Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This is how we roll

Supporting child labor, one glass at a time...(Just kidding) More like getting up Churchill, one glass at a time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blood, Sweat, and Tony's Tears.

No photos this week, as our queen photographer decided to ditch the Northeast for the South. But plenty of stories. This weekend was a story of blood, sweat, and tears.

But mostly sweat.

The weekend for me started off with a commotion. I showed up for call time 15 minutes late with a paper due Monday still sitting on my laptop in that not-quite-close-to-finished stage. Then, I ended up in the dirty van with the boys through the traffic of weekenders trying to escape the city on the first really nice weekend of the spring. Around midnight we rolled into Fitchburg.

A mere 5 hours, 45 minutes later, we were up for breakfast and call time. Perhaps one of the most precious moments of the weekend was the look on every single teammember's face when the guy at the front desk nicely asked us to park our bikes outside rather than stacking them against the breakfast tables. Asking that of a cyclist on a race morning with <6 hours of sleep is just asking for a death stare. I would feel more sympathy for the guy if there was a better breakfast. But, alas, there was no fruit (no fruit!), at one point we ran out of coffee, and my glutard self was very glad that I had brought my own oatmeal.

Saturday started off really well. We got great results in the TTT, with the Killer B's taking the win in the women's field and the Men's B's and A's taking 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Everyone was really excited until about 11 AM, at which time the theme of the day was starting to sink in--it's really freaking hot. With highs reaching into the 90's during the road race, the majority of us were just in it to survive. (I did not, but that's another story for another day). The highlight of the day was probably Alex Bremer soloing in for the win in the Men's A race after hours upon hours of watching riders come through the feed zone in the blazing sun.

Saturday night took us to the wonderful world of Olive Garden, where we made merriment while attempting to ignore the annoying server girls that just kept coming back with thier outgrown roots and fake blond smiles. ... be continued when I have less than 20 pages to write before going to Penn State. Feel free to expand with comments.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lux et Velocitas - Recap

I've spent a significant portion of the morning reading through the ECCC blogosphere, which perhaps shows my dedication to cycling, or alternatively shows my lack of dedication to academics. However, because of my blog-stalking, I came to realize that my own team is severely underrepresented in said blogosphere. There is no reason that Columbia shouldn't have its own blog centered around our well-rounded athletes (see our photo of the week competition for definition of "well rounded").

I am also jealous of the other well-written blogs out there. Mount Holyoke has a tiny team with some big attitude.

While I am ready to get our version of the story told, I also realize that I have a less-than-heroic weekend to relay. My racing this weekend can mostly be summed up with this photo:

About 5 laps into the Women's B race there was flailing and skidding and bikes strewn everywhere. No one is really sure what happened (something to do with our field being afraid of the potholes on the inside of turn 5 and needing to jet from the middle to the outside line without notice), but what I do know is that I went completely over the handlebars, and either Becca's or Anne's bike left a nice dent in my helmet. I like to think that my previous roller skating career was just practice for the crashing that I'll be doing as a bike racer.

The upside of this incident was that I got this really cool photo of it before the photographer had to take off and do his ER doctor thing with the people that went down harder than I did. Also, if you notice, going head over heels meant that I skidded on my shoulder/arm warmers rather than on my legs, meaning my decision to wear embrocation as opposed to leg warmers did not result in a bloodbath of legs meeting pavement. Not that the pavement could have penetrated my Vaseline-layer of steel.

Though I wasn't hurt, I was shaking rather violently. I have never been able to make a decent decision while running on adrenaline, so I chose to take a DNF rather than a free lap. Of course, as the field passed me, I calmed down enough to be ready to jump back in the race. About 15 seconds too late. So I had to take my anger and disappointment out on the roads of New Haven and the rollers, instead.

This comes after a day of suffering through the rain on Saturday. The ITT wasn't too bad (meaning I was only a minute and a half behind the leader, rather than the embarrassing 4 minutes from Army), but the circuit race was a bit of a disaster. As you can see from the above picture, riding on a flat road on a clear day is dangerous enough in the WoB's, so I had no desire to fight the pack for 45 minutes when soaking wet and unable to see more than 5 feet in front of me. So I made the decision to hang at the front, even though I took the risk of screwing myself at the end.

The first decent was awesome, as I decided to do something unheard of in the WoB's -- pedal downhill. I gapped the field by making about a 5% effort. Maybe this says as much about my ass as it does about my pedal power, but whatevs. Anyway, I did lots of controlling the field for the first 3 1/2 laps, but by the time we hit the last climb I was beat. One of the Yale girls launched an attack right before we got there, I put out way too much energy, gassed myself, and wheezed my way up East Rock for a wonderfully unsatisfactory 27th(ish) place finish. Bitches.

In other news, the team's got nothing to complain about. Mostly because Maggie is awesome, but also because of great crit finishes from Carrie (with yet another spectacular lead out from Nicole) and Dave, who came out of nowhere to sqash the D Uncertainty Principle.

And lets not forget what we learned this week:
  • Burned down diners are not out of the question when it comes to picking a restaurant
  • If you want to make new friends, hide candy around your van
  • Always preview the course
  • Be nice to the people at the front desk in your hotel. Always.
  • When someone cuts you off, throw a banana at them
  • When someone throws a banana at you, get out the jar of JIF.