Saturday, June 30, 2007

On Riding with the Guys...

I'm tired.
and I've been delinquent on blogging...had a busy week and was pretty much preoccupied. No real excuses.

Tonight, there looks to be a fire nearby. The smoke is coming in, and the sky that was so clear and beautiful today is now hazy and smoky. Good thing I got a ride in this morning!

Speaking of the ride this morning, I have had a hard training week. I did hill repeats on Lladera following a group ride on Tuesday, a recovery 2 hour ride on Wednesday, did Gibraltar, etc., on Thursday, short spin Friday, and somehow decided I needed to work hard today. So today I went on the 8am ride which goes around Lake Casitas. When I get there this morning, I happen to be the only girl going around the lake. This is always a bit worrisome to me. Things go through my mind like "hmmm...I wonder if I know the way," "I wonder if they'll wait for me somewhere if I get dropped," "I wonder if I'll get yelled at this week for doing something lame," etc... Then the confidence attempts to take over, and I tell myself "I'm a decent rider, I am a good bike handler, I love to climb, this will be fun, etc."

The ride started out fine...not as fast as some of these rides can be, and my legs were feeling ok, especially considering what I had done to them earlier in the week. The first part of the ride was fine, but then when turning onto hwy 150, a big truck ended up splitting the group, so I was a chasing! I knew that this would not be a good thing, as I worked hard before the climbing even started! Oh well...I climbed at my own pace and was holding a pretty steady power, so i was pleased. I have what I have, and if it's not quite enough to hand with all the guys, so be it! I'm still working at it! Thankfully there was a regroup at the top of the 2nd climb, and I am happy to say that there were plenty of people behind me too...somehow not being last does a good bit for the old ego!

Going down around Lake Casitas was fun. I am still feeling the fact that I'm not quite aggressive enough, but I"m working at it. The right thoughts definitely go through my head...I just hesitate a tad too long before acting on them! I guess that is just inexperience. I do think that all these fast group rides have made me much better in that regard. But I still get in a bad spot when I get stuck behing a bad wheel and don't jump around before everyone passes me...and then I have to work twice as hard to get back in a decent position. Live and learn!

Anyway, I hung in there back around the lake and all the way to Ventura, where we then have to ride back to SB. Part of this ride goes on an access road, and then pops on the freeway for a bit. Now, by this point, about 50 miles in or so, I'm feeling pretty tired. We're pacelining and I am doing fine, holding my own, able to do what i'm supposed to, when we have to pass through this little barrier..and before i was even through it someone attacked! Oh I see the rest of them all go up and onto the freeway and there was no way I could hang on...way to attack in a good spot, guys... Anyway, thankfully a couple of nice guys hung back and towed me back :-). For the most part, the folks around here are pretty nice. However, I HATED being the GIRL that people had to wait for! The motivation to not suck makes me dig pretty darn deep.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful...I got a flat when we got back to town. Just more motivation to change the tires I've had on my bike since february. I'm pretty excited I probably got 3500 miles on them at least! They are pretty toast though, so I'm changing them tonight.

Ride Summary: 68 miles, 3 hours, probably 3-4K climbing (but didn't look at the computer file yet), max speed 47mph, some tired legs tonight.
Cost Summary: New Tube $6, New Tires: $100. CO2 cartridge: $3. Getting stronger: Priceless.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

40K of H*ll quote xbunny,

"and the real reason to do a 40k time trial
is to make you so happy to do 10 mile time trials"

oh how right you are xbunny! At least I hope that's why I did it! Because at the time, I sure didn't care for it!

So today I did the CBR State TT Championships. Another trip out to Lancaster/Palmdale, another chance to leave the temperate climate of Santa Barbara for the heat of the desert, another opportunity to suffer for an hour.

And in my case, that 40K of suffering was 1 hour, 8 minutes and 14 seconds. Wow.

Not much of a race report to be had in a TT is what it is. There were only 3 of us in the Cat 4 women's division. I started 2nd. I passed the girl in front of me near the turnaround (it was an out and about 12 miles out and 12 back). There was a tailwind all the way out, and the headwind on the way back made the pain oh so much worse. About 7 miles in, the first of the mens 4s started to pass me. Thankfully I had been warned that this would happen, so it didn't freak me out and stayed steady. I actually felt ok through the turnaround as well for the next few miles. It was at about mile 14 when I started to be unable to ignore the pain which was manifesting itself in regions you just don't want that much pain! I tried to shift around a bit...but it was just making it worse, and I found myself sliding further and further back on my saddle, and could almost feel the power loss in the legs, which were feeling fine. The seat was just killing me!

About 2 miles from the finish, the girl who started behind me passes me, but she's not going that much faster. I hold steady and ride near her. I passed her back, and she passed me back. It made it more interesting...because even though my brain knew she had beaten me by 30 least there was SOME Motivation to ignore the pain and race my darn bike!

When I got close to being done, I got my normal "wow i actually made it lets get this d*mn thing over with" second burst of energy, and push in, leaving that girl a few seconds back. And it was over.

I was feeling so slow. I mean, 1 hour and 8 minutes for a 40k???? Sad....however, when they finally gave out the awards, there were actually a lot of times slower than that, which sadly enough, renewed my quest to continue to improve. I got 2nd place, by 24 seconds. At least I put 6 seconds into that girl at the finish...

Anyway, it was my first 40K solo effort. And hard it was! And I sure hope xbunny is right, and the next stage race TT seems like a piece of cake!

On another good note, here are some other local results:

Gary Douville got 1st in the 3s, and I think his time was over a minute faster than 2nd place! Yeah Gary.

David Larsen was 5th in the 4s, and I think Tom Anhalt was 6th in the 4s as well.

Congrats everyone!

Off to find dinner...and try and recover for Worlds tomorrow....


Latest Update: Here are the official results

Friday, June 22, 2007

On reminiscing...

...about Life/Work/Cycling

Ok, so some could argue that cycling is part of life, but in my little microcosm it seems to take on a life of its own! I decided to not teach this summer, to enjoy the benefits of that academic job I worked so hard for, and to have a flexible summer. (I will pay for this next Winter when I DO have to summer is usually a trade-out for me for some other quarter) So after all the commencement festivities of last weekend (mostly I suffered through in a jet lag fog), it is officially summer. And I have a few moments this morning, to reflect on summers past, and look forward to what this one may bring.

Last summer was a summer of new things for me. In this period last year, I bought my bike and got to spend much of the summer getting to know it. It was fun. We had a good courtship, culminating in me entering a race after just 3 weeks of riding. Honestly, before that I had a crappy mountain bike that I commuted to work on, and pretty much nothing else. Nothing like jumping in with both feet! In that first race, Sisquoc, I got creamed...actually I got 6th place in the 4s, but becuase it was a 1/2/3/4 start with all of us racing together, I felt like I got creamed since I got dropped after the first 15 or so miles. I think I was the only racer there without a kit, or a team, or a club! I was such a fred. The woman who is now my coach was there, as her team was putting on the race. She saw me afterwards, nearly puking, feeling really slow after having ridden a good 30 mile hilly TT after getting dropped after the first 1.5 laps of the race. I was so naive, our conversation kind of went like this:

Her: "You should go on a cool-down ride"
Me: "you mean I have to ride my bike MORE?????"
Her: "yeah, go for a spin"
Me: "im not sure I ever want to ride my bike again!"
Her: "you did really well"
Me: "you're talking to the wrong person...didn't you see? I'm the one who finished by the back! I only passed one person the entire time! I got dropped on the second lap! I ...
Her: "you should have seen MY first race on this course"
Me: "you DO remember talking to me as you were PASSING me in the follow car? I was dropped like a rock"
Her: "really, do you KNOW who you were riding with?"
Me: "some people a lot more talented than myself?"
Her: "Give it up, and go check and see how you placed"
Me: "at least I didn't get last, as I know I passed someone"
Her: "i think its really great you gutted it out and finished. You have a lot of drive"
Me: "you mean you can drop out early?" (I had no idea people just stopped when they were dropped ...)
Her: "forget you heard that. and GO on your cooldown ride"
(i just rode back to the car and went home...)

Anyway, so as I reflect on that first race experience, I have NO idea what compelled me to start this season! That first race just wasn't really a fun experience! Hmmmm. But yet I managed to start this season amped up and ready for whatever was there! And this year, races have been a blast. Sure, there have been moments (like the races when my bike was broken and I couldn't figure out what was wrong), but overall I think of the races as things I look forward to (well, with the small exception of time trials....). I have had a victory, and many defeats, and some good races and some really bad ones. And now I can't imagine my life without racing.

So I guess in the grand scheme of things, last summer was an influential one in my life. I wonder what this one will bring! Bring it on!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jet Lag Sucks really does. I just had no idea how much! So today, I got up on time and went down to the 8am group ride. I do this group ride all the time, and it is fun for me. My plan was to stick with the group ride, and then climb some hills afterwards to get my climbing workout in.

On the warmup I felt fine. The legs felt reasonably fresh (remember, I'd been in France until Saturday morning, 9 days off the bike), and all was well until someone decided that it was time to hammer. I geared down and went, and stayed on, but wow, it was harder than it had to be! It was a strange feeling. My legs weren't burning like they usually do when I'm about ready to blow up, but it was definitely not the crisp reaction I was expecting. Hmmm. After a couple of well timed "kim, STAY ON HIS WHEEL!" "don't let a gap form," comments from other (faster) folk, I managed to hang on. The ego was quickly dissispating, though, and for me, the ego and the fact that I'm one of only 1-2 girls that makes it on these rides is about the only thing that keeps me hanging! So when the ride split, and I made the possibly bad decision to take the longer, hill route up Gubernador canyon, I was dropped like a rock. Oh well...good day for a ride by myself, I try to tell myself, as I keep wondering why I'm feeling so very slow. I did manage to thrash myself and get up the hill, and enjoyed the descent, and caught the stragglers on the final climb up to the re-group spot at Bates... After that, I skipped contesting for the final sprints back into town, and did manage to punish myself with extra climbs up Toro, Lladera, and Mountain Dr. I did skip gibraltar, though....that 12noon meeting saved me!

AFter feeling lame and slow all afternoon, I've decided to chalk it up to jet lag. Someone once told me that you have to give yourself ~1 day per hour of time change to fully adapt. And since i was 9 hours off..this could take awhile! Plus, I didn't ride for a week on top of that, so I guess I can't claim to be in top form, either!

I guess I'll just have to go back on thursday to redeem myself?

Happy I havent' sent in for an upgrade yet. Completely NOT feeling like a sandbagger today!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007


So today, as I was walking between the conference and my hotel, I decided to detour through this beautiful park that is nearby. And low and behold, I look at the park map to see where to go, and I see a VELODROME on the map! So of course I go to check it out! It was cool, and there just happened to be some people training on it, so I stopped to watch for a bit. It was pretty fun, seeing as how I've never even BEEN to a track let alone ride on one. It was fun, but it made me miss my bike even more...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bonjour from Lyon!

Well, I've been in France for a few days now. I have not ridden my bike in 6 days, which is the longest dry spell i've had since crashing on my shoulder last fall (and that only led to 7 days off the bike, although my orthopedic dr. has no idea). I'm in France, and I have no bike! There are these cute little rental cruiser bikes...but you need a 'smart' credit card to rent them. Everywhere I go there are these cute little bikes in stations. If you have the magic credit card, you can put it in a machine, and then it allows you to unlock a bike and take it. Then you drop it off at your destination. It is really quite impressive. I am very bummed that the US has not gone 'smart card' yet, so I am stuck looking at all these bikes mocking me, as I continue the long slog from my hotel to the conference.

What makes it even worse, is that I am on a 'team bike challenge' team this month! We get points for utilitarian bike trips...and these 8 days in france are really going to bring down my team's average!

Anyway..aside from the fact that I'm in France in June instead of July, it is really quite lovely. I had 3 days in Paris, and am now in Lyon. It is beautiful, green, lush, and there are lots of wonderful dogs everywhere. I'm quite taken with the place, not to mention the food.

On another coach and her team are racing RAAM starting today! Here is the website for updates. Wish them well...what an endeavor!!! Go Pink!!!!

Au revoir!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Au Revoir...

So tomorrow I am off to the fine french cities of Paris and Lyon for 8 days! The weekend in Paris is a little mini-vacation for me, and the week in Lyon is to attend Transducers 2007, a major conference in my field. I'm still hoping I'll be able to blog while in Europe, but the frequency will probably be somewhat less!

For all those of you racing this weekend, in Bakersfield or elsewhere, best of luck, ride hard, ride fast, and keep the rubber side down!

Back from my little foray off the bike in about a week...hopefully full of stories to tell about adventures in another land.

Au Revoir... (I don't know more than two words of french...ack!)

Monday, June 4, 2007

The things people say...

A couple weeks ago, Meh-wee-uhn posted a funny quote on her blog. This led to me telling her some funny quotes that were recently said to me. Although potentially creating serious trouble for myself in the interest of entertaining the couple of people who read my blog...I will repeat some of the funny quotes I have heard lately. Names have been withheld to protect the innocent (well, except for mine, because I'm usually not innocent!).

These quotes however, have all actually been uttered...and the integrity of context is also maintained.

The top 10 funniest things I've heard lately (or at least those I can think of tonight):

10. "They shouldn't be in our division. They look OLD," Overheard by a club member at the team time trial last weekend, when noticing some fast-looking people warming up nearby (whom our coach had said were in our age division (140+)).

9. "It must have been the wheels," To me, on why I beat someone in the Kern Time trial, even after dropping my chain in the middle and having to get off my bike and untangle it from my derailleur.

8. "Ya think ya could point out that there's a f*ing TREE in the road!!" to me on my very first co-ed group ride last fall when I missed pointing out a small stick in the road. Ooops.

7. "YOU have, like, a doctorate?" heard on a group ride when someone asked me what I did for a living. I think it's good that I don't appear geeky enough to be a nerd!!

6. "Why is it that we take a perfectly good Saturday to drive out into the middle of the desert to race our bikes in 100 degree heat? Oh yeah, because it's supposed to be fun!" remarked on the way to yet another bike race in the desert.

5. "Does your helmet even fit you anymore?" on the big head that has resulted from an overgrown ego after telling my teammates about a recent good result. Really, I didn't make THAT big a deal of it! Another friend confirmed today that I do *not* have an uncontrollably big ego.

4. "Let's all stare at Kim's chest now," on my teammates who were all looking at the gold Irish Setter necklace I was wearing at the TTT last weekend, since my lucky necklace broke last Tuesday!

3. "Chamois' have come a long time since the 80's," remarking on a friends 'retro bike shorts' that she had had since the 80's! Needless to say, we brought her up to date with some new shorts that actually had a padded chamois! Ahhhhh. What she had been missing...

2. "Hey, Kim, you're looking pretty hot today," a friend of mine is ALWAYS saying this to me, after seeing *this* video online last year!

the number one funny quote I've heard lately (and to she who uttered this comment...I love ya dearly...and just think it was funny, and still is):

1. "I thought your butt was bigger than that!" said to ME at the regroup spot on a morning group ride. She went on to say how she was chasing me up the hill, and thought it was me, but then decided it wasn't because not only was I fast, my butt was definitely bigger than that! I still don't know if it was a compliment or not! Hmmmmmmmmm.

Now...I'd like to hear your funny quotes! Comment away all! This week's contest (sorry for last week's winner--I have not figured out what the prizes are, other than a nice mention on the blog...) is "What's the funniest thing said to you lately?"


Weekend Post-Bike-Racing Work?

These two photos were taken the same day..about 7 hours apart. If you look closely, I *am* in both!

So on Saturday Evening, after the long drive back from the TTT (where I still don't know how my team placed, or our official time), I had to go to a retirement party. All the people there were members of the Control, Computation and Dynamical Systems Center at UCSB, and their significant others. The food was great, a middle-eastern theme, and so was the wine! I was still feeling a bit sun-baked from the racing in the desert...but nothing a glass of wine (or 2 or 3) won't fix! This strangely organized spur-of-the-moment photo was you can all see, I'm the only female (again). I also might actually be the youngest as well, although I have been at UCSB for *8* I don't feel like a youngster! I just thought it was go from one extreme (bike racing with my women's team) to the other (geeky work) in a few short hours.

I go to France for a conference (in Lyon, but spending the weekend in Paris) on I will be riding hard over the next few days in anticipation of my big 8 day break, which I'm hoping will consist of great food, great wine, some sightseeing, visiting with colleagues/friends from all over the world, and some much needed R&R. (strange when R&R has to come in the form of a conference....but alas that is my life). I'm hoping to keep up the blogging while I'm gone..but who knows...

Ciao! or is it Au Revoir...

Sunday, June 3, 2007


The Team TT championships in Palmdale. From Left (Susie, Susan, Me, Ginger)

Well, I wish I could tell you all how we did in the TTT, but I don't know! It took so long for the results to come out, that I had to leave to drive home...and so did my teammates so no one knows! I did notice that we were one of only 2 all-cat-4 teams in our division (140+) and I know we got passed by one very fast team, and Pam Schuster's all-cat-1 team was most certainly a lot faster than I didn't fear missing a medal ceremony :-).

Anyway, the good news is that we did better in the real thing than in any of our practices! We worked together well, didn't crash each other out when a DOG ran right out in the road and chased us...nearly got run over by an obnoxious car passing a truck with cyclists on both sides of the road, and I led our team through all the corners at reasonable speed (although I dropped them coming out of the turns..ill have to work on that). We dropped our 4th teammate about 10 miles in, but she pulled hard and worked hard and dug deeper than I could have imagined, and I'm super proud of her. She also finished the race instead of dropping out when all the other dropped riders got back to the parking. Her logic was...what if one of you guys gets a flat and you need me to finish. What a teammie :-)!!! And although I can never call a 40K TT 'fun', the whole experience, well, it sort of was!

And someday I'll figure out how we did.


Friday, June 1, 2007

a lot of heart beats!

Kern Time Trial (see the chain drop after the turnaround :-()

Kern Walker Basin RR

Kern Breckenridge Hill Climb (Havilah Hill Climb?)

Kern Iron Mountain Road Race

So I finally got around to uploading all of my Heart Rate Data from Kern. It was pretty interesting (to me). Anyway, here's the 4 race, in order. The TT was on Friday, the first RR and the Hill Climb were on Saturday, and the final RR was on sunday. I don't have a speed sensor hooked up to my HRM, so the speed data is meaningless except on the TT, when I did in fact have the speed sensor hooked up on the TT bike (probably made it less aero). Next up, tomorrow's team TT!