Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Updating and Such

Hi All!!

Please Grizzly Bear with us as we work on updating our website and blog!  We try, each year, to give you some new and fun info about the team in the rider pages and on the site.  This always takes a bit of time and some finagling with the Blogger software!  So, if you come across pages that look a little wonky... please forgive the Pig-Shaped blog mistress as she messes stuff up so that it looks better!

In the meantime, we're happy to announce the complete 2013 roster!

Michelle "The Ninja Mitch" Hart
Robin "Badger" Meidhof
Becky "The BChan Bullet" Chan
Alaina "Grizzly" Gurski
Sarah "Choppah" Iepson
Sara "Lemming" Brams-Miller
Kristin "Hulk" Borda
Kathleen "Bad Kat" Wulfkuhle
Diedre "Little D Boss" Ribbens

We will continue to update you on our returning and new sponsors, but we're super stoked to announce the continued partnership with Specialized!  We love these bikes sooo much!  Thank you, Specialized, for your ongoing support of Team CAWES!  

Thanks for your patience as we make the sites purty for 2013!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

She's Bad...

She's BAD.

She's fast like a feline.

She's BAD KAT!

And, she's the newest addition to the CAWES 2013 roster!!!

We're very excited to welcome Kat Wulfkuhle to the team for the upcoming season!  Known around the cyclocross world and beyond as Bad Kat, she comes to the team from C3 Athletes Serving Athletes (for whom she will continue to race 'cross!)!  Kat's a powerful rider who's wicked 'cross handling skills and Cross-Fit Winter workouts have served her well on the road.  This year, she wants to test the waters of racing with a team in the hopes of upgrading to Cat 2 - and winning a few sprints along the way!  We're so happy to welcome Kat to the team! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cupcakes, Craziness, and Team CAWES!!

So, as the 2012 year nears its close, the ladies of CAWES are getting to know new teammates, nibbling on delicious baked goods, consuming amazing breakfast treats, and enjoying long rides on glorious fall days.  
 Apple Pancake Bake for breakie!!

Blue Moon Cupcakes... mmmm....

The post-ride included as much eating as the pre-ride, with the Choppah being introduced to Chipotle for the first time, EVAH!  Amazing, we know... how could someone so hip, so kewl, so mod NOT have eaten Chipotle before?!  Alas, everyone can rest easy... she has now experienced the joy that is the world of Chipotle.   

 All in all, of course, we're a very serious crew, you know (as the photo here clearly suggests).  

(Left to right, top to bottom: Becky Chan, Diedre Ribbens, Michelle Hart, Kristin Borda, Robin Meidhof, and Sarah Iepson.  Not pictured: Sara Brams-Miller, Alaina Gurski, and special, yet-to-be announced teammate #9!)

We definitely know a horse's rear when we see one, we are thoroughly dedicated to safety in riding... and we NEVER goof off.  EVER.

To say that we have fun together would be an understatement.  There's nothing so awesome as having a team like this.  We love it and can't wait to have a great 2013!

Finally, and most important...

We'd like to take this opportunity to introduce the newest CAWES team member, Diedre Ribbens!  Diedre comes to the team from C3 Athletes Serving Athletes (our FAVORITE cyclocross and fellow Twenty20 sponsored team).  Diedre, also known as Little D or Little Boss, is a Cat 3 road racer with a penchant for climbing and a love for stage races.  We're so excited to have Diedre on the squad for 2013, especially since she bakes us some MEAN gluten free peanut butter cookies!  ;)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cross Season Run-Up...

I know, I know... it should be titled "Cross Season Run-Down," but everyone knows that you don't run DOWN in 'cross, but you spend a LOT of time running UP!

This was my first major foray into cross racing.  I mean, I did two whole races last year, but this year was a bit more of a "scheduled" thing.  I had races scheduled starting in September and running through October's Iron Cross event!

The season went pretty well - I was top 10 in most of the local 1/2/3 races and top 20 in the UCI events that I tried out.  Racing against the best women in the area and, in some cases, the world, was pretty incredible.  In cases like the line up for Charm City when I chatted with the newly-crowed European Champion Helen Wyman, I'm reminded of how lucky we are to be able to race alongside women that we so admire and look up to.  Racing is hard... and fun.  The women at these races are awesome.  They are supportive, kind, open, and just rockin' hard core wicked cool.

The season got even better when I convinced (with a little help from her Mr.) Mrs. Borda to come out and try some cross races.  After a day of riding some trails (her on her MTB and me on my crossy) and perfecting our remounts, she bought a bike, signed up for a race, and donned her new kit with pride.

After Iron Cross, which I had somehow imagined would be the "end" of my cross season, I managed to sneak a few more in (despite a pathetically lame attempt at training), primarily in preparation for the biggest race of my YEAR - Turkey Cross.

Borda and I have been doing some serious training for Turkey Cross.  Completely unsanctioned and without any officials, prize lists, or registration, Turkey Cross is bound to become the underground sensation of the millennium!

The race includes a sandy run-up, some fun and twisting single-track, Tastykake hand-ups, and a Post-Race Thanksgiving Dinner!  Who could ever top that?!?!

All of my training will have been for naught if I miss my Tastykake hand-up.  I will go home in massive disgrace, to be sure.

So, the basic run-up (or down, what have you) of the cross season is this:

1.  It was hella fun.
2.  I can't wait to save up my dollars so that I can buy a wicked cool Specialized bike for next year!
3.  It was HELLA fun.
4.  I completed ONE race without falling over (Charm City).
5.  It was HELLA FUN!!
6.  I rid my remount of my hippity-hop, but still managed to catch my shorts on my saddle and fall over like a malfunctioning Weeble Wobble at Fair Hill.

It's now time to look forward to 2013!  Stay tuned for some new teammate and awesome sponsor announcements!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Women's Clinic

Borda and Choppah teamed up with Patty Woodworth at Action Wheels in New Jersey this past weekend to host a Basic Skills Clinic for some local women.

We had a GREAT turnout of ladies of all levels - those who have a few road races under their belts, some triathletes, and a few ladies who just purchased new bikes within the last month.  It was a wonderful chance to share our knowledge with some local ladies and help them develop their SKILLZ.

The clinic, one of a series that we will host for beginners, intermediate, and racing level chicas, included gearing and cadence, stability, practice reaching for bottles, holding a straight line, riding in a paceline, getting comfortable riding on someone's wheel, and position on the bike.

We stressed the importance of building confidence on the bike... both by yourself and in a pack.  We talked about ways to practice these skills so that riding in a group becomes less intimidating.  We went over group riding etiquette.  And, we discussed the most important aspects of cycling... including looking good, eating sushi, and drinking wine.  All of the most critical issues.

It was a GREAT day out on the bike and we had such a great time with these ladies.  We can't wait to have a few more of the gals out for the next one.... and the next one... and the next one.

Friday, September 28, 2012


The ladies of CAWES would like to send our deepest and most sincere condolences to our friends at  Cera Products, Inc. on the passing of company co-founder Esko Riikonen on September 25, 2012.

The family welcomes donations in memory of Esko A. Riikonen to the Child Health Care Foundation of Columbia Maryland at http://childhealthfoundation.org/, Direct Relief International at www.directrelief.org, or to the American Cancer Society.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Charm City

Charm City weekend is always very special for us!

Firstly, it's hosted by our sponsor shop - TWENTY20!!!

Secondly, it's an epic race with international superstars showing up and kicking some serious tail on an amazing course.

Thirdly, it's just totally rad and awesome.  What more can we say?!

2011 was our first Charm City event.  It was so much fun and so exciting that we immediately marked our calendars in bright lime green ink for 2012.

2012 turned out to be a pretty awesome year, too!  Three of the CAWES ladies lined up for different events over the weekend.  Nikki raced the UCI event on Saturday, and Sunday saw BChan line up for the 3/4 race and Choppah take to the dirt for the UCI event.  The girls had a lot of fun out there...and we were proud to be racing with the Twenty20 logo on our kits at this event.

For some photos of the event, why not take a peek here!!

To hear more from the amazing Helen Wyman (who took the win both days) check out this link.

And, a VERY special shout out to our favorite former CAWES/current C3 rider Arley for taking 2nd on Saturday AND Sunday!!  Super impressive, Gnarly Arley!!  Way to go, chica!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Special Olympics/Juniors' Day Out

Every year, our team co-sponsor's the Special Olympics/Junior's Day Out event with Twenty20 Cycling, Fuji Bicycles, Sticky Fingers Sweets n Eats, and Saturday was the perfect day to host this event - absolutely stunning weather of blue skies, bright sun, and mid-70's temperature.  I am going to go ahead and say that this event is one of most important things that we do as a team.  And I am so extremely happy that we were all able to attend and volunteer this year.

The events went all day, and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with all the participants.  Seeing how happy everyone was brought tears to our eyes.  I hope the images that we post here can show you just how important this day is, and what a wonderful experience it was.  

A special thanks to the Lea family who do SO much for the Special Olympics.  Thanks for all you do!!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tacchino Cross Race!

So, we roadie girls have been spending a bit of time during this late summer working on our cyclocross skillz.  Yep, that's skillz... with a "z."  We've gotten pointers from the great Kris Auer, the amazing Mike Birner, and the ever-stupdendous Jeremy Powers!  It's been a pretty awesome experience to learn from these guys!

As for our development.  It's been... well... entertaining.  We fall over on occasion.  We try not to run into things.  But, Nikki has already removed the hop from her remount (that lucky little rabbit!!).  The Porkchop, on the other hand, channels the Easter Bunny after every barrier and cannot seem to get back on the bike without a little hippety hoppety.  

Nontheless, Nikki and Choppah lined up with 22 other awesome chicas at the Tacchino Cross race in Maryland.  It was a gorgeous day - sunny and dry with temps hitting the mid-80s.  Considering the incredible downpour and tornados that hit the Maryland area on Saturday, the course was in pretty good condition and dried out during the day.  By the time we hit the course around noon, it was in good shape to be fast and smooth.

There were plenty of pre-race smiles!

Cross racing is pretty interesting.  There are some things that make it similar to road racing - other than the whole grass, dirt, mud, dismounting, remounting - um... k, maybe it's just the fact that both sports involve a bike that make them similar?  

Starts in cross races are pretty important.  Getting off the line fast and getting out in front early and quick is pretty important.  This is the start of the 1/2/3 race.

Choppah following Jennifer Tillman of Kelly Benefits through the course...
Choppah ended up 9th overall today! 

The interesting thing about cross is that, while you're always aware that other riders are "up the road," you become so engrossed in what you're doing and who is with you that you don't really dwell on it.  This seems to be a dramatic comparison to road racing, where a break rider is often kicking themselves (repeatedly) in the butt for not "making the break" and always thinking about what they would be doing "if only I was up there."  In cross, you tend to focus in on what you're doing and what the people in your immediate vicinity are up to.  If someone appears on your horizon line, you gun for them.  But, those that are out of sight become pretty negligible in comparison to the root that is attempting to grab your front wheel and take it out to dinner...without the rest of your bike!

Cross is hard.  There's no two ways about it.  Your heart rate sits right up around threshold for 44 minutes and 30 seconds in a 45 minute race (there are the occasional downhill dashes), your legs scream, your body gets the chills.  You want to grab a bottle to quench your dried throat but, of course, you don't have a bottle because it takes up valuable "carrying my bike on my shoulder " real estate.  You gasp, you sweat, you get covered in mud.  And, if you're anything like us, you get hooked (line and sinker) and keep going back for more!

Tacchino was a GREAT race!  A huge shout out to Squadra Coppi for putting on a truly phenomenal race.  A giant thank you to the other women who came out to make today a true sufferfest.  And, most of all, a huge thank you to Badger, who came out to cheer and lend support to two very nervous and excited teammates!

It was a good day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Latest News...

So, we've been some pretty busy folks around these parts.  We've been riding, we've been racing, we've been eating copious amounts of sushi, we've been trying to raise enough money to hire Lance Armstrong's cousin's brother's daughter's mother-in-law's dog as our new mascot.  It's been exhausting.

So, to make a quick recap for you on some of our latest news...

Jackie McClure locked up the Cat 3 PA Bar AND upgraded to Cat 2!  It's all in a day's work for Incline!

The team is/was/might have been (I don't know...it's just what I was told!!) currently sitting in first place in both the Women's and Small Team PA Bar standings!

The team continues to collect podium finishes in crits, road races, track events, and TTs across the WORLD (well, across the region...but, it might as well be the world!).  Most recently:

Jackie took 2nd in a PHOTO FINISH at the Cycledrom Criterium!

Alaina and Robin took the Regional Title in the Team Sprint on the track by a mere .24 seconds!

Even the Porkchop returned to racing this past weekend!!

I joined Nikki at the Dawg Days Criterium.  Normally, this race is a true summer race, with high temps and hot sun.  This year, it was a true "Welcome Back to Racing, Choppah" kind of event.   Just as we were lining up to race, the skies opened and the rain began!  It rained through our whole race, which kept us nice and cool and, ummm, hydrated?

The race was fun and super hard for me - I was on the rivet for the first half a dozen laps until a break formed off the front and the pack settled in a bit.  I was pretty lacking in confidence on the day, so I was content to sit in and see how things worked out.  Nikki and I went with every other move that tried to go and made our way to the line safely in the finishing field sprint.

A HUGE thank you to the ladies of MABRA for the many "welcome back" hugs, for the awesome racing, and a super special thank you to Nikki for getting out there with me in the rain!  It was GREAT to be back!!

Friday, August 17, 2012


So, it is well known that I enjoy driving down on random weekdays to Baltimore to ride my bike.  This year, it hasn't happened as much as I would have liked (considering my 6 weeks of rehab and Hawaiian Island hopping), but I've now managed to get back into the swing of things of this nature.  This past week, this meant heading down to Twenty20 on Wednesday evening for Kris Auer's cross practice with the BChan.  Kris, by the way, puts on one of the (if not THE) best cross race in the Mid-Atlantic - Charm City Cross.  You can read more about it here.  And, you can sign up for it HERE!!

And, we had a blast!  Our fearless leader taught us quite a few of the tricks of the cyclocross trade and it was a great opportunity to watch and learn from one of the best and most experienced racers in our region.

While neither one of us fell over, ran into a barrier, or otherwise embarrassed ourselves, we both like to do a little hippity-hop on our remounts and I have a tendency to cry out with a girly, "EEK!" when I feel that I'm about to take a tumble or otherwise land on my butt.

Nonetheless, it was a fun time and I'm already looking forward to the next event.  While the road season is not quite over, we've already turned our sights to cross season and team building for 2013.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Super Specialized

Most of you out there in cyber-land know that I am extremely devoted to my herd of Specialized bikes.

My relationship with them began in 2008 when I purchased my first Specialized Tarmac S-Works.  He quickly became known as "Falco" due to his interest in descending hills like a falcon screaming down from the sky upon its prey!  He was sleek, he was fast, he was my first "real" racing bike.

Since then, I have been lucky enough to expand my flotilla of bikes from one Specialized to the current haul of three!  It would have been four, but Falco had to be sold in order to make room for the most recent edition - "Mari" the Amira S-Works.  Along with the Basque goddess of the wind (Mari), the bike room is home to "Bernie," the HTC Team-colored Tarmac, and "Azkarra," the freakishly fast Transition time trial bike.

Needless to say, whenever anyone asks me about my bikes, they soon regret it, as I am capable of talking all day about the handling, the speed, the responsiveness, and the sweet design of these machines.

While I am not necessarily in the market for another Specialized (yet), I have to say that I am so intrigued by their most recent addition to the S-Works line, the aluminum Allez frame!  WOWZA!  This thing is HOT-OLA!!  And, light as a feather.  I can't wait to see how this line develops in the next couple of years.

I think that I may need to find another parking spot in the bike room...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Arsenal Crit- The Power of 3 and the Letter 'V' !

Nikki, Jackie, and I lined up with a small but mighty field at the Arsenal Criterium in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  Arsenal is my favorite kind of crit-- fast, technical, and flat.  

With no big numbers from any single team in the field, we knew going into it that we could control the race.  Aside from a random SUV on the course at one point, things were relatively uneventful.  We quickly shutdown any attacks and made sure to keep things together throughout the race.  With three laps to go, Nikki got on the front and I got on her wheel.  There were small counter-lead out trains that tried to form, but Nikki did an awesome job of stringing things out.  With little less than half a lap to go, I looked back and realized that a rider from North-Tek was on my wheel, and that I was going to have to sprint for this.   RAWR! Nikki led through the final turn and peeled off in style--a text book lead out!-- and I jumped.  It was probably a little early, but I was able to power to the line.  Victory!

Many thanks to my grrrlz Nikki and Jackie for coming out to race.  Snagging the V is always fun, but it’s a real treat when great team work gets you there.  Thanks also to QCW for putting the crit on, and to Julia Lonchar for the sweet pic of the finish!

Next up:  Grandview Grand Prix!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another First!

10+ years this Jeep has been my sidekick.  Brought into the family in 2001, it’s carried me from one athletic endeavor to another. Initially it was filled with lacrosse sticks and coaching equipment, then golf clubs for weekend outings throughout Virginia, and then skis and snowboards for the winter treks up to Vermont. But then in 2006, it got into the sport of cycling. When we added the three bike racks to the roof, it was a done deal – this truck was destined to carry me (and friends, teammates, and later my husband) to dozens of bike races over thousands of miles. 

Its longest trek for a bike race was Louisville, KY. Here, it helped us put our legs up pre-race after spending way too many hours on the road. And even when the battery decided to die on me on the first day of a stage race in Altoona, PA, we said, “eh, batteries are replaceable” and we were back on the road in hours. [I confess, at the time, this particular breakdown was extremely stressful; have you ever tried to tow a truck filled with six bikes to an unknown auto shop—only to be told they can’t get to it for a few days? We managed to bump that time estimate up significantly.]  A year later when the heat decided to cut off in winter, we said, “eh, dress in layers.”  And then a year later, when the AC decided to crap out on the front passenger side, I said “I’m driving!” so as long as I was chilled, no problem and besides my passengers could just put the window down for some fresh air. Fine, until the window decides it doesn’t want to go back up. Nothing a little tape couldn’t fix until we replaced the window motor.

You may recall the weekend we were headed to the velodrome and the truck was pulled over because (ahem) all but one of the tail lights was out. (See previous cawescycling post.) Just a little short-circuiting officer: the check-engine light is always on. No worries. Until it’s lights out for everything. Turn the key and silence. Dead. Even with a helpful jumpstart effort from a family member (Volvo). Yes, whatever you call the grips that used to hold the hood up long ago wore out, but that’s why you carry a bike pump with you no matter what. But the pump and the jump didn’t work.

So we called in the big guns. The Sponsors. Who? That’s right, the companies and businesses and individuals who support our sport. In this instance, a quick call to Beyer KIA in Falls Church, VA to let them know we were in the market for a new ride. Like now. 

But first we want to test drive a few. The KIA Sportage. The KIA Sorrento. The Optima Hybrid. I’ll spare you the Goldilocks analogy, but for the result: the KIA Sorrento was juuust right. Ahhhh. And here is a first for me. The car color we wanted – titanium – was only available on the car on the showroom floor. So what’d we do? Watch this video.
How cool is that…we watched our new car come right out of the glass-enclosed showroom to enter the world . . . of bike racing. Thanks Beyer KIA. You rock.