Monday, August 19, 2013

Dawg Days

It's touted as the "End of Summer" race.

It's a fun circuit in Bowie, MD.

It rains... Every. Single. Year.

It may be one of our favorite events of the season!


This year, 5 of the CAWES ladies lined up to race against a VERY strong field of MABRA riders.  BChan, Little D, Badger, Borda, and Choppah ignored the overcast skies and the constant threat of rain (which eventually happened, beginning during our race and coming down heavy at the start of the Men's 1/2/3) to start the race alongside the beautiful chicas of ABRT, the super legs at NCVC, and a few one offs from Artemis, EPS, and Colavita (it was great racing with you again, Lindsay!!).

It was a pretty fast race, all in all, with a nice tailwind helping us up the dragger of a climb leading to the finish.  We tried to be very active in the race, hoping to get Little D off in a strong break.  We attacked, we countered, we watched, we waited... but, it was not to happen.

BChan on the attack

Little D being SUPER attentive

With two to go, they offered a Gambler's Prime.  A Gambler's Prime is presented late in the race - with 2 laps to go, usually - and is exactly what it sounds like... do you take the gamble on winning a nice prime (in this case, $100 for first and $50 for second), or do you save your legs for the final sprint?  When we came up toward the line, an NCVC rider leapt for the prime.  Choppah was sitting near the front to position for the final lap leadout and expected others to follow suit.  But, when there was only one rider between The Chop and a $50 prime, she went for it... and got it!

Choppah grabbing the 2nd place Gambler's Prime

With only one to go, Borda and Little D got into great positions in the field.  There was a little argy-bargy at the final curve coming into the finish that bumped Borda back a few spots, but Little D held on for 3rd in the Cat 3s (PODIUM!!!) and 8th overall!  

We had so much fun at this was great to all be together for a wonderful event!  

With the season drawing to a close, the Wasabi Warriors will be spending some down time in the mountains for an end of the season riding weekend and hitting up some Fall Cross races! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

South Jersey Weekend

It was a South Jersey weekend.  To some, I suppose that means big hair and Bon Jovi.  for Team CAWES it meant celebrations and bike racing!

The weekend began with a party to celebrate the newly crowned Dr. Porkchop.  We ate lots of good food, drank some delicious libations, and just had some quality time together!

And, then... the fun started.

Sunday found us down at Mullica Hill (where the South Jersey Spring Series got our season started) to race against a small, but VERY strong, field of women!  BChan, Little D, Borda, and Choppah lined up against Amy Cutler, Jackie Paull, and Meg Moore for 35 minutes of pain!

The race was fast and, with the little popper hill before the downhill finish, it was also pretty painful!  We launched some attacks and finally managed to get Little D off the front with Amy.  Unfortunately, the move didn't work and Little D came back into the pack while Amy pulled away.  While she soloed the rest of the race, we contemplated tactics for the finish.

With several good sprinters in the field, we knew that it was going to take some wicked speed to make it on the podium.  Little D launched after the first turn of the last lap and kept up the speed up the final hill.  She snuck in behind Jackie and Meg and managed to cross the line 2nd in the sprint and 3rd overall!  PODIUM!

We think it might have been the Unicorn Magic that made Little D sprint that fast.  Just a thought!

It was a fun weekend with the team and we're looking forward to a HUGE field of women coming out for Dawg Days down in Bowie, MD on the 18th!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cycedrome (AKA: Slip and Slide) Criterium

BChan and I lined up at the Cycledrome Criterium on Saturday.  While I managed to avoid the rain at the Freedom Tour in NJ last weekend, the clouds seemed to stall just above the Rodale Fitness Park this weekend!

It was dry the whole ride up to T-town... as soon as I turned into the parking lot, the drops began to fall.  Sigh.  While I normally don't mind riding in the rain, I have to admit that this race was terrifying.  The course, which is notoriously safe due to it's soft curvy turns and lack of curbs, was a giant slip and slide.  The painted lines that separate the lanes were like mini-ice rinks and the soft curves became perfect locations for a wheel to lose contact with the surface.

This was all made a little worse by the speech that we got on the start line about being careful not to wipe out.  While speeches like this are welcome, they should best be left to generalized statements like, "It's a little slick out there, so please be cautious." Rather than, "Don't take that last curve too quickly, or you'll definitely slide out."  Ummm, yeah... for a "sprinter" like me, that just turned my "dash for the line" into a cautious "lope for the line."

But, I digress....

With a field full of sprinters (Colleen Gulick, Jackie Paull, Emily Elbers, etc.), the vibe was VERY attentive and steady.  Any attacks (of which there were few) were immediately covered and no one got more than a few feet off the front.

Of course, that didn't stop me from trying!  ;)

I launched a few half-hearted jumps toward the end of the race, but knew that they weren't going to let me slip off the front.  Alas, it ended with a field sprint for the line.  As the group fanned out across the road, I saw BChan running up the right hand side.  I stayed left and passed a rider or two before the finish.

We ended up 7th and 9th on the day.  While it wasn't the best day in the saddle, I was SO happy to be back out there with a teammate!  The last few months have been full of ups and downs and this weekend definitely counts as a major up - rain and all!!

Watch for quite a few of us to toe the line at the South Jersey Crit race next weekend!