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