Pedaling with a Purpose
Monday, November 7, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
note: Peter, the track manager, is a former British National Team Sprinter from Manchester England. He's currently sidelined with an injury so we get to have him here in Chicago. He's extremely knowledgable and personable and is extremely helpful making everyone feel comfortable on the track.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Sure enough on the first lap IS Corp attacked. We wanted to get Stacy in a break but not quite yet, and I didn't want her to waste any energy chasing that down. So I and Kenda and a couple other individual riders chased it down.
I knew it was likely that I would have a tough time when I hit the hill. I didn't think I would be dropped on the first lap, but that's exactly what happened! Super bummed. But I put my head down and chased. A couple laps later, I could see the field! Super excited. I was able to catch back on and ride with the group for the last 2 laps.
I quickly was told that there were 4 riders off the front, 2 IS Corp, 1 Kenda, and our Stacy. This was good. Elena looked completely comfortable going up the hill and while I still struggled, I was able to catch back on every time.
Even though the podium was up the road, I still wanted to maximize ABD's placing in the race. I knew I'd get crushed on the final hill to the finish, so I figured I'd better do what I could for Elena. IS Corp still had several seasoned and competitive riders in the field; I knew they were going to try something too. There were several attacks from other riders on the final lap and I was able to chase them down so Elena could conserve. I told her to grab my wheel and I would deliver her to the base of the final climb. Trying to get the jump on IS Corp, I went early, but it turned out to be a bit too early, and I think I went a little too hard defeating the plan of delivering her fresh to the bottom of the hill. She still managed to get 3rd in the field sprint for 7th overall.
We heard later about Stacy's ride in the break, dealing with 2 IS corp teammates and a Kenda; all WI riders. She rode an excellent race and ended up third. Kenda won and IS Corp were second and fourth.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
So here's what I was able to piece together being stuck at home getting texts and emails of how the team was doing. Jessi was the only team member that had done Snake Alley before. For Sarah ,Stacy, Jeannie and Elena it was their first experience with it. I've done it a few times and though I know I probably won't ever win it, I just love how grueling it is. It is dubbed the hardest crit in the US!! It is a big deal just to finish that race. Elena broke her chain at the start but the rest of the team was able to race it and they did fantastic! Stacy ended up 11th, Jeannie 13th, Jessi 16th (after driving there straight from her High school graduation and having no warm up) . The podium was no surprise with Amanda Miller, Coryn Rivera and Kaitlin Antonneau finishing in that order.
On Monday I drove out for the race and received a very warm welcome from my loving team!! I was so bummed to have missed out on most of the weekend but their spirits were high even though they all told me how tired they were, they had raced all weekend and had even done the 2/3 race earlier that day (where Jeannie and Stacy got 9th and 11th). Quad Cities Criterium I think might be my favorite race of all time. Totally flat, wide corners, and fast! I won this race last year so I got to race in the #1. It was crazy windy and we hoped to get a break going with ABD in it. My teammates were committed to helping me out with whatever it took. Given my current fitness level, I was not so confident, but I was committed to giving it my all. From the gun Amanda Miller(worlds rider, just got 7th in the Tour of California women's time trial invitational) went ALL OUT. Coryn Rivera and I, along with Catherine Walberg from Kenda and maybe a few others were on it. I was maxed out immediately but we had a gap right away. I struggled for a few laps but just couldn't hang on. Kenda fell off and then I did. Unfortunately I was not able to recover in time and when the field came by strung out and chasing, I could not catch back on, hang out and recover. I rode until they pulled me, which stunk but on the bright side I got to see the incredible work of my teammates unfold. When the break I was in was caught, Jeannie was able to counter with two other riders. They got a sizable gap for some time and then when they were caught Stacy attacked solo and rode the last 15 laps by herself FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jessi and Jeannie patrolled the front of the pack neutralizing any chase attempts. It was so cool.
Monday, May 16, 2011
When I decided to do these races last year I was hoping to be fit and ready to race! Unfortunately given that I was off the bike all of February and much of March, Speedweek became a "race into shape" experience. Also, what better way to get to know your almost complete stranger teammate than going on a 10 day intimate road trip with them? Sarah and I were both a little nervous and figured we'd either be best friends at the end, or it would be very quiet on the way home.
Luckily for us we became best buds!! We both were kind of in the same boat in our results; Sarah who had been in good form, had suffered a pretty bad crash that put her off the bike for a while, so she was trying to get some form back too. Every day was much of the same. Fighting hard, lasting a little longer, and struggling to stay positive. We were so thankful to have the full support of the amazing ABD team behind us so we kept pushing forward and we saw improvement with every race. We both felt very lucky to have the opportunity to be there.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Now I'm back home and back to reality, but the break was great and I'm looking forward to racing at Leland this weekend, and doing the clinic with Greg Meeker on Sunday.
Hillsboro is the first big regional race of the year for us Chicagoans. This year it served as a debut for my new team; Athlete's by Design (ABD). It was the first time we'd be together as an almost whole team--we are still missing Jeannie, who lives in New Zealand for much of the year and will be joining us shortly. But then we will be losing Jessi, as she would be leaving us the following Tuesday after the race for several weeks of racing in Europe, then home for a couple days, and then off to a tour in China.
We were all very excited to get to race together and we planned to stay overnight at a local farm b&b and get some riding in the next day. Our race was 58 miles consisting of two laps over a beautiful country road course with a couple of rollers thrown in, and one sort of kicker climb at the end of the lap heading into a cobblestone final circuit. After my non-existant winter of training I knew my fitness was not really there yet, but we knew Stacy and Jessi were feeling good after having spent a good part of the winter in Tuscon, AZ. Sarah and Elena were just going to test the legs, and I agreed sitting in and hanging on should be my plan.
This went out the window about 5 minutes into the race when Jessi threw out the first attack. It was countered by the heavily represented IS Corp team. Two of their riders got away, and although I'm sure it would have been fine if they had, I didn't want Jessi or Stacy to have to cover it. So I tried to bridge. Sarah had the same thought and we attacked simultaneously up the opposite sides of the road. We didn't successfully bridge but we did succeed in pulling the field back together. Unfortunately for me that effort did me in and I went off the back.
Since I'm in full on training mode right now I just rode the course as hard as I could and picked people off. I finished off the main field by quite a ways but around the middle of the results. It was terribly exciting to see Jessi and a Mercy Specialized rider off the front with a considerable gap on the field starting their second lap when I was finishing my first lap!! I didn't see anything else, but what I heard happened was that Jessi and the Mercy rider got away very shortly after I was dropped. They rode almost the whole course together. Stacy was then able to initiate a second break from the field, and she and two others rode together until the final hill when she was able to gap her breakmates to finish with a considerable lead for third. Elena finished in the field and Sarah and I finished a little ways back.
It was a bit of a bummer to get dropped but honestly it wasn't a surprise and having teammates who kick butt when I'm not up to it is great! Hopefully I'll be back on track before long.
We then spent a second night at the farmhouse, a cosy little house that had one bedroom, two couches, a "summer kitchen" that served as another bedroom, and a barn that had a converted hayloft set up as a bedroom. Jason and I took the barn. Since he is always trying to get me to camp I figured this was the closest I cared to get to that. It turned out to be quite pleasant, except that we were visited in the night by a stray beagle.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The clinic will be held in two parts. The first part will be a question and answer session about women's bike racing at Johnny Sprockets on Thursday, April 14. This will be a chance to sit down and ask all those questions that you've been wanting to know, a way to get to know other like minded women, and a really fun evening. This will be geared for beginners but everyone is welcome.
Beginners are also welcome at the second part of the clinic, on Sunday, April 17, but this will be also highly benenficial to ALL levels of cyclists. Greg Meeker is a cornering guru and was the first person who taught me how to corner years ago. He was a member of the US National Cycling team in 1974, 1975, and 1976. He has been coaching clubs and individual riders for over 30 years including seven ridiers who went on to become National Team Members. Greg went on to found Capital Velo Club, and all-women's team in Madison, WI. After a few years the team became free standing, but since then Greg has maintained a connection. He has provided his conerning clinic in Chicago several times over the years and I'm really excited to be working with him again, I can always use a brush up on my cornering! His technical experience combined with his down to earth communicating make for an awesome clinic.
Here are all the details--See you there!!!
Women’s Beginner & Intermediate Road Racing Clinic
Sunday, April 17th - 10 am - 2pm
Experienced racer Kristen Meshberg & coach Greg Meeker
will instruct in the classroom and on-the-bike!
10:00 am – 12:00pm: classroom instruction at Roosevelt University
430 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: on-the-bike instruction at Northerly Island.
Turn your classroom knowledge into experience!
Bring your bicycle & helmet, clothing to ride in, water & snacks if needed.
But that's not all!!
Join us Thursday, April 14th from 7 to 9 pm
for a pre-clinic Beginner Q & A Session
with experienced racer Kristen Meshberg
at Johnny Sprockets
3001 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657
This session is strongly recommended for newer and unlicensed riders
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Yesterday was the first of ABD indoor tt series which includes 3 indoor and 1 outdoor time trial. Every year I've always enjoyed (and I use that term loosely) doing this series. You have to go in with the right attitude--it's the middle of winter, we're all training, who cares that everyone can see your time your watts and your weight, no your results at these don't necessarily translate into how you do on the road--but if you can put all of that into perspective, it's honestly just a really fun way to spice up your winter training. I'm not going to push myself that hard on my own, and it's fun to have a little motivation boost every so often. Yesterday I was talking to a couple of people who were new to the indoor tt and were asking me about how to do it. "It's kind of like torture" I told them, "if you feel like you're going to throw up and die, you're probably doing it about right. But you feel great when you're done."
Since I'm now part of the ABD family, I got to see some of the back stage planning and a first hand view of the well-oiled machine that is the ABD volunteers making this event run smoothly. Very impressive.
I didn't exactly have my best ride ever (I was sick with a cold-which was a bummer because I really have been feeling great lately!) but I did have fun watching some friends get new PR's. While I was there Mike Ebert got a text from Jessi and Stacy who had done well in a training crit that morning in Arizona where they are out training right now. Very Exciting!!!