Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some more pictures from the weekend

Kristi takes 3rd!

Short Track podium. Total domination.

Pro XC podium. Dang, that looks GOOD.

Monday, August 8, 2011

SERC Finals with a little bit of Georgia thrown in...

Well, it has been a slow couple of weeks, just lots of training, training and more training in anticipation of cyclocross season which is just around the corner (YAY!!!!). The mountain bike season is winding down and so is the road bike season. We have a few more weekends of fun left but for the most part, we have kicked butt, taken names and are ready to move on to the fall season. We could not have done it without our awesome sponsors, especially US Stove and Trek/Trek Store Chattanooga. For anyone who needs killer awesome stoves, grills, etc., we have coupons for the hook up on the most kick butt stuff you can buy. remember, you don't buy cheap bikes, why would you buy a cheap grill?? Also, we have team friends deals at the Trek Store in Chattanooga so when you are ready to get the best bike out there... we have your ride.

Goats on the roof... only in the mountains of north Georgia!!!

Two weeks ago Kristi, Star, Emily and I met Catherine in Helen, GA for the GA series finals. This race was also the makeup race for the SERC series so we decided to go and pad the results a bit more. I hadn't been to Helen in years and all I remembered was that it was a Bavarian theme little town in the mountains and the race course was ALL uphill. Well, I got it half right. It was all up hill and a really REALLY fun trail. Helen the town was over priced and a "Bavarian meets Gatlinburg red-neck hell". We did see the craziest tourist attraction ever: a store called "Goats on the Roof". yep, you guessed it, there were goats on the roof. We had a really fun girl weekend and topped it off with some killer race results. I won the race and had an amazing ride. I was 12 minutes over second place (MY TEAMMATE!!!) and rode most of the way through then men's field. I guess the climbing was a good thing for me. All of my teammates rode well. Catherine was second, Emily was 5th, Star 6th. And Kristi, still crazy as always, raced her race on her single speed against geared bikes and took 3rd. A good time was had by all. And yes, the only picture I have is of goats on the roof.... ha!!!
Team time trial during the Short Track. Ouch, looks like it hurts!!!

This past weekend we were everywhere. We kicked butt and took names. It was the SERC series finals and the whole team came out to race. Paula decided to start out the weekend with a road race in Oak Ridge, TN. She started us off right with a WIN. Next Anina, Catherine and Shannon decided to race the Saturday night short track race, a SERC series finals weekend tradition. They finished 1,2,3... The domination was continuing.
Central Command for the day... you can almost feel the pre-race nerves.

Sunday was the big event. Fontana is NOT an easy race. It hurts even if you are feeling good. It is steep and slippery and sometimes technical. I LOVE it, but it has a way of taking no prisoners. I was nervous, which is rare for me. I had a good lead in the series and I wanted to win to cement my place in my head as the strongest cross country racer in the series. Carey has been such a great competitor to race against this season, I have the utmost respect for her and her talents. She is an ultra endurance racer and one of the best out there. These races are a sprint for her. It is not her forte and she still kicks butt and makes me work at my own discipline. The series has been a better place this year and I have become a better racer because she has been there. Hopefully we can talk her into another season of it next year!!!

Catherine shows off her stellar face-plant.

I was a bit of a wreck Sunday morning. My biggest fear was an untimely mechanical. I have not flatted in a LONG time. My tires are almost a season old and in need of replacement. A bit of ill planning on my part, I know better, but I was just caught up in life and didn't put new tires on the bike before leaving town. I raced the entire race with a bit higher air pressure than normal to avoid a pinch flat and I was a slow and tentative on all the descents but I kept air in the tires...

Shannon, Anina and Catherine are all smiles before the start of the Short Track.

The start of the race was straight uphill. I HATE uphill starts. I have never been good at them. This start scared the crap out of me. What if someone attacks?? I am a slow starter. I like to work into my pace and slowly ramp things up. The whistle blew and we were three wide at the front for a minute. Then I was alone. I rode my pace up the hill and I gapped the field. I rode off the front and never looked back. I need to remind myself once in a while that I am not the same girl that used to struggle so badly at the back of races. That was a LOT of miles ago and these days I am going along pretty well. I rode the race a bit on the conservative side to avoid any crashes or flat tires and I finished the race and the series in first place. It felt really good to win this one.... there were some really strong girls (mostly my teammates) and it was a really hard race. To top it off, we went 1,3,4,5. The podium looked GOOD. Kristi also made a podium appearance with a 3rd place, again on her single speed.
Kym and Carey on the final SERC podium; Pro Women's category.

The SERC series overall podium was as follows:

Pro women: Kym 1st
Cat 1 women: Catherine 1st, Emily 3rd.
Cat 2 women: Kristi 3rd

Of the top 8 women overall in the series, we were 4 of those places.

Whew, what a great season!!! Next up, some local racing (both road and mountain) and then a rest before the cross madness begins.

Thanks for reading...

Monday, July 11, 2011

State Champion, SERC #9 and the "Bad Idea Jeans" weekend.

Kym and Paula celebrating the State Road Race WIN.

Well, I did it again. I put on my Bad Idea Jeans and went racing. What? You have never heard of my Bad Idea Jeans?? Well, let me explain... I come up with super fun ideas which are also logistically, physically and (sometimes) a bit emotionally "challenging". Mark has taken to calling these ideas many things over the years (crazy, demented, etc.) but in recent years he simply reminds me that I might be wearing my "bad idea jeans" and should reconsider. I rarely do. I like how the jeans fit.

Last week it was brought to my attention that the TN State Road Race Championships were this Saturday in Johnson City, TN. Sunday was race #9 in the SERC series in Huntsville, AL. Both races were withing day-trip driving distance of home and I have ridden the SERC course before; never mind that it is one of the most technical courses we races all season. I started thinking (which often leads to me putting on those infamous pants) that with some careful logistical planning we could do both races. Now that Paula has returned and is not only a fantastic mountain bike racer but also a kick butt road racer who has her goal set on Master Road Nationals next month, I figured I could sucker, I mean convince, her to join me.

It took no effort at all to convince Paula to join in the fun; I suspect she also owns a pair of bad idea jeans. Mark, being the incredibly supportive husband, volunteered to work the feed zone on Saturday for us and drive us all over the Southeast to our races. We decided to take Paula's new truck (which makes all other truck in the universe look small) and travel in style. The photo is the "before" shot. She looks even better with the US Stove car magnets on the doors and Trek bikes on the rack!!!

We departed Chattanooga at 7:30am on Saturday for Johnson City and a 12:20pm race. Travel was uneventful and we arrived with a plan and time to relax and prepare for the race. The goal of the day was to get Paula the win. There were some decent hills on the course and we hoped that we had the legs to get her away. Well, to quote my friend Steve "Even the best laid battle plan rarely survives contact with the enemy". We had a strong field of 15 ladies, including two teams with 4 riders each. Okay, so we were a bit out numbered but we hoped we had fitness and experience on our side. Paula and I have been racing as teammates for a LONG time and it showed. We set the pace, controlled the hills and created the eventual winning group of 6 rider. About halfway into the race Paula rolled up next to me and told me that she thought I had better legs today, she was going to work and lead me out at the finish. Okay, change of plans but we can adapt. And adapt we did. She killed it the second half of the race, wore out the field and was the PERFECT lead out. I took the win by over a bike length and am now the TN State Road Race Champion. I can't remember the last time I raced with such an incredible teammate. We were perfect together. And the first half of the weekend was complete. US Stove-Trek has a state title to add to the resume.

Now to get home. Of course the race and after effects took longer than planned and we had to eat so by the time we got moving we were behind schedule. Then we hit construction traffic. Mark drove like a rock star and I navigated and detoured us around the mess and we arrived back in Chattanooga about 7:45pm. Hmmm.... we still have to shower, pack and drive two hours to Huntsville tonight. We frantically got ready for the turn around (while watching the Tour de France... it is July) and were ready to roll by 8:45pm. And then it began to rain, just as we were going to load everything into the back of the truck. We decided that we should get to bed NOW and leave early in the morning for Huntsville instead. Again, the best laid plans....

Sunday morning came WAY too early (5am) and it was the first time all weekend that I thought MAYBE this whole thing was a bad idea. Oh well, too late to change the plans now. We made it to Huntsville without incident and although it was HOT, the sun was shining and we were ready to race. We met most of the rest of the team there (they all pre-rode and were well rested) and we were ready to get it done. My warm-up consisted of riding the first part of the course (I am glad I did, there were a couple of tricky turns I needed to see). My legs actually felt pretty good. Hmmm, maybe I was going to be able to pull this off. We lined up and I took the lead in the first pavement stretch before we hit the trail. I never looked back. One rider stayed with me for a short while but before I knew it I was off the front alone. I was feeling pretty good but I had no idea how long that was going to last and if the weekend's "fun" was going to catch up to me mid race.

About half of the course in Huntsville is fast and the other half is technical. Really, really technical for a race course. Nothing that is unrideable but enough  that one wants to pre-ride (hint) and know the best lines and the kind of speed that one can carry into any given section. Well, I had raced there last year but a year is a long time ago. I mostly remembered the big obstacles and was doing well... and then it happened. Just as I was thinking "There is a tricky downhill coming up here soon" I was on top of it and out of control. It was one of those moments when all I could think was "Uh oh, this is not going to end well". Sure enough, it didn't. I ate it HARD and spent a frantic bit of time collecting bike, glasses and other gear, putting my chain back on the bike and checking to see where the other rides were. Damn Kym, SLOW DOWN. I rode a bit more apprehensively the rest of the race and crossed the finish line tired, bruised, bloody and in FIRST place. Whew. I did it. Two for two. The bad idea jeans fit well all weekend.

Kym and Paula on the SERC podium on Sunday.

My teammates also rocked the day. Paula took third, just behind Carey. Catherine was 4th, Emily 7th and Shannon 8th. Kristi had her best finish of the year in her category with 2nd on her single speed (against geared riders).

Mark drove us home and I collapsed on the couch for the rest of the night and watched other riders race (the Tour again...)

Whew. What a weekend. I guess Monday is what happens when you need a break from all the fun. I might need a couple of Mondays this week.

The bad idea jeans are back in the closet for now. I may have a date with them on Thursday. We are headed to the Cherohala Skyway...

Thanks for reading.

Paula's back!!!!

For those who have known us for a while, you already know Paula. For those who don't, you have missed out all these year. Our good friend and former teammate Paula is back racing with us and we are a better group of ladies for having her return. She's super fun and a KICK BUTT bike racer. She took a couple of years off to explore other things and now she's ready to rip everyone's legs off again. WELCOME BACK.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Racing local and Rockin' it with US Stove

The girls with the US Stove goods.

The Raccoon Mountain SERC is always one of my favorites. I love racing at home. I get to sleep in my own bed, cook my meals in my own kitchen (instead of a hotel microwave) and I know the trail like the back of my hand. I was excited. And a bit nervous. I always get a little worked up about the local races but I was mostly just excited.

Race day came and we all did great. I took the lead from the start and after about 5 minutes I had the trail to myself. Catherine spent the race in a heated battle with Carey for second, ultimately taking a strong third place. Carey is one tough competitor. It has been great having her race the series this year. Paula, our new old teammate (welcome back after a two year break!!!) took 4th and Emily rolled in for 5th.  Kristi had a unfortunate flat tire but was all smiles cheering for us for the rest of the race. Shannon and Amy both finished in the top 10. A great team weekend for all of us!!!

Paula, Kym and Catherine on the podium.
The BEST part of the weekend was US Stove, our super awesome sponsor, came out and cooked hot dogs and cheered for everyone. There were a LOT of happy racers after the race. Hopefully it will translate into stove and grill sales. After seeing all of the awesome products, how could you not buy one. I can't even look at a grill at Home Depot anymore. I guess it's just like bikes, once you get something nice, there is just no comparison.

Thanks for reading...

BUMP and Grind

This year marks a significant accomplishment for me. It is the year I finally won BUMP and Grind in Birmingham. This race has been my nemesis for many seasons. I LOVE the course. It is perfect for me. Fast, twisty, one good climb and a lot of sweet single track. It is also unforgiving. Over the years I have flatted, double flatted, TRIPLE flatted, blown up wheels, blown up myself, broken a free hub body, etc. You get the picture. It is the one race in the Southeast that I have never won. And it is a big one. This year was my year. I was really hoping for some decent legs, in spite of all the school work and heat, and I was mentally prepared.

The course is a LONG lap, 24 miles for the first one and another 8 for a second lap. We decided to pre-ride only a short section of it in order to save our legs. Even our "short" section ended up being a 2 hour pre-ride. Oops. I might have mis-calculated a little on the time it was going to take us. Fortunately we had a pool at the hotel to recover in. Mark, Catherine and I enjoyed a relaxing evening at the hotel and we went to sleep early, dreaming of the next day's race.

We awoke on race day to hot temperatures and sunny skies. It was going to be a long, hot day. I decided early that pacing myself was the best strategy and when they said "go" I went hard but not crazy. I took the lead early and never looked back. It was hot but I felt good. Actually, I felt GREAT. I just kept getting stronger the whole race and I had a blast. I was all smiles at the finish.

Catherine was a rock star and even after a flat tire raced back to take second place. Mark broke his frame. Enough said.

Whew. After that, how could we top things off???

How about a win the following weekend on my home trails??

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Continuing our winning ways

The season is flying by and we are rocking it as usual. Catherine has stepped it up this season and is nipping at my heels during the races. In fact, she took the win at Dauset a couple of weeks ago. I am always so proud to see my teammates do well. When I have a bad day, I want them to be the ones kicking my butt for sure!!! But let me start where I left off...

First, pictures from the Tanasi race. We are bike racers, not photographers... oh well. It still looks GOOD with all those US Stove kits everywhere!

Anina, Catherine and Kym on the podium at Tanasi.

After Tanasi we had the Trek Women's Weekend where we had a bunch of awesome ladies come out and learn to mountain bike. A grand time was had by all. We had perfect weather and killer bikes to ride, thanks to the Trek Ladies demo trailer.

And then we were back to our winning ways. We are dominating the SERC series again this year, with Catherine and I on the podium at every race and our other teammates sneaking in there occasionally as well. We are all focused and riding so well.

Around the time of women's weekend I was also finishing up a huge project for school. I was asked to author a textbook chapter. This was a huge compliment and will be a great addition to my resume BUT the timing was tight. I had a very short period of time to work with and I spent most of the month of May at my desk, not sleeping and not training. I got the chapter finished and I am very proud of it, but my riding suffered. The culmination of this was felt at the Dauset race. I had just finished the final re-write and I was exhausted. Spent. Done. I had no idea how I was going to race my bike, but I was looking forward to actually getting to ride it. Not to mention that we also had a heat wave and I was not ready for it. All of this added up to one of the worse races I have had in a long time. I started okay but faded fast. I was just not riding like myself. In fact, a think a little girl on a tricycle could have ridden better. I felt awful. Just about the time I thought I was done for Catherine caught me. I was so happy to see MY TEAMMATE instead of another racer. I could have kissed her. She very sweetly rode behind me for a bit before passing me to take the win. Meanwhile I was now concerned that Carey was going to catch me. Carey is an endurance racer and one strong competitor. I love racing with her because I know it is always going to be a good race. I also know I can not let my guard down or she'll catch me in the last lap of the race. She never seems to slow down, after all, for an endurance racer, cross country races are a sprint. About 10 minutes from the finish it happened. I heard someone behind me and it was Carey, about 10 seconds back. No. I was not going to let her catch me. I dug as hard as I could and felt like puking and passing out the entire time, but I did it. I hung on for second place. I was totally dehydrated and wrecked at the finish and I almost passed out but we went 1,2. Whew. I do not want to repeat that any time soon.

And that brings us to BUMP and Raccoon. I will write those reports separately, they are going to take a bit of time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 2011 Team

So we have actually had the new team gear all spring but getting us all together long enough to take a picture has been a challenge; too much racing I guess. It is BY FAR the best looking stuff yet. Thanks to US Stove, Trek, Vantaggio Fitness and Nutrition and all of our other sponsors for making it such a great year!!!
Kristi, Catherine, Star, Amy, Anina, Emily, Kym, Shannon

Of course we were having so much fun it was hard for the camera man (Mark) to get us to stop laughing long enough for a picture...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Details for the women's weekend

For those who are signed up and have not yet gotten the information, here it is:

Girl’s Getting Dirty: Women’s Mountain Bike Weekend

Chilhowee Campground, Cherokee National Forest

May 21st to 22nd, 2011

Weekend Agenda:

Friday: Check in 6-8pm at group camping area. See directions for details.

Saturday: Check in 8-10am, Lunch 12pm, Dinner 6pm

Sunday: Breakfast 8am, Lunch 12pm

Event schedule:

10am Saturday
Beginner skills clinic-Kym
Lower picnic area
11am Saturday
Your bike 101- Mike
Main camping field/Trek mechanic tent
10am Saturday
Mountain bike rides: beginner and intermediate- USSC-Trek team members
Registration area- main field
1pm Saturday
Intermediate skills clinic- Catherine
Lower Picnic area
2pm Saturday
The mystery of tubless tires unveiled- Mike
Main camping field/ Trek Mechanic tent
1pm Saturday
Mountain bike rides: beginner/intermediate and advanced- USSC-Trek team members
Registration area-main field
7pm Saturday
Campfire girl time-talk bikes, riding and racing with members of the USSC-Trek team and cycling coaches Kym& Mark
Main field
10am Sunday
Beginner skills clinic- Kym
Lower Picnic area
11 am Sunday
Intermediate skills clinic-TBA
Lower Picnic area
9am Sunday
Trailside repairs- Mike
Main camping field/ Trek mechanic tent
10am Sunday
Mountain bike rides: beginner, intermediate and advanced- USSC-Trek team members
Registration area- main field
1pm Sunday
Mountain bike rides: beginner, intermediate and advanced- USSC-Trek team members
Registration area- main field

Other information:

Cost: $50 for the weekend. This includes 4 meals and camping fees. Friday dinner is not included and neither are snacks and any other food. Please feel free to come for a portion of the weekend however we cannot pro-rate the costs. It is $50 whether you are there for 1 meal or all five. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Pre-registration: Pre-registration is required so we can plan for meals. Registration can be done at the Trek Store of Chattanooga in person or by phone at 423-648-2100. Registration closes May 18th. After that time registration will be done on a first come, first serve basis until we reach capacity.

Facilities: Chilhowee Campground is located in the scenic Cherokee National Forest about an hour from downtown Chattanooga. The camping area we are using is tent only, although there are campsites with RV hook-ups on the other side of the facility. There is running water, hot showers and a small lake with a beach. We will be staying in the group camping area. It is an area with room for multiple tents and cars.

Riding: We will have demo bikes if you want to try the latest Treks or are shopping around for a new steed. There will be rides for all ability levels so whether you are completely new to riding or a seasoned racer we promise you’ll have a great time.

What to bring: Bring your camping gear, cycling gear and the desire to pedal. The group camping area is a tent campsite area. Please plan accordingly.

Questions: Any questions can be directed to Kym Flynn Fasczewski at: xcgirl@vantaggiofitness.com

Directions:  From I 75 North: take exit 20, US 64/74 bypass. Follow the bypass around Cleveland (there are signs to Cherokee National Forest and the Ocoee) take US 64E toward the Ocoee. From the Ocoee Ranger Station on US 64 turn left onto paved Forest road 77. Travel approximately 7.3 miles to the campground signs, turn right. The group camp area is past the day use picnic area and overflow camping field. We will have signs. GPS Directions use: 3171 Highway 64, Benton, TN 37307-5823 (US Forestry Department). This Address will take you to the Ocoee Ranger Station Turn onto FS 77. If you get lost: 423-400-3009.

The Boys: We have had a lot of questions about what to do with those pesky boys. They are welcome to camp with you however; they are not invited on any of the weekend girl rides, activities or meals.

See you there!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Collegaite Nationals and SERC updates

As part of my "giving back to the sport" philosophy I am racing for UTC in hopes of helping the school realize that:

 1. we have a cycling team,
 2. we are pretty good at cycling,
 3. more money and resources should be put into the cycling program.

So far I think it is working. We got more money this semester than last and they even did an article about my win at cross nationals. With all this being said I made the decision to suck it up and race my road bike this spring. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my road bike, I just am not a huge fan of racing it. It is enjoyable once in a while and for those who know me, I have done my share of road racing over the years. I just prefer the dirt. Well the short version: collegiate season went well. I surprised myself (and everyone else) by kicking butt regionally, qualifying for nationals and getting on the podium in the CRIT!!!! The road race was the race I was hoping for a great performance in but team tactics (not mine) made that an impossibility. I was angry I had made the trip and missed the podium in the event I was aiming for. The finish for the crit was redemption time and I sprinted as well as a recovering roadie ever has. I managed a 4th place. Woohoo!!! And my parents got to see the whole thing. What a sweet day.

While I was racing the road bike I was longing for my mountain bike. I have managed to race it a couple of times with great success in the past month. Have I motioned how much I LOVE the big wheels??!! My Superfly Elite is the rockin'est bike ever. Winder GA SERC was right before Nationals and I rode to a convincing win. This past weekend I did it again at the Tanasi SERC race. Tanasi was almost perfect. We had the whole team out there (except Doctor Kristi who had a baby to deliver...) and we went 1,2,4,5 in the Pro/1 women's field. I won with the fastest lap times I have ever turned on that course. It has to be the bike because I know my fitness is not where I want it yet this year. I am doing a slow build for cross season in the fall. I'll be really fast when it counts!!!

Well, that is the update of the past month... I'll post some pictures soon.

Thanks for reading...

Baseball, US Stove Style

Monday night I finally got to meet some of the men that are making our race season possible. Not only does US Stove make totally kick butt stoves and grills, they are great guys. American owned and American operated with totally made in the USA products; how can you go wrong??

Mark and I were invited to attend a Chattanooga Lookouts (AA baseball) game with the crew from US Stove. We had box seats, fun times and I cannot wait to go again. Thanks!!!!

Ps. Buy stoves. They rock.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Women's Weekend!!!

Hey Ladies, Trek Store of Chattanooga is hosting a women's only mountain bike weekend May 21-22.

Details here.

Come join the fun... Pass the word on to everyone you know. This is going to be a ROCKIN' good time!!!

Race season is HERE.

We've all been waiting and anticipating and after a long, wet, cold winter it is upon us. Ready or not!!!

I started off with the traditional trip to Florida for the opening round of the SERC series. Lucky me, it also coincided with spring break so we got to spend a few days in the warm weather. It was a really fun weekend, even with my pale winter legs blinding everyone as thy glowed in the sunlight. The Florida girls are always tough this time of year and this year was no exception. The first lap there was three of us off the front, the second lap there was one off the front (not me) and two chasing (myself and one other girl). The last two laps it was one off the front (still not me), one chasing (me!!) and one more chasing. It was an exciting race and I was very happy with second place. Florida in March is TOUGH!

The team started off the season with a debut of the new team kits- Yay US Stove!!!- at Tsali NC for the Knobschorcher. This is one of the longest running mountain bike races in the Southeast and the fields were going to be HUGE. There is always a ton of people here for this race. For some added excitement there was a time trial Saturday. Catherine, Amanda, Shannon, Emily Kristi and myself were all so excited to race.

The time trial was a bit dismal for me, I finished 3rd in the pro field. I finished the race and didn't feel like I had pedaled that hard. Kym, it is a time trial, if you don't feel like puking you didn't do it right. Nope. Sure didn't! Catherine kicked butt and won the Cat 1 time trial. Amanda was second. I am glad someone stepped up. Go team!!!

Sunday I was ready for a little redemption. I had a plan. I knew my competition and the course, and I was ready to race. This was also my debut on the 29er, a super sexy Trek Superfly Elite. After the whistle, I let one of the other girls set the pace and I patiently waited. And waited. I was second wheel and I was hoping for the right moment to make my move. And then it happened. At the top of the first climb the leader bobbled and I came around her and did my thing. My mind said "GO", my body said "OUCH, Kym you have been studying too much and not riding enough". Mind and body agreed to disagree and I raced. I rode hard but tried my best to stay within myself. The last 5 miles my legs were really feeling the lack of miles but somehow I did it. I WON!!!! Woohoo. Good start to the season.

I learned a couple of things about my riding at Tsali:

1. Grad school makes me slow.
2. Mind is stronger than body.
3. I need to train more.
4. Big wheel are fast.

Thanks for reading...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New name, same HOT team...

We have a new title sponsor and the 2011 season is almost here. United States Stove Company, the largest manufacturer of wood burning stoves in the US, is based right here in TN about 30 miles from Chattanooga. We are really excited about the partnership we have formed with them and hopefully we can race bikes and help sell stoves, grills and furnaces for them at the same time. If anyone out there has heating or grilling needs, look for some great "team only" deals in the near future.

The new team kits should be here in a few weeks and the design is flamin' hot... wait until you see them.

We have added one team member for 2011, Kristi Hawken. Kristi is not only a badass single speed racer, she's a really cool chick too. We are so excited to have her join the fun for 2011 and we are looking forward to watching her school everyone with gear while riding her sexy new Superfly SS.

Bring on 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another cross season draws to a close.

Cyclocross season goes by way too fast. It is now January and it is pretty much over. After an extended holiday trip to the "great white north" to see my family, I really have no race fitness left. Apparently cookies and wine are not the ideal training food. Fitness or not, we had a couple of races left this month; little things like the TN state championships, so I of course registered and hoped for the best.

The TN state race was accompanied by a UCI race the day before. There was an opportunity to actually make some money and get a killer result. I decided my cookie induced figure needed to get some miles in the legs and see what sort of miracle I could pull off. We got home from up north the 29th of December and I put in a big hard training block in hopes of reminding my body that we were in fact a bike racer. Ouch. I always forget how quickly fitness goes away. As part of my "shock it back into shape"approach I decided to head to Rome, Ga for their first January series race. Yes, it hurt even worse than I thought it would. I felt as if I was moving in slow motion the entire race and even though I won, I never felt good. Okay, mission accomplished. My butt was kicked!!!!

With a couple of weeks of training back in the legs we were suddenly treated to a "recovery week" last week. SNOW. It doesn't snow in Chattanooga. At least not 9 inches. This is a town that shuts down at the prediction of snow. We were non-functional for a week. There was a bunch of time on the rollers and a day or two of added recovery. I was fresh for the weekend, whether I wanted to be or not.

This past weekend was the UCI Kingsport Cup/ TN State Championship weekend. I went into it with NO expectations. There were some strong racers registered and I was skeptical of my fitness. All I could do was hold on and hope for the best. I had no excuses, Mike at the Trek Store of Chattanooga spent a LOT of time healing my poor bike from the damage I did to it at Nationals. the bike was working flawlessly, hopefully the body would step up to the challenge.

UCI win!!!!
photo courtesy of Bart Nave

The UCI weekend started with some drama with Shannon almost missing the start (her fantastic ability with directions was once again the culprit) and me walking her through the turns to the park 30 minutes before the start. Whew. Made it. At the gun, there were immediately 3 of us together off the front of the race. It was a flat, fast and unexpectedly (mostly) dry course. It was going to be a tactical race. After we attacked each other a few times with no success I determined it was time to sit in and let someone else make a mistake. The other two riders both tried a few more attacks and it looked like we were going to be in for a 3-way sprint when there was an attack and suddenly there was just two of us. Okay Kym, there is one lap to go, it is now or never. I did my thing. I attacked on the only mud on the whole course and I got a gap. Not a huge gap but big enough. I drilled it and never looked back. I won!!! I won a UCI race!!! Holy crap. I may never do that again but it was a killer feeling. My weekend (and my incredible season) was complete.

Sunday was the TN State CX race. I am the three time defending champion so it was time to step up. No relaxing on day two. Mark's race was the first one of the day for us and he started us off with a WIN. I am so proud of him. My husband has been my biggest supporter for many years; he is coach, mechanic, cook driver and emotional support. He has put his own racing second many times so I can live my dream. It was the highlight of my season seeing him cross that finish line. I think that was the most well deserved win of the weekend. Great job, babe!!!

After that inspiring ride it was time for me to go around the merry-go-round once more. They said go and my start was abysmal. I couldn't get clipped in and my focus was not there. Time to rally the troops. I had a quick discussion with my body, we agreed to disagree and I painfully took the lead. I never looked back. I added State CX Champion to my season's accomplishments.

I am ready for some play time. We have a few other "maybe" races coming up, all are small and local and will be done last minute if we feel like it. No more travel or stress for a while. My 2010 season is now officially over. What a ride!!!!

2011 racing starts in March.