Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Each shirt is $10 and you can either get a pink or grey shirt. If you are interested (who wouldn't be?), send an e-mail to SAARideOn@gmail.com with the following information:
-Size (XS, S, M, L, XL or XXL for $2 more)
Orders must be placed no later than Tuesday, April 3rd by midnight. Payment will be due when you pick up you order. The date of pick-up is TBA and we will send you an e-mail about how that will work. Anyone can order a shirt so be sure to spread the word!
Can't wait to see you all in you're awesome RideOn gear at the Race on April 20th at 7:00 pm!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Quals is a nerve-wracking event, to say the least. All eyes are on you as you take the track, and although all it takes it four short laps and some clean exchanges, something we've all done zillions of times, the pressure is on as the fate of the rest of our team's Little 500 season rests on your shoulders.
On race day, a botched exchange may cost you to lose a pack or drop a few seconds behind, but there are countless other chances to make up for that one mistake. During Quals, it's do or die.
I'm scaring myself as I type this...YIKES QUALS!!
Last night our team was given the opportunity to do a practice Quals run. This was our only chance to get a preview for what Saturday would feel like; the track was all ours, the lines were drawn in the cinder, and Jordan Bailey announced from the press box.
We had spent most of track practice yesterday doing exchanges and almost-full-speed Quals runs, and were feeling good and ready to go.
Kelsey nervously chattered away about anything and everything, Mary did some pre-race jumping and stretching, and I tried to magically speed up the digestion of the Jimmy Johns sub that was sitting freshly in my stomach. Finally it was our turn, so we took the track.
I started us off with the pace lap, and all I could think was "Holy crap, am I going the right speed? Why am I going so slow? What am I supposed to do???" I had to remind myself that it was just another lap on the very familiar track, and everything would be fine. I rounded turn 3 and started to pick up my pace, and as I crossed the start line, the stopwatch started.
My mind was blank as my legs pounded out the quarter mile. Next thing I knew, it was time to exchange. Mary was set up just as she always was in practice, and I was going to bring the bike into her, as per the usual.
That's where things started to get messy.
For some reason, our exchange failed. I came in hot and a little too far outside, and we just didn't click. Mary went down pretty hard, but gathered herself back up like a champ and hopped on the bike to ride her lap.
Okay, good, we got the bad exchange out of the way, we can still recover this.
Mary sped through her lap, and brought and exchange in to Kelsey. Unlike the millions of beautiful exchanges before, this one didn't click either. Mary and Kelsey both took dives to the ground, and our bike flew through the air past them.
We were done.
A few minutes at the First Aid station, some deep breaths and a few bandaids later, we exited the track, Quals run unfinished, and took a seat in the bleachers to recap what had happened. After some discussion, we came to the conclusion that mulling over the video footage of our falls, breaking down every second of what had just happened, and replaying it over and over in our minds was not going to get us anywhere.
We all know how to do exchanges. We all know how to ride our bikes fast. Everything will work out. Thank goodness we had last night's practice run to get all of our mistakes out of the way. We have two more days at the track to fine-tune out performance before it's show time.
I'm 100% confident in our abilities, and can't wait to see how everything and everyone turns out on Saturday! It's an exciting day for EVERYONE, and hopefully we'll have the Hoosier victory over Kentucky on Friday night fueling us toward a victory of our own (knock on wood)!
See you at 10:50am at the track!!
Thursday, March 15, 2012
On Monday morning, Helen, Mary, and myself decided to go on a nice road ride toward the quarries south of town. First, we headed past Bloomington South High School and out Fairfax Road. We rode to the back of a neighborhood and parked our bikes at the edge of the woods. With Helen as our tour-guide/camp counselor we took a quick hike to the quarries that starred in the film Breaking Away. The day was beautiful and there were few clouds in the sky, so resting on the rocks overlooking the quarries was both relaxing and breathtaking.
After taking in the quarries for a while and thinking that this would be a lovely place to have a picnic at, we decided to head back out for the road. Heading out further toward Lake Monroe we came upon Ned's Sculptures (more details about Ned's fabulous art here) a lot filled with many colorful fiberglass animals. Of course we had to stop and take some pictures! Mary posed with the gorilla, Helen found a nice giraffe to hide under, and I posed with a lovely elephant. Ned offered to sell us some animals, but unfortunately we hadn't brought our bike trailers and could not tow any back :(
Jumping back on our bikes we finished our outward journey to Lake Monroe and took in the calm of this beautiful spring day at the lake. Anyone who has been out to the Fairfax State Recreation Area knows that heading into Lake Monroe is a pleasant descent, but heading away from the lake is a steady climb. While the climb wasn't fun, it was made easier by the rest we had just had and we all successfully made it back to the main part of Fairfax Road. The rolling hills we encountered the rest of the way back, with temperatures climbing into the mid-70s completed a perfect Spring Break day in Bloomington!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
1) Track is open for 8 hours a day!!
Because of the limited track times, many riders miss the chance to ride on the
track due to class, work, and etc. With the extended track times, we will be able
to spend lots of time on the track!
2) We can have unlimited number of
riders! Usually, we are only allowed to have two riders at a time on the track (except
Laura Bliss, who is on Riders Council). We will have an opportunity to ride in
a pace line as a team, and avoid trainers/rollers while waiting for turns.
3) Exchanges, exchanges, exchanges! The
Qualification is the Saturday after spring break, and being able to practice exchanges
on the cinder track is a huge advantage.
4) Save money and save time! We won’t
have to drive 10+ hours back and forth with $4/gallon gas price. Plus,
Bloomington has been warm enough that there is no reason to travel for warm
5) Bike tan lines which are 100 times
cooler than swimsuit tan lines.
6) Bloomington is awesome when everyone gone! No
traffic, no crowded restaurants, and etc.
7) No extra 5 pounds from excessive
drinking for a week!
Please add to the list, this is all I can think of right now!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Anyway, this particular blog post got my particular mind in quite the whirlwind before my ride this afternoon. More specifically, the particular number six (which is also my favorite number) sparked the windy-whirl in my head.
Your mind is your worst enemy. Do all your thinking before you start riding your bike. Once the pedals start to turn, wrap yourself in the sensations of the ride – the smell of the air, the sound of the tires, the feeling of flight as the bicycle rolls over the road.
Why is it that I ride? What enjoyment do I get from spinning 110 rotations per minute across terrible backroads for hours at a time? I think it's the escape from my real life. Homework, clubs, jobs, bills, parking tickets, grocery shopping, bad dreams, good dreams, pink eye, muscle soreness; when I'm on a bike, those things don't matter. All that matters is the smell of cows' waste in the pastures, climbing up that next hill, and knowing there are more exhausting hills coming soon.
Cycling is a one-[wo]man game. It's about pushing yourself and knowing that you can always go a little harder.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
There are a lot of great things that come with Spring. Flowers, warm weather, Spring Break, and the ever present longing for Summer becomes even more existent. For some of us, it brings Little 500 season. Feeling the cinder crunch under your (more than likely) worn in tennis shoes for the first time feels better than finally getting that green “correct” picture on your Webwork after spending tireless hours on just one problem. What may feel even better than that is when you take your first lap, you finally get up to speed through turn two, and you feel the tiny black sand-like rocks move under the weight of you and your fixed-gear bike. Then you hear, “On your wheel!” “Overlapping left!” “Inside! Inside!” “Exchange in turn one!” And you quickly snap out of your dream-like state and remember you have to come out of your bike-coma and make sure you don’t crash the whole pack of riders racing around you.
The cold air is hitting your face and making your eyes water so that your tears are going straight back into your hairline and you start thinking about pulling out of the pack. You take five more laps, because you just don’t want to stop peddling. Finally, when your face is numb, your esophagus burns, and you just can’t sniffle anymore, you get to the outside, pull off, and catch some cold air where you hoped you would find your breath. You look up and see the pack racing on the back stretch and you tell yourself that you shouldn’t have pulled off- you could have gone at least another five laps. You can’t feel your face anyways right?
Wait until the pack has cleared and you mesh back in, just as if you had never gone to the pits. Bike-Coma again. You hear the people yelling around you and you snap back into the river-like flow that you had just left on your bike-of-a-raft. Turn three comes in fast and the tears are flying back just as fast as they were before, but this time you do the best you can to wipe them off with your padded glove because this time, you’re going those extra five laps- and probably more. “Inside! Inside!” escapes your mouth as you move ahead to the front of the pack where the wind is going to hit you harder, but you don’t care. Sometimes tears come with hard work, and that doesn’t mean they always come from grief, but also from the joy in success.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is nostalgia.
Yesterday IUCC (Indiana University Cycling Club) hosted a women's training race. There were about thirty girls in attendance from various Little 500 teams. We left from the Sample Gates and headed out through Cascades to Old 37. The Forest Loop is about 30 miles; however, we only raced about 13 of those miles. We had a neutral/rolling start on an up hill and then raced through Hoosier Forest and down Bean Blossom to Andersen Rd.
The lead pack quickly pulled away from the main pack of girls at the start. There was a loose pack of about 5-6 riders (sometimes fewer) that I stayed with for the majority of the race. We took turns pulling up front and drafting off of each other to conserve energy. This was my first road race experience where I could utilize drafting. My prior experiences include triathlons where drafting is not allowed- there must be 15 seconds between riders. Regardless, it was definitely nice to take turns pulling and then being able to "recover" in the back. From my rudimentary calculations, I believe I averaged about 17.6 mph during the race. For some reason my Garmin was on auto-lap so it lapped every mile; however, I was able to download the data and glean some rough statistics. Needless to say, the first thing when I got home was to turn the dumb auto-lap off- it also beeped every mile and that was super annoying.
Even though, I wish I could have finished better, it was a great learning experience and made me realize that I have a lot of work ahead of me- which is kind of exciting. There was a wide range of rider ability in our group- ranging from riders that have rode competitively for a few years to rookies who are just trying to learn the ropes. It is cool to know that after I graduate and my time with Little 500 is over, there are still opportunities to be competitive and test one's strength and endurance. Peace out!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
On the day of the event Mary and I went to the SRSC in the morning to scope out our competition and try to form a strategy. There were 11 women's teams scheduled to compete and we wanted to make a name for ourselves! During each team's 18 minute set, all 4 riders must take the bike (only) once. This means we would all be riding the same bike, and although three of our team's scheduled riders were about the same size and could ride at the same seat height, I am a shorty and needed a different size. In watching other teams we realized that many precious seconds are lost in the time it takes riders to adjust the seat up or down, so we decided to get rid of that problem!! Our strategy, from here on referred to as "The Thoe," was for the person getting onto the bike (tall person) to begin her set standing, while the person getting off the bike (me) would adjust the seat height. We would only adjust the height once and would have almost zero down-time. Brilliant!
When we got to the SRSC to check in, a handful of women's teams had already completed their runs, the leader-board showed Teter in the lead putting out an incredible average of 261 watts! In second was Army Women with 207, followed by Kappa Delta with 206 watts. Clearly our work was cut out for us. After checking in Laura, Mary, Molly, and I were given a 20 minute warm up period to get all those big muscles on our legs fired up. We did a few practice runs of "The Thoe" and posed for some beautiful pictures.
We decided that I would ride first, followed by Laura and then Molly, each of us doing 4 minute sets; Mary was charged with finishing out the remaining 6 minutes of our 18 minute set. At least that was the plan. At the event's start, we were not allowed to begin pedaling the bike that our wattage was being recorded on, so when time started and I tried to pedal I was in for a rude surprise. The frat guy pedaling before me might have been a bit stronger than I and he had the resistance dialed up incredibly high. Just to get my legs spinning I was cranking out 350 watts of power...not good for the rest of my 4 minute set. After 3:30 I was feeling the effects of my start and called Laura over to jump on, she got on and pedaled away as I completed "The Thoe." Laura beasted through her 4 minutes before calling to Molly to hop on. Molly spun away for 3:45 before Mary jumped on. With over 6:30 left on the clock, and no possibility to switch riders again, Mary was left to power out the remainder of our time. And that she did!! With lots of encouragement from the rest of us, and legs of steel, Mary chewed up that 6:30 like it was nothing.
After those exhausting 18 minutes were finished the lovely IUSA gentleman quickly looked at our wattage, 227! That was good enough to slot us in at second right behind Teter. As we moved over to the cool down station we were all feeling pretty good about the numbers we had just laid down. Not only that, but we had just put out a higher wattage than two teams that finished higher than us in last year's race!
Throughout the final few teams of the evening, Delta Gamma did manage to knock us down to 3rd place, but that's still a result we're SUPER proud of. We beat some really good teams, and based on how tired we all were the rest of the night, we definitely left everything we had on the bike!!
Plug Out final standings: