Wednesday, September 29, 2010

World Cycling Championships Correspondent

I have an inside source at the 2010 World Cycling Championships going on right now.  Who, you ask?

Well, MY BOYFRIEND.  Ged is volunteering and he sent a couple of pictures.  He was going to send more but the Internet in his hostel isn't working too well...  But stay tuned for more pictures from the races.

 Talyor Phinney won the U23 time trial!

I'm so jealous of Ged...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Buckin' Broncs and Crazy Cowboys

I went to a rodeo Saturday night in Williston, Fla., which is 30mins west of Gainesville.  It was an assignment for the Gainesville Sun (the city newspaper I'm interning for).  The cowboys didn't treat the animals very nicely but it was a cultural phenomenon that I'm glad I got to experience.

It was the Annual Pro Rodeo featuring bucking broncos, barreling racing and bull riding...Enjoy the pictures.


Saturday, September 25, 2010


Just getting back from a 36-mile bike ride.  And you know what?  I felt like a machine.  I'm noticing that as I'm breaking in this new bike more and more, I'm really starting to feel the power and performance that comes with a full carbon frame.  A-mazing.  Not sure if I can ever go back to metal...

Ride stats:  2hrs, average speed 17.1mph, max speed 28.6mph.

The first few miles were warmup, like always.  Then I got into my groove and it felt awesome.

Post Ride
Lately, I've been reading all these articles about the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after exercise, so I decided to try it my way with soy chocolate milk.

While this does have 4 grams of fat per serving, I thought I'd give it a try anyway...

Have a lovely Saturday.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

You're a What?

Hi.  I'm Amanda and I'm a vegan.

Some people are genuinely surprised when I tell them that I don't eat animal products.  I guess that may be in part because I have a very aggressive, headstrong and competitive personality and veganism is more often associated with hippy-types.  (Don't get me wrong, I do have a hippy side to me sometimes...)

Regardless, I don't think I've expressed my veganism well enough on this blog.  That's not to say that I'm going to focus more on my eating habits rather than cycling and traveling.  It just means that I like to look at my athletic performance and associate that with my eating habits (especially with my 150-mile bike ride just around the corner).  Don't forget to donate...

With that said...
Here's what I did yesterday:

  • 2hrs on the bike
  • 35 miles
  • max speed 28mph
I had to dash off to class soon after I got home from the ride, but it was lovely.  I'm a bit sore today but I think yoga might fix everything later tonight.  

A slight problem I did have right after my ride was feeling dizzy.  That's probably due to my low iron levels, so I bought some stronger iron pills.

I had amazing whole wheat pasta last night with a simple basil sauce and spinach mixed in.  And I'm confident that eating full, "clean" meals like that one will make my recovery times shorter and keep my energy high for longer periods of time.

My Vegan History

I started eating vegan back in April of this year.  And honestly, I felt like absolute shit when I started.  I felt weak, grumpy and generally unhappy.  My body was acting like I was draining it of all the necessary nutrients.

And that's true to a certain extent.  What I was actually doing was retraining my body.  I had to "detox" myself from all the saturated fats, chemicals and sugars that are found in animal products and all processed foods.

After four months of normalizing a vegan diet, I can honestly say that I'm loving it.

Yesterday on my bike ride I felt really good.  And I would like to attribute that to eating whole foods that are freshly prepared (by me!).

Off to class for me.  Spanish exam awaits...OlĂ©!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Florida Alum Rides the US Pro Cycling Championship

A few days before I actually made the drive to South Carolina, I saw a familiar name on the roster for Sunday's road race in Greenville:  Phil Gaimon.

That name is on the back of my Florida Gators cycling jersey that I bought last year and wear quite often.  Apparently, the 24-year-old graduated from UF two years ago and has been coaching the UF cycling team for a few years since then.

I got in contact with him but didn't get the chance to meet him in person.  I did, however, find an article he recently wrote post-race.  Good stuff.


U.S. Nationals Road Race

Sorry it's a bit late, but I had to drive seven hours back to Gainesville, FL, once I left Greenville.  And I was pretty tired by the time I got back.

So, without further delay, here are the pictures I took from an amazing race yesterday.

I only stayed for two of the mountain laps.  I hung out and chatted with all the locals, who, despite not being cycling enthusiasts, really enjoyed watching the riders and cheering them on.

The nice people of Greenville who offered me water, beer and a place to sit:

My spot on the street with the short yet steep hills:

Here they come!  But wait, only THREE riders?!  Where the heck is everyone else...A guy with an iPhone next to me said there was a 16-minute gap between the lead group and the main peloton.  CRAZINESS.

Then a guy in fourth came a few minutes after all by himself...

Then we waited....for the rest of the group.

You know the group is getting close when you can see the helicopter above...

And about an hour later the first group came around again.  This time with a 20 MINUTE lead.  No one was chasing!

And then I had to leave.  Would've like to have stayed around the whole time but homework was calling my name.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Next Hero of American Cycling?

Today was an amazing day for cycling.  Today's US Cycling Championship Time Trial was probably one of the most exciting sporting events I've ever witnessed.

Taylor Phinney, a 20-year-old rookie, beat Levi Leipheimer, a veteran professional rider who finishes on the podium often.  And by how much time did Phinney beat Leipheimer??  0.14 seconds!

Here's What Happened:
Peter Stetina (Garmin), who was on his final lap and ahead of Leipheimer, hit a curb after coming out of a roundabout and went down pretty hard.  Cars and motorbikes parked up by the fallen rider and Leipheimer rode by a few seconds later and had to BRAKE to make sure he didn't get in an accident as well.  

So, essentially what I'm saying is that Leipheimer should've won.  But that's sports for you:  unlucky stuff happens all the time and you can't help it.  

Here are some photos from the day:

Phinney getting pumped up before the race:

And then the accident happened...

Here's the Garmin rider as he's coming out of the roundabout.  I didn't see it because I turned to look for the next rider (Leipheimer), but apparently he turned too wide and hit the median.

I think he was just badly winded.

Here's Phinney:

Leipheimer was the last rider in the time trial so we headed back to the finish line to see who was going to win. 

Phinney was there waiting anxiously...

And as soon as Leipheimer crossed the finish line he jerked his head around to look at his time only to find out that he was 0.14 too late.

A victorious Phinney:

A very exciting day overall.  Now we're in the hotel room watching Florida Football against the Tennessee Vols.  Come on Gators!