June 15-16

June 15, 2007

Methow Valley Classic Stage Race
Time Trial
9th, Erika Krumpelman, Women 1/2/3

2nd, Erika Krumpelman, Women 1/2/3

Road Race
8th, Erika Krumpelman, Women 1/2/3

Overall GC
5th, Erika Krumpelman, Women 1/2/3

Black Dog Time Trial June 13th

June 13, 2007

I finally did my first race!

I managed to leave work on time to find the location of the time trial, not get lost, and even had time to warm up sufficiently beforehand.

Bruce showed up shortly after I did, and gave me excellent instruction on a specific warm-up on my trainer prior to the race. Thanks Bruce!

I think the warm-up really helped. My legs felt good during the race.

I tried to take everyone’s advice and start out moderately, but when I looked down at my speedometer, I was at 20 mph. I took it back a bit, knowing that I couldn’t keep that up for the whole distance.

I was at about mile 2 when I actually passed a woman who started two places in front of me. I couldn’t believe it. I was ecstatic.

At about mile three I started to feel like I was going to throw up. I took the speed down a bit, still felt like I was going to throw up. Realized I was going to feel like throwing up the remainder of the race no matter what, so I may as well go as hard as I can without the HR going over 190.

The turnaround was not very graceful or fast, but oh well.

The way back seemed longer than the way out. I saw the bridge and knew the finish was just beyond it. It occurred to me that this is when I should really push it. But I already was maxed out. When I saw the finish, I imagined sprinting, but I didn’t have anything left, except that even stronger feeling like I was going to puke.

I crossed the finish and couldn’t remember when I last started my timer, so don’t know my real time. Then I rolled around a little afterwards and forgot to look at my avg. pace. Hey, I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that rational thinking goes out the window when you’re in that state of exertion.

I had no expectations whatsoever, since I’d never even tried to see how fast I could go for that distance. I set a goal for myself of an average of 18 mph, and I think I made it.

I haven’t checked official results yet, but I’m happy for just having done it :)

Women’s 4 Pesky Road Race Report

June 13, 2007

by Tracey

I promised myself that I would make time to write a race report for this one…..so here it is!

Woke up 4:20 a.m. Saturday morning-I am thinking to myself; “Why am I doing this? Oh ya, because it’s fun! All I can think about is my experience last year with “Pesky”-my second race ever & nothing but suffering and the occasional “wow” this is beautiful! Get in the car at 5:00 a.m. and roll into Pescadero around 8:00. Throw on my clothes, jump on my bike and ride over to the registration. I immediately run into Angela & give her my extra bottle for the feedzone. I head for the bathroom and see another Bella-we introduce ourselves & she (Sarah) so kindly pins my number on while we wait in line. I get in about a 15 minute warm-up and we are off.

We cruise through town and then the race begins. A good friend of mine who races for CRC got the first prime-Cool! We all stay together up the first climb on Haskins. We hit the second hill and NorCal Tawnya is leading the pack. I see Mara (triathlete who won Berkeley Hills) start making her way up to the front-I go with her. We get on the front and as we reach the top we turn around and the rest of the field is a ways back. As we start the downhill a couple other gals catch up and encourage us to try to get a gap.

As we reach Highway 84 we are one big group again. As we are hammering into the wind on Highway 84 I am anticipating the Haskin’s Hill climb-is it going to hurt as bad as last year. Right before we make the turn up to the feedzone the Specialized gal attacks-no one seems worried, we’ll catch her on Haskin’s. I see Angela and grab my bottle. Shortly after the feedzone, we make another right turn and start the Haskin’s climb. I find Mara again and tell myself; “stay on her wheel”. As we reach the top we finally caught the Specialized rider and I looked around and was thrilled to be the 3rd or 4th rider over the top. I see a couple of other riders behind me. Several other gals ended up catching up with us on the downhill and we ended up with a group of 9 riders for the rest of the race.

As we approached the “prime” a couple of gals duked it out and sprinted for the line with the Team Ritchey gal taking it. We all stay together over the Stage Road climbs and when we reach Highway 84 we decide to do a rotating paceline and take hard, short pulls. We all worked really well together, with a couple of the gals taking longer monstrous pulls-I had to dig deep to stick with them.

As we approached the turn up to the feedzone we saw a fairly large group of riders in front of us-turned out it was the women’s 3 chase group. We passed them right before the feedzone. We started up Haskin’s for the last time. My legs were feeling really heavy-a couple of the 3’s passed me and I was not able to stick on Mara’s wheel. I told myself; It’s almost over, don’t give up! I ended up finishing in 7th place and I was happy! What a great race-such beautiful scenery! I met some really great gals-many of whom I had not raced with this season-turns out many of the girls in our little group are cyclocrossers/mountain bikers(even an ex-pro mountain biker doing her first road race) or triathletes.

Thank you so much to Angela for cheering for me and feeding me and thanks to Sarah for the number pinning-great to meet you! GO BELLAS!

I am now looking forward to spending some time in Yosemite camping with the kiddos.

June 13, 2007

Prairie City Race Series #10, CA
9th, Yvette Crockell, Sport Women 35+
17th, Cayla Crockell, Kids Race 9 & under

Danskin & Redondo Bella Style!

June 13, 2007

by Raja

I’ll take that Oh La La with a side of Kona!

Swim till you’re weazing

Ride till it burns

Run till you wanna puke

Don’t forget to wipe the boogies before the photo op…

I think the phrases “You Go Girl!” and “Girl Power” took on a whole new meaning at the Danskin Women’s Triathlon. If you’ve ever heard Sally Edwards speak – to too would be clamoring away powered and ready to race. I actually wanted to swim by the time she was done giving us the “You’re Fabulous” cheer. Amazing…

Not that I did very well in the swim… but I know how to ride a bike.. and kinda know how to run up hills…kinda sorta…I just fake it really well ;o)

I won my age group at the Danskin Women’s Triathlon in Los Angeles and was 4th overall out of nearly 700 women. I’m good with that.

Is it ok to be completely and totally surprised when you’ve just done well??

REDONDO BEACH TRIATHLON – What a cute little tri-thingy!

It’s a swimmer’s race, so I just wanted to get the swim practice. It was actually one of the nicest ocean/ beach start swims I’ve been to. The water was crisp & refreshing.. and clean! The waves were coming, but at least after last year’s Los Angeles Tri experience.. it was manageable.

The bike is a speed bump. 6 miles. Better hurry. Especially if you’re a sucky swimmer like I am.

The run is 2 miles, winding in and around the Redondo Beach Pier. Basically it’s a test of getting up to speed after every corner. It was fun though… (at least until you had to run past the greezy fish stand….blaaahhhhh …)

I ended up winning my age group and placing 3rd or 4th overall. Neily Mathias, my coach’s wife, won hers too! (Except she’s a wicked swimmer) I’m pretty sure Neily won the entire race. Last time I checked, she was 2nd.. but I’m pretty sure the girl who “won” missed a bike lap… otherwise her bike split beat most of the men …. and that girl can ride. I’m suspicious.. . oh well…. I hope she had didn’t miss a lap and kicked everyone’s a$$ on the bike…..

Both races were a ton of fun.. and I recommend them to both seasoned triathletes and newbies!

Now.. on to Nationals at the end of the month…. gulp….

24 Hours of Adrenaline Report

June 12, 2007

by Dablondeus

Blog Report Link

Don’t tell the Hamana Hos……but Tits of Steel just wanted to race the 24 Hours of Adrenaline for fun. However, that’s not the way it went…

Friday evening: set up camp and socialize with our camp mates the Velo Nerds,Google Earthlings, Team MBOSC, and our pal DJ in a phenomenal social area set up with comfy camp chairs, stoves, a keg, and a heater donated to the group by our sexy volunteer, Geo. I decided that this weekend was going to be fun, and began to enjoy my first Google sponsored pint in my commemorative glass. Our gracious sponsors Jeni and Kyle soon showed up and began to wow the crowd with BR Lights. A fun social evening. A great start.

7:00 am: crawl out of a warm tent for two monster cups of Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company’s Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Dark Roast and two slices of Nicole’s campfire toast with organic peanut butter and raw honey. It was cool to see Eve out there supporting us and Mark, since she had to drop off the team for motherly purposes.

10:00 am: We saw Caroline off to her running start, then I sat in the shade to hydrate and enjoy my final moments of rest.

2:30 pm: first lap. While I was waiting for Becky to come in, volunteer extraordinaire Geo gave me an awesome back rub (that’s Nic in the photo), including pulling my shoulders out of their cyclist’s slouch position with his giant man hands of steel. It was a rough and rutty dust fest out there until Hurl Hill. I regretted the high tire pressure I was running until I got to the climbs.

My hardtail scooted up the fire roads and shot me up the giant fire road whoopties in my big ring. What sucked on the ruts made those long climbs easy. A fair trade in a course with about 2000 feet of climbing. I resolved that during lap two I would power through the rough sections with a little more resolve to reduce my lap time.

Between laps one and two, I was informed that we were in second place, the Hamana Hos were first. The excitement grew and the pressure was on.

8:00 pm: My best lap. We were in second place, and the Hamana Ho sharing my lap was waiting in the transition area with me. Her teammate came in shortly before Becky; Kyle told me I’d catch the Ho on the grind, and dammit if I didn’t. I passed her, then she hopped on my wheel. I swerved over and slowed, then hopped on hers. She tolerated it for the remainder of the climb. Once we hit more technical stuff, she showed a bit of apprehension, so I passed her closely on a single track. She called, “Be careful!” after I scraped by, then followed me to the bridge. I hopped off the bike, ran up the stairs and she asked me if I was going to ride down the stairs on the other side. I just kept running, then ran down the middle of the flight, my bike blocking her way. At the bottom I knew the lap was mine, because I am strongest on the flats, and that’s where I took off. I finished in front of her. She found me at the transition area, and gave me a big hug for making the lap fun. Then she offered to teach me to ride stairs in the morning after the race, because she said I was a good rider and shouldn’t be afraid. Jeni was standing there with a knowing smile as I thanked the competition for her offer. How could I tell her I didn’t ride them because I knew it’s what she wanted? I think this was the first time in my life where I felt competitive enough and strong enough to use some strategy out there. It was a new feeling for me, and I liked it.

10:30 pm: Old habits are hard to break. One and a half pints from the keg, not so bad, right? I wanted to wind down from the coffee, GU shots, and Gatorade all surging through my system. I headed to the tent, and caught very little sleep between random fits of anxiety.

1:30 am: Feeling oddly like an old shoe, I dressed in my warm cycling clothes. The best thing I can say about this lap is that BR Lights rock. The white light illuminated everything I needed to see out there, which was good, because I was delirious. I had no legs and no brain. I was caught on the grind by the tiny Ho that could. I resented her big time as I hopped on her wheel. She was making me work way harder than I wanted to. Eventually I dropped back, promising myself I would catch her soon enough. Suddenly I was alone; I saw night lights parallel to me, but maybe 500 feet up. Realizing that I was no longer on the course, I sighed and threw my bike over my shoulder to hike back up to it. I finished three minutes behind the Tiny Motorized Ho. We had been eight minutes ahead. Never have I been so bummed to have dropped off of a wheel.

7:00 am. Caroline woke me to tell me we were ten minutes ahead again, and I didn’t have to do my last lap if I would let Sophie take it. In my mind I heard, “You are the weakest link. Good-bye.” I was happy to sip coffee as I warmed the bench and cheered on Nicole and Sophie as they left for the last two laps.

10:45 am: We beat the Hos by one lap. The day was sunny, and the beer relatively cool. Dance contests filled the void until the awards ceremony. We patiently awaited our podium call as we basked in the wonder of our win. The announcer called out “First place, Tits of Steel” and we jumped up to receive the glory. It was exciting to throw on the yellow jerseys, receive the first place medals, and get cheered on by the crowd. It was really cool to hold the BR Lights banner during all of the photos, and to stay on the stage for photos of just our team.

This weekend will definitely go down as one of the most awesome in my book. Geoff, Jeni and Kyle were tireless in taking care of us for the entire race. I mean, these people gave us cocoa, rubbed our shoulders, mounted our lights and cheered us on every minute of the race. DJ had gotten me a tent at the last minute, and Mark & Eve lent me their cozy sleeping bag. My teammates were so mellow, beautiful, and wonderful to race with. We took first place and made our light sponsor proud. I met more cool people with whom I hope to ride again. It was a big 24 hour love fest.

Will Tits of Steel race next year, or just go down as a one hit wonder? Who can say, but I can’t help wondering, what would have happened if we had actually trained for this?

CHDH – Part Deux

June 11, 2007

by Allie

Scene of the crime: Carnegie SVRA – Livermore, CA
Course: Dry, hard, dusty…faaast
Stan’s Tubeless setup: Tasty!!

The second Corral Hollow Downhill race was Sunday, and again, RideSFO did an outstanding job of course building, venue, awards, prizes, shuttle, “maul and haul” (medics), and everything else that made this race series such a blast.

The course had changed since the last one. The g-out line had changed, the ground was a bit more loose, a double was placed very close to a pretty wild off-camber turn which made it nearly impossible for me to get enough speed to clear, but since the wind was pretty stiff it was good to stay on the ground for most of the course.

The practice and race runs were clean, but come to find out right after the pro gals finished, there was one time missing. We were given the option of rochambeau-ing for placing or taking another run. We decided to ride. Again, clean descents for all…except one, which is a real bummer since we all took the gamble on another run. I actually had a 100% clean weekend, which was key for a 1st place finish. I might not have been fastest down the course every run, but since the run was clean it gave me the fastest time. Sometimes slower is faster and I guess that’s racing.

I have to tout the Stan’s wheel set again. They’re light and they were easy to get rolling immediately. Sturdy, light and stiff. I had some trouble with a non-cooperating DH tire and had to throw a tube in – I was pleasantly surprised to learn that since the valve stem unscrews there is no need to take the entire rim strip out! Easy, easy easy!!!

I wore the Fox Launch Suit and Launch knee/shin guard combo, which were very comfortable, even in the heat, but thankfully I didn’t have to put any of my protective equipment through any “testing” trials this time!

Again, the guys at RideSFO really make everyone feel welcome, especially the gals. Phil has really worked hard to accommodate the women’s field and has done a great job. Although the women’s field was much smaller than last time I was super stoked to see another Bella, Ivy out there on Saturday rocking the course!

Please gals, come out and race this next one!!!

A handy little Q&A:

Q: I’ve never raced DH, would like to try, but am afraid of getting in someone’s way. Are the guys all agro and will they yell at me or run me over if I’m picking my way down the course?

A: Everyone here is really cool and helpful. In the very unlikely event that something like this would happen one of the guys would probably go kick the offender in the tender parts for you. Another added bonus: You get to see Waylon Smith in a skin suit.

Q: Do I need a full DH sled to race this?

A: Although it would help soak up all of the bumpies a freeride bike will work just fine.

Q: Do I need full DH protective gear?

A: A full face helmet, knee/shin and elbow guards are strongly encouraged.

Q: Does anyone have extra gear they would be willing to lend me so I can try this event the next time?

A: YES! pm me – I have an extra set of full gear that I’d love to lend out for this.

Dash for Cash and EMC Criterium

June 11, 2007

by Flandria

Dash for Cash Crit, Cat 4, Field Size 20

Bella Team Mate: Mo

The course has four corners, wide lanes and long stretches. The weather was freezingly cold and as the fog rolled in, the wind picked up pretty much in every category race. Tail wind, cross winds and head wind all mixed up. It was hard to determine the wind direction in the last stretch before the last corner to the finish. The finish was more than 250m sprint stretch.

Last year, it was a dash for cash every lap, this year we had 5 premes of $30. I preferred last years race format because it made the race a lot more interesting. It was less wind last year but then we get to sprint every lap.

The race started out calm and remained pretty reasonably calm due to the strong crosswind. There were a couple of attacks but it was for the premes. It was going to be too hard to get a way with a couple of people because of the wind.

The teams to look out for were Protech and Form Fitness. They have strong riders and with just me and Mo – we decided to see how the game plays out. The wind was a big variable more than anything. Everytime there was an attack, the pack brought it back or they all sat up. After every preme, there was no threat of a break away. Metromint took 2 of the 5 premes. They had two in the team and both lead out each other to win the premes.

The last two laps as usual started picking up and I positioned myself where I wanted to be. As soon as everyone hit that last corner, everyone sprinted and I was able to get on a Protech wheel. Form Fitness and Pegasus got first and second. I sprinted past Protech for third. Sweet.

EMC Crit, Cat 3/4, Field Size 40

Bella Team Mates: Tracey, Soni and Kim

The weather was better today. It was sunny when I woke and drive up to Pleasanton was pleasant. The wind subsided and was calmer. The course has four corners but a lot smoother and curved turns. The road was re-paved, it was pretty smooth surface.

Right at the start, the masters 4/5 race had a bad crash right on their sprint finish. I heard a pain scream and run out to see who it was. My hunny was racing in that race and my heart dropped. It was an EMC racer…not good. The officials made us lap around the course a couple of times then we waited until the ambulance tended to the EMC racer.

The start was F-A-S-T. We had a lot of Cat 3 women in the race because they didn’t have a Cat 1-2-3 womens race. The teams that had the numbers were Metromint, Pegasus, Dolce Vita, Alto Velo, Protech.

Tracey, Soni, Kim including myself were all trying to go for a good position. It was a challenge! The pack was big. It was a repeated mushrooming and stringing out. It was fast all the way to the end. Teams were tagging each other pushing a fast pace. It was insane! We had some sketchiness on the corners as everyone was in battle for positioning. Tough crowd…

There were several attacks and a couple of pseudo-breaks I saw but it didn’t stick as the organization wasn’t there.

With 5 more laps to go, the speed increased. We were strung out, then the speed came down at 4 more laps to go. At lap 3, the pace started picking up and this time, more positioning taking place and there’s only several spots up there! I was about 25 spots or more behind the leader. At 2 more laps to go, a Dolce Vita racer drilled the peloton pushing our limits! Insanely powerful and strong up in the front! I was still in the same position trying to sort myself out and just hanging on the demonic speed…ouch! Everyone had their cozy positions…oy.

I finished a reasonable 9th overall. I saw Stacey come in on my left and she finished 10th. Since Cat 3/4 were picked separately, we found out from the results that there were several 3’s in front of us except that strong Aimee Baker from Protech (She had Shawn Bausman leading her out again! Shawn won overall and behind her was Aimee – dang.)… Myself and Stacey finished 2nd and 3rd on the podium. Yay Bellas!

Maillot Jaune…if only briefly…at Tour of Kensington Valley

June 11, 2007

by Monica

What a fantastic weekend, spent playing “Tour de France” at the 2007 Tour of Kensington Valley (Brighton, Michigan). My Bella Fella and I both took the plunge this weekend, trying out this newly converted stage race (was an established road race until this year) as our first “real” road race. (“Real”? … something other than a time trial.) For beginners, this was an omnium (points) style race. Many thanks to Bella Dianna Rose & Priority Health’s Kathy Kirk for answering my many many (MANY) naïve questions & offering lots of advice last week! Here’s the scoop:

Stage 1: TT / Prologue (May 19). 1st/5

For such a super-short race, the 2.7 mile closed course in Kensington Metropark caused a lot of pre-race angst ! Last week, message boards were filling up with discussions about “the huge hill” on the TT course & debates about TT bike vs. road bike were flying through cyberspace. Race organizer Joe Lekovish even posted a video series of the course to help people decide “which bike to use”.

As it turns out, “the hill” was greatly exaggerated. It was very short and gentle & I was extremely happy that I chose my TT bike. A 1.5ish mile descent with a slight rise and swoopy curve at the end, turnaround a cone in a wide road, then climb back up to the start line. It was over and done in 6.5 minutes, which was fast enough for a cat 4 win & and put me in the yellow jersey for the next stage !J

Stage 2: Criterium (May 19). 4th/6

Bella cheerleaders!!! Yay! Dianna & her little guy Matthew came out to watch and visit (& maybe to make sure I was following all of the great tips and advice…um, sorry if I disappointed!) – THANK YOU!!! You’ll see some great photos taken by Dianna later in this thread. (And maybe she’ll post a picture of Matthew too – he’s a little sweetie!)

Ok…back to the race. Held in a business park a couple of hours after the TT, the crit was 8 laps of a 1.5ish mile closed course. After hearing so many “crash” stories & being very new to group riding, I was grateful that the cat 4 field was small…only 6 riders. [And also grateful that I saw the horrendous men’s cat 5 finish line crash after my race was done.] The more numerous 1/2/3 women were on the course at the same time, but we didn’t see them. I tried to apply all of the “teachings” from Kathy, Dianna, and velobellabb for riding w/out team, but in the end I wound up just doing a lot of experimenting and learning about how people (and how I) would or wouldn’t react. A very good learning experience on many levels……and I wasn’t last……4th/6 & bye bye yellow jersey!

Stage 3: Road Race (May 20). 5th/7

By Sunday’s road race, I had answered some questions about what my strengths/weaknesses are, but hill climbing (relative to the other riders) was still an unknown. The course was 3 x 8.5 mile loops of scenic, quiet roads in Kensington Metropark, including several rolling hills, one steeper climb, and a Paris-Roubaix-esque turnaround in a shelled/gravelly parking lot.

I rode along for the first loop to get a feel for the other riders & how I would climb relative to them…and, unfortunately for this course, quickly determined that climbing is a weakness (…for now)! I skirted a crash that took out one rider and delayed another, & things went well until the steepish climb on the 2nd loop — when I and another rider were dropped. The other dropped rider was no where to be seen, so the rest of the race was a “reverse breakaway” for me … trying to bridge back to the lead group of 4. Embarrassing confession: Trying to catch up was actually really fun! I did get the lead group back within sight & the gap was diminishing as the final lap finished. But I couldn’t make up the difference in time & finished 5th/7. Many thanks to Sarah McGuire (Priority Health) for encouragement & coaching tips during our cool down lap!

Century Ride around Lake Tahoe

June 11, 2007

by Diana

I am back from what is rightfully named “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride”. I was one of 3400 riders! (Over 2000 of them were Team in Training riders.)

The morning was brisk so I started the ride with leg warmers, arm warmers and the Bella gortex jacket. As the day progressed I stripped down to just the Bella short sleeve jersey and Bella shorts! And what did my bike wear? I wish I had a photo to show you, but I had this very cute little pink basket on my handlebars and a pink bell that I rang when I passed someone. (After all, I am a Bella now.) It made this very odd whining sound at faster speeds! hee hee Part of the charm of doing this ride is that every Team in Training team from the different states will decorate their helmets to indentify themselves. (Detroit had half of a Motown Record on their helmet which very much made them look like they had mohawks!)

Going into this ride I was far less confident than I had been in years past. Why? Well, I have a nine month old so I have not done any training in earnest since September of 2005! Pre-Matthew I could do a flat century in about 4 1/2 hours and a mountain century in about 5 1/4. I knew I had a better chance of seeing an alien then I did finishing with a time remotely close to my historical times. LOL!!!

Despite the lack of TITS (you know….Time In The Saddle), I did quite well. I did many of the miles solo, but managed to find a few fast groups so I could suck some wheel! Somehow I finished this 100 mile mountain course in 5 hours 34 minutes. I joke to my closest friends that I now have a twelve pound battery pack to draw from since my pregnancy! However, I think there are probably easier and more effective ways to find power when you need it.

The best part of the ride??? The cheers I heard! Yep, I heard several “Go Bella” shouts. One guy from Tennessee said he rides with his Bellas on occasion. I was even fortunate enough to meet another Bella! She was a coach for one of the regional Team in Training teams out on the ride.

Yep, I’ll be doing the ride again next year I am sure. If you have the time or desire to ride a very challenging course, I highly suggest it! See attached photo for a pic at the rest stop. Yep, the whole ride has scenery just as beautiful!

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