Help Send Barb to Worlds!!

December 30, 2005

Barb has been selected by USA Cycling to represent the US at the 2006 Cyclocross World Championships in Zeddam Holland.

USA Cycling requires all selected athetes to participate in a travel program arranged by them, but provides no funding for it. Ouch!

You can help Barb and Velo Bella, by clicking on the donation button below…or better yet, by shopping! Check out our Ebay auction fundraisers for just the right item.

This week’s Ebay auction is a complete Bianchi Cyclocross Bike provided by Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos, CA. The bike is available in whatever size you need.

Thank you everyone and be sure to stay tuned to Barbarella’s diary on Cyclingnews as she chronicles her adventures to worlds!

Barb Howe Diary – The Big Show

December 26, 2005

Oops…don’t know how this one slipped past me. Okay, I know how but whatever.

Barb’s latest Cyclingnews diary entry is all about Nationals. Racing in the snow, her awesome parents, our cutest little bella, and the whacked out after party.

Holiday Poem from MN

December 20, 2005

‘Twas the week of Christmas
And all through the State
Not a cyclist was riding
Except for those tempting fate.

It’s that time of year
When the trainers are out
Baba’s coaching us through winter
Even though we’d prefer the couch and a stout.

We finally have snow
For some cross-country skiing
It’s much better entertainment
Than watching cyclists peeing.

We’re excited for 2006…
The MN Bella team is growing
We’re doing weekly winter group rides
Even though it’s snowing!

Next year should be fun
Hollywood’s got our backs
We’ve even got a rider from Belgium
I foresee some kick-ass attacks.

While distance may separate us
We’re all Bellas (and Bella Fellas) at heart
We love this spunky team
Even though many states keep us apart.

So here’s to the Bellas
All over the contiguous States
Safe travels and best holiday wishes
To you and your mates.

Happy Holidays from the MN Bellas!


Last Day at Nats

December 14, 2005

The sun came out again for the last day of Nationals. I have to admit, that snow stuff is sort of pretty.

But treacherous. Overnight freeze changed the muddy ruts to dangerous slippery concrete swaths. Crazy Miss Mary actually raced on them. She’s much more woman than I am. I ached just getting up that early. After her race, her first question was, “Did you get a picture of me racing in the snow?” Yes, my funny heroine, I did.

The sun melted the course to a thick crunchy mud by the time the elite women went. We rarely face mud in Nor Cal races, let alone this weird part ice, part rut, part slimy mud mud. I don’t think I even saw this mud on Dave’s index.

Several crashes in the slushy goop took out Melodie and Christine. Erin and Sami soldiered on, and I swear I think Erin was having a good ol time out there. Ann had an amazing race, finishing in 12th place in her first nationals appearance. And Barb battled as best she could for her best mud finish and a 6th place.

I, we, couldn’t be more proud of all of them.

That night, the entire team, support crew and host housing families got together for dinner. The restaurant had set up two seperate tables to accomodate our large group. We promptly annoyed the hell out of the waiter, by getting up and scrunching all the tables together. Alex made speeches, Barb ate two meals, we all drank too much wine. Good stuff.

But, the night was not over. We had one last bella mission to accomplish. And we GOT that party started.

Love this team.

Cyclingnews results – B Women
Cyclingnews results – Elite Women
Nationals Gallery
The Pics you really wanna see

Winter Wonderwomanland

December 10, 2005

This cyclocross stuff is the silliest sport ever. Who, in their right mind, would fly across the US, to ride their bike around a neighborhood park…in a sleetstorm?

I know a few girls who would.

Friday saw the bellas get their first 05 national champion, when Betty”iron will” Jordan won the Women 55+!

Also braving the storm on Friday, was DelaBella Lisa Vible, who finished 11th in the Women 40-44.

The storm cleared for Saturday, but it left behind a frozen tundra of a course. First one to tackle the icy hell, was Kiersten Inserni. The little pink fireball melted the course as she rocketed through in the Junior Women 10-12 race.

Two bellas, Melodie Metzger and Monique Hein, represented their schools in the collegiate race. Mel dominated as she successfully defended her title and Monique was pure champ in one of her first cross races. Rounding out the day, was Sami Fournier, who raced to a 13th place in the Women 35-39

First place in the snow writing contest, went to Miss Mary, who used a stipling technique. Good thing we didn’t let boys play in this one. But the ice dancing award has to go to me, because Miss Mary is a walking disaster. Alas, the snowball fights, all ended in dead ties.

Clickie pics
Cyclingnews Results – fireballs
Cyclingnews Results – Iron Willed
Cyclingnews Results – Sunnier & Muddier
Cyclingnews Results – Collegiate

That Sweeping Sound You Hear

December 8, 2005

Oh…so cool. Only wish I wasn’t out acting a fool and could have watched it myself.

Mel, Barb and Ann went 1-2 and yes – 3 at the final Pilarcitos race this weekend. The trio stuck together, until Ann suffered from the bella flat scourge. But she troopered through and held on for 3rd.

With the winning points, Mel also won the overall Pilarcitos series and Ann was second. They looked so cute all standing at the top of the podium. (I would have taken a picture, but that goddamn Simpson russian podium music scares me.)

And word up to Amy for coughing up a lung as she held on to my wheel and allowed me to have a few moments of fun in my race. Thanks Amy!!

Bravo to all the other Pilarcito-ites!

(Photo stolen from Eric)

Andi Mackie, 8th Overall, Women A
Barb Howe, 9th Overall, Women A
Christine Vardaros, 13th Overall, Women A
Erin Kassoy, 15th Overall, Women A
Sarah Kerlin, 18th Overall, Women A
Heather Kirkby, 23rd Overall, Women A
Amy Abele, 12th Overall, Women B
Betty Jordan, 16th Overall, Women B
Sabine Dukes, lost in fricken la la land
Miss Mary, 20th Overall, Women B
Karen Kevaufer, 25th Overall, Women B
Karin Jeffrey, 6th Overall, Women C
Cheryl Hennessey, 14th Overall, Women C

Sami’s a Champ

December 7, 2005

but we always knew that….

Congrats to our longtime DC bella, Sami Fournier.

This weekend she became the Mid Atlantic Cyclocross Champion in both the Elite Women and Women 35+. Damn, thats a whole lot of $2 racing (Do you guys do that back there?)

Also, congratulations to newtime DelaBella, Lisa Vible. She became the Mid Atlantic 40+ champ.

Don’t know how you guys back east race while wearing 14 pounds of clothing.

Just part one, in a sweet weekend for the girls.

CRY Me a Cross Team

December 1, 2005

Clickie over here to check out a great CX season recap from the MN bellas!

MN CX Season

December 1, 2005

I just wanted to give some hugo pena props to all of the MN Bellas who raced cross this year: Margot, Karla, Barb, and Manda. I raced cross too, but giving props to myself would just be weird. While 5 cx racers doesn’t seem like much, we essentially quintupled (is that a word?) our MN Velo Bella cross team from last year.

The MN cross season consisted of a 12-race CRY (CX Rider of the Year) point series and a State Cross Championship. In the B category, Margot Herman was 2nd place in the series (even though she had the same number of pts as the first place finisher), Karla Kingsley was 4th place, and Barb Harick was 8th. In the C category, Manda Lo was 7th overall. I did a combination of C and B races, so I ended up towards the tailend of both categories.
I also want to give props to our sponsor Matt Moses who took a bunch of photos at the various cross races (one of which is shown here)…you can check out more of his photos (from MN races and national races) at his website.

And last but certainly not least, I want to give props to a few of the Bellas who officiated during cross season…Jenn and Stacia (sorry if I forgot anyone).

Oh, and the fans…I forgot to thank the fans!


Barb Howe Diary – Queen Anne

December 1, 2005

Be sure to check out Barb’s latest diary entry on Cyclingnews. This week features a special girly on girly interview of Ann Fitzsimmons