September 23-24

September 25, 2006

Sacramento Cyclocross Series #2–Pena Adobe, CA
3rd, Erin Kassoy, Women A/B
4th, Andi Mackie, Women A/B
9th, Yvette Crockrell, Women C

Charm City Cyclocross – Baltimore, MD
1st, Dee-Dee Winfield, Elite women
3rd, Melanie Swartz, Elite women

Vermont Grand Prix of Cyclocross – Williston, VT
5th, Stephanie White, UCI-Elite women

Central Coast Cyclocross Series #1–Manzanita Park, CA
1st, Sarah Kerlin, Elite Women
8th, Ann Fitzsimmons, Elite Women
6th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women B
9th, Kelley Miller, Women B
10th, Miss Mary Perez, Women B
8th, Amy Abele, Women 35+
10th, Betty Jordan, Women 35+

Jemeppe, Dames Elite Race, Belgium
2nd, Lieselot Decroix

Bellas GoGo to Interbike

September 25, 2006

After we are done baking cookies for sponsors, and pro-spotting, and geeking out on bike stuff, we’ll be at the Schwalbe booth # 3425 at 2:30 on Thursday, Sept 28th.


More babbling about it here


September 23, 2006

The season starts.. umm… today.

The first races are a-ways from the Twin Cities– Taylor Falls on Saturday… (WAY WAY up by the North Dakota border) and St. Cloud on Sunday. Good luck to all racing.

Check out this


September 23, 2006

The Bellas who showed up for our end of the year pinic had the pleasure of riding with Annemiek Sisterman. She kicks a lot ass and is hella fun to ride with. And.. she just started her journey from Minnesota to Texas to celebrate 5 years cancer-free.

  • Check out this article about her ride in the Pioneer Press.
  • Keep track of her progress at
  • Support here by donating to the Livestrong foundation.

Testing out Flickr

September 22, 2006

Originally uploaded by evilpanda.

This is photographic evidence that our Saturday morning rides DO occur. This was a ride I (manda) ‘led’ out to Wayzata.

I dragged a couple of my friends who wanted to know how to get to Wayzata by bike with…

This was back in April… It was a great day for April.. sunny and pretty warm.

Sucker Brook ‘Cross – New Hampshire

September 22, 2006

by Stephanie White

Hi Everyone,
The first ‘cross race of the season; always a great
time! My first race this year (Sucker Brook
Cyclocross) was this past Sunday, September 17, in Auburn NH.
It’s a local race and I’ve known the promoter since I
first started to ride.

The course was fast and fun with a lot of field
riding, a few tight corners, some steep tricky climbs,
and a long running sand section near the end.
It was a hot day for cyclocross, a good 80 degrees by
the A womens race in the afternoon. The officials
(thankfully) allowed feeding, so it felt like a
short mountain bike race.

There were 12 girls at the start line, including my
little sister Libby (she’s going to try to race with
the big girls now). Off the start Amy Wallace (Richard
Sachs) took the lead and held it. I tried to hang with
her for about half a lap, but then settled in with the
chase group with Cris Rothfuss (NEBC) and an ECV rider
I didn’t know. The three of us knew we
weren’t going to catch Amy and weren’t going to get
caught, either.

Thus the mind games began! We all took turns pulling,
but we were playing it smart, too. With two laps to
go, the ECV girl got a flat and Cris got stuck
behind her. I opened up a small gap – but maintained
it through the last few laps, finishing second! Amy
killed me, but it was a good time all the same.

My First Crit

September 21, 2006

by Jennifer Rodriguez

Amid a very intense training program leading up to my first crit, I started to wonder. The mental tape that played in my head over and over only made me push it and work even harder. Am I ready? The other women work so hard and some didn’t recently have babies. Can I still compete? Can I still hang in there with the rest of the pack? Yes! And it was that mental tape that played over and over in my mind during the 35 minute – push yourself as hard as you can – race.

Then the night before my very first race. Excitement! I love my Trek 2200! Nerves! I stressed and rested and did everything I could think of to prepare, even though I know it only comes down to preparation. Finally, you have to go to bed and try to sleep. I dreamed of flying on my bike all night long.

Many kind family and friends gave me their rah-rahs and I found myself at the starting line, heart pounding! I sized up the strong women on both sides of me. I can do this! I’m ready! The gun was fired and we were off! I hung in the back of the pack, watching in a safe place. I pumped as hard as I could to stay with these goddesses. One lap around and my “safe” place began to scare me. There was no way I was gonna be dropped in my first road race. But it looked like it was gonna happen. Bummer. I summoned all my adrenaline and shot up out of the saddle to remain in the group. But what the heck was happening to my legs? The shaking was out of control and every time I rounded the corner I could feel my quivering quads. What to do? Accelerate! There was absolutely no time to hydrate, let alone inhale a GU. The only thing I could do was dig deeper and push harder so that I couldn’t feel my legs anymore. In hindsight, that sounds so stupid. For the first
time in my life, I felt the bonk. My body wanted to crash and my spirit said no. Unfortunately, this mental battle with my lame legs caused me to slip back even further and those female warriors lapped me. Oh my gosh I wanted to cry. What is it about sports that makes non-criers cry?

I am proud to say I never gave up. I finished the race amid applause and cheers. I was proud to be out there as a Velo-Bella chick. I completed one of the biggest goals of my life – I finished a real road race.

My average speeds even shocked me, mostly because they were so high for me and yet not even close enough to compete with the other girls in the race. I raced against the Cat 4 chicks when I’m absolutely a Cat 5. Needless to say, it was tougher than tough and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the race coordinator as she sat eating a giant breakfast burrito while I went around the track at 22 mph twelve times. Those women must’ve been going at least 25 mph and I was way out of my league.

Alas, it was not a total disappointment and there are many things one quietly ponders whilst racing behind some really fit women:
– I have courage
– I will finish, even though it burns
– 35 minutes is a long time to push it 150%
– I have a baby and these women have no hips. And I have a beautiful healthy baby!
– I am strong
– Good for me for doing this
– Man this is hard
– These women are built like Olympians!
– These people on the sidelines are really amazing for cheering me on every lap I make
– Glad I’m doing it, only eight laps to go
– Holy smokes, I’m never doing this again (when can I sign up again!)
– Baby and hubby are cute on the sidelines, pointing at bugs and leaves in the street.
– I need to wash my uniform so badly!
– Yay, here’s the cowbell, one lap to go and then we’re finished!
– Don’t fall over when I descend the bike!

All in all, a great experience. The other racers were very supportive and we talked after the race. I did kick a$$, but I think it was my own! I wanted to write my race report a whole lot sooner, but it’s hard to find a solid ten minutes to write without a two-year sitting on my lap wanting to “help” me type on the computer and it’s also been tough to get over that spanking by the strong veteran gal racers at the Long Beach Crit way back on July 23!

Chemequaeon Race Report — Brooke

September 19, 2006

My ride at the Fat Tire Festival -2006.

My significant other wasn’t scheduled to work this weekend and decided he’d like to make the trip with me but only if we drove up Saturday a.m. so here I am up at the crack before dawn (4 a.m.) to load up the truck and get on the road by 5:30 a.m. Boy is it dark out then. Needed to arrive in Cable, WI between 8:30 – 9:30 to get my registration packet. That 3 hour + drive was forever…..on to the report.

Arrived Cable at 9:00 so about the start time for your race. My bike is a 1987 vintage Panasonic mountain bike long before any type of suspension came into play. (30 #s, 6 speed, 0 suspension) It was what they sold to kids who wanted to ride but not on skinny tires. I had brought along regular tires but because it was so dry figured I could manage on my commuter slicks. (Which, by the way was not such a bad idea for most of the course.) I had forgotten to remove my back brace so after I changed clothes and numbered myself and bike appropriately rode over to the Trek Tent to bum some tools to remove the extra weight. (Too bad I couldn’t do that off myself, Ha!). It was about 9:30 by the time a stretched my legs out a bit from the drive and took my place in line about 1-1/2 blocks back from the start. That didn’t really bother me all that much because I figured I could pass any really bad folks and I wouldn’t be in the way of the really good ones. I don’t think I saw but one or two other bikes without suspension and was thinking what have I got myself into now?

Within the first mile there was a major crash on a downhill on the paved road that took out 3 or 4 people right away. Another reason for me to hang back. That resulted in separating the thick traffic out pretty much and then we hit a very long dirty uphill which warmed everyone up and spread us out even more. I thought my heart was going to burst but got into a rhythm and just kept going. I was very impressed with myself that my mtb skills came back to me and was able to handle the course fairly well. The deep beach sand that occurred in several places caused me to fall right over like a turtle from lack of forward motion but only my pride got injured in the least little bit. I only had to walk to get going again because I couldn’t get a purchase to start peddling. Most of the folks around me had to get off and walk as well so I was just part of the parade.

The downhills were a little bumpy without any suspension to help cushion the jolts and I had to keep reminding myself to let the bike choose the line and just float on down. I only hope I was talking to myself in my head and not out loud as I’m sometimes am apt to do when needing total concentration. There usually was no one around me as I reckless tore down the hills so I guess it really didn’t matter. I had one other “crash” sort of when I tried to go up a very grassy long incline and flipped the bike over on top of me. Once again, only pride injured and I picked up the “horse” and got back on. I was forced to actually walk really only once on a very long grassy hill they called Big Bertha and even then I made it half-way up.

Coming into the final turns was very sandy and I spun out there but re-mounted and continued on. My finishing time of 1:45 was 15 minutes longer (a blazing 9 mph) than I had hoped but with the lack of preparation I put in I was fairly satisfied. I now know where all the other older women are that aren’t out on the road, they’re in the hills. There were quite a lot of oldsters on that list. Gladdened my heart to see all the 50+ on the list ahead of me. Next year maybe I’ll do some more training and I’ll be in the next age group and maybe some of them won’t follow. I may also try to do the long course but 3 hours + of that may be more than I can take on the present bike. I’ll need to see when March comes around and the Chemaqueon lottery is calling my name. It certainly was a blast and I look forward to doing it again.

Fat Tire Fest/Chequomegon–Barb’s perspective

September 19, 2006

Congratulations to Sheryl, Brooke and yeah, myself for cometeing and
placing in the Fat Tire Fest.

Sheryl ROCKED! 12th woman overall in the 40, 1st 35-29 woman!
Brooke, 11th in her age group in the Short and Fat, btw, most women
did the S&F, so a competitive group.
Me, 41st woman in the 40, 3rd 45-49 woman.

It’s great they give prizes in each age group. It’s such a cool race
because you see every type of racer out there. Really, really fast,
and really, really not so fast. It’s amazing to see all who come out
and do the thing. Just doing the thing is a big feat in itself. If
you have never done it, I highly recommend it.

This year the course was dry, dusty and fast. On the roll out to
Rosie’s Feild, Robert flew past me with Sheryl tucked close behind.
Vroom! The transistion to dirt, grass and rocks was smooth and fast
and I knew this was going to be fun. Being a roadie it took me a
little while to get used to the bouncing going down hill on the Birke
Trial. Up,down, up down. I managed to follow one woman for a while
who was so smooth and picked great lines. I lost her when my pump
broke off and stopped to retrieve it. There it lay in the middle of
the trail; I played an exciting game of Frogger getting piciking it
up as riders came flying down a small, rocky hill. Back on the bike,
here and there there were traffic jams at the one mud puddle, and a
couple of sand traps. After a while the race settled in and I was
riding with a group. I had to give it some gas to get around this
guy I’ll name Mr. Stinky Jersey. I’d pass him up hill, he’d pass me
downhill. Ack! I finally did get around him, only after a few
miles. The fire roads were fun; I’d pass a bunch of people, but
they’d pass me back on rocky sections. FireTower Hill was the usual
walk, ride, walk, “oh the humanity’ grunt. At the top I managed to
ask about the free beer and about 5 guys offered me one. No, I
didn’t, but I was tempted. I finished strong very glad for road
endurance and the small bit of riding off road I did the past couple
of weeks. I am pumped for next year.

Sunday ride to Afton

September 19, 2006

The lure of an Afton ride brought Bellas Karla, Manda, Barb&Bruce, and
Julia Mairs (a potential Bella) and her boyfriend Bob (a GP rider) out
to St. Paul at 8:00 on Sunday morning. However, all were quickly met
with disappointment when we decided to not ride out to Afton and
challenge the ridiculous headwinds we would encounter on our return to
the cities.

BUT, the initial disappointment didn’t last. We did a great loop down
through Eagan, past Lebanon hills, across 494 and I’m not certain
where all else. :) (Thanks Barb, for your extensive route experience)

Highlight of the morning was perhaps the reunion of the two long lost
Dartmouth alumni — Karla and Julia. Karla will give you the full
story, and I’m sure she has Blogged about it.

So, look for another Afton ride in the near future. The Afton
movement will not be thwarted by one Sunday of soul-sucking wind.

Thanks everyone for coming out.

— thanks to Greiber for the report.

Karla also blogged about the Sunday ride and her track exploits..

—- and from me..
thanks to everyone for letting me a total wheel suck, and not dropping me in the suburbs.

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