Sabine to be Honored at Interbike

September 20, 2007

Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition Honors the Queen Bella!

Sabine Dukes – First Ascent Award

This award recognizes a woman new to the industry who demonstrates strong potential for leadership. This award furthers the vision of OIWC by increasing visibility of talented young women at lower levels in an organization, thereby facilitating and nurturing their leadership skills.

Sabine co-created Velo Bella, a women’s cycling club that now has more than 300 members. She says of her organization, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, “Our mission is to encourage women to take up the sport of cycling. We hope to encourage women by showing how much fun the sport can be. We have a great time, and we hope it shows. We do have a race-focused interest, but welcome any women interested to our team. We have no membership fees and the only requirement of the team is to purchase a jersey, participate in at least one race, and to have fun.”

In her nomination, Sabine is praised as being an inspiration to women everywhere. “In 2001 or 2002 she and a friend founded a cycling club with one mission in mind: Cute uniforms. The group has evolved into Velo Bella, a worldwide collection of pro and amateur racers and rec riders spreading the message that strong women can look good and have fun on a bike. The pros are always race-favorites among the 6-year-old girls at races because of their sassy uniforms. And they inspire women everywhere to be a part of their club and join the party.”

Sabine is also the Controller for Fox Racing Inc. A CPA and Dean’s List scholar graduate of San Jose State with a BS in Business Administration, she is at home in the bicycle industry. “It’s a pleasure now coming to work and seeing other people clomping around the hallways in bike shoes!”

Sabine will receive a scholarship to a Strozzi Institute for Leadership workshop in Petaluma, CA. The popular four-day workshop, “Leadership in Action 1: Principles and Practices,” is valued at $2500.

Awards will be given at the OIWC Gathering, Thursday, Sept. 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Casanova rooms 503 and 504.


September 18, 2007


The Velo Bella – Kona women return for another year of dirty fun all across the United States and Europe. For the fourth year in a row, the world’s most successful all female cyclocross team will spread the Bella vibe around the Crank Brother’s US Grand Prix of Cyclocross, US Cyclocross Nationals and over 92 local races across the US. The Velo Bella – Kona team will also send a select squad of racers to Belgium this December to show the Europeans how female American cross racers get their groove on.

“Velo Bella is dedicated to providing a place for women to ride their bikes, race their bikes, and above all, have fun getting muddy and cold in a skinsuit,” said Team Co Founder, Sabine Dukes. “Our membership continues to grow with nearly 400 women in 28 states climbing up the category ranks in every major cycling discipline. Velo Bella – Kona professional teams exist to mentor and inspire our members wherever they are. Therefore, we are proud to announce the largest elite cyclocross team in the world with 19 athletes competing at the highest level in every corner of the country.”

West Coast

Barb Howe (Larkspur, CA) – 2004/05 US World Championship Team Member

Natasha Perry (Santa Cruz, CA)

Ann Fitzsimmons (Morgan Hill, CA)

Marian Jamison (Verdi, NV)


Shannon Holden (Spokane, WA)

Kari Studley (Bothell, WA)


Melanie Swartz (Reston, VA)

Jennifer Bodine (Garret Park, MD) – 2007 US Collegiate Criterium National Champion – Div 2

New England

Anna Milkowski (New Haven, CT)

Stephanie White (Durham, NH) – 2007 US Junior XC National Champion

Melody Chase (Portsmouth, NH)

The Rockies

Kathy Sherwin (Heber City, UT)

Jennifer Tilley (Boulder, CO)

Amy Dombroski (Boulder, CO) – 2007 U23 Cyclocross National Champion

Monique Hein (Boulder, CO)

Natasha Cowie (Boulder, CO)

Shannon Gibson (Durango, CO)

Kristin Danielson (Durango, CO)


Maria Stewart (St Paul, MN)

The team will be riding in sweet style with custom painted cyclocross frames from Kona Bicycles, featuring Easton stems, seatposts, bars, forks and wheels, as well as SRAM Force drive trains, Avid brakes, Chris King headsets and Selle San Marco saddles. sells team clothing and sexy skinsuits provided by Louis Garneau, and Giro helmets and Zeal Optics protect our racers through the worst conditions possible. Patagonia and the Vanderkitten clothing line will help us relax post-race, and the lovely Good Vibrations will keep our racers “safe” at the post-race parties. Pedro’s and Ultimate Support rovide our mechanics with all they need to keep the team’s bikes rolling smoothly.

Wet Weekend Bella Blues

September 17, 2007

Gaetane was the only NY Bella (and only one of 5 women overall) to attempt the Colgate RR Saturday, Sept 15. She looks ready to do her thing with the Master Mens in this picture, but this might have been the last moment of sunlight.

Here she is riding away with the wind and rain blowing at her and this stretch of road was the dealbreaker. Why bother, she said, when the road was so steep and slippery from the rain that her back wheel was slipping, she lost the pack and it was just plain miserable. See below:

She’s telling the goddam photographer to get the &*%$#@! photo shoot over and let her head back to the car, for Pete’s sake!

In the meantime, other insane TRI-bellas were unbelieveably SWIMMING in the freaking lake! Yes, call them crazy, and I certainly do, but Sue-A and Jan-O were frolicking in the reservoir near Janet’s house in 50 degree temperatures. Sure it was raining too, but they claim they were already wet.

We also thought that Nutter LiLynn was riding the notorious Midlander (seriously painfully hilly metric century which also costs $60) (and is a 2 hr drive)(and starts at 8 am) in the cold and rain, but thankfully she was swayed by Bella-pal Laurie from Ithaca, who claimed to be a fair weather rider and just felt it was a little too crummy out. Whew. Thank god someone can reign in that cycling maniac.

That’s it for now – The Finger Lakes Tri is the event of the coming weekend (Sept23) and Sue Atwood and Janet Ohlsen will be representing our grrrrls there and kicking some Popo. (That’s butt in German, not "police" fyi.) Wish are women good swimmin’ etc!

September 16, 2007

Portsmouth Criterium, NH
14th, Ivy Luhrs, Women 1/2/3

Sucker Brook ‘Cross, NH
5th, Anna Milkowski, Women Pro 1/2/3
8th, Stephanie White, Women Pro 1/2/3

September 15, 2007

Mt. Tamalpais Hillclimb, CA
9th, Liz Benishin, Women 1/2/3

KissCross #1–Highland Park, MI
37th, Monica Tory, Cat B

Livermore Area Parks & Recreation Department Cyclocross Series #3, CA
1st, Sarah Kerlin, Women A
2nd, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women A
2nd, Katrina Loera, Women B
4th, Amy Abele, Women 35+

September 14, 2007

York Beach Criterium, ME
11th, Ivy Luhrs, Women 1/2/3

The Legend of the Pink Slipper

September 13, 2007

By LiLynn Graves
Ithaca, New York

The little town of Ithaca, NY has some of the strongest riders and most humble and supportive of all. I am lucky to have joined these amazing athletes the past few years and participated in the town races held every Tuesday evening after work starting right after the spring forward time change, and lasting right up until the lack of daylight forces us to hold the infamous "pink slipper race."

The true meaning of the name means the summer road races have come to a close, but the legend of the "pink slipper" is so much more meaningful that these folks actually train for this event. There is no set date, there is no purse, there are no actual prizes, but the sincere commitment to the legend is taken so seriously that the casual gathering in the parking lot after the race to ask who won is burned in each riders memory for that entire year until the next "pink slipper."

The actual slipper does exist. It was a strappy pink sandle found on a ride along the side of the road about ten years ago and picked up by a rider which he placed on his handlebars not knowing the future of such an item. From there the legend began and a few years later a beat up old brown berkinstock was added for the B group of riders. They felt they needed a shoe to shoot for also. Now the races have at least 60 folks per race so we have A, B, and a C group.

Last night a most appropriate, run over silver ballarina shoe, found next to a dumpster up on campus was donated to the C group. So the race was a great success and with the weather looking like tornados threatening the race, I was the only chick. Feeling a little nervous about the weather and if I had a chance at winning such an important event, I put on every piece of velo bella war fare I could find. Sleeveless jersey, sleeved jersey over, arm warmers, team shorts, team socks, team vest, pink helmet, pink wheels, pink handlebar tape, pink fluff, team gloves, and I smoked the boys in the C’s. I got my name on the silver slipper!

Splatter Painting

September 11, 2007

By Angela Brown
Columbia, Tennessee

I raced on Sunday (my first Sport class mtb race), which turned out to be the muddiest race I’ve completed thus far. The Lock 4 Challenge II was held at Lock 4 Park in Gallatin, TN, on Sunday, September 9. Rain was falling when I left the house, but I had missed the first race in this series because of a twisted ankle, and I wasn’t about to miss the second because of Mother Nature.

I arrived to a steady rain. Rumor has it that the place turns into a mudpit when wet. This was only my fourth time on the trail. All three of my previous rides had been in the drought conditions. Sketchy, dry dirt is a challenge in and of itself, so really I don’t care either way. Different conditions, different challenges. I proceeded to the sign up table and listed my new racing category: Sport. Already I felt better!

Right during our warm-up and line up time of 9am, the sky opened up and soaked us all in a steady downpour. At least it was a warm rain. Water dripped off my helmet, soaked my socks, and fogged my glasses to the point of no use. When I made fists with my gloves, it was like wringing out a damp dishrag.

With four Sport women lined up to go, the Sport class guys took off ahead of us and chopped up the trail into a soupy mud. I took the first section of the trail through mud that was thick enough, in some areas, to lose a shoe in if you were hiking it.

It continued to rain through part of my first lap, making some sections of the trail very, very interesting. There are parts that will send you down a hill and into the lake if you’re not careful. I attacked those cyclocross-style, dismounting and carrying my bike through, then getting back on. My only scratches of the day were from doing this, so I’m not convinced this was a good idea.

Then, I felt myself going down and slowed enough to land softly into some shrubs…face first. My face was covered in leaves. I hope it made some kind of pretty pattern. The turtles came out to play and I dodged at least three on the trail.

The second lap, the water had either receded some, or drained, because things went much better and faster. In my last three miles, the expert guys started catching me (their race started later) so I knew I had to get this thing over with. I stood up to crank it out for the uphill finish.

For my first Sport race, I took 2nd place on the 17.5 mile total course in 2:07. And I slept like a baby Sunday night!

I went for a dip in the lake at Lock 4 afterwards with some friends….fully clothed to wash the mud off of everything. I even had mud in my teeth, and slung it in my eye at one point. You haven lived until you’ve attempted an eyewash while moving on a bike, lemme tell ya…..



Thanks for reading!

’tis the Season

September 6, 2007

By Shannon Holden
Spokane, Washington


Can you believe it’s cross season already?

I am so excited. This past weekend my husband, son, and I drove to Portland, Oregon to spend the weekend with my brother-in-law and his family. He is an amazing free rider, so it is always a blast to ride with him. We went on some pretty spectacular rides.

We had made plans to drive to Seattle Monday morning to race in the Labor Day cross. I was pretty excited, because I haven’t raced since June. I was actually really nervous driving in, my stomach up in the air. When we got there I got signed up and took out to pre-ride. It was a fun course, really sandy. It had a 3 good run ups and 1 set of barriers. I got a couple of laps in and it was time to get to the start line.

When I got there I noticed there were some pretty fast girls there, Bridgette Stoick, Kelly Jones, Kristi Berg to name some. It was going to be brutal. I took out hard with the front pack. It felt good, I love the run ups. I come from a running background so I can usually do some damage.

We came around to the barriers and when I went to get back on my bike I hit a rut and bounced my chain out. It seemed like foreve and couldn’t get it back on. While bent over I saw 2 girls fly by through my legs. So I was sitting in 7th at this point. Furious I took off on my bike and started hammering. I passed one right away. The other is pretty strong so it took me about 1/2 lap to catch her and I passed her on the run up.

So back to hammering. It is so windy at South Sea Tac I never could see anyone in front of me. So I had no Idea where I was. I came around a corner the 4th lap and there was 4th place right in front of me. I got so excited that when we got to the barriers I set my bike down in the same rut and bounced my chain off again and off went 4th place. I pushed hard the last 1/4 lap but just didn’t have it.

It was fun. I finished 5th which I was pretty happy with. Plus I got to race cross in September which doesn’t happen on the other side of the state.

Full results


September 4, 2007

Labor Day Cyclocross, OR
5th, Shannon Holden, Women A

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