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, May 3, 2010

Circuit of Sauk Road Race & Vernon Hills Crit

This weekend Kim and I drove up three and a half hours to race the Circuit of Sauk Road Race in Baraboo, WI. I did this race last year and knew that there was going to be two 15 mile laps which included a pretty sweet climb on each lap. Last year I got dropped on the climb so I was eager to give it another go. I knew Kim would be fine on the climb so we got there ready to give it our best. We had a decent field of about 19 to start. At the top of the first climb there was 7 of us left. Two Kenda, two Planet Bike, two Flatlandia, and one IS Corp. At the top of the climb we hit some crazy cross/headwinds. Kenda took turns attacking us and Planet Bike turned up the speed. In between trying to chase down Kenda I looked back and noticed L'il Kim was literally blown off the back of the break! This crazy wind is really the one time in cycling that I appreciate having a little weight! So then we were 6. With the pace so high and the Kenda attacks, I was worried about conserving for the second climb. Turns out I was fine! Such a fantastic feeling, and not one I'm used to! Made it to the top of the climb and dropped another one of our break, so now we had 5. Near the end of the race, just when I let myself relax, and think "wow I made it" IS Corp did a beautiful attack. It was so impressive I took notes on "how to attack at the end of a race." Kenda went with her and Planet bike let a small gap open up and then they chased hard. Unfortunately I was in slow motion and couldn't catch on and rolled in fifth. After the race I was sort of taken aback. This was not my usual style of racing. Kind of weird, but I just tried to focus on the fact that I could hang with the climbers!! Yay!

Kim ended up riding in for 10th. Nice job! After the race we rode around for 30 or so more miles with Tamara Fraser. Such a lovely area to ride.

Next day was the local Illinois Cup Vernon Hills Criterium. We had a small field, but it was a great race! Very active, lots of attacking and good times! Normally I would rather stick a sharp stick in my eye than go solo, but I'm trying to work on my weaknesses and figure if I want to get better I've got to try! I was hoping to get away with another rider or two and I tried couple times with various riders, but nothing stuck. Finally late in the race they called a prime. A Project Five rider went for it and got a nice gap. Mack got nervous and chased her down bringing me along. We blew by and when I took a hard pull, I looked back and had a gap, so I just kept going and that was the race.

The other thing that made the race interesting was that early on in the race, for no reason, I got a bloody nose. Blood was spewing everywhere and I couldn't get it to stop. It was very embarrassing but I really did not want to let it to ruin my race. All I had in my bottles was heed, but I still tried to pour it all over myself which only resulted in a big sticky mess. Thank goodness Ed White was there to capture it all on film:) I'm convinced that the reason I ended up getting away was the other girls were just grossed out and didn't want to ride with me.

Earlier in the day I got to watch Jason, Ted and Jeff race the master's 30+. Nice job guys! There was a break of two off the front and Jeff ended up third in the sprint. Well done.

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