Sunday, February 7, 2010

New

It seems just like yesterday...waking up at the crack of dawn. Making the drive to that first race of the season, Ipod shuffling through my playlist. Stopping at Starbucks. Hot coffee in the cup holder. Getting there just a little bit early to pick up our numbers. Taking just a few more minutes to get dressed in the car, because I can still see my breath. Warming up under the morning sun. Lining up at the start line. Here we go...

This year, I'll be donning the BMW/Bianchi colors. Ready to race with my new teammates here in the southeast. We've got a great group of really strong girls this year, and I can't wait to meet everyone at camp. Only three weeks away, camp will be held in Greenville, SC in conjunction with one of the spring training series weekends. Also, I'm taking part of my racing schedule to the track this year and I'm really looking forward to seeing what I can do out there. Lots of little circles might make me dizzy! While I still love the road, I've always had an affinity for the track. So why not mix it up a little? This sport requires such a personal commitment, you have to keep it fun!

After coming off a rest week and being hit with a fierce cold, it feels surreal being only a few weeks from race season. Again. But I'll be ready. Here we go!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rolling Through D.C.

There's nowhere I'd rather be on Memorial Day weekend than Washington, D.C.


Even if you're a not patriotic person, you can't help but feel the excitement in the air. Mel and I rode from our host Vanessa's house in Arlington to the RFK criterium this morning. We had to leave early because they were closing the Memorial Bridge at noon for this event called "Rolling Thunder" - a moving fundraiser for veteran’s groups, veterans and their families that attracts thousands of motorcycle riders along the National Mall. It was a pretty jaw-dropping sight, kinda takes your breath away. Luckily we got our bikes across the bridge before these guys started theirs!

After a quick coffee shop stop on "The Hill" we continued to RFK stadium for the crit. Soon after arriving, we met Vanderkitten Cycling Club (VKCC) team member Laura Cook, a Cat 2 racer who drove up to represent the club's contingent from Virginia Beach. It was great to meet Laura, and hear what the VKCC in Virginia Beach is doing! VKCC caters to women while providing the tools needed to help riders grow and excel in every aspect of cycling, and aims to help female cyclists meet and ride with other women on both a local and national level - a social component that seems to be missing in so much of women's cycling these days. (If you're interested in learning more about the VKCC, please contact Emma Becker emma@vanderkitten.com!)

The course was a wide open circuit in the stadium parking lot, but it wasn't the typical parking lot crit. First of all, no glass or oil slicks! Imagine that. They did a great job sweeping the course. The parking lot was huge, and they made a nearly 2-mile grand prix style course out of it, pretty resourceful. Mel and I were able to cover everything that went, so we were feeling pretty good. Mel saw the opportunity to test her legs and capture two $200 primes. Nice, Mel. Talking about the race beforehand, we knew who to watch , where to watch the moves, and where we wanted to be for the finish. Mel got herself in a good spot, and that combined with her good form, led to a very respectable 4th place finish! Check out the video HERE.

We're at Vanessa's a second night and catching a ride to Somerville first thing in the morning. Mel has a little "history" with that race, so we'll see if we can't get her that W, so she can finally have a cold one.

Barack Bock
(seriously, that's what it's called)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Been a Minute...

I won't go on about how long it's been since I've updated this blog, but it's been about a minute.

If you've been following Vanderkitten or any of the team's updates, there's been a ton happening. New additions to the team: Melodie Metzger, Virginia Perkins, Jen Reither, and an east coast addition (thank gawd), Laura Bowles. Jeff is our new racing director this year, and I think the job will be a great experience for him career-wise and a new dynamic for us as well. New sponsors, including Storck Bicycles and SRAM, have made such a difference and have me 200% motivated! It's all good.

Aside from the team, Morgan Patton (Team Type 1) and I have taken over the Southeast Women's Cycling series this year. The 2009 series is set, and we're committed to getting more women in our region out to the races. After Morgan and I had to race with the Cat 3 men today in Union City because there were only three girls who showed up, we're convinced that there are women out there who want to race, but something is preventing women from showing up to the races. I'm of the mindset that training is good, but racing is better 99% of the time. When I talked with Liz this afternoon, she said that there were 40 women who showed up to a regional race in California. That's insane! What an amazing opportunity for quality women's racing. The southeast hasn't seen numbers like that in a really long time, and how good would it be for the sport to have representation like that here? So we're working to find out where the gaps are, and how to fill them. But if women don't come out to support their own racing to start with, then there's no room to complain when women get a shoddy deal. We are our own limiters. It's kind of like voting: no vote, no voice. And that doesn't have to be the case.

Next Stop: Tour de Tuscaloosa