Saturday, April 28, 2012

Joe Martin race

Hello from Fayetteville, Arkansas!  It's nice to be back in the south, I feel at home here - good BBQ, lots of 'y'alls', big trucks - yeah, my kind of place:)  PLUS a HUGE PLUS is my family is here and even if it is brief, it is so good to see them, I've missed them!

So the race has been pretty eventful.  Amanda won the (uphill) time trial and we started the race with the pink jersey but quickly lost it the next day when the wheels fell off the wagon! But hey, that's bike racing and you sure do learn a lot that way:)  Today we recovered and took 1st and 2nd!  It felt GREAT to take the win and lift the team back up.

I hear a lot of times, oh it's just bike racing or what's the big deal but this is what we do - day in day out - and we are competitive as hell and we WANT to WIN, always.  So when we have bad days, it's like a bad day at the office and it hangs on to you, you take it home with you and you think about it over dinner and analyze every moment.  You wake up with it and you try your hardest to motivate yourself to go back into the office positive and smiling and we did just that.  We learned, moved forward and did what we do best - raced our bikes and won.

So tomorrow is the crit......what kind of day will it be?

Sorry no pictures, not too much coverage here:(

Reading: race bible - honestly
Watching: Sir Chris Hoy youtube of one of his wins
Listening: Let's Roll by Yelawolf
Eating: seedless watermelon
Feeling: happy to see my family(most of them anyway)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A visit home

It's nice to be home, even if it is only for 5 days - every moment is worth it.  My kitchen, my coffee, my couch, my roads, my dog, my is like a reset button.  Coming home, I get to reflect on the racing that just took place and look forward and re-focus on the upcoming trips - Joe Martin and Tour of Gila.

Here are some pics of one of my beautiful roads I ride and sweet Miller having fun at the river.   

 National Forest...
 Just got a bath and is all dirty again....
Momma, I got my stick!

Reading: The Decisive Moment by Jonah Lehrer
Watching: the SUN shine!!
Listening: Alex Clare, The Lateness of the Hour
Feeling: Relaxed and refreshed
Eating: rather drinking - juice from my juicer(beets, carrots and apples - my favorite)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Tuesday we arrived in Arkel to the beautiful apple barn turned into a guest house. It is such a beautiful place!!! Arkel is a small town with some nice shopping that we’ve only breifly seen and looking forward to seeing more of it in the next 2 days.

Wednesday we had a team event with some of TIBCO’s finest employees and customers. We drove about an hour to the Olympic training center, which was really cool, had pre-ride coffee and a quick look around, then off for a fun ride. After a couple of hours we were back at the center for dinner and laughs with the TIBCO guys. Everyone was super nice and had lots of questions about the team. Thank you all for the fun ride.

Today, the sun was shining and the weather was beautiful, it made for a nice bike hopefully we can get back to town for some more shopping:)

Enjoy the pictures! Lots of em!

Apple barn bathroom...1 of 3....
Kitchen accessories???...
From the kitchen to the stairs.....
Shower outside of the sauna...
Bedroom, downstairs....
Headed out for some fun!!
They are everywhere..
Almost bought a pair for fun...
Everyone rides....
107 more of yesterday!!!
Megan going for the long jump record....
Short people race bikes, tall people work at KLM...:)

Reading: New Yorker from 2 weeks ago
Listening: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on podcast
Watching: the rain clouds pass over
Eating: GF bread!!
Feeling: sleepy! Still recovering;)

Now if only I can find a massage therapist here!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Energiewacht Tour

The Energiewacht Tour is now in the books and filed under my first stage race over here. Someone asked me the other day, which is more tired - your legs or your head. It is mentally exhausting doing these races.

It's the same in the States but a bit different: when things are compressed to small roads and more women, all different languages and riding styles. It's like starting over, not knowing who to trust, who to follow and learning exactly who everyone is and what to expect from them as competitors.

I did my first double day: road race in the morning and team TT in the afternoon. That was my first team TT also. All of it was soaked into my brain and filed away for future and it was all put in the legs - wow. Eating dinner tonight my arms were tired! hahaha!

I'm proud of my teammates and proud to be a part of this with Team TIBCO.

Next up is a week of resting and recovering for the next race which is next Sunday - Ronde van Gelderland.

Number pinning on the way to that day's stage....
The view of most rides to and from the races....
Holland's 'highways' .....
The town center where the team TT started, beautiful but SO COLD!

Amanda and Sam staying warm before the TTT....
Wheeler - admiring the fence? Or stretching?
The housing was a buzzin everyday with teams and their staff.....
About to pull out for the last time....
The Amiras heading out....

More pics here: - it's like an Easter egg hunt for myself and my teammates!

Reading: The Sweet Life in Paris - still....
Listening: Regina Spektor - Man of a Thousand Faces
Watching: the wind outside and being thankful I'm done for the day;)
Eating: Oranges
Feeling: tired...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter? Really?

It's funny how you can get stuck in the cycling world and forget everything else, or not forget, but it just goes to the back burner. I had no idea this weekend was Easter weekend! What a heathen! :)

I'm consumed with the Energiewacht Tour and the next 3-4 days, GC, positioning, start times, courses, wind, food, sleep, massage times, laundry and more food. I'm just thinking about the next day and the next, not the lovely holiday that brings spring!

If I were at home, doing the 9-5, I would be spending the weekend w/ the family and the weather would be warm and we would be working on some project with dad and cooking in the kitchen with mom. Happy Easter to my family! I love and miss you guys and see you in Arkansas soon!

BACK TO THE TOUR: This race course is flat, semi-small roads and windy. Thank goodness we woke up to sunshine today! This is the first time we have seen the sun since this past Sunday - no lie. Yesterday was really cold - high around 42 and windy and the day before was about the same but we survived, once you got rolling it wasn't that bad.

So all the teams are staying at the Pagecentrum which is like a campground but with bungalows, indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts and a huge banquet room that we all eat dinner in every night. It's tight in the bungalow with all of us but we are doing pretty well, considering:)

Time for breakfast, we have 109k of racing today! Enjoy the pics....

Post race of Flanders......thanks Chris....
Clothes drying method....
I'm sharing a room w/ Amanda, I'm top bunk....she is bottom and our clothes are middle...
These are interesting to navigate in the middle of the night for the bathroom....trying to be quiet and find your way down...

Reading: course profiles
Listening: Home Again by Michael Kiwanuka
Watching: the SUN SHINE!
Eating: lots of rice, potatoes with pasta sauce
Feeling: bad for not knowing that it was Easter weekend! ha!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ronde van Vlaanderen a.k.a. Flanders

Saturday, my old college teammate(Elke) and I met up for lunch and a visit. What a small world!!! She is from Ghent, went to MSU to play soccer(not quite sure how she got to MS!), graduated, moved back and is working and living there. So when I came to town, we made it a point to see each other and catch up! It was so nice!!!! She hasn't changed a bit and we caught up on other teammates and what they were doing now.

Saturday night was a bit more stressful. It involved being locked out of our room for 3 1/2 hrs and the only person who could fix it was on vacation. The guy(which was also the restaurant's chef) next in line to fix it had to call the other one on vacation for directions. Plus, they weren't very friendly about the whole ordeal.


Sunday morning was brisk but sunny - fine by me. With good positioning from the start, you could hear the craziness behind - cursing, yelling, brakes squealing, tangling of bikes. I'm sure I hooked bars at least 3 times in the race with other girls - by accident of course! I even got a kudos on the race radio from one of my teammates that noticed when a girl slammed into me and I kept it up. It's kind of funny when you look back at it but at the time, it's a bit stressful. The fans lined the roads and the cobbled sections and the Paterberg(last big cobbled climb) was insane! Fans were yelling, clapping, singing, drinking(obviously, who wouldn't?) and the one thing I noticed most of all was smoking - I could smell the cigars and cigarettes - yuck!

My legs and lower back were burning so bad they felt cold and you were going so slow, one bad pedal stroke and you would be the unlucky sole running up the hill - I did see one girl running - I navigated it successfully.

We didn't win or podium but I'm proud to say I raced my bike, bridged to breaks, covered attacks and did my job. After me was Amanda, she made the break of 3 before the Paterberg but was caught and that was when the winning break attacked. That's bike racing! Megan was our top finisher, she was in the second group behind the break and Sam and I were in the 3rd group. Here are some pictures from Saturday and Sunday.....

Next race starts Wednesday - Energiewacht Tour

Another take on yesterday's race from an old pro....Clara Hughes

Elke and I....
Elke bought me 2 beer....Ename was one of the towns we raced through....
The square where the race started. When we finished it was full of all the men's pro team buses and fan everywhere wanting water bottles and pictures!!
I think this is the top of the Paterberg, from the looks of things in the background....
My teammate, Megan on the left and I'm behind on the right....

Reading: for the men's racing reports
Listening: coffee pot brewing goodness
Eating: breakfast
Watching: my teammates on their computers
Feeling: relaxed, not thinking about the next race just yet:)