Monday, August 25, 2008

Hart Master's State Criterium Championships

The 5th that almost wasn't!

The Hart criterium was on a 1.4 mile loop with one decent climb of almost 100 feet per lap. The final corner was at the bottom of a decent and was only about 150 meters from the finish line.

The first half of the race I felt so bad that I was trying to think of reasons why I should drop out and was actually hoping I would get a flat. Luckily my inner sprinter sounds like George Michael and always sings:

I won't let you down
I will not give you up
Gotta have some faith in the sprint
It's the one good thing that I've got
I won't let you down
So please don't give me up
cause I would really, really love to stick around, oh yeah...

- George Michael, Freedom 90

By just past mid-way I finally started feeling better but there was a 4 man break that was gone already. As the final 5 laps started winding down I just started moving up each lap and found myself in about 10th to 15th going up the hill the last time. From there I just kept moving forward and made sure that no one boxed me.

On the big down hill, Green Mountains lead out started right in front of me on the inside and I was the first to jump on the back of it (remember Power Loops are as much about reaction time as sprinting). Thus we entered the final turn all out with Green Mountains lead out guy, their sprinter, and yours truly in that order.

Their sprinter broke right and their lead out guy peeled off left but I thought that the left distance to the line was shorter so I got around their lead out guy quick and was coming up fast on their sprinter with us both throwing our bikes at the the line. The finish was close enough that I didn't know if I got it and it would go to the camera.

Exciting enough yet? Well now is where it really gets weird!

This was the last BAR/BAT race for the Masters and my old teammate Danny Sullivan went into it leading the BAR but with one guy in striking distance. Unfortunately, the guy 2nd in the BAR got into the break and won while Danny finished several spots behind me in the field sprint. When we talked after the race, Danny joked that I cost him the BAR by beating him in the sprint which would extremely unfortunate as he is a really nice guy.

Then I went and looked at the results and they had me at 9th and Danny in 8th, something we both knew was NOT true but I didn't want to protest because it takes time, only top 3 were in the money, and it might cost Danny places thus the BAR.

After being a little annoyed about finally being competitive in a field sprint after all these years and not even getting credit for it, I got into the office this morning to find the results fixed. It turns out they had me switched with a guy from MOB with a similar sounding name who was in 9th. I don't know if Danny, or someone else, protested on my behalf or whether the officials just went back to the tape but it was nice to find out that I won the field sprint for 5th on the bike throw.

(On a sad note, Danny did not hold on to the BAR but fixing the results had no effect on this placing.)

Kevin A.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Venus de Miles

Longmont played host today to Colorado’s first ever women’s only organized bike event, Venus de Miles! It was also my first entry into the world of organized charity rides (proceeds from the ride benefited Greenhouse Scholars). I chose this event figuring that you only get one chance to participate in the first of anything.

When I woke up to cloudy skies and light rain I began to wonder just how much “fun” I was going to have! However, by the time I lined up at Prospect Park, with 600+ other women (including several fellow BSV members) - the rain had subsided and the enthusiasm was back! As we wound our way through South Longmont, and out to Hygiene ,we pretty much had the streets to ourselves. Participants were whooping and hollering, enjoying the camaraderie in spite of the wet streets and overcast skies.

By the time we reached 36, skies had begun to clear and the roads were drying up, making for a very pleasant ride. Having signed up for the 35 mile route I headed south on 36, while the 65-milers headed to Lyons, before visiting Jamestown and then following the 35 mile route down Nelson, through Niwot and back to town.

Fully stocked aid stations were available every 10 miles, course marshals and police officers were out in force to help navigate the course. Music, lunch, photo opportunities and massages awaited riders at the end! What I enjoyed more than anything was hearing other women’s stories about the day, where they were from and how excited they were to be a part of Colorado’s first women’s only ride. It was fun to find out that quite a few of the women I talked to today said that they too were on their first charity ride!

An unexpected bonus for me were the numerous opportunities I had to share information about Blue Sky! Simply sporting my Blue Sky jersey generated quite a few questions about the club. I was more than happy to answer them – and based on their enthusiastic responses I believe we might get a few new members from this event!

Fun people, good cause, and even sunshine in the end,….overall it was a great day! I’ll look forward to participating in next year’s Venus de Miles as they plan to make it an annual event!


Last, but certainly not least, throughout the ride I was using tips I had picked up from other BSV members during weekend group rides earlier in the season. From navigating in groups, to hand signals and misc. group cycling tips, the ride was easier today thanks to those who shared their knowledge during my first club rides!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Shwitty Epic

What do you get when you combine record turnout, epic climbs, 6 flat tires, and a nearly full moon? You get another shwitty epic.

6 flat tires on Switzerland Trail necessitated a Dancy-Kilmoyer mountain rescue.

Beer and a burrito ... the standard-issue post-shwit meal.

Good times all around.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cross Clinic #1

Were you at the cross clinic today? If not, why not? First race is only one month away. Time to get your game face on!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Laramie Enduro, July 26

Six Blue Sky Velo riders competed in the Laramie Enduro on July 26. Plus, I provided volunteer support in the form of helping out at Aid Station 4, and riding sweep from Aid 4 to the Finish line.

Although we couldn't get coordinated for dinner on Friday night before the race, we at least did all get to say hi to each other and wish each other luck. Everybody dispersed to their various motels/campgrounds early in the evening, as the start was at 7AM on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning dawned a little foggy and damp (thanks to some showers the night before). But within an hour of the start of the race all the fog had burned off and the sky turned cloud-less.

I rode out to Aid 4 from the campground to meet the Blue Sky Velo riders as they came through. I was there early enough to see the first pro riders come through. They didn't look like super-human freaks of nature, but their times indicated they were!

Ernie Wintergerst was the first Blue Sky rider through Aid 4 with a split time of a little over 5 hours. Over the next 80 minutes or so Jessica Madden, Phil Murray, Sasha Milhous, John Perry, and Cindy Vanover passed through. Phil and Cindy both looked a little worse-for-wear, as they'd both crashed before Aid 4. Unfortunately, Phil's crash/injury took it's toll after Aid 4 and he had to DNF.

Everyone else put in a strong performance and finished with good times, despite various mechanical and/or injury issues: Ernie 7:23; Jessica 7:34; Sasha 8:16; John 8:45; Cindy 9:30. The Enduro is a tough race (111K/72 miles of singletrack, double track, dirt/paved road). Anybody who competes deserves major kudos.

As for me, about 3:30 in the afternoon I left Aid 4 with another rider to sweep to the finish. Except for a 20 minute downpour at one point, the sweep was uneventful. We only rounded up one other rider (who DNF'd at Aid 5).

Below are a few photos of the Blue Sky riders as they came through Aid 4.

Cindy Vanover

John Perry

Sasha Milhous

Phil Murray

Jessica Madden

Ernie Wintergerst