Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Summer Vacation

Riding the 75-mile four notches loop around White Mountain National Park in New Hampshire with Lynn and Adam, I started a weekend of summer fun. I've missed mountains--New England has charm, but none of the rugged geographic romance of the Northwest. We rode at a steady but leisurely pace. Each long climb was rewarded with a spectacular descent. The last ten miles we rode a deserted bike path through the woods: Adam aptly described the trill as "like mountain biking at 30 miles per hour!" Naturally, we recovered with banana splits and Belgian Beer.

Saturday's weather called for a 15-mile ride through hilly Scituate to Steph's parent's pool. I ate a lot of cheese sandwiches and watermelon. Back at home we cooked dinner with friends and drank Kalimotxo (red wine and coke--try it, it's good). Then we dressed up, filled bike bottles with Rusty Anchors (red wine and coke, plus whiskey), and went to a dance party. The party was OK; eating pizza on our porch until 3am was better.

I still got to Brian C's by 8am to go to Worcester for the Major Taylor Hill climb. Major Taylor, the first black world champion [track] cyclist over a century ago, lived there. There's an annual hill climb in his honor on George St. where he trained. It's steep: short and painful. What fun! Providence made a good showing, and we were the largest cointingent on fixed gears (hey, that's what the Major rode). Adam and Brian and Nathan did it damn fast. I was slow, but still won a big goofy gold medal for my category.

I've spent most of my summer working, training, and pining away. Now playing a little more.

p.s. Come to our yard sale party on Saturday. Cupcakes. Hulahoops. Costumes.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Almost Perfect

I rode 15 miles to the crit in Attleboro, raced, got 3rd, chatted with friends, rode home, ate ice cream, napped, went mountain biking, swam in Carr's Pond, and finished the day with pizza and beer.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Twin Peaks and Popsicles

After being unbearably sick for three days after COX, I spent a week in Gainsville, Florida eating popsicles and watching episodes of Twin Peaks with Dan. The shack he built to live in in his friend's yard is adorable--it's like living in a childhood fort, but a better crafted one. I took a true rest week and only rode a bike for transportation: no training. I got to see the pop-punk band he is in, Potion Sex, play one night.We slept in most mornings, cooked some good meals and didn't try to do much else. It was too hot and humid to [want to] accomplish much anyhow; I would take unused clothes out of my suitcase and find them damp and sticky from the air. Each night I had wild and vivid dreams; I grew up in the town Twin Peaks was filmed in, and it's dark and peculiar images combined with memories of my childhood.

I'm now back in Providence, continuing my routine of work and riding. Tam, a mechanic I work with, loaned me a bike and took me on my first ever Mountain bike ride yesterday. It was a blast! We ate burritos afterwards, and then I took a nap--ace! I wish every day were just like that.

Monday, July 2, 2007

COX Classic Criterium

Every summer, racers and spectators crowd downtown Providence for the Cox Classic Criterium. It's the one road race I can ride to from my house in ten minutes. There's a lot of money to be won in the pro fields, so the racing is intense--it's a lively spectacle for the large crowd.

Mackenzie Dickie usually wins the women's race, so I was surprised not to see her on the preregistration roster. But she showed up. As I was waiting at the line for the race to start, I also noticed a woman in an old National Champion jersey, and my friend Kim leaned over to say, "look, that lady in the Ford kit is a former Olympian." Rebecca Wellons, New England's rising star, had a handful of NEBC teammates there to support her. The field was stacked. I felt out of my league.

I was worried about whether I could hang with the pack, so I just sat in at the back. Keeping up with the fastest race I'd ever been in thrilled me! When I passed cheering friends, I grinned through my suffering. I love having an audience, and I didn't want to fail them. Many friends and acquaintances had biked or walked downtown to watch the races. Hearing them cheer made me feel like I'd be a hometown hero even if I got dropped.

I didn't get dropped. Riding with a field of such competent women, I learned a lot. Everyone was so smooth! On the last lap I followed Kim, on the tail of Rebecca Wellons, into 12th place (taking Kim and one other lady just at the line). Mackenzie won, after taking a few primes too.

I was so excited! This was a really fun race.

Brian C. took some nice pictures.