April 28-30

April 30, 2006

Athens Twilight, GA
25th, Kele Murdin, Women Pro/1/2/3

Roswell Criterium, GA
9th, Kele Murdin, Women

La Vuelta de Bisbee, AZ
Prologue Time Trial
21st, Jen Chapman, Women

Sulphur Sprnigs Road Race
27th, Jen Chapman, Women

Warren Time Trial
24th, Jen Chapman, Women

Tombstone Road Race
23rd, Jen Chapman, Women

General Classification
23rd, Jen Chapman, Women

Firestone Walker Mountain Bike Classic, CA
11th, Sami Fournier, Pro Women
3rd, Ryan Hostetter, Expert Women 19-29
4th, Sabine Dukes, Expert Women 30-39
1st, Michael Hernandez, Expert Men 35-39

Shasta Lemurian Classic, CA
4th, Elizabeth Cantu, Female 35-44

Kenwoods Road Race, MN
1st, Liesolot Decroix, Women 1/2/3

Madera Stage Race, CA
3rd, Julie Porter, Women 4
6th, Heidi Horton, Women 4
15th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 4
15th, Alicia Haro, Women 4
1st, Erika Donald, Women Masters 35+
7th, Andi Smith, Women Masters 35+
14t, Linda Locke, Women Masters 35+
9th, Luciana Vecchi, Women 3
6th, Monica Neilson, Women 1/2/Pro

Maryland State Champion!

April 30, 2006

What a fantastic day for racing! We made the 1-hour trip to central Maryland this morning for the Greenbrier AMBC race. Our 9-year-old daughter Alicia Styer rode a fantastic race, finishing second overall, and being the top finisher with a NORBA license. This makes her the Maryland State Champion for junior women, 10 and under!!! Full report here:

Morgan Styer
Very proud Velo Dad!

April 26

April 28, 2006

Prairie City Race Series #4, CA
2nd, Renee Ridgley, Women Sport 34 and under
3rd, Bonnie Darrah, Women Sport 35+

Snow to surf

April 25, 2006

by Wendy

The first day that I strapped on a heart rate monitor for a mountain bike ride I knew that I had turned into one of those “serious” racers that I swore I would never be. To some people, training to improve your race results might seem like a natural progression, but I had actually fought it for years. I had been quite happy racing on minimal effort. I always assumed that training would suck the fun out of cycling, so I had avoided coaches, intervals, hill repeats, lactate thresholds, and maximum heart rates for years.

In fact, when I first met Norm he asked me what I did for training – “when the time changes in the spring, I put it in the big gear” and he almost wet himself laughing at me. When I qualified for cyclocross worlds three years ago I was terrified of making an ass of myself (and my country) so I decided it was time to hire a coach and with that came the first of many hill repeats. But with that first real workout I promised myself that if I ever stopped having fun, I would quit. So every year I enter at least one fun event where I honestly don’t care what the results are.

This past weekend was one of those races.

Snow to Surf is a relay event on Vancouver Island that starts at Mt Washington ski hill and makes its way down to the ocean by way of skis, feet, bikes, and boats. You might guess I would do one of the bike legs but I am usually the XC skier. Over 100 teams enter (each with 9 members) and there is a huge outdoor beer garden at the end of it all.

I have done this event for the past 5 years with an incredible group of girls that have all become great friends. Many of the girls have competed at a high level in some sport but most are weekend warriors now, just looking for a good excuse to get outside and play.

We rent a cabin up on the hill and spend Saturday night drinking wine, catching up, laughing, playing games and pretending that we aren’t competitive about the race. Sunday we race our individual legs as if it were the world championships and Sunday afternoon we drink too much at the beer garden and tell each other how many teams we passed, the near puke, the beefcakes that wouldn’t let a girl pass, the mechanicals, and how bad we are going to hurt because we didn’t train this year. It is always a great time and even though I am usually gearing up for a big mountain bike season in April I always take part because it is a great reminder of why I race – good times, great friends, cool places.

I knew this year was going to be a wicked Snow to Surf because it was sunny and warm! After three solid weeks of cold rain, hail and even snow, everyone was pretty excited about sun. I did a huge ride up to the hill on Saturday and after 8 girls pushed Janet’s truck out of the snow (one in flip flops, two in shorts) we hiked into the cabin. We feasted and drank, went over race logistics and caught up on everything that had happened since our surf weekend in Tofino in February and my wedding in December. There were usually three conversations going on at once, and always laughter.

Sorry guys, there were no pillow fights in our panties.

Sunday was sunny as promised and we went to breakfast a little fuzzy and dehydrated.

Leg#1 – DH ski: Erin Ward was our down hill skier. She has been my friend for years and was a National level ski racer before that. A natural pick except….the skier has to run UP the mountain in ski boots before they get to ski down. It is the shortest leg of the relay but by far the hardest. You can always tell the skiers in the beer garden because they are still coughing 6 hours after the race. DH skiers are hard to get back two years in a row – the pain is not easily forgotten. But Erin had been skiing a lot this winter and more importantly practicing running up hill so she came down in a great position.

Leg#2 – 8km Nordic ski: In previous years I have started the XC ski near the back of the pack so I had to pass a lot of people. One year I swore I was going to the Olympics because I passed 100 people during my leg! (Ok some were classic skiers and some obviously hadn’t waxed their skis in years but I felt like a rockstar!). I hadn’t been able to ski much this winter so I was a little nervous but when my personal technician crew delivered my skis freshly waxed to the start (thanks Rumon & Norm) I remembered that sometimes it’s not about skill, it’s about the gear. Erin handed off the sweat band and when I could tuck faster than guys twice my weight I knew that my skis were waxed perfectly. But it wasn’t as much of a rockstar ski for me this year because Erin’s good position had put me in a more competitive group. I only passed a quarter of my quota but snot was still flying out of my nose and my tongue was dragging.

Leg#3 – 6.8km downhill run. I passed the band to Malaika Ulmi who is our downhill running legend. Every year she does this leg which has most people so crippled two days after the event that they need assistance getting off the toilet. It is a steep grade down the mountain on pavement. You can usually hear someone’s IT bands popping during this leg yet Malaika practically skips it. She is the ultimate racer as she will gut herself for the team, almost puke at the end, and then smile for the camera 2 minutes later. Her pass tally was low this year too because Erin had such a great leg.

Leg#4 – 6.4km downhill run. Steph Green was a last minute addition and had no idea what she was in for. We had met her at the surf weekend, got along great and she was coming up to support us (read: drink). The last minute change was probably going to kill her because this leg was another steep downhill run on pavement. Good thing she was just a buck ten. She was nervous at the start but seemed to find her stride because she finished strong, with a smile (or was that a grimace?).

Leg#5 – 12km mountain bike. Catherine Hamilton was fired up for her mountain bike leg because she had just purchased a shiny new bike the day before. Virgin ride. I think the new bike was probably 5lbs lighter than her old one so nothing could stop her from feeling fast! And there was more trail on the course this year so she put her mad technical skillz to use. I think Catherine keeps quiet about how much fun she has on her leg because she doesn’t want to trade it!

Leg#6 – 5km Kayak. Janet Rygnestad had moved to Protection Island last year and was commuting by kayak. Her daughter Natasha had apparently been “helping her train” the past couple weeks by sitting back and watching the seals while mom did all the work. She booked a fast boat and borrowed a carbon paddle to get an edge. There was a big battle with a guy who did NOT want to get “chicked” but Janet snaked him at the end!

Leg#7 – 30km road bike. Alison Keple was decked out in full pink for her road bike leg. Pink helmet, pink kit and I think she had pink earrings. She said she could hear little girls screaming “I LOVE YOUR OUTFIT” as she hammered out the ride in her tri bars. Hopefully one of those girls will be getting into cycling in the next year – guaranteed! She was psyched about her ride because the sparkly purple girl that has taunted her in previous years was nowhere to be seen Sunday.

Leg#8 – 10km canoe. Our paddlers Winnie Chow and Sarah Cormode are the secret weapon of our team. Wee little girls with huge smiles that will DESTROY guys on the water (and then flirt with them in the beer garden). They know how to read the tides and paddle SO well together that they are impressive to watch. They too snaked a boat at the finish to ring the bell and get the team beer tickets.

We all met in the beer garden and told stories of the day. As usual we drank too much beer, got too much sun and spread out to chat with friends we hadn’t seen for awhile. We ended up second in the open women’s category (destroyed by the same team that beats us every year).

After picking up our chocolate medals we said our goodbyes and promised to start training for next year’s race so we could finally beat them, knowing full well that none of us really cared that much if we won. So with a great race weekend fresh in my mind I head out to do some speed workouts with a heart rate monitor AND power tap on my bike (total XC geek, I know).

After this weekend I know that I still enjoy my racing as much as ever so its not time to pack it in just yet.

More Napa Valley

April 25, 2006

by Piper

I’m a singletrack kinda girl.

I’m not afraid to admit it.

I don’t own a roadbike. I have no desire to ride 60+ miles on a road.

My love affair with biking revolves around rocks, roots, ruts, narrow trees, steep descents, logs, switchbacks, and yes, even mud: anything to keep my mind off the fact that I’m asking my body to push itself harder than I normally do. And the Napa ValleyDirt Classic excited me.

This was my first year at NVDC. Sea Otter bored me with its endless fireroads. NVDC had its share of fire roads (most of which seemed to be going UP), but it had enough singletrack to keep me smiling and happy.

The details of the race are kind-of a blur: There were lots of fun, narrow singletrack through the trees, whoop-de-doos, logs to jump over, rutted and steep descents, mud patches that covered my legs in mud, and yes, there were also lots of fire roads.

I found myself passing groups of riders in the singletrack sections, only to have them pass me on the fire roads. Again and again. I found myself battling mostly with one woman, we took turns passing each other. She finished 30 seconds ahead of me, and it turns out she wasn’t in my category. But I’m glad I had someone to push me more than I would have pushed myself.

This was a fun race for me. I finished 7th, Sport women 30-35. Now on to my favorite race of the year (in California, at least): Skyline. A true singletrack course for a singletrack kinda girl.

Race Reports Rollin IN

April 25, 2006

Catch up on your bella racing news..its only Monday and we already have 4 race reports ready to go from this past weekend’s action.

Dino MTB Race

April 24, 2006

By Lindsay

Well, I’m officially a mountain bike racer now.

Its been a long day. I got up at 7, mostly because I was tired of trying to sleep. We left for the race 9:30 and got there around 10:45. I was very anxious because I wanted to ride two warm-up laps before the 12:00 race started.

I registered and changed quickly, and I probably would have had time for two laps, but after I saw the course I figured the second lap would hurt my confidence instead of helping it. I had been told that they course was easy and I wouldn’t have to ride over any logs (haven’t managed any decent wheelies yet).

The first and last miles of the 3 mile loop were highly technical and the lap had four logs. I had to walk most of the last half mile because it was too technical for me and I was really shaken because of all the men coming up behind me in warm-ups. By the time, I made it back to the car I wasn’t happy. More like scared out of my mind.

I had an hour of my husband’s expert race and an hour of sitting around to calm down. Then another setback.

For months I thought that I was in for a one-lap race because that’s what beginner women have always done in the past. I always thought a 3-mile bike race was kind of ridiculous, that’s what I’d been visualizing for months, so when I found out that we were doing two this year I wasn’t happy.

By the time I got to the starting line the nerves had cleared and a sense of resignment had set it. “Just tuck in and do it,” I thought. There were three women in my class. We filed into 1-2-3 order right from the starting line, with me in the middle and stayed that way for rest of the race, just spreading out more. The third place girl dropped out, so I was technically last, but since I was legitimately pulling away from her I consider it a small victory.

It was the winners 4th year in beginners, and the other women’s second, so as the only true newbie in the group I think I did okay. My lap times were just slightly slower for two laps than I expected for one, so I guess that was okay. My only real disappointment was have to walk a good portion of the course. I’m going to a skills clinic next weekend, so with that and plenty of practice riding I should be a lot stronger technically by the end of the season.

Today was just considered a practice race and didn’t count for points or prizes, so I didn’t get to stand on the podium (really disappointed). I thought I might be able to move up to sport after a couple of races, but it looks like I’m going to stay a beginner for the rest of the season.

There should be a bigger field at the real races and I guess my new goal can be to become a fast beginner and let other people race beginners for year number 5 (you have to upgrade if you win the series). You gotta have goals, right?

Finally, one last bit of info. My average HR for the race? 189 for a 50 minute effort. I’ve always had a fast little ticker, but wow.

Napa Valley Dirt Classic

April 24, 2006

by Kathleen

Napa Valley Dirt Classic
Weather: sunny, ~67 degrees
Course: One 22 mile loop. Some mud puddles and rutted sections but a super fun mtn bike course
Attendees: Sarah K., Teshia, Julie P., Kathleen, Vanessa, Piper, and Mo was the bella cheer leader
Place: Kathleen 3rd, Julie 4th, Sarah 4th(pro), Vanessa (2nd,category?), Teshia & Piper? Mo – 1st place for sharing her blanket and cheering.

I can only speak for my race. The pro elite/expert women all left together. I decided to do this race because my friend goaded me and because I really wanted to see this course. A friends comment kept resonating in my head, ‘it’s a real mtn bike course.’

I decided it would be a really scenic workout for my still tired Sea Otter legs. As we took off and made it onto the first flat section 3 gals were off the front, and then Paula Bock and I caught up to Sarah and Josie (Ithink it was Josie B.) and we worked together and then I settled into my own pace while Paula and Sarah took off.

Having few technical skills, I got passed by a few gals and lots of single speed men on the fun windy downhill single track. Sort of like riding in UCSC. Some of the rutted down hill I walked because I didn’t pick the right line and…I’m trying to stay up right these days.

Julie P. caught me a couple of times and nicely kept asking me how I was doing. I think I only grunted a reply. You always know you’re suffering a bit when you grunt instead of speaking. I was truly amazed when my carpool buddy, Emily, who was one of the 3 off the front, heckled me from behind and passed me yelling something about – wrong turn and crashing. She ended up catching all the gals in her class to win her race.

Ah to be 28 again.

I was waiting for the long, long, long climb out which was a combination of walking and riding and not as long as I had imagined it. Imagining for the worse was a good choice. At the very end I caught Sarah, and was feeling good until I crashed spectacularly on this small downhill. Me and the bike tumbling down the hill. My handle bars wrapped around mybike and my front brake sort of exploded and I had to do the last~1/2mile without a front brake. I’m hoping as Sarah passed me that she held up a sign that at least gave that crash a 10 for style points as my bruises today are rather colorful.

Paula Bock was 1st & Celeste McCarty 2nd in my race. It’s a fun race, nice organizers, shower afterwards, and Napa is oh so pretty this time of year. Definitely give it two thumbs up. Howell Mtn is in August in case you missed this one. That’s two loops of mostly the same scenery and fun swoopy trails. You don’t get the evil climb out but it’s much warmer.

April 22-23

April 24, 2006

Wente Road Race, CA
23rd, Luciana Vecchi, Women 3
2nd, Elizabeth Benishin, Women 45+
17th, Linda Locke, Women 45+
18th, Denise Ramirez, Women 4 35+
19th, Heidi Horton, Women 4
36th, Rosalind Randash, Women 4
9th, Monica Neilson, Women 1/2/Pro
1oth, Jen Joynt, Women 1/2/Pro
29th, Jen Chapman, Women 1/2/Pro
31st, Erika Donald, Women 1/2/Pro
33rd, Andrea Mackie, Women 1/2/Pro

Wente Criterium, CA
15th, Jen Joynt, Women 1/2/Pro
30th, Monica Neilson, Women 1/2/Pro
37th, Elizabeth Benishen, Women 1/2/Pro
10th, Luciana Vecchi, Women 3
1st, Heidi Horton, Women 4
11th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 4
3rd, Elizabeth Benishen, Women 45+
6th, Monica Neilson, Women 45+

Napa Valley Dirt Classic, CA
3rd, Kathleen Bortolussi, Expert Women 35-44
4th, Julie Porter, Expert Women 35-44
7th, Piper Ehlen, Sport Women 19-34
8th, Teshia Cordia, Sport Women 19-34

24 Hours of Temecula, CA
1st, Alex Fabbro, 5-person Co-Ed
Fastest Female Lap Time Overall, Alex Fabbro

Methow Valley Tour Omnium, WA
11th, Erika Krumpelman, Women

Road Race
7th, Erika Krumpelman, Women

Time Trial
6th, Erika Krumpelman, Women

8th, Erika Krumpelman, Women

Durand Road Race, WI
3rd, Lieselot Decroix, Women
9th, Laurel Sundberg, Women
14th, Karla Kingsley, Women
15th, Barb Harick, Women
20th, Paula Bohte, Women
24th, Sarah Stratton, Women
25th, Jodi Billy, Women
30th, Cheryl Golin, Women

Opus Criterium, WI
4th, Lieselot Decroix, Women

Bonelli Park AMBC
8th, Sami Fournier, Pro Women

April 19

April 24, 2006

Prairie City Race Series #3, CA
1st, Renee Ridgley, Women Sport 34 and under
2nd, Bonnie Darrah, Women Sport 35+

Next Page »