Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lee Wins State Cyclocross

With the temperatures hovering just above zero and north winds cutting across the field, eight brave women started the Masters State Cyclocross race last Saturday. It was the kind of bitter cold that makes one wonder why anyone would be on a bike nonetheless be a cheering fool! Pink racer Lee decided that it would warmer to go fast. She took off right behind Cat 1/2/3 racer Robin and let 'er rip. There was one master's racer that got in between Lee and Robin but she knew she was a hunted woman. Lee used great strategy to stay close and then surge into second place. Once she was there, she pushed the pace to create an insurmountable gap between the other master racers behind her. This caps a great 2013 campaign for Lee where she climbed the podium in all 13 mountain bike races (11 wins) and won both master's cross races (Capital City and State)which she entered. A big VeloRosa cheer to Lee, racing for the Pink! Your Roving Race Reporter (now heading to warmer climates), Luann

Thursday, October 24, 2013

VeloRosa Sweeps 45+ at Night Cap Cyclocross

The annual battle under the lights took place at the Night Cap Cyclocross on a crisp fall evening.  The air was cold but the racing hot.  The added vibe was provided by fans, some three deep, cheering and jeering the riders along.  The course packs a lot of distance in a small patch of land behind Mullets.

When around 40 women take off in one bunch, it is quite a scene.  Nestled in the group was a contigent of pink racers including Ali, Michelle, Erika, Dee, Kim, and Joann.  The race spread out a bit and the real race was in the Master's 45+.  Lap after lap three ladies exchanged the lead.  Kim held it at the start but Dee and Joann were working to hunt her down.  Pretty soon it was clear that this category was a VeloRosa race.   These seasoned bike racers were putting on quite the show.  There was little time for plucking dollars or grabbing a chug of beer.   They put on quite a show in the multi-lap race.   In the end, Dee came out on top with Joann second and Kim third.  What a great showing for the pink racing gals.

In the 35+ race, Erika held on for fourth place.  She has been tearing up the courses this fall prior to a break to rest her body.  She came back with a full charge and showed it at this race.

Ali and Michelle took on the super large Cat 4 race.  Both ladies put down a superb effort and represented VeloRosa in fine fashion.

Even with all of these racers, the crowd contained tons of pink-clad teammates.  If there was one certainty on this night, VeloRosa is the premier women's biking team in Iowa.

Congrats to all that raced and cheered!

Your Roving Race Reporter,


The blog site is not allowing photos at this time.  Hopefully they can be added later!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pink Gals Clean Up at the Iowa State Mountain Bike Championship

Wow!!! What a weekend of mountain bike racing for the VeloRosa Team. The woods were littered with pink jerseys burning rubber throughout the flowing trail. The Mullet is a premier race that caps off the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series. This year is also served as the State Championship. The race kicked off with the marathon, 4-hour race. It was hard to tell if this was a race open to all bikers in Iowa or a Pink Gals race. Dee, a regular marathon racer, was joined by Angie, rocking the fat bike, Kristin, Ali, and Michelle. Dee took second and Michelle third but each lady rode repeat laps! Thanks to our mountain bike trainers Bruce and Kyle for honing everyone's skills so that they could put it down for this race. The Cat3 race featured newer pink racers Kari, Amy and Heather along with Deann, whom came out for her first race of the year. Kari and Amy were regulars at the team mountain bike training rides and showed off their collective confidence on the trail. Heather finished second with Kari coming in shortly thereafter capturing third. Kim took on a strong field in the Cat1 race. You may ask, 'What is the difference between Cat1 and 3? About three more times up those step, rutted hills that try to kill you in the last mile. Kim showed her strength by finishing strong and by always flashing the smile even while she is suffering. Joann, the leader in the IMBCS series Cat2, was challenged by one of the biggest field of the year. In addition to her main challenger for the year, Katherine, several newer faces from multiple states showed up to try to strip her from the podium. But do not fear, Joann rode her race and beat all of the challengers. The surprise of the race came when Lee put her big gal race shorts on and moved up from the comfort of Cat3 which had been her candy all year long. In her first Cat2 level race, she lost the main pack early but kept at it. She gradually started to pick off those in front of her. Lee's legendary hill climbing ability proved to be her ace-in-the-hole that lead her to a 30-second win over the third place racer. Joann and Lee also placed first and second, respectively, in the State Championship for Cat2. Watch out next year for both of these ladies to be tearing up the dirt!!! Wow! That has been a lot of dirt to cover for this mountain bike season. As much I would like to take some time off and only look at pints of beer, I guess I will be checking out the strange sport of cyclocross. Do these pink lady racers ever take time off? Cheers to all that race and bigger kudos to those that come out to cheer and support our rocking ladies! Your Roving Race Reporter, Luann (NOTE: I am having problems with getting this to format. I apologize for the run-on paragraph!)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Palooza Cross

The photos say most all that you need to know as to why bikers swarmed Altoona on a hot summer day. Cyclocross is just plain fun. The VeloRosa women took to the course and proved that biking, running, falling and smiling make for a great day. Erika led the team with a podium, third-place finish in the Women's Masters 35+ categoy. Congrats to Kim, Amy and Michelle for tackling this challenging course. As much as the photos above show fun there is more to 'cross than just serious racing. If you really want to enjoy this sport you need to look beyond the race track and have some fun. Kim demonstrates how to stop and smell the green flowers along the course! Many more races to come. So get out and ride! Your Roving Race Reporter, Luann

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

VeloRosa Wins State Team Time Trial

Erika and Heather brought a summer of road racing and Joann and Lee brought a season of mountain biking to form a team that could not be beat at the Iowa State Championship Team Time Trial in Altoona. These pink gals took on the 60-mile course in the August heat. This was a 6-lap race that featured plenty of hills and 90-degree turns. The team time trial challenges the four racers to work together for the whole race. The final time is based upon the third racer that crosses the line. In true VeloRosa fashion these ladies worked together for the 59 of the miles and then sprinted for the finish. They completed the 60-mile race in just over three hours. Congrats Team VeloRosa for bringing a state title home! Your Roving Race Reporter, Luann

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sugar Bottom Scramble Showdown

We knew that Lee was pretty crazy in her zest to bike race. This weekend in North Liberty proved just that. She headed over to race without her constant sidekick Joann. A solo pink racer. This race is considered one of the toughest in the IMBCS. This course is known for its heavily rooted miles, steep drops, twisty climbs and cyclocross hill. Why would a mountain bike race have something called cyclocross hill in it? Just for the fun of it. The spectators could be heard cheering loudly across the full course as riders shot down a steep and long down hill, across a narrow bridge and straight up what appeared to be a mirror image of what they just rode down. When Lee first saw that this was part of the race she thought about quitting. You see, Lee races on blue- and green-rated courses. This was part of a black-rated trail. The ratings are similar to what downhill ski enthusiasts run into when they ski. But we all know that Lee is not a quitter. So she tightened her helmet strap, said a prayer and let 'er rip down the hill, nailed the bridge and in true cyclocross fashion ran up that darn steep hill. Oh, and this was the warm up lap. Race day temps were in the mid 90s. Lee toed the line with eight other racers. The tough, nine-mile course was on the outer edge of what she thought she could race. Most races this year have been in the 4-6 mile range. Add to it a ton of climbing and roots, and you have a leg buster. She shot off at the start for the gravel, steep, quarter-mile climb to the single track. One person got around her and the chase was on. Lee must not like to be the chaser because she threw caution to the wind and flew through the downhills; climbed like a woman possessed; over took the lead racer; and, was very happy to come through the mid-race point. However she was only half-way done. She sucked it up and went on to the harder part of the course. A few steep-climbing switchbacks knocked her off her bike and she got passed. She knew that there was another fast gal behind her ready to move into second so she kept charging forward. Then cyclocross hill appeared. Quite spent at this point, Lee sped down the hill and hit the uphill without a leg left to climb. As she dismounted and began to run up the hill, she could hear the crowd cheering the gal behind her. Quit Lee does not do. She made it to the top, used her cyclecross skills to hop on the bike and pedal off with the third place gal on her wheel. It was a mile race to the finish. "Ride it like you stole it" was Lee's mantra. She held on to second place with around a half minute gap. Lee best summed up how she felt: "I did not even think about a beer for 90 minutes and it took an additional 30 before I opened one!" For someone known affectionately as Brewer, that sums up the effort she put out in this race! Folks, that is how we race at VeloRosa. Congrats to Lee on her 7th consecutive podium finish in the Iowa series and 10th for the year. Your Roving Race Reporter, Luann

Joann and Lee Smoke Moorehead Mayhem at Ida Grove

Mountain bike racing returned to Iowa and our two pink gal warriors headed up to Ida Grove to take on this technical course. The single-track was in great shape and there was a ton of climbing. If there is one thing that these VeloRosa racers know how to do and that is climb. This course was perfect for that strength with both single-track and meadow-like climbs that lasted forever. The other side of long climbs is downhills. On these downhills, one has to trust the bike, get out of the saddle and let the bike float up and under the rider. Staying off of the brakes is a bonus that allows the speed to build. Then a little prayer, some hope and tons of skill carries the racers along. Joann, prepped for the Dakota 50, made short work of two laps putting a gap between herself and her nearest competitor. Lee got passed early on the cusp of a climb but fought back sticking to her philosophy that the first gal back to the single track has the advantage. Lee must have been scared after that brief loss of the lead as she rode like a women possessed. She ended up with a 2+ minute gap at the finish. This team could not have two different personas in these two racers. Joann looks calm and ready to roll. Lee looks like a foal in the starting gate for the first time. But both of these ladies know how to throw it down when the race starts. Congrats to both of these pink racers to bringing home two more victories! Your Roving Race Reporter, Luann

Sunday, July 21, 2013

VeloRosa Sneaks into Nebraska to Race

It seems that Lee and Joann have been back over the border racing across state lines again.  Not sure what the team is going to do to contain those two.  You would think they have something better to do with a weekend than race...............NOT!    Recently they headed over to take on the Tranquility Tire Tantrum near the west side of Omaha. 

Joann prepping for Dakota 50 in early September took on the four-hour race.  Yes, that is a minimum of four continuous hours of riding the single track.  She finished five laps (9 miles each lap)  in 4:26 minutes with her fastest lap at blazing 52:28.  She was the first woman to cross the line in this race.

Lee continued her winning ways by topping the Cat 3 field in a time of 54:45 with a margin of victory of over two minutes.

Congrats to our Pink mountain bike racers!

Yours Roving Race Reporter,


Good showing for Pink Gals at Clear Lake's Bikes, Blues and BBQ

Dee, Heather and Erika traveled north to take part in the latest time trial, crit and road race.   Both Erika and Heather raced all three to compete for the Omnium Series that was held on this weekend.  That means that each lady raced a time trial in the early morning then turned around to race the crit a few hours later.

Doing either one of these races requires preparation starting the night before with the right nutrition and fluid intake.  Doing both within a 3-4 hour period requires rapt attention to details right through the crit race.  Sometimes it takes so much out of you that a nap is required. 
But you cannot blame Heather for this as she placed 8th in the TT and 6th in the crit allowing her to finish 7th overall in the Omnium.
Erika also competed in both races on Saturday taking 10th in the TT and 12 in the crit.  She finished 10th overall in the Omnium. 
The crit was especially hard as they skies had opened up and dumped a heavy rain upon the course.   This crit race involves eight 90-degree turns at high speed.  High speed corners and wet pavement does not make for a safe combination.  Both pink gals handled it without incident.

They then celebrated with a post-race refreshment while waiting for VR's youngest racer to take her turn at the crit course.  Elisa then hopped upon her new-to-her road bike to see if she wanted to race like Mom ( aka Erika).

The race went well she she is pictured at left sprinting to the finish.  Below she enjoys her own version of the post-race reward.

Saturday brought better weather the the road race.  Dee traveled up to join Heather and Erika.   The Cat 1, 2, 3, race was loaded with talent from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and beyond.  Dee sized up the competition and put her race-face and took off.  At times the pace was grueling but she knew that if she stayed in the lead pack, she might have a chance.  The pack was almost 15 strong as it neared the end of the race.  Dee dug as deeply as she ever has and sprinted for the line.   Other riders slipped backwards past her as she gained ground.  The final surge took her across the line in 3rd place.  What an IMPRESSIVE victory for one of our strongest racers. Great job Dee!!!!

Heather and Erika lined up for the Cat 4 version of the same race.  They both had some fatigue from the day's prior races but got focused early and took off strong.  The Cat 4 race was a series of surges and pull backs, and never really settled into a good race pace.   This was somewhat frustrating for the VR racers.   A surge on a particularly tough incline picked Erika off the back.  The course would prove too daunting and not well-marked enough to allow her to finish with the pack.  Heather held in and finished strongly in 12th place.

Overall it was a good racing weekend for VeloRosa.   How awesome it is to see the Pink Gals out racing??
Your roving race reporter,


Pink Gals Take Gold and Silver at Iowa Games Mountain Bike Race

Photo: Congrats to Amy Lynch and Kari Anderson who took Gold and Silver respectively in the Beginners race at the Iowa Games Mtn Bike race this morning in Ames! Nice work bring'n home the hardware ladies!!:)

Helmets off to Amy and Kari for taking first and second in the Iowa Games Mountain Bike Race.  Both women raced in the novice category taking on this course for the first time.   Kari chose this as her first mountain bike race and garnered a Silver medal!   Amy gave mountain racing a go last fall and used that little bit of experience to take the Gold.

A big thanks to Bruce R and Kyle S for their work with these two ladies along with all of the VR gals that come out each Tuesday to learn the skills required to be successful at mountain bike riding and racing.   Both of these ladies have been regulars at the practices.  I guess that is why it is said:  practice makes perfect.

Rock on!!!!

Your Roving Race Reporter,


Lee takes Sunderbruch Cat3 Title; Joann 2nd in Ca2

Last week's IMBCS race was held in Davenport on a 9-mile course that had many awesome features built in to it.  This was the first year that this location was part of the series and it proved to be enjoyed by all of the racers.  The FORC club puts on a great event with plenty of fans, food and an atmosphere that guarantees a fun day. 

Lee's race was two laps while Joann also had two laps but with an additional blue-rated and a black-rated section.   The race started with a torturous climb up a paved trail that seemed to go straight up and  and never end.    Lee shot off the line and hit the pavement first.  After encouragement by Zoe R (winner of the Jr Girl's Cat) Lee made it into the single track ahead of the rest of the field.   The course was pretty technical for a Cat3 race.   There was a banked, wooden section that beckoned you to take speed into the walls and carry it right back out. 
The course had a bit of everything...........roots, climbs, steep descents, bridges, logs and a great decent prior to heading back to the start to do it all over again.  However, for the second lap, the steep climb was eliminated and the riders entered into the woods and a 150'-long, raised wooden ramp that had to be navigated uphill.  The section was named Kickapoo up and it appeared to be aptly named.   The field closed in quickly and it was a three-woman race.   On the last decent, Lee could literally hear the two gals behind her breathing.   She grew a pair and let go of the brake and bombed the downhill section;  popped out on the trail and rode it like she stole it to the finish.  She was only two seconds ahead of the other two racers.

Joann's race started out quickly with a local rider that shot off never to be seen again.  Joann settled in and set the pace for the rest of the field.  She worked hard tackling many of the tougher features without fear.  The further into the race she got, the harder she pushed the pace.  She easily outdistanced the balance of the Cat 2 racers.

Joann and Lee have a few weeks off before they compete in the next series race on August 10 in Ida Grove.

Your Roving Race Reporter,


Joann and Lee Win Their Cats at Seven Oaks

Pink teammates Joann and Lee locked up another pair of victories in the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series by winning the Cat 2 and Cat 3 races respectively.

Seven Oaks is known as the most technical course in the series and rightfully so.  It is located on land that also is home to an actual ski run.  This may be as close to racing on a mountain that one can get in Iowa.  Joann tackled the full course which contains many climbs, drops, rooted sections and long with bridges that span deep drops.   There is nary a place where one can relax and catch a break.  The single track is so narrow that it is rumored that the trees reach out and smack you.  The post race was collection of racers showing off bruises, scrapes and welts.

Lee had three laps of the upper section of the same course.  The repeated laps made for some familiarity but also allowed for the very technical sections to have to be safely navigated multiple times.   Cheered on by many VR fans (yea for Team York), she ran negative splits to pull out the victory in just under 27 minutes. 

Your roving race reporter,