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.