Wednesday, June 16, 2010

3 week update

Taken after Tulsa Tough Friday - a scorcher! Photo: Jason Perry

Mostly photos - but at least it's something.

Catch up - May 22/23 - 2 local WI crits - we showed up en masse with about 8 girls every day and our aggressive racing paid off. Kaitie won in Hartland after attacking with 4 to go and I won the field sprint. Team Kenda's 3rd straight race of going 1/2 - pressure on. Next day in Sussex Beth and Kelley got in a break with 2 other girls and went 2/3 after being subjected to the fierce sprint of Holly M. Kaitie won the field sprint for 5th.

Ahhh Memorial Day racing in Iowa was next. Another huge turnout of Kenda riders - 11 on the start line. We even had our excellent manager Paul and fantastic mechanic Mike along for the weekend. We needed them - Ashley busted a shifter and was forced to ride Paul's bike - not exactly fit to her.

Snake Alley is one of my favorite races. Seven (?) cobblestoned switchbacks up, a fast technical descent, a few more flat turns and repeat. We do 12 laps and it ends up being just over 10 miles and about a 30 minute effort. Yeah it's short but it hurts. I won this race in 2006 and 2007 so coming back and getting anything less is a bit of a letdown. I knew last year's winner Amanda Miller was coming back and she is phenomenally talented. I'd give it a shot though. Somehow I led the first lap, Amanda passed me, I grabbed her wheel and looked back to see Jill coming up to us. Next time up the snake it was game over though. Amanda danced up the climb and a group of myself, Jill, Ashley, and Lisa V. remained. Lisa attacked up the snake the next lap and so began each of us riding in our own little caves of pain. I think the first 7 riders came in solo . . . Kenda happened to have 4 of those riders. Ashley was 3rd, I was 4th, Jill 6th, and Kelley 6th. Nice work team.Oh, and did I mention it was hot? Near 90 degrees and muggy - ick - the girls try to cool off in the shade.
A little spectating on the Snake is always a fun post race activity. Made even more fun by short shorts and tan lines. Here Beth, Lindsey, and Jackie strike a pose.

I don't really have many pictures from the Sunday in Muscatine. We sort of screwed it up a bit when Lisa got away solo after a small break was off. Gotta work on communicating a bit better in the race but luckily Kaitie is a superstar and won the field sprint for 2nd. Jackie was 7th and I was 8th.
Monday in Rock Island I also don't have any pictures from. After having a good aggressive race and keeping the pace high a crash in the final corner mucked things up and took nearly everyone in the race down. Luckily no one was seriously injured despite an initial scare by my friend Chris R. from St. Louis. Catherine was our top finisher in 5th, Jackie in 7th. REALLY fun weekend with all of our various teammates. HUGE thanks to Mike, Mary, and Paul for all of their help!

The next weekend was a trip to Tulsa with Ashley, Beth, and her boyfriend Ross for some NRC racing. $35,000 up for grabs and we went down there in search of it. Always easier said than done. Above all Tulsa is an awesome city with an incredible community of cyclists. These races are so professionally put on with a huge expo area, 2 huge jumbotrons, great announcers - the whole thing is quite a spectacle and a really fun experience. We had wonderful host housing as well - thank you so much to Marty and DeeAnn, and the Watson family!!

Not a whole lot to write about the races. We'll just leave it at the fact that we raced to the best of our abilities and had a lot of fun ;) Oh . . . and it was hot again - mid 90s and humid. I never got the chills anyway but some of my teammates did.

The jumbotron - impossible to try to take a photo of.
Going for a $400 prime . . . ummm, not so much!
Jill and Kenda before Sunday's race
Tom's Bicycles Party tent - thanks so much for all of the hospitality guys and gals!
A solo move by me - c'mon . . . somebody want to come with?
Here's the hill from Sunday's race. The fans were unreal - I felt like I was in the Tour or something. And the guys with the hoses spraying us at the top were awesome.

I think our best finishes were in the low 20s . . . just outside of the money . . . dang!
Here we are with our great host Marty and superstar announcer Dave Towle.

Came back home to a busy week of work and Bike to Work Week. We at PB take that pretty seriously all year round but we have something extra special for the week. Bacon on the Bike Path . . . oh yeah, ride your bike and you get some tasty bacon. Here's Chris and Heath hard at work on the grills.
The best part was we transported everything we needed for the event (25 lbs. of bacon, 144 donuts, 50 pounds of fruit, tent, tables, etc.) by bike. Sweet.
And the week just further proved that we live in one of the best cities in the country for cycling. Riding on the paths and biking to work puts a smile on my face every day. I counted 110 cyclists on my 11 mile commute one afternoon - impressive.

And that brings us to this past weekend and the State Crit Championships. I will add a report but for now you'll just have to look at photos. Thanks for checking in!
Photos thanks to John Wilke!

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