The 2012 Kit

The 2012 Kit

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What else do I do?

I'm a cyclist and I get to ride my bike all around and it's great, but I can't do it ALL the time. In fact, aside from limitations on a regimented training program, it can actually be very healthy to get away from the bike a little bit.

On my down time in afternoons or my rest days, I find it important to occupy myself with intriguing, non-boring activities.

I did the Solvang Century ride on Saturday. I was on craigslist that morning bargaining for my new recovery assistant. He calls himself "XBOX 360."

I purchased Grand Theft Auto 4 for this toy, a small investment that the IRS might agree with as a write-off. This can be viewed as a juvenile and simple-minded way for me to spend my time, but it's relaxing: I can put my feet up on the couch several feet away from the television and the wireless controller still connects to the console, amazingly. I don't play it nonstop or cut my rides short hoping to feed a new addiction. No, if I have time to play for an hour before dinner, I will and if not, the XBOX will always be on-hand for the next time. I also read. I just finished the first of the The Hunger Games series. An entertaining new trilogy for young readers. I'm still young.

Baking delicious goodness is something I share in common with many women and Ted King. Ted sent me a photo of his latest Pumpkin Bread creation in response to an image I shared with him of a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. This is my version and will serve as a mid-day snack and a healthy ride-food alternative for at least 1 day. The small loaves have chocolate chips, the large is infused with walnuts and raisins. Salivate.

On my off days when I have a bit more time, I sometimes think about making my own food to eat on rides instead of opening another Clif Bar. They're delicious and nutritious, but so are my own recipes.

Just last night, I went to dinner with Ken Hanson hosted by our local friends Lola and Randall Tinney. We had a very casual evening just after I was offered to take his own new toy for a spin in Santa Barbara's foothills! This used to be a 50cc scooter, but it was since outfitted with a 277cc motor. It's a total rocket. Really. Here's me after my ride. How cool is this?

Then we tried some wines before a pork roast and my own beet salad contribution. I limited myself to no more than two glasses for the night so I could drive home after a few hours.

I'm very responsible except when I crash on my road bike showing off how swiftly I can take a parking lot corner for a friend as I did on my way home from yesterday's ride. Now you know I crash training, too.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Schedule Update: India trip canceled

Apparently the races in India were canceled. I'm waiting for news on schedule alterations, but this is a bit of a disappointment at the moment. Officially, that leaves Tour of the Battenkill as my season opener on April 15th, a solid month from now, though I have a hopeful feeling I'll be shipped off to something prior to that.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Look around

Photography can often tell a better story than words. It's universally communicable. Children respond to pictures before they have learned to read. It may limit imaginative creations, such as what characters or scenery looks like, but perhaps one can create an imaginative timeline between each photograph marking just a single experience. Though my skills are limited to the "zoom" function, here are a few shots I've taken in the last week from my bike and around town. A short explanation follows each photograph.

Mysterious parachutes on the knoll of the Mesa

View of Lake Casitas on Saturday's group ride

Vertical shot of the trail that led to here.

Panoramic view of the same

This trail didn't continue up to the top of Gibraltar.

Homemade Spring Roll Dinner Spread

One marketing technique

Weird plant in a restaurant bathroom

Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson's Handlebar Cafe creation

Picnic table backdrop

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Joy in racing

This weekend marks the beginning of the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference season. In light of that, and in light of the fact that I am also racing in just a few weeks, I am dedicating this post on March 1st, 2012 to remembering my very first racing experience at UVM.

My training then was in Vermont. I did a couple of weeks there this year, but am now spoiled in California (not denying that I did a lot of work to earn this privilege).

We were a band of brothers on the UVM Cycling Team.

My first race was at Rutgers University in New Jersey. We left Vermont at 3:30pm and arrived late. Bedtime wasn't until midnight at the earliest. We stayed in the "finished" basement of a dormitory that was used as a common room. I hope you can agree that most dorms are a total maze at first walk-through. I remember paying particular attention to directions in this location because I felt a bit more uncomfortable than usual in this different place. There was spraypaint everywhere, first-off, with a dark background that gave the halls a very dreary and surreal look. It was a co-ed dorm with shared bathrooms as well - something different, not to mention that it had a vague affiliation with LGBT and was called the "art wing" of the dorm or campus or something not completely understood. I found it was better not to uncover the facts for this entry as this is how it was upon the real experience and thus how it ought to stay for your full appreciation. This was housing provided by the Rutgers Cycling Club and we were forever grateful. I have no photos to document my description. Only words.

I do, however have a few photos of this weekend's racing. Thank you, Facebook.

Everyone awoke at 4:30am. The "D" category racers had a time trial that started at a ridiculous hour. We had to load up and get all the vans + trailer to the TT course.

My Rutgers 2006 Results/Photography
Saturday AM 4km TT: 6th (lacking photos)

I distinctly remember warming up on the trainer. It was 35F. It was decided that legwarmers were not an option for the Crit. I would decide against that now, but baby oil sufficed that afternoon.

Saturday PM Criterium: 6th

Daniel Cassidy, a graduate student at the time led the field on several occasions. The Cassitron Legend lives on.

Sara Uhl, an Olympian on the track would race the Men's A races with us. We were proud to have her in the group. She's actually a UVM alum, only wearing Penn-State colors here as she finished graduate school.

The sprint to the finish against a McGill rider, somewhat larger than I.

Sunday Circuit Race: 4th

Following these races, we drove to Banner Elk, North Carolina for a week of training during the Collegiate Spring Break. There must've been at least a dozen of us that made this trip. I cannot provide photos of this because there was too much debauchery and rule-breaking that happened. It was, however, impressively memorable and yet another moment of fun around the sport.