Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Die Silkeschau

Silke Wunderwald took yet another win at the Tour of the Catskills, a stage race in upstate New York consisting of two 50+ mile road races. She broke away with two CRCA/Radical Media riders and won a very closely contested, rainy sprint in stage 1, the Mountain Top Classic.

In stage 2, the Catskill Epic, Silke rounded out the podium in 3rd place, giving her 3rd in the final general classification. Congratulations, Silke!

Friday, August 29, 2008


I (Michele) used my kick-ass IF Planet X for this ride, the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee (D2R2).

The first section was brutal: 12.7 miles, 2240' climbing. The climbs were pretty loose and by the time we got to the top of the climb before the first control my back was killing me. I found some old aspirin or something like that in my seat bag. Yum. Just before the first control we saw and heard a man bagpiping in his front yard.

After the first control we headed up into Vermont. My husband, Ed, got these photos before and after the state line.

The second control was at the covered bridge on the Green River back in Massachusetts. Lots of great food at this stop. We corrected our roadie error of overinflating our tires and felt much better afterwards. (I also got a nice compliment on the team kit. Thank you, Brad Sheehan!)

After the bridge it was flat for 10 miles and I felt great. :) We got to the third control, Apex Orchards and enjoyed the tastiest peaches I've ever had.

The final section had a section that the cue sheet described as a "gnarly descent." It was in fact gnarly and I had to get off my bike a couple times because I was too tired to pick the right line. We got back onto roads that looked familiar and I was so excited to finish. Here I am covered with dirt. And I did not at any point fall off my bike.

The verdict: it was better than Cats! I would ride it again and again.

The numbers:

  • 5 25-ounce water bottles consumed
  • 2 packages margarita Clif Shot Blox
  • 63.75 miles
  • 7780 feet of climbing
  • 5:20 ride time
  • 6:14 elapsed time (6:40 time limit)
  • 2 happy riders

Friday, August 15, 2008

Round about the cauldron go
Round about the cauldron go

Not on brooms or around a cauldron, but on bikes we were flying around the Salem town green on Wednesday, August 13. Brenda, Michele, Pauline and Silke all lined up for some mid-week racing fun. Team NEBC / Cycle Loft got the race started and kept the pace high throughout.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Fueled by prime laps with up to $100 on the line NEBC fired off numerous attacks, but Sunapee S&W along with individual riders from other teams wouldn’t let anyone escape from the pack. There was a lot of activity at the front of the race, but super energetic race announcer Rich Fries once more proved his intimate knowledge of the local race scene by quickly identifying the racers flying by the S/F and keeping the throngs of spectators informed.

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

In the final lap Anna McLoon from Colavita New England surged and ratcheted up the speed around the last corners. However, Sunapee quickly moved up around the last corner and Sally Annis from NEBC also found a hole and jumped hard to take the win ahead of Kathryne Carr and Eve McNeil, both from Sunapee S&W. Silke sprinted in for 5th with the rest of the team in the pack.

Quotations from Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tokeneke Classic

Brenda does a pre-flight check on her ultra-light climbing machine.

Brenda, Silke, and Michele lined up with 50 women to race 44 miles with 4800 feet of climbing around the scenic Barkhamsted Reservoir in Connecticut. The women raced with te 55+ men. Team IF led the field at the start, working to maintain a good position going into the first climb up bumpy Beach Rock Road at mile 8. The pack started to come apart a bit over the length of the climb but regrouped only to split decisively at the QOM (end of the first lap). Silke was on the front side of the split with multi-time national champion Anne Marie Miller and four very strong riders from the Radical Media. By the final climb the front group was down to five women and one 55+ guy.

Brenda was driving the second group up the final climb.

Silke finished second behind Anne-Marie while Brenda sprinted in for 13th.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Gate City Cyclone

I was the sole member of the team in attendance at this crit around Holman Stadium in Nashua. The field was completely dominated by NEBC (8 riders) and Sunapee (4 riders). A break got away at the halfway point with half of the NEBC riders and one Sunapee, so there wasn't much to be done behind all the blocking teammates. Eventually we caught all but two NEBC riders and began jockeying for position with one lap to go. I ended up sprinting in for the last money spot and was 10th overall.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

View from the pace car

The IF women were looking sharp at the start! From left: Silke Wunderwald, Leah Pappas-Barnes (a racer who also works at IF), Brenda Bahnson, and Pauline Frascone.

Rather than racing today at the Central New Hampshire Road Race (Bow), I drove the pace car for a couple of races. (This race is put on by my local club, NEBC.) This gave me an excellent view of the women's field. The women did four laps of an 11-mile loop, often racing in the rain.

This is a hilly, selective course, and Mary Zider's (NEBC) attack up to the QOM on the second lap shed several riders and created the winning break. Mary was soon joined by Silke Wunderwald and the two worked together to establish a many-minute gap over the pack.

The pair worked together until the very end. In a very closely fought sprint, Silke was second by a tire-width. Pauline, still a bit sore from yesterday's crash, opted to stop early and work the feed zone. Brenda's climbing prowess was quite evident during the race, and she finished very strongly in the small pack of riders who survived -- nearly one-third of the starters did not finish at all!

Together again

After many weeks apart, the full team reunited at the Concord Crit. We were all super excited to congratulate newlywed Zoe Sheehan (formerly Owers). A pack of 35 riders lined up to contest this technical 6-corner crit. The largest teams present were IF and NEBC. Although there were repeated attempts at solo breakaways, the pack full of fast women chased them down. Zoe and Pauline unfortunately were involved in a minor crash with a few laps to go (both riders are fine and their bikes unscathed) and were unable to finish. In the super-fast finish, Silke showed her versatility and mixed it up with the sprinters for a 2nd place result! Brenda and Michele were 25th and 26th.