Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sucker Brook Fruition

It's definitely groovy to start the season with a win. Before the start, I really had no idea what to expect in terms of my performance potential at last Sunday's Sucker Brook cross race. I thought the field was reasonably big for the first one of the fall - and because it wasn't a Verge series race. I surprised myself by being first into the first turn out of the start! I have never led at the beginning of a cx race before. It was a strange feeling, and one much too reminicent of my recent crit performances, when I've spent too much time on the front. Three of us got an early gap on the group which stuck through to the finish. The big drama in this race was that I made my life pretty hard for myself by making a costly mistake just a couple of laps in. I actually crashed REMOUNTING! I'm not exactly sure how I managed it, but my foot slipped or something and I bit the grass after the barriers. I popped up immediately, but noticed that my chain had jumped on the inside and managed to lodge itself perfectly under the 3rd eye chain watcher... so that left me off my bike, wrestling the damn thing out. I figured that was it. The girls I I was riding with would attack and I'd be unable to catch them if they worked together. Luckily, I felt pretty comfortable with my lead on the rest of the field. A friend gave me splits for the rest of the race. First I was 30 seconds behind, then 20, then 10, and I punched it, knowing I could bridge that. The whole chase I managed to stay calm (I never even cursed while I yanked my chain out) and kept my riding steady and clean. It worked. After several laps, I caught on. At the end, I was able to dive the last corner inside She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named :) and then, being in a bit lower gear, worked my fast leg speed to accelerate up the short finish straight. It was a very close match sprint, but the victory - she was sweet! The moment I played in my mind so many times over was finally realized.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Time for the Season to Change

It's time. I already felt it, but this weekend confirmed it. Disappointment in my crit performances for the past two weekends have highlighted my waning motivation and scattering concentration for on-the-road racing.

I am ready for cross.

Besides the sore, aching muscles from the transition running and sprinting, I have felt strong. Perhaps stronger than ever yet. I know that I am far beyond where my fitness was last year at this time, and I'm looking forward to giving my best in the cross scene.

I have to backtrack a bit.... I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this weekend's race venues were great! The course in York was fun and that race has tons of potential. Portsmouth rocked. Race there next year! Thank you, Susanne, for working so hard to promote these races secure such great prize lists for the women.

See everyone at Suckerbrook on Sunday!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Rant - Nothing to Do With Cycling!

Okay, this entry has absolutely nothing to do with cycling. I’m compelled to break my silence in this blog because I am extremely PISSED OFF, so excuse me while I rant. Maybe some of you share my angst. This fury has been building up over months, years even!!

Whose brilliant f’n idea was it to turn simple errand running into some sort of bizarre club hopping where everyone gets ripped off except for those spineless souls willing to litter their wallets and keychains with little plastic access cards?? Little plastic RIP OFF PREVENTION CARDS. Those cards are a complete pain in the ass. Don’t you hate standing there searching through your wallet with a line of people waiting behind you looking for the right colored card to prevent being ripped off? I threw the damn things out long ago. If everyone can have one, why require them? Oh, that’s right, I remember – because they track your purchases!

One instance of buildup to the fury:

During the summer, I went into a new Bob’s store holding a grand opening sale, hoping to find a swimsuit on sale. I was immediately bombarded by overly friendly sales clerks pushing their version of the rip off prevention card. They told me the sales prices were only good for Bob’s Club cardholders. I immediately walked OUT. All I want is a store where I can approach the counter with needed goods and know I’ll be charged good prices. Whose damn marketing ploy is this?? It’s not encouraging consumer loyalty with me, it’s making me MAD! Don’t you all feel like you’re being preyed on?

The event that spawned this fury tonight:

I walked over to CVS to pick up a prescription. I also needed a toothbrush. After flirting with the 99-cent generic, I decided to go with my favorite standby and grabbed the Oral-B that was more expensive, but also on sale. I stood in line at the pharmacy pick-up, and when it was finally my turn, awaited the dreaded question with which I seem eternally confronted. “Do you have a [CVS] card?” {Sigh.} I said I lost it long ago. (This is true, except for the missing part about losing it intentionally.) Unbelievably, the pharmacy clerk persisted, telling me that I needed it because the toothbrush was on sale only for those with the CVS card. Feeling discriminated against, like my equal rights were being assaulted, I asked, “You’re not giving it to me for the sale price because I don’t carry your little plastic card anymore??” As the tension rose, some nice, smiling and sympathetic man interjected from behind me and offered the use of his special rip off prevention card, but again unbelievably, the cashier man informed both of us that it would not work with my transaction! “Do you still want the toothbrush?” the cashier asked. “Absolutely not!” I replied, and “I will have to find a new pharmacy!”

Well, I’m sick of the damn rip off Gestapo cards! Tonight was the last straw! And I’m going to do something about it! I’m going to…. going to….


Open a good bottle of wine!

Sorry if this offends anyone who fills their wallet with these rip off cards and doesn’t mind corporations tracking your purchases. I suppose resistance is futile.

Ok, I’m calming down.

Damn I like wine.