28 July 2009

Andy Schleck is a Pretty Man

He rides a Specialized, he is too young to rent a car, and he speaks nearly flawless English. We have SO much in common! I can totally picture our future together: him measuring out 400 grams of muesli while I stuff myself with Luxembourg chocolate...adorable quarrels when I discover that he has shaved his legs with MY razor...sprinting each other on the way up 215, only to wait in the hopes that brother Frank can catch back up...

Ahem. Anyway. The meat of the matter. ORAMM. OMG. Cyclingnews did a short post on it:

Sam Koerber and Thomas Turner are having a war of words over on Twitter. Turner started the feud by Tweeting, "Like wow, totally crushed the ORAMM record, SK ate my DUST." Koerber replied by re-Tweeting to a follower: "Don't want to name names, but SOME people are not gracious winners." A few members of the cycling Twitterati have joined the fray. Seven-time-Tour-winner-cancer-survivor-out-of-retirement-superhero-words-can't-express-our-love-of-this-man Lance Armstrong Tweeted, "TT just raced smarter--SK shouldn't be hatin'." Andy Schleck responded with the seemingly-unrelated, "SWM seeking American girl--ORAMM finishers preferred!"

All of which is to say, yes, I finished. And it was awesome. And I did it about an hour faster than I expected. And I got 5th. And I'll definitely be there next year!

What I learned:
1: To be in contention for a higher podium spot it is IMPERATIVE that you get to Kitsuma before the walkers. Oh well.
2: Two GUs, two Slim Jims, two bananas, and 160 ounces of water is plenty of fuel.
3: I can climb forever.
4: I am abysmally terrible at switchbacks. Need practice.
5: My bike is PERFECT.

So thanks to Todd B for putting on such a fabulous event! Now I'm itching for a nice short XC race, just in time for the Dam Jam!

P.S. I've been in some pretty places recently. Mostly without a camera.
I wish I also had pictures of the scenery at ORAMM and at the FBCC, the Swiss chalet in Toxaway, the farm house off Crab Creek...

Most recent wall installation in the apartment. "Art" for $5!

On the drive to Marshall

My last house-sitting gig

Pretty little morning glory in my backyard

24 July 2009

Return and Departure

after a summer of house-sitting/dog-sitting/pool-sitting at various remote, beautiful, and inconvenient locations, i finally moved back into my cute, convenient, comfortable apartment today. i'm no longer responsible for anything besides the groceries in my fridge and the dishes in my sink. the subaru can once again chill for days in the driveway, instead of shuttling my gas-guzzling self from one end of the county to the other. now i have a chance to relax.

just in time for oramm.

my personal mechanic has tuned the bike to perfection, and i'll be riding over to old fort with dirty wes d...the KOP...old man balls...#1...the man who has so many titles he's starting to sound like an old school rapper. now i'm off to buy some fig newtons and beef jerky, trail food of champions.

t-minus 36 hours, give or take.

oh boy.

21 July 2009

Cat 4 4 Lyfe

I hereby retract any and all previous statements regarding my sandbaggerdom.
USA Cycling in their infinite wisdom denied my upgrade.
I now have the mandate, if I so desire, to continue cleaning up in Cat 4 races for the rest of my racing career.

20 July 2009

Sandbagger Says What?


Well, in honor of the Tour I've spent most of July on the road (bike). Only pretty rides though. I refused to do anything flat or trafficky or boring. All this skinny tire riding culminated in a sooperdooperawesome weekend at the French Broad. I've never had the desire or the points for a Cat 3 upgrade...so I went over to Marshall and ripped off some Cat 4 ladies' legs on Saturday, on the faaaabbbulously hilly road course...and then went over to Arden on Sunday and ripped some more legs off in the crit...when I went to collect my fistfuls of cash the promoter called me a sandbagger (and he was neither the first nor the last). C'est la vie, you win some, you...win some. Frankly, I'm pumped. More than a little bit sheepish, but still pumped.

These past few days there have been some very exciting results. St. Marie pulled off a 3rd in the omnium (mostly thanks to a borrowed BMC Time Machine...just kidding...), Pinnett got 3rd at Sol Vista, and Joh grabbed her...um...fourth stars'n'bars. In other words, everyone is awesome. Yay.

Tasha: Bon voyage! You shall be missed.

03 July 2009

Dispatches from the Bread Front

As a firm believer in friendly, helpful, and often obsequious customer service, I've mastered the apologetic No with the conciliatory But. Fer'example:
"No, we don't make cakes but I can direct you to the other *cough* sketchier bakery in town."
"No, we don't have skim milk but we do have the surprisingly comparable 2%. You can barely tell the difference!"
But once in awhile, when a customer asks for a product that violates our informal mission statement, I relish the unconditional No.
"No we don't have low-carb/sugar-free/gluten-free ANYTHING (unspoken: GETOUDDA HERE with your food fads)."
Alas, to them I may come across as impatient or condescending, but so help me, it feels good.

Still in the bakery:
A while ago I served Andie MacDowell of Groundhog Day fame. I didn't really recognize her except that she seemed unusually beautiful and sparkly. She ordered a chai latte. Afterwards Jillian and I tried to puzzle out why we were left with a lingering feeling of disappointment and finally realized: she shouldn't have ordered something so mundane. Of course! Her drink of choice should have been a sugar-free Red Bull macchiato, a chic monstrosity which must exist in that den of frivolous mixology, the Land of Rich/Famous People.

One more dispatch:
A conversation that occurs with embarrassing frequency.
"Wow, you're growing up so fast! What year are you in school?"
"Well, I'm about to be a senior, if you can believe it!"
"Oooh, are you thinking about colleges yet?"
Awkward pause..."if by thinking about colleges you mean grad schools..."
Frantic backpedaling..."Oops, well gosh! When you're fifty you'll be glad you look so youthful!" Which is a good point I suppose. But still. Ouch.