Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tour of Somerville Weekend

Memorial Day brings on the nation's oldest criterium race.  And, it's right in our backyard!  So, I think that we're pretty lucky to be able to join some of the greatest female cyclists in the nation and the world in racing a gorgeous downtown crit in Somerville, NJ

But first...

The Tour of Somerville is the last of a series of races held each year.  For the first time in as long as I can remember, the Saturday event included a women's field.  Since it's only "up the road" from me here in NJ, I figured that I would give it a go.  So, after staying out a bit past my bedtime on Friday to go see a concert in the city, I drove up to Raritan for the first crit of the weekend.

My legs felt less than stellar on the trainer and even worse when I did some openers on the road.  Still, I thought that they might come around as the race got underway. 

The course was fantastically AWESOME!  It was a 6-corner short lap that looked like this...

The roads were pretty smooth and the corners safe and fast.  We averaged over 24 mph for the 20 mile race and it was super hard.  With a few rockstars in the mix (Laura Van Gilder, Emily Underwood, and Amy Cutler), it was bound to be speedy.  Every time one of them attacked, the elastic would stretch and gaps would start to open up.  Fortunately, I was always able to keep my wits about me and hang in.  At the end, I even had the strength to sprint... for 13th!  LOL!  Hey... I'm a Porkchop, not a Roadrunner.

Monday found BChan, BadKat, Kati, and I lining up for the Tour of Somerville.  I somehow found my way to the front row start line next to Hannah Barnes (the current British criterium champ) and Colleen Hayduk.  I soooo didn't belong there, but whatever. 

The race was fast and pretty smooth, but not particularly punchy.  Though the teams were willing to fight for primes all day long, there weren't any major moves or attacks off the front.  I considered one at one point, but had neither the guts nor the real inclination to give it a go.  With a strong crosswind on the course and the firepower of United Health Care, Colavita, and Fearless Femme out there, it would have been an effort in futility on my best day.  So, I sat in and waited for the finish.

All was well until turn three on the last lap.  Suddenly, a heap of bodies on the ground split the field in two.  We all managed to avoid touching the tarmac, but we all lost contact with the front of the group, pedaling hard to the finish, we were all satisfied with retaining all of our skin and clothing. 

Complete with icees, giant pretzels, and goats... Somerville is truly a great event for both us and the spectators.  Thanks to everyone who was out there yelling and cheering.

Next week, BadKat takes on the Manayunk Wall as she guest rides for Mellow Mushroom at the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic!  GO BADKAT!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Clean as a Whistle

I should have taken before and after photos.  Please don't ask me why I didn't.  Especially considering I normally take a zillion photos of everything (insert pictures of our cats here).  But, in this case, I didn't.  I know, I know...next time.

The reason I should have photographic evidence is that this amazing shout out to one of our newest sponsors would be a LOT cooler - and I mean a LOT cooler - if I had the photos to prove how my bike went from a greasy dirty mess to spotlessly, shiny, hey-did-you-get-a-new-bike clean!

And, it's all thanks to ProGold!  Whoa.  This stuff is RAD.  I've been using the lube for a little while now, which is saying something since I've been a die hard T-9 lube junkie for years.  I've been using the Xtreme lube and I LOVE it.

But, yesterday, I got out the whole kit and caboodle.

I surveyed my options with a keen eye and a strong desire to just start spraying random stuff everywhere!  But, I controlled myself and decided to start simple... some bike wash for the frame and some foaming Citrus Degreaser for the chain, cogs, and other little smarmy areas.  The grease and grime came off so easily, I spent about 10 minutes wondering why I wasted so much time all these years.  No need to scrub with a toothbrush or with any other form of scrubbing tool.  Nope... just a little spray of citrus foam and the grease basically ran away screaming!  It was amazing!

I've used the bike wash a few times before, so I knew how awesome that was... but this was my first experience with the Pro Towels.  One of those got some goop off the frame that's been stuck on there for years!

I'm getting ready to head out for my weekly Monday evening ride.  I'm going to spit shine her with a little Bike Shine and then brag about how wicked awesome this stuff is to whoever will listen (and probably even those who won't)!

ProGold... you ROCK my world!!!