April 21, 2007

Wente Vineyards Road Race, CA
26th, Erika Donald, Women 1/2/3
30th, Monica Neilson, Women 1/2/3
32nd, Tracie Nelson, Women 1/2/3
13th, Sue Lovecchio, Women 3
22nd, Laura Sanchez, Women 3
23rd, Nancy Farzan, Women 3
3rd, Marian Hunting, Women 4
10th, Tracy Loper, Women 4
23rd, Amy Fischer, Women 4
38th, Meredith Obendorfer, Women 4
3rd, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+, 4
10th, Denise Ramirez, Women 35+, 4
2nd, Elizabeth Benishin, Women 45+
5th, Andi Mackie, Women 45+
8th, Linda Locke, Women 45+

Another Sea Otter in the books

April 20, 2007

60 Velo Bella entrants
2 Wins!
14 podiums
3 pairs roller skates

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One damn good time


April 20, 2007

by Jen

This was my tenth anniversary otter. Woot! I’m not generally a fan of the early morning start. Really, nothing important in life should ever happen before 10 am. But John and I hauled ourselves out of the every stylin’ Salinas Motel 6, drank our Bella Blend espressos, ate our rainbow sprinkles, and drove on out to Laguna Seca all dark and early like. Unlike the last few years of chaos, we got to drive right in and park real close like (last year, we ignored parking attendants, signage, and assorted barricades and dumped the car at random – miraculously, it was actually still there when we got back.). This early morning start thing, looking better and better.

Bike race part. Chatted it up with Ryan at the start. Always fun to have friends at the bike race. Rolly-rollyied around the track toward the back, then used that nice taily wind up the road climb to find the front for the start of the dirty fun. There followed lots of bikey riding. Woopty-woop up and down the hilly hills. Got all cattywampus in the sand. Ack, who put that there? Pedal pedal pedal up the little climbs. Wow, cool rainforesty single track. Is that moss hanging in the trees? Pedal, pedal. Swoosh through the ticky-tacky corners. Bobsleddery. Pedal, pedal. What’s this road descent doing here? And back up we go. Woosh. Oh, my, that’s quite a head wind isn’t it. Ok, almost there, gotta go hard, maybe I can catch a few before the line. PEDAL, PEDAL, PEDAL. Oops, one more climb, forgot about this one. PEDAL, PEDAL. Down the track. PEDAL. Any y’all seen a finish line ’round here? Woop, there it is.

I finished somewhere around 16th of 40ish. Weird thing, these combined age groups. It was too much fun being a Bella; lots of cheering fans, which made me grin. That, and the socks; it’s all about the socks. Big Congrats to Ryan for the podium finish!

John managed two laps without harming any trees or other wildlife. Both John and bike finished in one piece.

Then, I did some booth time (pics above). It was such onerous work, what with the dancing and hula-ing, and the coffee drinkin’. I flaired out lots of little (and not so little) girls with beads. So shiney. Happiness all around.

Boy 1: I wanna get one of these boy beaters for my girlfriend.
jen: What size do you need?
Boy 1: Uhhhh.
(jen holds up some sizes)
Boy 1: Uh, she has like big boobs (makes boob shape with hands)
jen thinks, congratulations, are they real?
Boy 2: get the small, it’ll be all like tight and stuff. she’ll look hot.
Boy 1: Uhhhh, ok, I’ll take a small.

All Downhill at Sea Otter

April 20, 2007

by Allie

It could have been the aroma of Bella Blend whipping through the gale force winds, possibly it was the snazzypants for this year’s theme or maybe it really was the beer, but DAMN I had a great time at ‘Otter this year! (well, minus Saturday’s Dual Slalom fiasco, after which I admittedly slinked off to the back of the trailer to throw my own little pity party. Attendees: Me, myself and our pal Jose C.)

The Sea Otter downhill course is nothing new to me, however the beating my confidence took on last year’s course left me a little freaked out this year.

Friday’s first practice run was very cautious and reserved but unwarranted. The guys who basically had to rebuild the course after last year’s wear did a fabulous job!

I kept riding through practice and although the course was slightly duffy, the “grin-factor” was climbing to about an 8!

Saturday was dual slalom. The event happened, now it’s over. That’s all I have to say about that. Fast forward to Sunday.

We practiced Sunday morning, and Saturday’s deluge left the course’s dirt tacky, grippy and all-around yummy!!! I took a couple of practice runs and then stayed up top to play in the berms. The Sea Otter downhill course berms are pretty legendary and by the time I felt like I was railing the set of “S” berms, the course had rocketed up to “grin-factor” 10!!! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEe!!!!!!

Needless to say I was having a great time. My race run, although not fast, did a huge boost for my riding confidence. I know where I lost time, however it was not due to uncontrolled bobbles or tactical mistakes. I simply didn’t pedal hard enough. Lesson learned but a good time had. I wasn’t first, but not nearly last either.

Thanks to Bella extraordinaire Jeni Udall and our Fellas Mike and Kyle for the support at the downhill race and for making me wear a jacket so I didn’t catch cold. Actually, thanks to everyone who was there watching and cheering on. It’s an awesome push to hear people rooting along the course!

Spring Fever… Durand this weekend

April 19, 2007

Oh man. It’s GORGEOUS out. I work at the U of MN, and I’m sorta hoping that my building has a bomb threat so I can get out of here. That’s just wrong though. But… man, it’s GORGEOUS. Last time I was out, there was a bit of a stiff headwind, which made riding not quite as fun, but the sheer sunshine-y warmness made up for that.

That’s one of my goals this season… ride even if it’s windy out. Overcome hatred of headwind– pretty much suck it up and DEAL.

Another goal is to be a slightly more sociable person. Part of that is being better at pointing out crap in the roads. — But there is a weird sort of etiquette and balance to that. Some groups point out -everything-… stuff that I sorta classify as minutiae– horizontal seams in the road… a dusting of sand… the white line. My pointing to stuff is more minimalist.. Holes that will eat your wheel, big ass chunks of glass, steel cheese graters on the road… You know the big stuff. So, I promise I’ll try to remember to point out manhole covers and medium sized holes.

Another goal is to master the wave. I have to admit, I’m a klutz who’s not exactly in great shape. Thusly, I’m MUCH better at the head nod. Unfortunately, the head nod is a much more subtle greeting than the wave… so those who are counting waves, taking names, and making a list may miss the head nod. So… list makers.. keep an eye peeled.

In exchange, I will try to wave to other people I see, but I reserve the right to use the head nod as a greeting, if I’m at the intense point of my workout, trying to get home before I bonk, or climbing a big ass hill.

April 18, 2007

Prairie City Race Series #6, CA
14th, Yvette Crockell, Sport Women 35+

Training clinic 1

April 18, 2007

Mad props to Bruce for pulling this all together. And yay! for getting a ton of people together on a school night to come out and play. Comment if I’m missing anyone… Brooke, Molly, Kate, Barb, me, hotpinkevil, eclectchick, rocker, Sara(n), Leslie(?), and more came out to practice pacelining (or learn how to paceline), bump tires and bump shoulders… ’tis great fun. Grieber made a cameo appearance after the clinic ended. Bummer, girl. Missed ya.

Next one next Tuesday. Same bat time. Same bat place! Bring your homework:
1. How big are the rings on your crank?
2. How many gears are in the back? How many teeth are in the small one? How many teeth are in the big one?

All of yous who had your kit, you looked hot out there! I sorta had mine. The blue Patagonia jacket. I LOVE the 2006 full zip jersey when it is 80+ out… but it’s still a lil’ chilly for it to be my outer layer. (and it WREAKED anyway). And unfortunately, my 2005 is painfully tight right now. I guess that means more time on the bike is needed. GRR. Hopefully pictures might happen next time. I have a digital camera that used to be cool in 2001 to donate to the cause.

April 15, 2007

Santa Cruz Criterium, CA
5th, Tracy Loper, Women 4
6th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 4

Saturday NOW Ride

April 14, 2007

I survived the Saturday morning NOW ride, despite only having logged 99 outdoor miles this season. Heck, I increased my total milage by 50 percent! My computer says I rode 42 miles today, which includes the 6 mile round trip to the bike shop.

Temp when I left my house: 33 degrees

Barb and Marjie and I were the only “girls” on the ride. There were also about 6 guys, who seemed nice and rode at a reasonable pace that I could mostly keep up with. We went down Shepard road, which is always longer than I think, and into Maplewood by Hwy. 61, where we hit a nasty hill. I knew it was going to hurt when Barb said to me before we turned the corner, “Kate, you should probably get into your easiest gear.” I did, but it didn’t matter. I was seriously dropped on a really steep grade followed by a long gradual uphill. But thanks to Barb, who turned around to sweep me up, I didn’t lose the pack entirely.

We split into two groups after the hill: those who wanted a shorter ride and those who wanted to keep going. Marjie and me and a guy named Jim turned around. My legs felt like burning, so the ride back wasn’t as pleasant as the ride out. We rode into the wind, but Marjie was kind enough to let me hang on her wheel all the way back.

When we got back to the store, we were greeted by the guys from the other half of the group, who beat us back! Hey, ours was supposed to be the shorter ride!

Thanks to Barb and Marjie for having the patience to deal with my slow climbs. I look forward to getting back out there next time and maybe it won’t hurt so much…

Can’t wait for our Tuesday night training sessions!


Come out and play! it’s spring?

April 13, 2007

Looks like we might actually get one this year… this means rides are happening.

Seriously. The Tuesday night rides from the Snelling NOW bikes have been happening. Go check them out. I’ve been wussing out for a variety of reasons – weather, icky migraines…

9am Saturday morning rides the Snelling NOW bikes are also happening. These 2 rides are open to anyone, not just team members… so come join us!

For team members only, we will be doing skillz clinics–4 sessions:

  • April 17th
  • April 24th
  • May 1
  • May 8th.

These start at 6pm from the NOW bikes on Snelling. These are skills clinics, so it is important to go to all of them.

And OPUS starts soon…. MCF would know all about it. Want a preview of what racing at OPUS looks like? Bella Maria will be racing with the UMN, at a collegiate crit this Sunday Monday. Details here.

Also come join the Bellas at the IronMan on April 29th. Sounds like we’re gonna be doing the 65 mile loop. All are welcome… but details TBA.

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