Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome to Radical Media Cycling

Who We Are

Radical Media Cycling is a New York City-based women’s cycling team composed of ten riders who compete in top amateur and pro-level races in the New York metropolitan area, New England and the mid-Atlantic region. We are professional women in our 20’s, 30’s and 40’s – a literary scout, a goldsmith, an artist, an editor, a scientist, a producer, a casting agent, an interior designer – who love the sport of bike racing and are fiercely committed to it. We race every weekend from March to October, competing in single- and multi-day events, and are dedicated to continuing our rapid trajectory toward becoming a dominant force in local and regional racing while maintaining our commitment to the development of women’s cycling.

A special Thanks to Jon Kamen for being the best sponsor ever! We will make you proud again this year!

Meet the Team

Erica Adelberg
A competitive swimmer in her early years and a competitive runner through college, Erica came to cycling through the multi-sport world. Erica began her second year with the team by upgrading to Cat 3 after a seventh-place finish in the early-season Grant's Tomb criterium. And it only got better from there, with highlights including second place in an open women's field (!) at the Tour of High Bridge, fourth in the Giro del Cielo stage race and sixth at the ur-competitive Chris Thater criterium. Off her bike, Erica uses the quantitative skills acquired as a math major at the University of Chicago to manage a proprietary trading fund for a financial-services firm.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "Sweeping Maggie Shirley's wheel in the final CRCA race of the season as she took the podium, the Team Cup victory and the Jim Boyd Championship for 2008!"

Jaimie Epstein
Unlike most of her teammates, Jaimie had no competitive sports background when she got hooked by bike racing after a stint of recreational (read: social) riding. But she had developed a strong physical jones from years of training as a dancer, a jones more than satisfied by the discipline and intensity that are competitive cycling. Jaimie, one of the team's veterans, likes nothing better than to smack down for the benefit of the team as a whole, but thanks to big life changes she didn't get a chance to do that this past season and had to get her race thrills vicariously through her teammates. Sigh! Jaimie loves to telemark and is a yoga teacher and writer.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "That would be the night before the final Team Cup race, when the emails were fast and furious with last-minute strategizing and team spirit, the excitement was practically burning up my computer screen, and I so so wished I could be on the line with my teammies at dawn the next morning."

Dara Kiese
Dara could never keep up with her big brother. As a reactionary little sister, she not only hated sports, but became a pretentious anti-jock: an aesthete...and a nerdy bike commuter. A mountain bike trip to Moab in 1994 was a revelation for her inner athlete, but it took her until 2007 to find an outlet in her city life via NYCC club rides. After a couple of summers trying to crush unsuspecting opponents on friendly group rides, she's finally made it official and joined the team. She is ever-surprised at the complexity of the sport with its team tactics, rider psychology and the element of chance. And more importantly, is faster than her big brother. Off the bike, Dara lives and breathes the Bauhaus at MoMA and shares her love of cycling with her little boy, Arlo.

Jenny LaPlante
With two unsupported cross-country bike trips to her credit – one East to West, the other West to East – and several mere thousand-milers, it's safe to say that Jenny has more miles in her legs than any of her teammates. In 2005 she decided to take that base to the racing circuit and proved that endurance plus power was a dangerous combination – dangerous to her competitors that is: Jenny can keep going when others flag, like on the fourth day of a four-day stage race, when she literally rides away from the field! Jenny's huge engine is key to the Raddy leadout train, and her dad's incomparable Caesar salad is now key to our training table. Off the bike, Jenny, a University of Chicago grad, uses her huge literary engine to scout for international book publishers and even manages to read manuscripts during race weekends when the rest of us are too zonked out to even watch TV.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "The last Team Cup. The team was so amped up cause we knew we could do it, but it wasn't a sure thing. It was awesome being able to show what we were worth."

Emily Maynard
Emily Maynard is new to racing this year. Radical snatched her up at the CRCA Women's Racing clinic where she placed top three her first time out. She went on to get fourth as a Cat4 at her first road race, Housatonic Hills, and placed third at Union Vale. Emily has dabbled in other little-known sports like Nordic skiing, diving, and ice hockey, but as soon as she sat on a road bike she knew it was something different: "Cycling feels so natural to me, it feels like something I'm supposed to be doing. Running feels like work; cycling feels like play." Emily only started to ride last year as a NYCC member, but she is looking forward to a full racing season in 2010.

Besides her cycling ambitions, Emily is a Ph.D. student in clinical psychology. She will analyze you, but only if you ask nicely and don't hold it against her.

Donna McMahon
Donna McMahon has been a lifelong athlete with an ability to push herself beyond where mere mortals usually care to go. Running was her first sport, and she is proud to have won the Long Island Marathon twice, as well as other races of varying distances. Then she started racing in duathlons and triathlons -- and won several varying in distances from sprints to Half-Ironman. Hmmm, winning seems to be a theme here! Donna has competed in 12 Ironmans, including twice in the Hawaii Ironman World Championships. A professional triathlete from 1999 to 2007, she started bike racing last year, and says, “Nothing I have ever done compares to it, and I am hooked!” Donna is now focusing her tremendous physical talent solely on cycling. She LOVES the intensity of cycling races! “I have learned a tremendous amount and have a long way to go,” she says. “I am having a great season and look forward to the journey ahead!” Donna has a degree in psychology and is USA Cycling Certified Coach, USAT Triathlon Coach, personal trainer, and Core Instructor. She also works part time as a UPS driver. Her heart is in coaching and racing. She looks forward to learning and becoming a seasoned racer.

Fave Race Memory: “The Empire State Games. I learned a lot and won two bronze medals and a gold in the TTT!”

Rachel Lederman-Melendez
Rachel is a latecomer to the sport of cycling. But being athletic has always been part of who she is. Before Rachel started racing a few years ago, she was a runner and triathlete – she placed Top 5 for her age group two years in a row in the NYC Triathlon. Rachel loves racing. As a matter of fact she met her husband as a result of it. But life has taken a new turn for her with the birth of her daughter. She is now a full-time mom, part-time producer, part-time racer. The passion for the sport is still there, but the time to train is precious and challenging to carve out.
Rachel races locally whenever she can and supports the team by managing the blog and cheering loudly. Rachel has set her sights on upgrading to Cat 3 in '09, a goal that has eluded her in the past due to injuries and babies, but this year it will be done!

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "Racing with the team at Lou Maltese and being able to put some hurt on Radical's competition in the field."

Nanci Modica-Perera
One of the team's most talented sprinters and a track racer par excellence, Nanci has been balancing motherhood and racing since the birth of her first child, Frank, in December 2005. Fortunately, she loves racing almost as much as she loves her baby boy and manages to keep herself in shape so she can tear it up for her team in local events, with her husband and baby boy cheering from the sidelines. Nanci is proof that it's hard to keep a devoted cyclist and team player down. Nanci continues to be devoted to building the sport by finding ways to support new and young riders. A master goldsmith by vocation, Nanci makes customized accessories for designers like Ralph Lauren as well as one-of-a-kind pieces for private clients and gallery boutiques from St. Bart's to Las Vegas.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "Although I didn't make it to the finish line myself, watching my team win the season finale on our home turf was just beyond."

Cecelia Pleva
After Cecelia won one of her very first races, the Lou Maltese Memorial in 2006, we knew we had to scoop her up fast – and did. A week after she joined the team, we were off to the Owasco Stage Race in the Finger Lakes, and Cecelia, clueless but gung-ho, insisted on coming along. We warned her that stage-racing was a lot for a novice to take on, to just keep her expectations low and learn as much as she could. Well, she taught all of us a thing or two. This girl is indefatigable. She chases finish lines the way a rabbit chases a carrot. And that would be one fast rabbit: rumor has
it that Cecelia was a 5.5-minute miler in marathons and had an athletic scholarship in college. In the 2007 season Cecelia tackled the Altoona stage race in the pro field, a weeklong race with 100-mile days, and even that couldn't wear out her battery, but it did earn her lots of road cred and an upgrade to a Cat. 2. Cecelia's most recent day job was casting director on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and she moonlights as an amateur pie critic. Just call her Piehole.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "After a freak fall during cross training last year that left me needing surgery to repair my ankle, I was just thrilled to be able to race at all – every race was my favorite moment!"

Ashley Prine
Ashley claims to have never been especially athletic, never involved in competitive sports, but we're not buying it. Not the way she rides. Away from the rest of us up hills. Always holding her own near the front of the pack, regardless of the race. Despite having a husband who races, she hadn't really trained when she came in second in the women's racing clinic in Central Park in '07. She soon discovered the exhilaration that comes from being pushed beyond your limits and took to racing like, um, a fish to water. This season, Ashley got herself a proper coach and pushed even harder, which resulted in her upgrade to Cat 2. Ashley is really excited that Radical has such a strong Cat 2 posse now and all the possibilities that holds for next year. Ashley is a painter and works as a senior designer at Sterling Publishing to keep herself supplied with tires and canvas.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "It would have to be Hilltowns. We had been climbing for just about five miles when I finally turned around to see who was behind us and couldn't see another girl in sight – there were just three of us left at the top and we never saw the pack for the rest of the race!"

Maria Quiroga
Maria never knew she was a masochist until she started bike racing in June 2006. She prefers longer races with climbs and for some reason actually enjoys uphill time trials – well, we said she's a masochist. Maria was a competitive swimmer, soccer player, figure skater and skier as a child but had been sports-free for 20 years until she discovered cycling. All that competitive juice must have still been coursing through her veins, though, because she had a whopping 20 Top 10 finishes her first season and has eyes (and legs) on a Cat 1 upgrade next year. When Maria is off the bike she can usually be found holding a camera of some sort (she just finished shooting her second documentary) or editing videos.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "I guess it would have to be Battenkill. I got dropped in that race last year and knew I had to challenge myself by doing it again. I trained hard and really gave it everything I had, but I really didn't expect to win!"

Maggie Shirley
Three words: Pro on board! Maggie Shirley started racing as a collegiate in 1999 and spent three seasons with Scuba Genesis, culminating in the year the pro team was ranked first in the nation. Maggie hails from the deep, deep South, where she learned two things: 1) when kicking a man's patootsky, do it with a smile and he might not notice, and 2) women are the eclectic foundation of the world. She is looking forward to her second season with Radical Media in "Yankee land," as she puts it, and spreading her doctrine. It also happens to be where she is attending med school, which she says is fun but hurts more than cycling! She's graduating this spring, so then we'll have a doctor on board.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "When it all came together in the CRCA season finale. We worked so hard this year to race as a team, and the tactics were executed flawlessly, without a word being spoken. It was awesome!!!"

Evelyn Stevens
Evie is the kind of racer you'd love to hate if you could, but you can't, because while she is certainly a phenomenon she doesn't hold that against herself, probably because she doesn't believe it. Yes, once every few years a woman like Evie cluelessly plunks herself down on the start line, having just bought herself a bike and racked up a teensy bit of spring mileage, and by the end of the season she's a Cat 2. Spectators could get whiplash watching her upgrade so quickly, and it's been great fun for the team as well. We doubt the tennis she played at Dartmouth helped, but maybe being related to a cyclist (her sister rides) means there are cycling genes in the family. Whatever. We can't wait to see what the '09 season holds in store for Evie, or, rather, what Evie has in store for '09, and are hoping her day job at a Mezzanine fund doesn't mess with her training!

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "The last climb in Stage 3 at Green Mountain. It was exhilarating to race that hard and get a win. But it was also great getting in a break with Ashley at Hilltowns – it made me want to be on Radical!"

Kimille Taylor
Kimille's competitive spirit – she's a former equestrian and hurdler – is more than satisfied by bike racing, as anyone who has ever gone head-to-head with her in a sprint can attest. Kimille has quite a list of victories to her credit, including being a three-time winner of the Lou Maltese Memorial (once as a 4, twice as a 3) and wearing the green jersey on two occasions in two of the most prestigious amateur races on the East Coast: the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic in Massachusetts and the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont. Kimille's goals for next year include upgrading to Cat 2 and having a little Raddy (i.e., baby), but she can't decide which to do first – decisions, decisions. Off the bike, Kimille loves, loves, loves being an interior designer. As she has famously said, "What could be better than getting paid to shop?"

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "The excitement and anticipation during the few minutes before the last Team Cup race, when we were really connected and united by our common goal and were finalizing our responsibilities and tactics. Of course, watching it all unfold and come to fruition was sublime. Makes my stomach tingle just thinking about that morning!"