016 Hoagies and Fries

Our car smells like hoagies and fries again. You know what that means, another great weekend of cyclocross racing has occurred. It has become a bit of a ritual for BA and I to enjoy rest stop veggie hoagies and french fries on our Sunday post race drive home. Something about a long weekend of racing, riding like a fool with drool coming out of your mouth, and you butt cheek hanging out of a ripped skinsuit that makes french fries taste all that much better. 
This past weekend the MAC Series wrapped up with races #10 and #11 in Long Island. What a great MAC season, great turn out, great courses, great promoters, great officials, great racers, great people. 

I took the line on Saturday with a stacked B-women's field. I was fresh from a weekend off racing. Last weekend I bought this book shelf and made BA built it. He pulled a muscle building it. Our books are off the floor now, even this Dewey Decimal book.
The B-women go off, I really need to work on my starts. I felt like I didn't have enough room on the start grid. BA says I need to make room, that's what elbows are for. We hit the grass and I kept trying to move up. I'm not in good position. Around the first corner the rider in front of me eases up ever so slightly, I try to go around. Our wheels rub. I think that's okay these things happen but then BAM I'm over her wheel and BAM I'm falling into a rider to my left and then BAM I'm on the ground. I hit the ground and rolled like 5 feet from my bike and unknown to me my skinsuit ripped and my left thigh, butt cheek was hanging out. 

The cheers today were awesome. I rode my butt off and apparently showed everyone. I also may have not been so nice to some folks. Let's face it in a class of sandbaggers those who actually want to get upgrade points are fighting for every spot every race. 9th B-women. 

BA rode to 8th today. Dinner was delicious. Hotel was bed bug free. What more could you ask for?

Sunday BA and I both rode to 6th in our fields.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. I made the pecan pie and green bean casserole. The family mentioned they hadn't seen us in awhile. BA and I tried to explain the cross season and how many races we've been doing. Maybe next year with races going into January we'll be around some more weekends in the fall. 

I rode on the back patio on Wednesday night. Fearing the darkness and Thanksgiving travelers I decided to stay off the roads. I think Danger Scout would approve. Our patio light created this eerie shadow of me across the back yard. The neighbors probably think I'm nuts. 

Today we are heading up to Sterling MA for the NACT Finals and some New England Cross Racing. PA States is tomorrow. If your a resident of PA or any state for that matter you should go. BA decided 4 years of the PA State Championship Title was good and this year we should try out a new race.

I'm off to ride the trainer in the basement now... gearing up for a winter of staring at the basement wall. 

015 Episode XV

I'm behind, I wrote this 2 weeks ago and never posted. Enjoy.
Two weeks have flown by and 4 more races are done, until next year!
This Halloween C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes busted out the top secret special skinsuits.

Stormtroopers are the personal army of Darth Auer and of his commanders. They are portrayed in collective groups of varying organizational sizes ranging from squads to legions, and, for some, their armor and training is modified for special operations and environments. The troopers' most distinctive equipment is the white battle armor they normally wear. 

Two weeks ago BA and I headed over to New Jersey for MAC Race #7 Beacon and #8 Highland Park. Beacon has always been good to me, especially last year. The course is usually the same. Fast flat sandy trails, a beach run, the amphitheater of pain, barriers right after a turn, nice uphill road finish. I was expecting to have a decent to good day. This is what happens when you start expecting in bike racing. A bad start, I thought I'll sit in for a moment and continue to move up. When I decided to move I got pinched in a turn. I kept trying to move up the entire race, but ended up the 14th B Women. 

BA and I are having some serious regrets about being the "house with the light out" on Halloween. Sorry kids I just didn't have time to get candy. They spared the eggs and TP this year. Thank Gawd.
Highland Park Mac Race #8, I might have said "I never have a good ride here". Well that's what happens when you start expecting in bike racing, sometimes you surprise yourself. The course has got some climbing and tricky turns. I had my climbing legs ready. Another bad start, but I didn't give up. I just kept keeping on and being aggressive until the end. 5th B Women, my best Highland Park. 

BA had two nice rides to 9th and 10th. 
I've got to give a shout out to the C3 elite women's team. Cleaning up the podium at the past 4 MAC races is not a feat to take lightly, rock on!
Last weekend was my first trip up to NOHO, Northampton Mass, for the 20th annual Cycle-Smart International. I was pumped because I'd never been and BA was pumped to check it out again. It was awesome; fun course, great people, super organized, totally rad. Thanks to Skinny Craig, Beth and the family for letting C3- Athletes Serving Athletes crash their house. You can't turn away darksider Fat Marc and Monkey cause their family, but to host and cook for the rest of us was super cool. 
Once again I'm so proud of my B gals, 75 strong starters. The numbers in our races just keep increasing, it really is awesome. Even in the MAC we've had a solid 40 strong most races. 

Starting 5th row was a challenge that I accepted and concurred fairly well. 25th day 1 and 22nd day 2. I just kept trying to move up through the field the entire race, and had some of my best last laps of the year. I must say it really was awesome to get the feeling of a giant pack of racers behind you while your trying to bear down on the giant pack of racers in front of you. I did find myself in no mans land most of the time but only because I refused to settle for the pack I was with and kept trying to move up. 

BA had a respectable ride to 12th on Day 1 and an awesome ride to 6th on Day 2. The piece of snot running out of his nose on Day 2 was rock awesome. Skinny Craig mentioned if he just licked the snot it might act as some sort of power gel / cliff shot for added energy. Something to consider for the future.
I'm now more in love with New England Cross than ever. Spectating Gloucester in 2004 inspired me to race. Racing NOHO in 2010 has reminded me that cross is boss. 


014 Reality

The reality is it has been a tough week. The mid season tiredness has crept into my legs and soul. A co-worker has been let go due to lack of work. Lay-offs are looming large above all our heads. This lay-off has created more work for me. I'm really not sure if it's good or bad, but I just keep showing up and collecting a pay check. I hope with all my heart this lay-off goes better than the last one.

The USGP in Kentucky last weekend was okay. Perhaps I was expecting more, but the venue and course did not seem ready for a world championship event. The week has cost us two broken shifters, a gore cable, a sliced tubular, and a lot of sleep. On the bright side Bad Andy got caught in this pretty sweet photo.

I'll stop bringing you down. I'm looking for the bright side. Negative energy out and positive energy in. I'm excited to race my bike this weekend. Mac Races #7 and #8 Beacon and Highland Park.

Have you seen the time traveler caught talking on a cell phone in this clip. Kinda funny.


013 Battle Scars

 This weekend was the Granogue cyclocross race, MAC races #5 and #6. The queen of the MAC GRRRanogue. Did you know in 2005 at my first Granogue while pre riding the course in the foggy misty morning I was so scared of this course that I went to the car and didn't race. Yes it was my 3rd race ever but I don't think I'll ever live that one down. My best Granouge finish came in 2008, 6th place B Women. That year the course was dry and swoopy, the barriers were near the rooty tree, the climb to the water tower was fast and powerful and it was a sunny crisp fall day. I was having one of those rare days when it felt like my legs could do anything. I attacked on every hill on the first lap and tried to maintain. I often think about that day, I attacked the course with vengeance, I had something to prove to myself, I wasn't scared.

Did you know after two years of trying I have never finished the Granogue mountain bike race. That's another story for another time. This year the Granogue cross race celebrated 10 years and it's first double up weekend with two new courses. Did you know Bad Andy has been at every Granogue Cross for the last 10 years.

Saturday's course offered a downhill slalom from the water tower, a rideable backside hill, and a random sandpit in the woods. I ripped the start finding myself in decent position after the first corner. As we approached the sand pit I was ready for anything. I left a little room to the rider in front just in case things got crazy. Good thing, there was a pile up. As people parted sorting out themselves and bikes, a path was cleared for me to continue rolling with out the need to dismount. Score. Up the next hill I desperately tried to attach to the group in front of me. Through the barriers I attempted to make up more time because I new I needed a wheel on the windy road section. Well this failed completely, I wrecked on my remount and cut my knee on my bike. There's a first for everything. The knee didn't hurt just a little bloody, I kept going.

Bad Andy Granogue Cross
Then my seat decided it wanted to be pointing at the sky and not level. I was near the pit and knew BA's bike was in there for me. My first pit, while searching for the bike a couple more spots were lost, I kept going. Finished 15th out of 46 starters in the B Women. It turns out i needed four stitches in my knee. Thanks to RKL and LVG for accompaniment and car to the medical clinic post race.

BA had a good ride, although 11th is the the worst spot in a UCI C2 race, no UCI points. For a good majority of the race he was in a group of 8 or so. I think one of the biggest groups I've seen in a cross race that stay together for awhile.  

Bad Kat Granogue Cross
I'm somewhere in this cluster.
Sunday morning I didn't know if my knee would let me race. I almost broke down before leaving the house. BA talked me through it. The plan was to ride around and see how it felt. Upon arrival I forgot about my knee. I started riding and forgot about it even more. I was excited to see what new surprises and challenges the course had to offer. Sunday's course gave riders a run up backside hill (BA and some others rode it), a tough ride up to the water tower and a downhill remount after the run up. I killed the start attempting to attach to the top four. As I made my way down the hill from the water tower I was desperately searching for a place to recover. A few people passed me. I kept fighting for positions knowing that I was running down the downhill re-mount section. I was lame today because I was thinking about my knee. I passed people on the tricky turn before the road. I was really suffering during this race and it seemed like everyone just kept passing me, so on the last lap when I was passed on the water tower hill I attached myself to the wheel and sprinted for 10th out of 46 starters in the B Women.

BA had a inspirational ride to 6th. He rode the backside hill and when the crowd went nuts it fueled his fire. Check out his post race interview.

This weekend we head south to Kentucky for the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross. We are both excited to see what the Kentucky Cyclocross Scene is all about.


012 Yesterdays Skinsuit

Bad Kat Friday
Searching for more gears.

This past weekend BA and I headed west to the triple up cyclocross race known as the Cincinnati UCI 3. We met up with fellow C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes teammates and friends to concur the Ohio Valley CX Scene. It was hot and dusty. Not your typical cross race weather. I brought the camera, it never left the car.

Friday's race course greeted us with some challenges. Loads of climbing. It was definitely one of the toughest cross courses I've done. I've never wished so badly that my 38 lil chain ring was a 36. The 42 saw no action except for the start. Monkey and I found each other on the last lap. I yelled to her as she passed. "I hate this course with every fiber in my being" she started laughing and said "I think I'm gonna puke". It was awesome to have a teammate to share that moment with. We finished together, still in the top ten. No disrespect to Friday's course designers, just not my cup of tea. That one hurt, but everyone is still talking about it. Shout out to DeeDee who took 3rd in the elite women's race way to crush it.

Bad Kat Saturday
What a difference a day makes.

 Fueled up on Thai food and donuts we set out for Saturday's race. The race course is in a smallish park in the middle of a neighborhood. I wish my neighborhood had a cross race, jealous. The course was wicked fast, loads of turns, ups and downs. I breathed a sigh along with most of the team. I loved every single moment, so much so, instead of warming up on the trainer I just road the course. Sometimes the first race is nice. 6th B women. BA had a solid ride to 14th again.

On Sunday as we set up camp at the venue, and I started looking over the clothes I had left. I really wanted to wear a skinsuit. They make me feel fast. It was dirty. I only wore it for an hour yesterday I thought giving it a sniff, not to bad. Maybe my stink would deter someone from riding my wheel the entire race. Monkey and I both agreed we would wear yesterday's skinsuit. Sometimes at a bike race you just gotta do what you gotta do and not think twice about it.

Bad Andy Saturday
Lucky 13

My legs hurt, but I sucked it up and rode the uphill sand because I knew it would be badass. BA went crazy. It made me smile. Hey, I passed three people running. The last lap I again rode the sand. Probably a mistake, I made it through but totally felt it and suffered through the last lap. Didn't have a good finish. Oh your passing me on the finish straight by all means please go ahead. Not good. 8th B women. Sorry Ohio I dropped the F-bomb (at the railroad tie mulch thing) and the S-bomb (weird uphill tree turn) during this race, I sometimes get a potty mouth during racing, not at racers but at obstacles (trees, roots, rocks, etc.) they don't have feelings.

BA rocked it to 13th like his number. UCI points for the Class I race. He road the uphill sand a couple laps to pass people, but not every lap. On the laps he wanted to rest he ran. He's smart.

Fat Marc and Monkey as always great hotel roomy's. LVG always crushing it with a pair of seconds, nice. C3-Athletes Serving Athletes, what a great weekend in Cincy, Outhio. Granogue this weekend, MAC races #5 and #6. Find me selling t-shirts to chat or buy one. All the cool kids are wearing them.


011 A Tale of Two Races

Bad Donkey likes new home.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the season of cyclocross. 
On Saturday Bad Andy and I headed down to northern Maryland for MABRA Race #2 supporting breast cancer awareness. Good cause bad directions. BA and I got so unbelievably lost we almost gave up on the race and went home. We were on a tour of the Gettysburg battle fields and not headed to a race. Seriously. If not for a quick call to Fouche who is semi local and was able to point us in the right direction we would have bagged the race. We owe him one.

I would like to just skip over my race on this day entirely. I was ready. Third to the mud at the start. Then it all went wrong. Apparently I wasn't ready for the mud, the slog of a climb. I tried to make up where I could, it was too late. I'm proud I stuck it out. I knew what was happening and I tried to adjust my riding style, but was glad when I finished. I held it together for the most part. 7th in the Cat. 3 women's field.

BA had another nice ride to 4th in the Elite Men's Race. Battling with Bishop. I'm told they both found a secret concrete gutter along the really muddy off camber section. Everyone else thought it was a stream. BA took the line through the mud, Bishop was pushed into the stream, when Bishop discovered it was concrete he attacked. Later BA used it to attack Bishop. Those crazy elites. BA had his number on the wrong side the entire race. He was rider X. The officials where really nice about it.

On Sunday we headed over to New Jersey for the Hillbilly Hustle v.5 put on by Breakaway Bikes. I new things where right with the world when we got out of the car and heard G n' R blaring on the race course. I breathed deep, and exhaled letting the previous days bad race float away into the Jersey breeze, this was gonna be a great race. The course is flat, sandy, loads of turns, a giant dirt pile, and some fast tricky sections.

Bad Kat Hillbilly Hustle
Yeah I'm holding my breath.
I pre rode a bunch, it calmed me to know the course inside and out. On the pre ride I saw the log natural barrier. I saw the way around. The log wasn't that big. I've been practicing log hopping this summer on the mountain bike (I usually slam into them and hope my mountain bike suspension does me a favor). On the mountain bike this log is a no brainer a bump in the trail. On the cross bike it's a different story. I rode up to it twice in warm up until I finally found the confidence and over it I went. Not bad. The first lap I hopped the log and the one spectator in this section went crazy. That was all I needed, I railed it every time the rest of the race. I hung onto the wheel of two chicks that have been racing elites since I started racing like it was my life's mission. 5th in the elite women's field. 

Bad Andy rode like a rock star to WIN his first Hillbilly Hustle. He's been there since the inaugural race, except for last year when we made the trek up to Gloucester for New England Worlds. Not this year kids, we were pumped to get hustled. He signed a few autographs and posed for some fan pictures post race. Didn't I tell you this is a great race. 
The best part is the super Bad Donkey trophy Bad Andy won created by Warren Holzman. It found a good home. Thanks to everyone who had a part in the Hustle. It really is a gem. Alright, I'll stop now.

Elite Men's Podium Hillbilly Hustle
With the high of the great race going I may not have been slightly negligent with the bike rack. As we crossed the Delaware Memorial Bridge we heard a rustling up top. I looked over to see BA's brand new bike dangling off the side of the car held by the wheel strap. My heart sank. We made our way the the right side of the bridge desperately searching out a pull off. The drop out is slightly damaged, everyone seems to concur it's not structural. 
This weekend we head out to Cincinnati Ohio for the three day race weekend. The bikes will be inside the element for this trip. What's better then a cross race? A day off work. Can't wait. 


010 Ebb and Flow

This past weekend BA and I headed due east to the Whirly Bird Cyclocross Race put on by Guys Bicycles Racing, MAC series race #4. This was a new race for both of us. In previous years this was a PACX series race that we never raced. This year as MAC Race #4 we were excited to check out a new course and venue. The course was located on the Bryn Athyn college campus. Indoor bathrooms and changing areas were a plus. We met up with fellow hardcore MAC racing C3-Athletes Serving Athletes Teammates. The unfortunate MABRA / MAC series same day double up made for a team split and only one day of racing in the Mid Atlantic region.

Bad Kat Whirly Bird
I look ready to steamroll.
We took the day off from racing as a blessing in disguise. We had a much needed house cleaning and hair cut date. Yeah, hair cut dates are awesome, I know what your thinking old married couple right, but between work, training and racing time is precious, and now we don't look quite as scruffy.

The course ebbed and flowed, I was looking for total flow. It was fast, but then it was slow. I dug it, parts of it, most of it, something was off.  I had a decent result, 8th in the 3/4 women's field with 40 plus at the start, but I didn't I ride the way I know I can. I didn't have the punch, the explosion out of the corners, the confidence, I used my brakes on the downhill, I was off. I raced hard. I had fun. 

Bad Andy Whirly Bird
BA's ready to prance

I had a pretty impressive save into the barriers near the finish on the first lap. I was standing on the left pedal ready to dismount when my foot slipped off. I was still holding onto the bike. One hand on the handle bars and the other of the top tube as I was drug on my knees across the grass. The bike was still rolling upright. I managed to find my feet before the barrier and ran over like nothing happened. Someone it the crowd said it was a nice save. If you have to biff the least you can do is impress a spectator with the save.

Bad Andy had a nice ride to 4th in the Elite Men's field. I don't need to tell you it's hard racing "pro's" when you stand all week teaching youngsters and the day before the race you were cleaning the bathroom instead of resting the legs, but BA and Witwer (who took 3rd of Team ALAN) rocked it.

Elite Mens Podium Whirly Bird
Bad Kat Photo

I'm hoping this past weekend was an ebb race and I'll find my flow in the coming races. This weekend BA and I head down to MABRA Race #2 supporting breast cancer awareness and then over to Jersey for The Hillbilly Hustle v.5. We missed the Hustle last year and are excited for v.5. If you haven't done the hustle yet this is the year to check it out. Seriously there's nothing more rad than a dirt pile. The Hustle is grass roots racing at its best.


009 Perfect Ten

Bad Kat C3CX
This weekend C3-Athletes Serving Athletes teammates and friends met up at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore Maryland to put on a little double up race know as Charm City Cyclocross, MAC races #2 and #3. Into the night numbers where stapled and prizes were sorted with care. We arose at o'dark-thirty to set-up, stake and tape a new course. We took our positions as the sun rose and the masses of racers began to arrive. I'm proud to be part of this team, this race, this community.

At one point I saw a racer from the bike community filling in a course marshal spot. No they hadn't volunteered before hand, but wanted to lend a hand.

Saturday's slightly more technical course was brand spanking new. The C3 courses always have a little bit of everything; turns, berms, hills, pink stairs, three dismounts, and a sand pit. The 3/4 women took off with 40 some at the start. I had a good start, but felt like the entire first lap was a battle for position. Finally settling in a little I carved through the course letting it rip where I was confident and pushing through the straights. I lost a place on the line, my sprint wasn't there this weekend.

Monkey C3CX
 I'm so glad this chick is back on the race course. Are we going to continue our pre-race sexy jean lap when it's muddy?

 Sunday's course was back to the traditional with some tweaks. Again the 3/4 women took off with around 40 at the start. I pushed the first lap trying to make up for a rider that made me brake check at the first corner turn transition from pavement to grass. Riding steady and railing the sand I was tired and not riding all that smart. The suffer fest on the pink stairs was made up for in the turns, swoops and dips in the next section.

We raced our hearts out running on empty. For my efforts I received 10th place both days in the 3/4 women's field. Two perfect tens. As a young gymnast I strived for a ten. Now I channel my gymnastic vault background every time I leap on that railroad tie at the Wippermann wip around tree. My best results yet at Charm City Cyclocross.

Bad Andy C3CX

Bad Andy had a rock 'n ride to 7th in Saturday's elite men's field. I didn't see the entire race but in the last half he just started moving on up. He's raking up those UCI points. Yeah he was also number 7 and got 7th last weekend at Nittany. Weird.

The fun continues this weekend at Whirly Bird, 9-26-10 MAC Race #4.

If you haven't heard this is one tough cookie! Hope the bums better.

Rock C3CX


008 The Lion Crater

Bad Andy Nittany Lion
Remember how to dive into every corner, remember how to suffer, remember how to run, remember how to sprint, remember how to race cyclocross, remember 9 years ago. This year the first race of the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross calendar landed on 9-11-10, every September 11th I take a moment to remember. 

Bad Kat Crater Cross
It was a beautiful fall Thursday morning the sky was brilliant blue filled with puffy white clouds. I was a college student sitting in a 9am world history class when the professor was called out of the room. We were studying the middle east, the professor lived in Turkey for a time. He came back in the room, "We are under attack, the US is under attack". Dumbfounded I returned to my dorm room to watch, with my roommates, as the towers fell. 
Nittany Lion Cyclocross took place on the grounds of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown Pa. I heart this venue. Indoor bathrooms, showers, changing area, concession stand, track racing, warm up park all in one place. You can't help but feel the energy of a place where Olympians and professional cyclists train. The course is a roadie / power / traditional cross course. It rocked, as soon as you were thinking is this power section over yet, there would be a turn or swoop or root. I took 4th in the 3/4 women's field, best MAC result yet.

Bad Kat Nittany Lion
C3-Athletes Serving Athletes had a great turnout. We greeted old friends as we swooped nervously through the dusty corners remembering what cross is all about. The newbie's experienced what we had been talking about all year, and the veterans were all back for more. We won some, we lost some, we represented.

Concrete Crater Cross a PACX Series Race on Sunday 9-12-10 was at the same venue as the day before. The course was run backwards from Nittany Lion. The root section was a little tougher slightly uphill, but the overnight and morning rain made for superb traction. I found out the knobs near your tire side wall can really save your ass. Around lap 4 of the 6 lap race I had a moment of clarity that only pure suffering can bring. As I rolled over the mulch pile and dove into the corners leading up to the roots I thought to myself, race like it's the last race of the season, no regrets, and I dug a little deeper.
BA and I had a great first weekend. As I sit here typing my legs are screaming at me, I'm still sneezing out lion dust and every single muscle is a little sore, but I'm still smiling.

Charm City Cyclocross next weekend baby! MAC races #2 and #3. See you there. 


007 Mock Thursday

This summer I was having some serious sandwich dinner cravings. They're easy and don't require the use of any heat source. Great weeknight meal after a long ride.
A couple of years ago I started a vegetarian diet. It's a long story involving some chickens blah, blah, blah, the ethical treatment of animals, blah, blah, blah, but really sans the chicken story I probably would have ended up vegetarian. Did I love ribs, yes, but does my stomach and digestion now thank me, yes. Do I miss meat, no.
This has become one of my favorite sandwich spreads. It's called Mock Tuna Salad. It cracks me up when vegetarian recipe names reflect our meat eating days, but really it kind of tastes like tuna.
2 14oz cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
dollop of mayo (I use canola oil mayo)
generous squirt of spicy brown mustard
2 spoons sweet relish
3-4 scallions chopped (green onions)
salt and pepper (I usually leave this out, there is plenty of salt in the beans)
Drain and rinse the beans. Mash with a fork. Add mayo, mustard, and relish. Stir. Too dry add some more mayo to the constancy you prefer. Add chopped scallions. 

Even if one meal a week is vegetarian it can make an impact on your health and the environment. Go ahead try it. This recipe makes about 5 sandwiches. Enjoy. 


006 Five...Six...

Bad Kat Beacon 2005
The first race in the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross (MAC) series will take place on 9-11-10 with Nittany Lion Cross. Five years to the date that I bought my first USA Cycling License, so will begin my sixth season of racing cyclocross. I'll toe the line with fellow C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes teammates to start an exciting 2010 season. With a US Cyclocross Worlds date on the books we stand at the edge of a precipice.

Bad Andy Charm City 2005
I flash back to my first cross race and second bike race ever; Charm City Cyclocross 2005, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore Maryland. That first year I was on the receiving end of some serious ass kicking. Tipping the scales 30 lbs over weight, no race experience, lacking technical skills and fitness, I found myself lapped nearly every race and DFL on occasion. I persevered. Something was driving me. The love of cyclocross. The cheers of friends. I think back to the person I was and wonder if the person I am now would stick it out. Absolutely.

Bad Kat Charm City 2009
To date cycling has brought me one of my proudest achievements. Those skinny jeans I've been toting around for a couple years, yeah they're too BIG. Now don't take this the wrong way, it's not about losing weight or dieting. It's about living a healthy active life, but a smile crosses my face every time I think about the day those jeans went into the goodwill bag.

I often wonder if there is a cyclocross plateau to reach. Every year I'm confronted with the possibility that there isn't. Cyclocross from me is like life; a continual growth. There is always something to practice, learn, or experience.

Bad Andy Nittany Lion 2009
The 2010 Cyclocross season will greet BA and I with another jam packed schedule. Will we top 22 races this year? Perhaps, but more importantly, will the challenges of the race teach us more about ourselves. Absolutely.

This season's goals; race hard, celebrate victories, overcome defeats and have some fun adventures along the way.

Get out and run over some barriers.


005 Star

Last year was my star birthday, 28 years old on the 28th of August. This year I'm 29. I'm starting to think that 29 may be worse than 30. It's the year leading up to the year where reflections on your adult life take place. I'm already reflecting. 
A couple of years ago I surpass the age that my mom was when she gave birth to me. It was kind of strange. Even now thinking that she would have had two toddlers running around with her at age 29 seems extraordinary. Some days I find it hard enough to take care of myself. I know when my motherly instincts kick in, but it's hard to imagine taking that next step. You'll know when the time is right is currently on repeat in my head.
This is by far the fittest I've been in my life. Just finding time to ride can be difficult with a full time job. Change is always good. I think I'm finally starting to find a good balance, and believe in the prospect that having children doesn't mean an end to fitness.
We headed down to B-more to met up with Team Director Auer and check out fellow C3- Athletes Serving Athletes teammate Sweet Johnny's Smith's tribute band Spineless Swine. I knew the years where creeping up on me when thinking about going to a Smith's Tribute Show made me wonder, what are the kids wearing these days? I haven't been out on the town in awhile. I can pack for a bike race in 15 minutes flat without thinking twice, any condition I'll be ready, but what do you wear to a Smith's Tribute Concert.
I hope I looked BAD enough. 

My berfday was spent riding some nice trails with BA. I cleared a sweet rock garden. That might have been the best present yet.


004 5 a.m.

I've been getting up and running at 5 a.m. Not crazy early for a person like me who has be at work by 7 a.m., but still, pretty early. I've never really incorporated a morning workout into my training plan, you know 7 a.m. is early to start work. I can't complain though, 3:30 p.m. is a pretty sweet quitting time.

I started a little running in July when the bike was feeling like an old friend that out stayed their welcome (this is just an expression, friends have never out stayed). Summer evening running always started and ended with a side stitch and a sloshy belly. No good. I toughed it out a couple of times, but mostly these runs would just turn into long walks.

I can only dream of looking this fast.
Then I had an epiphany. If I run in the morning before eating maybe I won't have a sloshy belly and eventual side stitch. I drug my ass out of bed at 5 a.m. and threw on a headlamp. Off I went around the neighborhood. I ran for a solid mile and a half. Success.

I'm hooked. I went into work feeling awake, but with a general feeling of calm. Ready to take on the day.

I've worked up to running three days this week, but will probably just stick with two, Tuesday and Thursday morning runs. I'm still doing my evening bike workouts. The thing I'm most proud of is I'm able to run for a solid 30 minutes and around 3 miles. Yeah!

I'm drawn to the peaceful darkness of 5 a.m. and the quiet medatative suffering that running yields. But don't worry folks, the bikes not going anywhere.


003 August 19, 2006

Last week we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary with a lunch date. Waffle Fries and Veggie Subs. I'm a simple girl. When I came home from work and riding, BA had a fever of 101 and was creating some amazing belches. Some sort of sudden bug. Apparently I may have poisoned him with some bad eggs. No good. A nice bowl of veggie pho from the vietnamese place was in order.

Before I left to pick up our anniversary dinner we sat in bed and reminisced about our wedding day. It was a perfect day.

When I was growing up I was not the type of girl who dreamed of her wedding day, instead I thought I would be a modern women with a permanent live-in boyfriend. As I walked down the aisle with the string quartet playing Pachelbel's "Cannon in D" and saw my husband for the first time, I knew marriage was what I had truly always wanted.

We both say nothing really changed after we got married. This is true, there weren't any drastic changes, but something did change, we both felt a deeper love and connection to the other. We are in this adventure of life together.

While we both have nothing against planning elaborate anniversary celebrations, it just always seems like this day creeps up on us. It's the things we do for each other everyday throughout the year that mean the most; a daytime phone call at work, a coffee refill on the weekend, a load of laundry done at a much needed time, a bike wash after a muddy cross race, saving the last waffle for the other.

We usually split the waffle.


002 Tour De Millersburg

Background. I've dabbled in road racing for a couple years. This year I decided to step it up a notch. A small notch, but a notch non the less. This is was my first stage race. It was close to home with a category 4 women's field. I've heard nothing but good things about this race from my husband Bad Andy, which means all signs are a go. Millersburg is a small Pennsylvania town located at the foothills of the Appalachian Trail along the Susquehanna River just north of Harrisburg. 
The race is well organized with one of the best goodie bags I've received. Check out this rad Knife. 

TT started on Main Street and traveled north 5 miles that was downhill and flat to a u-turn and back uphill and false flat, for a total of 10 miles. Looking back at my time I was way to conservative. I really didn't know how hard to push myself at the start. I didn't blow, but maybe had a little to much left at the finish. I did it in the drops with the only aero thing on me being some badass booties BA gave me. 17th outta 24 riders I'll take it for my first TT ever.
The Criterium took racers around the high school in the eastern portion of town where large shade trees lined the streets. The course had a large hill for a crit that according to one of the volunteers was called Heartbreak Hill because "it just keeps going". The hill did just keep going with first a left turn and then a right turn until finally you turned right again for the screaming decent. The Cat 4 women's field was shattered from the second lap. My mistake came at the first corner after the start / finish. I couldn't get that thing dialed, So second time through I found myself near the back at the start of the hill when things got crazy. I tried with all my might passing a few riders to get back to a small group and the draft, but the legs just didn't have it. So what's a racer to do when in this position, what any good crosser would do. Ride as hard a possible and work on those turns. By the end I had that first turn dialed. 18th outta 24 riders. I got some speed work and realized I corner like a crosser and not a roadie. I need to work on that.
Bad Andy had an awesome crit in a stacked 123 Men's field, that boy knows how to ride. He stuck it out even when legit dudes where getting blown. Props to fellow C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes teammate Jameson for the solo win in the 3/4 Men's field. 
The Road Race was rolling hills in the rain. I was expecting scattered thundershowers, but instead there were steady showers combined with decent downpours during the 8am race. I didn't even bring a rain coat. Feeding during the Men's 123 Race was scary to say the least. A flat fast section directly after a turn is not an ideal feed zone, but I got BA a bottle with no problems on lap 3 and breathed a sigh of relief. A couple of broken spokes on the rear wheel pulled Bad Andy out of the race a lap early. The potholes weren't huge but one section of road was pretty bumpy. 
When the Cat 4 Women started at noon the rain was still coming down. I was in survival mode. This was my first rainy road race. I followed wheels the entire race finding myself at the back for a good portion of the race. Since I wasn't confident into the final turns I decided not to mix it up in the sprint just happy to finish covered in grime and satisfaction. Somehow I lost my bike computer off my fork and an earring out of my right ear along the course, probably the same section of road that claimed BA's wheel. 18th outta 24 again. 
I was determined to finish this stage race. I would have liked a little better placing than 20th overall, but I rode hard and hopefully will learn from my mistakes. Now if I could just find that aggression I bring to the cross course on the road. I'll be back next year Millersburg.


001 Blargh, oh excuse me.

Blargh. Firsts are always difficult; first step, first word, first kiss, first race, first blog. There's tons of nervous anxiety and when it's over you say, "hey that wasn't so bad".

I might have mumble, "Blogs are silly." well here it is. No reason. I've become a bit addicted to the blog-o-sphere. Actually I'll concur my first confession. I'm an artist who is struggling with the daily 9 ta 5 grind in a not so creative job. That's life right, and that life is good. Can't complain, but here's my outlet.

Art is life. Art is everywhere. Art is connection. Art is therapy.

It's not all about art, probably not about art at all. It's about adventures, biking, racing, cooking and good times. With a smattering of randomness.

Welcome to the Bad Kat Confessions.