Thursday, April 30, 2009

fashion: 'cross cut--not just for fries anymore.

A number of cyclists bitch and moan about how they can never find pants that fit right.

I'm not one of those people--the bitchers and moaners, that is. As I am fairly easily amused/entertained, I get a little giggly over a lot of things, but few things make me LOL harder than trying on "fitted through the thigh" jeans: the waist area always ends up flopping and sagging; the leg area practically need to be greased down to allow my (climber, 'cross, not eeeeven crit) quads in and out. So basically, I would need Viagra and Crisco to get such pants to work, and if I had Viagra and Crisco, well, I would probably be hanging out someplace OTHER than the Gap. You know the scene: dubious mixed drinks, some LED lights, leather accessories strewn about, and a rollicking game of Twister in progress*... but I digress. The point is, it's all very amusing to me.

The best post I've ever read on cycling and (off-the-bike) fashion is Beth's request that Michael Ball make keirin-cut jeans. Beth also proposed a line of slightly smaller-thighed "climber-cut" jeans. Recently (while waxing poetic about compact cranksets, of course) Lodri and I got to talking about further denim options for girls who race...

me: I never really liked the 53T ring, I'm just going to admit that
Lodrina: it's hUGE
me: it's horrible
me: I'm a small girl, I'm never going to be a track racer, I don't need it
me: Lodrina: No Track Jeans (tm) for you?
me: Keirin-cut? nahhh
me: I need 'cross cut jeans
me: which I think would be slightly smaller than keirin-cut
Lodrina: With a flash pocket and chamois?
me: flannel lined
Lodrina: erm, flask
me: and with deep pockets... YES
Lodrina: Big belt loop for cowbell clipping
Lodrina: BLOG ENTRY ^^^^
me: YES

Getting Michael Ball to go near a bolt of flannel is probably going to be pretty difficult, unless we convince him that, for the supermodel sizes, the "flask pocket" can be converted to a "stash pocket." Um... yeah. Beth, we gotta join forces.

*P.S. Did I fool y'all back there? I would sell the Viagra at street value, buy a Kitchen Aid, and use the Crisco to make cupcakes. Duh!

Friday, April 17, 2009

race report: Wells Ave. A/B race, 12. April 2009

Three words to describe doing a combined A/B race at Wells Avenue one week after doing one's first B race: "Ow... ow... OW." While much of Boston was out at services celebrating Easter's tomb exodus, I was lining up to enter the elite Pain Cave. My fellow sufferers, including Kathy, Geoff, Loraine, Matt, and Julie, were also there, which helped.

There's not a whole lot to report about this race. I'd get dropped after one lap, catch back on for another lap or two, and get dropped again. Finally I got to the the point where I felt like merging with the pack yet again would just be rude to the elites... by the time I pulled out, with 10 to go, the only women left were three elite cyclocross racers.

The upside for me: at this time last year, I was struggling to survive five single--not consecutive, SINGLE--laps with the C race. Getting dropped by, and jumping back on to, the A/B race for an hour is a HUGE improvement for me, strength-wise. Hopefully it will aid me when I'm doing women's 3/4 races again.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I'm pleased (!) to report that the new road bike received her first catcall this evening. I was stuck behind a truck in the dicey construction zone near Beacon Street and Somerville Ave., feeling the first few drops of rain and hoping that we would make it home from our short training spin before the roads got completely wet and gross, when I detected a whistle over the sound of the idling engines.

I turned to see a guy with dreadlocks grinning and saying, "Hey, cutie, looking good!"

Naturally, this was directed at the bike, and I have a feeling that, with her plump, stiff rear triangle and generous bottom bracket, she's going to be hearing a lot more of these kinds of sentiments.

My Anaconda don't want none unless you're Carbon-Aluminum, hon!

Monday, April 6, 2009

race report: Wells Ave. "B" race, 5. April 2009

Sunday's Wells Avenue training series marked my first attempt at the B Race--hooray!

Despite the extra half hour of sleeping in (just one more reason I'm happy to no longer be doing the C Race), when I woke up it was much colder than it had been the previous morning. After spending the last few weeks of 'cross season scrambling up icy runups and trying, frozen-footed, to find my pedals again, I'm not sure why I was being such a fraking baby about 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though I had wool socks and shoe covers (new ones! pink ones!) I embrocated the hell out of my feet--twice.

Once I was finished with round two of embro, I threw on an ungodly amount of ugly warmup layers over my tights and skinsuit (under which I had, miraculously, stuffed a ridiculous amount of base layer material without making myself look that chunky--have concluded that skinsuits are, in this respect, much like clown cars) and began to roll aimlessly around the Wells Center parking lot. Time flies when you're being passed by rabid dudes on Zipps, and soon enough, I found myself waiting at the line with Kathy, Geoff, and Loraine. Matt, Natalia, Katherine, and IBCJulie were also racing, as was my teammate Sean. I was glad to be in a pack with friends and familiar wheels.

Said pack turned out to be pretty fast the first few laps. It was as if everyone who had forgotten to pre-reg for Marblehead was out for revenge. We were coming through corners at 27mph, and I got spit out of the back a LOT. I was touched that fellow racers were trying to help me hang on. One guy dropped back a little so I could catch his wheel and get back on; another put his hand on my back and pushed me through the front (read: attacking) corners, in which I was struggling. It was an amazing level of camaraderie.

Watching and working with Loraine, who also fell off the back, I learned some tricks about merging back into a pack. And, best of all, I managed to hang on to the pack for the final 15 laps... consecutively. My average, when I rolled across the line, was 21.5 for 24 miles, which was not too shabby considering several slow, lonesome, windy laps, and considering that in my third race LAST year I was happy to spend 5 out of 15 total laps with a pack.

Afterward, a few of us chilled out on the lawn while Loraine's dog attempted to make out with Geoff. All in all, a good day at the races.