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

Thursday, August 26, 2010


It's nearing the end of the year and a lot of folks have already ended their road seasons and are gearing up for cyclocross. I still have a couple more events to my year:
*Tonight I'm heading up to Northbrook Track for the Elaine Nekritz Race
*St. Louis for Gateway Cup over labor day
*4 person Team Time Trial on Sept 12
*My last race of the year will be the TD Bank Mayor's Cup Criterium in Boston.

I'm really struggling with a bad case of end-of-the-year-itis. Trying to stay fresh and enthusiastic is difficult. I'm also having some lingering pain from my crash at Elk Grove. It's really not bad, but it's grating. Rest is key, and I'll be laying low and just trying to finish the year on a positive note.

Since I don't really have any recent race pics of my own I will leave you with some photo's from Peg, Sue and Diane's excellent adventures to New York this Summer. Three awesome PWP'ers who do some serious touring!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Glencoe GP/US Pro Crit Press Conference

From left to right: Ben Kersten, Fly V Australia 2009 Pro Crit Winner; Alison Powers, Team Vera Bradley 2009 NRC Points Champion; Rahsaan Bahati, Bahati Foundation 2008 Pro Crit Winner; Me :); Karl Menzies, United Health Care; Devon Haskell, Team Tibo 2009 Glencoe Grand Prix Winner; Ivan Dominquez, Jamis Sutter Home

We fielded questions from the internet and a live audience consisting of media, sponsors, and the public. I was incredibly nervous, but by all reports it went well and was a ton of fun!!

Photos courtesy of Jay Marisol
Here's a video excerpt from Lyn @ www.podiuminsight.com

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Glencoe Grand Prix

For as long as I've been around bike racing Downer's Grove, Illinois has been the home of our National Criterium Championships for the Men' s Elite and Pro categories as well as the Women's Elite. Being someone who considers myself a crit rider, I've always had Downer's Grove as the highlight of my year and my career goal to win that race. I live within riding distance of it and the tradition of having everybody out to watch the big names of both men's and women's cycling is huge! In the last couple years I've actually been able to ride and hang in the race and each year I've crept closer to being competitive. The news that Downers Grove would no longer be hosting the championships, or even having a race hit me hard. From my understanding the town just got tired of it and decided not to host the race this year. All of the Championships except the pro men were held in June in Bend, Oregon. I was pretty bummed about this and since I could not afford a plane ticket out to Bend I was not able to compete.

Glencoe Grand Prix Race is a local race that is now in it's fourth year, and having a reputation of being incredibly well run, was able to host the Pro Men Championships! Even though it wasn't our national championships, or even on the National Race Calendar for the women, we had a large prize purse and rode the same course--a new longer version-- as the pro men. Vera Bradley, Tibco, and Colovita were well represented as well as some other strong individuals including Laura Van Gilder. Not sure exactly how many started but though strong, the field was fairly small. It was a long course, and there were lots of corners but 3 that were narrow and downhill and proved especially challenging. Even though I knew that positioning was everything I found myself struggling to stay in front. I don't take a lot of risks in races and tend to ride where I feel safe and while I think it's one of the reasons I don't really crash that often ( I know I know --Jinx!!) I often find myself wasting a lot of energy closing gaps. This was the case for the whole first half of the race. We had some good breaks go and get caught and I only watched. At four to go, I found myself gapped and was not able to close it. I really thought I was dropped and almost threw in the towel. It was so disappointing, but the screaming crowd which consisted of tons of friends, was highly motivating so I decided to make the effort to catch back on. I was able to go so much faster by myself through those corners that I did catch back on. At this point the break was in sight and when we hit the start finish at 2 laps to go I went to the front and made one final effort to bridge. I knew if I failed I was kind of blowing the field sprint, but with those tricky corners I didn't want to risk getting gapped again. It was covered immediately and although leading it out that early was not a great position I was happy to be in front through the tricky corners. Unfortunately I led for the whole lap until 1 to go when there was a huge surge and my effort had left me without resources for a sprint. I finished at the back of the pack, but was elated to find that I got the last money spot!

I had mixed emotions about the race. It would have been so much better to be in a break!! I felt pretty good and was mad that I had spent so much time in bad positioning and missed the breaks. It was exciting to catch back on and still be able to make a positive effort at two to go and just wish it had panned out.

Friday night before the race I was invited to participate in a press conference since I'm a "local". It was a lot of fun and I hope to be posting some pictures of it soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Elk Grove Village

I love Elk Grove Village. Nice Payout. 30 min from the house. Everybody's there. Fun race.

My cousin Lynn from Minneapolis was hired by the production company to write the copy for the hour long Comcast special on the race so she was there all weekend documenting everything. It was awesome to get to see her and hang out a bit. Also super cool was she asked if they could hook up a camera to my bike to film the race. It turned out great. They promised to send me dvd and as soon as I get it I'll try to post at least some parts of it.

We had two races, Sat & Sun on the same course. I have never cared much for the hairpin turn in corner 1, and mid race on Saturday I crashed in it. In ten years of racing this is the second time I've crashed in a race....I know I know, I'm totally jinxing myself. I was going pretty slow, smacked mainly my elbow and only got run over by one person. I got minimal road rash, a little soreness, and a headache. I'm fine, but it was unpleasant and I hope I don't do it again soon. When I got back in after my freelap I was nervous in the corner so I was finding myself struggling to stay connected after it. At 2 to go I moved up with the intention to hit the corner first so I could maintain a good position. After the hairpin I looked back and had a pretty big gap. "Oh $#(^!! " I thought. Now I have to go. So I went for it, as hard as I could. I held the gap until the final 1/4 of a lap. When the leadout train came by I had the right instincts to jump in but was not strong enough to maintain it and got knocked out. I fell to the back of the pack and that's where I finished. I got a gambler's prime at 1 to go, and it was a glorious feeling to be off the front so late in the game. Thanks to everyone who was cheering! It was really fun and I only wish I could have pulled it off. Jen Purcell won, Laura Van Gilder was second and Lauren Tamayo was third.

Sunday other than being a little sore I felt alright. The race was fairly fast, and we quickly whittled our field down to about 20 or so riders. At 1 to go I was in second position (perfect!) into the hairpin turn and felt good about things until the final stretch when things got slow and we all bunched up. I got boxed in and had no where to sprint. When I checked the results I was twelfth and felt lucky to get that. Carrie Cash won, Laura Van Gilder was second and Sam Schneider was third.