Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting the Hands (and Liver) Dirty

No race report from Sunday this week. Banana Belt #2 was canceled and rescheduled due to inclement weather. Not like I would have made it out there anyways. The BTA Alice Awards were Saturday night. My ride picked my up at 5:30PM. It was almost eleven hours before I got home again.

I've only stayed out all night (or almost all night-that's about as close as I get) twice in the last five years. The first was in September at Interbike, after Cross Vegas and the Sinclair Imports party. A party at which I was drinking jager out of rocks glasses. Full rocks glasses. Three weeks later I was still re-calling (mostly in humorous horror) some of the things that came out of my mouth that night. I also might have threatened to hump Christian Vande Velde's leg when we saw him at the party. I think that last part is just a rumor.

Things were much more subdued for Alice, even though I bought a great new dress and managed to goad almost 20 of my favorite friends into joining me for the evening. A couple of glasses of wine at the fundraiser and a few bourbon rocks at Rontom's after we escaped. No scenes, no intrigue and I laughed a lot, but managed to not say or do anything too embarrassing. Gunderson hasn't posted her pictures, so there might be proof in there of something I don't remember. Closed down both the bar and the Montage with a couple of friends.

Went to bed feeling a bit guilty. I had gotten a few teammates fired up about racing in the morning, and there I was, finally hitting the sack an hour before my alarm was supposed to go off, no intentions of facing the world (or my hair in the mirror) until at least noon.

Christy and I's pleas to the weather gods were answered, however, and I got several text messages around 7 stating that the race had been called off due to snow.

I spent all day thinking about going for a ride, then taking a nap instead. This cycle repeated itself at least five times. I even suited up at one point, but when it started to rain, I laid down on the couch to wait it out. And fell back asleep and dreamed about racing. Woke up exhausted.

Not even the nagging guilt of taking ONE WHOLE DAY off of the bike (my first since the beginning of February) got me motivated again once I found a women's basketball game and an ANTM marathon playing simultaneously. Then I remembered the six-pack of beer I had stashed in the cooler for post-race refreshment. And a Haagen Das bar in the freezer. Any hopes of a productive and healthy Sunday were officially over.

Sometimes a bike racer needs to just be a lazy single party girl.

I made up for Sunday by diving head first into Monday. Lots of work. A short run between hailstorms-my first in weeks and a pounding, aching reminder of why I stopped in the first place. And the highlight-my Gracie's Wrench class with teacher Tori and Heidi.

This was our second class. Last week we learned lever-free flat changes and how to take off and clean our derailleur pulleys. Last night we did brakes. Changed brake pads, tightened and centered the brakes and learned to cut and size cable and housing. Next week is shifting and drive trains. I'll also learn how to true wheels and we're planning on taking an entire class to learn how to un-fuck-up our cross bikes.

I'm loving every minute of it. Tori, Heidi and I get some serious girl time in and I'm learning something. Gone are the days of first looking to a boyfriend, mechanic or whichever sucker on my team is sick of my whining to fix my stuff.

The big lessons: Empowerment=good. Loose brakes=bad. Now go ride.

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