Saturday, May 30, 2009

Women's Race Clinic Central Park May 30,2009

CRCA Women’s Clinic 2009

On May 30, Radical Media hosted the 2009 CRCA Women’s Introduction to Racing Clinic, a 3-lap simulated race around Central Park. Many of CRCA’s female racers got their start at this clinic, an annual event, including Radical Media’s own Evelyn Stevens, who, in one lone season, is already making her name known on the national circuit -- go, Evie!

Women’s cycling has been growing and growing and growing -- USA Cycling reported the highest number of licenses issued to female riders for the 2009 season. The turnout of 32 eager women, of all ages and skill and fitness levels, at dawn on that Saturday in May is testament to this trend.

The clinic participants got their jitters queled by a pre-race instructional talk conducted by CRCA/Metro Bicycle’s Ann-Marie Miller, who probably has more racing miles under her helmet than the whole female peloton. (Well, not really, but you get the idea -- she is the ur-veteran!) A four-time USA National Masters’ Champion, Miller covered a variety of race topics and even provided some last-minute inspiration drawn from her careers in racing and as a professional coach.

Members of the Comedy Central and Teany women’s teams joined Radical’s women to ride with the peloton to provide support and encouragement and coaching. (Thanks for coming out to help!) Although the field broke up pretty quickly into several groups, there were plenty of experienced racers to keep each group together and motivated. A small group initiated a break into the second lap, but unfortunately learned “how to crash,” with one racer committing the classic rookie mistake of touching wheels, which even briefly took out Miller. But everyone survived unscathed, if a bit more schooled in the realities of bike racing than anyone intended. As we say, “That’s bike racing.”

The uphill finish started with a group of eight at the bottom of Cat’s Paw but quickly shrank to three as Shane Ferro from Columbia University led the sprint to take the win. Lindsay Jacobson and Emily Maynard, took 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Congrats, ladies -- well done! Members of CRCA, and Radical Media’s product and bike shop sponsors generously donated prizes and other goodies to reward the newbie racers for their efforts and courage. These included a private coaching session from Nina Strika (Deutsche Bank), a massage from Beth Renaud (Comedy Central), Chomper Body Natural Muscle Butter from Teany’s Tracy Wargo, a tune-up from A-Bicycle Shop, drink mix and bottles from Fluid Recovery, a variety of products from theSportique skin care line, water bottles from Piermont Bikes and a variety of product samples from Hammer Nutrition.

As usual, it was an exhilarating experience for all -- new racers and veterans alike. The veterans left the park knowing they’d done well in initiating the next generation of women to the sport. The next generation left the park with new skills and inspiration and the added challenge of having to ride home with goody bags filled to brimming.
*Thanks to Marco Quezada ( for the photos

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 24, 2009: The Infamous Sommerville Criterium by Evie Stevens

The second criterium of the weekend, the infamous Somerville Crit.
We get to the race seamlessly, get signed in, check out the course and then get a really good warm up in. The course is 4 corners, 1.25 miles with very long back and front stretches, overall not technical. Cecelia and I are waiting for staging when Joe Brennan, the official , comes up to Cecelia and she introduces me to him. He asked me what I have won recently (I know that they are doing call ups and I know he is the official for our race...) so I told him. I see him check my number and go up to the announcers and I am thinking SWEET, please put me at the front!!! So I get a call up, which was pretty exciting.

Here is an overview of the teams at the race, Colavita, Team Type 1, Australian National Team, Laura Van Gilder & Kristen Lasasso and a bunch of other big hitters. I was definitely a tad bit nervous!

The race gets on its way and I get myself into good position in the front. I try attacking a bit, hoping that no one is going to know me or care about chasing me so that I could potentially start a break. Well none of them worked. it was a fast and nervy race, since you had so much space on each of the long stretches people were darting around everywhere. Every now and then I would float back in the pack and get this look from Cecelia that pretty much let me know, get back up there. I must say Cecelia brilliantly held her position through out the race, she was always nicely in the top half.

Going into the second to last lap I was in a nice position and then the swarm came on and you hear the awful sound of crunching and screeching, fortunately I was in the front of this crash and so was Cecelia, but you knew it was a big one.

Going into the second half of the last lap, I hopped onto the wheel of the Australian woman who won Bike Jam last week and thought okay this is going to be a good wheel, she will definitely move up (we were in the middle of the pack now). So we hit the last turn and boom chaos goes down in front of me, I see the sparks from metal hitting the pavement, girls are dropping like flies. All I am thinking is oh gosh where is my out and boom there it was, the gas station! So I nicely veered off into the gas station and through the sidewalk and asked a couple to watch out so I could hop back into the race. At that point I was out of contention, so I rode hard up the last stretch, glad all my skin was on for somewhere in the high 20s. Cecelia was also behind the crash, she fortunately avoided it, but had to un-clip and put her foot down. All in all it was a fun race and a good learning experience.

Two takeaways: 1) Don't take the risk of going into the finish mid-pack, be at the front 2). Cecelia makes AMAZING homemade bread. I ate about 2 peanut butter sandwiches with it and I think she should open up a bread shop, let it become a huge success and then sponsor a professional woman's cycling team.

Evie does it again in Hartford May 24,2009

On Sunday, Cecelia and I made the trip down to Hartford and we got to the race with only moments to spare. We ran down to registration like frazzled monkeys, got ourselves signed up, jerseys pinned and chamois on.

We get to the line, there are actually about 60 women in the race, including Ann Marie, Silke and Mary Zider, so it looks like it is going to be a hard and fast race and it was from the gun.

I tried attacking a bit but nothing really stuck. I got myself into a nice position going into the last turn, as we hit the turn I slowed and moved onto Mary Zider's wheel which I thought would be a good bet since the finish was a slight incline and I know she is strong. I stayed on her wheel for a couple of seconds and then I jumped around and tried to envision myself as Marianne Vos and pull out a sprint. I could sense there were a few wpmen potentially gaining on me, but I was able to cross the line alone.

Cecelia came in 14th, partly due to the fact that she was watching my sprint finish. Haha.