Mad Skillz at Ham Lake

November 7, 2007

By Maria Stewart
Minneapolis, Minnesota

I continued my trend of stellar athletic performance 36 hours after crossing the Atlantic Ocean, this weekend- maybe you heard, last Sunday I won the 5k Gastroenterology Fun Run in Paris, France. The Ham Lake race on Saturday turned out to be the best race of my season so far with a 2nd place finish. It really helped that the women received a delayed start so the men could get themselves sorted out. The race started fast with Linda Sone leading the pack. Linda Cooper got a stick stuck in her derailleur briefly, and we never saw her again. Linda S, Margot, Amber from B-wood and I were together going through the mud pit when Margot endo-ed. She was lucky she didn’t get hurt. Amber crashed behind Margot and dropped her chain, and I slammed on the brakes so I didn’t run into either of them.

Linda S was long gone, but the three of us were still pretty close. Margot and I took off after the crash, and Amber was a little behind. Margot and I traded leading for a few laps until Amber caught on. I was getting tired, so I dropped back behind Amber until she started letting Margot get away. I definitely had a moment during the race when I thought, "Is there something wrong? Are you going too hard? You haven’t been this close to Margot all year!" I pulled back up to Margot and on the last lap, I took the lead going into the woods. I had no idea what I had left, so I figured I’d better go for it. The last 2/3 of the lap was bumpy and sandy with some tricky corners. My superb handling skillz really paid off and I was able to drop both Amber and Margot to take 2nd place.

I was really thrilled because I just installed my new SRAM groupo on Saturday morning and didn’t have any mechanicals during the race (except learning the new "double-tap" shifter set up). My pink brake hoods must have been key.

Grumpy’s race on Sunday was payback for my awesome race on Saturday. Not only was the course really slow and muddy (probably from the soccer field irrigation system), but after 2 laps, I lost all of my good kharma and my body went on strike. Some of the bad kharma moments included skipping my pedal on a piece of plywood and nearly sending my bike sideways, and single tapping my "double tap" shifters when I need to get into an easier gear (single tap = harder gear), and tripping over a barrier. I made it my mission just to finish the race in one piece, and thats what I did. Not a race to be proud of, but I think all of my bad kharma is out of my system.

I’m not sure if I’ll make it to Milaca next Sunday, but you can expect to see me at the State CX race on Nov 17!

Clicky for Results.

Newly formed FL bellas Oooh la laaaa ride

November 5, 2007

On October 27th, at 7:30am, a portion of the FL Bellas gathered to have their first flare ride. Weekends we ride with another group called SBW, but in this large group we had our own little secret dressup party. We showed up in fishnet stockings, our bella jerseys, and our choice halloween outfits.

<–Just arrived – getting my outfit on.

Pin the tail on the kitty: I work hard for once on NOT poking a teammate 😉

November 4, 2007

Cycle-Smart International, MA
4th, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
6th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
15th, Melody Chase, Elite Women

Seattle Cyclocross Series #5–Auburn, WA
3rd, Kari Studley, Women 1/2

Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross Series #3–McLaren Park, CA
10th, Natasha Perry, Elite Women
1st, Andi Mackie, Women 35+ A
22nd, Yvette Crockell, Women C

Inland Northwest Cyclocross Series #6–Riverside State Park, WA
1st, Erika Krumpelman, Women

Boulder Cup, CO
7th, Amy Dombroski, Elite Women
9th, Barbara Howe, Elite Women
13th, Natasha Cowie, Elite Women
17th, Jennifer Tilley, Elite Women

Grumpy’s Cyclocross, MN
6th, Manda Lo, Women 3/4
8th, Barb Harick, Women 3/4
13th, Jen Greiber, Women 3/4
5th, Maria Stewart, Women 1/2/3

November 3, 2007

Chainbiter 9.0, CT
5th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
7th, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
19th, Melody Chase, Elite Women
23rd, Stephanie White, Elite Women

Redline North American Cross, CO
7th, Barbara Howe, Elite Women
10th, Amy Dombrosi, Elite Women

Ham Lake Cyclocross, MN
2nd, Maria Stewart, Women 1/2/3

Velo Bella’s Surf City a Psychosuccess!

November 2, 2007

Velo Bella has been promoting the Surf City Cyclocross Races for 4 years now. This year we dubbed our Halloween Race, Psychocross. And it lived up to its name. In addition to 350 racers and 40 kiddie kross participants, we had over 70 people in our now famous Costume Cross. I have no idea who keeps records of such things, but it sounds like a costume cross record to me.

Thank you to all the bellas and fellas who chipped in to make a spooktacular day. I’ve heard nothing but raves for the course and venue. We also raised $500 that we will be sending off to the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League.

Clickie on the pic below to see the start of the costume cross race

and Clickie here to see more video, pics, results and the fabulous sponsors that made it all happen.

Sand Trap

November 1, 2007

By Tasha
Boulder, Colorado

Here’s a race report that it took me a couple of days to put together in my head, because it needed to be totally, like, profound and stuff. I’m all about profanity. Profoundness. Right. Anyway…

Race #3 in the Boulder Cross Series was last Sunday (after a really SWEET Saturday of Veloswap insanity) at the Boulder Reservoir. So, people told me the course was sandy. I was like, oh whatever, there’ll be some sandy sections. Easy!

NO. There was SAND.

$(%*@*#! SAND.

So I’m all like pre-riding and stuff, and I’m like, sweet straightaway, nice barriers (over a big plastic weird pier) and there are skydivers parachuting into the field next to the course, and I’m watching them and running into things. And then it’s like, BEACH. SAND. AaaghghghghghhH!!!

It was cool. Finished my warmup and lined up. Started talking to my friend Chellie about halloween costumes. Whoops, the official just blew the whistle. What? Was that for us? Oh gee, looks like it’s time to race.

Against all odds I made a nice start and got into the front group just fine. It was a happy sunny ridiculously warm day, temps in the seventies, no wind. I’d just gotten into a nice pace and we gapped the chase group, when on the second lap, I carried too much speed into a turn and slid out. I sort of sat there for a minute while the chase group flew past and a nice mechanic sort of guy picked up my bike and ensured that I was coherent. Then I remembered what I was doing (oh yeah, racing. right?) and hopped back on the bike. I could tell immediately that my butt had lost some skin, and also my knee, but LUCKILY no damage sustained to my sweet Kona or Louis Garneau skinsuit. Pride comes before and after a fall in bike racing.

So, I started chasing, and also trying to brush all the dirt off my butt so everyone could see the nice design on the skinsuit. That was pretty much the rest of the race, except I also nearly fell into the lake no less than three times. The course went right along this super deep wet sand at the edge of the water. By the time I’d worked my way back up through the chase group I was sort of really tired and my butt was sore. So I was entirely content with tenth place.

Really, a delightful day, particularly the sand run-up with its perplexing characteristic of seeming to pull you slower the harder you tried to run fast. Sort of like quicksand, except with spectators and bicycles.

Happy trails and cross courses,

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