Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blame it on the snow (yeah! yeah!)

(All apologies to Milli Vanilli for corrupting their lyric masterpiece.)

I'd heard that it snowed in Albany, that there were such things as snow emergencies, and that there were times that you needed to budget an hour to shovel your car out of its parking spot, but until this last Friday these stories all sounded like attempt to pull one over on the silly little southerner. In fact, it seems that all of these things are painfully true.

Friday brought us somewhere around ten inches of snow in the matter of a few hours. Once we'd gotten six or so inches I figured it had to be about to stop (I mean, god doesn't have that much dandruff, does he?), so I ignored my better judgement and took to the streets, General Lee-style.

And lo there was ripping. And the ripping was good.

As it turns out, my marginal skillz are unaffected by what skiers refer to as a powder day. When you're already pretty challenged in terms of your shredability, the addition of snow makes everything a little more difficult, but also increases your margin of error. My four inches of bunnyhopability was constant and I still couldn't do a bar spin, but then again I didn't break myself, either.

I had backup along, so I was able to grab a few pics. Here I'm basically showing the very peak of my skills, the rarely seen snow-bound trackstand. Behold it's brilliance.

Since it normally is only light up here for like seven hours a day, during the snowstorm we were reduced to like four. It was already getting dark at this point in the afternoon, though it was only a little after four.

The very pinnacle of my trickery.

This was all pretty rad on Friday, and my amusement extended into Saturday. However, as it's continued to snow, and I've had to dig my car out twice, gotten stranded in the Albany airport for all of Sunday, and seen all of the world disappear under a blanket of white for the next three month, my love for the white stuff has diminished. I'm planning a New Year's Eve shredathon regardless of temperatures (and sobriety level); pics may not follow.

I hope you're all getting to ride some down south. Happy holidays from the Northcountry!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hollywood-Rock Racing: Questions Answered

We've had a lot of inquiries since this image from last weekend's US Cyclocross Nationals in Kansas City appeared on the internet. Lots of folks wrote in to ask if Hollywood was previewing the now budget-challenged Rock Racing's 2009 team kit. If so, it was a marketing coup.

Monday, December 15, 2008

NCCX Final Race Report!

Well, the North Carolina Cyclo-Cross Series has finally drawn to an end. After the dust settled (or rather, the mud flacked off) our very own Andrew A. Oishi finished at a respectable 14th in the Pro/1/2 category. Not too shabby, especially out of a field nearly 60 strong. I myself limped into 19th in the CX4 category with our newest member Jay not too far behind. Not too bad for our first seasons racing. My only real disappointment is that I never got to employ my tactic of raising my bike over my head and screaming while clearing the barriers. Instead, it came out looking like this:

Where's the gusto? Where's the hoot-spah? Surly, my enemies would have cowered in fear at the sight of me casting off my exhaustion and fatigue and howling manically with my bike hoisted ready to strike them down battle-axe style. Oh well, there's always the Winter Cup.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hollywood left off Rock Racing roster, Clerical error to blame

LOS ANGELES- The cycling world greeted news of next year's bifurcated Rock Racing program with a surprise earlier this week. After contracting a bevy of new talent, including former UCI Protour rider Baden Cooke, and swelling its roster to 27 riders, a number in excess of the maximum permited for UCI Continental teams, the squad announced it would be splitting into two teams. Riders downgraded to the Rock Racing amateur club team include reigning US national criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati. Bahati, however, indicated he is not worried in an interview with Cyclingnews. Local observers were also surprised by the announcement. Many had expected the name of BCC-alumnus Hollywood to appear on the Rock Racing riders manifest. Reached for comment at his Rocky Mountain hide-away, the denim clad Hollywood reacted to the news: "I am sure there has been a glitch somewhere and I am not the only rider to be effected. Like Rahsaan, I expect to be riding the big races next year in Rock Racing colors. Michael Ball and I have spoken and we agree that I'm here to stay. Starting on the club team is not a problem. I expect to move up to the A-squad to ride alongside Tyler and do the Giro di Lombardia and perhaps the World Championships. Those are good races for me."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gesamtkunstwerk in foam-noodle

So rare is it that you see yourself reflected in a work of art that I was compelled to post it up. Besides serving as a metaphor for my spritual and political views, I feel this piece also functions as an allegory for Tuesday's MTB excursion (I'm the old lady to the left, obviously).

If you haven't already, go strait to for some of the funniest and strangely engaging art I've seen in a good long while.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Singlespeeds on Tuesday

The plan was hatched Monday night at the shop. A road ride was proposed but the Professor upped the ante to mountain bikes. The next day he and I found ourselves behind the Bimbo truck with Original Gangster. After noting what was humorously gained and lost when considering the deliciousness of baked goods in translation and crawling through traffic that had been blocked on I-40 by arbitrary road closures, we made to Crabtree. There, fun times ensued. We ran into Chris H. at the new dirt jumps. He demurred to execute a 360 tabletop despite our calls to do so. Leaving him to his fun, we pushed the pace on the trails. I came home and spent the rest of the day avoiding any serious thoughts. A great Tuesday.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

We do roll on Shabbas

Unlike Walter.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rocky Mountain Division Report #1

Greetings East Coasters. I've finally landed in Denver. It is cold but there are still bikes everywhere! Cold, snow and ice don't deter Denverites evidently. Did my first ride in Denver on Wednesday on the new "Hybrid" Karate Monkey (photos to follow).

Lesson #1 learned.......while it is cool to ride your bike to an alternative transportation job should make sure they locate the proper winter gloves, hats, etc before departing one's house. Basically, I thought "Oh it is not that far and who needs to dig through boxes for such accessories...." Well let's just say everything is now unpacked and in use......after near frost bitten digits, frozen ears, and a sore throat.

Below is my first horizon shot of the Rockies as I approached Denver on I-70 from Bull City Cycling Rocky Mountain Division Vehicle #1 (See Photo #2).

Let's just say buying a truck with 4 wheel drive 9 years ago is finally paying off.

Well that about wraps up week one from the Rocky Mountain Division of Bull City Cycling...........winter cross training starts tomorrow with snowshoeing!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter Rides

Sure, Lance and Alberto are training together on an island in the Mediterranean Sea and Team Columbia is turning pedals in southern Spain, but they don't know what they're missing. After a pair of winter road rides this week, one chilly early morning ride with Original Gangster, and another warmer, afternoon ride yesterday, I'm reminded how much I enjoy the sunlight and long shadows of these late autumn and early winter rides. Seeing your breath in the cold clear air, bundled in funny-sounding and funny-looking shoe booties, wiggling our toes and fingers to keep the blood flowing to them: these are the gifts of winter cycling. There is something exhilerating in that last hour before sunset. With the temperature dropping as quickly as the light fades, getting home is an imperative. I spent the last few miles fighting off the chill and thinking of the food I would devour in the exact order I would consume. Great stuff. Certainly way better than learning to surf with Lance and pretending to like it.