Saturday, February 28, 2009

Callville Bay Classic Bike Race - RR (Day 1)

There was a stretch of time from the TT until the next stage in the Callville Bay Classic Bike Race and since John didn't sleep well the night before, we drove a short distance home to take a nap. First, a quick stop by his team tent primarily sponsored byAllegiant Airlines and to say hello to his fellow riders.
Not everyone had the convenience of a home in close proximity to retreat to. Those who hailed from California, Mexico and as far as Australia stayed at the marina. Renting a house boat would be one of the best ways to go or, if you are like me who can sleep just about anywhere, simply take snooze in the car's passenger seat.

By 1pm, all 50 riders in the Men's Cat 5 gathered at the start line of the 44-mile road race from Callville Bay. This is is their course: from Callville Bay up the same route as the TT, then NE on Northshore Rd. to Redstone, turnaround (1 of 2) heading SW to Lakeshore Drive, turnaround (2 of 2) to Callville Bay entrance and it's a 1k sprint to the finish line!
My heart pounded in excitement as buzzer went off, signaling the start of the road race. I took a video of the peloton passing by (I'm still trying to get the hang of my new camera, shooting my first live event in the wrong setting--aack! ).

Then I hopped in the car and followed the support vehicle eventually passing the group to get ahead of them. Since the roads are not closed for this event, the peloton has to ride on the right of the center line.

Down the road I watched them pass by. So far it has been close to 4-miles and they still have a long ways to go.
I jumped in the car and followed again. Adrenaline pumped through my veins, partly out of excitement for John and mostly because there was more oncoming traffic on the two-way road I had to dodge to finally catch up.

I must have been in or near the Bowl of Fire because of all the red rocks. This seems like a good place to stop and enjoy the scenery while I wait for the Cat 5s to turn around and come back. Meanwhile the other groups rode past me.
After quite a while, I realized I must have underestimated the time it would take John's group to come around again so I got back on the road. I drove and drove, passing vehicle after vehicle thinking, "Man, they're moving!". Finally I got behind them when the peloton suddenly whipped around; I wasn't sure if the blur in the corner of my eye was really John. They had reached the turnaround point and I was caught by surprise, only feeling breeze from their slipstream as they sped off in the opposite direction.

"Crap, crap!" I thought seeing that it was John's group indeed. I had to get ahead of them so that I did not miss the finish. The narrow, twisting road didn't make it easy to pass safely. Add rolling hills to that and it was hard to see oncoming cars. My heart beating heart raced as we got closer and closer to the entrance of Callville Bay.

I needed to get far enough ahead to park where allowed and run all the way up to the finish line so I can set up the video camera (my little Casio) on a tripod and capture the final moments! Of course, I had forgotten that they still needed to ride past the Callville Bay entrance to Lakeshore Dr. so they were only at the half-way point.

At least I was able to find a parking spot and get into position at the finish line as I anxiously waited. One of the reasons I followed the race in the first place was to take photos. The other reason was that John didn't put a spare wheel in the support vehicle that followed the peloton in case he got a flat tire. I was nervous for John after seeing a couple riders changing out their wheels.

Just when my pulse settled I heard clapping in the distance. The Junior Men and Women categories have already crossed the finish line so I knew this had to be the Men's Cat 5. There was John...with other riders sprinting to the finish line! I also shot a video of the finish.

I too would be exhausted if I rode for 2 hours 1 minute and 45 seconds going 30mph and then having to sprint to the finish! Heck, I would not have made it halfway up the Callville Bay Road, LOL.

The results of the road race: John came in 6th place with three other riders and tied with two other riders for 4th place overall, after stage 2. I think he did pretty well!

After that, the Men's 45+, 55+, 65+ finished all the way up to the Pro 1 & 2 (who rode an 80-mile course).

Callville_Bay_Classic_Bicycle_Race_Day 1 (279).jpg
All in all, it was a good day. Time to go home and rest for the last stage to take place tomorrow.

Photos from the Flickr album set: SNSR Callville Bay Classic Bicycle Race 2009

Callville Bay Classic Bike Race - TT (Day 1)

The alarm clock went off. It's 5 a.m. I cracked open one eye. WTH?! The darn thing is buzzing earlier than usual ... and it's not even a weekday.

Today is the beginning of a two day, three stage race near Lake Mead (the time trail (referred to as "TT"), road race, and crit (short for criterium). John is up and about, preparing for his first race of the morning, the time trial in the Callville Bay Classic Bike Race.

I found myself awake and excited for him. Whoa now ... I didn't jump out of bed. It was more like I stumbled around like a drunk on roller skates, LOL.

Somehow, we managed to find ourselves at the sleepy marina where we frequented during the summers. O-hai widdle lake ... no, we are not launching a boat today.

Besides the Men's Cat (Category) 4 & 5 (which includes John), there are other groups racing: the Women's Cat 4 & 5, Jr. Women, Jr. Men, Men and Pro 1 & 2. Some categories are broken down by age groups or age groups and category, while others depend on the category regardless of age.

John begins to warm up on his trainer.

Maggie and John arrive shortly thereafter for moral support.

My husband takes his position in the queue as the riders ahead of him hit the road in 30-second intervals. The time trial stage is where, instead of riding alongside each other, the cyclists race against the clock from start to finish for the fastest time.

Ready...set...go! My boy in blue takes off along the 6.5 kilometer road which weaves uphill from Callville Bay to Northshore Road.
11 minutes and 47 seconds later, John placed 5th in the Men's Category 5 TT, tying with two other cyclists. He has performed better during training so he's not too thrilled about his time. In my opinion (considering it's his first race in over teen years), placing in the top 5 out 50 riders is ... not bad at all.

Photos from the Flickr photo set: SNSR Callville Bay Classic Bicycle Race 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kitty Time

Because we love our girls, my camera is always firing; capturing every precious moment. For some who view these photos, they may merely see cats. To us, they are our precious baby girls and so everything they do is so cute (yeah, I's sickening, LOL).

Here's Elgy napping on my belly...

Havi resting on John's lap...

Elgy standing(?) ... er, eh, leaning on John's lap. She does this when he eats cereal.

Elgy sleeping on my lap...

Okay, so far you've only seen the girls' talent for sleeping, lounging, resting, and napping.

Being sedentary is not all they can do. They practice yoga ...

...and play hide-and-seek.
Where's Elgy?
(Oh where, oh where could she be?)

(Elgy the expert at hiding)

(Aaah!! You found me!)

There you have it; a glimpse into the lives of our baby girls!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm too sexy

John strikes a pose; goofing around as usual.
...for this shirt! (John strikes a pose; goofing around as usual, lol.)

Just over a year ago, he could not wear this jersey. Almost 50 pounds lighter, he can now fit into the same jersey he wore when he was a 17-year old junior cyclist. Picture and post here.

For many months he trained diligently and watched his diet. In a week, John will be competing in his first road bike race after a 20+ year break from cycling. I am so excited for him!

No matter the results of the event, I am proud of him and all his hard work.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

First few shots with Nikon D60

All I know about my new camera so far is how to turn it on and shoot. I used the auto and no flash settings...and of course, Havi and Elgy were my target subjects!

First, roses from Maggie...

Then Havi in the bath tub (she does not like the flash) and digging in my paper trash. Strangely, she likes to eat plastic bags.

Elgy bird watching...

Havi catching the rays of the sun in the lounge.

I see ghost kitties!

Note to self: need more practice...and LOTS of it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

98 cents at the pump

This is refreshing...gas for 98 cents! We shop at Albertsons where they give gas rewards, $0.05 off a gallon of gas (up to 20 gallons) at Albertsons Express for every $50 dollars spent on qualified purchases. The rewards accumulated prints at the bottom of the grocery receipt.

For the longest time I was clueless about the Gas Rewards program until I asked about it one day. With $1.20 off per gallon of gas in rewards, I made my way to the pump and filled up my tank. Almost 13 gallons and only paid $12.55!

Monday, February 16, 2009

El Dorado and Confessions

I took a break from moving my office to spend Monday with my sweetie. We drove into the heart of Henderson for breakfast at the El Dorado Casino.
You can't tell any more but I had the "Four Deuces". 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausage links and 2 pancakes for $2.99. It was yummy with hot coffee to wash it down.
After we ran a couple of errands we went to the theater to watch, "Confessions of a Shopaholic". If you haven't seen it, it's a cute and funny movie. It made my heart smile and our purse strings tight with guilt for splurging on frivolous things.

Speaking of confessions, we have one of our own. We left the movies to buy me a Nikon D60 with a printer, the 55mm-200mm lens, filters--the works; despite sending a check to the IRS for this year's tax returns (it was somewhat rather painful. The way I see it, money is useless if you don't enjoy it). My first SLR! Now...I uh, just have to figure out how to use it (heh, heh).