Thursday, July 31, 2008

Olga Weeks leads in crit series, Fronheiser and Magli maintain rankings

Tennessee Bella Olga Weeks (see photo by Marsha White) is leading the Cat 1-4 Women in the latest standings from the crit series. In addition to leading this category, Olga is also ranked in the Cat 4 Men's races.

Emily Fronheiser (MedPlan/TriStar, Bella) holds a 5th place points ranking. Jennifer Magli, who is training for the How 100 century in a few weeks, maintains a 6th place points ranking.

To keep up with the TN Bellas through the race series, visit

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Muncie Endurathon Report, Muncie, IN

Tennessee Bellas Dee Davis, Abby Olson, and Missy Hulbert are Training (and we do mean training with a capital "T") for Ironman Floria 2008 on November 1 in Panama City Beach, FL. This is Abby's race report from their second half-Ironman of the Year, the Muncie Endurathon in Muncie, IN. These women are made of some tough stuff!

The pic above shows their fellow Ironman trainee Jere Pope, Missy and Abby enjoying post race brews.


"Pope picked me and Missy up from the church where we slept... amazingly we didn't burn it down or cuss in front of the pastor. Pope warned us that the weather was going to get dicey in the middle of the day, but we all figured that it was no big deal since it would be towards the end of the event.

As everyone was setting up, the race director called a meeting to let everyone know that a weather front was moving through around 10am. He said there would be hail, damaging winds, lightening, heavy rain... fun stuff. The plan was to put the start waves in the water 3 minutes apart instead of 5 minutes in an attempt to get everyone out of the water before the storm hit. After that, we would be on our own i.e. seek your own shelter when you are on the course and sky opens on you.

I was thinking, ok... I'll go ahead and swim, no big deal. And I figured I would be far enough on the bike that it wouldn't bother me. After coming around the last buoy, about halfway in, I tried to site the shore and suddenly couldn't see anything that far away because the rain was so heavy visibility was almost zero. Then I heard the thunder. I froze up because I thought I was going to die... just waiting for the jolt to hit.

When I didn't get shocked, I swam like hell for the shore hoping to make it out before the next hit- and I did. As soon as I cleared the water, BOOM! I started wondering if this was all worth it... and I did so I got on the bike. I only went 12 miles before I realized after almost wrecking with someone, sliding through a turn and getting blown sideways, that this was not a good idea. That is the story of my DNF. Yeah!!"

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dirt, Sweat, and Gears 12-Hour race report :: Angela Brown

(The Muddy Sisters on the podium, minus one member. All photos courtesy Clay, except bottom, courtesy Gary Collins )

(above: Angela talks with Sandra Tomlinson before the race start)

Wow! What a party and what a weekend! I signed up for the Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 Hour race back in December, suckering Hope Hayes of Team Wood n Wave into a two-woman amateur team. In good weather, this would have been a decent idea on the 10-mile loop. Exhausting for two people riding 12 hours, but doable. After the deluge of rain Friday night and Saturday morning, it turned into downright silly. So, after a quick conference with the other two-woman team we knew at the race, we instigated a merger. The Mud Bunnies and the Twisted Sister teams became the Muddy Sisters…..saving our sanity and our bodies.

The race began with a shotgun start and a run-up to the bikes. Since I had been giving Hope lip a few weeks earlier about how she needed to consider adding running into her training, that made me a shoe-in to do the run up. BLAM! Off we went. I had tied a pink bandana to my bike and went straight for it, and the line of racers wound around the field and into the woods….

…and then came to a screeching halt. What in the world?
(This is what the first few miles of the first lap looked like...hike a bike!)

Evidently, the soil around the course in Fayetteville, TN, has a good bit of clay in it, as I came to realize. The line stopped because people had mud-packed wheels grinding to a halt in the thick mud. This was beyond Chickasaw and Canal Loop mud, the two other XC mud races I had just completed. This was PLAY DOUGH. I mean, for crying out loud, kids were making fake turds out of the stuff later in the day and throwing them at each other. When packed, it hung together like nothing I’ve ever seen.
(me, after the first lap, on my way to a short nap)

The lap that should have been 1.5 hours or less stretched into 2 hours and 17 minutes of pep talk and mechanical discoveries. The routine became: hop on, roll until your wheels clog, get off, find a good stick, dig the mud out of your cleats, pedals fork and tires, get rolling again, repeat. I saw a few who had both wheels that wouldn’t turn, and one guy with his bike on his shoulders. My loop eventually turned into hike-a-bike, with about 4 miles of the hilly 10 being me walking my bike with the front wheel off the ground because the back wouldn’t clog as often.

Finally, I made it out and tagged the next team member, washed my bike and stuff, changed clothes and napped on a hay bale.

When my next lap came around, it was right at 1:33. That’s more like it. The first one cooked me so bad that there was no hope for another in the window we had left to complete the race. Our team completed a total of 6 laps on the course….not as high as I had hoped, but high enough to place 20 out of 25…and we were the only all-woman team at Dirt, Sweat and Gears!

After I completed my lap, I went back to talk to Paul, the Ellsworth rep who had approached me earlier because I had on my Velo Bella kit. He invited me over to hang out at Monique "Pua" Sawicki’s tent and watch her pit change. The woman is an animal! She completed 9 laps on the course to win the women’s Solo Pro division. I didn’t get a pic with her later because I was too shy. I really should have.
(Me, in shock, accepting my signed Gary Fisher frame from the man himself!)

After the race, the podium and prizes started. I walked away with one of the biggies…a Gary Fisher frame signed by the man himself! I accepted my frame and shook hands with the legend. Our team also got called up on the podium for a special box o’ goodies. We registered thinking there would be a 4 woman team division, but 20 out of 25 in the 4 person team division wasn’t bad, considering that one team member left early and our strongest one couldn’t make it because of a family emergency.

Interested in coming next year? Check out

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Dirty Girls of Tennessee

The mountain bike chicks of Velo Bella-KONA Tennessee are several events into the season and gaining major momentum!

The season-opening Chickasaw Trace Classic was March 30. The already muddy course received several inches of rain right before the race, turning the entire course into a mud-covered 9-mile loop about the consistency of peanut butter. The sloppy mess didn’t deter our Bellas from starting the course and bringing home results, with many finishing the race despite spills, cuts, and (for one) stitches.

Chickasaw Trace Classic Results:
Amber Favorite: 3rd Beginner
Angela Brown: 10th Sport
Jennifer Morehead: 6th Expert

Next on the TBRA calendar was a weekend of racing in Kentucky. The White Lightning TT and XC races landed on April 19 and 20. Keeping in consistency with what seems to be a theme of this years’ races, it flooded rain the night before Saturday’s time trial. The Bellas used their mud expertise gained at Chickasaw to steer their way to wins!

White Lightning TT and XC Results:
Jennifer Morehead: 2nd TT Expert Women, 3rd XC Pro/Expert Women
(pic of Jen above, crossing the street on the race course. Photo courtesy Kim Lilley)

Angela Brown: 1st TT Sport Women 30-39, 1st XC Sport Women 30-39
(pic of Angela on the TT course in the Vanderkitten jersey, Photo courtesy Dustin Greer)

We’re looking for sponsors for our co-sponsored race with the Jackson Spokes on June 8 at Mousetail Landing in Linden, TN. If you’d like to be a sponsor, contact Angela at More details coming soon to!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Race Report from Jamie France - Greenville Training Series Weekend #2

Saturday -- Fork Shoals -- 45 miles: It was sunny & windy. Our 11:20 AM start was delayed 45 minutes due to the races before us being delayed (women were set to start last). About 30 women lined up for the start, mostly all experienced racers (no squirrels). I didn't know the course at all, having never ridden or even driven it. I had no idea where any of the turns were. It was three 15 mile laps. After rolling out at the tail-end of the pack (to see whichway we were going), I was up in the front third by mile 2. Attacks started in mile 3 and they never let up. It was attack/surge, followed by regroup/recover. I stayed up in the front third, which was good thing because there is a steep hill in mile 8. I did great on that hill, and I finished the first lap with an average mph of 21.9, thinking "this is tough riding, but I think I can hang!" Yeah, well, I was being naive. I got dropped when the pack surged up a small incline in mile 17. Three of us got dropped, one of which took off before I could ask her to work with us. The other gal (Erica) and I decided to hang together for the rest of the race (33 painful miles). With the wind, we had no hope of catching the pack again, unless they got neutralized due to the Pro 1/2 Men's lapping them or a traffic problem. So we didn't give up hope, but went as fast as we could. It got really hot; we ran out of water at mile 40; I got a sunburned face, arms, & thighs. I had nothing left to give at the finish (uphill, into the wind finish). So Erica beat me over the line by a foot or so.
The Cat 4 women's results only listed results 4 deep, but they have Erica as 4th. That would make me 5th since we were together. (
Sunday -- Donaldson Center -- 35 miles: It was cold at first, but it warmed up. I was tired from the day before. The normal huge field of women were there, including some squirrels (boo, hiss!). Even though I was tired, I was racing well. The first 4 laps went splendidly. I am definitely stronger on the hills. I went into the 5th lap in good mid-pack position, but… me and two other ladies got caught behind some squirrels and got gapped. I had to sprint once I got around them to catch the pack, which put me at the back of the pack starting up the hill at the golf course with already toasted legs & lungs. I fell off and finished the last 4 miles alone. I ended up 14th out of the 20 Cat 4's, and 29th out of all the Women. That is two better than the 16th that I got the previous weekend. I am pleased with that, given the hell-race I had done the day before.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tennessee Bellas 'Cross It Up!

Top to Bottom: Laura, Jennifer, Angela, Abby, Dina

Tennessee Bellas have been sharpening their cyclocross skills in the in the ’07-’08 season.

The fun began with the Nashville Cyclocross series. Races 1 and 2 were held in October ‘07, and races 3 and 4 were held in November ’07. Dina Pezzimenti (who has since moved back to NC….we miss you!) went on to win the Category 4 Women’s series, with Bellas Angela Brown, Laura Sweeney, and Abby Olson making appearances at the races in Category 4.

Next, the Tennessee Bellas conquered the Columbia series. The Columbia Cyclocross series consists of four races held over two weekends each January at Chickasaw Trace Park in Columbia, Tennessee. Weather was rainy with decent temperatures the first weekend, with things dipping sharply below freezing with a bone-chilling wind to boot on the second weekend. Bellas Angela Brown and Laura Sweeney raced the entire ’08 series, with Angela claiming the title of Category 4 Women’s Champion in the 30-minute races. Expert MTB racer Jennifer Morehead raced in the first race of the series in the Category 1/2/3 Women’s 45-minute long race.

Angela also raced the 2007/2008 TN State Cyclocross Championship in Nashville, TN on January 13.

Great job, ladies! The cyclocross series in Tennessee isn’t over yet. For more races and links to results, visit the TBRA race schedule.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Newly formed FL bellas Oooh la laaaa ride

On October 27th at 7:30am, a few of the newly formed Florida Bellas decided to throw our very first Oh la laaa ride! On the weekends we ride with a bigger group called SBW, but inside this big group we were a little click with a super-secret plan to dress up in fishnet stockings and halloween costumes and show up for a good time 40 mile ride!

Me arriving and getting ready:

Pin the tail on the Maddy! For once I'm trying NOT to poke a fellow teammate!

Candace shows off her bunny tail:

The group! Clockwise: Maddy, Candace, Amy, Amanda!

Angel of Death! Yes yes yes! I'm finally fast!

The ride was AWESOME! Tho I have to note for future rides, we're not going to get full-length fishnets...about 20 miles into the ride OUCH! Those suckers came OFF at the first rest-stop!