Wednesday, December 23, 2009

when life throws you a curve

Take a deep breath, smile, relax, look where you want to go, lean into the curves, and let go of the brakes.

You'll find it's easier to follow your desired path when you don't panic -- whether driving a car, riding a bike, or navigating life.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

if Cindy-Lou Who was a Velo Girl

Ode to Lake SoMuddy:

To a race they would go, the Velo Girls in pink,
with their mountain bikes and helmets, and even the kitchen sink.
'Twas Lake Sonoma calling for a little late-season fun.
"A mountain bike race in December should be good for the very first one.
For December is quiet and the race should be low-key,"
at least said the coach, yes, the coach, that is me!

So the girls loaded up with their bikes and their gear,
into cars, trucks, and wagons, and they dreamed of post-race beer.
They drove and they drove,
and they drove, drove, drove, drove,
over hill, over dale,
yes, they drove, drove drove, drove!

They arrived to find fog and muddy mud on the ground.
"Mud?" said the coach, not expecting it around.
"Sand, yes, or dirt, rocks, and roots, but not mud.
Oh how unusual. Oh what a dud.
This should be interesting, please do not flee,"
at least said the coach, yes, the coach, that is me!

At the line, blew the whistle, and the girls started out,
faces smiling and happy, not a single little pout.
They rode way up the hill in the fog and the mud,
then the fun really started when the coach fell with a thud.
How on earth could that be?
Yes, the coach fell with a thud, yes, the coach, that is me!

I was sliding on the ground within minutes of the gun!
I fell when I rode and I fell when I run.
I launched over the bar and I slid like a freak.
I plopped into a tree and I splished through a creek.
I fell over starboard and I fell all a-lee.
I fell, yes that's right, yes, the coach, that is me!

I fell in mud of red and brown,
I fell in mud and slopped around.
I fell in mud of black and green --
the greenest mud I'd ever seen.
I fell in mud of smokey gray,
I fell in mud all night and day!

I watched Edith and Kerri ride away like the wind,
for the podium was calling and there were medals to win.
And then to my ears, a fantabulous sound:
my cool teammate, Carolyn, giggling around.
Then Gnat, then Mariska, then sweet Cristina, too.
I would not be alone. I'll ride with friends, quite a few!

So the Velo Girls, they raced, and they even had fun,
but it's teammates that win, girls in pink, number one!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Traditions

Holiday traditions -- we all have them. Some involve sweet treats or carolling voices. Some involve boarding a plane to a place we call home. Some involve stockings hung with care. And some involve riding your bike!

One of my holiday traditions for more than a decade involves that last option -- riding my bike through the most beautiful city I know -- San Francisco.

Join Velo Girls on December 25th for the 11th Annual Christmas Orphans' Tour of San Francisco -- a co-ed holiday tradition! We'll ride a 29-mile figure-eight loop of San Francisco on the quietest day of the year, featuring stops at Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Palace of the Legion of Honor. All riders welcome. Helmets mandatory. Meet at McLaren Lodge in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park (Stanyan & Fell) ready to roll at 10:00am. Email for more information.

You'll find details on this and all our rides + events here:

Friday, December 4, 2009

all quick + dirty-like

Cyclocross season is wrapping up for many of our racers and what a great season it's been! Last weekend was the classic race at Golden Gate Park. New Team Velo Girls member Gnat Harris sends this report on last week's festivities!

This Sunday, you can catch the girls in pink racing at Coyote Point in San Mateo. The C Women race at 8:30am and the A/B/Masters Women race at high noon! I'd like to invite everyone to come out and experience this crazy-fun sport for yourself! You'll find details here:

Gnat, focused on the task at hand!

Golden Gate Park was a great place to race. It was rather nice that it was on much of the same terrain that the Velo Girls Cyclocross clinic was held, so there were not as many surprises as some of the other circuits. Still, a chilly morning gave way to a sun-soaked afternoon when the arm and leg warmers all started to come off.

For the most part the course was flat and not very technical. The few spots that defied that previous statement did so with bravado, as certain turns and slopes would cause pileups in the dozens.

For instance the women's C race got tangled immediately after the first turn. One woman went down, taking a few others with her, and backing up the rest of the field. Getting around that found us into another brake, as someone had gotten caught in the tape. No one was hurt, and I was most amused that one woman came up to me hours after the race, congratulated me, and immediately apologized for causing the crash.

The true test came on a 5-foot pitch of dirt in the later races. I personally had no problems with this section (let go of the brakes and pick a line, baby!) but we were lucky to be the first ones over it. Strangely, this was shorter and less steep than the OMG-I'm-Walking-This section of Cross Palace the week previous, but as the grass flew, the lumpy soft earth directed cyclists either over their handlebars or straight into a large tree. See video evidence:

It was great to watch our own Jenny Feix on the same track as legends Katerina Nash and Barbara Howe. Tough crowd out there, but what a show!

One last race in the Pilarcitos series this coming weekend. Ring a cowbell for the girls in pink!

-- gnat!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

celebrating five years of unsung heroines!

One of our longest-running rides is the Melo Velo! This ride started as an extension of our regular weekly club ride and offered a shorter option for newer riders. Over the years it's been an introduction to Velo Girls and to road cycling for literally hundreds of women.

We all know how intimidating it can feel to start riding on the road by ourselves. So we developed the Melo Velo to introduce women to road riding and teach them the basic skills needed to ride on the road -- simple things like riding with a group, road ride etiquette, rules of the road, and basic skills like how to start, stop, signal, and drink from a water bottle.

Over the years, we've had an impressive group of women joining us on the Melo Velo. Women who participated in the Melo Velo have gone on to complete centuries, double centuries, multi-day events, and to race.

In order to keep a ride like this going every single week for so many years, we've had a dedicated group of experienced riders who volunteer their time to lead the ride. These women share their experience, mentor the new riders, and encourage the women to get out there on their bikes.

I'd like to take a minute to thank and congratulate the women who have volunteered to lead the Melo Velo this year. These women have made it possible for countless new women riders to start riding and to grow on the bike. Thank you to Oralia Arce, Jill Eyres, Winnie Homer-Smith, Jackie Link, Sharon Mandell, and Gayle Whittaker.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the work of one woman -- Michelle Goldberg. Michelle has been coordinating the ride leaders for the Melo Velo for many years, many times leading the ride herself. Thank you, Michelle, for your dedication to developing new women riders!


Beginning this week, the Melo Velo is changing time and meeting location! You'll find details for this and all our rides + events on the Velo Girls calendar.

Melo Velo Beginner's Road Ride

This is a ride for beginners. All riders are welcome for socializing and support, but this is an easy, beginner, getting-used-to-road-biking ride. You'll learn shifting, group riding (don't worry, we stay way behind each other) and how to drink from your water bottle while riding, in a very non-competitive environment. Meet at Woodside Town Hall in Woodside. We'll ride north on Canada Road and return -- 15 miles, mostly flat with little rollers. The first Saturday of the month will include a slightly longer option to test your legs. RSVP to Michelle at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

who's got your back?

as bicyclists, we sometimes feel all alone out there in the concrete jungle, battling cars, buses, crazy drivers, and road conditions. we watch as more public trail systems are being closed to us. and we fight for the right to ride on the roads and the trails.

but we're not alone. following are some fabulous organizations, local, national and international, whose missions are to provide advocacy, support + education for the bicycling community.

as 2009 draws to a close, I encourage you to lend your support to these organizations. become a member. make a donation. show your appreciation for the hard work these organizations do on our behalf.

Bay Area Bicycle Coalition
-- -- The Bay Area Bicycle Coalition’s goal is to make the San Francisco Bay Area a national model for progressive bicycling policies, and to provide a safe and comprehensive network to facilitate bicycling throughout the region. BABC believes that bicycling can and should be a viable transportation and recreation option for all of the wonderfully diverse residents of the Bay Area.

Bicycle Trails Council of Marin -- -- The Bicycle Trails Council of Marin was formed in 1987 to promote safe, responsible mountain biking. The BTC is dedicated to the acceptance of mountain biking as a legitimate and environmentally sound use of the land. The BTC works to educate bikers, as well as other users, of local regulations and proper trail etiquette and serves as an advocate for the mountain biking community.

Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay -- -- Bicycle Trails Council was founded in 1987 by Michael Kelley and a dedicated group of volunteers who fought very hard to stave off the impending closure of almost all the bike trails in the East Bay! We are the second oldest mountain bike advocacy group in the United States and one of the founding clubs of IMBA! Our Mission is to educate cyclists in responsible mountain biking, to advocate for appropriate access and to promote community among trail users so all may fully enjoy and preserve the natural spaces of the East Bay.

Bikes Belong Foundation -- -- In June 2006, the Bikes Belong Coalition launched the Bikes Belong Foundation, focusing on bicycle safety projects and children’s bicycle programs. The foundation operates as a charitable organization that can receive tax-deductible donations from individuals. It stands as a separate, complementary organization to the Bikes Belong Coalition.

East Bay Bicycle Coalition
-- -- dedicated to promoting bicycling as an everyday means of transportation and recreation, since 1972. EBBC safeguards the interest of bicyclists in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. EBBC works with 33 cities, both counties, Caltrans, and other government agencies to improve conditions for cyclists.

International Mountain Bicycling Association -- -- IMBA was founded in 1988 by a group of California mountain bike clubs concerned about the closure of trails to cyclists. These pioneering clubs believed that mountain biker-education programs and innovative trail management solutions should be developed and promoted. IMBA's mission has always been to protect, create, and enhance quality trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. In addition, we actively promote responsible mountain biking, support volunteer trailwork, assist land managers with trail management issues, and improve relations among trail user groups. IMBA has members in all 50 United States and 40 other countries. IMBA members annually contribute more than one million hours to trailwork projects on public land. To date, these volunteers have created more than 5,000 (8,000 km) miles of new trails worldwide.

League of American Bicyclists -- -- The League mission is to promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America by representing the interests of the nation's 57 million cyclists. With a current membership of 300,000 affiliated cyclists, including 25,000 individuals and 700 affiliated organizations, the League works to bring better bicycling to your community.

Marin County Bicycle Coalition
-- -- (MCBC) has been steadily improving our county’s road and path facilities for walkers and bikers since we formed in 1998. You’ve seen the impact of our advocacy efforts in each of our towns: permanent bike racks, bike lane striping, green-and-white bike route signs, road resurfacing, ‘sharrow’ road stencils, and so much more.

Monterey Off-Road Cycling Association -- -- MORCA is an organized voice for responsible mountain biking in Monterey County. We accomplish this by advocating for mountain bike trail access, maintaining area trails, and sharing good will with other trail users. We are involved in mountain biking advocacy at all levels of the community.

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz -- -- Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) is a non-profit educational organization which is dedicated to the promotion of mountain biking in a healthy and environmentally sound manner. MBOSC is an affiliate club of International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). MBOSC was founded in 1997 to raise money towards the purchase of the Gray Whale Ranch that was added to Wilder Ranch State Park.

Napa County Bicycle Coalition
-- -- Napa Bike has 4 main functions which include bicycle education, bicycle advocacy, promoting events and programs, and fundraising to support the coalition.

Rails to Trails Conservancy -- -- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission it is to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers -- -- Advocating for Mountain Biking in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, ROMP encourages mountain bikers to take part in trail maintenance and construction, participate in land manager meetings and master plans, ride with respect for the land and other trail users, and have fun.

Safe Routes to School
-- -- Safe Routes to Schools is a popular program spreading across Canada and the U.S. designed to decrease traffic and pollution and increase the health of children and the community. The program promotes walking and biking to school through education and incentives that show how much fun it can be. The program also addresses the safety concerns of parents by encouraging greater enforcement of traffic laws, educating the public, and exploring ways to create safer streets.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition -- -- Through day-to-day advocacy, education, and working partnerships with government and community agencies, the SFBC is dedicated to creating safer streets and more livable communities for all San Franciscans. Our active 10,000 members represent San Franciscans of all ages, from all neighborhoods, who are working towards more safe, efficient, and green ways to move around our city.

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition -- -- The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (originally Santa Clara Valley Bicycle Association) has provided a forum for bicyclists to organize, discuss common concerns, and take action since the early 1970s. We organize at a grassroots level to create an environment in which bicycling can flourish. For almost 35 years, our members have served on bicycle advisory committees, gathered data, monitored trends and disseminated information on urban cycling issues to local governments, cyclists and the public.

Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition -- -- The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition promotes bicycling for transportation and recreation and works to educate the community about bicycle safety and the benefits of cycling, including good health and protecting the environment.

Sonoma County Trails Council -- -- The SCTC works in partnership with others to advocate, plan, build, and maintain a network of sustainable, shared-use public trails for non-motorized recreation throughout Sonoma County, California.

Street Smarts -- -- Founded in 2002, the nationally-recognized STREET SMARTS program has been working with schools, neighborhoods, seniors and other communities to improve safety on our streets. Every year, tens of thousands of kids learn how to be safer pedestrians and cyclists, while thousands of adults are making smarter choices on our roads.

Yield to Life -- -- Founded by professional cyclist David Zabriski, Yield to Life will engage in a vigorous awareness campaign to promote positive attitudes toward cyclists and replace any hostility that exists between motorists and cyclists with understanding, respect, and appreciation for all life on the road. Safety for every cyclist is the top

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the BEST day of my entire life

last night was the captains' meeting for the Turning Wheels for Kids Bike Build. the room was filled to SRO with enthusiastic volunteers from the community, all organizing teams for the December 12th event.

the meeting started with an inspirational video -- I have to admit a few tears in my eyes. and then Susan Runsvold, founder of TWFK spoke. she told of this crazy idea she had to provide a few bikes to needy kids. in the first year (2004), 70 bikes were given to children. this year, we'll build more than 2,000 bikes (and about 800 requests were turned down due to limited financial resources)! she read some of the quotes from the children who've received bikes. this one stuck with me: "today is the BEST day of my entire life!"

how often can we say that we've helped a child have the best day of her life?

the average cost per bike is $80.

Velo Girls is helping the good folks at Turning Wheels for Kids raise funds to help more children have the BEST day of their entire lives.

can you help? click here -- every little bit helps!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Velo Girls announces charity partnership with Trips for Kids

Velo Girls is excited to announce a new partnership with Trips for Kids in 2010.

For more than 20 years, Trips For Kids® (TFK®) Marin has been providing lessons in self-confidence, environmental awareness, and healthy habits to disadvantaged youth through the simple act of having fun on mountain bikes. Trips For Kids started in Marin and has grown into an international organization with more than 60 chapters operating in the United States, Canada, and Israel.

Trips For Kids Marin serves at-risk youth throughout the San Francisco Bay area, working with over 200 local organizations. The core offering of mountain bike rides is supplemented by the Earn-A-Bike programs and the Re-Cyclery bicycle thrift shop.

Velo Girls has been partnering with Trips for Kids on their annual Girls Day in the Dirt since 2004. Check out the awesome photos from the 2009 event here:

Girls Day in the Dirt 2009 Photos

For 2010 we've decided to step our support up a notch. In 2010 Velo Girls will:
  • provide volunteers + program for four Girls Days in the Dirt.
  • provide fundraising support utilizing the Plus 3 Network.
  • organize a donation drive for bikes + gear to be donated to the TFK Re-Cyclery program.
  • donate $1 of each Velo Girls membership to Trips for Kids.
  • actively promote the goodness that is Trips for Kids!

Monday, November 23, 2009

secure your place in Velo Girls history!

the Velo Girls 2010 club jersey design contest is now open and we're accepting submissions of fun + fabulous designs. get out your crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, or do it all high-tech with Illustrator -- but just do it!

here are the 2010 design contest details:

contest deadline is December 15th, 2009 and voting will commence on January 1st, 2010.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I think I'll buy a lottery ticket now!

I'm always singing the virtues of the pre-ride bike check. There's a good reason for this -- you could avoid disaster. Yesterday, I barely avoided it (and I hadn't checked my bike). I hope my experience will provide a good reminder for everyone.

Gnat and I went out to play cyclocross today. I've rolled around on my cross bike exactly once prior this season. We headed over to the bay and rolled up and down a bunch of steep, loose, off-camber drops. We rode down to The Shells and jumped the jumps over and over again. All told, about 2 hours of rolling around.

Everytime I stood on the bike, I heard a strange little clunky noise, but just thought it was creaking under effort after such a long retirement. Riding home on the road, I stood on a short steep hill and noticed that my bike felt "loose" under my weight and effort. Since it's a break-away bike, I looked at the joints (all tight). Again, standing, I felt like the bike was going to fall apart under me.

I got home and checked the bike (should have done this before the ride). The QR on the rear wheel was closed, but almost completely loose. I'm sure that when I threw my cross tires on the wheels, I probably just put them back on while the bike was on the stand and didn't tighten down the QR.

I was very lucky today. This could've been an expensive disaster. I could've broken off the rear derailleur. I could've lost the wheel altogether while we were jumping. The chain could've locked up and launched me from the bike.

Moral of the story, check your bike. Check your QRs to make sure that they're closed and tight. Check your bolts occasionally to make sure they're tight. Check your tires. Check your saddle rails. Take a few minutes before or after each ride to check the machine that you trust with your safety.

I'm feeling pretty lucky -- maybe I'll go out and buy a lottery ticket now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

to chick or to be chicked

I thought this was a great little article about strong women cyclists, especially since it highlights some of my favorite women mountain bikers:

"What does a girl have to do if she wants marriage proposals, arm wrestling contests, shock and awe accolades, and (sadly) trail blocking and really strange behavior? Simple: Pass a guy on the trail or in a race.

If you’re the dude and we pass you, you just got chicked…and I chicked a few guys while racing on a co-ed duo team with my race partner, Mario Correa this summer at the inaugural Breck Epic. I had some pretty colorful comments and antics and figured there had to be something to this. So, I asked a few VERY fast women about what happens when when they take the lead in a ride or a race, and I asked some men what is was like to ride co-ed when their partner passes a guy."

Clickety-click the linkety-link to read the rest of the article:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jan Medina Real Estate to sponsor Girls Got Skills!

I've had the good fortune to meet many fabulous women since founding Velo Girls in 2002. One of those women is Jan Medina.

I've been trying to remember when I first met Jan. She's been a part of the Velo Girls family for as long as I can remember, participating in rides, clinics, and events for many years. She's a Lifetime Velo Girls Member and has been sponsoring the Team Velo Girls almost since it's inception.

A handful of years ago, Jan hired me to coach her for a cross-country bicycle ride -- yup, that's all the way across the US. During our first coaching consultation, I admit feeling envious of her upcoming journey and thinking just how incredible it would be to ride across the US.

During that coaching session, Jan asked me about sponsoring Velo Girls and a check arrived in the mail a day or two later. And through the ups + downs of the real estate industry, Jan has always found a way to support the programs we provide for women.

Jan has been instrumental in recruiting women to Velo Girls and to our many clinics -- she's one of our biggest cheerleaders. In addition to her trans-continental tour, she's completed the AIDS LifeCycle (from San Francisco to Los Angeles) and recruited friends and family members to participate in that ride with her. And through the ups + downs on the bike, she's always kept Velo Girls close to her heart.

I'm excited to announce that for 2010, Jan will be the title sponsor of our Girls Got Skills clinics. Jan has participated in these clinics twice since 2003 (yup, they're that good) and brought many women cyclists with her over the years. It's only fitting that we put her name on a program that has been so instrumental in her cycling career.

Thank you, Jan, for your continued support of Velo Girls!

Friday, November 13, 2009

crossin' under the stars this Saturday!

awesome photo of Jenny Feix courtesy of Lauren Haughey

hey everybody! Velo Girls would like to invite you to come out to Saturday's local cyclocross race @ Sierra Point (just south of San Francisco) to cheer on the girls in pink! we've got women racing in the Women's C race at 2:15pm as well as in the Women's A/B/35+ race at 6:00pm. that's right -- NIGHT RACING. this is the only night-time cyclocross race in the area and it's a great event to spectate. bring the whole family, stop by the Velo Girls/KENDA tent to say "hey" and don't forget to bring your cowbell!

you'll find details here:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Join Velo Girls at the Turning Wheels for Kids Big Bike Build!

I think this is one of my favorite holiday traditions. Turning Wheels for Kids is a great organization. Each year they build thousands of brand spanking new children's bikes and donate them to youth in Silicon Valley. In order to do this, they receive donations throughout the year from corporations and individuals to purchase the bikes and then, in just one day, hundreds of volunteers come together to assemble the bikes. It's a super-fun day and folks from all over Northern CA donate their time to assemble the bikes -- folks from companies, bike clubs, bike shops, professional sports teams, and other civic organizations.

Velo Girls (and our male counterparts, the Velo Boys) will once again be volunteering to assemble bikes. The Big Bike Build will take place on Saturday, December 12th at the San Jose Convention Center (time tba but probably 8:00am - 1:00pm)

You don't need to be a bike mechanic to build a children's bike -- many of the bikes are single speed with coaster brakes -- even I can do that!

We are very limited in the number of volunteers who can participate in the event, so if you're interested, RSVP to

TWFK is also looking for volunteers to help un-load all the bikes from the trucks on Friday, December 11th @ 6:00pm. If you can help with this part of the project, just send me an email --

And last but not least, let's help raise funds for TWFK this year! Last year was the inaugural year for the BIKE BUCK CUP trophy, awarded to the team who raises the most funds for TWFK. Almaden Cycle and Touring Club (ACTC) captured the trophy last year and Jim Schallau, the team leader of this group, has thrown the gauntlet! In the registration form Jim says, “ACTC expects to again take home the Bike Buck Cup!” Let's see if we can give ACTC a run for their money! Go ahead, click the paypal button and help put some kids on bikes:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Velo Girls + Trips for Kids = Girls Day in the Dirt!

Velo Girls is once again partnering with Trips for Kids to present a Girls Day in the Dirt -- this Saturday, November 7th at Tennessee Valley. Trips for Kids is a super-cool organization that provides outdoor experiences for kids who might not otherwise get out into nature. For Girls Day in the Dirt, 30 young girls will get to experience mountain biking (many for the first time ever) in a beautiful natural setting -- complete with picnic lunch on the beach.

We could still use a few female volunteers to help provide the girls with a fun day! The riding is super-easy -- mostly flat fire roads -- and the pace is pretty mellow. In addition to the ride, we teach the girls some fundamental bike skills by playing some fun on-the-bike games with them.

All you need is a smile, a bike (mountain, cyclocross or hybrid) and the desire to get a little dirty with some cool girls!

If you'd like to volunteer, please email me at

get your up + down on with Velo Girls!

Just added (by popular demand), Bike Skills 201 -- climbing + descending -- November 21st. This is a co-ed clinic and will be our last climbing + descending clinic until March 2010.

Registration is here:

Would you like to optimize your climbing efficiency? Not sure when to sit or when to stand? Need to perfect your position and gearing?


Do you cave into your inner chicken whenever the road pitches down? Do all your riding buddies have to wait and wait and wait for you at the bottom of a descent? Not sure how to pick your line? Scared of your drops?


Over 800 men and women have participated in our 2009 Bike Skills clinics. All your friends are doing it. They now know the secrets to speed on the ups and on the downs. Don't be left behind this winter!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Velo Girls 2010 Membership Kick-Off Party!

2010 Velo Girls membership is live! Register on-line here:

We've got a super-cute membership gift for the first 100 members who sign up for 2010, so register today!

To kick-off 2010, we're having a fun + fabulous membership kick-off party on Wednesday, November 11th @ the Presidio Sports Basement from 6:00 - 8:00pm. Come meet Team Velo Girls, learn about our new partnership with the Plus 3 Network, and be the first to know about all the exciting events we've got planned for 2010.

Sports Basement is providing Velo Girls members with yummy eats + beer + wine! And, after the party, there's a party in the aisles with a special members-only shopping discount!

RSVP by Monday, November 9th to

Developing Women Racers -- the Tri-Flow Way!

Kaya at the Folsom Criterium

Introduced in 2006, the Tri-Flow Women's Development Racing Program is designed to help riders bridge the gap from club rider to team racer. In a six-week series of workshops, clinics, and rides, we teach women everything they need to know to begin road racing and then support them at their first race. Since it's inception in 2006, 66 women have participated in the Tri-Flow program, and many of them have continued to race both locally and nationally as CAT 1 - CAT 4 and masters.

Following is a program re-cap from Kaya Beeley, who participated in the 2009 Dunnigan Hills program:

I bought my first road bike in 2003. For the first couple of years, I did a lot of club rides and solo rides through the Oakland and Berkeley hills. It seemed that the club riders were always training for something, so I finally got around to doing my first century ride. It was great to finally have a purpose and focus to my riding. I got my first bike computer and started logging my miles. Last year, my endurance riding peaked with my completion of The Death Ride, a 129 mile ride with 15,000 feet of climbing. After proving to myself that I could sit in the saddle for 13 hours, I found myself less enthusiastic about endurance riding. Not because it was boring in the least, but because I had learned a lot about mental toughness and how hard I could push myself. I was ready for a change.

Years ago I first joined the Velo Girls for a Girls Got Skills clinic. As Coach Lorri claims, it shifted my cycling paradigm. I learned to corner my bike and make emergency stops, which allowed me the confidence to race down hills. I am proud to hold the house record for fastest maximum speed, which is 53.5 mph (yes, I only live with one other person, but he’s a boy!). Now I’ve taken almost all of Lorri's clinics and rounded out my cycling with road riding, mountain biking, and road racing.

It took me 2 years to get up the guts to try racing. I love to ride fast, but wasn’t sure it would translate into being a good racer. I’ve never done any sports competitively, so wasn’t sure I would be driven to win. Since I just wanted to dabble in racing, the Velo Girls Tri-Flow Women’s Development Racing Program seemed like the perfect fit. I would train for 6 weeks with other women and then do one race.

Well, Dunnigan Hills was that one race. It turned out to be the epitome of an awful first race. I got into a car accident on my way to the race (never take Ambien before race day). I tried to ignore the distraction of the car accident and stay focused on the race. After the neutral first mile and a half, the chase began. I found myself behind a rider who thought drinking was more important than staying with the pack. The entire pack passed me on the left and right, while I was too chicken to make my move. When I looked behind and saw an empty road, I finally pulled out from behind the woman in front of me and tried to sprint to the pack. With no wheel to hang onto, I was working really hard.

By mile 5 of a 41.5 mile race, I had already thrown up in my mouth. I thought at this point that I was dead last, and couldn’t believe the race could be over almost before it begun. I spent the next couple of miles fighting the strong winds alone, trying to bridge the gap to the girls who were not too far ahead. Once I finally caught them, we worked together and finished the course. I realized that I was not indeed last, but that there were lots of us spread out around the course fighting our own personal battles.

I couldn’t let that lousy performance be the beginning and ending of my racing career (though it sure did look like racing was not for me), so I quickly signed up for the last races of the season. Folsom Cyclebration built up my confidence and turned out to be a lot of fun. I participated in the criterium and was elated to finish with the pack. I couldn’t stop talking about how much fun it was, so I signed up for the next day’s circuit race. The course turned out to be much harder, but I hung onto the pack and even threw my bike over the finish line, even though I was nearly last place.

The next weekend was the Henleyville Road Race. The day had come for me to redeem myself. I needed to prove to myself and others that road racing was something I could do, or else I wouldn’t know whether to join a road racing team in 2010. It was the very last race of the season and I still couldn’t answer the question: “Is racing for me?”. I was especially nervous because my fiancĂ© would be driving the follow car and I didn’t want him to have to pass me when I got dropped.

The race was 3 laps, adding up to 54 miles. My goal was to hang on for 1 lap. I was surprised when the race started at a pace I could handle. As we got closer to the finish line of the first lap, the pace increased to a sprint. I couldn’t believe people were sprinting on the first lap, but I gave it everything I had, since my goal was to do just one lap with the pack. I was ecstatic to cross the line with the pack and enjoyed the second lap, thinking of it as a bonus lap. By the third lap, I noticed that the pack was down to 12 women (though we had started with about 25), only 2 of whom were on my team.

I didn’t have an actual team responsibility for the race because I was a new racer. My goals were so modest that they didn’t include the finish line. The two Velo Girls who were supposed to go for the win, were still in the pack, so I asked them how I could help. Once we were a few miles from the finish line, I realized that neither one was set up for the win since one had horrible leg cramps and the other had been doing most of the work during the race. So, once we got to the 200 meter sprint, I went for it. I crossed the line feeling as though my chest might explode, but miraculously came in 5th.

I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I had given up after Dunnigan Hills. I’m so glad I stuck with it because now I’m addicted. I can’t wait for next racing season. I may have bad races, but I’ll keep in mind that there’s always another chance for a great race.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Competitor Magazine Best of 2009

Competitor Magazine (formerly City Sports Magazine) finally brought back the Best Bike Club category in their 2009 Best of Competitor survey. It's been missing since 2006. Velo Girls won in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Can we do it again?

Clickity-click the link and vote, and while you're at it, vote for our sponsors, too: Best Bike Shop (Mike's Bikes), Best Energy Drink (GU Brew), Best Energy Food (GU Chomps), Best Sports Medicine (Discover Chiropractic). And don't forget to vote for our race, the Menlo Park Grand Prix, as the Best Bike Event!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Voting for the Sweet Life!

Dolce Vita Cycling is pleased to endorse Lorri Lown and Michael Hernandez for NCNCA President and Vice-President.

Lorri is a true advocate of women's cycling and has been instrumental in introducing hundreds of women to the sport. We feel Lorri has consistently shown true leadership qualities and her ability to lead an organization through her continued success with Velo Girls, her varied and well attended skills clinics, and her continued efforts to continually improve herself and others through cycling.

Similarly, Michael has distinguished himself with his endless enthusiasm for all racers, regardless of skill level or category. We feel Michael's involvement announcing at races and in a leadership role at Hellyer illustrate his willingness to serve as a voice in spearheading racing and development opportunities for a broad range of cyclists, whether they be juniors, track riders, or pros.

Together Lorri and Michael speak to the same philosophies of development and camaraderie that our team aspires to, and we'd be honored to have their voices represent us.

Thank you, Dolce Vita Cycling, for your vote of confidence!

Monday, October 26, 2009

the plumber has leaky pipes

those who've been following my life on Twitter or Facebook are aware that I've been really focused on improving my health + fitness for the past few months. 2008 and 2009 were filled with lots of things that got in the way of my training -- managing a rapidly-growing business along with some health issues to name just a couple of them. but now, I'm back and training with a vengeance and ready to race full-time in 2010.

one of my priorities in making this decision was to hire a coach -- a partner with whom I could plan and execute the training necessary to get me back into fighting shape. I haven't had a coach since 2004, and one of my biggest hesitations was the fact that I couldn't find a local coach with whom I really wanted to work. don't get me wrong, there are so many great coaches in Northern California, but I was looking for someone special -- someone I could really connect with. when I inquired with my current coach about her interest in coaching me, her response was "I would be honored to coach you, Lorri." that's all I needed to hear.

you might wonder why a cycling coach needs a cycling coach, but the reason is pretty simple -- I'm not able to make myself or my training a priority without having someone to be accountable to. yeah, I could write my own training program (I have in the past). but what I was really looking for was someone to view me with fresh, unbiased eyes, to hold me accountable for my training, to give me tough love when required, and encouragement when needed, and to inspire me to greatness.

the proverbial plumber had leaky pipes. so I hired another plumber to fix the problem for me.

the road is just beginning. I hit an all-time high body weight in June (thanks in great part of a terrible prescription drug I was taking). I was riding less in a month than I used to ride in a week. and my body just fought me every step of the way. when I did ride, it was pretty miserable and I'd be completely exhausted for days afterward. something had to happen or I was going to have to change careers. not to mention that my true passion -- riding my bikes -- just wasn't fun for me anymore.

so, I quit taking the drug and started focusing on weight loss. I've gone through two other periods of significant weight loss in the past decade, and I knew exactly what I had to do. I started keeping my journal again and monitored every calorie in and every calorie out. to date, I've lost almost 30 pounds, and while I've still got about 25 more to lose, I feel better everyday and I know I'll hit my weight loss goal by the start of the 2010 racing season.

in August, I went back on a training program (with my new coach), and the progress has been remarkable. my weight is down, my power is up, and that means just one thing -- free speed! I'm nowhere near race fitness at this point, but I'm able to ride and recover and I look forward to conquering all my favorite climbs before year-end.

so, there it is! I've got big racing goals for next year and I'm very excited to feel that they'll be attainable. four months ago I was ready to give up the bike forever, but instead, I've been able to turn my life around and enjoy the process of getting leaner and stronger and fitter and faster everyday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

This just in! Bike Skills 101 added on November 15th

I guess clinic season never really ends in California. This past weekend I coached our last two clinics of the season: sold out Bike Skills 101 (bike handling fundamentals) and Bike Skills 201 (climbing + descending). 2009 has been our most successful clinic season ever -- with more than 800 participants in all of our various clinics. Of those, about 200 cyclists participated in 8 different Bike Skills 101 clinics -- all of them sold out!

My inbox is overflowing with requests to add just one more clinic this season, so we've added Bike Skills 101(sponsored by onto the calendar for November 15th.

Registration is now open:

This is a co-ed clinic and runs from 9:00am - 1:00pm in Redwood City.

Bike Skills 101 is a fundamental skills course -- a must-do for anyone who rides a bike. Whether you're new to riding or you're an experienced cyclist, I guarantee that we can help you become more skilled and more confident in your riding. USA Cycling upgrade points are available for those of you who are racing (or interested in racing).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why I REALLY want to be President of the NCNCA

Everybody knows that The President gets to do some really cool things. And gets some neet new toys. The perks are endless (or so I've been told). So here are the reasons I REALLY wnat to be President of the NCNCA.

1) someone recently said that I've got big shoes to fill and that I get to wear size 99 shoes. since your feet are the lever on the bike, the bigger the better, right? I'm just a little worried about toe-overlap.

2) The President always gets mysterious-looking (yet handsome) body guards. what girl wouldn't want to surround herself with mysterious + handsome men?

3) The President is a diplomat and gets to travel to exotic and distant lands. I see trips to Copperopolis, Weed, Snelling, Bakersfield, Challenge, and maybe even Henleyville in my future! who needs to be a world traveller when the best of the best is right here in rural CA thanks to Velo Promo?

4) The President (or is it the First Lady) always redecorates the White House. I think this means I'll have to finish re-painting my condo before taking office in January!

5) everybody makes fun of The President. I foresee a media whirlwind of cartoons, p-shopped photos, and essays poking fun at my dog, my bikes, and my hairstyle. kinda like high school but on a global level. maybe I'll even get an invitation to host SNL!

6) people give The President free stuff! I can't wait to get a chicken from the cluckers' council, a happy cow from the moo brigade, and an avocado tree from the pit plants coalition.

7) everybody celebrates The President's birthday! I love birthdays and next year will be a special one for me, so mark July 29th on your calendar as a presidential day of wanton recklessness.

8) The President gets chauffeured around in a big shiny black car. I already have a 10-year old black (not-so-shiny) Subaru with dings + scratches from bikes leaning on it, so all I need now is a driver. some might agree that the way I drive, that would be a good thing.

9) The President gets to wear a big sparkly crown for formal occasions (oh yeah, maybe that's the king). I have a closet full of tiaras just waiting for the right opportunity to be worn! don't be surprised if you see me wearing one at the NCNCA meeting, the NorCal Cyclefest, or the SFBC Winter Party.

10) legions of heralding trumpets and firing muskets greet The President wherever he goes. after years as the drum major of my high school marching band, I can't wait to stand in front of the celebratory ranks again!

in all seriousness, I look forward to the challenge of serving the NCNCA as The President in 2010. you can read my candidate's statement, as well as those of the other candidates, here:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Velo Girls are Cross-crazy!

photo courtesy of Lauren Haughey

Team Velo Girls member, Jenny Feix, has been racing cross since 2003 and this year seems to be her year if early results are any indicator. In three races she's scored two wins and a 4th place and she's just getting warmed up for a HOT season of mud, sweat, and tears.

Here's a quickie from Jenny about her first win of the season at the LARPD series:

First race of the season for me. The course is perfect for this, flat, grass, and some duffy sandy areas mixed in and even a little gravel in spots. Two barriers to jump, and two logs to get over. I had an OK start, but a few A women got away fast and I didn't see them again. I stayed with a group of four women from the fist lap on, one of the gals (Velo Bella) took a spill in the gravel, so that left just three of us pushing each other toward the finish. Great competition. We all stayed together till the finish. LARPD offered me a good start to cyclocross season.

Team Velo Girls will be out to play again this Sunday, October 25th at the second race of the Bay Area Super Prestige Series at Coyote Point in San Mateo. Come cheer the Gnat and Mariska and the other C Women @ 8:30am, then stop by the Velo Girls tent for fun + frolic while we ring some cowbell for the hot boys in spandex. The main event for the women is at 12:00 and Jenny will test her mettle against a large, strong field.

It's not the off's the cross season!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Candidate Statement -- 2010 NCNCA President

I’m honored to be running for President of the NCNCA for 2010. My three years' experience on the BOD as Treasurer, as well as my management background, experience in not-for-profit, and my involvement with other Boards, are a solid fit for the position.

Since the NCNCA is a working Board, I think it's important for the next president to have previous hands-on management experience with the BOD.

In my tenure as Treasurer, I've made positive and valuable contributions to the NCNCA. I made it a priority to implement financial controls to strengthen the organization. During my tenure, we’ve had a budget surplus each year and been able to invest $85,000 during my first two terms into a reserve fund to be used for special projects such as equipment purchase and a new electronic timing system. I’ve formalized the financial reporting system and have provided the BOD with timely and thorough financial reports each month. In addition to my duties as Treasurer, I’ve been an active board member and instrumental in decision-making throughout my terms. I’m currently coordinating the Electronic Timing System Work Group and was instrumental in formalizing the election process for the 2010 NCNCA Officer Elections (no more drawing straws around the BOD table). I have actively solicited quality candidates for all positions who I feel will make a great impact on the management of the NCNCA in future years.

To many, I might seem focused on women's issues. However, I’m very unbiased about all areas of racing -- as a race promoter (Menlo Park Grand Prix), racer (road, cyclocross, mountain), coach, official, general busy-body, and as someone actively involved in the non-racing bike community as well. I have a positive relationship with USAC and have been involved with a number of USAC and other national task forces and committees.

I’ve worked in the cycling industry since 2001, as an independent coach, business owner, bike shop employee, and as a contract instructor for fitness facilities and corporate wellness programs. I’m well-connected in the cycling industry on a local, national, and international level. In my own business, I’ve developed programs that have been recognized as the gold standard in the cycling industry.

I received a BFA in Theatre Arts Management from Ithaca College, and spent the first 13 years of my career managing not-for-profit theatres. My focus was business management (accounting, finance, HR, risk management, and employee benefits). As an employee in not-for-profit, however, I was able to gain management experience in other areas as well, such as marketing, development, and operations.

I hold an MBA in Organizational Management/Gender Relations from Syracuse University. After my theatre career, I spent the next three years in management at a software start-up and at Charles Schwab, where I managed technology projects.

I received a CA Certificate in Personal Fitness Training from Foothill College (a 30-credit certificate program) and have participated in countless hours of continuing education from USAC, USAT, and other educational organizations.

My goal as President is to be an empowering leader and to enable the BOD to best serve the membership of the NCNCA. I plan to utilize technology to improve communication and continue to develop programs that will benefit membership.

Lorri Lee Lown
founder + coach, Velo Girls
USAC Club of the Year: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008

Monday, October 19, 2009

October Rider of the Month -- Jackie Link

Jackie is known by her friends and fellow cyclists to always bring a smile wherever she goes. This was evident even thirty years ago when she was in a sailing accident that crushed her knee, turned it into something good, and used cycling to recover. Since that time not only has she ridden for her own physical and mental health, but she has dedicated herself to helping other women get outside and on their bikes.

Jackie joined Velo Girls in 2003 and became a member of Team Velo Girls in 2006. As part of the Endurance Team she has dedicated hours of her time to women ever since. She has started and led four different rides to help women start riding and meet others. She understands that women will continue cycling if they have others to ride with and she has made it her personal mission to offer as many rides as possible. Many women in Northern CA, including some of the area's finest racers, credit Jackie with helping them learn to ride a bike and develop a love of cycling.

Jackie is retiring from the team this year, but trust us that is not because of a lack of energy! We want to thank her for her dedication, commitment, and unselfishness.

Favorite Ride: My ramble around the entire city---around the bay waterfront, through the Presidio and around Land's End, down Ocean Beach, over Twin Peaks and through the Mission to my home on top of Potrero Hill. It's about 30-35 miles and there's always a surprise somewhere along the way.

Why I Ride: Because no matter what else is happening in the world, when I put my foot on the pedal and push off, I'm very, very happy.

Most memorable Velo Girls moment(s): Whenever a beginning rider comes up to me, sometimes years later, to tell me how much it meant to her that I'd helped her when she first started riding. Some have gone on to race, others to complete ALC and century rides.

A Bit About Me: I took up cycling after having a knee crushed in a sailing accident in 1980, and it's opened up the world for me. I've taken a bike to explore Holland, France, Denmark, Portugal, Japan (including up Mt. Fuji!), Arizona and countless trips along our coastline from Seattle to San Diego.

Favorite Quote: Years ago, on a Northern Exposure ride with over 30 riders, one woman said to me, "I like your style, you don't mind leading from the back!"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October Sponsor of the Month -- Action Wipes!

One of our new sponsors in 2009 is Action Wipes. How could we not fall in love with a product with the tag-line "your face is not a baby's butt -- don't wipe it like one?"

Lorri met Martha Van Inwegen, founder and creator of Action Wipes, on Twitter of all places, but it's indicative of the spirit behind the product. New to Twitter (and not exactly sure what to do with it), Lorri found that someone named MarthaVan was following her. With a little research, Lorri learned that Martha owned a local, California company called Life Elements. Like most cyclists, Lorri should own stock in baby wipes (handy for cleaning both bike and body after a ride). And with the Velo Girls goal of aligning ourselves with local, California sponsors, Lorri decided to learn more about the company.

Our relationship has been a match made in heaven! Martha has been a great supporter of Velo Girls this year and we've been signing the praises of Action Wipes ever since!

What's so great about Action Wipes (besides an awesome product)? Martha Van, is, that's what! She's a fun + fabulous woman with a very progressive, guerilla marketing strategy (just like Velo Girls). She's a social media maven and has run marketing campaigns via Twitter and Facebook aimed at introducing Lance Armstrong to her product (@LanceArmstrong, you should be using Action Wipes) -- a very cool photo campaign featuring cycling super-stars big and small with a newsprint poster harolding that tag-line. Although she claims she's not an athlete, she's immersed herself into the global cycling community in a way that the big, corporate brands could only dream of doing.

Martha was host to the team when we raced in San Luis Obispo this summer, and she told the girls the following story, illustrating her entreprenurial spirit, creativity, and desire to succeed:

Life Elements was the parent company to C+M Couples (C = her husband Curt and M = Martha). C+M Couples is a line of seductive and sassy personal care products targeted to the spa market. When the economy took a dive it affected the spa market (and her business). So, she met with a marketing guru who helped her re-define her product line, now targeted at the active lifestyle market. So she re-labeled all her products in her home office, creating the product we all know as Action Wipes.

When life gave her lemons, Martha made lemonade....and Action Wipes!

Thank you, Martha, for your friendship and support this season!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Tribe Has Spoken!

So, after three years of serving the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association (NCNCA) as Treasurer of the Board of Directors, I'm throwing my hat into the ring to run for President. The current President, Casey Kerrigan, has been an integral part of the NCNCA leadership team for decades, so these are some big shoes to fill, but I'm confident that I can continue to make a positive impact on bicycle racing in our district.

Elections take place later this month. I was thrilled to receive this endorsement from the Bay Area Women's Cycling Association.

Bay Area Women's Cycling is pleased to officially endorse Lorri Lee Lown and Michael Hernandez as candidates for President and Vice President of the NCNCA in 2010. Over many years, Lorri and Michael have shown their dedication to improving our local cycling community, in particular by increasing opportunities for women and juniors. Both have also been instrumental in mentoring, & educating beginning cyclists as they become racers.

In addition to their advocacy, Lorri and Michael have significant experience as officers in a cycling-related organization. Lorri has served as Treasurer of the NCNCA for several years, and Michael has served on the Board of Directors for the Northern California Velodrome Association. We believe that Lorri and Michael are the best candidates to be President and Vice-President of the NCNCA.

Voting is scheduled to take place online starting (October 20th and concluding on) November 2, 2009. NCNCA member clubs are allowed one vote per available office (to be provided by a delegate on behalf of each club). Please spread the word about the election, and encourage your club delegates to vote for Lorri and Michael.

Thanks, women of the NCNCA, for your vote of confidence!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Victory for Masters Women!

We voted on a proposal tonight to re-instate the masters women to the NCNCA BAR/BAT for 2010. Thank you to all the women who sent feedback and responded to our survey. 76 women responded to the survey -- 17% of all masters women. that's a great response in the survey world.

We voted to include W1/2/3 35+ in the 2010 BAR/BAT. We'll start chatting with promoters soon to ask them to include this field in their 2010 races.

We're still thinking about the W4 Masters. The overwhelming response from our survey was to include a W4 40+ category for 2010 (which could easily be combined with an existing W4 field in a criterium or added to a race-day for a road race). The numbers of CAT4 women support this so I'm sure we'd have a great turn-out if promoters are willing to add this field. I'll run a follow-up poll to see what everyone thinks and/or feel free to post your feedback on the forum.

Again, thanks to everyone for rallying for the masters women!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

hear us ROAR!

Okay, ladies (and gentlemen and promoters). I've been wondering just WHO WE ARE so I pulled up some demographic data from USA Cycling. After a bit of manipulation, here's what I can tell you about the women of the NCNCA. This data is current through today and likely includes some women who aren't actively racing, purchase an annual license for one event, or who are focusing on cyclocross, but I think it's a good snapshot.



CAT 1 42

CAT 1 U23 1
CAT 1 30+ 30
CAT 1 35+ 22
CAT 1 40+ 12

CAT 2 98
CAT 2 U23 5
CAT 2 30+ 78
CAT 2 35+ 57
CAT 2 40+ 42

CAT 3 142
CAT 3 U23 4
CAT 3 30+ 111
CAT 3 35+ 89
CAT 3 40+ 60

CAT 4 317
CAT 4 U23 17
CAT 4 30+ 223
CAT 4 35+ 174
CAT 4 40+ 136

PROMOTERS -- Although we all appreciate single-category races, here are some other combinations of note:

W1/2 140
W1/2/3 282
W3 142
W3/4 459
W4 317
W1/2/3 35+ 168
W1/2/3 40+ 114
W3/4 35+ 263
W3/4 40+ 196
W3 35+ 89
W3 40+ 60
W4 35+ 174
W4 40+ 136

CLUBS, are you recruiting? Here are unattached women who might be interested in joining a team. How do we reach out to these women? Most of us on teams would agree that being part of a team helps improve racer retention.


And just for kicks:

CAT 1 YOUNGEST: 20 years old
CAT 1 OLDEST: 50 years young

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Team Velo Girls -- Ambassadors for Women's Cycling

Team Velo Girls has been invited to grand marshall the 64-mile Challenge at the Princess Promenade this weekend. This event, in just three years, has become a fabulous, fun-filled weekend of cycling goodness for girls and women of all ages. And we're thrilled to be a part of the magic!

The Princess Promenade was created to get women out of their cars and on to their bikes. It is a fun, inspiring event that gives women and girls a goal to train for, culminating in a parade of princesses along the beautifully scenic American River Parkway bike trail. It is held the first Sunday in October in Sacramento, CA.

After the ride, join Team Velo Girls members at the Velo Girls tent in the fitness expo area for photo opportunities and autographs.

Registration is still open for this event -- details can be found here:

Monday, September 28, 2009

times, they are a changin'

Fall -- short days and cooler temps! While there's still lots of riding left on our calendar, two of our most popular rides will soon go on hiatus until March -- Midweek Madness on Wednesday nights and Dirty Velo Girls on Thursday nights.

This week is the LAST Midweek Madness of 2009. Roll from Woodside Town Hall @ 6:00pm on Wednesday for a quick, 60 minute high-intensity spin, followed by dinner at Buck's Restaurant. Don't forget your blinkie lights!

Due to waning daylight, Dirty Velo Girls will also meet for the last time this Thursday! Roll from Arastradero OSP in Palo Alto @ 6:00pm followed by girl-time at the Alpine Inn.

RSVP to Lorri@velogirls for either ride. Details on both rides and all our other rides + events can be found on the Velo Girls calendar.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dirty Girls + Boys Jumping On + Off Their Bikes!

That can mean only one thing -- C-Y-C-L-O-C-R-O-S-S!

Cyclocross is a super-fun, family-friendly sport and all the cool kids are doing it. You can do it too! All you need is a mountain bike or a cyclocross bike. And Velo Girls Coaching Services can help you get started on the right foot. Even if you never plan to race (never say never), the skills you learn will help you become a better rider for both mountain bike and road.

Join us on Saturday, September 26th for our four-hour jumping on + off your bike Cyclocross Clinic. Our guest coach will be John Funke -- one of the best instructors I've ever worked with. He's fun, he's fast, and he can teach you everything you need to race your first cyclocross race (or perfect your skills if you're already a racer). John comes to us with decades of experience racing all over the US and he honed his skills with one of the top cyclocross coaches in the US -- Adam Myerson (of Cycle-Smart Solutions for Cyclo-Cross DVD fame). John is one of the most popular cyclocross clinics in the northern CA and he swears this will be his final clinic. Ever! So don't miss it.

So what are you waiting for? Fixies are so 2008. Cyclocross is where it's at this fall!

Information and registration here:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Register Now for GIRLS GOT SKILLS!

Seven years and counting, women from across the US (and Canada) have participated in our corner-stone two-day women's cycling clinic -- Girls Got Skills. This weekend clinic is total cycling immersion for women of all levels, and participants walk away with a renewed love for the bike! Just think, 16 hours of you, your bike, like-minded women, and expert coaches! It just doesn't get any better than that.

During the weekend we focus on fundamental bike handling skills. Paradigms will shift as we teach you how to REALLY ride your bike, understanding the physics behind balance, weight distribution, and gyroscopic force. Don't worry, this isn't high school physics -- we teach you in a safe, comfortable setting that includes lecture, demonstration, and lots and lots of hands-on practice under the watchful eyes of our coaches and mentors. Besides the fundamentals, we'll teach you how to corner at high speed like a pro, climb like a butterfly, and descend like a freight train. We'll also teach you ever-important group riding skills, like how to draft a wheel and paceline with one individual and a large group. And if that isn't enough, we throw in bonus material on nutrition and training with heart rate. We even help you establish HR training zones by performing a short HR test.

This is one of our most popular clinics and it always sells out. There are a few spots left, so I would encourage you to register today:

September 26th + 27th, 2009. Mark those dates now as the beginning of the rest of your cycling career. This weekend is definitely life-changing.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Update your Bookmarks -- Velo Girls Clinics!

Our on-line registration provider, SportsBaseOnline, made some system upgrades this weekend and changed all of the links to Velo Girls membership and clinic registration (SURPRISE!). Please note the following:

Velo Girls Coaching Services Clinic Index:

Bike Skills 103 -- Cyclocross Skills -- September 26th -- co-ed:

Girls Got Skills -- September 26th + 27th -- women only:

Bike Skills 101 -- Fundamental Handling Skills -- October 18th -- co-ed:

Bike Skills 201 -- Climbing + Descending -- October 18th -- co-ed:

Registration is open for all of these programs!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Add your Photos to our Flickr Feed!

A picture tells a thousand words, or say I've been told. is trying to keep our content fresh, new and exciting with the hopes that you'll come back again and again to check out what's up with the Girls in Pink. The best way to do this is to create a community effort, allowing our members to share their Velo Girls experiences through photos.

We've set up a Velo Girls Flickr photo group and would like to invite you to join and share your photos.

Do you have some great photos from a recent ride? We'd like to see them! Post-ride silliness? Ditto! Did you capture the racers in action? Add them to the group pool!

To join the group, just go here:

Once you're a group member, you can add up to 10 photos or videos a day. Please add a tag to your photos: "velogirls."

In the works, we'll feed our Flickr pool directly to the homepage of so all the world can see all the fun we're having!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Friends, Family, Sponsors....Join us at the Giro di San Francisco

As the 2009 road racing season draws to a close, Team Velo Girls would like to invite all our friends, families, and sponsors to celebrate a fabulous season at the Giro di San Francisco on Monday, September 7th. The team will be out in all their pink fabulousness to contest the Women's 4 race @ 8:00am. The Giro is the last local race for the team in 2009 and, as part of the Bay Area Women's Cycling Association Women's Point Series, promises to bring out the best women racers in Northern California!

Immediately after the race, join friends + fans for a tailgate brunch at the Kenda tent.

RSVP for this event!

Velo Girls love our sponsors! You should, too! Check them out!
# Tri-Flow Superior Lubricants
# Eshutter Creative
# Erik Butler Photography
# Gary Brustin, Cycling Attorney
# Image Arts
# Jan Medina Real Estate
# Discover Chiropractic

With Industry Support From:
# Mike's Bikes
# Kenda Tires
# GU Sports Nutrition
# Simbree Energy Foods
# Voler Team Apparel
# Trashy Cat
# Defeet
# Rack N Road Car & Truck Outfitters
# Action Wipes
# Flex Power
# Protech Skincare
# Beljum Budder

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Check your Neck!

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.

* Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer. Thyroid cancer is a cancerous tumor or growth located within the thyroid gland (the front of your neck).

* Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that has increased in incidence rates over recent years. It occurs in all age groups from children through seniors.

* The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 37,200 new cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. in 2009. Of these new cases, about 27,200 will occur in women and about 10,000 will occur in men. About 1,630 people (940 women and 690 men) will die of thyroid cancer in 2009.

* Many patients, especially in the early stages of thyroid cancer, do not experience symptoms. However, as the cancer develops, symptoms can include a lump or nodule in the front of the neck, hoarseness or difficulty speaking, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and pain in the throat or neck.

* There are several types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, anaplastic, and variants.

Check your neck! Follow the link to learn how to do this at home, or ask your doctor to do it for you at your next exam.