San Dimas Day 2

A friend called Diane out for slacking on blogging duties recently — Judy has been doing the typing for the past few entries. To be fair, Diane usually adds some sarcastic remarks to Judy’s entries so she contributes a little. But to even the balance, here is Diane’s recap of San Dimas Day 2:

I don’t know what happened between mile 2 and mile 42 of the race. I was with the pack until I got a flat at mile 2 and could not chase back on. After 5.5 laps of chasing I had to concede that I was cracked and would be time-cut even if I could manage to finish, so I saw the lead group go by for their final lap from the side of the course.

But…Judy had a great race and kicked some butt. I got to see her finish with the “big girls” in the main field. She described it as “really hard” – very insightful for a road race. Then she went on to describe how she had to be incredibly focused during the first two laps in order to make the main selection, and then just riding in the pack until the end. To give you an idea how much she was just riding in the pack, about three hours after the race ended, she found out that a Specialized Lululemon rider had won solo off the front. There will be a detailed race report on the Folsom/Cervelo website soon. Our teammates Claire, Dani, and Aliya also had a very strong race, they finished in a group that had split from the main field.

Before seeing Judy’s finish, my highlight was the EARTHQUAKE that happened last night. I had felt a couple before, one in Vancouver and one in Santiago, Chile; but when those happened, I was not even sure they were earthquakes. They were just piddley little vibrations. But this was a real earthquake, the kind that I learned about in class.  Then, the road race start was delayed while dam inspectors checked for any earthquake damage. My love of civil engineering and my love of bike racing were perfectly united at San Dimas Stage Race 2014.

Two quotes need to be reported before we sign off. One has been in the back pocket since UC Berkeley, when Judy was filtering through the many cards in her wallet. When she came to the KQED membership card, Diane remarked, “Well that’s going to get you laid.”

And then last night, Dani remarked that our team “is the opposite of business. We’re the party in the back.”

And finally – a shout out to new blog reader Robin Farina, whose encouragements for Judy at the top of the climb were totally necessary and wonderful to hear!!!!

San Dimas Day 1

Happy Cesar Chavez Day! How are you spending your holiday? Diane is currently doing yoga in her chamois on the bed of a Red Roof Inn. Judy is typing up this blog post. We’re recovering after the first stage in the San Dimas race weekend. We had an uphill ITT this morning – 4.25 miles of a gradual climb. (For all the homies out there, it was basically a 20 minute Cardiac climb.)

But on to the important stuff. The race was set in a beautiful park – forested hill sides with hiking and biking trails. Of course these trails need maintenance, especially in a fire prone area. So we weren’t surprised to see a troop of men in orange suits walking by our car until we realized they were all prisoners. As we attempted to change out of our chamois and sports bras, Claire offered up one of our first quotes of the weekend, “Well that was poor timing,” remarking on the scheduling of a prisoner hill side clean up coinciding with the bike race.

What other amazing things have we overheard in the past couple hours? As you might have guessed, Dani Haulman is providing some gems. Our favorite is:

“It sounded like I was asking nicely, but I was actually just telling you [what we are doing.]” We think that this quote could be the title of her memoir. Perhaps the sub title might be, “From Conference Champion to Olympian

and

“I never let age be an excuse, but I was always – and still am now – younger than most people, and I don’t have any problems.”

Diane also just remarked, “Holy shit that is a significant portion of your body weight,” in reference to a photo on my phone of the biggest loogie I have ever hocked up. I would include the picture below, but we want to keep this blog family friendly.

Anyways, back to the race. The ITT was hard, but I don’t think anyone actually remembers much of it. You start and then some time later you’re done. It was sort of fun, but not as much fun as TOMORROW WILL BE. We have some sort of crazy road race with many many laps. We’ll keep you updated. If you want to know how we actually placed, you better rev up your Internet stalking skills. We were all somewhere mid-pack.

TWO POSTS IN ONE NIGHT!

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I told you more posts were forthcoming….

 

* A note about this post: It is more serious than most of our blog entries, but I (Judy) have thought about the issues below for a while now. I take full responsibility for the content of this post, since Diane never raced in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference. Also, I started writing this on Feb 29th, but I’m only finishing it now. My bad. *

 

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I’d like to start today’s blog entry by comparing two emails which arrived in my inbox yesterday. The first was from the listserv of the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (the ECCC). A student has asked if plans for the season’s first race weekend would be altered because of snow. The original question and response from conference director and all around awesome person Joe Kopena read as follows:

> I hate to be that guy, but there’s supposed to be a big dump of snow
> beginning of next week. Is there a date by which we will know for
> sure if the racing is happening?

Caveat extraordinary events like the roads being literally destroyed
(*) or it otherwise being super clear racing can’t happen (**), the
earliest we would make a call like that would generally be Friday.
The roads would have to be coated in ice or snow or be under active
polar bear attack to have a cancellation.

(*) This has indeed happened in the past.

(**) E.g., the Rodale course in Trexlertown, PA doesn’t salt or plow,
     so snow even a couple days out is often a deal breaker; hence no
     ECCC races there in many years.  Everywhere else, you can
     clear/melt a lot of snow in just one sunny day.

 

This is a great example of the ECCC ethos. Conference leaders and management recognize that not only do athletes make hotel reservations, travel plans, and class arrangements well in advance of race weekends, but also that qualifying for nationals requires precise planning of race attendance.

 Several hours after I got this note from Joe, an email was sent out to the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference listserv (WCCC). It read as follows:

 As you all might have gathered from the title, we are forced to cancel our planned Napa road race. Our permit application was denied by Napa County after months of preparation and planning with their office. We were not offered any means to appeal the decision. On the behalf of our team, I apologize for contributing to an already truncated season with another butchered weekend. 

 However, we will still hold a criterium with both collegiate and USAC categories on the Sunday of our race ‘weekend’. It will be on the Land Park course in Sacramento, a fast loop with a tight S-bend chicane on the backside. It’s a hallmark of the NorCal crit lineup, one we haven’t used for collegiate racing in three years. We hope you all make the trip up (or down, or sideways) for it! 

 This was sadly sent out by our own UC Davis team president. I do not want to implicate or blame him at all – it’s really the culture of unaccountability perpetuated by the WCCC that I want to highlight here. Since the beginning of the season, at least three races have been cancelled. And while I recognize that some cancellations were beyond the control of race promoters, ultimately the number of events being killed at the last minute reflects a basic truth about WCCC racing: it is okay to cancel a race.

 It’s okay to cancel a race in the WCCC because there are no consequences for doing so. Each year, the conference doles out race weekends like candy on Halloween. In contrast, ECCC schools must bid for race weekends. Each fall, representatives from all ECCC teams gather to vote on a race schedule for the spring. Race promoter hopefuls must present the courses they plan to use – and most importantly, contingency plans for things like denial of permits. Better yet – come to the planning meeting with some sort of verbal guarantee that you will be granted a permit. And if you cancel your race three weeks out one spring, you can be sure you won’t be granted a race weekend the following year.

 I really wish that hosting a WCCC race were more of a privilege and less of a right. I believe this would make for fewer but better quality race weekends. And most importantly, it would remove the no-fault cancellation de facto policy currently in place.

 I’ve been thinking for a couple years about the differences between the WCCC and the ECCC, so this post will be the first in a series. But before I sign off, I would like to comment on the recent spate of emails on the WCCC listserv. There’s been vigorous discussion on out-of-conference riders displacing nationals points for within-conference riders. I won’t weigh in on the issue itself. But I will implore everyone who emails the listserv to proofread your notes before hitting send. You are a college student, for crying out loud. You represent your team and your school when you send emails out to large listservs. So if you want to be persuasive, construct logical arguments, make sure your sentences are grammatically correct, and please use proper punctuation. 

Mid weekend post!!!

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Sorry that the blog has been quiet for a couple weeks. Diane has been in crazy finals mode, and Judy apparently can’t blog (or get herself to a bike race) without Diane. We have a few posts in the works, but to tide over all our eager readers, here are some choice quotes from the past 1.5 race weekends:

Quotes from the Stanford Race Weekend.

Spoken by: a veteran UC Davis Rider
Context: Discussion of freshmen and sophomore team members using the smart phone application Tinder
Quote: “Why can’t they just get drunk and fuck at the team party like we used to?”

Spoken by: unknown
Context: Warming up for the Stanford Crit
Quote: “Could you massage my taint?”

Spoken by: Diane
Context: Discussing breakfast coffees and coffee accouterments
Quote: “I realized I just need a latte in the mornings.”

And now on to some substance about our races. Judy won both the road race and the crit at Stanford last week, but Sara Bird (Stanford) took a well deserved win in the Berkeley road race today after an entire lap off the front. Stay tuned for more posts (shortly coming). I promise they will be worth the wait!

2014 UC Santa Cruz Slugapalooza Race Weekend Report

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Diane is writing this from the front seat of the 2002 Canadian Olympic Edition super-van, on our way back from the first Collegiate Cycling race weekend of 2014. We figure while we still have the endorphins running through our blood, we will write about the best parts of the weekend. It also helps our motivation that this was a super-successful weekend of bike racing.

Road Race

The Santa Cruz road race is awesome; it is a compact 2.6 miles course with 400 feet of climbing per lap. The loop goes uphill along beautiful fields and then into towering green forest. The hill crests and all of a sudden you are descending with stunning coastal views to the left. The descent brings you down with spectacular views of the ocean all the way. Of course, none of the beauty is appreciated when your eyes are crossed, your legs are burning and there are still 8 laps to go.

Events of note include:

Kristen Fauria (UC Berkeley) observed a bobcat wander onto the course on her descent; she narrowly avoided it.

Diane caught the other girls in the final selection by surprise with 500m to go and attacked on the final uphill to finish first and grab the win. Judy was there too, she finished 4th.

Crit

Four corners in a flat industrial park; well the race flyer said 5 corners but we looked really hard and could not find that last corner.

We sat in the Men’s B race to warm up. Then there was a crash and we said eff this, not worth it and pulled out. We hope the guy who crashed is okay.

In the Women’s A race Judy did her thang and sprinted for the win. Superstar pseudo teammates Kristen Fauria and Dani Haulman (Golden Gate University) came in third and fourth, respectively.

Things overheard at the collegiate race weekend

This will be a recurring section of the race weekend blog entries, and you will quickly see why. We cannot wait to see what ridiculous gems we overhear in the weekends to come.

Re: the UC Davis race weekend
Spoken by: a non-Davis men’s A rider
I would suck a dick for 10 seconds to not have to do the Mondavi Center crit again. Later addendum: Actually 5 seconds and just the tip.

Re: warming up before a crit
Spoken by: a men’s B rider
The hardest part about warming up is getting your lungs to 100% capacity. You need to acclimate to the local air.

Re: another racer in an NCNCA race contested years ago
Spoken by: a women’s A
She yelled at me in a race and I was like up yours you old dinosaur. 

Exchange between a men’s A rider during the crit today and race coordinators:

Rider drops out and asks

–      Do I get a free lap?

–       Do you have a flat or something? Do you need a wheel?

–       No…I got pushed out.

6:30 am rant

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This is what happens when I wake up early to get in my workout before realizing that my level of congestion and the state of my head cold is such to make training a bad idea. I write a rant about the Olympics:

Let’s pause here for a moment to reflect on how absurdly difficult it is to watch any Olympics coverage if you do not have a television. You certainly can’t watch any video on NBC’s web site — if you so desired to stream coverage online, you’d have to first enter in the information for your television provider. Which begs the question — if I’m trying to watch the Olympics on my computer, what’s the chance that I have a television provider? And if you think to yourself, “Maybe I want to glimpse the gold medal performance of the newly crowned ice dancing champions on YouTube,” you only have five seconds of hope before realizing you’ve been cock blocked by the IOC, who removes any footage of athletic performance approximately 15 seconds after its been uploaded.

I never had any illusion about the Olympics being an event which draws together representatives from parts of the globe. Let’s look at the medal boards for these winter games (Africa, anyone?) — but I am particularly annoyed that the IOC apparently wants to restrict viewing privileges to the smallest possible slice of humanity.

The n-1 Rule

When we refer to the n-1 rule, you might at first think of the ideal number of bikes a racer should own, where n is the number of bikes, which, if owned, would result in your spouse’s initiation of divorce proceedings. However,  the n-1 rule most relevant to Diane and Judy’s life is somewhat different. It came from Judy’s friends Caitlin and Joe (ECCC REPRESENT) from Philly. They claim that road racers have room in their life for n-1 additional activities outside of racing and training, where n is the number of your racing category. For instance, if you are a cat 2, you will have room in your life for one other major commitment – for both Judy and Diane, that commitment is academia. For someone else, that might be a spouse or family. A fortunate category 3 racer has room in his or her life for both a spouse and a career. And if you’re a cat 1 – just forget it.

We’ve found this rule to be a helpful heuristic in structuring our own lives, which makes us even more impressed with the super human accomplishments of our teammates who have both jobs and families.

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Women Who Get Shit Done

We recognize the irony of sitting on this post idea for months – but Diane and I have long wanted to write about our awe of Women Who Get Shit Done (WWGSDs). I bet you all know someone like this in your life – the strong, whip smart, super accomplished lady who just gets shit done. You give this girl a work project – boom, it’s completed. She has to chase down a rider up the road in a bike race – boom, gap closed. She comes up with an idea for a new organization – and the Internet is talking about the group next week.

Our Folsom team is full of women like this, who inspire us to get out and train every day. (Yes, that’s cheesy.) But we want to recognize in particular one woman – our super star team director, Erin Gorrell. Erin owns two bike shops – one in Folsom and one in El Dorado hills. In addition to running her business, she also runs not one, but two bike teams – ours, plus the men’s squad. And we are so fortunate to have Erin direct us. We joined the team because we loved the racers, but Erin has gone above and beyond in lining up amazing sponsors for us – from bikes to clothing to nutrition, she’s got us covered. It’s easy to perform in a race with such solid support.

We came to realize how exceptional she is, and how lucky we are to have her on our side, at the Folsom team camp lunch. She was giving a run down of the race and Gran Fondo – with George Hincapie no less – she is planning, as well as several community outreach events. We both immediately realized she is an 11 on a 1-10 scale of Getting Shit Done. 

Finally, Erin does all this while still getting out on her bike, being a Mom, and being flippin gorgeous.

Feel free to nominate your favorite WWGSD if you want to see her highlighted in a future blog post. We will be adding to this series as soon as we get our shit together. 

We love Folsom Bike

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We just finished our first full weekend of racing with the Folsom Bike/Cervelo team, and it has just confirmed what we knew all along, THIS TEAM IS FREAKING AWESOME.  Although we are already lucky enough to be on an exceptional collegiate team, when you get to race from February to September it certainly benefits to also be on one of the local teams.

Thanks to our teammate Dani and coach Judd, we are lucky enough to be on a stellar team based out of Folsom, California.

(If you want the full gory details on our races, check out the Folsom blog here: http://folsombikewomensracing.wordpress.com/)

In the meantime, we’d like to share just how perfect everything about the Folsom team is.

The ladies are hilarious, superfast, and unbelievably accomplished. While Diane and I sometimes complain about having to juggle our academic and athletic lives, several of our Folsom teammates are also mothers in addition to being SO FAST. Can you believe that?! Like, really, it’s sort of unreal. Our super star captain Marley Smith took second at Masters Road Nationals last summer.

Our sponsors have gone above and beyond, providing us with bikes (Cervelo), helmets and gloves (Giro), food (Osmo), and bike fits & fitness testing (Judd Van Sickle with UC Davis Sports Performance Center). We also couldn’t do this without our financial sponsors (Folsom Bike, Raley’s, and Cal Family Fitness). Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post (no really, it’s upcoming – we actually already wrote it) on our team director Erin Gorrell (owner of Folsom Bike).

Also, the kits are HAWT. We go like really really fast in them, and it is very impressive. Thanks, Hincapie!

Riding with the Folsom Ladies over winter was the best training we could ask for – it was always challenging, and every ride was a great lesson on how to laugh really hard while pedaling a bike.