Saturday, December 20, 2014

Final 2015 Roster Announcement!!

It's been a crazy end to the 2014 year!

The team has gone through quite a few changes as we've closed in on 2015... some of our Wasabi Warriors have decided to "retire" from the sport of cycling in order to take up Adventure Racing, Rock Climbing, Knitting, and Underwater Basket Weaving.  We're very sad to say goodbye to them, but we know that sometimes it's just time to hang up the cleats.  We send them off with tons and tons of love and best wishes...and the knowledge that there's always a bike seat in the CAWES training center with their name on it!  ;)

As 2015 approaches, we are excited to announce the official 2015 race team roster.

Returning to the team as the premiere diesel engine and wearer of the most stylish party outfits imaginable... Mrs-soon-to-be-Dr. Kristin Borda!



Straight off her tour of the best parties at Lee-McRae College, forever the youngest member of the CAWES squad and our resident track and dirt specialist... Kati Lawrence!  


Responsible for the worst joke telling this side of the Mississippi (but, at least she can spell Mississippi), and the team aficionado of all things pig (and chicken?) related... Sarah Iepson!


And now for the new additions...

You've already met one of them, and the others will get their official blog introductions soon enough... just hold your horses.

Straight from eating more peanut butter in a month than most small European countries manage in a full year, with more power than she knows what to do with (not to worry, we'll help with that!), Beth Bonilla!


Slowly trying to take over Choppah's position as resident cat lady on the team (just kidding, she only has one... for now), we welcome the petite and punchy Polish powerhouse, Maria Dziembowska!


And last, but certainly not least... our top-secret (well, not anymore) tactician and the blonde bombshell, Meredith Ehn!


We are looking forward to an amazing 2015 year!  We are super grateful to our new and returning sponsors for making this year a reality...

Ambient Group

See you on the road!!!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Introducing...

We're super excited to announce the first new addition to the 2015 roster....

Meredith Ehn!

Meredith joins CAWES after guest riding with the team at the Tour of America's Dairylands in 2014. Formerly of Team FinKraft, Meredith's awesome tactical smarts, super powerful legs, and all around wicked cool demeanor make her a great fit for the Wasabi Warrior roster.

So, here's what you need to know about our newest addition:

Originally from Frenchtown, NJ... Meredith spent some time living up in Albany, NY before moving down to the Philadelphia area.  She remains settled in NJ and is the team's only true "Jersey Girl!"

Not only is Meredith a fantastic bike handler on the road and in the dirt, she is currently a full-time medical student working towards becoming a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.  When she's not studying or riding her butt off, she's a licensed Physical Therapist.  (Isn't that handy for a bunch of accident prone cyclists!?!)

A few more things to know:

Favorite Quote: "Happiness is only real when shared." - Christopher McCandless
One thing most likely found in her race bag: black socks
Favorite Race: Iron Hill Twilight Criterium
Racing Speciality: Crits
Favorite Color: Blue
Pre-Race Tradition: Chowing down (she's quite adept at making 2nd breakfast....after 1st breakfast has been consumed, of course)
#1 goal for the 2015 race season: Kick some major bootie!!



Welcome to the team, Meredith!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Farewell, Little D!

It is with a truly sad heart that we announce that Little D is moving on to a new team for 2015.

Since moving to Minneapolis last fall, she's been kicking butt and taking names as a Wasabi Warrior.  We were so happy to race with her this year at ToAD and watch her take so many podium spots that we started to lose count.  It's been a great year for Dr. Dre and we knew that a team out in her new hometown would scoop her up as soon as they realized what we already know... Little D is one RAD racer and teammate.


Little D really is one of the most amazing teammates anyone could ask for.  She is perpetually smiling and her positive attitude and encouragement makes racing far more fun and even a bit easier (even when your legs are getting ripped off).  We know that we were unbelievably lucky to have had the chance to race alongside this 100% class-act, and we're super glad that she's found another team that she can call home.


We love you, Little D!!!  And, we'll miss you!  Good luck, lovely lady!  xoxoxo

Monday, September 22, 2014

Year End Report

Good morning... Choppah here with your 2014 year end report!

It was an exciting year for the team and we're super happy about how it went and how things are already shaping up for 2015.

The team brought home 17 podium finishes this year, including 4 wins, 1 NJ State Master's Championship Jersey, and a bit of cash for the kitty.

We raced in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Illinois.

We competed in two major Professional Race Series events: The Tour of America's Dairyland and the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series.

We supported the Special Olympics Event and Junior's Day Out in Sykesville, Maryland: an event that we truly love and feel strongly about.  Even with a steady drizzle all day, the event was a real success and we had a GREAT time!!

We helped our favorite bike shop - Twenty 20 - and it's awesome crew pull off the wicked awesome Charm City Cross event on a perfectly warm September weekend (it was WAY too hot for 'cross, but, what can you do?!?!).

We hope that we made our amazing sponsors proud... because we can't possibly do it without all of their support!
- We can't stay hydrated without CeraSport!
- Our bikes would look and sound like creaky old messes if it weren't for ProGold!
- We wouldn't have bikes AT ALL if it weren't for Specialized!  And, they protect our feets-ies and our noggins, too!
- Our new kits were amazing thanks to VERGE Sport - and after chatting with Mike Magur at Charm City this weekend, we're even more excited to help give feedback on the newest iteration of their clothing line!!
- Those awesome new VERGE chamois are kept lubed and comfy with Crotchguard!
- Rudy Project keeps our eyeballs safe and protected.  Plus, we look HOT in those things!
- Keeping the rubber side down is so easy with Maxxis tires, and we just love the way they roll!
- Dr. George - Chiropractor extraordinaire, keeps us on the straight and narrow!
- Extreme Endurance keeps our legs fresh and fast!
- Teaism - our favorite fueling station... and those cookies... oooooh, the cookies!!
- Beyer Kia in Alexandria and Falls Church - the top secret Kia to our success!  Plus, they have hamsters driving their cars... which also come in lime green.  How cool is THAT?!?!

We're so lucky to have such fantastic sponsors to work with!  We hope that we can share the love for these awesome folks with all of you - visit their sites, their businesses, try the product.  We promise you... you can't go wrong!!

Thanks for an awesome 2014!  We can't wait for the next year to begin!



Monday, September 1, 2014

It's Labor Day!

Yep... and we all know what that means...

Summer is officially coming to an end.

School is back in session, the weather is getting cooler (haha, just kidding - Indian Summer approacheth!), Christmas decorations are beginning to appear in stores (What the HECK?!?!), and the road racing season draws slowly to a close.

All in all... it was a pretty good year for the ladies of CAWES!

Despite some injury setbacks for Badger, BadKat, and BChan, the team nonetheless managed to find the podium at several races, race hard in quite a few pro level events, and even bring home a State Championship jersey!

We're not QUITE done yet, of course... the start of September also brings us into some of our favorite events of the year - the Special Olympics/Junior's Day Out event in Sykesville, MD, and helping out our favorite local shop Twenty 20 to make sure that Charm City Cross goes off smoothly!

A few of the ladies will be clipping in to race some cross - others have a few more road races in the mix - even more are already preparing for off-season training, which apparently includes something about eating funnel cake...


We are ever grateful to our amazing sponsors for helping to make this year possible.  Without their support, and the awesome support of our friends and families, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the time that we share on our bikes and together as a team.

We can't wait to do it all again next year!  And, don't worry - we'll have some special announcements about 2015 soon enough!  :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Chris Thater Weekend!


Staring down the barrel of September means only a few things... the start of the school semester, the arrival of cooler weather, HALLOWEEN MOVIE NIGHT on the horizon, and Chris Thater.

I've never gone up for this race before, and I picked the perfect year to give it a go.  They opened it up to a 2-day event with a USA Crits event on Saturday night and a Pro/1/2/3 on Sunday morning.  It was definitely going to be a challenge to race a super hard and fast event Saturday and then return to the same venue, for the same length race, only a bit more than 12 hours later.  But, I was up to the challenge and was accompanied by a few of my favorite local ladies, Deborah Leedale-Brown of EPS, Meredith Ehn of Finkraft, and Elspeth Huyett who was guest riding for EPS.  

We all drove up together to try our legs against a nicely stacked field that included LVG, Tina Pic, Coryn Rivera, Erica Allar, and Sarah Fader (among a host of others who could be named ad nauseum... if you want to see what the hurt looked like, you can just check out the results here!)

Sunday night's race was fast and super hard.  My legs were not feeling super fresh, but I fought my way through to the end.  There were a lot of attacks and a LOT of primes.  This kept the race super jumpy with a lot of surges and high power moments.  In the end, we averaged 26 mph and did 28 miles in 1 hour and 6 minutes.  Yipes.  

I wasn't thrilled with my finish on Saturday - my positioning in the last lap was awful and my legs just didn't have the jump needed to move up in the pack late in the race.

Thankfully, Sunday was coming and I had the chance to redeem myself!!

Sunday's race still included a field of over 40 riders.  Though a few of the big guns had opted out of this one (no Colavita team and no Coryn Rivera), the Fearless Femmes, Pepper Palace, and Mellow Mushroom teams stuck around to continue to inflict massive amounts of pain on the rest of us poor fools.

The race was nearly as fast as the evening before, averaging 25.5 mph.  But, it was much steadier - with fewer major surges and a more comfortable overall pace.  I was able to do some attacking, sit comfortably at the front, and feel like I had a lot more to give in this race.  A break got away with a few laps to go and, with every major team represented, stayed off the front for the rest of the race.  

I had a much better finish this time 'round - holding my own in a bunch sprint to take 22nd.  Just out of the $$, which went to 20 deep (sad face), I nonetheless feel great about the weekend of racing!

All in all, this was another awesome event... I have to give a huge THANK YOU to some of our sponsors, without whom this weekend would have been a lot cruddier!!

VERGE - My bum has never been happier - these new kits are the BOMB!!

CeraSport - thanks to your rockin' EX-1 - I didn't dehydrate on Sunday!

Rudy Project - Sunday evening was raining and dark, but thanks to my Stratofly Photochromatic lenses, I thought it was high noon!

ProGold - despite driving the bikes in the rain, racing in the rainy and wet conditions, and racing twice in one weekend - my bike looked PRO because of ProGold!!!

Belated Iron Hill Post!

OK - so, I'm a terrible blogger.  I meant to post this a looooong time ago, but, well... I'm a slacker.

So, here goes.

I was so nervous about this race.  I'm not sure why... other than the fact that it's a big deal 'round these parts (lots of folks come out to watch and the racing is always high intensity), it was going to be streaming online (my first ever live streamed race - and my Mom, Dad, and GRAMS were going to be watching), and I wanted so well to do well!

Becky and I lined up that evening with a nicely stacked field.  Not too big, with just over 30 women regged for the race, I knew that it would be fast from the gun and for the first few laps.  The course is a straight up 4 corner crit, with a mild climb between turns 3 and 4 and a false flat through to the start/finish line.  The road surface is nice, with a few bumps on the final straight, but nothing too gnarly.

I was right about the fast from the gun, thing... it was blistering for the first 5 laps or so - thanks in part to a prime on the FIRST lap!  I was on the rivet, but never OVER the rivet, so all was well.  I had pretty cruddy positioning during that stretch, so I was fighting a bit too hard near the back.  Nonetheless, I held in there and the pace eventually slackened up a bit.  At that point, I was able to move about in the field a bit.  I felt confident and comfortable and knew that it was a matter of making it to the finish for me to be a happy Chop.

With about 12 or 13 laps to go, a break got off the front and the pace in the field lessened a little more.  By that time, there were only about 25 riders left in the group, so I knew that this was a good time to be a bit more active.  I launched some attacks, sat nearer to the front, and felt good for the rest of the race.

The end got a bit whacky as the break lapped us just after the finish line when we had 2 to go and they had 1 to go.  Turns out (you learn something' new every day), that meant that we suddenly ALL had 1 to go.  I was not prepared for that (after hearing "2 TO GO, 2 TO GO, 2 TO GO!!!") as we crossed the line just a few seconds earlier.  Needless to say... I didn't sprint.  At all.  Not a bit.  Grrrr....

I'm still THRILLED with my finish and my race - so, all is well...

And, team CAWES brought home some DOLLAHS, so all was even better than well!

Thanks to all who were out on the sidelines screaming and yelling!  I heard you!  Honestly, this may have been one of the most exciting races I've done in a long time.  The crowd was AWESOME, and the energy was high.  Fun stuff!!

See you next year, Iron Hill!

Thanks to Scott Kingsley for this photo... and thanks to Fearless Femme for allowing me to get my face into their photo shoot!  ;)

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Freedom Tour

I loved this race last year.  It was one of the only races that I was able to enter last year, and I managed to eke out a $50 prime.  I was ecstatic.

This year, I was looking forward to the race again.  Then, I saw the start list.


My gut reaction was... "oh, crap... this is going to be HARD!"  Which, I might add, is a good thing!  But, as a non-sprinter going up against the likes of Amy Cutler, LVG, Deb Leedale-Brown, Lauren Dag, and Kristin Lotito... I was not sure what would happen.  Nonetheless, I was determined to race hard and aggressive.  And, with a lot of solo riders in the field (only Comedy Central and EPS had more than one rider, I think), I knew that working with Meredith would be to both of our benefits.  She got off the front early in the race and snagged a prime, so things were already looking good!  


The race was super aggressive, which I love!  As expected, Lauren launched some strong attacks to try to stay away.  The group would let her get a gap and then slowly start dragging her back in.  One attack saw me try to bridge up to her... as I got closer, LVG came around me and we kept up the pace.  But, with three strong riders up the road, the peloton decided that we needed to come back into the group. 

Things continued fast and furious up until the end of the race.  As we crossed the line with two to go, my legs suddenly felt great, so I launched.  I got a nice gap on the field and immediately turned on TT-mode.  I was feeling great and when I came through the start/finish and heard the bell, I knew that I had a slim chance of holding them off to the end.  I just put my head down and kept riding as hard as I could.  As I took the final turn to the finish, I heard the whir of rear hubs behind me.  I jumped out of the saddle and took the final hill with everything that I had.  Amy Cutler came around me just as I crested the hill and I just kept up the best I could.  I managed to hold off the rest of the stacked field for 2nd place!  



Even as I write this, I'm a bit shocked at the finish.  I'm thrilled by it, but still can't quite believe that it worked out like it did.  It will go down in my cycling resume as one of my best races to date.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Touring with the Fishes

Yesterday was the inaugural Tour de Fish in Somerdale, NJ.  Hosted by the Mambo Kings and the Flying Fish brewery, the course was nicely technical and really fun.  With quite a few true corners and a section of curving chicanes, this was going to be a blast!


The women's field was unfortunately small - with only 9 riders regged for the race.  BUT, it was a STRONG 9 riders that included Deborah Leedale-Brown of EPS, Victoria Hanks and Sarah Grogan of Peanut Butter and Co., Kelley Bethoney from Evolution, Jacqueline Paull from ProPower, Betty Tyrell from Somerset, and BChan and me!

To say that it was going to be a fun race would be an understatement.  

They gave us one lap neutral before the fireworks began.  As expected, I launched first - the second we crossed the line for the real start of the race.  For the majority of the race, we were single file or launching attacks.  It was anything but status quo for this race.  If we did slow down, it was basically only because the riders that were planning to launch attacks were getting their legs back together!  We launched, Deb launched, Sarah Grogan launched... it was aggressive and exciting.

Becky and I both managed to win a prime (COFFEETS!!!) in the midst of the race, which was very cool.  

Our overall tactic was simple... if I didn't get away (which I tried to do!), then we would concentrate on the sprint lead out.  It was a looooong sprint.  But, there was a nice stand of bamboo about 150 meters from the line.  BChan just said to me, if you can drop me there, I'll be good.  So, I just focused on that stand on EVERY single lap.  By the end, I instinctively knew where it was.  Because these girls were on me like mud on a pig and I wasn't going anywhere!

I took control heading into the last lap and set a tempo that I was comfortable with.  I knew that no one would come around me with such a small group... they were going to let me take it to the end.  I began to ramp it up leading into the 2nd to last corner.  After the final corner, I really started to jam.  I started my sprint with the hope of dropping BChan right at those bamboo plants.  It worked!!

Mr. Prokchop managed to capture this video of the finish.  While you can't quite make out the line...

video


BChan took the WIN!!!  Just getting Deb and Kelley at the line by half a wheel or so, we'd done it!  YESSSSS!

It was a tactically awesome day for us... and we're super happy with a win against a really small, but really strong field.  Thanks to the other girls for a great, positive, aggressive race!  

Next weekend, BChan heads back home to the Midwest to tackle some more pro crits at Prairie States! Good luck out there, BChan!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Post With A Bit TMI...

If you are squeamish about discussions involved saddle sores and other uncomfortable undercarriage issues... consider this your warning and click on this link here.  Trust me, you won't be sorry.



OK... for the brave souls who have remained...

Saddle Sores.  They suck.  Big time.  And, we all get them.  Or, do we?!?!

One quick google search will turn up a host of websites talking about these painful little demons and give you a zillion tips on how to treat them, get rid of them, or keep them at bay.


I know that the ladies on the team and I have had our fair share of run-ins with painful posteriors.  It's not an uncommon thing to keep various "treatment tools" on hand for just such instances.  These include hydrogen peroxide, sterile needles for lancing (oh, yeah... doesn't that just sound divine), hemorrhoid cream (yes, this actually works on some types), alcohol (both the kind in the medicine and the dining room cabinets), and donuts.

Donuts, you say?!?!  Mmmmm...


No, unfortunately, not these kinds of donuts.  THESE kinds of donuts.


In short, saddle sores are awful.  But, here's the thing...

Find the right saddle, the right saddle height, use your chamois cream appropriately - varieties abound, but I tend toward one of these two...



AND... find a pair of shorts that work, you can - in fact - avoid them!

I have had saddle sore issues for YEARS.  Until we went with our new VERGE kit for this year.  The chamois in the Women's Strike Bib is unbelievably, fantastically, wonderfully AWESOME!!  For the first time since I began cycling, I have not had a single undercarriage ulcer!  Not a ONE!  Now, I can't say for sure that the chamois in this short will work for everyone, but... if your underside is unhappy you won't want to be on your bike!  And, we ALL want to be on our bikes.

So, lube up and get spinning, gals.  And, if you're in the market for a new pair of bibs, give VERGE a shot!  :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Podiums!

Or is it podia?  I'm not sure of the plural of the word (I suppose I could look it up on the interwebs... nah), but we haz them.

See??

We got some Wasabi Warriors on the podium (podia, podiums, podii) this weekend in New Jersey and Maryland.

BChan rode a smart and solid race with a leadout from the Chop for a 5th place finish at the MABRA Crit Championships.  With a super solid field of riders including the other podium gals, Alexis Zink, Michelle Miller, Mary Breed, and Stacey Jensen, we were quite pleased with the end result!  Apparently, so is Froyo - the podium puppy!


Choppah hit the NJ State Master's Road Race over the weekend to defend last year's win.  With some strong competition from CRCA's Chris Hadgis and FinKraft's Meredith Ehn, it came down to a small, 8-rider bunch sprint for the line.  Chop crossed in 3rd behind PA rider Kristie Nichols and the newly minted 45+ champ Jackie Paull, snagging the 35+ jersey for the 2nd year in a row.  Will a three-peat be in store in 2015?  Only time will tell!


Keep pedaling out there, lovely readers.  Keep the rubber side down and enjoy the sunshine and tailwinds!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

ToAD!!!

An amazing race series takes place around Milwaukee, Wisconsin from June 19th - 29th.  Mostly crits, with one road race, these events not only draw a host of the best domestic pros in North America, but also hundreds of men and women from Category 5/4 and up.  It's a tremendous week of racing, and I was so happy to be a part of it this year.

Now... if you want to read a post about winning $1000 primes, stepping up on the podium, or getting your photo taken a zillion times by On the Rivet, you'd best follow this link... because MY post is about survival, pushing my limits, multiple 2nd breakfasts, the best host ever, and a fantastic week with amazing people.

So, here's the recap of our week in Milwaukee!

Little D, BChan, and I headed out to the land of cheese with a guest rider in tow!  Meredith Ehn of FinKraft joined us as our fourth Muskateer, and we had a GREAT time together.  We stayed in an apartment in the city (mercifully close to a Colectivo Coffee shop) with a fantastically awesome host named Jill.  She graciously gave us the run of her place, allowed our clothes to cover nearly every inch of the place, and watched us take in pre-breakfast, 1st breakfast, and 2nd breakfast every day.  The best part about ToAD is that all of our races are in the evening, so we get to enjoy the best meal of the day several times over!


But, I guess I should talk about the races, eh?

So, the maps below show the races that we did.  Little D got there in time for Grafton on Saturday and had a great race.  


The rest of us joined her for the Waukesha Race and missed her while she had to go back to Minneapolis to work for the week.  She rejoined us for Downer and East Tosa though, so we definitely got a bit of time with her!

So, here's how it went...

Waukesha was the first race of the series for us.  Technical and fast, the course looked like this...


The race went well for a while until a few gaps started forming at the back.  Of course, the back was right where I was sitting!  I'm always amazed when I get into the pro fields that some riders are really not very good at cornering.  I guess this is probably due to either upgrading too quickly and not really learning technique, or that they just aren't super coordinated on the bike.  Anywho... one corner on the course caused a bit of trouble as it had a strange downhill drop into an off-camber right hand turn.  People were really slamming the brakes into it and it was causing some pile-ups.  There was a crash that caused us to be neutralized at one point.  Nonetheless, for the first race of the series, I was happy to finish just off the main pack safely and ready to race again the next day.

Then came, Beloit...


A crazy fun course, Beloit crossed over a river twice in the 2nd half of the race.  On the line, my legs were feeling great, and that feeling continued into the first half of the race.  And then... it happened.  I suddenly realized that I was not thinking clearly.  I was going into corners with my mind completely elsewhere.  I was hot.  REALLY HOT.  I was overheating.  Not. Good.  I dropped off the back of the pack and waited for the Official to pull me (my goal for the week was to not DNF).  Thankfully, the course was short, so it only took a few laps for him to get me off the course (PHEW).  I immediately went back to the car, got some liquids in me and prepped for the next day.  Meredith stayed in for a solid finish this day, making sure that CAWES was represented well in the results!

I spent the next 12 hours trying to combat my epic bonk.  I drank pedialyte (ewwww), got some Endurolytes in my system, and kept my legs tightly wrapped in recovery tights!

Next up, the brutal course known as Schlitz Park...


Looks fun on a 2D map, doesn't it?  Except for the fact that the blocks from Pleasant to Reservoir are a relatively steep uphill and the really technical part from Reservoir back down to Pleasant (the part with the 7 turns) is a super fast descent.  Ugh.  This was bound to be interesting.  

The uphill really wasn't that bad.  I mean, it wasn't FUN, but I was comfortable climbing this hill with the pack.  In all honesty, it was a perfect climb for me - the right grade and the right length for me to feel just fine.  Plus, my legs were nice and open on this day and I was feeling great.  BUT... that descent.  Oy.  It was fast and it was technical.  Within two laps, the gaps began to open up and they were nearly impossible to close.  

Meredith and I found ourselves in a nice group of riders that eventually got to sprint for the line.  We came in right next to one another, taking 2nd and 3rd in our "field sprint."  We were happy with the ride overall, but even more happy with our post-ride activity... visiting the Lakefront Brewing Company!


We took the next day off and enjoyed some time with family, friends, and sailing with our hostess with the mostest!

Back to it on Thursday, we hit the road up to Oshkosh!


Finally!  A solid race - with the long straights on two sides, Oshkosh was very reminiscent of Somerville.  A few of my goals for the week were possible on this course, including launching an attack (early on, but launching nonetheless), sitting at the front for a bit (both Meredith and I found our way up front for a bit), and settling in for the finish sprint.  Again, Meredith and I finished right next to one another in the field sprint.  It was a good day and a good race.  

After driving back home, we got some rest and drove back up to the same area for the Fon du Lac race on Friday.


Another nice four-corner crit, Fondy proved to be another solid race for us.  Again, I found that I was able to make some moves around the pack, getting to the front and feeling really comfortable throughout most of the race.  Unfortunately, as we approached the bell lap, one rider suddenly forgot how to corner and made her way straight through turn 3.  While we all stayed upright, unclipping and trying to chase back on while the pro teams were setting up for a major sprint was not in the cards!  So, those of us who got caught out settled in for one final lap to the finish.  

The weekend approached and we tried to keep our legs in shape with coffee and easy morning rides...



But, we couldn't stop Downer and East Tosa from coming!


Downer is an AWESOME course!  We all LOVE this one for it's super fast straights and amazing crowds.  This race is definitely the highlight race of the series... including primes.  Ben's Cycles offers a "Super Prime" that cashed out at $1200 for the Women and $5500 for the Men's pro field.  Needless to say, when that much cash is on the line, the race is FAST!

All was going well until there were a few crashes.  Little D landed softly on her butt in one of them, and all four of us were forced to unclip for the 2nd one.  Though none of us were hurt physically, I was really frustrated, as I was feeling good and was happy with how the race was going.   There was only one more day to go, and it was NOT going to be easy.

East Tosa looks on a 2D map like a straightforward 4 corner crit.  BUT, a long uphill to the finish meant painful prime sprints and, after 6 previous days of racing, tired legs that were not really up to the task.


By Sunday morning, I was feeling pretty wrecked!  But, I really wanted to see how I could fare on this course.  It was hard, and I was unable to stay with the main field.  I'm happy with how I finished, but I'm THRILLED with how Little D and Meredith did!  They stayed in for a tough race that was nearly derailed with 3 to go when I huge crash took out the entire front of the field, including the whole Colavita team!  It was a slow speed mess that left a few riders with broken bikes, and one or two with some pretty unfortunate injuries.  Meredith was pushed up against the barriers and Little D had to unclip and put a foot down, but both passed through the carnage to finish the day.  

All in all, I cannot say enough awesome stuff about these races.  They were well run, fun, fast, and Milwaukee is a simply amazing city.  I know that I am already looking forward to getting back there next year, both to visit with our new friends and to race bikes.  

However, I'm also SUPER STOKED to get back to racing with normal, non-mutant-fast, women this weekend right here in NJ and Maryland!  

Thanks again to Jill for hosting us, to BChan's Mom and Dad for letting us crash at their house, to BChan for providing us with a team car for the week, and to my awesome ToAD teammates.  I had the best time with you all!  xoxo

Monday, June 16, 2014

Race Avenue

The team descended upon the Race Avenue Criterium in Lancaster, PA in force.  Borda, Bad Kat, Kati, BChan, Choppah, and Badger all took to the line for a fast four corner crit with a looooong stretch to the finish line that included a long drag of an uphill.

With a few tactics in our pocket, we knew that we were the largest team in the peloton and that folks would be looking to us to do some work and make things happen.  As we are never interested in disappointing any of our friends and wicked awesome competitors, we made sure to use our firepower to make the race exciting and fun.

A few laps into the race, we began to launch attacks and counter attacks to try to get a small break to stick.  Though we got ladies off the front several times, we weren't able to make a break work with an peloton that was extremely attentive.  Our best attempts happened with 8 to go and 3 to go when Choppah got away for about three laps and Borda took a solo flyer up until hearing the bell on the final lap.

Heading into the final lap, we got our sprint train together.  It was a good attempt, but we got swarmed heading into the third turn and when Choppah came through turn four to the finish straight, the train had been infiltrated!  ;)

Nonetheless, Bad Kat found some good wheels and made it up the hill to the finish for a strong 6th place.

While we didn't have the finish we would have liked... and we lost Badger and Kati halfway through the race to a crash... we still had a strong showing.  I guess Badger wanted to give her Specialized helmet an unscheduled crash test.  Thankfully, her beautiful noggin' was protected by the awesomeness that is the Specialized Prevail helmet.  We're so grateful to have such amazing equipment!!


One awesome part of races like this is hearing from your friends and competitors that they thought we did a great job.  We can't wait to see the photos from the race, as we're sure that some of our photographically inclined friends got some GREAT shots of our aggressive racing.

The best part?  Being together as a team.  There's NOTHING like lining up alongside women that you adore and knowing that everything you do out there is for the team.  We're all super grateful to have a strong bond on the bike and off.

Up next?  BChan, Little D, and Choppah take to the land of cheese and beer for some wicked fast crits.  We're talking about ToAD, people!  The posts will be forthcoming while we're there!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nebraska, Philadelphia, Arlington, Riverton... we race everywhere!

The Wasabi Warriors have been busy over the past few weekends.  We've raced in local State Championships, Stage Races, Professional Criteriums, the Largest Women's Professional Race in the Nation, and even hopped in with the boys for some speed work.  It's been a blast, and we're happy to write you up a quick little report here...

BadKat joined Mellow Mushroom as a guest rider for the Parx Casino Phillly Cycling Classic.  Lining up with some of the best female riders in the Nation and from around the globe, BadKat had a wicked awesome race, finishing just a few minutes off the lead riders after tackling the Manayunk Wall 5 times.  FIVE TIMES!!!  That 17% grade rips your legs off when you do it once... our fierce little Kat tore her way up that monster with the best women in the world 5 times.  FIVE TIMES!!!

Here's BadKat (on the far side by the blue barriers) ripping it up Lemon hill!

Little D has been out in Minnesota tearing up the local circuit!  She's raced more in the past few weeks than most people do in an entire season.  Turns out those northern folks know how to do this racing thing right!  Well... when there isn't 11 feet of snow on the ground!  ;)

 PODIUM!!!

Borda and Choppah hit the road for the NJ State Road Race.  After launching numerous attacks and trying to get the field to split up for the break, they settled in for a sprint finish.


Choppah took 3rd in the 1/2/3 Women's race thanks to an amazing leadout by Borda, scoring a lovely bronze medal!  :)

Kati headed to Arlington to put in a bid against the Pro women at the Air Force Cycling Classic crits.  Clarendon Cup - which has 5 turns in a 1K loop is probably one of the hardest races in the NRC/NCC circuit.  And, with the pro women's teams lining up at the front to set a blistering pace, it's a race in which the field often shrinks by nearly half before the finish.  Kati raced her rear end off on Saturday before heading to the Crystal Cup in downtown Arlington on Sunday.  A new course for this year, the race was fast and furious and Kati had a great weekend of racing in preparation for the onslaught that is ToAD!

Choppah had intended to scream around Arlington with Kati, but life got in the way a bit.  With no women's races on the local circuit, she found herself lining up with the Cat 3/4 men at the Riverton Crit.  This course is AWESOME!  With 6 corners and flat straightaways, it's a great course for testing the legs and cornering skills and is another race of attrition.  Though 55 riders started the race, only 37 were placed at the end of the day.   Fast and furious!  The boys were absolute gentlemen out there, and though she wasn't able to stay with the front pack of 20 riders, she managed to stay in the race for a 34th place finish (not even DFL!!).

It was a GREAT day and got her really psyched up for the trip out to Wisconsin for ToAD in two weeks!

What's next for the Wasabi Warriors?  

BChan, Little D, Kati, and Choppah are headed to Wisconsin for the Tour of America's Dairylands.  10 days of racing and lots of cheese!  WHEE!!!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tour of Somerville Weekend

Memorial Day brings on the nation's oldest criterium race.  And, it's right in our backyard!  So, I think that we're pretty lucky to be able to join some of the greatest female cyclists in the nation and the world in racing a gorgeous downtown crit in Somerville, NJ

But first...

The Tour of Somerville is the last of a series of races held each year.  For the first time in as long as I can remember, the Saturday event included a women's field.  Since it's only "up the road" from me here in NJ, I figured that I would give it a go.  So, after staying out a bit past my bedtime on Friday to go see a concert in the city, I drove up to Raritan for the first crit of the weekend.

My legs felt less than stellar on the trainer and even worse when I did some openers on the road.  Still, I thought that they might come around as the race got underway. 

The course was fantastically AWESOME!  It was a 6-corner short lap that looked like this...


The roads were pretty smooth and the corners safe and fast.  We averaged over 24 mph for the 20 mile race and it was super hard.  With a few rockstars in the mix (Laura Van Gilder, Emily Underwood, and Amy Cutler), it was bound to be speedy.  Every time one of them attacked, the elastic would stretch and gaps would start to open up.  Fortunately, I was always able to keep my wits about me and hang in.  At the end, I even had the strength to sprint... for 13th!  LOL!  Hey... I'm a Porkchop, not a Roadrunner.

Monday found BChan, BadKat, Kati, and I lining up for the Tour of Somerville.  I somehow found my way to the front row start line next to Hannah Barnes (the current British criterium champ) and Colleen Hayduk.  I soooo didn't belong there, but whatever. 

The race was fast and pretty smooth, but not particularly punchy.  Though the teams were willing to fight for primes all day long, there weren't any major moves or attacks off the front.  I considered one at one point, but had neither the guts nor the real inclination to give it a go.  With a strong crosswind on the course and the firepower of United Health Care, Colavita, and Fearless Femme out there, it would have been an effort in futility on my best day.  So, I sat in and waited for the finish.

All was well until turn three on the last lap.  Suddenly, a heap of bodies on the ground split the field in two.  We all managed to avoid touching the tarmac, but we all lost contact with the front of the group, pedaling hard to the finish, we were all satisfied with retaining all of our skin and clothing. 

Complete with icees, giant pretzels, and goats... Somerville is truly a great event for both us and the spectators.  Thanks to everyone who was out there yelling and cheering.

Next week, BadKat takes on the Manayunk Wall as she guest rides for Mellow Mushroom at the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic!  GO BADKAT!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Clean as a Whistle

I should have taken before and after photos.  Please don't ask me why I didn't.  Especially considering I normally take a zillion photos of everything (insert pictures of our cats here).  But, in this case, I didn't.  I know, I know...next time.

The reason I should have photographic evidence is that this amazing shout out to one of our newest sponsors would be a LOT cooler - and I mean a LOT cooler - if I had the photos to prove how my bike went from a greasy dirty mess to spotlessly, shiny, hey-did-you-get-a-new-bike clean!

And, it's all thanks to ProGold!  Whoa.  This stuff is RAD.  I've been using the lube for a little while now, which is saying something since I've been a die hard T-9 lube junkie for years.  I've been using the Xtreme lube and I LOVE it.

But, yesterday, I got out the whole kit and caboodle.


I surveyed my options with a keen eye and a strong desire to just start spraying random stuff everywhere!  But, I controlled myself and decided to start simple... some bike wash for the frame and some foaming Citrus Degreaser for the chain, cogs, and other little smarmy areas.  The grease and grime came off so easily, I spent about 10 minutes wondering why I wasted so much time all these years.  No need to scrub with a toothbrush or with any other form of scrubbing tool.  Nope... just a little spray of citrus foam and the grease basically ran away screaming!  It was amazing!

I've used the bike wash a few times before, so I knew how awesome that was... but this was my first experience with the Pro Towels.  One of those got some goop off the frame that's been stuck on there for years!

I'm getting ready to head out for my weekly Monday evening ride.  I'm going to spit shine her with a little Bike Shine and then brag about how wicked awesome this stuff is to whoever will listen (and probably even those who won't)!

ProGold... you ROCK my world!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Early Season Races and Stuff

Hi!

The Choppah here... giving you a little rundown of what we've been up to so far this year.  Sorry to pack it all into one quick post... I promise that we'll get our act together to post more often soon!

And now, please bear with me as I speak about myself in the 3rd person...

OK... so here we go.

South Jersey Spring Series:

Borda, Choppah, SaraB, and BChan all kitted up in the freezing tail end of winter to race the South Jersey Spring Series.  Held through the month of March, the race included a crit each weekend with points contributing to a series podium.

Borda and SaraB practiced their pack riding, cornering, and attacking-like-bats-outta-hell skillz in the 3/4 race.  In the final day of racing, Borda picked up a wicked awesome 4th place finish.

Choppah and BChan spent their time gasping for air while trying to hold the wheel of some super fast 45+ men!  Choppah finished the series with two 3rd place finishes and one 4th place finish.  This was enough to earn 2nd overall in the series and to earn some fast miles in the legs to prep for the "real" races ahead!

Meanwhile... Badger was spending time in SPAIN!!!  That lucky little mammal got to ride some of the most gorgeous roads in Europe with our dear friend SaraZ!  She came back with legs like these from all the climbing:


But, don't stare... she's worried that her muscles got too big.

The team lined up en masse last weekend at Chantilly and Dolan for some wicked racing with the ladies of MABRA!

Mitch captured a 3rd place podium finish at Chantilly on Saturday.

Dolan was a great race - we were in every move that went off for the day... unfortunately, we didn't have the firepower for the finish!

But, there's this that you can watch:



Fun stuff.

OK... that's it for now.  More soon, we promise!!