Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jamie ROCKS at Collegiate Nationals!!!

Young Jamie went to Collegiate Nationals this past weekend and showed the world once again why she is a "rider to watch" for the future. Jamie we are SO proud to have you on our team.

This article from Cycling News.com says it all:

“The USA Cycling U23 cross country mountain bike national champion, Chole Forsman (Tucson, Ariz./University of Arizona) was the heavy favourite entering the slightly-delayed 11:30 a.m. start of the three-lap division I women's cross country race. The Luna Chix professional rider did not disappoint, gaining speed as the race went on and riding to her second national championship win in as many years. Forsman was however faced with a pair of strong challengers in Colorado State University's Amanda Miller (Fort Collins, Colo.) and the University of Tenneseee-Chattanooga's Jamie Dinkins (Powell, Tenn.). Just behind Forsman, Miller and Dinkins gave the crowd the day's most exciting finish. Dinkins was able to ride past the running Miller on the final descent, but the CSU junior overtook Dinkins on the home stretch to earn the silver.
"She rode the downhill and I walked it because it was really muddy and I did not want to crash and take myself out of the race," explained Miller who was a last minute entry into the competition. "I am so thankful I was able to make it here. Collegiate cycling is great! It is so nice to have other women teammates to ride with and for."
Hometown favourite Carla Swart of Lees-McRae College (Buford, Ga.) and Teal Stetson-Lee of Durango, Colorado's Fort Lewis College finished fourth and fifth out of the 44 Division I women's entries. “

Sunday, October 28, 2007

12 Hours of the Hill of Truth

Even though the season ended a month and a half ago, the last race of the year for our team is the 12 hour race at Haw Ridge. We don't really have any race fitness left but it is such a fun event that we go and give it our best. In fact, at times it seems to be a big Halloween party that sort of has a bike race going on in the background. We LOVE this race.

This year was going to prove to be a BIG one. The weather was great (after a little rain scare early in the week...) and we had 2 Vantaggio teams signed up along with a couple of men's teams from Chattanooga and a solo rider. In fact, we got there early Friday and set up what could only be described as a Chattanooga "compound". There were tents, more tents, a pop-up camper, a fire pit, pumpkins, banners and of course a pinata (Sponge Bob, thanks Mark). We handily monopolized an entire corner of the field. Thanks Mark for all the planning and set up, we all really appreciated it, even if we did call you "camp dictator" all weekend...

The race ran from 11am to "last rider out" at 11pm, effectively making it a 13+ hour race. I was the first rider out for our team and Lisa was the first rider out for the other Vantaggio squad. At the firing of the cannon (yes, I said cannon...big LOUD cannon...) we were off. OUCH. I am NOT in race shape. Th first lap really hurt. A lot. Both teams rode consistent laps and the team I was on (myself, Shannon, Paula, and Emily) took the lead and never looked back.

We did have a scare a dusk; I was doing double laps and headed out with my lights on, knowing I would be finishing my second one on the dark. After lap one I headed out for a second lap and as got into it about 10 minutes I decided it was time for the lights. Hey, where are my lights? Why is it not turning on? Uh oh. This is BAD. I decided I had about 30 minutes until it was BLACK outside and there was about 40 minutes left in my lap. Okay, let's pedal like a mad woman and see what happens. I rode possessed until I was bouncing off the trees (yes, that hurts) and then I found a really nice woman that let me follow her the rest of the way out. Yikes. That was not the easiest thing I have ever done. I only lost about 5-6 minutes that lap from what my lap time should have been. I was LUCKY. We very easily could have lost the race right there.

On the other Vantaggio squad, (Star, Lisa, Gina and a friend of theirs Kim), things were a bit more exciting. On Star's first lap she had a jammed chain and lost a lot of time fixing it. Her second lap she took a wrong turn and went down a really fun descent that was NOT ON THE COURSE.... it was apparently a long hike back up. Gina had been sick all week (not just sort of sick...really "throwing up" type sick) but decided to tough it out anyway. She had a few issues with some of the trees ( I believe one grabbed her bike at one point and stole it) but even sick she did great!! They had a really good time and Star and Gina get the award for the longest night lap. they went out on the last lap together (for moral support) and 1:45 later they rolled back in laughing.

Both of our men's teams did really awesome. Mark "camp dictator" and company won the sport division. Time to upgrade guys. Next year the Open category has your name all over it.

The other team (our college boys...) got second in the open category. ( Just think how fast you guys would have been if you weren't drinking beer at 11am....) They took the whole "Halloween party" thing to a whole new level and started early. Amazingly, when they started to do well they switched from beer to Gatorade and turned back into bike racers. Ah, youth.

Paul, our solo rider, stuck it out for 11 laps and finished 5th. AWESOME job. That's 99 miles.

The Vantaggio ladies ROCKED. My team won. 14 laps in 12 hours 45 minutes. The other squad finished 4th with 10 laps in 12 hours 15 minutes. GREAT JOB GIRLS. We had a ton of fun and I am already planning for next year.

Bill was there and took a few pictures before he decided that hanging out was more fun than hiking through the woods, so look for some photos in the near future.

Thanks for a really fun weekend everyone. It is one I will remember for a long, long time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Krystal Chicks Dirt Days

This weekend we took some time to "give back" to cycling and it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

There is a newly formed women's team in Chattanooga called the Krystal Chicks run by my friend Kelly Bishop. Her goal is to introduce women to the sport of cycling, especially mountain biking, and possibly get them out racing. As the big kick off for the team, Kelly held a women's only "dirt day" at Raccoon Mountain and asked if we could help out with instructing. We gladly agreed.

Paula spent the morning with the intermediate/advanced riders doing an on the trail ride/clinic. She did a wonderful job and they all almost missed lunch because they were having so much fun.

Lisa and I worked with the beginners mastering the basics and had a great time. We spent some time in the field learning skills and then took them to the trail for a test run. Everyone did so awesome.

In the afternoon Paula taught a class on trail side maintenance and helped empower an entire group of women. They now no longer have to rely on "boys" to get themselves out of the woods if the bike breaks.

After Paula was finished, I talked for a while on nutrition, both on and off the bike. the girls asked lots of questions and we learned a ton about how to best use our nutrition to maximize our performance.

Thanks to Kelly for asking us to particiapte in such an incredible day. There were 40 women in attendance and it was a great experience. We can't wait to do it again!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cross racing is here...

The first cyclocross race of the year was this past weekend in Nashville. Now let me start by saying I am NOT a 'cross racer. I originally got my cross bike to mix up the training and hit some gravel roads on my road routes. Unfortunately for my husband (who gets dragged on many "Kym adventures") I am a competitive person and have decided that I am also going to race my pretty new Specialized S-Works Tricross (AWESOME bike....). He really is a good sport about things. Thanks Mark.

We headed to Nashville with photographer Bill and Jordan Humble (local junior road racing phenom) to try our legs at racing. Having ridden my new bike once since I got it, and having not really practiced any mounts or dismounts since last year, it was going to prove to be a challenging day. Mark and Jordan raced first and had a great time. It was a fun, dry, fast course. I raced hard, it was UGLY...I need some more practice at that "getting back on" thing, and I took second. Not bad for the first race of the season.
Great job to Jordan and Mark. you guys made it a fun trip. and special thanks to Bill for the pictures... you make us all look really fast!
Oh, and my new bike ROCKS!!!!