Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 Do's and Don't's of the Off Season

I am currently creating this blog in my study hall class because I am all caught up on my school work and what would be more important than to address the do's and don't's of the off season! Some of these I have experienced during my off season and some are just for giggles! So enjoy!

1. DO log on to cyclingnews.com to follow the recent cycling news and gossip so you aren't out of touch.
DON'T log on to Facebook to take your personality quiz to find out what kind of bike racer you are.

2. DO eat 2 cookies instead of 1 for desert
DON'T eat a days worth of food at one sitting because you have just ran for the first time in a year.

3. DO a couple of cyclocross races for fun and be sure to crash no more than once!
DON'T take a beer hand-up, unless its under 68F outside, if it's 69F outside you will be disqualified!

4. DO continue to shave your legs every day, no matter what!
DON'T show up at a hot yoga class with hairy legs...... gross!

5. DO clean out your race bag that you haven't touched since the season
DON'T forget that you left your cycling shoes and dirty shorts buried underneath other clothes...... really gross!

6. DO go mountain biking to gain skills for the road.
DON'T go mountain biking during/ after it had just rained, you'll end up like this poor fellow below:

7. DO go out and get a manicure and pedicure, for a " me day". Make sure it's stress-free.
DON'T go and get a mani/ pedi if you're a male!

8. DO send thank you notes to your sponsors, managers and directors, to show appreciation towards them!
DON'T send numerous emails to your director/ manager demanding to find out what color the kits will be, so you can start buying clothes of the matching color!

9. DO core and upper body to off set your unproportional body!
DON'T go to the gym near the body builder guy and see if you can lift the same weights as him.

10. DO wear your DeFeet Slipstream shoe covers in the cold weather
DON'T be seen not wearing them in the winter or else your feet will look like the Abominable Snowman with frostbite on your toes and frozen to death!

I hope you enjoyed this little blog, now you how you should live your off-season!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

USA Cycling National Talent ID Camp

This past week (October 7th-11th) I skipped 3 AMAZING days of school to hangout at the Olympic Training Center (OTC). I was invited along with about 40 other MTB and roadies for the National Talent ID camp. The camp is help for elite juniors to prove they have what it takes to be the top, and qualify for some other fun stuff, like the world championships and the Junior National team.

It was going to be a hard week of some uphill power tests, serious skills and drills and a buttload of fun!

On day one, I was kindly welcomed off of the plane with the OTC shuttle and my best friend, whom I have not seen for 3 months, Alexis Ryan. When we arrived to the OTC we had lunch, built bikes, rode, and then a nice 3 hour discussion! When preparing for our ride I misplaced my helmet and everyone had to wait about 30 minutes so i could borrow one of the local's helmets oops.

On day 2, we woke up early in the morning, had breakfast and got ready for the power tests. We had to weigh ourselves, which was fun..... sort of! Then the power tests begun! (Up Cheyanne Canyon) It was a 3 mile some what steep climb. We had 2 tests, 1.5k test and the 5k test to the top. After descending like a Buddhist down the mountain, which i had no vest so i took a cardboard box and stuffed it down my jersey, we had lunch! After lunch we had a 2 hour discussion on collegiate cycling and I swear Carla Swart was in about every other picture on the power point, it was so cool!!! After discussions we had some amazing skills and drills, i learned a lot!

On the 3rd day, Saturday, we headed out for a 3.5 hour ride to work on echelons and pacelines. We had a race simulation-game. We were separated into 3 groups: the break, the chase, and the field. The first group to make it back to the van is claimed the winner. So what happened was, I was in the break group, the 2nd group caught us. I saw the finish line and sprinted, no one else was sprinting until the boys saw the only girl (me) sprinting for the line. That was FUN!!!
So after some lunch and more discussions the girls headed out to the Velo. I have never ridden on the track or on a fixed gear before so when the gave me my track I went on the banks to ride, I got scared and decided to get some instructions before going on the track again! After some paceline drills and doing nice teamwork with Alexis it rained it that was the end of track day! But it was the coolest thing Ive done and Im hooked now!

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me....... we woke up and did 2 hours of skills and drills had lunch and then went right out again to do a 3.5 windy windy windy ride!! luckily I hid behind tall guys and got a good draft! I practiced sticky bottles with Ben Sharp which was cool! It was like a free ride pack to the field!
That night we had individual meetings with the coaches. I had a meeting with Ben and Barney. They told me I was got second place at camp! Just 2 seconds behind my best friend Alexis on the short test and 15 seconds behind her on the long test. We were pretty stoked!!!

The Last Day :(
On the last day, we rode to the Garden of the Gods, which was so amazing! It was the best ride, and a very sad ride because we all had such a fun time and we wont see each other again for a long time. After the ride we had to take some final picture of the OTC and pack our bikes. I said goodbye to my best friend Alexis, it was so sad :(. I got on the shuttle to leave to OTC along with 6 other guys that were all on my flight. I got on the plane to Huston, TX then to CLT and I wanted to cry. I didn't want to leave!

The top 10 COOLEST thing of the week

10. The food, we had an all you can eat buffet of healthy food. Steele cut oats every morning and one day for lunch we had sushi!

9. Loosing my bag with my helmet, money, sweatshirt, and hat on the first day I arrived. Claiming it stolen. And getting a call from Phil O'Donnell, when I was flying home, telling me that I left it on the shuttle. Whew!

8. Snow on top of Pikes Peak on the last day.

7. Meeting amazing people from amazing places and getting to know more kids my age.

6. Talking in German with Dean Hass and Alexis.

5. Having a Dance Club party in the hallway.

4. The top-secret "Alright-Okay" game.

3. Skills and Drills when Coach Mike kept saying word!

2. Riding the Velodrome for the first time

1. Freestyle rapping when all the girls were waiting for the guys to get ready for a ride, and Alexis with her awesome beatbox skills!

Nicknames Created

1. Alexis Ryan - Ricky Bobby, because she has 2 first names (ricky for short)
2. Thomas Wrona - T-Pain, that one is just self explanatory
3. Miguel Byron - Miami, because he is from Miami
4. Jackie Denny - Grand Slam, because her last name is Denny, like the restaurant
5. That on kid - Spongebob, because he like Spongebob, still cant remember his real name
6. Micheal Dessau - Megatron, because their sponsor is transitions, like transformers
7. Danny Parks - ButterLips, because he didnt have any chapstick so everyone told him to put butter on his lips, HAHA
8. My nick name is SON because my real name is AddySON

There were many more nicknames! It was pretty much the BEST camp ever!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Most admired person in cycling!

Where do I even begin? Robin has been coaching me for more than 2 years now and I think she is more than just a coach. She is a mentor, friend, someone you can give crap to and expect you will get it back, and if I said she was like a mother, she would make me clean clean the toilets, so she is more like a big sister!

In the freezing river in Bend, OR
If Robin was not in my life, helping me day in and day out, I dont know where I would be in cycling. She has helped me accomplish and pass my goals. Not only does she teach me cycling skills but she teaches me life skills as well. I get to work at her shop, Uptown Cycles, and I work my way into success!

Before the start of Road Nationals
Robin is a major help to all of her clients no matter what level cyclist you are at, and she makes the hard 1 minute on 1 minute off intervals fun! You wont see robin anywhere without her great coaching skills and a good attitude to everyone!

A little birthday party, and I HAD to wear my awesome birthday hat
I have been given so much from the moment Robin started coaching me and there is no way I could ever pay her back except for hard work on the bike and a good attitude towards life and bike racing! And I am very thankful th have Robin Farina in my life!!


5. Accepting loss in a serious game of Foosball

4. Pumping a flat tire on a car in the middle of summer heat

3. Doing abs and going to Laura for strength workouts!

2. Finding a moldy water bottle and opening it with drink mix still inside

1. Cleaning toilets!!!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Friendships that last a lifetime

Bike racing isn't just about bike racing, if you ask me my favorite part about bike racing I would say the friendships that I make with people! It is so easy to make a friend in this sport because you both share and relate to each other in bike racing!!!

I met Alexis Ryan in Bend, OR for nationals and I think I found my long lost sister! She and I clicked immediately! We share everything in common, we like the same things, and our birthdays are 2 days apart. The only thing is that we live across the country from each other, she lives in Ventura, CA. If you put the two of us in a room, we would never stop talking! My BEST friend!!

We were surprised that this was the only photo that we got together at Nationals.

This is Hunter a.k.a Pete, we have been training partners for a year and we live about 2 miles from each other and it is really easy to get out and ride after school with each other. We are pretty much brother and sister , oh yeah and best friends.

Riding in the country, running into an interesting sign.

This is my pen pal Skylar Schneider. She is 11 years old and lives in Wisconsin and we met during speed week when her sister, Sam Schneider, was racing in the 1/2 women we bonded during the whole week. She doesn't own a cell phone and she does not have an email, so we wright back to each other the old fashion way!

Skylar in Bend, OR when she was showing me her brothers birthday card :)
My coach introduced me to Cinthia 2 years ago at a race when we were juniors! She lives in Greenville, SC. I looked up to her because she was older than me and she helped me in races and now we are best friends, and we talk to each other in German!!

This is in Nationals during awards night, we were both very excited for silver!

Here I one of my most favorite pictures of the friends I met in Bend, OR. Inside is Sarah Haung, Kati Lawrence, Alexis Ryan, Jacqueline Denny and Skylar Schneider. Each one of us lives across the country from each other and we screamed our heads off for all of the mens races, I think it made them race faster!

We tried to break the record of fitting as many as we could in the phone box, didnt work, the real record it 22 people!
I say friends are the best part of bike racing and no matter what they will always be there for you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

French Broad Cycling Classic

French Broad is a 3 day race with a flat time trial, hilly with climbs road race and a rolling criterium. I was glad to know that the race was a cat 1-3 womens race instead of a 3/4 race so that I could get more experience and learn the different tactics that are in the women 1/2 field. The first day was a time trial and I cut it close arriving to the race because there was a big accident on the interstate which equals a lot of traffic. Only having 20 minutes to warm up and get myself ready, and showing up to the line having a mechanical almost missing my start, I thought this TT was going to be disastrous. When I started I felt better than I thought I would. I finished 10th in the time trial and I was really shocked to finish that well.

The next day was a climbing road race. It had 3 climbs and hilly in between. I was very shocked to see at the line that there were 55 women! I was very happy to race in such a large number of girls, It has been a while when I have raced with that many gals so I was excited and nervous. The race was not too hard there were attacks in which every one was pulled back. The middle climb came an it was about 3-4 miles long. It was on a highway-type road so there were no switchbacks to gain speed or recover, it was just a no ending up hill. At this point there was no womens field left, we were all spread apart like peanut butter and sooner or later we all got picked up by the 50+ masters and the Cat 4 men. As all the women sat on the back of their race and got a free ride to the final climb, I was just trying to stay on my teammates wheel. We were flying though the mountains downhill for like 8 miles. The last climb came as an uphill finish, this climb was about 3 miles, I got 13th and yet again, I shocked myself with how I finished. I was very happy!

This was at the start of the road race with all of the women. Huge field!!!

The last day was the criterium, this time not as many women showed up like in the road race, but there was still a fair amount of women there. It had just finished raining at the start of our race and luckily the 2 main corners were dry. It was fast right at the start with attacks and counter attacks and very good team tactics. Halfway in the announcer called for a $100 prime and I am pretty sure everyone heard it because everyone was sprinting for the line as if it were the finish. Luckily there was no head butting in this race but it was an aggressive finish. On the last day, I surprised myself again and finished 12th in the womens 1,2,3. The start of the Womens 123 race:

I went to Moe's and enjoyed myself a Moo Moo Mr. Cow off the kids menu for a perfect job well done lunch for the weekend! Good job to the Kenda Kool Kids, Jackie Blackwell, Nicole Johnson, and not pictured but Catherine James!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Taking the silver in the Time Trial

The Big day had finally come. The race of Truth. My legs felt tired but it was a good tired feeling, if thats even possible. I have been training for this certain event all year, we purchased a TT bike, wheels, and perfected my position. Previously in the year I have registered for more the 1o time trials to race and train and winning just about every single time trial. Coming into the event I did not set hight goals for myself because it was my first Nationals and I did not want to disappoint myself. I was hoping to at least get on the podium for the Time Trial.

After I warmed up on my trainer I went to ride on the road for a little bit because I had about 15 minuted to spare before my start. It turns out that the officials want you to be at the start about 10 minutes early anyways. I roll up to the start line, and the officials tell me I have about 2 minutes until I start. It was a bit chaotic for my start.

When I started my time trial, I felt really really good. I passed about 10-15 girls who started in front of me, and I was really happy when I passed the girls. I crossed the line and I had the new fastest time but there were also about 10 other girls who had not finished yet, so I wasnt sure where I finished.
This is the finish:

We had to wait a nerve racking hour and a half for results to be posted. And the offical results were:

1. Jacqueline Denny 42:23.30 Team Kenda
2. Addyson Albershardt 42:32.70 Team Kenda
3. Zoe Frazier 42:36.50 Frazier Cycling
4. Alexis Ryan 42:50.80 The TEAM SoCalCross
5. Bailey Semian 43:29.20 Chester County Cycling

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Traveling to Beautiful Bend, OR

We woke up at 4am for a 24hr day of traveling, no kidding, it was 24 hours! The first flight went from Charlotte to Phoenix, it was 4 hours in a plane and there was a lot of turbulence so everything was shaky. We arrived in Phoenix at 9 am, and because of the time differences we were ready to eat lunch while everyone else was enjoying their breakfast. We had 20 minutes to chow down on out whoppers from Burger King until we got on to the next flight that left from Phoenix to Portland. The Portland flight was not as long as the first flight, only 2 hours this time. Unfortunately we had an older, junky plane with a very small place to nap in. We arrived in the Portland airport at 1 pm and it was empty as if Lance Armstrong came to town and everyone left to go see him. Right when we landed, I knew this was going to be a culture shock. We took a shuttle to get a car rental and the kind driver, by the way her name was Cher, held our bikes while driving.

We got dropped off at the car rental place thanks to Cher, and we picked up out Dodge Pick up truck. It seated 6 people!! This thing was huge!! We left Portland for a 3.5 hour scenic drive through the evergreen christmas tree forest passing mountains that still had snow. After leaving the mountains the terrain turned into a desert, but it was only 50 degrees. Huge thunderstorms pop up all the time:

When we arrived we had dinner and started putting the bikes together. This is going to be an AMAZING and unforgetable trip. The best part of the day was flying over the Grand Cannon and being able to see in person how huge it really was! Now we are off to get groceries from Trader Joes!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today is the Day!

Today is my very first blog. Right now I just finished packing my bags for Bend,OR. Where I will be racing 15-16 Nationals and competing to be national champion against 20+ other girls. This will be my first attempt at nationals and I couldn't be more excited! My dad, my coach (Robin Farina) and I have been planning for this race since the beginning of the year and we are coming down to the very last days of preparation then its, "Go time"!!

We leave Saturday morning at 4am. After stopping once in Phoenix, AZ, we will be arriving in Portland around 12-1 pm. After we get to Portland we a have a 3.5 hour scenic drive through Oregon. We are renting a pick up truck so that there will be plenty of room for all of the luggage and bike cases.

Other than packing my bags, I have been resting, stretching, and rolling out my muscles with my foam roller. I've been reading my summer book for school. It's called "Snow falling on Cedars". I have also unpacked my bags from 1.5 week of racing and training in Johnson City, TN, Greenville, SC, and Salisbury NC. And did a major cleaning in my room.

Tomorrow I am going to spend the day with my mom. We will be going to have lunch and get manicures and pedicures before I leave. Always a tradition before a big race!

The first picture is a race in downtown Salisbury on Friday. I am on the line with my teammate Jackie Blackwell. The course was technical and it was brutally hot out, in the upper 90s.

The second picture was my brothers car with all of my stuff stacked to the very top heading to Greenville, SC. I fit 2 bikes and 3 sets of wheels with my luggage and food all in the back of his car. Crazy!

Look for more posts on my journey to Bend, OR!