Hello Velo Girls!
I just want to thank Velo Girls for giving me numerous cycling options on Saturday. I could have joined the girls on the Cinderella training ride (short or long), or perhaps train alongside the Tri-Flow gals, shoot, I even had an invitation from my husband to join him on a ride.
Well, last minute Friday night, I decided to drive 35 minutes south to San Martin and park in a freshly cut pasture to join a few hundred other mountain bikers for the first South Bay XC race. The race was held at Harvey Bear Park, and I just have to say how AWESOME it was to be able to race so close to home! I mean, seriously, left the house at 8am and was back for lunch at noon!
The race was interesting to say the least. The race director informed us at the race start that the race would have probably been fast and furious had it not been for the rain and the cows. Because of these two factors the trail had been turned into swiss cheese. And swiss cheese it was…. Right from the get-go, the trail was festooned with hoof holes and of course, do I even have to say it? cow dung. (Which reminds me… I need to rinse my bike off.)
The 9 mile loop takes you up into the hills with a 1000 ft climb at the start. I really love climbing but after 30 minutes of bouncing over hill and dale, I was really glad when the trail started heading down. But, it was a false break. The loop winded down again, but the challenges didn’t end. At one point the entire trail was covered in thick, knee deep mud. Of course, after Lake Sonoma, this was cake… right? Right?
The fun didn’t end there though. After an extremely bouncy downhill, which I’m sure is the source of my current back ache, I looked up to see a particularly LARGE BLACK COW standing in the middle of the trail. What’s a girl to do? Well, of course, what any Velo Girl would do in this situation… I started yelling, “GET OUT OF MY WAY!” And to my surprise, it actually worked! Wow. Me - cow herding. Who would have thought? You might think it was just luck, but I tell you, a few minutes later, a whole herd of them started galloping (do cows gallop?) across the trail. I used my new skill again, and sure enough they listened. They didn’t look really excited about it, but I don’t think cows get really excited about anything. They just chew whatever they chew and move along.
Well, soon after this episode, my journey came to an end as the loop circled back and the race ended with a fast downhill back to the finish line. Yaaa! First race completed!
Well, maybe I should have used the day to put more miles on my legs or practice group riding skills, but really sometimes a girl can’t ignore that little tickle in her ear whispering….”Let’s go race.”
See you on the trail or on the road!
Mariska : )
I wanted to share my race report for the South Valley Endurance Dirty Gears race that took place out at Fort Ord today!
SVE's Dirty Gears race series is new this year and there were lots of cool new things (USA Cycling sanctioned race, chip timing, swag bag with GU products plus t-shirt, and hot soup and oreos at the finish line!!) and not so cool things (no great place to warm up and spotty course markings causing many to get lost) about this new series. I'm sure they will dial out the glitches for their next race and I look forward to racing at their events again!
The course was 13 miles deep in Fort Ord on many trails that have been part of the Sea Otter course in the past. The beginners were all sent out onto the course at the same time so I was racing with guys much of the day which was
pretty cool! After an initial hike-a-bike hill there was some killer single track that was a blast to ride. I was able to make a number of passes in that section and was having fun! Then came lots of deep sand, a steep road climb up to more sand and then rolling single track down to the finish.
I came out with a 2nd place medal and a new-found appreciation for being a good trail site-reader. I don't often ride trails for the first time during a race so keeping up a race pace while riding unknown territory is new experience for me and a skill I am glad I pushed myself to work on today.
Happy Sunday from your very dirty (and sandy) teammate!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
never before in Team Velo Girls history have we had team members racing in three disciplines in one weekend! this weekend, we had women racing cyclocross, mountain bike, and road.
congratulations to Gnat Harris on her impressive finish at the CXSR season finale on Saturday! the course was flat and filled with muddy goodness -- and a perfect way for Gnat to end her 2009/10 cyclocross season!
Sunday was the season-opener of the CCCX cross-country mountain bike series in Monterey. three Velo Girls raced -- Kerri Stevenson with the beginner women and Carolyn Thompson and Lorri Lee Lown with the sport women. the course was just about as perfect as it could be, with fast + fun berms, breath-stealing climbs, and lots of fast swoopy single-track.
Monday, Angela DeSapio lined up with the big girls in an open women's field at the Dinuba Criterium (in charming downtown Dinuba). where's Dinuba, you ask? go to Fresno and keep going, that's where. the course is a really cool one, with great pavement, left + right turns, and just enough head-wind to make a difference in the final sprint!
congratulations to all our racers for a great weekend representing the girls in pink!
in non-racing action, Velo Girls was busy as ever! Saturday morning was an on-road training session for the women participating in the Tri-Flow Women's Development Racing Program. We also kicked off week #1 of our Cinderella Training Series with 30 women participating in a sunny spin from Woodside. In the afternoon, we held our first Bike Skills 101 clinic of the 2010 season. And on Sunday, we held our weekly Northern Exposure ride originating in San Francisco and riding up into sunny Marin.
if you're not riding your bike, you've got no excuses. with all this fun on the calendar, we invite you to come out and join us soon!