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: BikeRumor.com

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: http://www.pilarcitos.com/2009Cross.htm

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 Lorri@velogirls.com

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 -- Lorri@velogirls.com

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 Lorri@velogirls.com

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 Lorri@velogirls.com

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.