Eyes-Wide Open

June 16, 2009

By Raja Lahti-McMahon
San Diego, California

raja velo bellaSo it’s now nearly the end of April and my indeed season eyes-wide opener was back in March. The Superseal Olympic Distance triathlon is run in conjunction with the Superfrog Long Course triathlon. My husband had signed up for the long course – so a few of us thought we’d have fun with the early season race and do a relay. Not exactly a training race.. but one to just bring out some strengths and have fun. After all.. there was also prize money to be had…

So, Stacy Dietrich signed us up – Velo Bellas & Fella. Nick “The Dolphin” Abramson would swim the double loop beach entry/run swim course. His stellar 53 min Ironman Canada swim says it all. He has gills. I would do the bike. A 56 mile time trial of pure bella bellisma. The skin was going on, the aero helmet & the disk coming out to play. Of course Stacy did tell me I had to bike a sub 2:20 or she wasn’t going to do the run…. ’cause of course she would have to run a sub 1:45 half marathon… in deep sand.

Then… she found out she was prego. As ridiculously excited as I am that one of my best buds is having offspring… it now left a whole in our plan. So.. 2 weeks before the showdown I signed up for the full olympic distance Superseal.

My swim had been behind par due to an annoying shoulder injury, so I would only hope for the best I could do for the day. My biking has been feeling good. After the great Velo Bella cycling camp in January up in San Luis Obispo I felt like I could push it harder & longer than I had before. My run is coming along. I’m not a fabulous runner, so learning to suffer has been, well.. painful!

Last year’s race was cold, windy with ridiculous swells. This year, it was calm and overcast. I’d been told it was a fun race so I just figured I’d enjoy the adventure. Race reports are nice.. but the best part of the reports are the crazy thoughts that go through one’s mind when wondering why they paid money to feel like a bag of poo.

So, I survived the swim. Not horrible. “Could have been worse” I thought. Of course, friend Neily Mathias racing for GoMichellie.com (also wife of coach Peter Clode), finished the swim over 6 minutes in front of me. I’ve love to tell ya I was swimming backwards with my hands tied behind my back – but reality strikes… I’m no fish. No gills. In fact, when I take my goggles off, it ooks like I’ve been hit by a train. Positively the nastiest site for a Bella to behold. I’ve included a visual for posterity. Now.. Where’s my bike??!?

superseal_bikeI had a good ride, but I must say, I liked my bike clock & my watch split better…. not sure where the 2 minutes went.. but both clocks posted a 1:07 n’change bike split. My official split 1:09:12. Needless to say, any sub 1:10 split at this time of year is a decent split. In any case, it felt pretty solid, so no real complaints.

I hadn’t done much in the way of brick training this year. For non-tri-geeks, that’s a workout where you bike, run, bike, run until your legs are mush. If aliens had landed during a brick workout.. I can only imagine they’d go home because clearly we’re a self torturing species. But when you hit sand on the run.. you’re wishing you did more bricks. I opted instead to go off-road and run on top of the ice plant. Not something I’ve tried before… and not sure I’d recommend it either…

I’ve got just over a half mile to go, and I get run down. Shannon Harris pulls up along side of me and she’s looking good. Good rhythm & pace and she’s outpacing me big time. “Please tell me you’re in a different age group” I said in whatever voice I had left. “33”. “Oh shit”. It went something like that.
I must say, Shannon gets the best sportsmanship award. She voluntarily carried me to the finish. She kept up her pace and I just tried to speed up to hang with her. “Let’s work together” she said. That kind of sportsmanship – For a split second I wanted her to beat me. She deserved it.

Then I realized I was in fact racing.. and if she was going to out run me, she’d have to do it to the line. A little tactics came into action. If I could draft off her run, in the chute maybe I could out sprint her to the finish. I wasn’t going to out run her. Not today at least. We rounded the nearly 180 degree turn with about 200 meters to go neck and neck. As the lane bottle-necked, I inadvertently bumped into the flying elbow of a man reaching for the finish as well. She went to his right, me to his left, nearly tripping over a land cone. And let’s just say 3’s a crowd. I hit it and hoped I had enough in the tank to fuel it to the end. I put 2 seconds on her. Once we crossed the finish line we congratulated each other on a good race. We finished 1st & 2nd. She just oozes Bella vibes.

So just as there are rock stars like Shannon Harris, there are also rotten bastards. After crossing the finish line another 10 seconds or so back, this man who I inadvertently bumped elbows while entering the chute, rams into me as I’m standing there drinking some needed water. “Dude, the race is over” I said. A lady walked up to me with her child and asked, “did he just do that on purpose?!?” Yes maam, he did.

I think the entire point of this race report is about sportsmanship. It’s ok to be competitive, to challenge each other. Nobody is out here to “get you”. It’s your own race. As refreshing as it was to race with someone like Shannon, it was also as upsetting to know that there are jerks out there that feel they are more deserving than others by instigating physical contact. Not nice. He goes on the Bella poo list.

Race to the best you can do that day. I had a decent race, but it wasn’t spectacular. I’m not a pro. I have a job that consumes more time than I’d like to admit. I have a husband and friends. I got a bit lucky all the really fast girls were not in my age group. Sometimes it’s a bit of talent. Sometimes a bit of tactics. Sometimes a bit of luck. It is however all about who shows up on that day to race. Yourself included. Race to have fun, to accomplish something, to improve yourself. Otherwise, don’t race. Nobody likes the attitude. After all.. you paid money to be here.. so you’d better get your monies worth of enjoyment.

In the meantime, train hard and race to have fun!

Happy Riding!

Bicycle Made For Two

June 16, 2009

By Soni Andreini Poulsen
Somewhere in California on a Bike

soni andreini poulsen

Q: Honey, what do you want to do for our wedding anniversary?

A: I don’t know, but we should do something special for our 22nd.

Q: Lets, see, here’s an ad for a wine tasting cycling tour in Napa. That sounds nice. Or here’s another one for a restaurant that does a nice job with special events in Carmel–we could get some friends together for dinner. What do you think of those?

A: None of those quite sound right, honey. Here, I found it!:

“Just a four hour drive from just about anywhere! Land of few services, no even ground to set up rollers, and freeze cracks that have swallowed many wheels and loosened countless aerobars! Yes, come to Sattley, CA! You and your sweetie can get up way too early and dine on crummy hotel breakfast food, experience the rocking porta-potties on trailers, and then ride your bike as hard as you can for about an hour! (Puking optional.)”

I love you, honey!


Actually, the conditions were about as good as they come in Sattley–cool and very very light wind. It was great to see all the friendly Bella faces. I was glad I wasn’t in the individual competition–the categories were stacked with fast fast women! I predicted the 50+ winner would beat the time of the 45+ winner, but wouldn’t go out on a limb to say who it would be. Very happy to see that it was Liz B–and she actually had the fastest time of ALL the master women!!

The tandem fields were tiny this year. Unfortunately, our competition (Tom & Bella Karin) got a flat at the turnaround. But we had a PR for the course so we were pretty happy. And I’ve been eating ever since. Except for the times that I’ve been nauseous.

Photo courtesy, Buddy Baretto. Grazie Mille!

On Fire at Angel Fire

June 16, 2009

By Connie Misket
Sandy, Utah

Angel Fire is definitely one of my very favorite courses… of course, at the same time it’s also one of the most terrifying courses we ride too.

Practice Makes Perfect

I arrived at Angel Fire on Friday afternoon – too late for practice, but we immediately got the word that the pro course was the same as the DH course last year and that, miracle of miracles… the Super D course was indeed all downhill – AND gnarly technical. Woohoo!

We headed up bright and early Saturday morning for Super D practice and the course was indeed as described. I am in love with that course. There are a few really technical moves that presented a challenge just riding it and I knew they would be serious choke points during the race. My biggest fear was the start – you never know what they’re going to do. But you also can’t prepare for it, so I just kept practicing lines on the trail and looking for good passing areas and we had a great time.

The Super D practice was a great warmup for DH practice. Last year I felt like making it through the rock garden without crashing was something of a miracle. This year I was better prepared… I hoped. And it turned out I really was! On Saturday, I didn’t crash once on the DH course. I stopped a few times and hiked back up to hit things, but rode as clean as I could ever have hoped. I was feeling great… though I was still worried that my arms get so pumped up by the end of the course that I can barely hold on. But the first day’s practice was pretty much perfect.

Super D Day

Of course… that evening it started to rain. We woke up Sunday morning to beautiful sunshine and had DH practice bright and early. Kimber and I headed up to the course, stoked to see the sun because that mile long rock garden is terrifying when it’s wet. Of course…. I just underestimated how much it had rained the night before. I got about 200′ into the rock garden, tapped the brakes and started sliding. I thought I’d just slide out, but my front tire washed into a hole and then I flipped over the bars. Ouch. I could feel a huge hematoma growing on my left quad.

Ugh… I sat there for a minute and started again… same thing.

I tried to stay off the brakes, but it’s so slippery and steep, I’d hit something, drop the front tire and over the bars I went again, this time landing on my head. Kimber sat there with me for a few minutes and then I decided since I was feeling dizzy, I’d just walk down and get off the course so I could go ice my leg, which I had hit again, in a different spot.

Ugh. I spent the rest of the day sitting on the sofa with ice, waiting for the Super D race that evening.

We got to the Super D start and I was feeling stiff and nervous. I’ve had 5 knee surgeries and I don’t run. Like never. Of course, I could immediately see we were doing a running start. Bleh. With some silliness where you had to put an elbow on the tape and one knee on the ground and then get up and run to your bike which was at the start line. After a few minutes scowling about the start… I decided I had better start visualizing myself running uphill fast, picking up my bike, etc. Apparently that helped, because when they started us, I was surprised to find myself somewhere around mid-pack as I grabbed my bike and headed downhill. I was also surprised to find that I couldn’t reach either my front shifter OR my front brake, which had somehow gotten twisted backwards.


I had forgotten what it’s like to not have a front brake and skidded like a madwoman around the first few corners. I kept trying to bump it back into place, but that wasn’t possible as we were bouncing down a rock garden. I passed a few people on this initial descent, and then we got to the toughest move on the course. It’s a gnarly right hand turn over some boulders onto more rocky singletrack. The girl in front of me pulled wide and slowed almost to a stop and I cut in to go for it, but then realized I couldn’t slow down and crashed right over it. I jumped back up as fast as I could, trying tou get my brake lever back in a usable place and we took off again. I finally got that working again and then noticed that my handlebars were crooked by about 30 degrees… and there was nothing I could do about that without stopping so I decided to ignore it and keep going.

I passed a few more women and as I got to the swoopy steep switchbacks saw Michelle halfway down them. I rode them as fast as I could and popped out on the fire road right on her rear wheel and started pedalling like crazy to catch her. She can definitely out pedal me, but I pushed as hard as I could (thankfully I’ve been road biking a lot lately to get in better shape), pumped every jump and just tried my best to not get dropped so that I could try to get by her in the corners ahead. But she held the best rideable line through the next several corners and I couldn’t get by.

We dropped into the last swoopy section through the trees and as we aired back on to the road towards the finish, I was pulling along side of her in the air. I landed to the inside and tried to hold the inside of the corner, but accidentally buzzed her rear tire and almost crashed. I recovered, but had lost a good amount of ground in the process. I hit the next two flat corners as best I could and right at the final corner (a nasty off camber 120 degree turn to the uphill finish), Michelle slid wide, put a foot down and I passed her on the inside in a slight drift and sprinted as fast as I could to the finish – sure at any second I’d see her catching me.

But I made it and ended up finishing 2nd! Which is my best finish to date in a Pro/Open Super D at an MSC or National race. Woohoo!

Fast and Smooth Downhill

I was feeling relieved at this point and excited for Monday’s DH race. Monday morning, Kimber, Addie and I headed up to practice and started by just doing a warmup on the Super D course. I decided not to push it and call that my entire warmup and just went onto the DH course for qualifying (since we all qualify, and I was stiff, sore and my head was throbbing from landing on it the day before).

Qualifying was pretty uninspiring. I was worried about the main rock garden, but cleaned it easily… and then proceeded to crash in a spot I hadn’t had issues with before. Just a silly slow speed thing where you end up stuck upside down and it takes forever to get untangled. And then I crashed again, slamming my hip into a rock… I got back up and could hear Addie coming up behind me and just pulled over to let her go… and Jen was only about 50′ behind her. I let them both go and then followed them down the 2nd half of the course to the finish.

Pretty unimpressive, but I was glad to be in one piece. I sat down at the finish and started seeing flashing lights as my migraine got worse… at which point I stumbled back to the house we were renting and took some ibuprofen and iced my head and neck for a few hours. Luckily, the migraine went away and I started feeling normal again.

Of course, at that point it started raining again! We figured we’d head up and do a run on the Super D course to warm up but we got to the lift and it was closed due to lightning. There was talk of cancelling the race if it kept up, and they had started running shuttles to get people to the top. Luckily, right as we were about to get on a shuttle, we got word the lift had opened again. And even luckier – despite the hail and rain, it didn’t rain enough to get the rock garden wet. Phew!

I sat at the start visualizing the course and thinking about staying relaxed and looking ahead, and told myself that where for qualifying I was just going slow and safe, this was fast and smooth, fast and smooth….

I started off and things were feeling really good. As I got to the entrance of the rock garden, I told myself (out loud) that “this is my favorite part!!” Heh – I’m getting good at lying to myself! But it worked and I went into the rock garden with a huge smile on my face. It was beautiful – I just rode nice and clean…. all the way to the point where you think you’re done with it but have to go up and over a big rock… and there is a photographer sitting right there. I slammed my left pedal into the side of the rock and got stuck. Ugh! I stood up on the rock and lifted my bike up and over it to un-jam the pedal, and jumped down to get on my bike – with the photographer flashing in my face the whole time. Thanks…

But I got back going again and rode the rest of the course clean. I still need to get off the dang brakes on the high speed fire road stuff, but I’m always so terrified that I can’t hang on to the bike any more that I brake more, which makes my hands more tired, which makes me more scared, and I brake more…. Ugh.

But I rode clean through the bottom and pulled through the finish line to hear the announcer saying that I had just easily taken over the hot seat. Woohoo! There were plenty more women to come down the course, but I held on for 7th place. Big improvement from last year, as I shaved 40 some seconds off my time and moved from 15th place last year to 7th this year. Plus, I know what I have to work on and how to keep moving on up for next year… :)

Anyway – we had a fantastic time. It was great to be able to ride with Kimber all weekend and I’m really excited to feel like the training that I’ve been doing has been paying off!

New Zeal Day!

June 16, 2009

By Allie Burch
Patterson, New York

Allie Burch Velo Bella

There’s nothing in this world quite like putting on a pair of brand new goggles or sunglasses. Looking out from behind the pristine lenses is like having your very own window to the world, where eyeballs are free to open fully, gaping unscathed as ocular danger flies past.

My Zeals came today. Finally, the event I was waiting ever so impatiently for, after a random “Act of Dodge” crushed my beloved black Juice glasses, was upon me. A sorely needed pair of Link MX goggles and a pair of blue/wood grain Airestreams, that quite frankly had me concerned as to the way they would fit my small face. Would I look “hip and happenin’” or would I look like something that came out of Roswell, NM as I do with nearly every other brand of sunglass.

Like and old friend, the MX Links were true to fit and form as from the past five years of trusting their protection, breathability and clarity. They fit my small face perfectly while allowing a full range of peripheral vision. They also fit into my helmet, as if the helmet was made to pair only with them. The tearoffs that they came with are easy to use and the lenses are a “snap” (literally) to replace quickly and confidently without the need for “man hands”. The sassy protective cases that come complimentary with this goggle range in surprises from fuzzy leopard print, a grey technical fabric, or this year’s camo. They also include a goggle bag, which is ideal for keeping on your person and wiping the mud off your lenses.

Next were the Airestreams. I opened the hard-shell protective case (that every pair of Zeal glasses ship with) and put the Airestreams on. Much to my surprise, they were weightless on my face. I peered into the car window (I was so excited I opened the box in the driveway and never quite made it into the house) expecting to see a tiny noggin hidden behind some oversized glasses. Not the case. I liked how they looked on me! I ran inside and to my amazement they were perfect! The color, the style, the field of vision, everything!

The Airestreams are my new favorite glasses. Already they have been with me cycling, running, lounging, working in the yard, driving, and they stand up to every task. They stay put without bouncing while running, they provide near total wind block while riding, they stay clear while sweat rolls down my face while mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, etc. Then, a swipe over the lenses with the included glasses bag, has them cleaning up easier than I do and ready to wear for social functions.

I have found that these oversized glasses vent well and offer a fuller field of vision than any other style I’ve tried. These fit well on a smaller face. Finally, something that the peanut-headed can feel confident in!

Thank you Michael and Wink for all of the work you do to put out such a great product!

Friday Night Racing #3, Hellyer Velodrome, CA

June 16, 2009

Friday Night Racing #3, Hellyer Velodrome, CA

7th, Katie Norton, Women’s Elite Omnium

Keuka Lake Triathlon report (KLT), June 7th, 2009

June 15, 2009

– by Bella Ace!



What was dreaded to be a cold day turned out to be a perfect day for triathlon: warm weather, no wind and especially tolerable water temperature (61F)! This is my 3rd triathlon and the first one with an open water swim.

Along with a good friend of mine, I left Ithaca, en route to Keuka Park on Saturday 6th. I pass on the gorgeous views of Cayuga, Seneca and of course, Keuka Lake. Keuka College is truly in the middle of nowhere and I am still wondering why such a place even exists! The only close-by ‘town’ (if one can call it so. It’s literally the size of one block), was 3.5mi and had barely a descent restaurant where once could have something to stock on before the race.

Upon arrival to the venue, we get our race packets, checked-in in our dorm room, attended a couple of free clinics, headed out for diner and went to bed at 8:50pm. Yes! We were just total kaputt and needed some rest…


Race day:


I got up at 5:00am to have ample time before the race meeting, the body marking, a good breakfast and of course some quality time in the bathroom ;-).

It was amazing the number of racers, from all ages, from different regions and with different bikes (from fat tires to $12k – YES! – super duper carbon, disk-wheel TT bikes). I should mention that the KLT 2009 was the USAT Northeast Regional Championships, so no wonder there were around 800-ish participants!


After the being body marked, etc, I racked my bike and prepared my transition spot in the T-zone. I had to mentally go through transition : swim in, bike out, bike in, run out, run in! And also make sure I could easily spot my bike among the crowd that is getting bigger and bigger!


I met many fellow Ithaca Triathlon Club (ITC) dudes and Velo Bellas (Kira, Eileen, Lisa). The club was well represented at the event!


SWIM: 0.46mile loop

Lisa and I were in the same wave (sprint, women under 39) so we watched how previous waves did for the swim and transitions. Waves are separated by 5min. When it was our turn, we went into the water. Temperature: OK! Mood: high! We wished each other god luck and promised to meet at the end to congratulate each other and enjoy the post-race festivities. Upon hearing the horn, a mass start made my adrenaline raise. I was dreading this part of the race, where bodies are on top of each other, where kicking is definitely unavoidable and where choppy water could discourage the braves… It was nonetheless just GREAT for me! No complaints…. I received a kick in the face (not too bad), and without realizing, Lisa and I were hitting each others with our arms. After the first 100 yards, it all was smooth. Do your best, hammer or take it easy and enjoy the swim! I was swimming “in the pack” for most of the time. Then, along with a couple gals passed guys from not only the previous wave, but the two previous waves; this means we caught up by 10min. Isn’t that COOL? Some guys were swimming on the back and, in between two breaths, I was like: “Dude, what are you doing?”, lol!


BIKE: 13.8mile loop

T1 was smooth. I couldn’t spot my bike and wasted a couple seconds, that OK…. The bike part was terrific. I felt all pepped up with my newly bought “Velo Bella Oh La La” shorts. The chamois is so comfortable that I parted with my tri shorts and opted for the VB cycling ones :-)! The bike course a couple of “rolling hills” (I am ashamed to call those hills, though) and apart from the many bumps on the road, it was OK! Because of the bumps, one of my aerobars swung and I was using my drop bars for the entire course. No biggie, but I should fix that soon! I averaged 19.2mph, I could have done better I guess… Oh, I should mention that I made a progress by having a sip during the course. I always tend to forget hydration. My 20oz bottle was half full in the beginning (10oz), and was almost half-full at the end (9oz). So, a net progress of 1oz fluid consumption. Wawaweeewa, Ace!!!


T2 was OK, could’ve been faster… My feet were numb (as usual) after the bike part, so I was mentally preparing myself to run on numb feet for 80% of the run course. After dismounting and putting on my running shoes, I was good to go for the run.


RUN: 3.1mile loop

I felt in my element during the run, despite my injury. I spotted many racers who were just knocked out and and needed to get the hell out of the run asap. A couple were walking, most were running and doing their best to finish in great colors!


After crossing the finish line, I headed straight to the chiropractor tent and had a TERRIFIC session for the first time in my life.



A couple of us gathered after the race to mingle and share nice moments we had. After showering, a well-deserved ungodly yummy and amazing post-race meal was waiting for us! No, no, no; not your usual sliced fruits and bagels post-race food but ‘Oh la la’: wraps of all kinds (tuna, lunch meats, cheese, tomato, etc), salmon (YES!) salads, soups, pastas, casseroles, bountiful cakes, a salad and fruit bar and I pass on many other yummy dishes! Looks like an all-you-can eat high quality buffet! We were spoiled!


After the meal, we headed to the award ceremony. Many of the ITC members got first or second place in their age groups. I was 2nd in my age group (W25-29), only 3min behind the 1st. Ah… transitions….


I am glad to have raced for the first time as a Velo Bella and hope to represent the VB team in many other events!




Follow up report from another NY Bella racer:  Kira Novakowski:

Hello ladies,

Ironically, my first time at this distance (as some of you know, I’ve done a full Ironman before and yet have not done an Oly yet!). I figured it would be an interesting test of how hard I could push myself for a shorter race and see if the intervals and hills have been helping!

I had the alarm set for 2:30… hit snooze until 3:15! (And my alarm is across the room.) Early morning! I finally left at 4a and arrived with plenty of time to register and set up and chat with all the other Ithaca area people including Ace and Eileen (they both did GREAT!). Eileen and I set up our stuff across from each other in the transition area. After getting everything set, we headed down to the lake. Usually I get quiet and focused before a race, but I was buzzing and chatting a million miles a minute yesterday! The first three waves went, and eventually it was our turn. The water was chilly but kind of refreshing. Soon enough, we were off. I kept a nice relaxed, comfortable pace… Hello!!!! This is a short race, PUSH it! But I was too content and was worried I’d burn myself out. Hindsight, next time I know I can push more! Somehow I managed to be 3rd in my age group out of the water.

Off to the bike… need to work on transitions! I had the slowest T1 (and T2) transitions in my age group! Oops! The bike went well. My HR was ridiculously high, but I felt good, and now having done this distance, realize I can go a little harder on the bike next time as well as the swim. I was 2nd in my age group for bike splits, so I was pretty happy with that.

Then to the run… I am slow! I was happy with my run split, but compared to my swim/bike splits, my run needs improvement.  :)  But I’m slowly getting there! Funny, my avg run HR was lower than on the bike! Oops!

Finished 5th in my age group.

So there ya go! Fun stuff! Perfect weather and good company – what more can one ask for?!

Cheers,   -Kira

And from Lisa Todzia:

I only placed first in the bike for age+gender (34-39) and pitifully behind most of the pack in the other two events. Your TT bars worked like a charm. Many other people struggled with their TT bars due to rough road, which jostled the bars so much that they slid out of position. Route 54 was built in well-defined segments of concrete/pavement. Its seams were tarred over. The tar mounded up creating these bumps, which when crossed in aero, would loosen your teeth! And your aero bars. A couple people complained that once slipped, the bars tilted down, pointed at the road, and usually rendered the bars unusable for achieving the desired aero position. Alas, luckily this trouble did not befall me. Ace, however, did incur this problem, which may have slowed her down a bit. The ride was characterized by a double gradual hill of moderate steepness and a false flat just before the finish. Transitioning from swim to bike was smoothed by the fact that the first few miles of biking were flat and easy. Also, on the lake road, there was hardly any car traffic, the road was wide and despite the presence of lots of gravel, a smooth surface that skirted the lake. Not that the biking leg was a time for sightseeing! but the initial few miles were clear of worldly obstacles, such as cars.

The run was similar: fast and flat. A straight out and back course of pavement that lined the lakeside was pleasant. Four water/feed (Heed) stations provided hydration options. The stations were placed at reasonable intervals. The finish line was never close enough (until I passed it).

All in all the race was somewhat unexciting. I really felt something missing from the race. If pressed to say what it was I would answer a sense of collective energy: the Cayuga Lake Tri sports a sense of camaraderie, lightheartedness and fun that Keuka seemed to lack. People were all business. Just getting it done seemed enough motivation for most. That said, I must also say that the race was extremely well organized. I lacked for nothing (except that elusive verve that Cayuga’s race exudes).

Perhaps I’m just enamored of my home turf tri! I am certainly looking forward to it as by August, the water will have warmed up and the swim will not be characterized by a 59 degree lake temperature! Yikes! it was bloody cold but bearable in a wet suit. The course took a triangle shape and funneled swimmers between two docks, which created a double back up — first at the start and then again at the finish swimmers kicked and hit each other as they paddled their way around the .46 mile course.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. The final complication of the swim consisted of a wooden stairway that led from the shoreline to the transition area. Some competitors thought better of running these stairs, ascending them at a walk instead. It was a bit awkward (to say the least) running the wet wooden planks encumbered by a wet suit, but I survived. Knowing that my bike was waiting kept me in the race!


NY Senior Games –

June 15, 2009

From Bella LiLynn:


Yes, that’s right girls, it was the 2009 New York State “Senior” Games this past weekend.

Only 2 bella’s could get their wheel chairs shined up and lubed in time for the games but fared well in their competitions. With plenty of arthritis meds and memory enhancers we were able to get to start lines on time and in good form — upright and alert.

Cynthia Schnedeker, a brand new bella this year did her first time trial and came home with the bronze. It was a tough decision early in the morning to choose between the Piggly Wiggly competition being held at another location or the time trial. I think she chose wisely. Although when she explained the game of piggly wiggly, I must say, I was tempted myself.

I opted out of the TT’s and joined Cynthia in the Road Race later on in the day. We scoped out the competition at the mass start and chose to be in the front line right next to Margaret, a former national TT champion.

The race rolled out and it was Margaret and I in the head wind leading the peleton down the highway behind the pace car and not one man was willing to take the wind. After a few miles of this silliness the testostrone levels were getting to the boys and they shot around FINALLY to take the lead. The race was on.
Since this race was only 22k I wasn’t too worried about getting worn out so I stayed up in the front with about 5 guys pulling the pack around the the two loops and finally a buddy of mine let me know I was the only woman doing any work and all the others were just sitting in waiting so he sent me back for a bit. It wasn’t long and I saw Margaret making her move so I sat on her wheel real quiet and stayed there until we hit a hill and the lead boys jumped so I took off with them.

Well with her TT skills she was soon back on and we made the turn in the tail wind to the final 4 mile stretch. Someone was blocking for Margaret and wouldn’t let me get around her and in front of her was the small pack of amped up testostrone that had also been sitting in waiting for the final stretch and no “man” was going to let me move up a bike length. I could only sit on margaret’s wheel and then came the final sprint. Whoooooo hooooooo! It was fast and Margaret put on some watts so I stood up and a spot finally opened up next to her but only to let me a wheel’s length up to her. She and I managed to pass 3 guys and ended up 7 and 8 overall in the sprint pack.

I took the gold in 50-54 and Cynthia took 4th in the 50-54. This was her first road race and she looked good out there. If fact she has already sign up for another race in two weeks. Whoooo hooooo.

Northern California/Nevada State Time Trial Championships, CA

June 14, 2009

Northern California/Nevada State Time Trial Championships, CA

3rd, Marian Jamison, Elite Women
3rd, Marsha Kirschbaum, Women 55-59
1st, Liz Benishin, Women 50-54
6th, Sarah Clatterbuck, Women 4
1st, Soni Andreini Poulsen and Jeff Poulsen, Tandem Mixed 90+

Whaling City Cyclone Criterium, CT

June 14, 2009

Whaling City Cyclone Criterium, CT

3rd, Ivy Luhrs, Women 3/4

Nutmeg Classic Criterium, CT

June 13, 2009

Nutmeg Classic Criterium, CT

3rd, Ivy Luhrs, Women 3
4rh, Ivy Luhrs, Women 40+

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