Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jeff Cup Womens 1/2/3

Wet roads and a strong field meant it'd be a tough day of racing for the women's 1/2/3 at Jeff Cup. 40 or so riders lined up under the crackling electric wires (added to the ambiance, but what was up with that?) for the first Mid-Atlantic road race of the year in Charlottesville, VA. Some notable names were there with Sarah Caravella, Deidre Winfield, Laura Igoe, and all the local MABRA strong women.

By lap two the front group was down to 15 riders with three CycleLife - Michelle, Sonja, and Leslie. Unfortunately, both Michelle and Sonja would get flats on laps 3 and 4 respectively. Seems lots of riders were taken out by the glass that someone had sprinkled around. This left Lucky Leslie who had managed to avoid the shards to battle for the sprint.

Juice Plus had two riders in the final group - Rachel Warner and Amity Elliot. Rachel had been attacking all day, and did a great job of setting a high pace for the last kilometer for her teammate. She, along with Laura I. drove the train heading into the finish. At the 200 meter mark Amity jumped first, but Leslie was closing in. Unfortunately the line got there before Leslie did. 1st place to Juice Plus. 2nd place to CycleLife.

Meanwhile the rest of the CycleLife team was doing battle with the larger peloton behind. Some good results with Chicken, Mel, and Sara all in the top 20. Complete results here.

A hard day for all, but a good "opener" for the season. Interesting to see how many of the MABRA ladies are riding super strong.

Chocolate Milk = Good Recovery

Post race team talk...Then I attacked and then she attacked and then I attacked... actually it was more like "I got a flat", "me too", "me too".

Who is the jerk who parked here? That'd be Miss Hart (less).

Lance in my Pants

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CycleLife Hearts WV

I'm pretty sure that Team CycleLife powered by Specialized spends more weekends training out in WV than any team I know. When we heard that our sponsor, Michelle from Teaism, was going to be spending a weekend out there, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to join her in beautiful Lost City. We heart our sponsors!

The weather for both days was pleasant albeit slightly chilly at the start of the rides. Badger, Chicken, Plain Jane, Michelle Brown and I attacked the George Washington mountain on Saturday challenging each other every step of the way. We are riding and meshing well. As one of the newest members of this team, I'm constantly seeking opportunities to get to know the girls better - on and off the bike. On Saturday's ride, I had to react to sudden jumps initiated by Chicken, helplessly watch Badger pass me on long climbs (more than once), and tuck in protectively behind Plain Jane as she screamed down descents. The weekend was nothing short of fun. Each chica on this team possess very unique strengths on the bike, and I can't wait for us to capitalize on them in a race. Kudos to Michelle for staying with us most of the way while riding on a standard crank! Strong team AND strong sponsors!

Unfortunately for Badger and me, we lost our human Garmin (and apparently, Plain Jane's Garmin too) and had to use old fashion road maps (gasp!!) for Sunday's ride. A teammate later commented, "you couldn't have put two more directionally challenged people on the road in the middle of WV." Well, in our defense, I think we now know exactly where we DON'T like to ride now. Key words that don't mesh: gravel, Mt. George Washington, 3-5 miles. Long story short, I either need to start mountain biking or stay far away from sketchy descents with lots of gravel. My hands and arms still hurt from gripping so hard.

We're less than one week away from our first MABRA race - Jefferson Cup in Charlottesville, VA. I can't wait to get this season rolling!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pictures from NYC

Our #1 fan at Grant's Tomb.

Mitch and LJ smiling (fake smiling?) at the start.

Mitch attacks early in the race.

LJ needs new arm warmers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

By popular demand

If you've been having trouble viewing the video below it's now on YouTube.

Click here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Teamwork on rollers

The weather today kept us indoors for fear of getting sick before race season begins and/or because we're tired of having to clean our spiffy new bikes after riding wet roads.

With that in mind, Chicken and Zig made the trek to Casa de Ulmer this morning with full intentions on getting in a good workout - inside or outside- while catching up on gossip... come on, we're a team of women. Gossip is allowed. Encouraged, even.

So, what follows may not be suitable - for anyone. Team CycleLife does not take any responsibility for the absurdity of the situation. Please note that even while indoors, we do encourage safe riding. This includes helmets at all times.

Video: courtesy of Chicken. Humor: built in with this group. Thanks to Zig for being a willing participant ... and for having visceral reactions that give us a new catch phrase: "It slid a little. I don't like it." Classic.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Opening Race 1, 2 Punch in Lancaster

Today Christina and I (Sara) woke up at the crack of dawn (Yes, it's that time of year again!) and traveled to Lancaster, PA for the Farmersville Circuit Race. It was difficult coming up with a pre-race strategy as there would be only 5 of us lining up at the start line, and we had no idea what kind of fitness those people would have at what was the first race of the season for most of us. We stayed pretty chill in the first of 7 laps of the 35km race, reading the "field" and seeing who was willing to sit on the front. Everyone seemed content to sit on either Christina's or my wheels at an easy 15mph pace...not suprising since we were the only team with more than 1 person represented. However, after Christina whispered "sooner rather than later" midway through the first lap, I took off going through the start/finish area. I was followed by a junior rider and quickly caught by Dori from Artemis with Christina on her wheel. Christina immediately jumped as I was caught, and I latched on to Dori as she chased. After another short jump by me, Christina countered as I was caught and took off in what would become a 5 lap solo break away. Dori made a great attempt at a chase but cracked at the end of lap 3 as I sat on her wheel. Seeing her sit up, I took off and attempted to bridge up my teammate. Christina "The Leg-Ripper-Offer" was too much for me, and I was content to motor along on my own for the next couple of laps when I couldn't catch her. Unfortunately, the police officer "guarding" (and I use that term loosely) one of the corners decided that it would be a good idea to allow a tractor trailer to turn as I approached at the end of the 6th lap, at which point the tractor trailer decided to stop and talk with a guy driving a tractor in front of me. Sweet. I had to stop and unclip...at which point both calves locked up in killer cramps. I'm sure EVERYONE thought I was psycho as I squeezed sideways on foot between the tractor and tractor trailer screaming "You A**holes!" and then stopped at the side of the road groaning "Ow Ow Ow Ow". I hopped back on my bike just as Dori cruised up. I tried a few times to get away from her again as we rolled into the last lap but gave up as she stuck to me with every move. At this point, furious, I decided to pull back and sit on her wheel for the remainder of the lap...passing her 150m from the finish line for the sprint.

Meanwhile up the road, Christina tried her best to get involved in the only pile-up of the day in the men's Cat 4/5 field. Two handles bars hooked, one guy hit the deck as the other continued riding with second bike still attached. The laid-out guy got up, attempted to run to nab his get-a-way bike, but slipped again in his cleets. He then proceeded to *finally* get his bike and walk across the road without looking, almost taking Christina out in the process. She saved herself with her mad 'cross skills by coming to a halt and holding a wheelie. Luckily, she stayed upright and rode to a solo finish well out of sight of Dori and myself.

The CycleLife Cat3 girls opened the season with a 1,2 (haha, just ignore the fact that there were only 5 of us to start with!). Stay tuned for news from our Cat1,2 girls starting their season at the Grants Tomb Crit in NYC...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


It's tradition. We ride out in Washington County on the coldest day we can find. On the return home, we stop to take a picture with the pig.

(l to r: Robin, Michelle, Wendy, Jen, Leslie, Christina, Sonja. Missing: Sara, Melanie)

Then we make Coach Mike pose with the pig, too. Say cheese. Or bacon.