Velo Girls & Savvy Bike 2014 event and clinic calendar

No one can help you ride or race your bike better than the coaches of Savvy Bike. Since 2002, we've helped 1,000s of women and men achieve their goals of being smarter, safer, more skilled, and more confident on the bike. We've created a learning atmosphere where you'll feel comfortable and safe, and yet challenged to try something new.

Everyone can benefit from our skills clinics, whether you've been riding six months or two decades! We take the hit or miss out of the learning process to help you flatten the learning curve. It doesn't need to be difficult or painful to learn to ride or race a bike. We'll help you ride "with" your bike instead of "on" your bike. And we'll help you have fun!

By popular demand, we introduced our Bike Skills modules in 2008. We took our most popular two-day bike skills clinics and broke them down into 4-hour modules so you can focus on those skills that are most important to you. Some of these clinics are for women or men only; some are co-ed.

We highly recommend you participate in Bike Skills 101 (or an equivalent clinic) prior to registering for our more advanced road clinics.

Registration is open for all our January - June programs at http://savvybike.eventbrite.com



2014 TRI-FLOW DEVELOPMENT RACING PROGRAMS

Introduced in 2006, this award-winning program is designed to help you bridge the gap from club rider to team racer. In a six-week series of workshops, clinics, and rides, we'll teach you everything you need to know to begin road racing and then support you at your first race. This program is limited to eight riders each session. A solid level of cycling fitness is required. Program fee includes custom team jersey, USA Cycling License, race registration fee, twice-weekly team training, and a group training program.

Contact coaching@savvybike.com to schedule an assessment.

BARIANI ROAD RACE
February 9 - March 16, 2014

Eventbrite - Tri-Flow Racing Development Program -- Bariani Road Race



2014 EVENT TRAINING SERIES

CINDERELLA KICK-START CLINIC
January 18, 2014 | Redwood City, CA

Are you planning to ride the Cinderella Classic on April 5th, 2014? If so, this is the PERFECT clinic for you. We combine the best skills from our Bike Skills modules, along with important information about nutrition and bike maintenance, to start you off in the right direction for a successful event. Then, join us for our progressive training ride series that begins the following week and you'll be crossing the finish line in style! Meet other women who will be riding Cinderella and have a GREAT day of bike-love learning.

Eventbrite - Cinderella Kick-Start Clinic

ALPINE ALTITUDE ADVENTURE (AKA DEATH RIDE TRAINING CAMP)
June 20-22, 2014 | Markleeville, CA

Join us for a fun, co-ed training weekend in Markleeville, CA, home of the Death Ride. This 6th annual co-ed weekend camp is designed to help prepare participants for the rigors of endurance riding at high altitude. Based in Markleeville, CA, this camp is appropriate for Death Ride participants and others who wish to gain high altitude experience. Daily mileage options range from 25 - 75 miles. Registration fee includes camping (Friday + Saturday), a Friday skills clinic, SAG on rides, cycling nutrition, Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Sunday breakfast, and lots of fun with cool folks.

Eventbrite - Alpine Altitude Adventure



SAVVY BIKE SKILLS CLINICS

BIKE SKILLS 101: FUNDAMENTAL BIKE HANDLING SKILLS - SPONSORED BY BICYCLELAWYER.COM

This 4-hour co-ed clinic is the foundation of everything else you'll learn on the bike. This is the clinic where we teach the old dogs new tricks and the newbies the fundamentals. You'll learn about balance and weight distribution and how that affects your ability to ride your bike safely and confidently. We'll learn skills like riding with no hands, emergency stops, and how to look behind you while holding your line, how to steer, and counter-steer. After just four hours, we guarantee you'll be a better bike handler and have much more fun on the bike. This clinic is a pre-requisite for all other Bike Skills road cycling clinics.

February 8, 2014 | Redwood City, CA
March 15, 2014 | Redwood City, CA
April 26, 2014 | Redwood City, CA
May 31, 2014 | Redwood City, CA
July 13, 2014 | Redwood City, CA
August 17, 2014 | Redwood City, CA
September 13, 2014 | Redwood City, CA
October 18, 2014 | Redwood City, CA


Eventbrite - Carmel Valley Women's Cycling Escape Weekend

BIKE SKILLS 102: FUNDAMENTAL MOUNTAIN BIKE SKILLS

It's time for a little dirty fun! We'll teach you the basics (and not-so-basics) of balance, weight distribution, and how to use the terrain to your advantage. Learn to rock, roll, hop, and jump. Master the art of steep climbs. Learn to descend with confidence and skill. After just four hours, we guarantee you'll be a better bike handler and have much more fun on the bike.

March 1, 2014 | Palo Alto, CA
May 10, 2014 | Palo Alto, CA
July 27, 2014 | Palo Alto, CA
September 28, 2014 | Palo Alto, CA
November 8, 2014 | Palo Alto, CA


Eventbrite - Carmel Valley Women's Cycling Escape Weekend

BIKE SKILLS 103: FUNDAMENTAL CYCLOCROSS SKILLS + TACTICS

Have you been wondering what's all the buzz about cyclocross? It's a fun but challenging sport that's beginner-friendly and appropriate for the entire family. And best of all, it's happening at a park near you! In this four-hour clinic, you'll learn all the skills needed to get started in this incredible sport, including mounts, dismounts, and how to shoulder and carry your bike. We'll also share information about bikes & equipment, the local cyclocross racing scene, and how to train for a successful season. We'll finish off the day with a simulated race and de-brief. You'll need a mountain bike or a cyclocross bike for this clinic.

August 24, 2014 | Palo Alto, CA


Eventbrite - Carmel Valley Women's Cycling Escape Weekend

BIKE SKILLS 201: CLIMBING + DESCENDING SKILLS - SPONSORED BY JAN MEDINA REAL ESTATE

Bike Skills 201 is a continuation of what you've learned in Bike Skills 101. What goes up must come down, right? In this 4-hour co-ed clinic, we'll teach you how to climb like a pro - seated climbs, standing climbs, short climbs, steep climbs, extended climbs. And then, we'll teach you how to come back down again, focusing on a fast straight descent, and then a technical switchbacky descent. Pre-requisite: Bike Skills 101 or equivalent experience.

February 8, 2014 | Portola Valley, CA
March 15, 2014 | Portola Valley, CA
April 26, 2014 | Portola Valley, CA
May 31, 2014 | Portola Valley, CA
July 13, 2014 | Portola Valley, CA
August 17, 2014 | Portola Valley, CA
September 13, 2014 | Portola Valley, CA
October 18, 2014 | Portola Valley, CA


Eventbrite - Carmel Valley Women's Cycling Escape Weekend

BIKE SKILLS 301: PACELINES + GROUP RIDING

Wheelsucking is an art! Whether you're a racer or a recreational rider, group riding skills will help you ride longer, faster, and farther. We'll learn draft theory and basic pacelines, beginning with partner work and progressing to more complex group riding skills and introductory racing techniques. Pre-requisite: Bike Skills 101 or equivalent experience.

April 6, 2014 | Woodside, CA
June 8, 2014 | Woodside, CA
September 14, 2014 | Woodside, CA
November 9, 2014 | Woodside, CA


Eventbrite - Carmel Valley Women's Cycling Escape Weekend

BIKE SKILLS 302: RACING SKILLS + TACTICS

This six-hour clinic will teach you all the individual bike-handling and group riding skills you'll need to race your first (or your 10th) criterium or road race. In addition to skills & drills, you'll receive expert coaching on race preparation and logistics, and an introduction to tactics. We'll finish the day with a training race followed by a de-brief. Pre-requisite: Bike Skills 101 or equivalent experience.

Dates TBD


Eventbrite - Carmel Valley Women's Cycling Escape Weekend

BIKE SKILLS 301: ADVANCED RACING SKILLS + TACTICS

Are you an experienced racer? Are you ready to step up your game for 2014? In this six-hour clinic we'll focus on individual bike-handling, group riding, and racing skills. In addition to skills & drills, you'll receive expert coaching on race preparation and logistics, as well as tactics (both individual and team). We'll finish the day with a training race followed by a de-brief. Register with teammates to enhance your learning! Pre-requisite: Bike Skills 101 or equivalent skills clinic, or a minimum of 10 race starts.

Dates TBD


Eventbrite - Carmel Valley Women's Cycling Escape Weekend

BIKE TOURING 101
May 17-18, 2014 | Pescadero, CA

Have you thought about touring on your bike but don't know where to begin? We'll unravel the mysteries of supported, fully-loaded, and semi-loaded touring for you. This clinic includes a two-hour seminar on the topics of equipment, bicycle choice, what to bring, how to pack, camping, cooking, safety, and choosing your route. Then, we head out for a weekend of semi-loaded touring with a 50-mile hilly option or a 25-mile rolling option, both ending at Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel in Pescadero, where we'll have dinner, spend the evening, soak in the hot tub, and sleep. The next day, we pack up and return to the start. This is a fully-supported event and includes ride nutrition, dinner (Saturday) and breakfast (Sunday), SAG, and your accommodations at the hostel.

Eventbrite - Bike Touring 101

BIKE TOURING 201
Details and dates TBA.

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on November 30, 2013


2014 Velo Girls Membership is LIVE

You can now register for 2014 Velo Girls membership.

New for 2014:
  • Pre-pay a discounted professional bike fit from Savvy Bike with a Velo Girls discount
  • Add a discounted Savvy Bike 4-hour Bike Skills clinic to your membership
  • Register for our Cinderella Kick-Start Clinic with a Velo Girls discount

Another exciting change for 2014 is that you can order all of your Velo Girls clothing DIRECTLY through Pactimo. And (drumroll, please) Pactimo will ship your order directly to YOU! We will not be combining clothing orders with membership this year. Our first clothing order will take place in December 2013 for delivery in February 2014. We will re-open the team store monthly throughout the year so you can order when it's most convenient for you. Stay tuned for an exciting new design!

As an incentive to register early, use promotional code "earlybird" to receive a 10% discount on membership if you register before November 1st, 2013!

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on October 14, 2013


Powered by Fritos ... CCCX Mountain Bike Single Speed Win

I don't write race reports very often but what the heck! I don't win races every day, either.

On Saturday, Team Velo Girls mountain bikers headed down to Ft. Ord (Monterey, CA) to race the final in a season-long, 8-race cross-country mountain bike series. This long-running series is put on by by Keith DeFiebre of CCCX, and I've been racing it on + off since 2005 (when I barely knew how to ride a mountain bike).

Velo Girls at CCCX8

Last year, I decided to try my hand at single speed mountain bike racing. It seemed like a good fit for me at the time, since I couldn't race the beginner category (I'm really not a beginner) but the sport category is filled with uber-serious mountain-biking chicks whose technical skills put this roadie-who-mountain-bikes to shame. Short mountain bike races (about 90 minutes) fit well with my weight-loss goal at the time since I wasn't able to deficit calories and ride long durations. In 2012, I raced the first 3 races of the series and then my roadie life of coaching, racing, and training for the Death Ride got in the way.

Honestly, I don't mountain bike nearly as much as I should. If I dust off the bike (or dust up the bike) a dozen times a season that's good for me. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy mountain biking, but it doesn't alway fit into my coaching + training schedule. But interestingly enough, when I pulled out my mountain bike this spring, I found my technical skills were pretty good this year. I wasn't riding as conservatively as in the past. I'm not sure why this is, but I wasn't fighting it. And I was feeling fit and having fun, so I looked at the race calendar and realized the only race of the season that would fit into my schedule would be the series finale in August, so I committed to racing it with my teammates.

In preparation for Saturday's race, I pulled out my Sycip single speed and did a few rides. As suspected, I was fitter and stronger than last year. I was able to ride a harder gear and still manage all the climbing at Arastradero Open Space Preserve on the Dirty Velo Girls rides. It felt easier than last year. And, with the harder gear, I was riding faster, too. All good.

Single speed mountain biking is fun. It presents a new challenge for me as I have to think about optimizing my gearing (not too hard because you can't climb, but not too easy because you lose time on the flats). I have to capitalize on momentum (you can't brake on the descents leading into the uphills or you suffer on the climbs). I have to think about when to recover so I have the energy needed for the challenging bits. So, for someone who's ridden Arastradero for 10 years, which can get kinda boring on a geared bike, it adds a whole new element of challenge and fun.

I was excited to get out and race with our four Team Velo Girls mountain bike team members: Julie K. Cristina, Jessica U., and Simone. These girls have been super-active this year, racing a bunch, leading beginner rides as well as our weekly Dirty Velo Girls rides. They've been recruiting, encouraging and supporting women who are new to the sport. And they've had a ton of fun doing it!

I was excited to race on Saturday because it would give me an interesting perspective on how my fitness had improved in the past year and a half (since my last single speed race).

And I was excited to race just because I love racing. I also love my friends who race mountain bikes (and don't get to see them often enough). And I love the fun, supportive vibe at mountain bike races.

I had planned to change my gearing to a smaller, harder cog for Saturday's race, but I didn't have time this week to change the gear and test it out, so I stuck to what I had on the bike (the gear I had raced with last year).

My alarm went off at 4:00am on Saturday and I was ready to go! I ate my usual breakfast of hot quinoa with apples, raisins, cinnamon, coconut milk, chia seeds, and coconut. My cooler was packed and I snacked during my drive to Monterey. I drank a couple of bottles for good measure to stay hydrated during the race. I downed some GU Chomps and GU energy gel during my pre-ride (and during the race).

I arrived in time to pre-ride the course once on my geared bike (to progressively warm up and save my climbing legs) and then finished my hour-long warm-up on the single speed, riding the opening climbs a few times to bolster my confidence. As I age, my warm-up is more and more important, and I find that 45-60 minutes is just about perfect. I really liked the course: swoopy singletrack, lots of sand to keep you alert, the awesome berm section, and lots of climbing. I knew I could climb faster than many of the girls due to my gearing. I was concerned with the extended flat sections because I knew I would lose time there.

And then, the familiar, standing at the line waiting for the race to begin: smiling, laughing, chatting with friends and other racers. All the women, regardless of age group, start together in the race, which is great, because it increases the pool of women competitors.

The opening climb felt great, although I lost time on the lead group of girls because I didn't have the gearing to keep up with them. Bummer, as one of my goals for the race was to stick with Simone, our rock-star climber, until the first descent. Cristina and I climbed together and I realized she had a harder gear than me. She was climbing really well, and I started to think she would dust me on the descents and I'd never see her again. We stayed together for the first half of the first lap, until I was able to pass another racer and lost her. But with her harder gearing and her ninja technical skills, I kept expecting to see her right behind me again in no time.

I saw teammate Jessica ahead and made her my next target. I caught her on a climb and we stayed together for a while until I was able to out-climb her on an extended climb near the end of the first lap (thank you SS gearing), but she was never far behind and knowing she was there kept me motivated to ride hard. I had to dismount and run part of one long, steep climb, as Jessica inched ever closer. With Jessica looming, I railed the descent because I knew she was at an advantage with her gearing and skills. I'm pretty conservative and was impressed that I went balls to the wall, and then promptly bit it. Luckily, I landed pretty softly, jumped back on the bike and jammed to keep her out of sight. There's definitely an "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" tactical advantage to mountain bike racing so my goal was not to let her see me again.

As I started my third lap, I saw teammate Julie at the top of that stupid-steep climb. She was my new target now, and try as I might I just couldn't catch her, but she kept me motivated through the third lap. I passed some guys and kept pushing hard. I got sloppy a few times and reminded myself to stay focused. I was able to finish 30 seconds behind Julie.

I rolled into the finish, first in single speed, and ahead of about half the field of geared girls. I felt great. I toyed with the idea of racing again on my geared bike with the sport girls, but my schedule was tight so I passed on the idea.

All in all, a super-fun day and I met all my goals (except for sticking with Simone):

  1. support my teammates
  2. have fun
  3. improve on my last single speed race a year and a half ago (my average time was more than 2mph faster)
  4. race smart but aggressively
  5. don't get lapped by the fast guys
  6. win (yup, that was my goal)

The team had a GREAT day at CCCX! Simone, Julie, and I took the WINS in our respective races. Cristina picked up 2nd and Jessica placed 4th. Simone, Julie, and Cristina also WON the series and Jessica placed 3rd overall. Congratulations to my super-amazing teammates on a GREAT season, and thanks for letting me come out and play in the dirt with you on Saturday.

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on August 28, 2013


Pactimo Does It Again!

MPGP 2013 jersey

We've had a great relationship with Pactimo the past two seasons, and we're super-excited about the winner's jersey they've designed for the 8th Annual Menlo Park Grand Prix presented by KitOrder.com. Check it out! And don't forget, you can't WIN if you don't register to race. Save $$$ with our early registration discount if you register by June 30th. Yup, that's this Sunday!

REGISTER

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on June 25, 2013


How Can YOU Support Women's Cycling?

For the past 8 years, Velo Girls has promoted (bike racing lingo for putting on a race) the Menlo Park Grand Prix. This is an awesome criterium on a very unique course and we pull out all the stops to make this a fun, family-oriented day of bike racing. In addition to our competitive events, we have a super-fun expo, a FREE children's race, other fun kid's events, and even gourmet food trucks. This year's race is July 28th and we're busy planning all the details of this year's event.

As one of the only all-women's cycling clubs in the United States to promote a bike race, we've made it our mission to use this race to promote women's bike racing. With eleven races during the course of the day, we have FIVE women's races (while most other races only have one or two). This year's edition of the Menlo Park Grand Prix is host to the Elite Women's State Championship, the Master Women's State Championship (with two races), and separate races for CAT 3 and CAT 4 women. This is a HUGE investment for us since women's fields are smaller than men's fields and there is a pretty significant loss of income for the women's races. But women's cycling is our mission so we're willing to take that risk and find other sources of income to underwrite this investment.

It takes a lot of resources for us to put on this race and we'd love to get YOU involved this year. Here's how you can help:

  1. Register to Race: We have 11 competitive events during the day, including Northern California Nevada Cycling Association BikeReg.com Premier Series races for P/1/2 (men), Masters 1/2/3 35+ (men), Masters 1/2/3 45+ (men), and Women 1/2/3. We're also part of the NCNCA Women's Series with separate fields for the CAT3 and CAT 4 women.

    Click here to register

  2. Become a Sponsor: We're particularly interested in cash sponsorship, but donations of goods and services are also welcome (either to supplement race production or to be used as prizes). We're utilizing social media this year to help raise funds and all donations are welcome and appreciated. Check out our new "Friend of Menlo Park Grand Prix sponsorship level (and get a super-sexy race t-shirt).

    gofundme.com/8thmenloparkgrandprix

  3. Volunteer on Race Day: It takes more than 70 volunteers and staff to put on a race of this caliber. We've got volunteer positions for course marshalls, registration staff, and even podium girls! Email Lorri@velogirls.com for details.

Our list of event sponsors is growing daily, but special thanks go to KitOrder.com for stepping up as presenting sponsor this year.

We'd also like to thank Cycles Fanatic, Davis Junior Race Team, High Note Coffee, Ink Monkey Graphics, Pactimo, Rock Tape, and Savvy Bike.

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on June 18, 2013


Are YOU Ready For A Century?

Okay, this is your year. You've been riding your bike pretty consistently. Maybe you've been thinking about completing a century ride (100 miles). Maybe it's your first. Maybe it's your 100th. Maybe you've lost count.

Team Velo Girls wants to ride a century with YOU!

Our next Progressive Training Ride Series starts in August, so mark these dates on your calendar. This series is focused on the Foxy's Fall Century in Davis on October 19th. This is a great fall century -- not too hilly, not too flat -- and Napa and Solano counties are just gorgeous in the fall! Registration opens on August 1st and typically sells out quickly so mark that date on your calendar, too!

This 8-week series begins with a 45-mile ride on August 18th, so start ramping up your mileage so you're ready to jump right in! Details and RSVP for these and all our rides + events can be found on our meetup at www.meetup.com/velogirls

Velo Girls Cinderella 2013


2013 Foxy's Fall Century Progressive Training Ride Series:

  • August 18th -- Orinda BART -- 45 miles
  • August 25th -- Mike's Bikes Sausalito -- 50 miles
  • September 8th -- Orinda BART -- 50 miles
  • September 15th -- Woodside Town Hall -- 60 miles
  • September 22nd -- Mike's Bikes Sausalito -- 65 miles
  • September 29th -- Woodside Town Hall -- 70 miles
  • October 6th -- East Bay -- 80 miles
  • October 13th -- Mike's Bikes Sausalito -- 60 miles
  • October 19th -- Foxy's Fall Century, Davis, CA -- 100 miles (or 64 miles)
Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on June 17, 2013


8th Menlo Park Grand Prix: Results

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on July 31, 2013


8th Menlo Park Grand Prix - July 28, 2013: Registration Opens May 30, 2013

2013 Menlo Park Grand Prix

Join us for our 8th edition of this always-popular criterium on July 28, 2013 at Bohannon Industrial Park in Menlo Park. With a full day of racing action, the Menlo Park Grand Prix, is part of the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association BikeReg.com Premier Series, featuring the very best men and women elite and masters racers in the area. In addition, this year's race is the 2013 NCNCA Women's Elite and Masters State Criterium Championship, where you can watch the top women go head to head for the honor of wearing the state champ jersey for the coming year.

The Menlo Park Grand Prix is a fun-filled event for the whole family. We encourage you to come, race, spectate, and bring the kids. We're bringing back the Menlo Park Mini Prix, a free fun race for children ages 12 and under. The kids will race at 12:45pm and every child will receive a medal! You can pre-register your child on-line or just arrive by 9:30am to register at the race.

RACERS: REGISTER ONLINE BEGINNING MAY 30, 2013



HELP SPONSOR THE MENLO PARK GRAND PRIX

Seize the opportunity to become an event sponsor, whether you want full title/naming rights, or present specific category races, or even provide the means that enable Velo Girls to put on an event with even more fun for the whole family. Visit gofundme.com/8thmenloparkgrandprix for details.



Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on May 29, 2013


Double Trouble on the Davis Double

On Saturday, Team Velo Girls member Diane Blattner fulfilled her goal of riding the Davis Double Century. By her side, during training and the ride, was teammate Lyn Roberts. Diane shares her experience with us:

Davis Double Century 2013


I'm so glad Lyn was with me on the Davis Double. She has more stamina and resiliency than almost anyone I know and it is hard to imagine a better riding partner. It a was long and challenging day and night. We started at 4:20 AM and rolled back into Davis about 10:20 PM. Of the 18 hours, I think I was rolling about 15.5 hours.

There are three major climbs with the hardest one in the middle, a ten mile climb starting around mile 95. It is so tough, the organizers put a water stop just a mile from the top; just before the stretch that is a 14% grade. At the beginning of this segment were four miles of unpaved, hard-packed dirt. Yuck!

The ride passes both Lake Berryessa and Clear Lake. I've never been to either before and it was great to ride amidst such incredible beauty. Around mile 90, I ran into my daughter's work friend from the UC Davis Bike Barn. There was a charming little lake right there, so we stopped to take a picture and texted it to my daughter and to his mom. It was just too daunting to stop at the pretty parts when there was so much riding to do so aside from the un-scenic rest stop photos, these are the only pictures before mile 200.

One thing that stood out to me was this funny shack about halfway up the last big climb called the Oasis. Even in my exhausted state, it did not seem too Oasis-like to me.

The miles between 140 and 160 were the most challenging for me. My computer stopped working and my Strava app lost the GPS signal, so for 20 miles I had no idea how long until the next rest stop. Beautiful as those miles were, they all looked the same... no turns, no change of scenery. I couldn't tell if I was bored or tired; I guess both.

We made really good time on the next stretch, which is a highway with no shoulder that runs by Cache Creek Casino -- there was a nice tailwind and we were motivated and determined to get off that road as quickly as possible to avoid the shift change at the casino. I scored my Strava Queen of the Mountain segment in this stretch, which I got to keep for one day until another rider uploaded her results to Strava. Still, after 160 miles and more than 8,000 feet of climbing, it feels good to know I was still capable of setting a record on that stretch of road.

We were met at the end of the ride by my lovely daughter, Beccy who is a freshman at UC Davis. It was the first time anyone has ever met me at the end of the event. She's on crutches from a knee injury, so having her there was even more significant because of the effort it took for her to get there and back from her dorm. Finishing was both emotional and exhilarating.

Given all the time I had to be introspective on the ride, I discovered a shift in my thinking. As a young woman, there were many things that I thought I couldn't do, that I would never dare to imagine. Now that I've climbed many thousands of feet, completed numerous cycling events, a whole bunch of half-marathons and jumped out of a plane, it is no longer an issue of whether I think I can do it, but if I am willing to challenge myself more and the answer is Yes. I understand that it is not just the physical fitness, but also the mental toughness and resilience that get you through.

I thank Lyn and Laura for joining me on all the extra training rides, and all my teammates, riding, and training partners and Velo Girls club members who rode with me and encouraged me all winter. A few weeks ago, before the Grizzly Peak Century, Team Velo Girls member Winnie said to me,"you can and you will" and then I did.

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on May 23, 2013


Just Added: Dirty Velo Girls BEGINNER Mountain Bike Rides

Hey ladies! If you're new to mountain biking, we've got the PERFECT ride for you. Starting in June, we've added a series of beginner mountain bike rides at Coyote Hills in Fremont. These rides are designed to help you get out on the trail and prepare join us on our weekly Dirty Velo Girls rides at Arastradero later in the season.

Velo Girls Beginner MTB Rides


This ride series is designed for ladies who are brand-new to mountain biking! Hosted by members of Team Velo Girls, we will go over some basic mountain biking skills and practice riding the trails of Coyote Hills. Located in Fremont, near the Dumbarton Bridge, Coyote Hills Park has mostly flat trails with a few options for practicing climbing and descending. It is a perfect spot for beginners. While this series is designed for those new to mountain biking, you should have prior experience riding a bike.

Mountain bikes are best for this ride, but hybrids and cyclocross bikes will work fine, as well. Bring: water, snack, sunscreen, a helmet and a bike in working condition. Hope to see you out there!

Our Dirty Velo Girls Beginner Mountain Bike ride dates are June 8th, July 20th, and August 17th.

You'll find details and RSVP on our meetup: meetup.com/velogirls

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on May 21, 2013


Hello, Hollywood!

Team Velo Girls members participated in last week's Sea Otter Classic in Monterey. In addition to being one of the largest competitive and recreational bicycling events in the world, Sea Otter is also the largest consumer trade show. That means we get to spend quality time with our sponsors from all over the United States.

Here are a couple of video spots of Team Velo Girls members with our sponsors Action Wipes and Pactimo.





Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on April 25, 2013


Sponsor Love: Your Next Frontier Awaits!

Frontier Snacks


Team Velo Girls has a long history of supporting and promoting small businesses. For 2013, Frontier Snacks joins our list of sponsors and we couldn't be happier to develop this relationship.

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Frontier Snacks is the brainchild of founder Matt Oscamou, an engineer who decided to use his skills to solve the problem of creating a healthy energy food that tastes good and is made with all-natural ingredients.

Matt, along with his brother Nate, first came up with the idea for Frontier Bites, not with the idea of starting a business, but because they were simply tired of overly-processed snack bars and wanted to create something that was cleaner and tastier to enjoy throughout busy days and active off-hours. To do this, in true competitive-brotherly form, they had a baking competition to see who could come up with the best-tasting natural snack.

The rules were simple:

  • Only 8 ingredients
  • Crunchy texture, without feeling heavy
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Only natural ingredients that every person can recognize

The competition had begun and on Easter Sunday of 2010, they held a taste-test showdown. While several great options were presented, Nate's Almond + Blueberry + Lemon flavor was ultimately the victor. The result was crunchy and flavorful and it wasn't long before they realized that this could be the start of something big.

Fast-forward to 2013, and Matt has perfected Frontier Bites with three amazing flavors:

  • Almond + Blueberry + Lemon Bites
  • Macadamia + Pineapple + Coconut Bites
  • Pecan + Cherry + Cinnamon Bites

All flavors were designed to find a clear balance between great flavor and healthy energy. They're held together with a combination of honey and brown rice syrup, the perfect combination of glucose -- a simple sugar that your body takes up right away -- and polysaccharides that burn slowly and cleanly through your system. They're full of antioxidants and omega-3s because all ingredients are pure and natural. There's nothing fortified or added to them. You'll love crunching Frontier Bites one at a time and you'll feel satisfied without a dreaded sugar crash!

Frontier Bites are:

  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Preservative-free
  • and include no Refined Sugars

We've had the opportunity to sample Frontier Bites on a handful of club rides and camps and the reviews are outstanding:

"OMG! Could there be anything yummier? I've found my new go-to snack for long rides."

Convinced? You'll find Frontier bites in single-serving sleeves and multi-serving pouches. You can order them directly on the Frontier Snacks website or find them in a growing list of bike shops and grocery stores.

Like many new products, Frontier Bites is growing in leaps and bounds! Matt is ready to take this project to the next level and is offering you the opportunity to get in on the ground floor. You can join the Frontier Snacks Kickstarter.

And, of course, Like Frontier Snacks on Facebook for news and give-aways.

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on April 4, 2013


Racing with Team Velo Girls: CCCX #4

Third time's a charm for Team Velo Girls member Simone Willett, as she learns the importance of the hole shot at the Central Coast XC Mountain Bike Race on March 30th. After second-place finishes at her last two races, Simone scored that elusive WIN!

It was a great day at the races for Team Velo Girls. Not only did Simone bring home the gold, but so did Cristina Mann (women's single speed). Julie Kinder scored a silver (CAT3 women 35-44) and Jessica Uphoff also scored a silver (CAT3 women 19-34) in her very first mountain bike race ever!

Congratulations to all our racers!

Simone wins CCCX #4


So it was 12PM and I looked at the weather for Tahoe this weekend and it was going to rain up at the mountain, so I decided to go to the race in Ft. Ord. I knew I needed new brake pads, so I also changed those out after I decided to go to the race, which by the time I got to bed, started just a couple hours later.

Got some Starbucks and made the 1.5 hour drive down and it's lightly raining. The start of the race I took off first (Note: put the bike in the big chain ring in the front), then kept the same pace along the road to get to the single track. I let this one girl pass me but wasn't going to let anyone else. I sat on her wheel for a mile or two before she started braking down all the downhills. I excel at the light rain and mud, I love that traction it gives you, so I passed her and never saw her again.

Before the 3rd lap I thought it was over so I was racing this guy to what I thought was the finish then slowed down until I heard my boyfriend yell that there was another lap to go! Whoops. I caught up to the other guy and sat behind him for a while until he died on one of the hills. After that I snuck down a gu-like thing from my pocket after spilling half of it and that gave me the little bit I needed to finish off the race.

I learned my lesson about being first to the single track after last weekend I let this mom and her daughter pass me and it took me so long to get by them that I never saw the first place person again. Really makes a difference to have that positioning. I'll have to work harder on making it to be the first to the single track.

Fun race!

-Simone

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on April 4, 2013


Riding with Team Velo Girls: Hill Climb Series

As we wrap up our 10-week Cinderella Progressive Training Ride Series, we're excited to announce our next endurance training series for 2013. Led by our billy goats, Lyn and Diane, this five-ride co-ed series will include the most popular climbs in the bay area. Whether you're training for a hilly event like The Death Ride or simply want to summit these peaks with a cool group of riders, this series promises to challenge you in a fun, supportive way.

  • April 28th: Mt. San Bruno from San Francisco
  • May 12th: Mt. Tamalpais via Alpine Dam from Sausalito
  • May 26th: Coastal Classic (Old La Honda, Pescadero, Tunitas Creek) from Woodside
  • June 9th: Mt. Diablo from Oakland
  • June 23rd: Mt. Hamilton from San Jose

Which is your favorite climb? Is there another bay area climb not on this list that you'd like to bag this season?

And if you're training for The Death Ride, make sure to check out Savvy Bike's 5th Annual Alpine Altitude Adventure (aka Death Ride) Camp. This co-ed camp provides three days of climbing on the famous Death Ride passes with expert coaching and friendly SAG support, all with a group of super-fun folks who love to climb, too!

Details for this series and all our rides and events can be found on our calendar.

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on April 3, 2013


Coach Lorri Lee Lown joins staff of Specialized Women Sports Camp

Specialized Women's Sports Camp


Velo Girls founder and president, Lorri Lee Lown, has signed on to coach the road cycling programs at this summer's Specialized Women Sports Camp. Now in it's third year, this unique camp, set in beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA, includes programs for road cyclists, mountain bikers, triathletes, and runners. In addition to focused programs for each sport, all participants can also enjoy yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, clinics on bike fit, nutrition, stretching, and social time with other women athletes.

Joining Coach Lorri on staff this year are an all-star staff of sports superstars: mountain bike legend Marla Streb, professional triathlete Jessi Stensland, Mermaid Series founder Heidi Boynton, Darcy Norman and Amanda Carlson-Phillips of Athlete's Performance, and Anik Demers-Wild.

The Specialized Women Sports Camp was founded by Inger Norman, who's spent the past 15 years managing women's teams and sporting events, including the Luna Chix program. In Inger's words: "We are a group of women who are passionate about the outdoors and all the fun that comes with it. We've experienced intimidation through lack of confidence, lack of skill, lack in training and lack of knowledge in gear. We know how paralyzing it can be to getting out there. That's why we created the Women Sports Camp! We've called up our friends and brought together the best resources we knew to create the most fun, non-intimidating, empowering environment and we invite YOU to join us!"

As a special incentive to Velo Girls members and friends, please use promotional code "VeloGirlsSpcl" to receive a 5% discount on registration.

Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on March 22, 2013


Racing with Team Velo Girls: Snelling Road Race

Most of the team made the trek to the central valley last weekend to race in the Snelling Road Race on February 23rd. It was a great team weekend with a course pre-ride on Friday followed by a team dinner and then the race on Saturday. Where's Snelling, you ask? Just another glamorous and exciting central valley farm town where we get to race our bikes each spring!

New racer, Pamela Levine, shares her race report from Snelling, her second of what promises to be many road races this season. Thanks, Pamela!

Pamela, Snelling Road Race


It could have been perfect. I had pre-ridden the course, found the smooth points, the hairy turns, and the uphills-followed-by-downhills-so-don't-worry-too-much-about-it-because-you'll-be-able-to-make-up-the-difference. I'd even practiced grabbing a water bottle from the feed zone. I'd been seeing improvements in training. I'd had a good breakfast that morning and I'd warmed up.

Pulling up to the pack of 48 women -- twice the size of last week's field at the Cantua Creek Road Race -- I got nervous. After the whistle blew, those nerves let me fall to the back of the pack. Even though the first miles were neutralized and the race hadn't even begun yet, I was already tired from the break-pedal-break-pedal rhythm at the back of the pack.

And then the race began, and then a small gap opened up. It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly what happened -- whether it was my legs still warming up or feeling timid about being at the back and having to slam the brakes hard again -- probably some of each. With the strong winds on that part of the course, the gap got bigger until I couldn't close it.

I wasn't expecting to have to mind-shift from Competition Mode to Survival Mode so early in the day, and it was disheartening. I tried, but couldn't easily shake the frustration and doubts: "What is the point?," "I could be riding by myself in the wind at home!," and the particularly dramatic "Will I ever be able to do this?!"

Another W4 In Survival Mode caught up to me briefly. She seemed even more annoyed than I was, huffing and puffing about how windy and hard it was, how her friends had told her to come, how it was her first race, how her current goal was just to catch up to me...Wait, what? Somehow hearing her there, I became her cheerleader, telling her it was all good and to finish it for the training. They were all the things I needed to hear myself, and I felt better. We rode together for a while but when she didn't want to draft I pressed on ahead.

I began my second lap alone and encountered another Racer In Survival Mode from one of the Men's fields. I made sure to ride next to and not behind him (per USAC drafting regulations), while he made sure to tell me how pissed he was that his chain dropped at the beginning of the race and how he was just going to call it a day early. My resolve strengthened to focus and finish this out strong and positive--I didn't want to be him.

I kept going, and much to my surprise, I passed a W4 from another team who must have at some point fallen off the pack. And then another. Okay, the second one was a mechanical, but at the time these were small wins that helped me keep putting in the effort. Next the Men's CAT4 peloton passed me and Yuriy (husband of another Team Velo Girls member) yelled out "Good job!" I started to feel happy and like this was, in its way, fun.

And then, just as I was finally starting to enjoy myself there, a bee got stuck in my sunglasses and stung my eyelid. Dang! For a split second I thought, "Now I actually have a decent excuse to quit." I was right by the finish line. But then I thought, "Nah, it's way more hardcore if you finish now!" so I raced through the line and heard Anique (daughter of a Team Velo Girls member) yell "Keep going!!!" as I began my third lap.

As I climbed that hill for the third time that day, I saw Velo Girls up ahead. I couldn't believe it! I was high on bee venom and happy to see teammates. See, for much of the ride I envisioned myself so, so far behind; visions of Teammates waiting for me at the finish line while marinating in cow smell taunted me. But now, after working by myself for so many miles, maybe I wasn't as far behind as I thought. I rode up next to them and Lindsay and I started taking turns pulling. I still had a bee stinger in my eye, but I was just so happy to be working together with a Teammate--to be doing something I couldn't have done on my own.

I remember Lindsay and I passing one or two other W4 women. Then we caught up with Lorri and worked as a group while sharing lighthearted conversation with three other W4s. Suddenly on a hill, one of them started to break away from our friendly pack of six.

A part of me knew the race was over, that places 1 through 10 had already been secured, that what happened next didn't exactly matter. But another part of me thought that even though I didn't ride with the peloton that day, maybe this could be my race. Maybe I could not let this one get away. So I followed up behind her and we pushed through the cobble-y part of the course. Pretty soon I saw the 1km sign and told myself to get ready to sprint. I wondered if I'd be able to do it at all, or alternatively if I'd sprint for a little only to blow out too early. When I saw the 200m sign, I just gave it a go, sprinted up past her, through the finish line, and up to Tiina and Winnie, who didn't seem upset about waiting in the cow smell at all. It was great to see them there.

It was extra great when Lindsay pulled the bee stinger out of my face.

So that was my race, and it turns out that Snelling wasn't that perfect moment--the one that Lorri has told us from the beginning not to wait for. So, I'm keeping at it, working on fitness, and trying to have a long view of my first season training and racing. I got dropped, and I still had fun. For today, I can live with that.



Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on March 4, 2013


Racing with Team Velo Girls: Cantua Creek Road Race

Team Velo Girls kicked off their road racing season with a great presence at the Cantua Creek Road Race in Coalinga on February 16th. Team member Winnie Brehmer shares her report of the race:

Winnie - Cantua Creek


You really couldn't have asked for a better day for a bike race, slightly overcast and warm. We had a great W4 field, reportedly 27 women of all ages and experience levels, plus Mary our mentor who kept it all together for us.

The greatest difficulty pre-race was getting the bib numbers pinned correctly, which some of us had to try more than once. Trainers, potty breaks, sunscreen, stuff everywhere, and all of a sudden we were lining up for the start. Supposedly a neutral quarter mile, which not everyone observed as the ladies moved around in the pack for better position. Whatever. Then the race was on, at a quick but steady pace. There was an early attack, go figure, which Tiina caught and I reeled in a short while later. Wow, chasing the break was hard work, in the full wind! Highest heart rate of the whole race, as I discovered later. (No checking the Garmin mid-race, except maybe once or twice to get an idea of miles covered / to go.)

Riding in the pack was easier than expected. I was surprised to find that I was one of the more confident and steady wheels and managed to stay in the top third without much trouble. The turn-around had me a little worried, and to my dismay one of the ladies went down in the gravel. Everyone did their best to continue through safely and the first aid support quickly came to her rescue.

The rest of the race was pretty steady. Sometimes slow, which left me antsy, and sometimes fast, which challenged my ability to close those gaps. I watched our girls drop off slowly, which was difficult to see. Then I lost my bottle with my liquid calories... dammit! That was gonna hurt. It messed with my head, and I couldn't get my nutrition right after that. I fell from the front of the pack to the very back. Struggling to regain my focus and composure, I was still at the back at the half-way point and fighting hard not to lose the other girls on the climb. After the turnaround, the pace seemed to ease and once again I was sitting comfortably in the pack. With only one teammate left in the main pack, I didn't know what to do. In my weakened state of mind, all I could really focus on was sticking with Tiina.

Apparently there was a breakaway at the final turnaround which neither Tiina nor I really saw. We relaxed in the back of the field and Tiina focused on saving energy for the finish while I was slowly being dragged down by cramps and fatigue. I knew I needed to eat but couldn't get it together. My head was gone and I was too tired already. A mile or so from the finish line, the Pinnacle women organized an attack and took off. The field splintered and Tiina chased, leaving me gasping and blown half way up the final climb. I put my head down for just a second and was off the road. Thank goodness I had worked on my bike handling skills enough to recover safely, but I was shaken. I dumped some water over my head and shook it off, then gritted my teeth for the last 200 meters.

As I rolled past the other girls I thanked them all for a great race and they were equally kind. "Nice work Velo Girl" one of them said. At the W4 debriefing, mentor Mary made a point to say how awesome the Velo Girls raced today, and how Lorri did a great job of preparing us for racing.

Post race emotions were mixed, disappointed with how I let my position slip in the final few hundred meters, grateful to have raced strong and enjoyed the ride for the most part.

Special thanks to Oralia and her family for their hospitality.

And to Tiina for being a huge moral support in keeping me pushing hard when the fuel tank was empty.

And to my husband who set up my trainer, pinned my number, followed in the support vehicle, and whose presence alone got me up that finishing climb.

And finally to our coach and fearless leader Lorri who got us to our first race with the skills and preparation to race hard and race well.

First race - DONE. I'm officially a racer!

Winnie



Posted by Lorri Lee Lown on February 26, 2013


Velo Girls is sponsored by:
Savvy Bike, Gary Brustin - Cycling Attorney, Jan Medina Real Estate, Tri-Flow Lubricants, LadyParts Automotive, O'Flaherty's Irish Pub, Eshutter Creative LLC, Michael Cook Creative, and Go Ride Bicycles

With industry support from:
Action Wipes, DeFeet, Frontier Snacks, GU Sports Nutrition, Pactimo Apparel, and Sports Basement


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Road Racing
◊ Furnace Creek 508
◊ USA Cycling Nat'l Championship Time Trial
◊ Giro di San Francisco
◊ Red Kite Criterium #6

See Results...


MTB
◊ CCCX #2
◊ CCCX #1

See Results...


Cyclocross
◊ BASP #3
◊ BASP #2
◊ Surf City CX #1

See Results...

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Bicycling Magazine May 2009
SavvyBike's Girls Got Skills clinic was listed in Bicycling magazine's May 2009 special women's cycling section.
Bay List 2012
Bay List 2011
California Top 50
Best of Competitor 2009
Bay List 2009