Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dee and Lee Tackle First Crit of the Season

So your roving race reporter is writing this from the, um, comfort of an ice bath. Why does THE reporter need an ice bath after a crit race? Hills...........long and steep, longer and challenging; short that will kill you for no apparent reason that your eyes can detect; and, sneaky ones that look flat. That is what you get at Kent Park even if you are just walking the course. Hills, hills and more hills; all of which go up, up and up.

"But don't they have to go back down?" you tentatively ask. Of course they do. And that is also a problem. Have you ever cleared a climb while riding where you crest and smile at the peaceful coast back down? Not at Kent Park.
It teases you by rocketing you down before the largest hills, into a tight right turn and then a quick rising grade. You had better tuck, lean and say a little prayer. If you use your brakes here, there will be no momentum to start this hill. Not that the same momentum will carry you far but every little bit helps. Can you tuck and lean at 38 mph?

Congrats goes out to our fearless duo of Lee and Dee
for rising early and hitting the hills. There may have only been two VeloRosians in the sea of Mercy blue (15 of them) but these gals really stood out. The almost envious glances at the staging said it all: THE NEW KITS ROCK!!!!! Several of other teams' riders looked over and then down almost with a sigh.

Well the race was a torture! Dave joined in the race also sporting the new kit jersey. The guys may not have been so in awe but they knew that they were in unique company. How many of those guys logged more than 130 miles that day as Dave rode HOME from the race via gravel.
When you talk VeloRosa you talk dedication.

Overall Dee took 5th and Lee 16th. All of the Cats are grouped together. No matter where they placed, they both are #1 in our pink hearts for courage to tackle
this event so early in the season. Now where is my Advil.............

Your Roving Race Reporter,


Photo credits to Dave M and Angy Snoop (Marion, IA)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two Newest Members Take 3rd & 4th

Pink pride has been claimed by two of our newest members as Ali Y and Sara B took third and fourth, respectively, at
the second gravel race of the Iowa Spring Classic Series at Colfax.

With Spring winds making the long hill climb almost unbearable, the race officials shortened the race by one lap, much to the surprise of both Ali and Sara. Ali had one more surge left in her and was positioning to take the lead on the final lap but had to settle for third. She will have to wait for the final race at Grinnell in two weeks to show what she can bring to the table.

Our finest coach, Dave, raced in the top twenty but more impressive was his drive to ride his bike to the race, do the race and ride back to Des Moines.
Dave is currently prepping for the Trans-Iowa race where he will attempt to ride across the state (330 miles) near the end of April.

Your Roving Race Reporter,


Picture credits to Julie G and Dave M

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Classic Gravel Race at Hills

Mother nature must be on vacation as she failed to pull out the typically cold, blustery, sometime snowy, weather for this opening round of the 2012 road race series! Not that anyone complained. The bikers took to the gravel near Iowa City for a test of guts and gumption.

The nice weather pulled some of the top riders out of the woodwork for this early test. The women's race was all open category (meaning the beginners raced with the experts). But VeloRosa was not put off by this. Kim H hung on strongly with the leaders to take 4th in what was one of the fastest races for this venue in the last several years. Joann S worked with Kim and then continued the chase to take 8th and Megan K followed up with an 11th place showing.

What a great showing for the first race of the season.

On the Men's side, Jason S took 14th in the 4/5 race. He continues to develop into a fine racer as he enters his second season after a late start in 2011. Tobin B suffered deflated expectations when his tire went flat at the sound of the starter gun. Coincidence or was the gun loaded????

Looking forward to the results from the Colfax race this Saturday.

Your Roving Race Reporter,



Spring graced VeloRosa with temps in the high 70s for the first Monday night ride. A sizable group of ladies (and our three favorite guys) showed up for the inaugural ride for the 2012 road training.

Do you need to be a racer to attend? Not at all. This is all about learning to ride with others which leads to LOVING to ride (even more than you do right now). No matter what your current skill level, come out and join us. Everyone will learn something.

The key to getting stronger is to ride more. With it still being relatively new in the season, most everyone is shaking off the dust. Start now and grow stronger with everyone else.

We will be staying in the park for next several weeks before taking our newly-honed skills to the roadway. You will be learning to ride with others in a double-pace line (picutred at right) or eschelon. You will become a stronger rider this way.

Give it a try: Monday, 5:30 p.m. at Pal Joey's near 63rd and Grand. Just show up and ride.

Your Roving Race Reporter,


Friday, March 2, 2012

Pink Takes Two of Top Three at CIRREM

Even though it has been a comparatively mild winter, it still has been plenty cold to be out riding on the gravel. Consider that an average ride is three hours. That commitment paid off as Joann Schmidt placed second followed by in Dee Mable third. This dynamic duo showed that hundreds of hours if bike time was well worth it.

As nature seems to have a great sense of humor, the promised 45 degree weather and dry gravel that was forecast turned out to be ice-covered gravel and below-freezing temps for the start. If you have never enjoyed the pleasure of riding gravel near The Cumming Tap, trust me the hill goes straight up at angles that more than challenges you. However the same steepness greets you on the way down. Add in ice and you have a lung-busting climb followed by a harrowing, luge-like decent......times 10. The good thing is that the other hills are less challenging in a funny sort of way.

Congrats to Joann and Dee for starting off the VeloRosa season in prime fashion!