Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Stage Race
Stage 2: 34mi Circuit Race
My favorite quote of the day: "That hill climb was really tough. On one lap, it almost made me cry." - from my favorite junior rider, Nathan, summing up the course.
Well, stage 2 was fairly uneventful. The most memorable moment for me was being the victim of a snot rocket at 30 mph from the rider in front of me. Seriously! But the good news is that I did much better than the time trial, placing 13th in this stage. The bad news is that it only moved me up 2 places in the GC (general classification). We dropped about 15 riders throughout the race, but unfortunately only two of them were ahead of me in the first place, and the rest of us got the same time for a pack finish.
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Stage Race
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Stage Race
Stage One: 10k Time Trial
Foiled! My grand plan to sweep every stage in the race: already foiled in stage 1. Okay, I know that is a pretty big stretch of the imagination, but still, I didn't exactly hope to come in 35th place either. Not a good way to start my first four day stage race. I haven't really practiced time trialling, and have only done one other time trial, over a year ago. And today I remembered why I haven't: they hurt, and they aren't much fun. It's like mountain bike racing, minus the fun. Basically, the winner is going to be not only the person with the most fitness, but the person who is best at staying focused and motivated to suffer the most. I guess I just didn't have that today. Good aero equipment definitely makes a difference too. I was a little jealous of the girls with the special aero TT bikes, funny looking aero helmets, disc wheels, long sleeve skinsuits, etc. But really - even the best equipment and mental state wouldn't have made up for the three minute gap between me and first place - fitness is still the biggest factor I needed more of.
My teammate Anna's plans were foiled also. So here we are, in our nasty smells-like-an-armpit (or dogfood, take your pick) Fitchburg State dorm room, making each other feel better.Okay, so regardless of the race....I'm actually having a really good time here. Since Anna and I are staying in freshman dorm rooms, we are having fun acting like giggly freshman girls again. And it's fun to stay in a place swarming with cyclists.
To the place, I belooooooooooooooong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Country roads, take me home.This song has been ringing through my head for several days now, since I started out my summer vacation this week with a trip to the mountains of West Virginia. This yellow barn (used to house pigs) was converted into living quarters a few years back, and is now a popular escape for DC cyclists. My team came here a couple months ago for a quick training camp, and I've been itching to return ever since. So I was stoked when I found out that I could squander away my first week of summer break with some friends who are even more obsessed with cycling than I am. I loved every minute of it! The barn is at the peak of the mountain, so every ride starts with a fast, fun descent and ends with a killer climb back to the top.
The Honorable, Merciful, and Totally Intimidating Judge Gallahue
Okay, I didn't exactly plan out that I was going to go to court yesterday. Although now I'm absolutely happy that I did. I take a lot of flack for how much I always procrastinate things, and although I'm sure I would save myself a lot of stress if I didn't, in a strange way I sometimes run more efficiently this way. I probably would have just saved myself the hassle and simply prepaid the fine, if I hadn't procrastinated so long that that was no longer an option.
Last month I got a ticket for an "HOV violation" on the 66 Fwy ("Get your kicks, on route 66" - yeah, right!). I think anyone from the west coast, where roads and traffic rules at least make a little sense, can sympathize with me when I say that I never in my wildest dreams imagined that AN ENTIRE FREAKING FREEWAY could be carpool only between the hours of 4:00pm to 6:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Yes, THE WHOLE FREEWAY! Since I currently live in a commuters paradise and never get even close to a freeway normally during the workweek, I had no idea about this rule. Apparently there is a sign which warns you of this right before you enter the on-ramp, but of course you can't really see the sign, because it's mostly blocked by trees until you are already entering. Well, even then I did not notice the sign. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of traffic on the freeway at rush hour in DC, but I had no clue that I was breaking the law, until about 5 minutes later when some cops had set up a road block to catch unassuming fools like myself. I was so confused. The cop could not care less. To make things better, when I had left to go to my car, I put my purse down to grab my mtn bike to hitch onto the car, and accidentally left without it. So I didn't have my license!!! The cop saw how flustered I was about that and at least showed a little mercy in not writing me up for a double violation. And all I wanted to do that day was go for a nice little mtn bike ride.
So, to make a short story long, when there is something that upsets me to deal with, I usually deal with it by not dealing with it. So I placed my traffic ticket onto a heap of other papers that I don't like to acknowledge. Rob kept reminding me to take care of it, but in the back of my mind I didn't want to because I didn't think I deserved it. At the same time, I didn't think I deserved to have to waste my time to go to court about it either. Then came Tuesday night at 11:30 pm, when out of the blue my heart started pounding the way it does when you realize you have forgotten something important, and I suddenly remembered I couldn't put off my indecision about the ticket any longer. I frantically flipped through my mess of papers and found my ticket, which declared that my court date was the very next morning. Uh-oh. That was my school's graduation day. It had become too late to prepay the fine, and too late to ask for a continuance. But the more I thought about it, like h*** was I going to pay that fine. I was going to court, and hopefully it wouldn't take too long so I wouldn't have to play hooky for my school's graduation.
Even though it was already about midnight, I drove back to the freeway entrance to make sure that the sign really was posted poorly. Although it was a pretty enormous declaration, it actually was blocked by trees until you got fairly close.
Okay, here is what I LOVED about court. That judge was so amazingly efficient. And even though he even had everyone who approached him feeling like a bumbling fool, things went smoothly, efficiently, and fast. Everything was right to the point. No fluff allowed in that court. It's almost like having a conversation with Rob! (Note: if this were Rob's story, it would be two sentences long. Something like, "I got a ticket, so I went to court. The judged waived $75 of the fine." I've gone on for several paragraphs, and haven't even gotten to what would be Rob's second sentence.) Anyway, even though he reduced me to a fool, and I didn't exactly present the eloquent case I had in my mind, he also reduced the $125 violation down to a $50 fine. So it was worth my time, and I actually learned and did something new. And I saw how the judge was reducing fines right and left. So, if you have actually made it this far in reading my blog - the whole point of this entry is this: if you get a ticket, GO TO COURT! Even if you are guilty and the judge seems mean and makes you sweat and go anaerobic at the thought of speaking to him. He actually just likes his power, and part of his power is to reduce fines for well-meaning morons like us.
p.s. I even made back for graduation! Thanks Judge Gallahue!
p.p.s. But that was only because I declared myself "guilty with explanation", which allows you to present your case right away. If I had declared myself "not guilty", then I would have had to wait around a lot longer. And since I wasn't really sure which argument to take anyway, I took the one that got me back in time for my job....But, now I wonder what I should have done, if not in the time crunch. Does anyone out there actually know? Perhaps I wouldn't have had to pay anything? Unfortunately, "How to Get Out of a Traffic Ticket 101" wasn't one of Rob's courses at Pepperdine Law School. Go figure. Three years and all that money later, and we still don't even know how to deal with a lame traffic ticket.
Three Weeks and Counting
In case some of you were wondering, "hmm, where will Rob get posted to overseas?" Well, I will find out in about three weeks, and then I will let you know. Here are some of the options:
Seoul, South Korea
Panama City, Panama
Plus, I could get sent some other random place not on the list. Anyway, I really just wanted an excuse to post something and this is the best I could come up with. Tune back in three weeks from now to find out where I am going. Or you could tune back in early to see which race Lorena has either won, or crashed out of!