Monday, March 31, 2008

Jeff Cup Report

Jeff Cup Race Report…hmmm, where to start? Well it was a cold day with periodic precipitation both in solid and liquid form. Despite the inclement weather it was a fairly big field (more than 50 I think) stacked with some pretty impressive talent. But none as talented as HPC’s very own Lorena Candrian (aka Lo-Ryder) who won the race with her trademark sprint finish (see Pierre for full description). Kate Flore followed close behind and finished with an impressive 5th place. Like I said, it was a stacked field with lots of amazing talent. Something about that chocolate bunny that beckons female cyclists from up and down the east coast.

Unfortunately, I did not have a spectacular day on the bike. For starters, I made my new chain a bit too short which rendered some of my gear combinations unusable. Surely I would not have gotten dropped on that hill had I been working with a full set. Well, actually maybe I would have. I’m not such a great climber and I think that I let myself get intimidated by all that amazing talent in the field. Mentally I think I was prepared to get dropped from the front group…so maybe it was a self fulfilling prophecy. Maybe I had already sealed my fate before the race even began. This is what I find so interesting about racing; it is a test of both physical and mental fitness. I think it’s the internal battle that is usually the limiting factor for women…at least it is for me.

So, I found myself in the chase group to the chase group…which was still comprised of some good talent…which made it not such a crushing blow to my racing ego. We all considered pulling out and calling it a day, but instead organized a pace line (of sorts) and ended up getting our full money’s worth. Coming into the last lap, Heidi Von Teitenberg and I found ourselves in a little break (unintentionally)…which is kind of funny if you think about it. We were vying for what place? Well, it made for a good workout anyway. Coming into the final stretch I was on her wheel…and we rolled in together. I thought it might be a bit ridiculous to sprint past her considering our overall position in the field.

Some photos by Jason Watson:

Yeah, not an amazing day for me…but there are more races left in the season.

Oh, and for the record…


Other noteworthy events:
> Ilana did an awesome job of sticking it out with the lead group
> Lesley flatted on the first lap & support was too slow in response :(
> Michelle Bote and Susan Hefler finished up with the lead pack
> Chris Kelley looked like a rock star in her super cool shades
> Jenn and I had a bonding moment
> Charlie got fat*

*Charlie is a dog

Top Five Results (women 1/2/3):
1) Lorena Candrian – HPC/List powered by Altarum
2) Laura Cook – Tripower
3) Leslie Jennings – Cyclelife
4) Sonja Evers – Team Vanderkitten
5) Kate Flore – HPC/List powered by Altarum
Complete results here>>> BlueWheel

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lady Like

Riding in the watershed last weekend with a bunch of Y chromosomes, someone commented that they "got chicked". I think they were referring to the act of a female out-performing a male. Is this a compliment or a backhanded insult against my gender? Should I be flattered that I was able to ride my bike a little faster despite the fact that I have all this reproductive equipment to lug around? Or...should I be disappointed that they don't have higher expectations of a female rider? Hmmmmm.....not sure. Either way, it was a good day on the bike...and they were good guys. I just tend to over think things

Be proud. Ride Like a Girl.

Here are some quotes to enjoy while you ponder....

"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. It has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood." ~ susan b. anthony, women's rights activist, 1896

[T]he bicycle will accomplish more for women's sensible dress than all the reform movements that have ever been waged. ~Author Unknown, from Demerarest's Family Magazine, 1895

She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life. ~Frances E. Willard, How I Learned To Ride The Bicycle, 1895

photo credits:
1) Audrey Hepburn: 2) Mary Mcconneloug: 3) old school lady: 4)Aiden: by Gwadzilla 5) Me: by Gwadzilla 6) foot: 7) Sue Haywood: 8) random ladies: 9)Maggie: 10) Jacquie: from Jacquie 11) Hillary: 12)My mom: by my grandmother 13) Me: by Icon o. Classt

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

the evens

I had the pleasure of meeting Ian MacKaye (of Minor Threat and Fugazi) on Mt. Pleasant Street a few weeks ago while making my way home from work. I would not have been able to pick him out in a crowd, but I was with Joel who recognized him immediately. This chance encounter inspired me to start listening to his most recent band , The Evens (Ian MacKaye & Amy Farina). I have especially enjoyed their self titled album "The Evens". It's a good vibe and great driving music for my treks out the watershed. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lemond Couture

The 2008 collegiate road racing season is now underway and it's still a little strange to be on the other side , living in post-collegiate life. Looking back on my own collegiate bike racing career, a scrapbook of memories brings a smile to my face as I recall all the good times and great friends I made along the way. While fame on the podium at collegiate nationals would never be mine (or even the top ten for that matter), I did have some shining moments. (photo by Matlin?: Army race '05)

The crown jewel of these shining moments took place back in 2004 during the Collegiate Road Nationals banquet dinner at the Monona Terrace (designed my Frank Lloyd Wright) in Madison, Wisconsin. After a quick trip to the local vintage clothing store, my teammates and I planned to make a grand entrance in some of the most hideous prom dresses the 80’s had to offer. However, this plan was foiled due to some minor alterations gone wrong. So….I ended up being the only one of our Penn State Crew clad in 80’s garb.

Sure there were the Army kids who were dressed as various super heroes (which is actually a little disturbing), the Colorado kids trying to make waves in the punch bowl, and the Ivy League kids (particularly Mike Barton of Dartmouth) up to their crazy stunts and gags…but I was to be the only Nittany Lioness to arrive in full costume. (photo by Matlin?: Barton @ ECCC championsips '05)

So there I was, in this hideous blue and white dress with the letters “PSU” spelled out across the sash in electrical tape and a side pony tail teased out to the edge of oblivion. It was quite a sight, and, being an only child, I must admit I did enjoy the attention. The keynote speaker for the evening, Greg Lemond, was graciously autographing various forms of memorabilia when my friend Laura (wearing baseball cap in photo) suggested I hop in line and get my dressed signed; I obliged... and the rest is history.

This event was to be my first and only solo photo debut on Such a shining moment! Had I to choose between a place on the podium or a bizarre photo-op with Greg Lemond forever recorded in Cyclingnews…I think I’d take the latter….no, actually I would take the former….ok, it’s a tie.

Oh, and then there was the time Eric and I had a tangle with the law when pre-riding the course for Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals at Seven Springs….but we’ll save that story for later.
Hmmm...collegiate cycling, those were the days.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

5 years 2 Long

Looking out of our office window down at 12th St NW, it seems that the War Resisters League has started the day’s events out with an attempt to block the west entrance of the IRS (Shut Down the IRS / Shut Down the War). My coworkers and I huddled around the window as we watched the copcycles load up a bunch of silver-haired war protesters into the paddywagon after their “raucous” display of civil disobedience.

Can't believe it's been five years...since I haven't paid taxes. No, really though, this is an important day for our country. We live in a complacent society and it's days like these that help breath life back into the voiceless masses...I hope.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


That’s right race fans, we’re coming up on Saddle Sore Season (SSS) and it is never too early to prepare yourself for the raw rough road ahead (I’m really into alliteration these days). In the past, I’ve suffered the consequences for not taking the proper precautions in the beginning of the season and paid the price by the time August rolled around. (image to the right:

The cyber-cycling community is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to advice on how best to approach this particularly delicate yet slightly humorous situation. Prevention is the best line of defense...however, lancing may be necessary in some situations.

I have created a small library of resources below. Of all of them, I have found Keith Bontrager’s to be the most entertaining and informative. Enjoy!

Keith Bontrager

“Lubrication is simple. Mix up a large vat of petroleum jelly with some antibiotic ointment and some pain reliever. The latter is probably optional, but I use it because I always have.The trick to effective lubrication for a long stage is to use a lot.. Smear the stuff onto the chamois in a large quantity - three fingers worth, minimum. It should feel weird when you put you shorts on. That won't matter. But you want it to last all day, so you need a lot. That's why I don't want to use any expensive Swiss stuff. It would cost a fortune.”

Other links:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Grant's Tomb

In other news, Maggie won the Grant's Tomb Criterium this weekend!!! I'm still waiting for the details, but this photo seems to tell the end of the story quite well. You're a beast Maggie!!! (photo:

ps - notice the City Bikes bottle good luck charm

President's Crit

I am pleased to report that this year’s race at UMD went quite well despite the fact that the field was about 90% Team Artemis. It was with apprehension that I rolled to the line as last year’s race did not go very well. This time last year Chris (Soda) and I went for a nice long ride in the mountains the previous day because I did not want to sacrifice a day of training for an early season criterium. This turned out to be a big mistake as I proceeded to completely poo the proverbial bed before the race was even halfway over. This was a rather large blow to my racing self-confidence, leaving a bad taste in my mouth for the UMD crit.

This year went a little differently. From the start I immediately shot to the front of the field in order to make it through the first series of turns without getting caught up in any early season crashes (last year one of my teammates broke her hip on this course). After things got spread out a bit, I settled on second and third wheel back. It wasn’t long before Artemis started sending off their attacks…many of which I chased down with the help of Christine of NCVC. Looking back, perhaps I should have tried to get away with one of the Artemis girls, but I guess that’s the beauty of hindsight.

After several attacks we finally just let one Artemis girl slip away. Ilanna, my good friend and teammate from City Bikes (I race with HPC/List on the road), did her best to rally the troops and chase her down…but it didn’t seem like folks were into the idea of organizing a chase group. Once the Artemis girl was out of sight, the pack calmed down and very little happened for about 10 or 11 laps. Christine sat on the front and put a lot of work into just keeping the pack at a steady pace. I threw in a few pulls here and there, but was trying my best to keep something left in my legs. With about a quarter of the race remaining I suggested to Christine that we try to get away with three laps to go…she concurred.

As we came around on the straightaway with three laps to go I put in an attack and successfully created a gap between us and the rest of the field. In the break was Christine, myself and another Artemis girl (hadn’t really planned on that one). With two laps to go the pack was starting to close in on us so I put in a lot of work on the backside of the course in order to keep them at bay. I was first coming out of the last corner on the final lap…which was probably not the best idea. Christine and the Artemis girl sprinted around me and took second and third respectively.

So, I went home with 4th place which I think equates to one upgrade point…every little bit counts! Rome wasn’t built in a day! Oh, and my father was visiting this weekend so it was quite a treat to have him there at the race with me… no matter how old you get, you always want your parents to be proud.

Thanks Christine for all your hard work! It was great to race with you!

Better Late....

....than never!

This was my father’s first visit to DC since I’ve lived here. He was originally scheduled to visit me last summer; however, Chris’s accident necessitated a change in plans. I would not have been a good hostess to my father that weekend as I spent much of my time pestering the nurses over at Howard. By the way, Ms. Blackwell is still my favorite nurse over there. Hi Ms. Blackwell! Thanks again for everything!

Anyway, so Dad came for a visit. We had a lot of good quality father-daughter time…and I even got him out on my cross bike for a bit. It was rather small on him, but he was a trooper. Maybe this will inspire him to go home and fix up that Schwinn sitting in the garage?

Love you Dad!
‘till next time!

Friday, March 14, 2008


What possesses one to behave in such ways?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wed. in the Shed

Trading in my compressed day from Friday to Wednesday allowed me the opportunity to squeeze in a nice mid-week ride in the watershed. What a treat! It was a beautiful day to be on the bike…just me and the watershed…for most of the ride I was in a sort of meditative trance.

Unfortunately I was forced to cut my ride a little short on account of a large gash in the sidewall of my tire. With the help of a tire patch and Luna Bar wrapper I was able to make it back; however I decided to forfeit a trip down Super Sweet in effort to avoid the potential long, lonely walk back to the car.

I got back just in time to run into my friend Loretta and her daughter Jennifer. Jennifer is only 12 years old and already tearing things up at the local and national level. Best of luck this season!

Mount Pleasant Fire

Last night while tucked safely in the warmth of my bed, Mt. Pleasant was alive with the scream of sirens…which is not entirely unusual for our neighborhood. Dozing off to sleep, I wondered what drama might be unfolding just a few streets down. This morning I awoke to find gridlock traffic squeezing and honking through our quiet neighborhood streets…indicating that 16th Street was most likely shut down.

As it turns out, an apartment building on Mt. Pleasant Street was all but reduced to a pile of ashes. Together, the DC, PG and Montgomery County Fire Departments successfully stopped the fire before it went on to also envelop the neighboring church. All occupants were able to safely evacuate the building.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose everything to a fire. Aside from the obvious financial issue, essentially it’s just stuff I guess… but so much of our personal history is tied up in our stuff. What would you grab if you only had a minute to decide? A bike? A photo album? Grandma’s sweater? It’s a great moment of truth. Where do your values lie?

According to Buddhist Philosophy, attachment is the root of human suffering. Letting go of human desires is the only way to Nirvana….I think I have a ways to go yet.

My most sincere condolences to those who lost their homes in last night’s fire. Wishing you all the very best.

Hear Mount Pleasant is currently organizing to gather money, food, and clothing for the hundreds of people who are now homeless. Please offer what support you can.

The Community of Christ will hold a prayer service tonight at 9:00 pm at La Casa/Community of Christ (3166 Mt. Pleasant St NW). All are welcome.

(photos courtesy of MJB

Jacquie's WOMBATS

Jacquie then... Jacquie now...

Jacquie forever...

If you have ovaries and enjoy riding in the dirt, may I suggest you consider joining the sisterhood of WOMBATS? The mother of mountain biking, Jacquie Phelan, created WOMBATS (Women's Mountain Bike and Tea Society) back in 1984 in effort to break down some of the obstacles impeding women's entry into the sport. Since then she has continued to be one of the most prominent voices in the world of women's mountain biking; blazing a trail for future generations of female riders to follow. (photo from WOMBATS website)

While attending her group rides over on the west coast might not be an option for those of us in the mid-Atlantic, you will receive a quarterly newsletter along with other useful information concerning the evolution of the sport and how you can play a role in getting more women into racing and riding. Spread the good word!

More info on WOMBATS

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sticker Album

Here's one for the sticker album....

Keep it Street Level

Monday, March 10, 2008

Moca Bike

Friday night I met up with my coworker and friend, Josh (check out his food blog MunchDC), and together we headed over to an art opening in Georgetown at Moca DC. I’m not really sure how best to summarize our experience…. I must say that I was expecting a little more in the way of artistic expression and a little less in the way of … slightly shady erotica. A few glasses of boxed wine made the experience more palatable. (above photo was found on Roubaix Girl's myspace page. I think it's the Norwegian National Team?Classic! We couldn't take photos at Moca DC...sorry)

In addition to the large collection of erotic photography, stained glass penis, and S&M paraphernalia the exhibit also featured live body painting on nude models. In retrospect, it was an interesting experience with respect to performance art…so much going on in Georgetown! Who knew?

Saturday @ Freeze Thaw

In a few months Jordyn will be entering parenthood!!! They grow up so fast!

Second Saturday

Despite the impromptu organization of this month’s Second Saturday event, it went quite well. Bobby Belfiore displayed his collection of contemporary cityscapes (oil on canvas) painted several years ago while living in New York City. This collection is the product of a pivotal time in Bobby’s life as he made the transition from painting the human form to using the city as his subject; an artifact of internal turmoil.

Kelley Acres
Trying to figure out where and when to ride on Sunday made for a traffic jam of e-mails over the DCMTB list-serve. In the end, I decided to head out to Kelley Acres for the infamous Chris Kelley ride and post ride home cooked meal. It was a beautiful day (aside from being a bit windy), great company (so good to see GranderKitten and Velo Chicken), and amazing homemade mac & cheese.

(GranderKitten shown above in new VanderKitten kit and team bike. Big time now! You're a rock star Sonja!)

Thanks again to the Kelleys! Oh, and welcome to HPC/List Chris!

Back in town I happened to run into my friend, Laura, (and old Penn State Teammate) and her boyfriend, Donald, down near the Whitehouse. Crazy small world! Laura, we’ve gotta keep in better touch! Best of luck this season!