This blog documents the racing, training, & riding experiences of the participants of PWP

Pedaling with a Purpose

My name is Kristen Meshberg and I am a former category 1 bike racer. I competed nationally in both road and track. I am a USA Cycling Coach, and help individuals develop plans to achieve their goals. To survive the Chicago winter, I developed an indoor workout program called "Pedaling with a Purpose."

I now have various locations across the United States. To find out more about Pedaling with a Purpose or Coaching, email Kristen at: kmesh.pwp@gmail.com

Monday, March 29, 2010

My new bike is here!

Super excited about the new pink bike! Today Molly and I and the kids went over to Leah's to put it together (I'm supposedly helping--Yes I did put on those water bottle cages!!) and I was just struck by the coolness of the moment that I needed to document it with a photo. My daughter is hanging out watching and learning from female mechanics! What a cool thing.

Local Racing here we go

Our local season has officially begun. Let the cold and windy racing begin!

Last week was the Gaper's Block Crits put on by the Half Acre team. These are a week long series of Criteriums for beginning racers here in Chicago. They are USA Cycling sanctioned, and designed for folks to get racing experience and upgrade points. Last year was their first year, and as I recall the women's fields averaged about 6 riders per day. This year there were over 20!! The men got two races per night and they were all nice sized fields. I was keeping tabs on how the people from Pedaling With a Purpose were doing, and here's what we ended up with:

Men: one 8th, one 7th, two 6ths, one 3rd, and one WIN!!
Women: one 14th, one 12th, two 10th, one 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, three 4ths, four 3rds, two 2nds, and FOUR WINS!!

The best was hearing from people who did their first crit ever and how now everything we'd talked about now made sense. Keep up the good work people!

This weekend we had two local crits around car race tracks. I couldn't make the Saturday one but my teammate Leah raced and easily won her race! Jason did his first crit in quite some time and did fantastic! He's got some good teammates this year and it sounds like they had a fun race. Jason was even able to help lead Ted out for a fifth place finish!

Sunday's race was at a car race track in Joliet. I headed down there to meet up with Leah and Kim for our first race with the three of us together. Got there in time to see the Flatlandia guys finish up their race. Nice job guys! Unfortunately the women had a fairly small field, I think we had 10 girls on the line, but we gave it our best. Kim attacked and Leah countered launching the winning breakaway. I let it go thinking I could just bridge up..... NOT :) It was too windy (Crazy windy!) and the other girls with us did a great job covering our every attack as Kim and I took turns trying to get up to the break. Leah won the sprint out of the break for her second win of the weekend and I took the field sprint for third. Lovely course and proud of our teamwork. Just would have been more fun to have a bit bigger of a field.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bike Messenger Career Day?

My Daughter Lucinda is in Kindergarten. She came home from school the other day and asked if I had ever been a bike messenger. I said yes, and why was she wondering? She said they were studying bike messengers in school and reading stories about them and singing songs about them. ????????????????????????? The next day at pick up Lucinda's awesome teacher Miss Conte asked me if I would come to class and talk about my days as a bike messenger.

Turns out they were studying alternative methods of transportation and learning about getting around by bike; which is cool. But glamorizing being a bike messenger? Not to be hypocritical, but something about that didn't quite sit well with me.

But since I'm not sure how much longer Lucinda is going to think it's super cool for mom to come to school, I dug out some Swobo knickers and just had fun with it. The kids were really into it. I brought a bike, an inner tube, a u-lock, a clipboard and a radio. Like real messengers, they loved the radio the best. (I knew those race radios would come in handy this year!) You can see in the picture how the kids put pencils in their crayon boxes and made pretend radios.

I tried to emphasize how fun it was to ride around on bikes and that being a bike messenger is a dangerous job, but fun, and a good way to "earn money for college" :)
Bike messenger song:

Bike messenger story:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Congratulations to PWP Illinois Cycling Cup Winners

Last night Jason and I attended the Illinois Cycling Cup Banquet celebrating the 2009 season.

There were 4 winners from Pedaling with a Purpose!!

Congratulations to:
Scott Pearson for winning the Men's 1/2 division.
Jeff Perkins for winning the Men's Cat 4 division.
Cathy Frampton and her team, Project Five, winning the women's team competition.
And I won the women's 1/2/3 division.

Nice Job!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Congratulations Aaron!

Aaron Dykstra, a PWP participant before he and his wife Michelle moved back home to Virginia, won Best New Builder at the Shimano North American Handmade Bike Show this weekend.
Quoting from the NAHBS website: "His Six-Eleven Bicycles are named after a famous steam engine built in Roanoke, VA, the base of this company. 'This bicycle is inspired by the aesthetic of the six-eleven steam engine, which is the pride of Roanoke. It seemed fitting that I should make it a track bike, and I've added a small grille to the top of the head tube, and the serial number plate is derived from the train too,' said Dykstra"
So cool.
For more information on Aaron's bikes, check out his website: http://sixelevenbicycleco.com/