24 May 2009

Newspaper Article!

I was reading the local paper this morning and found this!

Jeff Parker proven to be a pretty man

Local hero Jeff "Talent" Parker received some well-deserved regional glory yesterday at the 12 Hours of Tsali mountain bike race in Bryson City, North Carolina. Gone Riding, the outfit that organized the race, chose Parker's image to adorn the race flier, t-shirt, and prize plaques. Parker received another dose of fame when, through the voting efforts of the Sycamore Cycles juggernaut, Team "Jeff Parker is a Pretty Man" won the Best Team Name contest. Through the day he was often seen signing t-shirts while adoring fans stroked his calves. But Parker is nothing if not modest. When asked how he got so talented, he smiled wryly and said "Boy, don't make me..." in an exaggerated twang. To top off this noteworthy day in Jeff Parker history, his team, the TDS or Tsali Domination Squad, handily beat the competition in the sport class. TDS had a few tense moments when its opponents came on strong, but emerged victorious thanks to the combined horsepower of Parker and his teammates Dan Ennis, Justin Miles, and Matt Wells. After the race it was revealed that Parker is actually a road racer, and just brushes the dust off his mountain bike once a year to "do work" at Tsali. Onlooker Steven Gardner had this to say about Parker's road racing: "At races he's so far off the front, I'm positive that you could read a full novel by the time the first group rolls by. He needs to forget about these rides and go ahead and go to Europe. All his talent just makes people feel bad."

In related news, the Four Horsemen, Sycamore's open money team, snagged a podium spot. The Sycamore Oh Yeahs (Dirty Girls of Brevard) won their category and actually managed to lap second place. Geoff Bergmark, who raced twelve hours solo, scored the top podium spot while on a belt drive singlespeed. Every single member of the enormous seven-team Sycamore Cycles crew threw down and did freaking awesome, and we all had so much fun!

22 May 2009

Cheap and Cheerful

I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're boring baby when you're straight
I want you to be crazy
'Cause you're stupid baby when you're sane

-The Kills

20 May 2009

Lazy Days of May

After a somewhat busy and very regimented semester, this summer finds me with a lot of free time. It's strange. I'm not very good at coping. Kind of nice though. I have had the chance to do a little Dupont, a little Turkey Pen, a little Hatch...riding with different people every day and loving it...a little of this...a little of that...
Some news flashes:

The indomitable Emily is moving in tonight if everything goes as planned. I know we're all looking forward to that, especially if she can fix up her tiny little bicycle in time for the most fabulous race of the season.

Miz Squirrel has some epic road rash. Check it out.

Liz will soon have pink I9 hubs. I am overcome with envy.

Joh is off to the US Open and will most definitely represent.

The Saint will be back from the homeschool convention soon...ahhhhh...I still can't say it without laughing.

The bakery is open this Sunday for the White Squirrel Festival. Take note, all.

And this weekend? Tsali? I'm psyched. No, even better. I'm TSYCHED. Ooooo what now.
And I put on Sauserwinds. They are super awesome. Period. I'm never taking them off.

09 May 2009

Natz in the Books

Some stats for ya'll.
course length: 1 mile
course elevation: ZERO
mph averaged by DII chicas: 25
contact lenses lost by me in the middle of the race: 1
number of wrecks each that the Saint and I got caught behind (but did not go down, thank heavens): 2
my finish: 17th
my omnium finish: 18th. Weak sauce, I know, but I hung with the leaders in both races, which is much better than I expected. Can't help that everyone else hung with the leaders too...
the Saint's finish: 58th
the Manimal's finish: 62nd
# of stars'n'bars jerseys Carla has: 16, is it now?
# of dirty dirty south riders on the podiums: a lot!hours the Manimal spent with a feather stuck behind his ear: 3

Now I'm going to watch Kill Bill II and dream about 12 HOURS OF TSALI!

08 May 2009

VeloNews Is Too Slow

So I'll fill you in, oh faithful reader*.
St. Marie dropped out...gahhh...I know...he threw down too hard on the first climbs and then he was all like "Ouch" and Squirrel was like "Save it for tomorrow, you stallion you." That was exactly the conversation they had.
The Manimal finished. However, he didn't quite top his top-20 result at MOUNTAIN BIKE NATZ. Helllloooooo, wrong discipline much? He also threw up. He really did leave it all on the course.
Overall a stellar day for the crack BC racing squad. And we'll be ringing in the morning with a long flat criterium!! Against national caliber road racers! Yaaaay! I think I might throw up too.
pretty preride.

P.S. GOOD LUCK to everyone stump-jumping or fat-tiring this weekend!! Or, you know, acclimating to sweet German terrain...JEALOUS.
P.P.S. Old Chub and Fat Tire are EVERYWHERE and it's killing me slowly with unslaked thirst.

*Does anyone read this? Am I talking to myself? Ah, that's ok.

Le Vent Méchant

That was the hardest thing that I've ever done.
Without much to show for it.
I actually raced well (maybe even smart!?) and climbed like a bat out of hell. But after every attack and hill I was surprised and dismayed to see the pack completely intact. I totally underestimated my competition. They've been preparing for this race. Note to self: I definitely could've done with a bit of preparation. Maybe next time.
I finally died a thousand deaths on the last BRUTAL hill with a BRUTAL headwind. I railed the descent and finished out only a minute and a half behind the leaders. That would be stellar...except that seventeen girls finished in front of me. How!? This course was supposed to be god-awful selective. All the other fields have been splintered (Carla pulled off another win, BTW).
But, positives: this was the first road race ever where I was never bored AND I didn't give up or give in to apathy. I left it all out there, up on the wind-raped ridges*.
Now I'm waiting for the boys' race to start in 45 minutes. The Manimal is making little grumbly noises and pacing around and the Saint is acting calm. Apparently they didn't bring enough water bottles. Sillyheads.

*Sorry, that's a weird phrase, but the ridges are not windswept. They are molested, exploited, and left crying in the corner by the wind.
Or maybe that's just me.

07 May 2009

T Minus 11 Hours

We've ridden in three completely different worlds in the past three days. On Tuesday it was on an undulating frontage road paralleling I70 with Kansas spread out endlessly on all sides. On Wednesday it was a strange savanna-esque microcosm in the middle of suburban Denver. But instead of giraffes and wildebeast, we saw weekend warriors in their tribal garb with TT helmets and whirring disc wheels. And today...oh. We emerged from the soulless sprawl of Denver, crossed the flatlands, and found ourselves in the promised land of Fort Collins. After a brief pre-ride, I came to a conclusion: the course is amazing. Breath-taking. So many wonderful climbs and epic vistas.
Tomorrow morning is when it goes down. And even if my eyeballs start bleeding and my head explodes and I drop so far off the pack even the broom wagon won't pick me up...I'll still be enjoying the scenery.

P.S. I hear there will be live coverage on Bicycle Racing TV

05 May 2009

It's Not Like the Movies

This is not what I was expecting when I signed up for a road trip. Where are the shenanigans and ludicrously over-sized sunglasses? There hasn't been a whiff of intoxicating substances, except for the fumes coming off Marshal. Where are the hundreds of inside jokes that can be tenderly (and frequently) unfolded later, to the annoyance of everyone who "had to be there"...? It's probably my fault. I forgot the kickball. Yup. It would be a real road trip if we had a kickball.
Past the arch and onward into the flatflatflatlands!

Play by Play

5:15 am
I feel envious. Jockey and Marshal got trolleyed on cheap champagne, shaved Batman's head, and stayed up all night.

I feel awed. Tennessee is so green! I love the dirty dirty South...or maybe just the Appalachian region. Not a big fan of South Kack or the armpit that is Georgia. And have never experienced Florida. Also never plan to.

I feel amused. Thad is feeling like a pimp, goin' on, and brushing his shoulders off, per Jay-Z's instructions. Also ragging on the Manimal every five minutes or so for his night of hedonism.

I feel antsy. If I were driving to CH I still wouldn't be there. Wow. This trip is the equivalent of driving to CH FIVE TIMES. And then repeat in six days.

I feel literary. First book finished. Never mind that it's chick lit.

I feel so fresh and so clean clean.

I feel frustrated. Gossip Girl episodes refuse to load, even though Thad swears by his magic internet box.

I feel the monotony weighing me down. Seven hours down. Many more to go. Kentucky sucks. And it's actually only 11:00.