I Got My Chair

I didn't win a bike race yesterday and could not have been happier. Why? Because my superstar Team Beth teammate won her first crit!! It was so cool and she definitely earned it. So that's the short story. And here's a picture (stolen from Sabine) of our crazy sprint finish. Thanks to Lorri and all the Velo Girls for a great event! I've noticed that the races put on by womens teams out here are the best, all the way around. For the long story (including an explanation of the title), read on below the picture. [caption id="attachment_343" align="alignnone" width="592" caption="Photo by Sabine Dukes"]Photo by Sabine Dukes[/caption]

So you may have noticed that the blog has been a little slow lately. That's because I've been plugging away on my thesis. Somehow I got behind, which made last week look something like this...

Monday - Wake up. Type. Look at spreadsheets. Compare charts. Type. Sleep.

Tuesday - Wake up. Swear at my computer. Type. Cut and paste in Excel. Type. Intervals on the rollers. Type. Go to bed. Freak out because I'm behind. Get up and type more. Sleep.

Wednesday - Wake up. Type...You get the idea.

So I averaged about 4 hours of sleep each night. I'm a 7-hour minimum sleeper - if I don't get 7 hours I turn into a sniffling, crabby, emotionally jilted crazy girl. Ask Terry...he can tell a hilarious story of my emotional lameness last week. I skipped out on the Berkeley team time trial that I was supposed to do Saturday. I rode a bike for a total of three hours the whole week. Sunday morning I had to take Terry to the airport at 5:40 to catch a flight for a job interview in Baltimore. With the stupid time change it was really like 4:40. Dropped him off and went back to bed. Exhausted and grumpy.

When the alarm went off at 9 I knew I had to get up to leave by 10 to get to the crit. I didn't want to go. I was pissed that I'd pre-registered. But I knew that people were expecting me to be there. And I really wanted to go to Ikea one more time before I move because I really wanted a Poang chair. The race was in Menlo Park so Ikea would be right there when I finished. Just pedal around for an hour and then I'd get my chair. So I forced myself to lube the chain and pump up the tires and throw random bits of Bella clothing in a bag with a ClifBar and a water bottle and off I went.

I got to the race and was still not thrilled about being there. But I was there. So I got on my bike and found a little street to warm-up on and tried to motivate myself to ride. But I didn't care. Off to the starting line to line-up. I took a spot in the back because I didn't care. I always try to get to the front, but didn't feel like squeezing myself in. The whole field is standing there ready to start the race but there was some sort of "incident" at the end of the Pro/1/2 men's race (come on boys, are you kidding me??), so we had to wait for the course to be cleared. Twenty minutes later and what I think was about 10 neutral parade laps, we finally got lined up for the start. The whole time I'm thinking this is delaying my chair purchase. And I just wanted my chair.

Finally we started and I suddenly felt better. I was racing my bike. It just made sense. I got to focus on pack positioning and cornering and watching my line and other people's lines and doing my thing. Two laps in we got a bell for a prime. I was near the front so I pushed it a bit and won the prime next time around, with Beth right on my wheel...Beth says hey, we have a gap, lets I went. Mind you, its about 3 laps into the race at this point and I know its not going to last, but what the hell, Beth and I are in a break. But that quickly fizzled and I drifted back into the pack, flirting the outskirts of the dark place that I didn't want to be in 3 laps into the race. I told myself if my lungs exploded I wouldn't be able to get my chair so chilled for a bit.

So fast forward a several laps and I hear a bell going through the start/finish again...another prime. There were primes every other lap in that race I think. I was mid-pack and didn't think much of it. But then we're coming back around to finish that lap and I've advanced to the front of the I surged and picked up another one. Crazy! Beth drifted by me and said stay off the front for the rest of the race, so I chilled in the pack while she went to the front and patrolled a bit. She won a prime in there too I think.

Then we got the bell for the last lap and everyone went ape-shit. Girls started trying to squeeze in places they didn't quite fit and taking some crazy lines into the corners. I was freaked out! One girl even went down on the back side after hooking bars. I tried to scoot to the front but was still about mid-pack coming around the last turn. Thankfully it was a ridiculously long finishing straight. Everyone slowed way down while 4 girls got a little gap. I suddenly had a lot of speed out of the corner and bridged across. I think Beth jumped on my wheel, so it was sort of a lead out. She slid by with about 50 meters to go and got the win! Yippie! And I was right beside her in second.

Terry was happy when I called him to tell him about the results because I actually won prize money for the first time ever. I was happy that I won some whole bean coffee from Zambrano's.

And then I went to Ikea and got my chair.