Monday, July 30, 2007

A pictorial of the first 4 hours of 24-9

So many stories to tell, not enough time. Here's a quick look at some of the fun that is a 24 hour race with the best mates ever...Team America's Dairyland takes on 24-9.

It started Friday when I picked up Bunny (Betsy) at the airport in Madison. We packed up the car and were ready to hit the road with Rachel around 5. We made it one hour in the car before we needed to stop for ice cream and coffe. Note to self; don't EVER order decaf from ANY establishment the night before a 24 hour race. I did not get decaf, but that's ok--sleep was not part of the weekend anyway!

Here's Betsy and Eikes, standing by the car with my sweet Gary Fisher Hi Fi Pro in between (new 2008 model..with the new XTR even!).

We made it to Wausau by 8 and Kate's Dad not only had his camper set up for us--complete with Got Milk banner and team poster--but he had pasta on the stove.
Papa Dan was good to us all weekend...thanks Dad!

So we had to sign in and seeing as we were never far from the camera we got a photo of the sign in

and one of us picking up our numbers. Leave it to the really young'uns to be hamming it up in the background.

Our teammate Ken showed up to give us some support. We mostly talked smack about the race and how much we were going to eat. Here he is trying to look like he's not straining after I'd jumped in his lap.

We got our numbers and decided they looked like those numbers that perps held up when they got their photos taken at the police station. We didn't look very badass for the photo but we tried again to look more like we'd just robbed a quickie mart and were really really sorry. Here we managed to look like someone stole our last clif bar.

So we made it back to ken's, post pasta dinner, and Ken was a most gracious host. I didn't sleep much (due to the coffee I'd had) but none-the-less, it was nice to havea real bed to almost sleep in.

We got up early and went straight to Starbucks, and after that to camp. Here's Rachel, getting in a few relaxing minutes of business reading before we started out.
She's looking mighty smart in those pink Tifosi shades.

The start of the event was LeMond style start; run about .5 km and jump on your bike. We nominated Betsy for that part when she wasn't around to protest.

And here she is..shoving off into the fray and on the first of her laps.

The sea of humanity on bikes took off and disappeared into the forest. kate, Rachel and I looked at each other and kind of shrugged and thought "well, we're on the road!"

Kate started getting ready then and we'd figured out our buddy system. That's to help the riders stay on target for timing--so we know how long we have (approx) to get ready for our next lap.

Here's shot of Kate getting ready to tag off from Bunny when she comes in.

While Kate was sitting in the tent, I was thinking about getting ready as I was to follow Kate. Kate and Bunny turned in some excellent lap times. Rachel and I were behind them in time but we did ok, in spite of being roadies! Rachel, being the diligent preparer (dang, how I admire that quality) went out and rode with her headlamp on some trails in Madison to make sure she'd be ok. She did just fine, even scared a few locals out of their britches when she came up on them fast with her supa bright lights on.

And what would a bike race be like without porta potties??!! Here's a few we all saw more than a few times. (bet no one has blogged a porta john before....) that's what the start of a 24 hour race is like. Stay tuned for the musical!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

We survived!

Just wanted to let everyone know we survived. There were a few mishaps but no major injuries or calamities. We got podium with a 3rd place. Kate's dad took tons of pictures, so we'll share them as soon as we figure out how to get them from him. It is now 8pm on Sunday, and I am going to take a shower and go to bed!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Live from 24-9


We're reporting live from the Starbucks in Wausau. Just left Cowboy Ken's house where we got a good night's sleep in anticipation of the lack of sleep we'll be getting tonight. When we woke up this morning at 6:30am, Bunny said, Just think, at this time tomrorow, someone will be riding! Yikes! Well, we are now well-caffinated and about to head over to 9-mile Forest where we have the poshest accommodations. Kate's dad has an awesome RV with the team poster and large Got Milk! banner pasted to the side. He cooked us an awesome pasta dinner last night on the camp stove. When we get there, team captain Kate will attend the captain's meeting and Bunny will represent the Cowgirls in the LeMond start. We've been taking plenty of photos, and I'll try to update again tomorrow morning.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is this it?

Is this how it happens? We all get so darn busy in the middle of the season that we don't even have time to blog! I have had these grand ideas for postings... I have some awesome pictures to share... even better, I have great race reports to share. You too- I know each of you have some great stories and pictures. Yet, we can't find the time to sit down and write. UGH

Here is a photo from a recent ride in Marin County on Mt. Tam (outside San Francisco.) I will be sure to let you know what in the heck I was doing out there recently... when I have time to blog.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Catching up

I don't think this photo needs a caption....I only wish I'd gotten the photo of Betsy leaping in through the car window when Evan (Cannondale) and Dave Vance (mechanic) pulled up in St. Paul. Priceless!

I'm finally back to blogging. Hallelujahpraisedelawd! Kate had to get me logged in to blogger seeing as when I changed the password I didn't write it down. I'm so clever sometimes I kill myself.

So congrats to Betsy G for her ride at Masters Nats; while she didn't rewew her title (I'm thinking she had a flat ?) she rode strong to finish to come soon. Dr. J rode well and grabbed a silver medal.

The rest of us did the State Crit yesterday and we rode for Kate and she did well. We let a break form early on and while the break wasn't working well together at all, it managed to stick thanks to Eikes and I blocking our silly arses off. We got some help from the Atkins rider who also had a rider in the break. At times the break was dangerously close to being caught, thanks to the numberous attacks in the field by the teammates of a rider in the break (!) but we persisted under the mantra "never chase a teammate." It was the strangest race I've ever been in hands down but overall, it was a safe race and Kate got 5th after riding in her first break. I cautioned her that usually breaks work mighty hard, but in this case, me and Eikes and Atkins worked hard to make sure the break stayed away. Superweek is coming soon and there will be less cat-mouse stuff going on but it's good to have the experience none-the-less.

Kate also got her first experience (sort of) in a stage race. I made a tactical error in listening to the officials who knew the first course was a tough in that the course was short and the field was large. The cut off was 30 minutes to proceed to the next day. A course like that strings out as there isn't room for 125 riders to be "at the front" so the officials indicated they'd heard the concerns expressed by the managers and would be generous with the timecut. Not.

The race started and we had decent position in the jostling to the line. After 20 minutes into the race Bety was solidly in the top 10, and Eikes and Kate were in a second group of about 15 riders 10 seconds behind the first. I told them over the radio to sit tight and that they had 10 minutes to go. Silly me...about 1 lap later I didn't see them and got worried; I'd heard there were some crashes on the backside and got more worried. Then a minute later the two of them rolled up and explained they'd been whistled out. I stayed calm, but I was not a happy camper they'd been pulled because they were not in danger of being lapped and I would not call that "generous" with the timecut. I'd call that brutal. Anyway, if I had it to do over again my instructions on the radio would have been "attack that group and get the hell up to the front group NOW."

Well, it taught me a lesson in rider management so while it was a long trip for a very short race, Betsy went on to finish up in good form. She rode a very strong TT adn finished high in GC. Good job Boom boom!

Here's a few photos and short stories from other happenings:

We did a cool race in Grafton and we welcomed a new rider to the boys teams: John Eggebrecht. Here he is, on Gabby duty with Kate and Anna pinning down the trainers. He is getting back into riding and he did well and looked awesome in the kit.

We stayed with Host Dad Neil for the third year. He restores cars and we had to get some photos of us in the convertible. Here's Kate in the antique jaguar. Btw, that's an old Hudson pick up in the background. Neil uses it and it's his next project. It's mighty cool!!

And here's Besty in the convertible. Does she look California or what?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Seriously... let's RV it!

The Mission: Drive around the country racing our bikes. Just us girls... and our bikes... and maybe a couple of our dogs.

The Vehicle: I would say this could sleep all of us. Ya?

I have accepted one resume for the driver/mechanic/cook. No need to tell you, the tan lines say it all... he has been around bikes a while. He can spin a wrench and cook a mean meal. The only questionable skill is driving. Maybe if we get this guy as cheap labor, we can all pinch in on the driving part.