27 November 2008

You know you're famous when...

So, one of my dearest cousins - the great Shealah Craighead - was "on the record" with Greta last week. Unfortunately, I missed it, but my dad recorded it so I had the pleasure of watching it today. I tried to find the video link, but it's either not online or not easily accessible. The Newsweek blurb with photos can be found here, though: http://www.newsweek.com/id/168845.

Check out photo 3; it's what inspired this post. Aaron and I found quite a bit of amusement in the onslaught of Palin look-alikes, from Tina Fey down to these two girls, who may well have been two of the girls that we saw at the Palin campaign speech in Jeffersonville. Aaron is probably upset that I am publicly admitting that we attended such an event, but, in truth, we actually entirely missed all of the republican festivities and just went to meet up with Shea, who we actually also missed due to some directions that we must've gotten from Obama. Oh well. I'll admit, I, too, got a little caught in the mix. In an attempt to compete with Shealah's artistic abilities, I did the following and sent it to the campaign aficionado herself:

I realize this might cause a shiver down the spine of some of our readers, but it was for Halloween, so I figured that it was spirited regardless of political affiliation; Halloween is supposed to be scary. At any rate, as I was searching for the look-alikes photo, and I found 1,900,000 hits for Palin look-alikes, but none of them were what I was looking for. Apparently, though, according to the Daily News, the "Palin wig" was the best selling Halloween accessory this year; looks like I wasn't the only one caught in the season. (Seriously, though, it's a pretty solid carving, eh?)

So, it's a little creepy to be followed around by children who change their appearance to mirror yours. I should know. While my name might not turn up quite as many hits on a yahoo search (I don't search with google; I just can't dig it), and Mary Craighead wigs probably aren't flying off the shelves yet, I do actually have my own personal super fan. He can be seen here at the USGP Derby City Cup:

As my sister astutely pointed out today, this young man is not only wearing the same Uvex Boss Race helmet and Serfas Force 5+ glasses, but he is also making the exact same facial expression. Weird, right? In a nutshell, be on lookout for my face on a pumpkin this next October.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

23 November 2008

Love the Mud

Well folks, I know that I have been delinquent with my posts on here, but I had a death this past week. My poor little MacTop finally died, and I was forced to use a PC for a bit, and just could not bring myself to type on one for more than a couple sentences. But for all intents and purposes, I'm back with a new MacBook and ready to go.

The last race, as Mary mentioned, was in Lexington, KY. It has significantly cooled off, and rained quite a bit leading up to the race, surely making the racecourse a swamp. Well, I didn't quite get my way. The course had some mud, nothing super thick or really nasty, but it had its fair share of slimy spots. In the two weeks between Gun Club and this race, I really needed a little time to just ride my bike. So out went the interval workouts, and instead, I hopped on the mountain bike. It was exactly what I needed to clear my head and just have fun again. Slowly, but surely I got to know Juan Solo again, my beloved singlespeed, and found that hunger again to race.

So fast forward to Lexington. The conditions were right up my alley; very cold, a little sloppy, and some good technical bits. Once again, I took it too conservatively at the start, letting way too much traffic get in front. I still seem to be nervous about a pack pileup, similar to what happened at Java Johnny's earlier this season. So I just rode too far back, and ended up just sitting in a little group. About halfway through, I dropped one of the guys, and started making my way up a bit. It felt great to be able to stand and go at any given moment, I'd been missing that for a while. With a couple laps to go, I got tired of my tail that had been attached for the race, and sat up on the road to make him get in front. I sat on him until the second corner, and made an attack. It started with a couple seconds, and then I opened it up to about 12 seconds when we got to the next pavement section.

All in all, I felt like a competitor again, and didn't feel out of place. I finished pretty far down, but I had that punch, and that desire to stomp people again. Sometime this year, I lost my desire to pummel people, and I think that has caused me to race much too easy. It figures that we only have 3 or 4 races left...

Anyways, to sum up this lengthy post, I want to announce that I have left the Cycler's Cafe for The Mountain Bike Depot. I will be managing, wrenching, fitting, sales, and just about anything else that might come up. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to bring all of my interests, talents, and abilities to the table. I look forward to making that shop all that it can be, and I hope to make a big impact on the cycling community with it.

22 November 2008

Dear Aaron: Where the heck are you?

[speaker crackle] Aaron, please report to the blog; Aaron, please
report to the blog. [speaker crackle/phone click]

Aaron just got a replacement Mactop (we won't go there; I'm a PC,
too...) So, he should return soon...

Stay tuned.

17 November 2008

Okay, enough of the guilt trip. I didn't race this weekend. I admit it. As Webster put it, "Sometimes life just intervenes." In my defense, it wasn't just that the 3/4 race was at the unGodly hour of 8:00AM. I did wake up around 5:30AM because, as Aaron and I discovered that night, our heaters are really stinking loud. Rather than wasting a perfectly good morning, I got some work done for my classroom. Then, come noontime, we headed east to Veteran's Park. Sort of. Actually, we headed east, south, north, south, then west to Veteran's Park. It turns out that the directions were a little bit sketchy. The bright side, though, was that we were able to scout out a few post-race Mexican restaurants. Plus punkt.

Also in my defense, I emailed Adam Myerson this morning, and he and I are working out some coaching options through Cycle-smart so that next year, I can come out a lot stronger than this first year. I think that with my coming schedule changes, I will have more time for all of this cycling mess (and maybe more for this Mary mess).

I do want to say that I was very proud of AMH on Sunday. That was the best that I've seen him ride. He was nails through the sloppy stuff, and never slowed down through the barriers through the full 60 minutes. I only wish I could have seen more! I, being the stellar girl that I am, spent the full 60 minutes bundled up in a t-shirt, sweatshirt, Millet Sky WDS softshell (Thanks, Todd!), and a big ol' Carhart while standing in the pit with one other lone race supporter, just in case Aaron needed Kermit on the fly. 55 minutes into it, I was really thinking that Aaron might pull in for a bike switch just to humor me... after all, there were 25mph winds... But, he'd put close to a 15 second gap on the guy behind him, so I figured his race was probably a higher priority than my selfish wants.

I almost forgot! Welcome back, Niki! I am hoping to see a whole lot more of you ASAP!

P.S. Rob, if you're tuned in, I have a new project idea... it's going to be SWEET, and it will use some quality materials from three of our greatest sponsors... get stoked!

10 November 2008

What month is this? November. Geez. I moved here to Louisville in mid-May, concurrent with my graduation from undergrad down in Atlanta. I am pretty sure that I started working at the Trail Store the day after I graduated, making this the first summer spent away from the Great State since I started college fourish years ago.

To add to this whirlwind, this is my first season racing 'cross, which happens to be concurrent with my first year of teaching. 7th grade - Language Arts, Literacy, and Science. And my first year of grad school at U of Louisville (go Cards). Fortunately, I've gotten hooked up with some pretty solid folks here in the bluegrass, and I am keeping my head above water (mostly). David Jones and Koleman Karleski at Chrysalis Ventures essentially built the roof over our metaphorical little cyclocrossing heads in about a two-week time frame; they (and we) are uber lucky to have Sarah Givan on our side processing all of the paperwork and dollar signs; she is super quick and efficient, and without her, my guess is that none of this would have been done in time for this season. I am still new to all of this, but I am willing to bet that it normally takes a whole lot longer than three months to build an entire program. Just a hunch.

Aaron mentioned the Gaerne shoes being a great asset, and I'm not disagreeing, but I think the single best thing that has happened to my riding since I first hopped on a bike 17 years ago is the Kentuckiana Allergy Group - specifically Dr. Damin. I was becoming very frustrated and jaded this summer because I felt like no matter how I trained, I just kept getting slower and slower on my bike. Then, I spent most of August, September, and the beginning of October with a rat's nest of sinus infection and strep.

Then came the hives. Like a Tsunami. During a three day UCI weekend in Cincinnati. So, our buddy Jeff sent me over to Dr. Damin, and all I can say is wow. As it turns out, I am horribly allergic to grasses (all of them), ragweed, cats (no loss to me), goldenrod (the state flower...), dust mites of all shapes and sizes, and several trees. Great. You could imagine what my exposure level to all of these is like as a cyclist (who rides outside...). At any rate, I'm all medicationed up, and I am riding a whole heck of a lot better than I have all year, which has renewed my love for riding. I squeaked in just outside the top 10 in the 3/4 races at the USGP last month, so I am hoping that with continued allergy control and training, I will make a decent showing at nationals in December.

That said, I've got to get outside before it gets too dark... my night vision is terrible.

09 November 2008

In the Midst

Hello All, you join us in the middle of our first cyclocross season as Chrysalis Ventures Racing. Mary and I have been hitting up our regional series OVCX, which includes some big league UCI races.

We have really poured ourselves into this program and have had great feedback and results from our relationships that we've forged. Its been nice to shake up the local community with some fresh influences and product. I think my favourite new addition is Gaerne shoes. They are the first shoes that really support my entire foot. They have a nice snug feel, with super-trick locking straps on, and nice aluminum ratchet. All of this pales in comparison to the PRO red and white finish.

This weekend became a nice R&R weekend, with a couple nice MTB rides and some cooler temps. We had an awesome breakfast today at a great local place in downtown Louisville. It's called Toast, and is much more than a couple slices of bread with butter. They have the absolute best french toast, eggies, and hashbrown casserole. It felt good to fill our bellies with food that tasty. It was a great week to just take it easy and enjoy the nice fall weather.
This next weekend we travel to Lexington, KY to another OVCX Series race. I've never raced there, so that always makes for an exciting weekend. We'll both be ready to go, and I know I'm praying for rain.
Stay tuned folks, from time to time we'll check in and keep everyone updated, and we'll try to share some of the cool products from our sponsors that we are so lucky to have.

Test Post

Ooh, the powers of technology. Let's see if this works!