Friday, February 27, 2009

Needing Motivation, Contemplating Change

It's not been the best of weeks for a few reasons. I have been overwhelmed at work and even skipped my Wed. cicruit class, going home at 9 that night to grab a quick bite to eat and head straight for bed. This combined with the appetite loss/nausea/headaches didn't help. I didn't work out Monday or Tuesday, and lastnight I went to spinning class. It didn't seem like a very tough workout to me. So, I'm feeling like I really need to make some changes, and one idea is to quit the gym altogether. I only re-activated my membership to go to spinning during the winter anyway, and I haven't been going that much. It's all about accountability. Go to spinning (rush to get there by 6:45pm to change, get home at 8:30 starving), or go home and ride the rollers for an hour? One is more social, one is not. I don't know. I could also change to morning cardio workouts, which would leave the evenings free for resistance workouts. I need to commit to something else, because this isn't working. I wish I could afford a full-on coach like Upper Echelon Fitness, but I will at least look into their strength training classes. Suggestions welcome. I also could PUT DOWN THE HOT TAMALES (the candy, not the Mexican food version)!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's here!

Racing season! Not only did the Tour of California Prologue start today in Sacramento, but Portland Velo's first race is tomorrow. Good luck, everyone!

I just read an interview VeloNews did with Lance Armstrong about the Tour of California. This quote sums up his view of the race: "The guys I know are racing like it’s May."

I found some things I had written a couple of years ago on my favorite things about pro cycling. It needs a little updating, so I had to change some things, but here it is - my favorite things about pro cycling:

1. Favorite race for scenery - Giro do Lombardia ("race of the falling leaves")
2. Favorite early season one-day race - that would be a tie between the Tour of Flanders (insane climbs, horrific cold weather, crazy Belgian fans and cobblestones) and Paris Roubaix (again, cobblestones, and the finale in the Velodrome).
3. Favorite Spring classic - Milan San Remo
4. Favorite US cyclist - Levi Leipheimer. The guy just never quits and is a great all-around cyclist. Back in the Discovery days it was George Hincapie, and I also really was impressed by Christian Vande Velde's 2008 season.
5. Favorite team kit - this is a tough one. I'd have to say Astana, because I don't think any other teams in the pro peleton have the aqua blue & yellow combination. I do like Garmin's argyle, but not so sure about the blue & orange combo.
6. Favorite team director - Jonathan Vaughters - the guy just seems so cool.
7. Favorite bike - Garmin/Slipstream's Felt - but I also love CSC (oops, Saxo Bank)'s Cervelo
8. Favorite sprinter - Mark Cavendish. He is wicked fast!
9. Favorite commentator - Bob Roll. He's kind of grown on me.
10. Favorite pro cycling magazine - Cyclesport
11. Favorite cycling website - VeloNews
12. Best aerial views - Tour de France. The best way to see all the cool cycling sculptures the fans make out of hay is from the helicopter footage.

Least favorite things about pro cycling (notice there aren't as many):
1. Worst team kit - Columbia/High Road. WHY on earth did they change it? I didn't like the yellow & red, but then Columbia's blue was pretty cool. Rock Racing's black & green kit is pretty hideous too (but kinda cool in a scary sort of way). Note - it's red, black & white this year. Still bizarre.
2. Least favorite commentator - Craig Hummer. Today I actually heard him say "spite-lot" when he meant to say "spotlight". Seriously. Where is Al Trautwig when you need him? He just has a better voice. What does Craig Hummer know about cycling?
3. Commercials on Versus. These are some of the worst on television, I swear. Yay for Tivo.
4. Least favorite race - Tour of Quatar. Boring. Tour de Faso runs a close second.
5. British commentators' mangled pronunciation of US cities. Cracks me up. I would do worse to the European cities. Bob Roll has gotten pretty good with his pronunciation of French & Italian.
6. Dopers. Vinokourov, Ullrich, Basso, Ricco, Schumacher, etc. Such a shame.
7. Podium girls. What's the point of this? Some ancient cycling tradition?
8. Most hideous fans - that would have to be the summit of Alpe d'Huez, but it's a toss-up. They've gotten smarter about putting the barriers out close to the finish so there won't be as many cyclist/fan incidents.

That's all I can think of for now - but might edit more later...
Here's to a great 2009 season!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Much better riding this weekend! Saturday was cold and foggy - one of those days when it's really tempting to pull the down comforter over my head and grab a couple more hours of sleep. But no, I had to force myself to get up, chug some coffee, and get moving. I find that driving to the ride is a good option on these days. I wasn't sure about hopping on with KRhea's 3-hour endurance-fest, but I actually did alright. Brian Collie kept encouraging me to stay in the middle of the pack, and we kept the pace up for most of the ride. Even Blooming Fern wasn't so bad though I haven't done much climbing in a while, and that bagel sandwich sure did taste good. This photo was taken towards the end of the ride (thus the smile - I'm on the right).

Yesterday - different story. Not sure if it was a wise decision but I carpooled with Matt over to Palio's to meet up with Kristin & crew for her SE ride. Advertised as "flat & conversational, easy pace" I thought sure, I can hang on with these guys. But the sea of blue & black were way ahead once we started up River Road. I talked to Lindsay for a bit, then once we got to Oregon City I fell behind as we started up 43, but Kender was nice enough to lend me his wheel. Those climbs are deceptive, he said to me later. Terwilliger wasn't much fun either, especially after I biffed trying to unclip & avoid hitting Kristin's wheel as we stopped to step over a curb. DOH! Hungry, a little sore and very tired, I went home to clean my bike, take a hot shower, eat and got in bed by a little after 9pm. Time to build up some more miles in the saddle.