Woah, what a weekend.

There were ups, there were downs, there were thrills and there were spills.

I went into the weekend in a pretty doomy gloomy mood. Lately, I have been feeling exceptionally tired, irritable, short tempered, and dare I say it….a little depressed. Sort of like Supersized Extra Special PMS squared. Except without all the blood. I certainly have not been feeling myself, anywayAfter a hard day’s work on Friday and a long uncomfortable car ride, we arrived at our cabin to discover that it was tinier than our tiny bedroom and hot and stuffy and we couldn’t figure out how to open the security latch on the window and the cats were pooping and Michael was cranky…and I lost it.
After yet another night of tossing and turning, I showed up Saturday morning to contest the Masters District crit with my pals and teammates. I love my pals and teammates, but that morning, I could think of about 783 other things I would have rather been doing. Like drawing Jesus, or organizing the garage, or I don’t know…sleeping.

I was standing around with that gurgle in the stomach and discomfort in your own skin that happens when you are doing something you don’t want to. And then I talked to a good friend who had been experiencing many of the same feelings I was. And it was like mini group therapy with the relief and validation that comes with knowing you are not alone and not crazy. Well maybe a little crazy, but certainly not alone.

And the relief was extraordinary. Almost overwhelming. I rolled out on the course to warm up, stopped at a particularly scenic spot near a barn and gave myself permission to let it all out.

And once that was all done and over with, I felt a gazillion times better and ready to move forward.

Here is what I determined. I am done, stick a fork in me done, with training and racing for a bit. Normally the training and racing levels I have been doing would be okay…but coupled with the stuff going on with momma, I was thrown into the deep end. I don’t think the body can distinguish physical stress from emotional stress and both break the body down. And this body is officially broke down.
So I did a couple of unremarkable laps of our road race before pulling out completely guilt free. And with that whimper I ended my season.

But I have no regrets. Thanks to our awesome team and my wonderful man, I had one of the most rewarding seasons I have ever had since I started this racing silliness.

I got to work my ass off for my teammates, I have learned to take a race into my own hands, I have attacked even at moments when I feel I am about to get dropped, I have gotten into winning breaks, I won a hilltop road race, and I have learned how to risk.

So now I’ll plan Surf City, maybe think about racing cross, and I seriously CANNOT wait for next season.


Yesterday I saw my man crash. I do not wish that on anyone. Neither the crashing nor the seeing of a loved one crashing.

I was setting up to take a photo and through the viewfinder (I always use the viewfinder, never the lcd screen) I watched Michael come around the corner. Right before the moment that I was going to snap the picture, I saw Michael and his bike buck strangely to the outside and then slam violently to the ground on the inside. And then I saw him lay on the ground, screaming in utter pain.
Because I was looking through the viewfinder, my sight senses were heightened and those visuals are burned into me.

And they make me sick to my stomach.

I wish I could delete them.

I’ve been trying to override them with images of Michael in his skirt instead.

Because putting his shorts on after the crash was too painful, Michael just put on his little wraparound changing skirt instead.

And then we stopped at the drugstore for some Tegaderm and tonic water. And so there was Michael, with his crash induced gimp and limp, and his Strumpfelpeter hair, and his Safeway tshirt inside out, and his bella socks and tennis shoes, and his little purple skirt, roaming the aisles of Rite Aid in Watsonville. And if you are going to have a crash memory visual burned into your brain, I would rather it be that one.

30 Responses to “Weakend”

velogirl July 31st, 2007 at 3:02 am

great post — very honest and compelling. I hope you get (and enjoy) a little break.

X Bunny July 31st, 2007 at 3:14 am

i have to say that the best part of the whole weekend was talking to you before the race

thank you

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) July 31st, 2007 at 3:25 am

You know, vb, it is refreshing to know that other people have the same feelings! My life has also some tips and turns right now, and it does all add up! My season is heading into the final couple races..
And I hope mr. ov is feeling better soon!!!! He is lucky he has you :-)

Enjoy your off-season break! And just have fun! You deserve it. You had an awesome season.

PAB(a.k.a.CID) July 31st, 2007 at 3:29 am

when it is time, it is time.

time for a break (no pun intended).

you and bunny and lilly and sue and the kitties and…. all the bellarifics… have had a great season. i hope you all cherish it, i certainly do…

Ippoc Amic July 31st, 2007 at 3:34 am

thanks for waiting for me on that last lap too…it was an unremarkable lap, but I was glad for the company…suenago already has plans for our 2008 season to defend the kernal’s title

X Bunny July 31st, 2007 at 3:38 am

i have to admit i can’t really think about next season yet, let alone look forward to it…..but that will come

but i have lots of yummy memories to keep me happy for now….it’s really going to be quite a task to top this year!!

marscat July 31st, 2007 at 3:49 am

ah, rest up and take care of michael.

(and try not to let your disappointment with not winning the TdF game get you down. just remember the joy of leading your teammate out so that she (ME!) could win. i’ll let you use my 120z bottle)

(ippoc has corrected me: 24oz)

Lilly Bella July 31st, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Why was Michael walking around the store? Hmmmf…I knew I should have gone with you two and taken care of those things.

Its like letting the drunk decide to drive, he should have no say in the matter, “Sit still young man and let me tend to you!”

*warning—I am calling everyday to make sure…think of something I can do to ease the burden…
I am very good at getting my people food and drink after work!

Anyway I am glad you made it home safely. Thats a whole lot of stuff to add to that plate, so make sure you are well taken care of too, and its okay to say yes to buddies who can help.

I know racing is what we do, but to me its bigger, its about those friendships, overcoming struggles, triumphs. Beer drinking and men in skirts just added a whole lot of incentive, we should get skirt sponsors.

Oh and VB- you are so proving you’re an A…with everything you accomplish there is an A down side-letting go, if you don’t decide to eiliminate unnnecessary stressors your bod will make you anyway. way to embrace the B inside and let all the stuff that drives you go…

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) July 31st, 2007 at 3:06 pm

When Mr. Man crashed at San Rafael I was trying to take a video, but the camera shut down right as the field came through the final corner and I was futzing with the camera and didn’t see the crash at all. Thank god.

I’m glad you’re going to take it easy and not compel yourself to do too much. That’s not fun.

BELLA BEAR July 31st, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Just try and burn the image of brad pitt in that little get up and you will feel much better!

Tell Mike to feel better!

tash July 31st, 2007 at 3:26 pm

time to dream of only sweet singletrack w/ nary an interval in it!!! kick your feet up and play a little. thanks for being such an inspiration this season:) natasha

Velo Bella July 31st, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Ha! Michael insisted on coming in the store. Apparently he thinks I don’t know anything about road rash???!

I don’t think type A people drive on an expired license for two years, forgo oil changes, arrive late for work everyday, have cars rotting in their yard, and just filed their taxes last week.

lauren July 31st, 2007 at 4:52 pm

you need to smoke some pot. that’ll help.

smoke a fatty and then sit in the backyard in the lounge chair in the warm sun.

and see if you can get ov (once he’s feeling better) to do some weeding in his skirt, while you lounge.

chatterbox July 31st, 2007 at 6:15 pm

vb – It seems we all start to get to this place when our bodies are on the edge at the end of a long season. We all get pushed over with the addition of emotional or mental stress (you’re definitely not alone). You’ve had an amazing season – both personally and for the team. You can hold your head high and take a well-deserved break.

Velo Bella July 31st, 2007 at 6:54 pm

men in skirts!
my pictures are cracking me up.

cyclingsloat July 31st, 2007 at 7:48 pm

I have enjoyed following the VB team this season through your blog. I am an x-racer who due to life has not been able to race much. However, after reading how much fun you and the bellas had this year I’m thinking about getting back in the game next season.

If you find yourself in Monterey some Saturday morning come along on the 7:30 ride and I’ll buy you coffee and snacks at the post ride watering hole.

B well

Ippoc Amic July 31st, 2007 at 8:09 pm

i cannot believe he is going to race this weekend…

marscat July 31st, 2007 at 8:37 pm

he’s gone mad, absolutely mad…

PAB(a.k.a.CID) July 31st, 2007 at 9:13 pm

if there was any way in hell that i could be out there, i would…

dr-nitro July 31st, 2007 at 9:42 pm

So, how exactly did you go about collecting all the pics? I mean, Right Said Fred, come on.

lauren July 31st, 2007 at 10:09 pm

google search “men in skirts”.

and vb, i was being sillier earlier and forgot to mention that i really liked this post. very honest.

Velo Bella July 31st, 2007 at 10:25 pm

“men in skirts” plus googling some movies that I knew had men in skirts

and, I found some weird stuff too. Including a great bikerfoxlike photo of an older guy in his living room in a white tennis skirt next to an accordian. Thats the beauty of the interwebs, no matter how weird your little thing is, you are not alone.

But i didn’t post accordian skirt because i wanted machoish skirt men. You know, like Michael.

I really really wanted to find a picture of Hansel from Zoolander in that skirt he wore, but no luck.

My favorite skirt pic is the black knight kicking Arthur.

dr-nitro July 31st, 2007 at 10:51 pm

Well, the first thing I did when I saw the post was googled men in skirts (don’t you just love how google is now a verb). What was really surprising was that it did not produce a list of kinky porn sites.

But, I must say that the black knight one should have gone in the part of the post dealing with Mikey’s spill. “It’s only a flesh wound. I’ve hurt worse.”

Olaf Vanderhoot July 31st, 2007 at 11:40 pm

gawdamn black night pic …

and if you’da found a zoolander pic (or even, gasp, a Piper Down! pic) … that would have just been overkill.

but let’s return to Sabine’s year.

LAST year, she was coming off a DVT and re-introducing herself to racing/riding. And we had a great time exploring riding, racing, and the world of silly-spandex.

it was a great year.

and this year, she put a foot forward and raced … like a deepdelver. She led a team, bled for a team, sacrificed for a team.

and it was glorious.

she won a bit, hurt a lot, and (sometimes) even suffered in training.

I am proud to have you as my woman, Sabine.

now, come home and lets spoil each other.

T. Marie August 1st, 2007 at 10:36 pm


I hope I don’t sound all mother-ish saying this, but maybe go in for some blood tests (?) What you described is a lot of how I have been feeling for most of this season, especially lately. I went to the doc and had some labwork done and it turns out I have a medical condition that explains my fatigue and moodiness. You know your body better than anyone else, and you’ve been riding and racing for long enough to know what extends beyond the normal realm of “tired”.

And remember, $27 + $5 times 2 per weekend = lots of cute new clothes and strawberry dacquaries.

Anyway hope you feel better soon. Hope Michael feels better too after that gnarly spill.

jeninsb August 1st, 2007 at 11:06 pm

Men in skirts. Ha!

That Kern win was so cool, VB. Congrats on a fab season. So bueno, so inspiring.

Your rotting car made me laugh so hard.

Enjoy the days. May they be beautiful and redwoody and sunshiney. And silly. Very silly.

kyle August 2nd, 2007 at 5:53 am

hope you both feel better soon! give my warmest wishes and hugs to your Mom…I have been so off the map I had no idea. Letme know if you need anything

Mwaaa….Jeni…posting as Kyle 😉

karla August 2nd, 2007 at 11:47 pm

You’ve had such a great season, you definitely deserve some time away from all the craziness of racing racing racing racing. Get some good relaxin’ in. I also love the men in skirts :)

Yirda December 30th, 2015 at 10:13 am

I have a pair of linen trousers (the only pair I have ever owned) and I am trnyig to work out how I can make them into a dress – I don’t wear skirts only dressed

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