conway and Bopp/Geyer instead of Ballas. I know it was slow for them, but it was nice for us.
After the ride, the run around started. I ran errands, met Stephanie McCreary at Pi to pick up our Urban Assault packets and set off to find materials for our costume.

The Urban Assault RIde is kind of like a city bike scavenger hunt, going from several check points, to complete challenges. It's timed, with teams of two and there are prizes for overall and several categories: Women's team, Men's Team, CO-Ed Team, Family Team. Stephanie and I signed up as the "Super Stephs."

I spent Saturday afternoon and evening painstakingly creating capes for our Super Stephs costume. Of Course they didn't turn out as good as the vision in my head, but they did the trick. I bought some Poly-satin, in red of course! I did an iron on transfer of a Super girl logo with "Super Stephs" around it. Steph M had purchased some red tube socks, red masks and awesome red wax lips to complete the ensemble.

I worked on the capes til 7:30, headed to Tower Grove area at 8 to meet with some friends for the World Naked Bike Ride and after a quick bite to eat, got home at 11 ish to finish the capes.

Sunday: WOW, 6 am comes too early!! SNOOZE til 6:30.....
I met Steph and the other Team Revolution Teams at Forest Park for the Urban Assault at 7:30 am.
Dessa and Terri were the "west county directionally challenged blondes", Jackie and Suzanne were "road warriors." - complete with headdress, Mary and Cheryl were "Oh Shift." , Jamie and Ken were "Massi Fetish." Ana and Tom were "Luscious Steel something..." They also drank a huge jug of beer before the ride!! Judy and Chris were boy/girl scouts!! They won the costume contest!
I can't remember Lo and Britt's team name, but they sported the Team Rev Gear and THEY WON!! The women's division! (They also won Bike Limbo).
Steph and I took second and Jamie/Ken took second in the Co-Ed group.

Most of us were in the first wave to leave, promptly at 9am... thanks to high scores on the quiz!!
We placed our bikes at one end of the field and lined up about 50 yards away. When the start horn sounded, we ran like hell to our bikes and we were OFF.

We started pretty hot and I was in Zone 5 before we even left Forest Park. We made our way to Stop #1 (of 7), Mystery checkpoint - The Climatron at the Botanical Garden. There we had to drop our bikes at the entrance and run to the Climatron, to learn our second mystery check point (the metal tree in Forest Park) and get our first bead. We had to show the beads at the finish to be placed. Stop #2 was Bicycle Works. Thanks to a little bit of directional snafu on my part, we went down one block too far and had to double back. When we arrived at checkpoint 2, there were only one other team. The challenge was a big wheel obstacle course. This was by far my favorite challenge. I LOVE watching Steph, who is quite a big wheel expert, spin out in the turns on these awesome machines, while I followed right after her. Stop #3 was Tower Grove park. The challenge there was some sort of three legged thing, where we had to keep tennis balls in a Frisbee disc on our feet. We took the directions too carefully and didn't know until we were nearly done that if we dropped the balls out of the Frisbee, we could just put then back and NOT Start over from scratch. Oh well. There was a theme of us not completely understanding what we could, or couldn't do. We erred on the cautious side too much, but HEY, we still got second!!
It was a long jaunt to Checkpoint #4 at the City Museum. Once there, we had to climb stairs to the Roof (11 flights?)!! and then climb some more up to a huge slide and go down it. We learned later that we didn't have to go down the slide after all. Ugh. That checkpoint took a ton of time. As we were leaving, we were at 1:00 by my watch.
Down Delmar to Big Shark for check point #5 and the hardest obstacle challenge. Steph and I had to sit on a large skateboard, without out hands/feet touching the ground and move using a plunger to "row" with. We got a little too much momentum and shot across the lot and got stuck in a drainage grate. Once we figured out that we could go backwards better than forward, we did better but still lost a lot of time.
On to #6, Mesa. Here, I had to throw wet sponges to Steph, who caught them with a laundry basket on her head. NO problems with this one.
Finally #7/Mystery Clue #2. We climbed Art Hill (Ugh! on the Single speed!) to the metal tree and got our last bead. There, we learned we were in 2nd for the women's teams! Woo Hoo. This energized Steph and she took off to bring it home. As we turned back into the parking lot the finish, Steph spied another girls team approaching. Yikes. I nearly bit it hard on the sidewalk due to some people walking on it. CAN YOU BELIEVE people were walking on a sidewalk! The nerve. I tried to go around in the grass but got caught in the groove between sidewalk and grass. I pulled my foot out of the pedal HARD and caught myself before falling. The last obstacle was a large blow up tube thing. We dove in, climbed and jumped and out the other side to cement our 2nd Place position!!!
What a FUN DAY! We raced as hard as we would have in a "real" race. Team Rev ended up on the podium 3 times (Jamie/Ken, Stephs, Lo/Britt), won the costume contest (Judy/Chris), and won a ton of other silly events at the after party. I even got second place in a "Dance Off", with an Elaine from Seinfeld dance.

Now, I return to my regularly scheduled life.... but first, I need a nap!

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