Friday, July 22, 2011

Cascade Crit

Heya Everyone,

The day started out great. Teammates Bec, Lauren Robertson, and I went on an
easy spin in the morning to check out tomorrow's circuit race course,
got our necessary dose of caffeine and spent some time checking out
downtown Bend and did a somewhat reconnaissance walk of the crit
course for later in the day.

We didn't race until 5:45pm so the rest of the day was pretty chill.
Then we road over to the course, signed in, and I went on a hunt for
free swag, but wasn't able to find too much.

Our race started out pretty well, I felt pretty good and was moving
up, but then all hell broke loose, I'm not 100% sure what happened,
but I crashed in turn 4 pretty early on in the race. I remember
something causing my rear wheel or derailleur to lock up and then I
gloriously somersaulted over my bike and was soon run over by a
cycling BC rider. I popped back up pretty quickly and ran (well ran as
well as I could in cleats with blood streaming down my leg) over to
the neutral support. Once I arrived I was put on our spare bike, the
team's somewhat TT setup Orbea, with a massively dropped stem, adamo
saddle, and reverse brakes that were not completely even. So that
definitely made it an interesting rest of the race. I was shaking from
either adrenaline or blood loss when I was being put back on the bike,
but our awesome DS, KCM, reminded me to breathe and got me to calm down
before I was put back into the race. I was a little nervous and became
aware of the issue with the brakes on our spare bike coming into turn
two when I almost slid out again, but luckily I was able to recover.
After that I just focused on staying in the race until the end and
making the time cut and with each progressive lap the raw road rash on
my left leg where there had been skin 40 minutes before was burning
more and more so I began counting down the laps until I could get it
cleaned up. Bec also had a bit of a mishap; her tire blew out after
turn 3 later on in the race, but she was able to get in and finish
with the pack. Though we had a few issues things still worked out. I
was able to finish the race with the bunch and we all made time cut,
and I'm still stoked to keep racing tomorrow



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cascade - Stage 1

Day 2 in beautiful Bend, and after the blink and you miss it prologue yesterday, the real racing of the Cascade Classic was set to kick off today. Em and I were joined by our two super guest riders - Lauren from Texas, and Katheryn from the Bay Area, who apparently has done a bit of racing in the past.

Lining up with the 115 or so other girls, we were at a tactical advantage, being the only team with a super DS, who rides, directs and domestiques, while our mechanic Jason waited behind with his local knowledge and bottle juggling while driving skills. The 120km McKenzie Pass road race that awaited us was a whopper, cresting McKenzie Pass and The Sisters.

It started with 7 miles of neutral descending, and as with most neutral starts I've experienced, it was probably faster and more hectic than a normal race start would have been. Making it safely to the start of the race proper is an accomplishment in iteslf! We all met that first goal of the day, and while cruising downhill at around 60k/h after the commisaire car sped away, we all thankfully avoided a pretty nasty crash that ended at least 1 girl's day.

As the road rose upwards, so did the race tempo, with NOW Novaris, Tibco and Peanut Butter throwing in plenty of attacks to keep the field on its toes. Nothing could get established, so the majority of the field approached the first major climb of the day intact, but that wouldn't last long. The stick thin cycling species sensed their chance, and danced away from the rest of the field. All the major teams were represented, and to be honest, a lot of the time when attacks go on a cimb, its more about who can go, than who the field lets go. So they went at their pace, and the peleton kept it fairly steady, lead for a large part by Katheryn 'I Swear I'm Retired' Mattis. You can take the cyclist from the race, but you can't take the race out of the cyclist. And in this case she rode like she'd never left, sharing little gems of advice and encouragement along the way, to be the most useful DS you could ask for.

Cresting the first climb, there wasn't much time to relax as we strung out single file down the pedalling descent. It was just long enough to cool the legs off a bit before bringing them slamming back to reality as we hit the next climb. Nearing the top, we were met by the gnarly looking larva fields, contrasted by the beautiful snow-capped mountains in the backgrond. I had about 2 seconds to admire the scenery before it was back to business as we passed over the KOM and through the hectic feed zone, before dropping down the final long descent of the day.

As it flattened out, we tapped along at a decent rate of knots, not really aware of what the gap was to the leaders, until finally the moto informed us that they were about 2 minutes up the road. Seeing the 20km to go sign a couple riders put in a few jumps. Maybe they were practicing their sprint for the crit, or maybe they just wanted to confuse the peleton. They succeeded at the latter, as the road was long and straight, and if they had intedned to chase down the break, they were probably an hour or so late.

We bombed through the final feed zone on one of the fastest sections of the course, and I think more bottles were lost than were gained. It strung out winding through the town before the base of the final climb of the day. As we approached the final 10k and the road started to head skyward again, Katheryn was chatting away in the bunch as she had been doing a lot of the day, as if on a cruisy group ride with friends, and I hear her exclaim 'this is where I pull the pin'. Fair enough, I thought, and I started to go tempo up the climb, only to see her a minute later come streaming past, moving to the front of my little group and towing us back to the bunch in front. All this on a diet of swimming and a couple rides a week, while those of us who actually had been training for this were left chewing stem and hanging on by the skin of our teeth. So maybe there is something to be said for cross-training and recovery... or maybe there's just something to be said for being an absolute animal on the bike!

Katheryn 'monster' Mattis then promtly moved to the front and set a good tempo up the final 5k climb to the finish. Some riders were gradually tailed off, and I was praying I wouldn't get dropped by the team DS. Lauren was proving that sometimes climbing is in your blood, and you can train in Texas all year and still look comfy as on mountains in Oregon. We crossed the line about 4 minutes down on the winner, Kristin McGrath from Peanut Butter 2012, and Em rolled in with a nice sized chase group not too far back.

The plan for the week is to treat it as 6 one day races. So we can tick this one off the list and now turn our attention to the TT. The race of truth awaits!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cascade - Prologue

The Webcor/Alto Velo Bridge Team, presented by SportVelo made the trip up to Bend, OR for the Cascade Cycling Classic. Bec Warner and Emily Foxman were to be joined by Texas rider Lauren Robertson. Katheryn would have the pleasure of directing the girls at this race and found Jason Quade, a local, to be our mechanic.

Fortunately we arrive safely in Bend Sunday evening and were greeted by our hosts for the week, Dave and Audrey Adams who have hosted the Webcor women's team for the last two years. They fed us a wonderful dinner and we collapsed into our beds after the long day of travel.

Arriving a day early before the race allowed us to preview the TT and prologue courses and despite the looming clouds, we managed to get a good sense of them. Lauren joined us Monday night and we had a great first team meal.

Tuesday morning I (Katheryn) went to registration only to discover the only way to have a car in the caravan would be if we had 4 riders. As we only had 3, this left us in a bit of a bind… hmm… what to do. As Mary Maroon made the last minute decision not to do the race, we had the start spot; I decided, "what the heck, I'll do the prologue and then not start the road race on Wednesday". Not necessary what I was planning for but if this would help out the team so that we had a car in the caravan, I'll do it.

- fast forward -

The prologue was a short 2 mile out and back in the Old Mill District of Bend (same area as where the last 2 years of cyclocross nationals were). With the distance being so short, the effort would be full throttle from the start. The most technical part was the turn-around, which was this funky "rectangle" through a parking lot.

I was the first off as I wanted to get back to switch my helmet for my DS hat. To be honest, I have not gone that hard in a long time and as many of those who know me, short efforts like that were (and still are) not my forte. 

Bec, Em and Lauren all did a great job of giving their best and Bec was our top finisher. Tara Whitten smoked the field and won over Clara Hughes and Kristin Armstrong.

Due to a suggestion by Jason, our mechanic, I decided to start the next day race as he offered to drive the follow vehicle so I could DS from the bike. Yeah… so much for retirement; let's just hope my 2-3 day a week "training" will be enough!

KCM (ret)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wheel Kids Presentation (

Last Friday, in response to a request from Webcor, members of the women's team volunteered to present to the Wheel Kids about bike racing and riding. Here's Haley's report, and it sounds as if the racers had almost as much fun as the kids! Thanks, Webcor, for the opportunity!


This last weekend Holly, Bec and I all went up to San Francisco to do a presentation to Wheel Kids ( The organization is a summer bicycle camp for kids who are in grade 1-6.

Early Friday morning we all loaded into the Webcor car with bikes, kit and even a full PowerBar bag. It felt like we were going to race but in actuality we were going to spend a couple hours with the kids at summer camp. I wish when I was in grade school there would have been something like Wheel Kids around.

When we arrived at the marina, we found the leader Tim and decided our best course of action based on the number of campers and overall skill level. We were to talk about bike racing and hopefully inspire the campers to someday give bike racing a go.

As the weather was cold and slightly rainy, we started off indoors with talking about how we got into the sport and what you need for racing. Eventually we did a 'spot the differences' quiz with Bec and myself each in varying stages of race readiness. Helmet, kit, gloves, bike, shoes, race number. Those who could tell us what we were missing were awarded with a PowerBar, which went over well.

After the indoor portion, we all went outside and practiced drills. We all would demonstrate and the campers would follow. The drills were: coming to a correct stop, cornering, side by side cornering, and feed hand offs. We used the remaining PowerBars as feed hand offs to those campers who didn't receive one before.

Everyone did a great job and we were all impressed by the campers' skills. It was fun to spend the morning with eager, well behaved campers who obviously love their bikes as much as we do.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Burlingame Crit 2011

Here's Holly's race report from Burlingame; she's turning into a crit monster!

Race Report The Parnassus Investments Burlingame Criterium, W P1/2/3
9th of 42
No teammates -- at Dairyland and Nationals

The Bridge Team spanned the US this weekend with Bec, Emily, Haley, Jane, and Dan in the Midwest, Mary in the South, and me holding down our fort in CA.

There was a great racing atmosphere with summer weather, a fast and fun course, and local residents out to watch. The crit circled downtown Burlingame in 0.7 miles with 5 right turns and 1 left to keep us from getting too dizzy. This marked my 4th ever crit, but intimidation and a bit of fear are being gradually replaced by love! High intensity, fast corners, and surprise primes make for an exciting game.

The pack of 42 held tight through the early laps, but just 2 in I rode over something nasty, punctured, and was sidelined to the neutral pit. I am so grateful for the speedy mechanics and the sweet wheel that I used for the rest of the race. I rejoined on lap 3 with a focus of keeping toward the front and going with attacks. I am learning to be less conservative and found myself in position to contest a prime, lead for a bit, and stay in the mix for the finishing sprint. The 40-minute race was over in a flash, and I crossed the line in 9th place.

It was another weekend with a lot of Webcor green going really fast. Good job, & I hope to see you this weekend too! Thanks for reading!


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