December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Here's what I look forward to in 2007, in no particular order:

  1. Moving into a house with a lot of bike storage
  2. Helping my nephews learn to ride their new bikes
  3. Celebrating my parents 40th wedding anniversary
  4. Racing for Little Guy Racing
  5. Finding a new hobby that has nothing to do with bike racing
  6. Downer's Grove
  7. Superweek
  8. Girls Weekend in WI with all of my lady friends
  9. Snow-shoeing with friends in CO (since they actually have some snow)
  10. Traveling to Europe again
  11. Cheering for the #44 and #9
  12. A new Masi!
  13. Reading more stories about The Donimator
  14. Scrubs

Some things I'm not looking forward to:

  1. Finding and buying a house
  2. Having most of my weekends filled with training and/or racing
  3. GU to avoid The Bonk
  4. Trying to keep my blog updated more than once a week
  5. Karla moving
  6. Riding circles at Opus
  7. Temps below 20 degrees
  8. Trying to get back in shape after two weeks of non-stop eating and no exercise

Here's to a happy and safe New Year!


December 16, 2006

"Tim M"

Karla meets coaster boy Tim M.

Tim M and cousin Derek meet the women behind Karla's phone service.

I found this picture from Karla's party last year....those two guys look suspiciously familiar...

December 10, 2006

Sunday's ride

~4 hrs of riding, 1 flat tire, and one bonk.

I wasn't very happy about Pete taking this "aftermath" picture at the time, but I was too tired to do anything about it.

But it was a beautiful day to be out riding with LGR and friends, so it was totally worth it.

December 05, 2006

MCF & related topics

So there's quite the discussion going on about the MCF on some of the local blogs. At the risk of opening myself up to much ridicule, I'm going to chime in on this discussion here at Got the Bonk, but before I do, I'd like to list a few of my qualifications for the skeptics out there - my resume doesn't quite look like Skibby's or Smithers', but it's better than nothing:

  • I am a MN Cat 4 bike racer on the new Grumpy's/LGR club
  • I volunteered for a plethora of races before I even started bike racing, and I have volunteered for a bunch since I started racing
  • I am the co-founder of the local Velo Bella club and I promoted the State Crit/Campus Crit for two years as part of that club (and helped promote a third race, the Withrow TT)
  • I attended almost all of the MCF meetings while on Velo Bella (~ 3 yrs), and never once left early (not that I have a problem with that)
  • I helped start Midwest Women's Cycling Made Real (MWCMR) last year, and I kept track of all of the points for that series throughout the season
  • I am involved with planning for MWCMR for next year
  • I was part of the 3-person committee who started (and I created the original website which is now being updated by StevenCX)
So I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think I'm entitled to an opinion or two, and I'd like to share a woman's opinion since it seems most of the people posting comments on this MCF topic are men:

  1. While I agree that the MCF should do more to help race promoters, specifically first-time promoters and/or new clubs, I think that promoting/encouraging new racers, especially women and juniors, still deserves some attention from the MCF.
    • Women's racing here in MN is not like men's racing. Imagine rolling up to the line for your very first race, along with only 10- 15 other women, and when the race starts and you're trying to clip into your pedals newbie-style, Teresa attacks. Your race is done before it really even started, and this is not uncommon for a women's race here. Women's Open races do not promote growth in women's cycling. Or imagine doing an Opus race with only 6 - 12 other racers - there really isn't any such thing as "sitting in", and "tactics" rarely come into play (unless 5 women on one team are ganging up on the other 4 women who are all on different teams). The MCF was involved in helping start MWCMR which provided Cat 4 only races for women. Like Cat 4/5 races for men, women's Cat 4 races are an integral part in growing women's cycling, and while MWCMR has made some progress and hopefully will continue to make progress, the MCF has helped make that happen...both through funding and support.
    • While the initiative hasn't gone as far as we originally planned, I still think there's more that can be done with it, and it could eventually serve it's original purpose - to provide general cycling information (e.g. licenses, rules, types of races, etc.), to provide information for new racers to make racing less intimidating, and most importantly, to connect new racers with local clubs. We did recognize that getting people on local clubs will give them the support system and encouragement that they need. The initiative has also been funded and supported by the MCF. (note - sometimes it's difficult for a lot of the experienced racers to remember what it was like to be a newbie)
    • Juniors - I'm no expert on juniors racing, but there are currently very few racing in MN. Why is that? I'm not sure what the answer is here - but I do know that I was a very athletic kid, yet I wasn't exposed to serious bike racing until I was in my mid-to-late twenties. Cycling is expensive, it's not a high school sport or even a club (with a few exceptions), and very few kids get exposed to it. The junior discussion used to come up a lot at MCF meetings, and the bottom line was just that there were no "adults" willing to volunteer their time to help out with the juniors program (after Banning left). Dag has done a great job this year, but I'd like to see the MCF sink something more into a juniors program - any ideas?
  2. Race promotion
    • I think it's great that the MCF is willing to consider the "First Time Race Loan" that Super Rookie had proposed. When we first started Velo Bella and wanted to promote the state crit, we had $0 in our bank account (like Cat6, VB doesn't have membership dues). A few teammates and I had to front a lot of the money with hopes that we'd be able to get that money back. Amongst many costs, the police for the race (which is required by the U of M) cost $600. We were lucky enough to have a big cash sponsor (which was awesome, but is obviously not the norm), but we didn't get that money until after the race. That first year, I was truly amazed/overwhelmed by the costs and efforts that go into race promotion.
    • I didn't know what the hell I was doing the first year I promoted the state crit - but I was lucky enough to have one of the previous promoters hold my hand through the whole thing. I think it would be great if the MCF did more for promoters, but what are your ideas? They've been doing the "Promoter's Clinics", and I attended one of those before promoting the state crit the second time around, and I thought it was really I'd like to see the MCF continue that, but what else? If you think that race promotion is the biggest thing the MCF should be working on, what are your ideas?
    • I don't have any great ideas (just yet anyway) for doing more for race promoter's, but I'd love to answer any questions about race promotion.
Personally, I'd like to see the money that is spent on the MCF banquet go towards other initiatives - race promoter clinic(s), juniors, MWCMR,, etc. As I mentioned above, a lot of these things have been funded the past few years and I think the MCF is on the right track, but could do more. Do we really need a MCF banquet every year when there's other seemingly more important things to fund? It seems like the banquets are just for those people who feel strongly about ROY, CRY, TTOY, and TOY...but I admit I could be wrong about that. I have been to the last few banquets, and while Bob Roll was awesome, I think one really good speaker every 2-3 years (if that) would be sufficient.

One last thing - I know this has been said before, but if you've been to the MCF meetings over the years, you know there's one common theme - there are not enough volunteers to help make all of the great ideas come to fruition. Say what you will about the MCF, but remember that everyone on the MCF board is a volunteer - and most of those people have been volunteering for years. I'm by no means saying that there's not room for change/improvement...of course there is, but cut these guys some slack.


December 04, 2006


I haven't been riding (or blogging obviously). I've been working and hanging out with my sis and her husband in NYC.

Where's Waldo?

The infamous tree.

(Dis)pencer's favorite car.

Three rich NASCAR guys.

One rich multiple racecar owner,
two not-even-close-to-being-rich
multiple bike owners.

Since Pete, my sister, and I were standing behind the #48 car, we ended up getting in a bunch of the official photos from the photo shoot outside the Waldorf Astoria before the big championship dinner (Pete's in a white t-shirt, I'm in black, and my sister is the one in the cream-colored sweater next to me). The funny thing is that we just happened upon this photo shoot. Needless to say, I was so bummed that Kasey didn't win the championship...or anybody besides Jimmie Johnson for that matter. But it was still kind of cool. Jimmie is short in real life (which must mean that Jeff Gordon is approximately half my size) and he seemed really awkward, and his wife needs to eat some donuts. Rick Hendrick was kind enough to take a photo with us. And as soon as he turned his back, Pete informed me that Rick Hendrick was the recipient of a presidential pardon (by Clinton). Sweet.

December 01, 2006

And you thought NASCAR was over...

Recognize anyone in these photos (besides Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus)?

These photos are from More personal photos to come...(Dis)pencer should have been here.