Monday, April 22, 2013

Double Podium Finish for Joann and Lee at Sylvan Races

It was a rainy, dreary day in Des Moines; the type that many folks don't even think about riding a bike.  But two wild and crazy Pink Gals took off East to see what the mud looked like on Sylvan Island.  Now to refresh your collective memory, it had rained all week...............torrential rains.  Yes, the race is on an island (in dry conditions it means that it surrounded by water).  So how crazy do you have to be to head over there to race?   Pink crazy that is!

The first crazy Velo gal to take off and race was Lee.  Joining her on this day was Ali whom sauntered over to check out dirt racing.  Now it was a chilly 40 degrees at the start of the race, but it was dry and sunny.   This island is only about 1/4 of a mile wide and one lap is around 4 miles long.   That, folks, makes for tons of tight turns.  Plus on this little island there used to be a factory and quite frankly, it looks like they blew it up to demolish it.   There are random bricks, iron, walls, chunks of jagged concrete all over the trail.    This made for a challenging race.  Lee looked strong in her first lap and came out of the woods to the trail looking relieved to be done with one.  Heading into her second lap, this became her longest mountain bike race.   She used her road skills to pass several riders on the path and entered back into the less familiar land of roots and dirt.   This lap was more torturous as it became greasy and she became fatigued.  Numerous crashes happened but Lee was not deterred.  With about one more section of the race left, she realized that another gal was on her wheel.   Lee kept her cool and shot out of the woods.  There was about a 100-yard trail sprint to the finish.  Lee hit the trail like she was finishing a road race, took that Jamis and rode it like she stole it.   A mere 2 second win!   Lee finished second in the Cat 3 race overall!   Plus she finished behind and ahead of gals about half her age.  This lead to her winning her age group.   Ali also finished first in her age group.  A great pink showing!

The clouds cleared and the sun came out bringing a beautiful 70 degree day.   Those were perfect conditions for Joann to take the course.  She had four laps to get through for this day.    She took the challenge and raced with abandon.   She ran about 30 seconds off of the lead for the first two laps.  Each time the pink jersey flashed around a corner, there was the face of determination.   The gal racing in first expanded on her lead and looked like a little sprite that barely touched the ground.    This was her home course and it showed in her expertise and maneuvering.  Joann kept charging not knowing how close the third place racer was behind her.  All of the mountain biking that she did over the spring showed in her true grit in getting across the line to the cheering of teammate Lee.    Joann took second in consecutive mountain bike races.    
This girl is rocking the trails this spring.

Your Roving Race Reporter,


RUMOR: There are Mountain Bike Races in Nebraska!

Well, now Iowa gets a lot of grief for having a mountain bike series.  My East Coast friends laughed out loud when I told them such.   So when I heard there was mountain bike races in Nebraska, I laughed as hard.  Iowa may appear to flat but we have rivers which creates bluffs.  Nebraska on the other hand looks like a pre-teen.  So I jaunted over there a few weeks ago (I know it is a late report but I did GO to Nebraska) and guess what?  It shares a river with Iowa which means, mountain bike racing is happening!

Much to my surprise I saw some pink racing over there.  Do you gals not know the meaning of taking a weekend off?    There was our own Joann showing those corn gals how to throw it down on the single track.   The first race was a time trial and short track race.  A time trial is pretty simple:  one course, riders start every minute of so and you ride as fast as your legs can carry you!  Oh and throw in some roots, drops. climbs and twisty turns.   Then on the same day, you hop back on and you race a short track.....that is many laps of a course that is a bit shorter than a regular mountain bike race.   After all of that Joann came out in 4th.   That is doggone impressive.

I usually don't write too much about spouses and such but a big shout out needs to go to Joe S.  He rocked the same courses to take 1st place.   That is some Iowa smack tossed on Nebraska.    He then came back to take 2nd on Sunday (see picture).  Great job Joe! 

Now if you are going to travel over for one day of racing, you might as well find a second race.  So Joann laced up her shoes, massaged down her legs and hoped back on for the Swanson Mountain Bike race on Sunday in the Cat 2.   Her first day of riding was going to pay big dividends for Joann.   She made the Pink Gals proud by taking 2nd over all.   My pink hat off to Joann for this awesome weekend of racing.

Believe it or not there seems to have been a bit of a change in Lee's race plans for this year.  For the past several years, she has been tearing up the road almost every weekend racing crits and road races, and making the Pink Team proud.   You can imagine my surprise to see her little pink rear end racing around Swanson on Sunday.  Yes, she was looking mighty fine.  In her first mountain bike race she took 2nd.  Kudos to Lee on a fine debut.

So there may be mountain bike racing in Nebraska, but the Iowa took over lots of podium places!

Your Roving Race Reporter,


Monday, April 8, 2013

VeloRosa Gals Win Women's Division of Gents

So I was spending Saturday on the couch dreaming of beer and basketball when I got a little notice that some type of illegal race was going on near Ankeny.  Well, well, well, that piqued my interest.  I looked outside to check the weather and it looked like it could pour at any minute.  Was this my April Fool's joke gone bad or was there something brewing out there besides the impending storm???

Being the dedicated roving reporter that it is rumored that I am, I headed that way to see what was going on.  Truth be told, that really cool VeloRosa hat you gave me is gone in the wind!  I know these ladies are dedicated to riding, but really???? In THAT wind?  You will never believe what I found?  Plenty of pink gals knocking down some serious mileage.  The Gents race is 66  miles of gravel with no support and just a little card with a bunch of street names on it.

Amy showing how much fun a cross bike can be
Julie, Julie, Elaine Jake and Lee warning others that they are moving slowly

What do you get when you team up five pink clad gals with a mission in mind?  Freaky fast gals taking down 66 mile of windy gravel.  Not only were they the faster women's team but they were 5th over all.  There were 30 some teams out there.....these gals rocked this race.

This is what winners look like!!
  Congrats to Kristin R, Kristin S, Ali, Karolyn and Sherry M-K on this accomplishment.  With the winds howling and threatening to push the riders backward, this team moved like a well-oiled machine making mincemeat of the gravel.  

A tire change does not slow down team VeloRosa!

Yes, this team is in first place and proud of it  Lee, Julie, Julie, Elaine, Jake

Pondering which beer to have next is also a team event.....Jen, Sara, Erika, Lee

Dee and teammates racking up the miles
 Many other Pink Gals teamed up with other teams to take on this challenging race.   Kudos to Dee, Kim, Michelle, Amy, Lee, Julie S, Julie G and Elaine for a great day of riding.

Your Roving Race Reporter,