06/17/02 - Bellas "Feel The Love" from Spokesman
A Big "Thank You" by Dana
Plans were for a Death Ride training day from Soquel, up Old San Jose Rd to Summit, over to Boulder Creek and then to conquer the three-mile Jameson Road climb. 75-80 miles...no problem; we'll knock this out in a few hours! NOT! "Do you have a pump?" were the first words out of Elizabeth's mouth and not the last. As we stood in the garage joking about this special $90 sew-up that never goes flat, we had no idea that it wouldn't be long before that question was asked one more time...
A few detours and map readings later, we're finally on-course, yet the need to ask for a pump arose on our way up Summit Rd. What was a Bella to do with no spare tire and no liquid latex? Take a cab? "Hey, nice bike!" says Bruce with a matching orange Pinarello. Ah...there were our saviors, three Spokesman racers finishing their Sunday training ride and on their way to work. Little did we know that work was The Spokesman Bicycles and that one guy was Wade, an owner. Jeff, one of their charming Cycling Consultants, graciously offered to detour his work route back to Capitola Village where the only known tube of liquid latex existed. So, back down Summit Road...oh, you got it...that pump was needed, again! So much for never having a flat! Just in time, Wade drives up in his Sag wagon to rescue Elizabeth while Dana follows Jeff into Capitola Village. Now, those Velo Bella water bottles get attention, and we learn of Emily, a friend who is a Velo Bella want-to-be! We're stoked!
So, Jeff sends us off in new directions and new hills to climb with a spare tire and excitement about our new Bella. Of course, we get lost again and another cyclist helps the gals with the map. Finally, we make it to Boulder Creek where we meet two guys and Taya, Emily's roommate! The world gets smaller as we find that Velo Bella status is sought after throughout the Santa Cruz mountains. We're now really jazzed! Onward to the arduous climb and the 11-mile descent down Empire Grade!!! Okay, gotta return that spare tire to Jeff at Spokesman. They welcome the two sweaty gals as we marvel and drool at the bikes and even get to touch a carbon fiber Campy Record crank. Now we get to meet Chris, their Web and special projects guy. We learn more about Spokesman, their vision, their upcoming Velo Donna training camp, and how Velo Bella and Spokesman could boogie together! Oh, Là, Là!
We now understand that this magnificent store stands by its motto, "Feel The Love!" They won our hearts and praise!
For the clincher...we got to meet...you guessed it, Emily! We look forward to seeing the new Velo Bella (and new Velo Fellas) at Pescadero!
06/01/02 - Velo Bellas Conquer Sierra Century
Report by Dana
Four Velo Bellas joined a number of Velo Fellas from Velo Club Monterey to ride by scenic rivers, beautiful wineries, and historic landmarks in Amador County for the Sierra Century. We cycled through the majestic high Sierra and historic gold towns while being pampered by the Sacramento Wheelmen...lots of great food and great music. Climbing Slug Gulch was the highlight. This was perfect Death Ride training with a steep, long, windy road. Oh, the name? Well, you feel like you're going at a slug's pace and arrive at the top just as slimy and sweaty! The Bellas...Elizabeth Caraker and Brenda Cranford enjoyed the 102-mile century, while Sue Lovecchio and Dana Lookadoo continued on for more joyous torture for the 124-mile double metric that contained a total of 10,000 feet of climbing!
This was another laughing-out-loud ride. Scott, Leon, Claudia, Martin and Ed spent the first 40 miles trying to catch up with Bill who thought I left without him. (Bill was late making sure Dana's bike sparkled!) He caught up with Elizabeth & Matthew at the 2nd stop and realized...ooops! They enjoyed some great traversing descents. Scott...well, he ate too much, pooped too much, closed down the porta potty, and constantly had a belly ache! Amazingly, this adrenaline junkie still kicked butt on the climbs. Martin rode very strong and informed us that he was riding well because his worms were gone. Claudia had an asthma attack but tropped on valiantly. Leon and Ed attacked all the hills and left us in their wake much of the time. West was in rare form with his off-humor comments. Brenda took a shower at Slug Gulch. She returned with Skip who let the water out of Sue and Gordon's shower...another ooops! Sue and Gordon were troopers, cracking the whip to depart at 6:00 am sharp. Guess the early birds got the worm!
Other riders from the Velo Club included Nancy & Dwayne, who made sure not to stop too long at the rest stops, and Jim (Geezer), who worked to avoid messing up his tan lines. And Dennis, the Biking Viking, was spotted at the top of Slug Gulch, ensuring everyone was hydrated and entertained.
Addition by W.C.
West Clark passed Dana heading into Fiddletown and never looked back. (...and he's been gloating for days!)