Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Team CARD (Iowa) 2011, Cyclists Against Reckless Drivers

Team CARD now has 8 great members, JS, JH, JA, JF, PD, EK, SM and JG. How is that for giving you names...:). We are a very diverse group which is great. Some of us race some of us do not. Some ride only mt bikes, some only road bikes and some of us ride whatever we feel like. We are a group of ladies that likes to have a good time.

During the year besides riding we hope to spread what CARD is all about, educating people that cars and cyclists can use the same road AND get along.

Below are what I (JG)  am thinking about as goals for the year:

BRR - February
CIRREM - short - February
Elkhart TT's April - August,
Urban Assault - August
Chequmageon 40 - Sept , 
cyclocross Sept - October
Aquabi ?
bike support DSM marathon. - October
I could be talked into swimming for a Exterra team.

Will I get them all accomplished I don't know, I might take some off and add new ones. That is what is so much fun the ability to change your mind. :)

There will also be many many gravel, road and mtb rides. We are hoping to do a Full Moon ride on Fridays and Saturdays when there is a full moon! We will also have the Women's Friday Night rides to Cummings to harass Bob. :)

Stop back often and see how things are going for the new CARD Women's Cycling Team.

Until then PEACE

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New For 2011

It is hard to believe that 2010 is almost over and 2011 is almost here..where does the time go. I am not going to bore you with all of the things I did this year here is a quick update:

4 Elkhart TT
Swam for an Exterra Team we got 3rd.
2 MTB races 1 was good 1 was bad
7 Cross Races 3rd overall in 45+ catagory for the Scheels series.(pays to do all of the races..:))
Countless hours of riding, supporting, heckling and just being  the basic nutcase that I am.

Ok that was 2010 here is what is on tap for 2011!

A New Womens Cycling Team in DSM. The Julie's have been talking about this for a long time, starting another womens cycling team in Des Moines.  We had tossed around the idea of a womens BikeIowa team however that was not feasible at this time, so after more thinking and stressing JS hit on a perfect team.  Team CARD Iowa. CARD stands for Cyclists Against Reckless Drivers.... Team CARD was started in Arizona by Steve Donaldson. Team CARD Mission is "Make our streets a safer place to ride and bring public awareness to reckless driving" 

Julie S. had chatted with Steve a couple of times and after she told me her idea to ask Steve if we could start an Iowa Chapter I was like "Go For It" and that is how we are starting Team CARD Iowa. Steve have been very gracious in helping us get things going. Team CARD Iowa is even getting it's own unique kit, in place of the pink we are going to have Lavender.

So far we have 7 women who have said yes to becoming a team member. I know that I am thrilled with the prospect of what Team CARD can do to bring awareness to the recklessness of some drivers.

That is all the news for now, until next time Peace!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Fall Review

When exactly is Fall: Sept 21st - Dec 21st. I learned that in school and that is what I go by...

Ok now that Fall has been established onward...It has been a very busy Fall.  The cyclocross season is very short and intense. The Scheels central Iowa Cyclecross series started the last week of Sept with Capital Cross and ended Oct 31st with Spooky Cross. 7 races in 5 Weeks, with a couple of weeks with no races. My goal was to do 3 of the races. I ended up doing all 7.

Capital Cross started the season out wet and muddy while Spooky cross ended it dry and bumpy. Inbetween we had to battle the dutch letters at the dirty wooden shoe, the long and winding course at Altoona Cross and the crowds and lights at Oakley Night Cross. I can say I have learned to ride in all types of weather, on all terrains and day or night. I noticed that my riding, bike handling skills and finess have improved from last year. I do cross to keep a base level fitness.

In amongst all of the cross races i did a MTB race..Ahquabi, it was alot of fun and I plan on doing it again next year. I also was support again this for the DSM Marathon. I was given the task this year of guiding and supporting a visually impaired gentleman around the course. Karolyn Zeller help me. It was a very rewarding and enlightening experience.  Never let anyone or anything stop you from trying what you want to try.

Mixed in with all of that was trying to keep that house going and working. Keeping a clean house has failed miserably. I will admit that I was getting very tired before Spooky Cross and by the time it was over I was exhausted. My mind and body are both very tired. So I decided that Spooky was my last cross race for the year. I will be at State Cross and Jingle Cross heckling and cheering but not riding.

Taking up my time now is play practice. I am doing the Christmas play with the Newton Community Theater, they are doing Mrs. Bob Cratchets Wild Christmas Binge. It is a parody of a Christmas Carol. of course I am Mrs Bob Cratchet. It is a fun part. I will do a play every two years or so.  I plan on trying to ride outside all winter if possible. if not i have the trainer in the basement. I have a few things that i need to work on before next year. Hopefully I can get them worked out.

Have a great Fall everyone!

Until next time Peace!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mountain Biking

I have found a new love in Mountain Biking. I thoroughly enjoy being in the woods, not worrying about cars and trucks buzzing me while on the road. Even with my multiple bruises all over my legs right now...I'm ready for more!

This winter will be lots of gravel riding, spin classes, running, and swimming. Kind of like training for the Tri's again, but with the goal of being able to climb those hills on the Mt Bike courses SO much better!

With the ultimate final goal of joining in on the Cyclocross fun next year! I thought I'd do sprint tri's again in 2011, I'm just not ready for that route again yet. Maybe in another year or two...right now I want to ride my bike!!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Chequamegon 2010

This past weekend was the Chequamegon Fat Tire festival. Last Feb I kept hearing how fun Cheqy was so I decided at the last minute to sign up and hope for the best. Well I got a lottery pick so I was going to Cheqy. I had no idea what i was getting myself into. Cheqy is a 40 mile MTB race. I asked around trying to find out the best way to train. The one thing i kept hearing was ride Ahquabi by Indianola, well with all of the rain it was unridable. So I rode gravel ,tried to find as many hills that I could and hoped for the best.

I was so wrong, I did not train correctly at all. I was so out of my league that they should have thrown me off of the starting line. ok I need to back up. Friday I meet up with Dave, Dee, Maria, Heather, Karolyn and Kim in Ankeny and we car caravan ed to Cable to pick up our packets and do a test ride.

We got there to early for packet pick up so decided to ride first. We were going to ride the last 3-5 miles of the course to test our legs and test the bikes. The Saturday before I had broken a chain on one of my training ride, Bill got it put back on and I took it out for a ride Tuesday. It held fine so all was good, right?, wrong. The last few miles of Cheqy are very hilly off road. I was going up the hill and had my second  "oh Shit" moment in a week, the chain broke AGAIN. I could not believe it another broken chain, I got the chain off of the bike and started to walk to the car which meant pushing the bike up and down hills. Heather stayed with me bless her heart until the mosquitoes go to bad. Many gentlemen stopped and offered to help however I needed to walk and think things out. I did not have another chain, I did not really know what to do. I was crying at this point because I was so frustrated. By the time I got back to the car I told them I was packing up and heading home. I actually told Kim that If I left then and went home I would never get on a  bike again. All she said was " I know". I called Bill ,he had no idea why it would be breaking, he talked me into going to the TREK tent and seeing if they could fix my chain. 

I took the bike to the TREK tent asked if they could fix the chain, thinking they would fix my broken chain, however  the mechanic took the bike and put a new chain , a step up from the one that I had on, then proceeded to make sure it was adjusted correctly. He only charged me 20 dollars for the chain nothing for his labor but I gave him a tip. I am sorry to say that I didn't get his name. He said that this was his 18th year of either riding or working Cheqy. I went to pack pick up got my stuff and ran into the rest of the group, they were happy to see that I had at least picked up my packet that I had not given up yet.

I found out that the way you save your spot in line basically was first come first serve, So Dave, Dee, Kim and Karolyn got up at 4 am and set their bikes at the starting line. Maria and I decided we did not expect to win so we waited until 8 am to set our bikes, it was an incredible site to see all of those bike flipped upside down.

Dee and Daves' Tandem doing it's own thing...

very fun to see all of the bikes upside down.

The race started at 10 so at about 9:40 they had the "Bandit Patrol" remove any bikes that did not have numbers on them, then at about 9:50 they had them remove any bikes that were not occupied. They have this down to a science. After the National Anthem was sung they did the count down.5 4 3 2 1  *BOOM*  and we were off, kind of, it took a little bit to get back to us but not more than a minute. You just had to hold your line otherwise you were getting ran over. The start of the race is about 3 miles of pavement until you get to Rosie's Field which is grass, next is Berkie Trail......I put Cheqy into three sections, Gravel, dirt/rock trails, and the Birkebeiner cross country ski trail. The Berkie as it is call is a cross country ski trail that hosts many activities thru the year, running races, Fat Tire Festival and various cross country ski races. Do not let anyone tell you "oh it is a cross country ski hill it cannot be that tough". It was hell. I have never had anything sap my energy so fast. It didn't help that Wisconsin has been getting rain so it was like riding on an energy sapping sponge.

It usually takes my legs a few miles to warm up and the thighs to quit hurting. They never quit hurting, I rode up some of the hills and walked others. I was walking more than I normally would however i was riding on an untested chain and didn't want to push my luck. I soon found that for me to even make forward progress on the Berkie trail i needed to put the bike in the granny gear, so I just prayed that the chain would hold.
The chain and bike did great. The rider(me)sucked. I tried to ride my own race take it easy breath easy, however there was no breathing easy on this trail, I would catch up with people on the gravel and the mud, rock trails however I would just die on the grass.

I thought that I could just take my time poke my way along. However that was not to be either at about mile 14 I started to hyperventilate going up hills, I am sure my heart rate was well into the 200's which is not good for an old lady like me. I knew that we would cross hwy 00 which was at mile 16. Once I got there I sat down and was done. I could barely move, my legs were burning, my heart was racing and I was toast.  I had done 16 miles of a 40 mile race and was done.

I caught a ride with a very nice lady to Cable, found Heather our Sherpa/pack person, changed my clothes and cheered everyone else in. It took me 2 hours to get to mile 16 as I was sitting there waiting for a ride to Cable I heard their radios crack that the person in 1st was at mile 39, the winner did it in 2 hours and 9 minutes.

Chequamegon is a test of endurance, strength and mental fortitude. I had none of them Saturday, I was very unprepared. Was I discouraged, not really. When we hit the grassy fields I knew that I had not trained right and that I was in for a very long day. When I started to hyperventilate and had a hard time breathing I knew that I was done.

I can say that I did start the raced after I wanted to just go home after the chain broke on Friday,  I had every intention of finishing, however It didn't happen. I plan on being there next year to conquer Cheguamegon. I have even booked my room at the lodge I stayed at this year for next year.

So what do I need to do diff:

1. I need to lose weight, I am carrying to much weight
2. my hydration pack was way to heavy, I need to lighten the pack
3. I need to get back in the pool. I need that cross training.
4. find sand and just ride through it getting my legs use to the energy sucking terrain
5. I need to ride Aqhuabi over and over again.
6. keep riding gravel.

It seems that for some people competing comes easy, it does not for me, alot of times i have to force myself out the door. I get really nervous and anxious. So for the next few months I am just going to try to relax ,enjoy cyclocross and work on base fitness.

Fun Cheqy take aways :

1. Met John and Phil from Minneapolis great guys who looked me up after to see how I had done then informed me I was going to do it next year.
2. The people are very friendly and helpful.
3. I can do the polka with a stranger from Chicago.
4. Spotted Cow beer is wonderful, so I now have a case of it. :)
5. What a fun group of people Dave, Dee, Karolyn, Kim, Maria and Heather. Dave and his women! They had us me laughing.
6. Heather and Maria make good roomies for a weekend.

...there are more but sometimes you just have to keep it to yourself...:)

My pics from Chequamegon

 Cheqy didn't beat me it just set me back a little bit! Just wait until next year.. :)


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gravel and stuff

I am taking a different approach this year to riding. I have always ridden road bikes, I like my road bike however with all of the car vs bike issues going on road riding kind of scares me. So I have taken to the gravel. Living in Newton, working in Pella and being from Pella I know alot of gravel roads. I have been trying to map out different routes which has been alot of fun, Hopefully I can get some of the ladies to drive down from DSM to ride some of them with me.

Since I made my decision to not do any triathlons this year, I seem to be more relaxed. Which to me means that it was the right decision.

Latest Greatest:

About froze my butt of saturday at the Colfax gravel circuit race. I was a stop sign on a corner. I think that I might have found my calling.

Sunday I rode the Chill - i - ride, this is a ride put on by the CIC, central Iowa cyclist. We got to ride around the race track. I rode 1/2 of the way with the group(I had to get a cookie or two) then took off and scouted out some gravel roads. I am finding out there a ALOT of hills around here but I knew that.

JS and I are now officially signed up for sun, mon and tues of RAGBRAI. Watch out world the Julies' are on the loose.

I have been uncovering my plants, it was a long winter for them. I think they are happy to get the mulched leaves off of their little stems. I am also trying to decide what to grow this year.

I am still swimming twice a week and actually running more now then when i was training. Figure that one out.

That is about all for now...until next time PEACE!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Looks like that is what both of us have in tune for this year! I think it is well deserved for the both of us. We had a couple of years of working hard and I think everyone needs to take a break from the work.

I would like to do a couple sprint tris in 2011, we'll see how I'm doing with everything after this year! I may like the fun factor instead...we'll see!!

Look for the Julie's havin' fun at races and cheering everyone else on!!!