Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Holidays from the 2009 Div III Team of the Year

It has been snowing for the last 15 hours, and I cannot see the ground. I can't ride outside either, but I'm feeling strangely calm, grateful, and happy. Someone once told me that it's impossible to find a cycling team in which you get along with everyone, and that you want to train, ride, and race with everyone. Well, I think this team has that, and so much more. The key may lie within the word "balance." Cycling isn't the first and foremost priority in any of our lives; family and friends are. Having this perspective strengthens our relationships with one another, and we always support each others' decisions, even if we don't agree.

The intention of this blog entry wasn't to share our philosophy; most already know it through observation. It's to show that our "wins" are not limited to what's accomplished during the racing season. Like our training, our teamwork is in action year-round. Friday morning USA Cycling announced the 2009 Team of Year awards, and I had learned that our team had won it for Division III. Thanks to our talented, dedicated, and selfless secretary, Robin Meidhof, we got our binder, documentation, and application in on time and put forth - as always - our best.

So why did we win? I think the secret is simply passion. Our energy is focused on being the best, on giving back to the community, and on promoting women's cycling because the only feeling better than winning is winning together. All of our sponsors are part of this team just as much as the cyclists. They happen to be the ones "behind the scenes," but we share the same philosophy.

Happy holidays from our entire team and sponsors!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

City of Specialized Love

A peloton of green descended on Philadelphia this past weekend as Badger, Chicken and Sonja came up to visit the northern contingent of CAWES! The plan? Get together for a weekend of riding, eating, drinking, and schmoozing with our favorite Specialized rep, Mike Abrams! Of course, as expected, some hi-jinx ensued.

One of the really important issues to be deal with this weekend, was the plan for our new 2010 kit design. We spent much time trying on the box full of clothing sent by Verge to make sure that we were happy with the cuts, sizing and quality.

We also needed to decide on one of a few concepts drawn up by the great Carlos Cabalu and then we began to discuss our color scheme. Would we keep with the standard double green and yellow or move on to a new scheme to take us into the new decade?

Alaina suggested that we take a cue from her undies and add a lovely magenta to the kit! This is, of course, a scientifically proven way to successfully choose kit colors!

Sonja also wanted to help us out with the recent cycling protests against new city legislations...

Saturday morning rose with chilly temps but BEAUTIFUL blue skies that called to us and our bikes! We bundled up and got ready to head out for a 50 miler. Joining us on the road was Mike from Specialized and we were lead by the great team of Maria and Mischa.

Robin had an unfortunate mishap with her shifter and we attempted to stop by High Road Cycles to try to see if there was a possibility for a quick fix. Since the situation was deemed unrepairable, Robin decided to grab another Specialized for the rest of the ride. I think she was mostly drawn to the color.

Despite the chilly temps, we were nothing but smiles after riding through some gorgeous areas of Philly. Lots of rolling hills and curvy roads took us out to Wayne, PA and back into Manayunk. Somewhere along the way, we took this great shot of us with Mike.

That night, Mike and Maureen were gracious enough to have us all over for dinner. When we asked what we could bring, Mike said - wine and dessert. So, we brought him both! :) Note the Specialized "S" that appears on Mike's Carrot Cake!

Not to mention the scarf and Davy Crocket hat that the wine wore (Cycles Gladiator wine, no less!).

We had a great time sitting, eating, drinking, and chatting with Mike and Maureen...

And snuggling with the adorable Maggie...

And we also found out that Mike went to the trouble of finding us the PERFECT moto-pacing vehicle. Turns out, it's just been sitting in his garage waiting for us! :) Now, if that doesn't have CAWES written all over it, then it SHOULD!!!

Thanks again to Mike and Maureen for a very fun evening!

And thanks to Alaina and Hoover for opening up their house to everyone for the weekend! Even if it does appear to be haunted by this strange spectre that was captured on camera....or is it just the elusive Grimace coming out due to the chilly temps?!?!