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Ride Reports Archive

February 2003

02/09/03 - How Many Skeggs?
by Sabine Dukes

So, where were all the Bay Area Bellas? Only Heather and I showed up for the Sunday MTB epic at Skeggs. Too bad. The weather was perfect as was Heather's route. It was easy climbing, except for Giant Gila Monster or whatever that one gawdawful trail was. I'm too tired to write a report on this one. So I just have to do a Pro summary of sorts, inspired by the Mike Jones diary.

  • Number of times Heather consulted her map - 7
  • Number of times we went in the wrong direction 1
  • Number of hours of riding - 5
  • Thousands of feet of climbing 5
  • Number of times we stopped on too fun to stop on singletrack to take a picture - 1
  • Number of inches of travel on Austin's fork - 0
  • Number of scary descents that he almost cleared that we didn't even try - 1
  • Number of scary giant mushrooms larger than 1 foot in diameter we saw - 3
  • Number of times I thought we were on a trail called "Poop Chute" - 3
  • Number of times Austin thought he was Canadian - 8
  • Number of times Heather yelped for no apparent reason 3
  • Number of times sex toys were mentioned 13, maybe more
  • Number of riders who passed us on the climb only to have us pass them back because they were pooped from trying to impress us girls by their fast climbing - 1
  • Number of vents in a 2003 Giro Eclipse - 24
    Number of vents in Austin's helmet - 9, maybe 12
  • # of miles of visibility from Vista Point - a gajillion

02/08/03 Riding at the Track
by Monica Neilson

Last Saturday I headed to the track. In tow was my trusty husband David, pedals, shoes and a little anxiety of what we were getting ourselves into. Neither one of us having any experience on fixed- gear bicycles.

The weather was cool, nah, it was actually cold when we arrived, some frost on the ground under the trees but the sun was out and warmth was soon to arrive. Once parked, I dashed out of the vehicle in search of the nearest bathroom, hey, it's a 45 min. to an hour drive to the Helleyer Track, and that morning coffee was saying its time to go.

Immediately I hear "hey Monica." Why, its another Bella, oh yea, its
actually two Bellas. Sue and Angela were climbing out of their rig with Gordon and a friend who rides in Monterey area, Bill. Didn't catch Bill's last name but he was an English guy.

Once you sign the waivers & pay the humble fee of $10, $5 for the bike rental and $5 for the session you are off. There were a group of people who had track experience so they were out warming up, all the rest of us were told to hang tight and we'd start as a group. I tried the bike out for seat height and comfort which led to the immediate discovery that I cannot stop pedaling. Sue's mantra, she said I needed to practice saying over & over & over again was "keep pedaling, keep pedaling" so this is what I focused on.

After a lecture period we were set free to get our legs warm and find some feel for the track. Riding along and not being able to coast is a strange notion at first, but soon or at least after one attempt of forgetting Sue's mantra & trying to coast, you are quickly reminded by a buck of the bike that you must, you really must, "KEEP PEDALING."

We were organized into groups of four and did some Team Pursuit racing. Each race was 7 laps long, you had to finish with at least three team members and you were timed by the third member of the team to cross the finish line. In other words, work together. If your team won you continued on with another challenge team. Seven laps may not seem so far but after several races in a row seven laps couldn't come fast enough!

We followed this with some regrouping, all the girls in attendance put onto a team, racing groups of guys. We Bellas liked that as got to ride together. Sue showed us she had a nice stready spin and has done this track thing before. Angela decided it wasn't as scary as she anticipated and was smiling as she went round & round & round.

We ended the day with a "Last Man Out" event. Everyone started in different places around the track, when the whistle blew everyone took off at once, if you got passed you were out. Gordon started right behind me, he passed me before I even started, seemed like it anyway. Bill, the English guy lasted to the very end. He was second to Last Man Out or second overall if you look at it that way.

I had tons of fun, a great training session and learned a brand new way to work on perfecting the spin besides riding the rollers. I am going back for more, thinking about Sat, Feb. 22nd and would love to see some of the other Bellas there. Any takers?

Ed Note:
Curious about the Track? Check out this Intro to Track Racing from cyclingnews

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