Saturday, July 30, 2011

Know the Rules

"Get that bike on the sidewalk!!"

"Get off the road!"


"Hey - you're wearing spandex!"

Yep, we've all heard these things - and others that I cannot post on our PG-13 blog! We've all encountered the furious, the angry, the jealous, the irate, and the inconsiderate driver AND cyclist out there on the road. So, the big question is...who's right?! It's pretty amazing how many people (cyclists and non-cyclists alike) don't know the rules of the road associated with bikes. Heck, I was even told once - BY A POLICE OFFICER - to get on the sidewalk!!

So, in an effort to help all individuals on two-wheels and four, we would like to encourage you to click and print out this handy-dandy guide to the rules of the road in Maryland!!

You can click on the images here and print them.

Print, laminate, and carry it with you when you ride.

Maybe make an extra or two - that way, you can help enlighten others while making your daily cycling rounds!

Happy and SAFE riding to you, get your spandex-lovin' butts out on that bike!!

CAWES and effect...

BeCAWES Gurski is such a good time trialist, she often finds herself atop the podium. The effect of this is that she has a nice collection of these...

She added another one to her collection today after taking the "Big W" at the PA Master's Time Trial Championships!! Rounding out the podium was Sturdy Girl Dana Hanchin and Cheri Fager of the Pallas Athene Racing Team. Way to go, ladies!!

Congrats to the Grizzly on another rawr-tastic win!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Grandview-Liberty Weekend

It was a Pennsylvania weekend for the ladies of CAWES. On tap were the PA State Crit Championships (more commonly known as The Grandview Grand Prix) and the Liberty Crit (more commonly referred to by the Porkchop as the 7th circle of Hell).

Both races were going to be hard - they were both filled with sprinters and the races themselves are suited for sprint finishes - although it is possible to get away at Grandview. So, we went into them with our typical tactics: attack, attack, eat a sammich, attack, attack, attack, knit some socks, attack.

Both races went well in terms of tactics - we raced hard and I feel that we animated both events with aggressive racing, which is typically our goal. Unfortunately, the results were not there for us...this time. A great shout out to the ladies who were out there this weekend - the gals from Kenda, Pallas Athene, Alliance Environmental, XO Communications, and others who made it FUN to race!!

We may not have had the best finishes, but these photos prove that we were out there putting the hammer down...thanks to Bob Wellmon for the great shots from Liberty!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What else is there to do after racing all weekend in 100+ degree heat than clean bikes in the shower with you teammates?
You mean Mark Cavendish and Bernie Eisel aren't??

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CAWES works with the future of cycling

On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, the ladies of CAWES met up with a formidable group of junior racers from the Rock Creek Velo racing club.

The skills clinic started with our first lesson to becoming a better bike rider and/or racer: paying attention to other riders so you can learn to emulate 'em or avoid 'em. How exactly does this work you ask? Well, we asked the girls to ride as a group with CAWES for a 3mile lap around a local training course and to watch our interactions with each other and other riders, vehicles, and pedestrians on the road. At the end of the lap, we asked the girls to tell us what they saw that looked 1) unsafe; 2) stupid; or 3) just plain silly. The girls passed our test with flying colors. Some of the behaviors they immediately picked up on included taking our hands off our bars to push another rider over, riding around with earplugs in both ears, changing lines in a corner, half-wheeling teammates in the pack, and jumping to chase onto the back of a vehicle to draft that vehicle. We discussed the consequences of each of these actions and how they could learn to avoid riders who exercised poor judgment when racing or training.

During the clinic, the girls practiced moving up in a pack, pacelining, and had a brief intro to cornering safely and efficiently with a group. CAWES had a great time meeting these extremely talented young riders and we look forward to more clinics and opportunities to see them on the podium (ahem, Juniors Day Out, Saturday Sept, 24th)...

Monday, July 18, 2011

NJ State Road Race

Yesterday was the New Jersey State road race Championships. I've been wanting to win this race for quite some time now...having finished 2nd as a Cat 4 and a Cat 3. I was unable to race the event one year because of a friend's wedding and last year I missed it because we were racing in Maryland. This year seemed like a good opportunity to make something happen. So, we headed to Mullica Township with a strong team of 5 riders: BChan, Ramba, Leah, Grizzly and me.

We had very specific tactics in mind for the day that included launching numerous 30-second attacks on the field. We started this as soon as we made the first turn in the race. First, Alaina went, then Ky, then Becky, then Leah. I tried a few little attacks, but was clearly being watched closely by the field. This continued for the majority of the first lap, with Pro Pedals and EPS riders doing a lot of chasing.

At one point, Leah was off the front with a good gap. I decided to try to bridge. I got about 3/4 of the way to her and realized that the field was closing. I sat up a bit and let them catch me about when I caught her. Naturally, Beth Bonilla of Pro Pedals launched a counter-attack just after that. She took quite a few riders with her. I got on Becky's wheel and she started to pull us we were catching, Beth and the other attackers sat up a bit. I yelled to Becky to GO...and boy, did she GO! We made the two right hand turns leading into the start/finish area with a slight gap. We learned afterward that we came through the start/finish with one lap to go (19 miles) with an 8 second gap. But, we were COMMITTED. We were going to make this work or blow up trying.

By the time we turned the first corner, we had 35 seconds. Later, we learned that we had 55 seconds, at which time Becky says, "Let's make it a minute!" and starts hammering. Our last time check was 1:20 as we were heading to the two final turns.

It was a glorious feeling to have made it to the finish line off the front AND with an amazing teammate, who turned herself INSIDE OUT today to make the break work. I made it a point (I hope someone got a photo) to point to my team name as I crossed the finish line. I could NOT have done it without the help of my team today. They were truly amazing and racing with them is a humbling and wonderful thing.

So, the ending of the story is that I now have a gold medal and another state champion jersey to wear...and CAWES took a strong 1-2 on the day! Since Becky is a PA rider, we took a few podium shots, but I only have the one official one for now that includes the top 3 NJ riders:

NJ Podium: Anne Racioppi in 2nd, Beth Bonilla in 3rd!
I have such a goofy smile on my face...I am really happy!!!

TEAM podium!! With our Specialized Tarmac, of course!

other photos will follow as soon as we get them!! :) Here are a few! Thanks to John Dutra for the great shots of the finish!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Is This Toona Bad??

Well, at least I didn't get food poisoning from the Toona!

It was a rough week for me and the team. The time trial stage went very well...especially since I missed running headlong into the curb at 30 mph on the turn up 16th street. We all made it through safe and sound (except for Charlie - hope you're healing well, my friend) and me, Ky and Sue were all within one second of one another! Jess was sitting comfortably in the top 35 and Kacy killed it and ended up in the top 30 after the TT.

The 1st road race stage was not so successful. The race started and started fast. The first major climb that we hit blew the back end apart. Sue managed to claw her way back up to the pack, but Arley, Ky and I were blown. Arley and I made a decision at the time that seemed logical, but one that came back to bite us in the butt later. The race had a time cut. Considering that we were already outside of it when we hit the feed zone (and still had a 20 miles to the finish) we pulled at the feed zone, only to find, when we got to the finish, that they had decided mid-race not to have a time cut. We were out. That SUCKED.

What didn't suck was Kacy's result. She had finished Stage 2 in 12th! She moved up to 15th in the GC and was sitting pretty for an amazing overall result in the race. Jess had launched a gutsy attack with Alison Shanks of BikeNZ at the bottom of the Blue Knob climb. It was unsuccessful, but it was a smart, strong move! She finished a few minutes off the leader at the end of the stage.

We started Stage 3 with 4 riders - Sue, Ky, Jess and Kacy. The 91 mile race ended up being over 100 miles as the motos and directors of the race got the women's (and men's) pelotons lost SEVERAL times. To add to that, Kacy had a crash prior to the first feed zone and ended up unconscious on the road for about 10-20 minutes. She woke up in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. No broken bones, but she's trying to be all "pro" by ending up with a bad concussion. ;) Sue, Jess and Ky all finished the stage and will live to see the Crit today.

Thanks to the girls for an interesting, fun, entertaining, and enjoyable few days of racing. Best of luck on the crit today, chicas!

In other news, our pink-clad friend Jon finished 2nd in the Men's Cat 3 road race and will try to take the yellow jersey today in the crit. And, Arley left Toona early to race the Iron Hill Twilight Crit and ended up in 8th!

Best news of ALL - BADGER raced solo at the MABRA Master's Championship Crit! After racing a VERY smart race, she outsprinted her competition for the
WIN in the 35+ race!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Upgrade Congratulations!

CAWES is proud to share the exciting news of two Category 2 upgrades this season! For the 2011 season, CAWES welcomed Ky (aka AK or Ramba) and Becky (aka BChan or Turbo-Can-Chan) to its roster and both riders have roared through this season with one fantastic result after another. Ramba has shown her overall versatility as a racer with her wasabi-smackdowns that included taking a podium every day at the Tour de Syracuse Stage Race (1st-RR, 2nd-TT, 3rd-Crit) to secure a sprinter's jersey and overall GC and her 2nd place GC finish at the Tour of Washington County. BChan's sprinting prowess secured her two WINS in the Tour de Syracuse Crit and the Ride Sally Ride Criterium and a fantastic top 20 finish in her first NRC race at Tour de Somerville. Congrats ladies!

Monday, July 4, 2011

When CAWES Attacks

The ladies of CAWES were out and about this weekend at various and sundry locations. Some were chilling their legs in preparation for the big week at the Tour de Toona. Others were warming their legs up (and wearing them out) at some local races in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The crew descended upon the Heart House Omnium in several forms - Kacy, Sarah and Becky attacked the Saturday race, keeping the pace high and trying to cover and counter strong attacks by Stacey Jensen of Kenda and Amy Miner. The race ended in a field sprint with the Choppah leading a line of riders through the final corner and Kacy and Becky taking 3rd and 5th in the field sprint.

3 and 5 came back to haunt us in Sunday's race when Sarah, Becky and Leah lined up for day 2 of the 3 day omnium. This time, it was Becky who took 3rd, Sarah 5th and Leah 6th from a 6 woman breakaway. Though we attacked and attacked, Colleen Gulick, Victoria Hanks, and Amy (mentioned above) were extremely attentive and wouldn't let us go.

The third day was just for the BChan, who headed back to finish off the omnium. Narrowly escaping a crash in the final corner, Becky sprinted for 5th on the day and 3rd in the GC overall.

Kacy took her legs to Rodale on Sunday to face off with Arley against some wicked competition that included Christine Fennessy, Dana Walton, Jess Chong and Sue McQuiston (honorary Wasabi Warriors at Toona), and others. Rumor has it that Arley was an attack-throwing monster and that her tremendous work set Kacy up for a great field sprint finish for 2nd.

All in all, it was a very successful weekend for the team.