Saturday, July 29, 2006

reality sets in now that i've stopped pedaling for a moment

I can't believe this, but I've barely ridden my bike at all since July 16th. I decided I needed rest after Superweek, and then I got really sick Monday. I have been too sick to ride all week. Doesn't it seem you always get sick on rest week??
I think this has become my rest before starting training with cross season in mind. By the way, it's only 44 days until the first NE cross race, Northfield. :) But now I'm home, with lots of time to sell my things and contemplate my life. I've sold my fixed gear, old cross frame, and now my kayak is going today. I might sell a snowboard and some other bike(s), too. I need change, and some for my wallet, too.

The following is not traditional race blog-fare. I'm definitely frustrated right now, and maybe some of this is venting... or spinning my wheels complaining and not getting myself anywhere while feeling overwhelmed.

First, the good part: Ward is going to come live with me sometime this fall. We are very excited! But my lease is up end of August (not that he could move in here anyway), and we need a home! I had no idea the search would be so difficult. Places go so quickly, and we don't make enough mooolah to live comfortably around here, given the astronomical rent prices. Oh, and we have something like 9 bicycles between us and need parking for TWO vehicles?? I can't imagine living in a brick apartment house with a single coin-op washer/dryer in the basement. Can you see us dragging 3 or 4 muddy cross bikes up the stairs into a little studio or one-bedroom and throwing soggy kits in a washer shared by the whole building? Outdoor hose, please! Maybe some of you folks deal with this and can give me some advice. I want to find something in a house with basement storage, not an apartment complex. We'd be happy to live with others, especially if they were of the athletic/active/health conscious mold. We're also considering living with one car between us, but it depends a little on what work Ward can find when he moves up here and if we can find a place to live close enough to my job in Wakefield that I can commute reliably by bike.

There, I've spun my wheels enough, and probably wasted your time, too. If you know of anyone in the Boston area who might want two in-house riding (and skiing) buddies who love to cook and make a house feel like home, pass the word on to me. I think I'll put a "housing wanted" listing on Craigslist.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

here, there, and everywhere

From Wisconsin, Ward and I headed back to his place in Richmond. Sick of the Ohio-PA drive, we decided to take a little detour through my old college stomping grounds of Bloomington, IN, then take I-64 through Kentucky and WV for a more scenic ride. What fun it was to be back in Bloomington and show off where I went to school! It did make me sad, though. I spent 5 years studying there and not only do I miss it, but due to my devotion to cycling, I also haven't done anything significant to further my chosen career since I graduated. Bloomington has, unfortunately, succumbed to the amoeba-like sprawl that defines our American existence. The beautiful, rural,condo unit I rented for a few years used to overlook nothing but rolling fields. Now, tens of new buildings packed together like sardines blemish the landscape. Even more big retailers have staked their claim, as well, but luckily the campus, Kirkwood, and downtown are as beautiful, vibrant, and charming as ever. I got to eat burritos with Ward at one of my favorite places: the Laughing Planet!

We continued on to Richmond, trying to save money by camping road-side when our eyes couldn't stay open any longer. We arrived in Richmond exhausted and very sick of driving. I went along with the Nature's Path boys on a morning coffeeshop easy spin into the city. Now I'm here fighting a cold, and Ward's off racing in Altoona. I'm feeling a bit burnt out and need to take some rest before another assault on the rest of the season. I think I need to head back up to Boston and start apartment hunting since my lease is up the end of next month. It will be hard to race Green Mtn if I'm moving!! I'm getting really discouraged about how much housing costs in the Boston area... here in Richmond, the roads are great, there's ac (which I never cared for but now I'm getting used to!), and good company. Why am I heading back to Boston??
Oh, yeah.... New England cyclocross! (Oh, and yeah, gosh, I have a job there.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

where's wardo?

In the frozen food section of a natural foods store in Wauwatosa, WI

Let’s play Where’s WARDO?

nationals and superweek

There’s been no relaxation after the Fourth. Stopping back in Boston so I could take care of a few things at work before leaving for the rest of the month, we continued on to Seven Springs, PA, for the Nationals road race. Nationals was not intended to be an ‘A’ race for me, and good thing because I came into the race tired. It took almost 10 hours to drive to Seven Springs. We arrived after 8 pm, when I immediately got into my chamois, put some wheels on my bike and went to spin my legs out at sunset. Got to sleep around 10:30, then awoke at 5 am to prepare for the 7:30 am start! The course consisted of three laps of a brutal 27-mile course. This was NOT a race where you could just “sit in” if you weren’t feeling great. And it was fast uphill as well as down! There was one 60+mph descent just a couple miles from the start. There was really nothing flat; the terrain was either up or down. I cracked just before the end of the first lap and would have dropped out if a group of 7 hadn’t caught me. We rode the next two laps I think just because it was a nice day on nice roads. Many didn’t finish at all. Maybe next year I will approach this race differently; maybe I won’t view it as just a race to do on the way out to Superweek.

After Nationals, we got the cheapest motel room we could find, got a decent night’s sleep, then headed out on the road again toward Milwaukee. At this point, even 2 hours in a car felt like too much. I’m a little surprised that Ward and I never argued or seriously get on each others’ nerves through all of this driving and racing. We make a great team. Sick of driving, we stopped at a campground in northern Indiana when the sun set. Until light rain fell on us in the middle of the night and brought a cool breeze, the temperature hovered in the mid-eighties. Not the best of conditions for a winter tent.........

We woke and resumed the drive to Milwaukee, but added a short stop in Chicago's Lincoln Park for some lunch and to find wi-fi! It's been hard not having internet or even reliable cellular coverage!

I raced the four NRC crits at Superweek, Thursday through Sunday. It was HOT (as usual) and my ambition melted. I was rested physically, but not mentally, I think. One day I stood on the start line and saw my pulse at only 47 bpm! Rested, but certainly not nervous or pumped about the race, I guess. I have this problem where I feel I need to race every race instead of focusing on events I really want to do well at and coming into those with the necessary dirve, both mental and physical.

I think this picture is the finish of the men's race at Shorewood. I didn't take a lot of pictures this year.

Monday, July 17, 2006

catching up

It is exactly 2 months until the infamous Suckerbrook cyclocross race.
Just thought that was worth mentioning on this sweltering hot July day in Milwaukee.

I have so many entries to post! Where to begin?! Maybe Fitchburg? The entries will be brief!

This year’s Fitchburg was the most enjoyable yet! We put together a sort of dream team of composite riders with the same goal: to ride all for the team. Anna, Sarah, Kele, Hiroko, Kami, Tom, and I had a great time working together. I wish I could always have all these girls as my teammates!!

After a super fun Fitchburg, Ward and I went to share a relaxing visit with his parents way up in Northern NH. And I do mean Northern… brush up on your French because you can probably spit across the border. We had a great time lying poolside and relaxing with views of Mount Washington and its Presidental range surrounding us. On the Fourth we kept it simple, driving down to Gorham and eating ice cream and taking in the local fireworks from a secluded spot atop an old (abandoned) railroad trestle.

Ward finally had a chance to clear some more trees from his land in preparation for laying a foundation and building a house someday – hopefully in the not-too-distant future. A secluded hilltop with beautiful views of the Presidentials that’s just a few miles from town will make the home a skiing, hiking, and biking paradise one day.

Ok, I know there's much more I have to write, but we've got to head to the men's Holy Hill Road Race now to feed the Nature's Path boys. :) More soon!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Life on the Road

Drive. Sleep little. Race tired. Repeat.

I have so much to write...
So little time...
So many more miles to drive....