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Race Reports Archive

November 2002

11/25/02 - Final Boulder Series Race
by Adriel

Sunday was not only my birthday, but also the last race of the Boulder Racing Series... given the combo, I had aspirations of winning :-) I was 3rd in the series, and this race would improve, lose, or hold my spot.

The race was at the Boulder Resevoir, which I already knew was my kind of course (not too technical with a couple good flat stretches - Dean hates these "roadie" coarses, but I dig'em). It had snowed all night and was still blowing a few flakes around. Thankfully I'm stocked with Pearl warm layers (Bella jersey on top of course!) It was a great course to watch folks on, and if it wasn't a race, I think I would have had fun playing on the sloppy course! I started off with the right attitude - smiling at all the gals racing - someone commented 'nice smile' (not sure if that was positive or not... I think I am known for always grinning ear to ear at the race starts). But it went downhill from there.

It was 25 degrees out, which made it hard to breathe. We had to go through mud and sand (and snow), so I wasn't able to clip in after my first lap... I could whine more, but the end result was that even though I busted my butt, I came in dead last!!!!

I still took 4th in the series, and I have to say, I never thought 4th would feel so disappointing... I crossed the finish line trying to get air down my throat and tears out of my eyes. I discovered I really don't like losing! The one thing I did get out of the race was that in an effort to gain time, I finally shouldered my bike successfully the last few laps, and hey, it really does help you go faster on run ups (imagine that!)

So for my birthday, rather than having my cake and eating it too - I had a healthy serving of humble pie. And guess what I opened last night for my birthday present.... "Cyclo Cross - Training and Technique" a great little book by S.Burney (thanks Dean). After my first season of cross I have to say I love it and hate it - and next year I will for sure be up there at the front line with a huge smile on my face - ready for my next helping!!!

11/13/02 - A Blur of Mud and Bellas
Email correspondence between the Bellas after Surf City #3

Okay, so my mud talk wasn't premature. Nothing like unforecasted rain, make that rain deluges, to stir things up. Now that I am warm and dry with a belly full of carne asada burrito, I can say..f*ck, that was fun!!

I am so friggen proud of everyone who showed up today, and not just the racers, but the helpers too. I've overheard more than one person say, "yeah, well, we'll see how many of those cute bellas show up when the weather turns bad". We showed them how many...more..thats how many. I counted 13 bellas in the results.You guys are all badass chickies to do what you did today, thats for sure.

I fell about 6 times. I think if you fall on the first lap, you are destined
to keep falling because your confidence is shot. The one thing about falling in the mud is that you're going so slow and the mud is soft and squishy, that the crashes don't really hurt. I just felt all lame as I tried to untangle myself from my bike while I was still sliding down the hill. A couple of times I fell back down just while trying to stand back up. And then I had to laugh. Unfortunately, on one lap I lost by mojo bee, Coron. And, later, in a strange twist of irony, my bike turned into a singlespeed...not that it mattered. Fortunately, Rick Hunter found my bee and gave it to me after the race. Thanks Rick!

And what was with that run walk up.?..oh my god that was hard. On one lap I saw Leah struggle with her bike mountain bike and I wanted so much to put out a hand and help her out a little, but I couldn't. I could only grunt and think helpful thoughts.

I tried to cheer people on, but it was harder this time. If I saw you I
tried, and if you didn't hear anything, I was cheering in my head. Jeni doesn't have that problem, she can cheer and cheer and even crack jokes. She said something funny to me, I just smirked, wiped the snot from my nose and replaced it with the mud from my gloves, and wondered how she could do that at a time like this.

Congrats to Shelly and Ann for storming through the storm. You guys are amazing. Congrats to today's first timers, Elizabeth and Ally. Congrats to Monica for upgrading to Bs after winning Cs last week. Congrats to all the former first timers who came back for more in awful fun conditions, Leah, Jeni, Goldi, Karen, Flo, Brenda, Melissa, Monica. And congrats to Jessie for having waaay too much fun out there. Thank you Amy and Arleen for helping out. Even helping was an epic task today.

Now that I'm warm I can laugh at the "showers" we took under the draining roof water. My shins look like someone was throwing rocks at them and I'm still finding mud in my ears, but I'm okay, very much okay. I just returned from a trip to the hardware store and there was this guy in a wheelchair trying to put sponges in his shopping basket. He kept struggling to pick them up, so I wandered over and helped him out and he said thanks. I walked away thinking how lucky I was to be able to do what I did today (I mean the racing, not helping him with his sponges). As much as we jokingly whine and complain after an epic athletic feat like we all did today, we're pretty damn fortunate.

p.s. Did anyone see Goldi after the race? I didn't see her and just wanted to make sure she was okay...

All right...I am dry but I am bruised. Like you Sabine I fell and I fell hard. I fell twice during the warm ups which totally blew my confidence. I fell once right down on my top tube and I have thought how great it is that I am not a guy!

Thank you Elizabeth and Brenda for encouraging me to keep going. I was seriously considering NOT starting as my positive attitude was shot. But start I did.

My lack of confidence from the warm ups kept me from being too much of a daredevil so I decided to run down the steep downhill and as the laps wore on this became not such a bad idea as I passed people when they were trying to ride down the descent. I did however have one other crash and have been icing my leg between watching the football game and nursing a couple of beers. Its a good thing I don't wear dresses to work because my right leg is not looking real great!

It was fun but I left today thinking the whole road racing is a piece of cake compared to this! And feeling like you guys are studs! Congrats to all of us who were there...we certainly aren't sissy chicks!


What a blast, mud, rain, wind.....I felt like a kid again......or did I feel like I was thrown into a mud wrestling contest. Can't really decide and I'm not too sure I care. Everything was great till I had it out with the cyclone fence before that little ride up on the last lap.

Shelly, way to go on your great ride!!!!!! Hope your blue lips warmed up. Elizabeth, what a trooper.... Im glad to hear you say after the race that you'll be back to race again. Monica ...thanks for the encouragement ...Jessica, sorry about all your mechanical boppers. ...Amy for the water - and way to go to all the Vello Bella's (I overheard a guy say that he thought we had the biggest showing for a team!)

Well, back to icing the knee (courtesy of the fence incident) boy, wonder what type of injury I can sustain next week :) Thanks Sabine for the dry space and fun.


I will add to the litany of "falling down" tales...30 meters down the steep, slippy, grassy off-camber thing I would fall, in the
exact same manner, onto the exact same muddy-sore part of my shoulder and hip, EVERY TIME! Then I'd run down and wonder why I didn't run the whole way (running was super fast). I also had many hair-raising experiences of going down slopes out of the pedals, as I just got a new pair of Times yesterday and this was my first day of getting used to them. These pedals totally make cross easier, but not being too familiar with the clip-in was the cause of some occasional

That is not to mention the two other times I wiped out, and wiped out good, but it all became a blur of mud and Bellas there at the end.

I witnessed a couple of inspiring moment during the race. One at the last run-up, where there were four Bellas all storming up the hill at once (I know Jenni and Brenda were there in addition to me, and I think it might have been Karen at the top?) and everyone was yelling out encouragement to one another. It pretty much rocked and totally got me through the end of that race (with the exception of one of the aforementioned wipe-outs on the grassy hill). The other was Shelly, on way to steaming into fourth place in the As, yelling out an incredibly polite "May I go in front of you over the next bit?" as she came by...of course we all scooted to the side and let her through...she stands out in sharp contrast to some've
got Karma on your side, Shelly.

BTW, I saw Goldi after the race, and she gave me a cinnamon bun (she is the BEST!) and she didn't seem to be in too bad of shape!

That race ruled.

Yep! I agree Monica... we got no sissy chicks here! It was great fun to play in the mud and congrats to all the Bellas! It came down to more of a survival ride since I was falling all over the place... It was great that we all finished in one piece!

I am so stoked that Elizabeth made it out to her first race.... and in the rain and mud, excellent!

Looking forward to Sunday, yehoo!

How fun was that?!?

I have to admit that I was terrified at the start of the race. I wasn't sure that I could do it without my wings. I convinced myself that I should not pre-ride the course. I was afraid that if I did pre-ride, then I would change my mind and chicken out. Not true. Somehow, I did pre-ride and SOMEHOW, I got a big glob of mud in my eye. Luckily a friend had some eye drops and I was able to wash out the goop. When I woke up this morning, rather than having sleep in eyes, I had brown muddy eye boogers! (seems not
all the goop washed out)

Thanks for the newspaper tip, Sabine. I stuffed them in my shoes last night and they are already dry.

So now I need to get some of those silly "GIRLS LOVE DIRT" socks. Yesterday reminded me of high-school... My girlies and I used to get big pieces of waxy cardboard (head to the hills behind Soquel High) and go MUD SLIDING.

What was UP with that WALL we were supposed to RUN UP? I am forever grateful to the man at the top who never stopped giving encouraging words and cheers throughout the race. Thanks, man!

Sorry to make you worried Sabine. I was fine after the race. Just tired, grumpy, hungry, cold, etc. I took off ASAP to shower and grub. Thanks again to everyone. It is very encouraging to be out there with all of you smiling and cheering together. And props to Shelly for being such a courteous racer. Not true of some of the other 'A' women. You think they'd be encouraging new/beginner women racers. Rather it feels like they don't want me on their course getting in their way. Bad Karma.

A tough course, make for tougher racers. Go Girls!

Did anyone else wake up this morning feeling as if you've been beaten up? My neck and shoulders are especially sore!

The best thing about all these email reports is that I can continue to
relive the race over and over. And it doesn't hurt as much as the real
thing! Well, it didn't really hurt that much, but I really was having fun
during the race. Though I race lots of different kinds of races, I usually can't say that the actual act of racing is fun. Except for mountain bike racing, perhaps. But then again I'm not really that competitive, so yesterday I had a huge sense of humor and didn't get too flustered when I spent several minutes trying to untangle my chain after Brenda helped untangle ME from my bike and a clump of that long sharp grassy stuff. Thanks, Bren! A big thanks to Jody who so casually rode up to us at Morgan's Saturday morning when I was consulting with everyone to figure out what kind of tires to put on my old, heavy hardtail for my first cross race. Jody kindly offered me his spare cross bike to use, since we're about the same height. How exciting, I thought. And it was soooo light to pick up and run with.

So, arriving at the high school yesterday I got my first glimpse of a cross course. It was looking pretty darn technical, I thought. Steep ups and downs, sharp turns... yikes, I wanted my mountain bike!!! After Scott finished (won) his race he reported to me how slippery it was out there and likened it to snot. Oh, lovely. I was eager to get out there and pre ride and get used to Jody's bike. Jody gave me tips on jumping on and off, which I mastered... in the parking lot. But out on the course, that bit of practice all went out the window. Now I know what Sabine's little hop story was about back at the beginning of the season. I too couldn't lose that extra hop while throwing my leg over during the re-mount. Need more practice there.

Now, on my pre ride laps, I gained confidence right away. That bike was awesome. I just pretended it was my mountain bike and pointed it where I wanted to go and it went, solidly and boldly. Some last minute adjustments to the gears (thanks, Wiz) and I felt ready. The race started and I immediately couldn't clip in and fell to the back. Then it started raining harder. The course seemed to change between the first and second laps. I slid everywhere. Wherever I tried to boldly go, I boldly ate it. I think I crashed three times on the second lap and then reeled myself in and rode more conservatively. The only really frustrating thing was all the mud that would pack into my cleats. There stood the biggest dilemma of the day. I could either spend time pounding my cleats on the pedals until they were clean enough to clip in, which took a long time and obviously cost lots of forward momentum in the process. Also, by the time I was successfully clipped in again, it was time to get off for another run-up or hurdle and pack the mud back in again. The alternative was to just pedal without being clipped in, which I did more often than I wanted to. This way was a bit scary, plus I really couldn't pedal hard. And what's the point of riding a nice, smooth, light, cross bike if you can't pedal fast? But I kept laughing and pushed to the bitter end. Even after the last time down the long, slippery slope, I almost cleaned it when at the bottom I couldn't slow myself down enough to make that last left turn before the curb and the road. I went straight into the yellow tape and carried it with me for several feet. Good thing that stuff is stretchy.

Thanks to Amy for the water and all the Velo Fellas out on the course yelling encouragement (especially Wiz for helping me with chain drop #2). Can't wait to see some muddy pictures. This is a true bonding experience if there ever is one! I have huge respect for all of those out there in those conditions by choice and with smiles. It's definitely addictive!

See y'all next week.

<<Re: Clothes...its too late now, but next time. I hose out all my clothes before throwing them in the wash.>>

It is not too late for this tip, Thanks Sabine! I had a great time yesterday though I had a fantasy of laser eye surgery because big gobs of mud in the contacts were a serious a problem for me yesterday.. had fun out there and am enjoying reading all the Bella accounts.. I was kinda bummed yesterday when I felt like the mud was gonna permanently speckle my lovely jersey even after Iwashed and wrung by hand...I better soak it, though I guess a leopard skin Bella jersey might be special


It was definitely a technical course, to which the mud added more
technicality. I think it favored the mountain bikers, skill-wise. The start was key in this race - the first climb up the pavement and the run/barely make it - up was a huge bottleneck behind the leaders, I assume. I was lucky to get the hole shot with the top 5 at the start , and we all got away pretty quickly. I was mostly glad it kept raining, otherwise I think it may have turned into a SCCX 2001 finals, i.e. sticky wet cement mud and 100lb. bikes.

It was a true CX race, for sure...

<<Did anyone else wake up this morning feeling as if you've been beaten up? My neck and shoulders are especially sore!>>

Not beaten up exactly. but I have found after each race it is "exciting" and appalling to look down at my legs, but also elbows and shoulders and count the damaged blue and green and brown patches of new bruises and cuts.. stuff. I don't feel during the race (except when a big crash hits like last Sunday)... Iguess it's like taking inventory


You dirty dirty dirty Bellas are making me laugh, I so wish i could have been there to be a part of it. Races like you have been describing is where me and my cardboard bike excel. I have been teasing Sabine for a year now that I was going to create one and duck tape it on my shoulder to cut the weight. As Ann said it is easier to run than ride many sections now imagine me, where its faster for me to run in dry weather. I am so proud of you all, proving style can be tough. Sounds like everyone had a memorable time. I will see all of you mudbellas at the next race.


Handing out water on a waterlogged day.

I just wanted to send out a big woohoo of congratulations to all of the Bellas who braved thatweather yesterday and raced. It was great to *spectate* yesterday and to answer, "No!" to thequestion, "Are you racing today?" But by the end of the day, I have to admit, I was starting to think,"Hm, maybe this would be kind of fun. Maybe. Possibly." See what you guys have done ?At any rate, it was super-inspiring to watch you all in action. Brenda, sorry that I was bending downreaching for your bottle as you went by! I'd just helped pick up some bikes that had been blown downwhen a fence came down in a gust of wind, and you got there before I expected you. Oy! What a morning! Spectating at a 'cross race is a ton of fun, so if you ever don't feel like racing, I can tell you that beinga race helper is also very fulfilling. If a little bit wet, this time. ;-)You gals rock, and I'm proud to know ya.


Hey everyone! It's your Bella from Boulder. I'm having fun reading your comments from this weekend. Sounds like it was a soupy blast! I did a cross race this weekend too, and was feeling sick, nearly passed out - but didn't want to pull off (damn stubborn streak!) It was a rough morning, but by the end of the race was feeling fine and finished okay - 7th of 12. It was a fun course in a nearby town of Longmont. But I have to say reading all of your post-race comments makes me wish I was back home racing with you guys. The gals out here don't really connect too much before or after races. Oh well. I'm still having a great time - just wish I had better fitness to kick some boo-teh. My goal is to win just one race - that would make me very happy!!


Here's a riddle: What is the difference between a Velo Bella and all the other racers? A Velo Bella stops her race to unclip her competitors foot from her pedals.

A story I have to share, I ran into Skip and he told me Brenda stopped on a muddy section (yeah I know that narrows it down for you) to help a competitor in distress. She had slipped and fallen but couldn't get up because she was stuck to her pedals. Destined to just tick time away. (Didn't have the benefit of Sabine's premud tips?) Well feeling sorry for her predicament, Brenda stopped and clipped out her foot and rode away. As Skip pointed out a guy would have bunny hopped the poor soul, or worse pushed him farther in the mud, you know make sure he couldn't get up. Not our Brenda, she has Bella style I love that!!


Uuuuuhhhh, that would have been me. I mentioned in my race report that Brenda "untangled" me. I really meant it. I was tangled under my bike as well as in that thick, long, sharp grass! There was no way I was getting out of that one by myself:

Now, what were those premud tips that would have helped me to avoid that situation??? I must have been daydreaming during that lesson.


11/5/02 - Central Coast CX #3
by Goldberry Fairy

I did my second race yesterday at SLV. Let me tell you, it's even harder than it looks. Despite being THE LAST women on the course, I had SOOO much fun. After pre-riding the course, I said to myself, "this should be fun."

I liked the technical sections on the course, but by the end, they cracked me. I attempted my first attack and actually passed one other rider... but now I realize that there is probably no need for politeness during a race. I have to keep in mind that I'm racing, not cruizing along West Cliff.

Thanks to all the Bellas for their continued support, smiles and cheers. Oh, and for eating my Hot 'Cross Buns despite the fact that the yeast didn't rise. Next time.

I keep telling my sweetie that I'm considering being a pro-cyclist. How fun is it to schedule the entire day around a bike ride and carbo-loading? I love it! I have new found respect for burritos and beer.

Thanks to Leslie for feeding me on every lap, and to my mother and David who cheered me on when I needed it most. And to Sarah Kerlin. Right when my back was cramping, and I was considering dropping out of the race, Sarah rode by, gave me a gentle push and said the words that kept me going.

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