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about me

Hi! This is [personal profile] antimony/antimony's biking and recipe journal. It's mirrored on LiveJournal, but if linking, please link the Dreamwidth version.

I'm never sure what to say in bios; my current readership is a few friends, and y'all know who I am. But since I just submitted this to the RUSA blog feed, and thus might get some new faces: I'm a 30-something randonneuse (long-distance cyclist) who loves to cook, although my job as a software engineer leaves me with far less time and energy than I'd like for both riding and cooking. My ride reports and recipes were hard to re-find in the midst of my other posts, plus long-format picture-heavy posts were kind of not fitting into my personal blog. So: separate blog.

My real name is Sarah; with that information and the rides I've described, my full name is easily discoverable but I'll request that it not be posted as searchable text in comments. Thanks!

[This entry was originally posted at http://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/479.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]


packing, packing

The 600k was awesome! Ride report maybe tomorrow. But now, figuring out the list of things I need to do between now and Wednesday, when I drive over to NY again for the Lap of the Lake 1000k.

new brake pads
new cleats on shoes
handlebar tape re-taped
put rack on bike
hotel reservations

To do today:
remove rack from bike (drop bags were announced very late) DONE
around-the-block+ shakedown ride for cleats, brake pads, tape DONE-ish (checked cleats on spin bike)
buy snacks/canned coffee DONE
drug store for prescriptions, more sunscreen, batteries DONE
change taillight batteries DONE
wash bike clothes DONE
put solas tape on fender stays/fender DONE (kind of a terrible job but it should still work)
make sure new usb converter/charging cables work DONE

To do tomorrow:
oil chain DO IN NY
long-ish shakedown ride with David DONE
wash post-ride clothes (incl. sleeve that was worn riding) DONE
pack bike clothes (mostly already clean) DONE
repack on-bike bags (pack more bag balm more accessibly than on 600k!),
pack day 1 prescriptions on bike DONE
mow lawn DONE (not bike related but...)

To do Monday/Tuesday:
copy passport DONE
grab more single-serving aspirin packets...oops
get Canadian currency DONE
clean up GPS tracks and put them on GPS DONE
pack non-bike clothes DONE
charge powerbrick and pack chargers DONE
pack everything else DONE
maybe go to yoga SKIPPED

Packing lists: Drop bag
clothes for day 2, day 3 PACKED
powdered drink mix (4 bottles worth) PACKED
protein-containing snacks (tofu, protein bars)
caffeinated beverage (at least one for day 2, day 3 has breakfast options) PACKED
additional sweet bike snacks PACKED
sunblock, bag balm, stridex pads, deodorant PACKED
spare tire? if it isn't on the bike. PACKED
same for rain jacket PACKED
toothbrush/toothpaste PACKED
glasses case and glasses WILL PACK WHEN REMOVE GLASSES
topical painkiller PACKED
phone charger PACKED
powerbrick charger PACKED
GPS charger PACKED
prescriptions for day 2, day 3 PACKED
SPD sandals in case of massive hotfoot PACKED
underwear for sleeping in if needed + maxi pads PACKED

sleeping bag, sheet, pillow, air mattress
book and puzzles
additional phone charger
day 1 shorts

Post-ride bag:
clean clothes, maxi pads, towel, warmups (if I don't want to shower), flip-flops (will get deodorant and glasses from drop bag) DONE

Hotel bag:
Wednesday/Monday non-bike clothes, day 1 jersey/bra/socks, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, actual shoes/socks, prescriptions DONE

[This entry was originally posted at https://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/13027.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]
Argh, I had an entire ride report here, and Safari crashed and ate it while I was trying to add the image. Let's summarize with the photo while I go take out my frustrations by starting to put the gravel bike back together, and eventually I'll rewrite it (and take out this comment).
With apologies to Smashmouth, but it seemed aproposCollapse )

A long story short: it was a stunningly beautiful course, with much better pavement than I expect on backroads, and also it was damn hard. [This entry was originally posted at https://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/12008.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]


Reasons not to put on new tires the night before a brevet:
  1. Ow, my hands.
  2. If you screw it up, you're changing tires again in the morning.
  3. Ow, my poor, poor hands.
Reasons to put on new tires the night before a brevet:
  1. The first flat tire I had on last weekend's 300k.
  2. The second flat tire I had on last weekend's 300k.
  3. I completely failed to put them on between last weekend's 300k and last night.
At least my patient husband is around to drive me to the start, because I did not get up early enough for a tire change and the 16-17 miles to the new NER Concord start line. P.S. I know this is a dreadfully dull post in comparison to all the ride reports I haven't posted. And all the recipes I've made and meant to record. Ugh, I'm sorry. [This entry was originally posted at https://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/11685.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]

400k tomorrow!

I know, I never posted about LAST YEAR's 400k, I don't think, nor the Dart from that year or this one. Oops. Maybe I'll do a giant recap, maybe I'll fail miserably at it. (Short version: great! sub-22!) But for now, ramblings about tomorrow, a year after last year's 400k and a day before this year's.

Bike ready (fingers crossed) for tomorrow's 400k, and I think I am too. Only cycling-related dream so far this week included me telling someone else mid-ride that, actually, the hill we were climbing was the easiest way out of the valley, and that they'd be fine. As opposed to stress dreams of running late etc.
Not sure how much I want to try to push for a good time or if I want to find a posse and hang out, we'll see. (With how slow I am on hills compared to flats, having a posse *and* pushing basically only happens if riding with T. when he wants company more than he wants to drop me on climbs -- we spent a lot of last year's 400k riding together, for randonneuring values of riding together. Or occasionally there's a tandem that rides about my hill/flat pace on these rides, but I haven't seen them lately.)

Weather might influence that, since when it's beautiful I'm perfectly happy to just ride my bike myself, and not really stop at controls for more than a receipt -- in bad weather company makes the miles go quicker and I'm actually willing to stop and rest places like so many other people seem to want to do all the time. :)

Now, next weekends 2x200k -- *that* might try to break me, since each of the 200ks basically has as much climbing as this weekend's ride, and my legs won't be 100% recovered. We'll see. But it'll get me my ACP 200k for the year, since I'm aiming for a series.

[This entry was originally posted at https://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/10782.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]
Actual ride report coming when I have pictures sorted out etc. But it's Tuesday and I already feel pretty good post-400k, which is just awesome. No hand numbness (had a fair bit the one other 400 I did), no muscle aches that aren't the usual sort of DOMS from pushing a bit hard, tiny bit of chafing that has already healed.

So yeah, I'm back, I hit my big goal for this season, and I'm going to be putting together a training plan for the full series for next year.

[This entry was originally posted at http://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/10703.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]


Shimano, why do the screws on your brake pads suck so much? whyyyyyyy?

yeah, I know, I owe y'all a post on the DART and the 200k that wasn't, and one on Raid Rockingham. And one on spinach fatayer (lebanese spinach pies) and kibbe, because those recipes came out really well. :)

[This entry was originally posted at http://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/10267.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]


still got it

Last weekend was the NER 200k -- first in the series, a hilly jaunt up into some really pretty parts of southern New Hampshire and I really wasn't sure how this was going to go.

One of the reasons I love these rides is the exhilaration of, 115 miles into a ride, asking your tired body if it has some speed left in it, and having it answer YES. There's nothing quite like it.

That's it, that's the ride report. Well, and 12:24, which means I finished with more than an hour left, which isn't my 11:13 finish of two years ago, but isn't bad at all.

Next up: my first team event, a 200k ride to Portland with friends old and new.

[This entry was originally posted at http://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/10219.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]

slow, steady, social

Worry: unnecessary. We had a beautiful day for the NER 107k, a great crowd (evidently registration skyrocketed at the last minute when the weather forecasts cleared up), and the course was its usual hilly self.

I dithered some more after my previous post about riding to the start vs driving, and decided that if there was any way I'd be ready for the 200k, I needed to ride. So I did. Up at too-early-o'clock, breakfast 1 at home, and I was off on my way. In Lexington another rider passed me, and then slowed up to ask if I was headed to the ride; we had a nice chat on the way there. Passed two more people stopped by the side of the road but clearly heading that way, and then tons of people were there when I arrived at ~7:40 -- lots of people I knew, lots I didn't, and the now-familiar feeling of "ack how do I answer that" when people innocently ask me how I've been. "Undertrained", I answer, mostly. And then we're off.

I let the packs I can usually hang onto for a while go; not this time. I don't even know that I could have burned a lot of matches to keep up with them at all, but I'm not going to try. So a few miles down the road, I'm surprised to find I've acquired a small posse. A little three-person group, with two other riders with similar climbing abilities. A woman I met on the Honey 100 last year (whose SO was out on the course far enough ahead we didn't spot him on the out-and-back section), and a guy I hadn't met before, whose name I did not commit to memory, but who kept us entertained by identifying birdsong. Neither had done the ride before, so I got to impart wisdom of where the worst hills were. We weren't making terribly fast time, but we weren't in any danger of missing control times, and while a group always stops more (you have to stop whenever *anyone* needs to), none of us wanted to dilly-dally either. We chatted and spun and the miles flew by.

It was fun seeing the sport through new eyes -- my compatriots were impressed at how friendly everyone was, waving us upwards while they cruised down the out-and-back section to Stirling. (I was reminded of this past summers' PBP first-finisher, who soloed off the front before Brest and did the entire return on his own; 6000 people waving at him since he was the only one going the other way.) We got going before a bunch of people who'd arrived before us, and got to play yo-yo with a big group on the way back, adding to the party-bus feel of the whole ride. One of them was the rider who did his first 200k at my overnight ride last year; I was thrilled to see him back again, and we chatted for a bit before he dropped me on a hill. And I tried to convince anyone who would listen to come back for the 200k in three weeks.

I felt great, if slow, until about the same time as we stopped at the Harvard General Store for a snack and to use the facilities; my legs were done having any extra energy at that point. Which actually wasn't far off schedule for this early in the season; it was just that my "fast speed" and my "slow speed" were both slower than usual. My friends pulled ahead of me on the final hill, but we rejoined after the Stow descent, which I was glad I was comfortable taking at speed; I wasn't sure how nervy I was going to be on descents after the crash a month ago, and I love that descent. Didn't PR it, but that's primarily because I wasn't hammering the slightly gentler sections, I was just letting gravity do all the work.

Bird-dude did start pulling away from our little group, but just as he did, my other companions' SO showed up to see how she was doing. So he pulled us along for a bit, until I started pulling away from them; I felt kind of bad -- we'd spent the whole ride together and finishing together would be fun, but my neck was starting to cramp and I wanted to get off the bike for a bit, and the finish would be the place to do so. All the stoplights through Concord seemed to be on Team Finish Together, though, so we stayed within sight of each other, if not in an actual pack.

My finish time was 6:17ish, which is slower than even my first year doing this ride, but that's OK. It was perhaps the most *fun* I've had on it, too. I'm not really ready for the 200k, but I'll take my own advice: if you're smiling at the finish, do the next ride. I plan to, and I plan on dithering over driving to the start again (prediction: I will dither dither dither and then ride out again.)

(I have, however, refrained from taking the other piece of advice I doled out, which was that back-to-back rides are great training; while my legs feel great today (yay!), my butt is really quite sore, and my neck has cramped up. Which is half being an overstressed software engineer and half lack of core strength. I'll ride tomorrow, on the spin bike as it's supposed to rain and I hate rainy commutes; I don't mind rainy brevets but I hate rush hour traffic in bad weather.)

[This entry was originally posted at http://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/9939.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]

anxiety, dreams, goals?

I've had a lot of pre-ride jitters manifest as anxiety dreams, but I'm not sure I've ever had them before a 100k. I've had two this week. (I don't remember exactly what they entailed now, and dream descriptions are generally only interesting to the dreamer, but I woke up and distinctly realized they were anxiety dreams about the 100k.)

I'm still vastly out of shape, although I my brain is fairly confident that, barring really awful weather (I'm not doing 90 miles in driving sleet this year), or the flu that's going around the office, that I can gut out 68 familiar miles. I just...haven't ridden that far in a long time. My shoulder is OK, my hand is OK, I have been riding some, but it seems daunting in a way it hasn't since before my first populaire.

It's longer if I add the to/from to the total; I might drive to the start, I might not. It seems wrong, somehow, not to ride out there. (dphilli1 alas has had to bail out even before the day-of; his ankle has gone from keeping him from running (hence biking!) to no biking either. He wasn't up for 90, so the plan was to drive. We'll see. I need to decide, like, yesterday. Probably I'll ride out there, and if I have to, call for a ride home afterward.

I also need to hook up a new cyclocomputer -- the old one's mount cracked in the crash, and it's been in my handlebar bag since -- still registering miles but no longer on the bars. We'll see if that happens before the ride either; it's not like I'll be trying to set any personal speed records.

I'm tentatively looking at the rest of the season, too; I'll know more once I've knocked out 68/90 miles where my body stands. Even without the cancer and the crash it was not shaping up as a terribly good off-season; new responsibilities at work have been keeping me busy and I've lost the hang of making time to hit the gym again. I am definitely looking forward to doing my first team event -- a flat 200k dart should be a great way to do that. The big question is what if the 200k goes well. If it goes poorly, the answer is clear; do more 200ks. If it goes close to as well as in 2014, though, do I dare more? Somewhere in the midst of fear and uncertainty and mortality rates, I put PBP 2019 on my calendar; there's no time like the present to get back into the habit of being in brevet shape. But I need some confidence-boosting successes right now, more than I need challenges. Hopefully Saturday will be the former.

[This entry was originally posted at http://bikingandbaking.dreamwidth.org/9662.html. Please comment wherever is most convenient, but please use the DreamWidth version if sharing/linking.]