Monthly Archives: April 2012

Belated Sea Otter Recap

I’ve got some pictures for you from Sea Otter!  Unfortunately, most of them are from Cyclingnews, but here I’ll add a little commentary to go along with them.  After the road race stage:

That’s me wayyyyy in the back wondering what everyone’s complaining about.  Hot?  Psh!  You don’t know what hot is till you’ve done a summertime road race in FL.  Bring it on!

The above picture is what I emailed to my coach when he asked about my TT position.  Nice, simple, better than words.  Thanks, Cyclingnews!  My Sea Otter TT was solid and my legs felt good.   However, somewhere in the back of my brain is a memory of crashing and fracturing four vertebrae in a TT last year, so my descending isn’t quite what it should be.  I was 7th.

This is me leading the bunch up the climb.  I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but if someone got a picture of it, it must be true.

This is a picture of me trying to win a stage and instead getting second.  Alison Powers and I played cat-and-mouse there toward the end in our two-person breakaway on Stage 4.  I had had my sights set on the stage win!  Little did I know, if I’d hadn’t screwed around and just pulled Alison to the line, I could have moved onto the podium in GC.  Only nine seconds away!  But I didn’t know it at the time.

That hindsight talk is typical for a stage race though – I usually find myself looking back and thinking, “Well, if I’d only done ___ on stage two…”

Actually got to do some sightseeing while I was in Monterey.   This is me at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Like I said, our host family was fantastic!  My flight wasn’t until Monday afternoon, so I stayed with them by myself on Sunday night after the other girls went home.  I was a little nervous because all the attention would be focused on me, but I had a glass of wine with dinner and everything was good.

I know this post is late, but I’ve been traveling so much it’s hard to find time to write about all of it!  I spent Monday night after Sea Otter in the Minneapolis airport with my purse strapped around my arm, my head on my backpack, and my feet draped over my carry-on.  Gotta keep the legs elevated!  I arrived home Tuesday afternoon, did two big kilojoule days on Wednesday and Thursday, drove 8 hours to Atlanta on Friday to say bye to Dan (who is currently in Russia and probably kidnapped since that’s the only reasonable explanation for no email in 12 hours), did Athens Twilight on Saturday, drove the 8 hours home to Orlando on Sunday, and left the house at 6 this morning to catch a flight here.

By here I mean New Mexico.  Tour of Gila!


California: Take Three

Yesterday I flew to California, and I realized as I landed that this was my third trip to Cali in two months.  From baggage claim, I caught the bus North to Larkspur where Nicola would pick me up from the bus stop in the team van.  As the bus crossed the Golden Gate bridge, with the sunlight-stricken water shining like sliver underneath, I began to think that this trip might be different than the other two.

The first was stressful because I was flying straight from the Middle East, meeting new teammates, riding new  equipment, and doing long hours.

The second was stressful because I’d come straight from Europe, I wasn’t riding well, and the weather was horrible.

But this time I was traveling from Home, I had a direct flight, my legs were feeling good, and when Nicola came to pick me up she had a new pair of Pearl Izumi sneakers waiting for me in the team van!   Things were looking good for ol’ Jackie Crowell.

Like most bike racers, I’m super cheap.  I’d been wearing the same pair of sneakers for two and a half years when I signed my contract with Exergy in the Fall.  Signing with Exergy meant FREE sneakers, so I decided my current pair could hold out until team camp.  When I got to team camp and tried the new ones on, it turned out I’d ordered the wrong size.  Two months later (yesterday), my old sneakers had gone well beyond the worn-in hipster look.  They were down right dumpy.  Do you think these Pearl Izumi’s can last me another three years?

We arrived at the host house the following day.  We’ve got four of us at this race: myself, Pascale, Heather, and Alison.  It’s actually less like a host house and more like a ranch.  They’ve got several acres of land, two dogs, an exchange student, and wild turkeys chilling in the back yard.   It’s at the top of a big hill and looks out across more hills covered in tall grass and sunlight.  I guess not all of California looks like Redlands after all. I wish I could show you some pictures of this place because it’s so gorgeous. It’s like living in a movie.  Might just stay here if everyone I knew didn’t live back on the east coast.

There’s always a little anxiety involved in host housing.  Will the family be nice?  Will they stay up late making noise? Will they have us all crammed into one room or will we each get our own room?  Usually we’re happy as long as we have our own beds, good cooking utensils, space in the refrigerator to put food, and most importantly, wireless internet.  An air mattress or a couch always beats sharing a bed with someone. The quality of host housing is our of our control, so I’m always grateful when we get a nice one.  I’m taking notes and getting ideas for my future home.

The weather’s been perfect for the Sea Otter expo. Today after the race, we walked around to all our sponsors’ tents (Oakley, Felt, Sram), thanked them, and got some schwag.  Our junior team came with us.  This is a picture of my youngest teammate, Veronica Church.  She’s nine.

She was having trouble clipping into her Speedplays today which, given that she must only weigh 50 pounds, doesn’t surprise me.

Tomorrow is the road race.  Hopefully I’ll have something better to report than our (my) 6th place today.