Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Whitmore's Landscaping Supercross Southampton Race

I know what you're thinking - that race happened over a week ago. Yes, today it is the 1st of December, and the races were on the 21st and 22nd of November.

Women's 3/4 Race

Course Highlights - a lot of running, some steep hills, and otherwise fast grass sections

Stats - 15 finishers Saturday, 13 finishers Sunday w/ 3 HZ/PBR women (Caitlin, Ali, and Bianca)
That means, on Sunday the HZ/PBR women comprised 23% of the field!

Weather -Sunny!!! Overall, it was chilly to warm up, great to race, with a nice ending of a little cold weather post-race hack

Here's the the DL (down-low/low-down/whatever you want to call it)
Day 1 - After getting a relatively good position onto the course (behind the super-fast girls, in front of others), the race started off well. I got behind Ali and kept her line for a while. Despite a few "yard sale" moves, she managed to get even farther ahead of me. Her style points proved worthy, and she finished 9th. Caitlin put her mountain bike skills to work - making it over a steep mound every time without getting off thus propelling her ahead of others, and into 7th place. My less-than stellar technical skills required me to run more than others, and after 5 1/2 laps, I managed to not get lapped and finished 10th. Did I want to get lapped? Kind of. It was a long, hard race, but a lot of fun!

Day 2 - The course was in reverse. There was more running, but fewer laps. Ali, Caitlin and I got good starts, and were close together throughout the first 2 or so laps. I got to throw some elbows and block for them while running which was fun, and having 2 good lines to follow was beneficial for me. I managed to fall farther behind Caitlin and Ali, though, when I ate it over the barriers (see photo). All of us finished together well, with Ali in 6th, Caitlin in 7th, and me in 8th.

All in all, the weekend was a blast (except for having to study). It was the last race of the season for me, and a good one to end with. Though my travels this past summer didn't help me get any faster, cyclocross was still a lot of fun. Its been a lot of fun having so many HZ women on the starting lines, and hopefully the year to come will be just as fun!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Race Report - coming soon!

This past weekend, Andrea, Ali, Caitlin, and Bianca raced the Whitmore Super Cross in Southampton, NY. It was a blast, and the report will be posted soon (after my test tomorrow)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mercer Cup destroyed me.

Women’s 3/4

Course Highlights: muddy muddy mess

Race Stats: 30ish starters (1 HZ/PBRer)

Weather: misty and muddy

The Low Down: I was not a huge fan of the course. Pretty unexciting (sorry, Mercer Cup organizers – the event was awesome though). I was pretty nervous all week for the infamous fly over so I made sure to pre-ride the entire course. Luckily the course did not have the fly over but the fly over may have added some spice to the race. And maybe the course was not that bad, it easily could have been how lousy I was feeling that made it seem worse. Our drive down consisted of some fevers and chills followed by some nausea – an excellent start to the morning before a race. My legs really did not cooperate as I tried to keep up with the allstars in the race. Overall there was lots of mud, flat straight aways, a set of barriers, and a two step run up.

Summary: Muddy day, feeling sick, paying for it the rest of the week.

Racing both days this weekend may have not been the best idea for my health as I was sent home from the office with a self diagnosed acute bronchitis and some antibiotics.

Recovered, mostly, and looking forward to another racing weekend, hopefully a little more inspiring racing this weekend but of course it will be loads of fun…

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mercer Mud

Women’s 3/4

Course Highlights: mud. more mud.

Race Stats: 33 starters (2 HZ/PBRers Ali and I)

Weather: Sunny, warm. No extra layers necessary.

The Low Down:
The course was tough. A fast road start led on to muddy grass. The course has cool 180s and fun twisty turns. These lacked the fun factor when it turned in to long running sections. I think I got off my bike 5 to 7 times per lap. And we only did 3 laps. The bikes were also holding tons of mud so every time I ran, I lacked the energy to shoulder it. Next year, my TV time will include bike lifts during commercial breaks. I ate it at least 4 times. I also broke my helmet. Second helmet broken in my life. Both due to mud. Second helmet that I've broken because I landed on the back of my head. It's amazing what slamming to the ground can do to a helmet. Maybe that's why my head also hurt.

The most exciting part was that Ali and I sprinted for the line. Sort of. I led us on to the pavement, but she just motors so much faster than me and while I was trying to speed up, she sped by. Darn. I need to train with her more. Nice work girl.

Summary: I think I do better in the technical courses that are still mostly rideable. I can turn in slippery mud, like Granogue. But my muscles just don't power as fast as I'd like through the sticky mud. Plus, I need a pit bike. Hint hint. Cough cough.

Hopefully hitting up the rest of the MAC series this year. Ali and I are keeping each other motivated to "kill it". Or at least keep ourselves in the top ten for the season while still having a blast.

Monday, November 9, 2009


She's currently ranked first in the nation for cat 4's for cyclocross. Someone needs to upgrade :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fair Hill CX

Women’s 3/4

Course Highlights: Barn through, massive sandpit

Race Stats: 20ish starters (2 HZ/PBRers Me, the Caitlin)

Weather: Sunny, questionable arm warmer weather, definitely overdressed if you opted to wear a wooly baselayer

The Low Down: Another perfect cyclocross day – sunny, brisk, Fall weather. I enjoyed sleeping in until 7 and not having to wake up before the sun to drive a hundred miles to race for 40 minutes…

Caitlin and I were representing the HZ/PBR and both received call ups to the first row – yes, it may be because we race more than most, but we will take it. After the starter said “go” (really, no whistle) the field sped up a gradual incline on road before cutting into the grass. The course weaved and turned, Caitlin took off like a rabbit and powered through the course. I slowly watched her pull away and fought to hold my position. We made our way through the barns and over barriers and to the massive mostly rideable sand pit. More winding and turning and a few falls later managed to finish bike and person in one piece.

The women’s elite race featured 3 HZ/PBRers – Kristin, Nikki, and Kristine. Right from the “go” Kristin and Nikki were off the front along with Dede (C3) and Arley (Hub Racing) – Kristine was sitting strong in the second set of riders. The race got exciting when Kristin took the lead into the sand pit and did not look back. There was no catching Kristin as she rode the course flawlessly. Nikki held her own in the battle for ¾ and Kristine continued the PBR tradition with a top 10 performance.

Summary: Great fall day + turny grassy (no mud!) course + post race apples with chocolate dipping sauce & oatmeal craisin cookies courtesy of my parent and inlaws + Kristin taking the elite win = another great cross adventure

Here is the VeloNews summary: http://www.velonews.com/article/99919/scherz-gavin-take-7th-round-of-the-mac-series

Spring Mount

Spring Mount CX hosted by Philly Ciclismo
Women's Elite Open

Course Highlights: 2 small creek crossings and a volleyball court of sand

Race Stats: 12 starters (1 HZ/PBRers, me)

Weather: Mid 60s and sunny.

The Low Down:
I had literally looked up everyone that had pre-reged to get some sense of how the small field was going to stack up. Luckily I didn't put money on my predictions because a few surprises were in store. My goal was top 1/3 as usual.
I went out hard and found myself immediately in 6th with 2 girls right in front of me. I made it my goal to get in to 4th and have my eyes on 3rd by the end of the 2nd lap. Well, I was in 4th for about 100 yards before I realized that Tammy was much faster than me and deserved to be riding that spot. I tried to hang with Tammy who encouraged me to work with her to catch Lisa. However, that didn't work out. Instead, I found myself drifting back in 5th spot. I thought I'd be okay there as long as I kept pushing. But instead, the QCW team was not going to let me relax. Abby from their team was catching me with every lap and I was trying my darndest to hold her off. She had a solid cheering section. Luckily, I kept my transitions smooth since there were at least 3 remounts per lap and held her off for 5th. The last payout place. Now I can say that I won money in an elite women's open cyclocross race. I bought some Dairy Queen to celebrate.

Summary: The course was tough. It was not the dry fast course that I expected since it was warm and sunny out. The mud was tough to slog through and stuck to my tires making the bike heavy. I would love to go up against that same group again on a Saturday and try my hand against Lisa and Tammy again. They were fast.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beacon Photos

Nate took some awesome pictures at Beacon this past Saturday. Here are a few of those of us he caught on film. This is me. I must look so sad staring down those barriers. Everyone else should have to add another beam to even compare to how I feel. My knees can't even see over those things. And I had to go up them next to Kathrin who is about a foot taller than me.
Here is Sara. Hopefully enjoying her first cross race. She rocked.
Bianca, showing off her long legs and ability to go up the 2 annoying stairs after the beach. I couldn't bring myself to include the picture of me at the same steps pushing with one hand off of the my leg to step up.
Ali, super focused, as she approaches the ampitheatre.

The men's Bs race right after the women's Bs. We usually get to stay and watch them. Here Ken and Drew are navigating the ampitheatre steps full of bicycle-carrying men.As Nate said, the remounts make for awesome still photos.

Mud Fest

Cat and Kitten CX presented by HPCX
Women's 3/4

Course Highlights: Up to four sections of running through thick mud.

Race Stats: 31 starters (4 HZ/PBRers, Ali, Sarah G, me and Victoria (incognito as Drexel))

Weather: Low 50s and mostly clear skies.

The Low Down: We lined up by pre-reg order which usually does not do me to well. But I got in line right behind Kim D and wasn't too worried about the first 500 feet. The gun went off and I was cruising until I realized the young lady in front of me had run through the tape causing me to have to dismount and go back under the tape behind her. There was so much mud on course that after the start there were 2 short sections that I found hard to ride and ended up running both. Then the course hit some steep uphill pavement before passing the finish line, which we would see 3 more times. The selections were made early in the race and I found myself near Ali and then trailing her. We could see Lindsey (Coppi) just ahead of us and I was trying my darndest to catch her. Ali and I cruised through the first lap or so together and then she crashed and had to use the pit. Luckily she got it back together and we rode the rest of the race together trying to catch another rider or two. Ali cruised past me right at the line, she sure is quick. Victoria and Sarah looked happy to finish. We all wished we wouldn't have had to pull so much mud out of our bikes as we rode along.

Summary: Awesome teammates + awesome fieldmates + cx = awesome. Always. + Kelley gave me a cupcake and didn't yell at me for detouring around Camden on the way home.

Other Lady Zoomers in attendance:
The usual suspects, Kristine, Andrea, Nikki and Kristin were all laying it down for those other ladies to clean up. Or at least, that's what I guess happened. It appears as if Nikki really slayed, nice work! I wish I could stay to watch them race more often, they are so fast.

Beacon CX - 10/31/09

Women’s 3/4

Course Highlights: The one and only “Amphitheater of Pain” and long “beach” run

Race Stats: 30 starters (5 HZ/PBRers! Me, Bianca, Victoria, Sara S, and Caitlin)

Weather: 12 hour Indian Summer weather - just excited it was not rainy and muddy for once this season.

The Low Down: All week I was looking forward to the forecast of 72 degrees and sunny – a rare change of pace from the muddy, cold, rainy, overall misery of this season. However, when the alarms went off and rain was pouring, I was not happy. That may be an understatement, I was pretty angry – I just really like being dry and warm. Luckily, the 60 mile drive to Beacon proved the rain was only over Philadelphia. The race was cloudy, 70 degrees, and dry.

We were staged by order of race entry which worked to my advantage giving me a second row starting position. From the starting whistle, the race pace was fast. The start was a gradual uphill climb on road before ducking right into the woods – giving any road rider a decent advantage from the start. Luckily, I felt good from the go and managed to be towards the front when we went into the woods. The course wound through wide, flat, single track then riders shot down to the “beach.” I managed to ride the first 10 yards before having to dismount and run the remaining 15 yards. After more winding through the woods, we entered the “Amphitheater of Pain.” I heard dreaded stories of this infamous amphitheater. Let’s just say it lives up to it’s reputation. Trying to lift my legs up over the 2-2.5 foot steps was pretty painful. Luckily we only had to run up the giant stairs 4 times (maybe only 3, I try to block out those memories). After the first lap, the field was separated. Three women were off the front and I was in a chase group of 4. We were unsuccessful at catching the front pack but we had our own throw down for the next spots.

Yes, the racing was fun, but I always love watching our elite women battle it our in the A race. Kristine, Nikki, Kristin, and Andrea tore it up once again giving us something to train for…Great job to everyone out there racing and peddling fast…

Summary: Nice weather + great course + lots of HZ/PBRers out there = another great race day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Welcome, Fall Team Ride

Welcome to our Human Zoom Ladies team blog. As a team, we are going to try and post more often about racing, riding, and just having fun together. We want to share how much fun we have together and how we are just regular ladies enjoying our bicycles as often as possible. We are students, teachers, nurses, directors of non-profits and programmers. We ride bicycles for fun, health, and sport.


Today 7 of the 12 HZ ladies got together + Nate to go for a ride. We cruised to Valley Forge and schemed up ways to make our team even better. We even stopped in some lovely fall foliage to take a few pictures (to be posted shortly). We are proud that the new team president is one of us and we are excited for cyclocross season, the off-season and the another year of racing.