Thursday, June 28, 2007

East Coast Part I

Ok... more details! I just had so much fun these past couple weeks, I need to share.

After arriving in the middle of Wednesday night/Thursday morning in Trexlertown, PA, my first race was Friday night. For those who don't know, Trexlertown is a small town in the middle of nowhere. The main attraction for all the surrounding towns is the velodrome which draws 1,000+ fans for the Pro races. For cycling... in middle of the US... it is awesome!

Friday night was the Keirin Cup. Sprinters from around the world came to T-town to race. On the men's side, the fields were deep with names from around the world. On the women's side, there were a couple international competitors. The biggest name of them was Christine Muche, the German National Champion in the keirin and sprints... oh, and, the 2006 World Champion in the Keirin. What have I gotten myself into? I have not even raced any local track races this year and I am about to get on the track with a World Champion in her event? Has someone given me a lobotomy? Well, the good news is I made the finals. There is something to be said about this. The bad news is that I missed my move in the finals and ended up 6th. I got the cobwebs out and felt good about gaining some confidence back on the track.

Racing ended super late on Friday and it was hard to wind down. So, at about 12:45am Saturday morning, I was still up playing on my computer... reading Cycling News, stalking people on their blogs... you know, the usual. I got a phone call from Anna Lang (Anna enters stage right in what will become the next 1.5 weeks of cycling fun!) explaining that she just heard through the grapevine that there was a NRC crit in Arlington, VA on Saturday (now today). We dicovered this was only 3.5 hours away... so what the hell! I am in!

I pick Anna up at 7:00am and we are off. We get to Arlington, VA only to discover that it is really Washington D.C. O.K... blonde moment. (no offense Heather and Betsy) We were in D.C.! Look- the Washington Monument... that was our first cule.

While warming up, I hear my name called. Hmmm... Anna is right next to me... who is that. Bunny! Seriously? Bunny is here from West Virginia! Who knew? It was so cool to have a teammate in a race unexpectantly.

All was good in the end... Bunny was 20th and in the money for her first NRC crit!! Notice how excited Bunny is to pick up her money... this is old hat to the Aaron's girl.I can't even believe she was nervous. Girl has some skill. I ended 4th and was pretty damn happy. I did learn a lesson though. As we approached about 250 meters to go, I was sitting on Laura VanGilder's wheel. Two girls started to squeeze me, one of either side of me... trying to get Laura's wheel. I hesitated and missed the jump. From now on- Cari does not hesitate. Cari will stick out here elbows and act like a sprinter. I didn't let those girls on the wheel but I missed Laura's jump. UGH. Anna, who I will now call super-fast-cool-girl came in 2nd to Laura in a photo finish. Final: Laura V 1st, Anna Lang 2nd, Rebecca Larson 3rd, Cari 4th.

After the race, we were talking to some of the other girls and found out there was another crit with big money in town. It wasn't a NRC but all the same girls were going to do it. Bad news- Anna and I brought no extra clothes, toothbrush, etc. Good news- we don't care because we are having a blast driving around racing our bikes.
I made a couple phone calls and found a place to stay in Annapolis which was about 45 minutes away. Check out the sweet pad where we stayed! The woman who owns this house is my step-mom's best friend for 30+ years. What tops off the cool factor for the whole weekend was that my step-mom was flying in that night to see her friend. Fate! So, Anna and I chilled in this sweet house on the water and got to hang out with family/friends. Nice!

Sunday's crit was at RFK Stadium and it was blistering hot! I barely warmed up because I was afraid of getting dehydrated. You can see what Anna was doing to warm-up. I won't be long in my race report and will skip to the fun part. The race director announced there was 4 primes in the race; I had decided not to go for any and save my energy for the finish. Today, I was going to make the podium! Well, my competitiveness got to me and in the 3rd prime I found myself on Laura VanGilder's wheel. She was going for it... crap. That means I need to go for it. I found myself in an all out sprint against Laura. Nice... won that prime! We took a look around and realized we had such a gap on the field that we started working it. My problem was now that I was totally blown. Ok, I may have a sprint but now I need to recover. I think after a couple minutes, Laura knew I was not going to be much help and she attacked me. Yep, you can have it Laura... I am in the hurt-box. I made it peacefully back to the field- which basically means my arse got shelled and I caught my breath while waiting for the field. Anna bridged at one point up to Laura but ended up joining us again in the field. I think we might have been more fun. Or, maybe Laura is just super strong and blew Anna off her wheel too. Well, the plan didn't stick because I ended up going for and winning the 4th prime too- with 3 laps to go. Not smart. I didn't feel great going into the last sprint and messed up the last corner ending up 6th. Laura finished solo for 1st. Anna took 2nd in the field sprint, Rebecca Larson took 3rd again.

This is me with my step-mom, Sherry.

All in all... fun weekend of racing with super-fast-cool-girl Anna. It makes me want to fullfill my dream of having a RV to drive from race to race. Any takers? Who wants to join me?


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cari's Update!

Gosh... there is so much to fill everyone in on! Where do I start?

I guess I will start here, right here in the Milwaukee airport. Since Midwest Airline has been kind enough to sponsor our team, I try to fly them as much as possible. Hence the reason that I have a layover here in WI on my way home from PA.

The last two weeks have been packed FULL of racing for me. While Betsy and team were representing at Nature Valley, I officially kicked off my track racing season in beautiful Trexlertown, PA. This velodrome seems to attract huge international competition by hosting UCI races throughout the summer. On the men's side of racing, there were several National teams training and racing in PA these last couple weeks. On the women's side of things, we had a handful of internationals including the World Champion Keirin girl from Germany. More importantly to me was the ability to match up against the top US track sprinters early in the season. There were also many super talented endurance girls racing (Gina Grain, Teresa Cliff-Ryan) at the track which kept the endurance events fast and active.

Here is a quick look at the past two weeks and my schedule:
-June 14, first day there... unpack the bikes and spin the legs
-June 15, UCI Keirin Cup (2 sessions of racing)
-June 16, NRC Crsystal City Crit
-June 17, another big crit in DC
-June 18, sleep
-June 19, UCI Sprint Day (two sessions of racing)
-June 20, sleep
-June 21, start to get home sick
-June 22, UCI Fastest Man (Woman) on Wheels (2 sessions of racing)
-June 23, NRC Rochester Twilight
-June 24, drive back to PA
-June 25, hang out with host family for the first time
-June 26, go home

9 "sesssions" of racing in 12 days... my own personal stage race! As you can see, I have not had much down time... which is the way I like it when I am traveling because then I don't think about missing my cute puppy at home (and the husband.)

I have so many stories to share and pictures to post. If I posted everything now, this blog would be way to long to hold anyone's attention. So, instead, I will post a little each day this week!

Here is a little Keirin video from Worlds this year... the women's final. Jennie Reed is the top US Woman sprinter and was in this final.... she was also in PA these past couple weeks. Muche (2006 World Champion) got disqualified from the final in a previous start that is not shown on this video. But, she was also in PA these last couple weeks.

P.S. I don't know why the youtube address is not linked... I am working on becoming more youtube literate.

Take care!


Sunday, June 24, 2007


We had an issue with the blog for a couple of weeks; no one could sign in but now it's working again. I think I had my password wrong...gahhhhhhh.

Anyway, as the website points out, it's been a busy few weeks for the team what with Cari and bunny out east, Heather recuperating, Betsy riding strong at NVGP, and Kate, Rachel, Anna and Julie holding down the fort in Wisco.

So in other news, I just bought a farm. I'll be moving in August, so my life is going to be a shade goofier than usual. August also happens to be the busiest month for Trek so I hope to survive the move and all-hands-on-deck at work and come out unscathed. Or at least not a slobbering fool who forgets her name.

So Kate and I had a lovely dinner last night to celebrate my new farm and her 3rd place at Whitewater. As usual, the gang at UW-Whitewater cooked up a goofy race. I've been doing their races for 5 or 6 years and at least one of their races is going to have some strange, never before seen element. For example, 3 years ago their road race featured a feed zone at the bottom of a descent. I've never been more terrified as when I tried to do a handup with a peloton coming at me at 60k/hour. When the group blazed by I turned around to see my feed zone compatriots all wore a horrified look and at least one or two had jumped in the ditch when the bottles they were holding got punched to the moon. I stayed and did a feed the second lap too and one guy got his bottle.

Gotta love the club though--they keep trying and some of their events are great.

So it's early and I'm heading to Boulder for a meeting tomorrow, then heading right home again. 24 hours, 2000 miles and one meeting. Kate and I went to Stone'st throw yesterday so I could get some proper casual business attire. All my outfits from STone's throw were from the late winter so I was out of date!!! Happily, the store is as good as ever and I got some Sugoi pants and some funky athletic/business shoes. I LOVE that store!

cheers to all...more soon,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shenanigans of races past...

This is after the Hillsboro RR back in March-- note the good lookin' jerseys AND and sweet Tifosi Glasses on Gabby's rump. Stylin' I tell ya. Stylin'.

Anna D and I spotted a Marathon and a Fiesta... which one do you think we chose??? We took many other photos of our expedition back to Madison (and many wrong and a few right turns). One thing I learned about Anna is that she is, truly a budding photographer......

This Photo is for Rebecca and Anna. All others, please, don't ask. And if you happen to be reading this blog and this is a picture of you... consider yourself somewhat of a celebrity.

Hope alllll you all are well- only a couple weeks until Nature Valley!


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Wausau Mudfest

This weekend was another epic weekend for me. It began early Friday night with a nice ride up to Neenah to hang with some friends. The next day one of my best college friends was married at Camp Web in Wautoma. He was the first of all my friends 'to go' so it was pretty wild- a big reunion!

I left Camp Web at about 7 am. The plan was to meet Rachel at an exit and we would share the drive up to Wausau to the 3rd WORS race. Unfortunately, a couple detours and she wasn't able to make it on time. I was looking forward to racing with her, but all things considered, it was nothing short of a mud bath. When I was riding, I could feel the mud drying on my face and I kept thinking about all the cash I was saving by doing this race instead of hanging out in a spa somewhere!

I headed north and got there with sufficient time to get ready and warm up. It felt like my first mountain bike race ever! I haven't had too much time on the mtn bike, so my tech skills are hurting a little. This was the first of the marathon races for the WORS series- so we were to do 40 miles- 4 laps.

There were a couple pretty fast ladies on the line at the start- Don E. announced the "GOOOOOO" and we were off, 15 secs behind the elite males. I stayed in the same position throughout the entire race- I passed one woman and was passed by one on the last lap. The first lap was pretty fast and fun. I was working with Abby S. to share some pulls and keep each other motivated. Unfortunately, 3 men snuck in between us before some single track and the next thing I knew she was gone. As I found after the race-- we were both sad about that!

(photo from, Thanks guys!)

During the second lap, the race became quite difficult- it was pouring and the double track turned into a mud-sponge. I couldn't see anything through my glasses, so I tilted them up and put them at the end of my nose to use them as a mud guard. It was during this lap that the mud began to mess with my shifting- the chain kept sucking up into my frame in my granny and middle rings- so I had to resort to hanging in my big ring for the remaining 2.5 laps. There were times during the race when I was going pretty slow, I think I was just riding instead of racing-- I'll call it mental regrouping! We'll call that entire 3.5 hrs a power workout.

When the race was finished, I ended up 6th of 18. Although a pretty miserable race, It was stellar. I don't know how that works, but I had a blast.

I stopped at Rebecca's on my way home and she insisted that we use her dirty-kit-spray-table to prewash my seriously mud-caked kit. It worked, because my kit is, once again, road worthy. :) She also made me some AWESOME dinner and then I hit the road to the other side of the state.

Looking forward to riding 24-9!