New Year’s Eve Winter Ride

December 31, 2006

Good Bye ‘06, hello ’07! As I write this, it’s FINALLY snowing. For the first time I can ever remember, we had a warm, brown Xmas. I don’t mind at all the above freezing temps, but it has been very hard to: 1. ski!! 2. take some time off the bike 3. justify eating more cookies (gotta keep warm!) 4. brag about how tough I am riding in below freezing and even below zero temps. This morning husband and I put on the ‘bags’ (rain jackets), dialed up the foot heaters and went for a ride. One local tough gal Sara bailed on us, but that only made us a little more resolved to at least try to ride it out. At 8 o’clock it was frickin’ dark out still–plain gloomy, but 41 degrees felt downright balmy once we got going. We rode hills around St. Paul keeping close to home just in case. This weather reminds me that I once read Seattle track guy Woody Cox (yup…) complain how hard it was to train all winter in wet conditions like this. Today still beats 15 degrees. Anyhow, I stayed warm but not dry. We turned in after 2.5 hours, 1.5 short of our original goal as my feet were getting cold as the temps seemed to have cooled. Several P&B sandwhiches, a hot shower, 2 loads of laundry and a short nap dreaming of sunny, hot days and many victories later, I feel refreshed and ready to take on New Year’s Eve! Yours, Barb

A dream comes true…

December 26, 2006

CX Nats Race Report— Elite Women’s race

Callie McDowell

This weekend I found the phrase “dream come true” on my lips at least once an hour. There was so much to psyched about: phenomenal weather (sorry Cali girls but that was a veritable heatwave for New England), fast course conditions, an encouraging pre-ride session on Saturday, and of course, the company of the circuit’s finest ladies of our team Velo Bella-Kona! It should be said that last year— my first year ever racing ‘cross— that I had admired our pink, blue, black, and –boa’ed flag from afar, but let me tell you, it has been 10x more fun flying the colors myself and getting to race with such a wonderful crew with the support of so many fabulous sponsors.

Race day on Sunday unfolded for me without much fanfare or nervousness. My difficulties were in conveying to what extent the whole experience was a little surreal for me. My first season racing in the elite category has been a mixed bag of results but an absolute blast. Truthfully, I’m still shocked my license is green every time I pull it out of my wallet. Among so many other aspects, just my upgrade has been a goal and dream come true.

Inside of 2 hours to the race, my pulse picked up bit. But the course was fast and so much like my favorite mountain bike trail “Chutes and Ladders” in some places that I couldn’t help smiling to myself thinking of how awesome the race itself would be. Warming up in a humming line of trainers with Dee-Dee, Anna, Erin, and Melanie, I was again overwhelmed by gratitude for my good fortune in finding such a talented and positive squad of women with whom to race. Right on!

Cut to the race as my teammates were off like shots from their hard earned staging positions in the rows nearer the start. More gushing and appreciation: In the elite field I’ve found you need not harbor much concern that the girl in front of you will bumble with her pedals. The start went smoothly and was uphill— just my style. Soon my legs were singing with the pleasurably pain of digging it in and seeing girls recede in my peripheral vision. Unfortunately, a quick bout of nerves prevailed and I let up off the gas for the transition from pavement to grass as I had a flashback to a previous race where with well-meaning, targeted aggression I had hit the terrain change with such force that my race ended then and there having overcooked the first turn. Fortunately, I quickly collected and refocused my thoughts. I motored along for the first lap, pleasantly surprising myself by riding with and even past women who only last year I watched from afar thinking such thoughts as, “Golly, they are taking those barriers awfully quickly!” and “Gee, how the heck did they ride up that!?” Nothing quite so fine as amazing yourself in this manner by taking a step closer to becoming just such a racer.

Now, I cannot lie that the details commence fogging over in the second to last lap. I recall voices of encouragement, both familiar and anonymous. Before the race I was recounting to a friend that there’s nothing more humorous to me than having perfect strangers screaming “Yeah, Bella!” as I am racing my last laps with a near complete lack of poise, snot emerging from my nostrils, and my tongue lolling out of my mouth in a most uncomely fashion. Makes me wonder just why they are calling me beautiful….

Hilarious, but as usual, I revel in the way in which everyone loves our team, colors, attitude, our fabulous kick-butt Kona kitty bikes, and supports us with great gusto accordingly. The energy all along the course had me smilingly giddily all afternoon and dreaming of cowbells throughout the night. And while no amount of cheering would have landed me on the podium this year, after the race, I was equal parts content with my finish and inspired and eager to improve for next fall.

Congratulations to our whole squad and best wishes to Steph for a speedy recovery. Thanks to our support crew and all the sponsors for contributing to yet another one of my dreams becoming a reality.

Dede earns nomination to Worlds!

December 21, 2006

Dede has been informally called the “rookie of the year” for her surprise success in cyclocross this year. Now her success, which culminated in a 4th place finish at nationals, has earned her one of the five coveted invitations to race at Cyclocross Worlds.
Congratulations to our own grasshopper!!

Read the story at
USA Cycling

Grasshopper Wins

December 16, 2006

After walking away from the field on the second lap of the race, Dee Dee “Grasshopper” Winfield stretched her lead to 44 seconds and became the 2006 US Nationals Masters 30-34 Champion today in Providence, RI.

Joining Dee Dee in today’s race were Sarah Kerlin (7th), Melanie Swartz (8th) and Anna Milkowski (who suffered a crash on the first lap while in the lead) finished 12th. Stay tuned for a detailed race report to follow…

More soon!


December 15-17

December 15, 2006

US National Cyclocross Championships, RI
1st, Dee-Dee Winfield, Women 30-34
7th, Sarah Kerlin, Women 30-34
8th, Melanie Swartz, Women 30-34
12th, Anna Milkowski, Women 30-34
4th, Dee-Dee Winfield, Elite Women
16th, Sarah Kerlin, Elite Women
17th, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
19th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
23rd, Erin Kassoy, Elite Women
28th, Jennifer Tilley, Elite Women
51st, Callie McDowell, Elite Women

Peak Season Cyclocross #1, CA
1st, Kathleen Bortolussi, Women 35+


December 15, 2006

After walking away from the field on the second lap of the race, Dee Dee “Grasshopper” Winfield stretched her lead to 44 seconds and became the 2006 US Nationals Masters 30-34 Champion today in Providence, RI.

Joining Dee Dee in today’s race were Sarah Kerlin (7th), Melanie Swartz (8th) and Anna Milkowski (who suffered a crash on the first lap while in the lead) finished 12th. Stay tuned for a detailed race report to follow…

More soon!


The night before Nationals….

December 14, 2006

Here we are in lovely Providence RI, for Cyclocross Nationals – 2006.

We once again have an impressive team lining up for the championship events.

For Friday’s Master’s race we have:
Sarah Kerlin
Anna Milkowski
Melanie Swartz
Deidre Winfield

Andi Mackie

Sunday’s Elite race:
Ann Fitzsimmon
Erin Kassoy
Sarah Kerlin
Callie McDowell
Anna Milkowski
Melanie Swartz
Jen Tilley
Deidre Winfield

Unfortunately Stephanie White is out with a broken ankle. We’ll miss you and wish you a speedy recovery Scout!

Listen to the Live Audio cast on Sunday at 2pm for the elite women’s race to hear how well your Bella teammates are doing at

Stay tuned for race reports.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, teammates, and supporters that have helped us get here.

December 9-10

December 9, 2006

Sacramento Cyclocross Series-#10, Sutter’s Landing, CA
7th, Yvette Crockrell, Women C

Sacramento Cylocross Series Final Overall
10th, Erin Kassoy, Women A/B
11th, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women A/B
12th, Andi Mackie, Women A/B
16th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women A/B
8th, Erika Donald, Women C
10th, Yvette Crockrell, Women C

Surfcity Cyclocross Series #3, Watsonville Fairgrounds, CA
5th, Amy Abele, Women 35+
6th, Betty Jordan, Women 35+
2nd, Sarah Kerlin, Elite Women
5th, Erin Kassoy, Elite Women
6th, Andi Mackie, Elite Women
3rd, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women B
4th, Nicki Bumbaca, Women B
5th, Jeni Udall, Women B
7th, Ryan Hostetter, Women B
8th, Katrina Loera, Women B
5th, Lori Cherry, Women C
7th, Rebecca Dyas, Women C
16th, Liz McAfee, Women C
17th, Melinda Webster, Women C

Surfcity Cyclocross Series Final Overall
4th, Amy Abele, Women 35+
6th, Betty Jordan, Women 35+
7th, Kathleen Bortolussi, Women 35+
2nd, Sarah Kerlin, Elite Women
6th, Andi Mackie, Elite Women
8th, Erin Kassoy, Elite Women
14th, Janie Dalton, Elite Women
2nd, Jeni Udall, Women B
4th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women B
6th, Erika Donald, Women B
8th, Katrina Loera, Women B
9th, Marion Jamison, Women B
10th, Nicki Bumbaca, Women B
14th, Ryan Hostetter, Women B
20th, Kelley Miller, Women B
10th, Rebecca Dyas, Women C
14th, Ryan Hostetter, Women C
17th Lori Cherry, Women C
23rd, Susan Brown, Women C
28th, Liz McAfee, Women C
30th, Melinda Webster, Women C

Central Coast Cyclocross Series #4, Fort Ord East Garrison, CA
1st, Sarah Kerlin, Elite Women
3rd, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women B
6th, Amy Abele, Women 35+
8th, Betty Jordan, Women 35+

W. E. Stedman Grand Prix, RI
2nd, Dee-Dee Winfield, Elite Women
7th, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
8th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
14th, Stephanie White, Elite Women
22nd, Callie McDowell, Elite Women
2nd, Erin Duggan, Women B

NECCS Caster’s Grand Prix, RI
2nd, Dee-Dee Winfield, Elilte Women
7th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
15th, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
18th, Callie McDowell, Elite Women
1st, Erin Duggan, Women B

Capitol Cross Classic

December 5, 2006

By Dee Dee “Grasshopper” Winfield

It was the first race I had done that was less than 2 hours from home. How awesome, we loaded Cadence in the car and left the morning of; meaning we were going to get home before 10:00 that night, woohoo! It was one short year ago that I had begun to race my bike again. I was still about 10 pounds over my “competition weight” and still breastfeeding but I was there, infant in arms, ready to race. Last year, 7th, today, 1st but not without a good fight.

I got the hole shot but didn’t keep the lead for long, Mo came around me at some point and I around her and vice versa. Back and forth we traded, making for a very interesting race. Mel had a great start and was with us for a while but had an issue with a flat at some point. The weather was cool and the course pretty dry but there was a nice technical section on the back side. I was able to grab her wheel at one point and decided to attack once we hit the pavement. It took several tries of out of the saddle power tapping but eventually I was able to get a gap and keep it with about 1.5 laps to go. It was a tough race with lots of battling but it was nice to come away with the victory after not having raced last weekend due to illness.

Only 2 more weeks to Nationals!!!

December 2-3

December 5, 2006

Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross Series #5–Coyote Point, CA
4th, Erin Kassoy, Elite Women District Championship
9th, Andi Mackie, Elite Women District Championship
8th, Jeni Udall, Women B
2nd, Nicole Bumbaca, Women C
20th, Rebecca Dyas, Women C
1st, Kathleen Bortolussi, Women 35+ (Gold Medal, Masters 35+ District Championship)
7th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+ (5th, Masters 35+ District Championship)
9th, Amy Abele, Women 35+ (Bronze Medal, Masters 45+ District Championship)
11th, Betty Jordan, Women 35+ (Gold Medal, Masters 55+ District Championship)
12th, Mary Hoover, Women 35+ (4th, Masters 45+ District Championship)

Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross Series Overall
7th, Andi Mackie, Elite Women
9th, Erin Kassoy, Elite Women
19th, Troy Watson, Elite Women
10th, Katrina Loera, Women B
11th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women B
19th, Sabine Dukes, Women B
21st, Marion Jamison, Women B
23rd, Erika Donald, Women B
25th, Miss Mary Perez, Women B
3rd, Nicole Bumbaca, Women C
26th, Yvette Crockrell, Women C
34th, Rebecca Dyas, Women C
2nd, Kathleen Bortolussi, Women 35+
7th, Mary Hoover, Women 35+
8th, Betty Jordan, Women 35+
10th, Amy Abele, Women 35+
13th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+

Capital Cross Classic, VA
1st, Dee-Dee Winfield, Elite Women
3rd, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women

KLM Marketing Solutions UCI Cyclocross, KS
6th, Jennifer Tilley, Elite Women

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