Monday, April 27, 2009

"Cheers" [clink]

I was checking up on Dan the Man's blahg the other day, and I saw that one, he changed his color scheme, and two, he had an article about confidence. Which is funny because this past race was my realization that my confidence as a racer has fallen to miserable depths. I'm in a slump.

With this new problem at hand, I went straight to the Bible (Joe Friel's not Gidgeon's) to look up what being in a slump means. But none of what he had to saw seemed pertinent to me. Overtrained? Not really, I don't think. Burned out? Surely not. My love for bikes has never waned. No, its a constant wax. Certainly, there are days when I'm like, "eh...really? Bike riding? Really?" And then I get on my bike and I'm like "Hell yeah, mother fucker!" In other words, my training is going pretty well. Day-to-day I feel great on the bike, and I'm enjoying my little training plan, doing my little hard workouts, and such, but when it comes to the weekend, I'm falling apart.

If you read my last Blahg, I'm obviously having some personal life issues, like boys and teeth rot, but I'm supposed to be a professional. Which means sucking it up and pretending. Or going hard regardless. But I think going into the season on a Singlespeed, getting blown off the back trying to maintain a 90rpm cadence while going nowhere and watching the other girls big ring their way away from me and I start to feel sorry for myself wasn't much of a help in terms of starting the season off on the right foot.

And then at my past race, the Knobscorcher, I broke a chainring, and dropped out because of a mechanical, which is something I've never done before. I guess that was just a matter of time, as mechanicals seem to happen left and right to some people, but I still didn't really appreciate it. I also noticed my head wasn't in it at all, even from the start. I think my bad mental state caused my chainring to break in half. Bad mental stated can ruin anything, especially old chainrings with ovalized bolt holes. Whoops. Should have replaced that.

Then this past race was the SERC in Winder, GA, which I don't even really want to talk about. Some girl came up behind me at some point during the first lap and said, "Kylie! Get your stuff together!" And I realized then and there that I absolutely did not have my stuff together at all for this one. I failed. It was my day of ultimate defeat, my low point on all fronts, from which point, I have decided, I am moving swiftly and deftly up. I'm putting all my little proverbial ducklings back in a row and "getting my stuff back together" and all that jazz.

The boy and I worked it out, defined it for the better, and I think we're both excited. First time in awhile that we're on the same page, which is a big relief, and I'm thinking we can make this happen. So with that settled, and it being rediculously warm out the past few days, and having seem my lady friends while watching folks go real fast in circles at the Twilight Crit, and giving myself a long lecture and pep talk, I'm putting the game face back on.

Alex and I sat outside Jack of Wood for awhile last night talking about everything, then I spilled my guts to him about my race season so far, and how disappointed in myself I am, and he was a big help in the snapping out of it. With his words of wisdom in my head, I headed to the Alma Mater today to go do sprints in Dam Pasture. I could ride the Wilson trails blind folded by this point, but going back to ride them every once in awhile is such a good motivator. Those trails were my stomping grounds during my early developmental years of bike racing, going back and riding them feels like mom making a milkshake when you go home. Which doesn't happen to me, but it might happen to some of you, and so you can relate to that feeling.

Anyway, it's all spring and green out there, and there are baby cows running amok, and I felt really good on my workout and I'm still getting a bit more used to my new bike and things are looking up. I've got another SERC race this weekend (Ducktown) then a couple fun ones (DSG 12 Hr and SSUSA) and then I'm throwing an underground race of my own. I'll let you know the details once I have that figure out.

So's to the feeling of summer. To riding the ol' townie all crickety downtown, watching the sunset with the boy, knowing things are only going up from here. Here's to going fast through the woods. What a fucking good feeling. And knowing I've got a lot to learn, a lot to improve upon, and being excited about all of this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Parts and Pieces

Haven't not written in over a month, I feel like a brief outline of the past few weeks is necessary.

I'm down one boyfriend and one tooth, but for what I've lost in relationships and dental health, I have made up for in bicycles. That's Independent has arrived, and after four hours of building it up (embarrassing, I know...I'm still an amateur mechanic) I have an awesome new titanium micro-bike ( should see the headtube. Tiny!)

Independents, as we all know, are made of recycled robots, and man-oh-man, does it ride nicely. I haven't gotten my protractor out yet, but I think the head angle might be a little slacker, which is probably good for me, considering my downhilling is about as emabarrasing as my mechanical skills. Industry Nine hooked me up with a wheelset, Kevin from Suspension Experts hooked me up with a fork (a Reba, stickered up like a Sid for reasons that are beyond me) and IF got me a bunch of gears and other necessary components. Having not had gears since October or something like that, it's still kind of a neat little novelty. I can sit and pedal over so much stuff again. It's pretty fun. Meanwhile, my singlespeed is in pieces, and I miss it already.

Speaking of in heart is destroyed, again. Boys, ouch. Dang. Emphatic sigh.

Also in pieces was one of my molars, which had to be cut in half before it could be pulled out of my jaw, which was performed all for $20 at the community dental clinic. What a deal!

Funny how pain in my heart makes me want to do nothing but go for long bike rides in the woods, but pain in my mouth makes me want to do nothing but think about the pain in my mouth. I'm spending this morning doing neither and instead trying to find a job. Well, I was trying to find a job until I started writing on this Blahg. Then I might go eat an avacado and go for a road ride. Emphatic sigh.

This weekend is a SERC race in Athens, which will be my first geared race of the season. It's going to be confusing, I can guarentee that. It's also the weekend of the Twilight Crit down there, which has morphed into a Ladies Weekend with a handful of my friends going down there to visit our friend Megs, and spend the weekend cutting up, kvetching, and whatever else it is gaggle of girls do together. I'm excited and I need it.