Saturday, June 23, 2007

Chickasaw Bassackwards TT and XC Report

On a couple of hot and dusty days in this dry Southern summer, the Tennessee Velo Bellas kicked bootay and took names at the Chickasaw Bassackwards time trial and cross country mountain bike race in Columbia, Tennessee on June 9 and 10, taking several podium spots.

June 9 • Time Trial
The course was 3.7 miles of some of the fastest singletrack at Chickasaw, with a challenging uphill finish. Results and times are below.

Jennifer Moorehead, 1st place Sport 19-29, with a time of 0:16:27
Angela Brown, 1st place Beginner 19+, with a time of 0:16:46

June 10 • XC
The course is laid in the opposite direction of the Classic course from the March race, with a few variations.

Jennifer Moorehead, 1st place Sport 19-29, with a time of 1:41:27 on the two-lap race
Maria Pino, 1st place Beginner 19+, with a time of 0:53:02 on the one-lap race

Friday, June 01, 2007

Edgar Soto Memorial Stage Race Report

Tennessee Bellas Sandy Kern and Molly Graves braved the Edgar Soto Memorial Stage Race, April 25-28 in Tennessee. The days were packed with challenges, surprises, and lots of fun (a Bella requirement for everything!). Molly Graves, fearless leader of the Tennessee Bellas, tells it in her own words:

Sandy (L) and Molly (R) fit in some goofing around at the Edgar Soto Memorial Stage Race. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Day 1: Friday -- Time Trial at Leiper's Fork
This was my first road time trial, and probably my favorite of all the stages.
I felt sadly out of place at the start in my regular helmet & beginner-level road bike -- with other girls decked out in full skin suits with sperm helmets, aero-bars on their bikes, disc wheels that make that "whooob-whoooob" sound when they come up behind you -- well, you get the picture...!

Somehow I did, and I actually finished. I didn't break 20 minutes (my goal), but managed a 20:20, which was not bad for me. I chalked it up to the lack of a good sperm helmet! (Do they make those in pink & blue??!) I passed 4 people and played yo-yo with a fifth who beat me on the final downhill (she had the whoob-whoob wheels). I had so much fun that Sandy said I needed to specialize in time trials and get a bella skinsuit. I am considering it, but I may have to start doing more buns of steel workouts if I am going to be wearing one of those suits in public!! ;)

Day 2: Peytonsville Circuit Race (on Missy's favorite course!)
THis was probably my second favorite stage. The circuit race reminded me of mountain biking because you do several laps of a longer course -- in this case, three 11 mile loops -- similar to an Expert mountain bike race. The course was rolling and the lead group took off fairly quickly. I managed to hang on for a while to some of the splintered groups, and eventually Sandy and I ended up riding together. We picked up a third wheel, who we later somewhat regretted saving (she wasn't very helpful...), but all was well in the end because Sandy beat her in the sprint. We saw a lot of people suffering from the heat -- one of the top women, Robin Farina, dropped out of the race (she was in second place after the time trial) due to heat exhaustion. Thank God for Enduralites !

Molly stops for a second.
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Stage three: Downtown Crit
For those of you thinking about doing a crit, I will say this: It is not as bad as you think. If you have basic bike handling skills and are not afraid of riding in a large group, you will probably do fine -- just picture it as a large group ride at top speed going in circles. Okay, wait -- that does not sound fun. maybe that's why I do not think crits will ever be my specialty!

The women's group splintered pretty quickly, and Sandy hung on longer than I did. Sandy loves crits -- the girl is nuts. She did great. For me it was a game of dodging potholes, working on my cornering skills, and trying to hang on for a few moments whenever the fasties lapped me -- which happened quite a few times! I spent a lot of time by myself or in small groups. It was a loooong 40 minutes...!

Stage 4: The road race
At the start they started playing the Chariots of Fire theme, and Sandy and I found it hard to keep a straight face. We kept up with the pack for a good hour, but eventually it split as we hit the hillier sections. The first hour was eventful, however -- including a group bathroom break called by one of the lead girls who couldn't get a spot in the portajohn line before the race! Now THAT was a Kodak moment -- thirty some-odd women racers squatting & peeing together on the side of the road! Ha!Maybe we'll make the cover of Velo News!!

The last 2+ hours Sandy and I were alone or with a handful of other women. We kept each other company and I am grateful she was with me -- that would have been a LOOONG ride to do alone. At the end we hit the final climb --3+ miles of uphill switchbacks. That was hard. I am so glad that is over. We made the time cut that we didn't even know existed and finished somewhere near the back of the pack -- but FINISHED!

Cowie grabs 1st at SERC #6

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Natasha Cowie sprays onlookers with champagne after her win on the Dausett Trails in Jackson, GA. The race was the sixth in the SERC series and the latest in a series of successes for Natasha Cowie, Southeastern Pro Bella. For full results, visit

Cowie, center, opens it up at the start. Photo by

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