The Curse of Memorial Day Weekend (dum-dum-dum!)
It was a dark and stormy night.
Really, it was.
Last night I couldn't make up mind about driving out to New Jersey for a bike race. Rob reminded me of my vow last year to stay indoors around the time of Memorial Day. I reviewed some history in my mind.
4 years ago, Memorial day - collision, bike vs. car. Six broken ribs, punctured lung, 9 days in the hospital.
3 ye
ars ago, Memorial day - crash, mtn bike vs. rocks. Over-the-handlebars endo into a pile of rocks. Bruises and enough blood to make my leg the main attraction to every fly, gnat and mosquito in the park.
2 years ago, Memorial day - crash, bike vs. pavement. During the Long Beach Memorial Day bike race, the girl directly in front of me went down, bringing me and four other girls drafting directly behind her down like dominoes.
1 year ago, the week of Memorial day - collision, bike vs. car. 3 days in the hospital. Lots of time spent in rehab.
This year, Memorial day - crash, bike vs. pavement. I actually had a bad feeling yesterday that I would be in a crash today, but I figured I was just being superstitious, so I ignored it and drove to Jersey for the race.
(Yes, Becca, I was in Jersey! It was all I could do to keep from calling you at what would have been four in the morning your time to tell you.) Well, with only one and a half laps left in the race, the speed was really heating up, and two girls clipped wheels right in front of me and did a spectacular, bikes thrown up into the air crash. It was unavoidable for me to ride right over the Lipton girl (double ouch for her!) and do a superman onto the pavement myself. Luckily, I landed about as nicely as you can going 25 mph onto asphalt, and only suffered a jammed wrist, swollen cherries on my knee and hip, some road rash, and *omigosh* a broken nail. The Advil girl broke her collarbone, and the Lipton girl's wounds were so bad she had to go to the hospital to get them dressed. So I was lucky, all in all. But still, jagged broken nails are so annoying. The worst was just not being able to finish the race. I felt absolutely FABULOUS today, like I could take over the world (Pinky and the Brain, anyone?), and instead all I did was drive back home with a good case of road rash.
So, maybe next year I'll just stay in bed on Memorial Day.

In response to Rob's blog about the Bike Jam race, the reason I was in last place for several laps was because I got behind a crash in that race also. I was able to stay upright by riding off the road and grabbing onto a fence, but then it took what felt like forever to catch back up to the main group. I don't know what my deal is with Memorial Weekend.
And just to clarify Rob's statement about my performance in his blog - as long as we're making opportunistic generalizations, I think we should equate 9th in one measly race to 9th best in the entire universe. At everything. Man, I'm always having to correct him!


Another Race Report: Bike Jam/Kelly Cup

Well this has sort of become the Lorena race report blog, but I will write this one. Lorena got 9th in a ginormous national race. So basically she is the 9th fastest girl in America. She got off to a bad start and I was thinking "what in the world are you doing?" Basically she was in last place for the first couple laps, and there were about 90 girls in the race, so last out of 90...not too hot. But she made up for it in the end and was awesome.

If you click on this link you can see her name in the results:
So, my reports are shorter then Lorena's since I don't actually ride in the races. Maybe she will post a longer one later.


Quick Update
Okay, here is a quick update to satisfy the appetite of all my hungry blog fans, who are starving for another peek into the life of Rob and Lorena. Here is a peak into our delicious lives of late.

Yes, that is Bill Clinton. Right here at the Potomac School. I don't even want to know how much money we forked out to have him come speak at our dedication day. I mean, he was a great speaker and all. He even inspired our students to work on starting the first school initiated NGO. All I'm saying is that perhaps we could have taken the school on a field trip to the Bahamas instead. We should have voted on this.

A few highlights of the last several weeks:
  • Poolesville road race: I got in a breakaway with one other rider from another team. Here's how the team tactics played out. There were a few attacks (riders who suddenly spring away from the main group, trying to get a lead), but the main group caught back up to them. A trick is to get teammates to launch consecutive attacks - once the group sprints to catch up, another teammate attacks again right away, and after a few of these in a row, generally the main group will be too tired to catch up right away, and *wha-la*, a breakaway forms. I launched an all out sprint right after the field caught up to my teammate Jen and her breakaway group. After a couple miles, another girl also broke away from the main group and joined me up ahead. We still had about 27 miles of racing left, so it was in both of our best interest to work together to keep our lead over the chasing field. We took turns "pulling" (riding into the wind and doing the hard work to go fast) and "drafting" (riding right behind another rider to decrease wind resistance, save energy, and get in a so-called rest for a few seconds before pulling again). Working together we were able to maintain our lead to the finish line. And our teammates, in back with the rest of the field, tried to get in the front and make it go slightly slower so they wouldn't catch us. This is called blocking. The really, really fun part about being in a breakaway like this is that you are working in alliance with someone you are ultimately competing against. So you never know when that person might launch a sudden attack and try to outsprint you. Well, I decided I wanted to try to get rid of her on a hill climb (my relative strength). One second we were taking our turns drafting, and the next, before she knew it, I was up ahead on an all-out sprint to beat her. The only problem with this is that we were still about 2 miles away from the finish, and once the hill climb leveled out, she caught up to me and got in my draft. Now, the rest of the racers were still way behind, so we didn't have to worry about them. So once she caught up, we slowed down to a crawl. Neither of us wanted to be in front to allow the other person a free draft to the finish, where they would then have more energy to sling around last second and win. So we poked along very, very slowly - just keeping an eye on each other's every move. Finally, my impatience got the best of me. The finish line was only a couple hundred meters ahead, and I jumped for it. She caught me in the last couple meters and won the race. Shoot! But that was one of the most fun races I've done - consuming both my legs and my brain.

Pic#1: Working together in our breakaway

Pic #2: HPC/List teammates before a race

  • Amy's visit: Amy, Rob's sister, flew out for a few days. It was a lot of fun hanging out with her and Brittany, looking at wedding dresses and talking about all the details for Brit's upcoming wedding this summer. I would have pictures of this, too, if photographers would only place themselves strategically in my everyday life the way they do at my races.

  • Mount Saint Mary Criterium: Two girls broke away early on in this race. Once it looked like it would stick, I also jumped the field, along with two more girls, to join the breakaway. The five of us worked together the rest of the race to stay in front of the main field, and it came to a sprint finish between us. I came in second. I'm not so hot at sprinting. But the good news is, I beat the girl who beat me in the sprint at the last race. And I got my upgrade to Cat 2. Yay!

  • On The Rocks at French Creek: FUN mtn bike race. Camped out in Pennsylvania for this one. There's just something I love about camping. I have lots to say about this one, and most likely no one cares to read yet another stinking race report. But if so, I posted a blog about this on my mtn bike team website, I'm still nursing wounds from two crashes onto the rocks at this race.

You may wonder what Rob is up to. Clearly, this blog is all about me. Most people with blogs write about how cute their kids are, or what their families are up to, or current events, or whatever. Well, not me. If Rob gets around to posting any time again soon, perhaps you can hear all about him! But here's the skinny: He has gotten to take some trips to NY for work, and he loves those trips. He plays soccer, runs and bikes. And he is my number one supporter at my races, my personal soigneur. I'm still trying to convince him to take the job as my personal massage therapist, but he hasn't signed the contract yet. Not even for $500/hour!


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