Saturday, January 19, 2008

If I take away a 1 from 11 that's FIRST...right?

My bike all pretty and good to go in our stall (pre-flat) Vanderkitten stickers and all!

Steph in the most comfy bed in the world and me in front of one of the stranger signs to have up in a restaurant (Chilli's in case you were curious!)
So here I sit in the hallway of a hotel (the internet doesn't work in the rooms) just after midnight on the evening after my very first TRACK WORLD CUP! It's been a fun week hanging out in what is possibly the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in for riding (and I've been sleeping really well - shall I go so far as to say there is a correlation???) The track here in LA is fun - fast and not bumpy (for which certain parts of my anatomy are pleased after the 6-day) and I'm enjoying seeing all the other teams and nations.
The most interesting part for me has been to see how I react to being in this environment. After a few class A meltdowns in my career I was a little concerned that I would freak out and compromise any chance of racing well. So in the week leading up I waited to feel out of control, I got on the plane and waited, I rode the track for the first time, packed my bag the night before, loaded the car to go to the track, weighed my bike to make sure it wasn't too light, jumped on my rollers to warm up, flatted my rear disk while warming up, watched while Bob (mechanic from the land Down Unda') and Mike saved my life by looking for an alternate wheel, and took my bike to be inspected for the final time - and I still had complete was an amazing feeling - like I finally understood that I am at this level and that I belong here. It hasn't been the slightest bit intimidating - only really exciting! I've been waiting for years to race at this level and I'd built it up to be this unfathomable experience - but it was just another bike race. A bike race that I was 100% ready to do and so excited to be a part of the process.
After rolling a few laps of the apron, we all went to the rail and soon enough we were on our neutral lap. In all honesty - the 20 laps of the race were a bit of a blur. I fought for the wheel a couple of times, and I was pleased that I didn't really get pushed around. In retrospect I probably needed to be a "rung" of girls up the whole time, but you live and you learn. With 2 laps to go it was fully on and as I came round with 1 to go, I felt gased, but kept going. Two girls came around me in the final 100m and as I crossed the line I looked up to count heads - to see 10 in front of me...being 3 too many...

All that being said - I was really quite happy with the race. I would have preferred to make the final - I won't lie, but for my first shot - I felt like I did things well. I was SUPER happy with my preparation and the process and I have taken a few lessons with me for the next time out. I really wish I could race the points race tomorrow to test out my lessons, but instead I'm going to be a super cheer section for my teammates Steph and Julia. Being a spectator has its advantages as well (like not being stressed out when I'm still up at 12:26 from a Red Bull induced stupor) and I can learn as much as possible for my next World Cup - because there will be another!
Now I just need to start looking for a track team for the 2008-2009 season....

Friday, January 11, 2008


So here's the thing about giving people your blog address - it means that you should probably update it more than once every five I'm going to have to work on that...

Luckily, life is ramping up for me and I have a bunch of rather exciting life (read: cycling) events going on at the mo'. The top of my list is being on the VANDERKITTEN women's team for 2008. The team has incredible management and the girls are supercool and I am STOKED! So to ease all the questions - no that's not our kit for the season - apparently the kit is going to be even cooler (although they had me at pink plaid), but we're waiting until the team camp for the I'll keep you updated.

Also - completely unrelated (aside from the kitty theme) - aren't my shoes COOL?!? While they are not technically Vanderkitten, they are still unbelievably cool and the fact that they match is a plesant side effect!
Okay - that was my forray into the regular world - back to I'm heading down to LA on Tuesday to compete at my first World Cup on the track! I'm super stoked - it's going to be so much fun! Friday afternoon is the scratch race and, yes, I'm super stoked.
On a side note - a survey I filled out recently had me list my guilty pleasure - at the time all I could come up with is a book and ice cream in bed...but on second thought - it's bumping out on the couch watching some drivvel...much as I am doing right now - watching Degrassi: the Next Generation. I'm not sure why I love the show...but I do. I'm also going to give My So Called Life a shout out as Becca gave me the full series for Christmas and I'm reliving my high school years...Jared Leto and all (he is HOT!)
Here's to a KILLER 2008!