Monday, April 28, 2008


Some claim the charms and the namesake of the Ironman Bike Ride the last Sunday in April in Minnesota, is due to the fact that it's in Minnesota. 2007's Ironman was a glorious spring day. 2008... let's just say I'm stoked I finished before the big fat snowflakes. ugh.

Anyhoo, Brooke, Kate, Danielle, Becca, Rebecca, Barb, and me did the 62 mile ride, with hella bad headwind the whole time. It made grandpa's walk to school (uphill both ways), look like a walk to school in the sunshine, with rainbows in the sky.

In retrospect, at least it was snow in the air... and NOT rain. Because if it snows when you are on bike, you stay more dry than if it rains.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cold Sunday Ride

On what I hope is the last sub-40-degree Sunday for awhile, Brook, Laura and I met up at Lake Calhoun to view the still-frozen lake before we headed north past Cedar Lake and Wirth Park. The Parkways were quiet on this chilly morning, and we had the roads to ourselves. Aside from the debris waiting to be streetcleaned from the gutters, we had a perfect ride. The route that Brook created even had some surprise hills to challenge us. We managed to get in 30 miles and a coffee break before noon, all without ever being more than a few miles from downtown Minneapolis.

Monday, April 07, 2008

rainy sunday

Brooke blogs coherently about our rainy Sunday morning ride...

Well, here's tribute to the good souls who said to heck with the forecast and joined Kate and I for the Inaugural Sunday Bella Rides. The ride start was at Dunn Bros. Coffee on Lake Street and River Road at 9 a.m. Kate and I were joined by Barb and Bruce for the ride over to the Greenway to pick up others enroute. We met Manda just off of the Chicago/Greenway intersection and then went on to pick up Becca and Rebecca at the dog park meeting spot at Lake Calhoun. Here Barb and Bruce left us to complete some scheduled interval training. Our group headed west on the pre-decided route. We were not blessed with sunny skies and warm weather as was the day before but we were a hardy crew and pedaled on. The route took us to the end of the paved Greenway and then south a bit to connect with the Smetana hill and onto Shady Oak Road. We discovered that our ride time at that point coincided with services at Wooddale Church. We may need to alter the course or time a little in the future to allow those seeking redemption full rights to the road and us an exception for an early exit to heaven.
As we headed back through Edina the first few sprinkles started to fall. Being the optimistic bunch we are, we initially figured it was road spray from those in the front. Unfortunately, Manda and Kate confirmed that they too, were getting dripped on with no one in front of them and alas, the weather forecaster was going to have an accurate forecast come to pass. The sprinkling stayed light until we crested Vernon and crossed Hwy 100. The skies then decided that it was time to rain and rain it did. By the time we reached Lake Harriet, we were all pretty darn wet and ready for the ride to be over. Becca and I left Manda and Kate at 40th and Bryant as they headed towards the Greenway and off their separate ways to continue home.
Although not as pleasant of ending as wished, it was a good ride. Our distance was about 32 miles as planned (if you started at Dunn Bros) and the time approximately 2 hours 20 minutes. I think everyone enjoyed themselves until the rain came in so all-in-all a successful outing. After wiping down my chain and drying my bike, I was able to get out of the wet clothes and into a hot shower. A cup of hot cocoa, a slice of peanut butter toast and I'm ready to think about next Sunday.
Next week, we'll try the Northeast route. Watch for time and start location to be announced. Till then, roll on.......

Saturday, April 05, 2008

REALLY. it is better than a huffy.

Ok. Picture the scene.... the high of the day is a mere 10 degrees F. It's the 4th or 5th cold spell of similiar temperatures this winter. The cats are all sitting on the other human in the house, who happens to be warmer and less squirmy than you, so you've got the laptop warming your lap, and you're dreaming of spring. while shopping on eBay. You see a shiney bike that seems to be an incredible deal, and a teammate's husband has introduced you to sniping. So.. you bid. 2 weeks later, you get a bike for a sweet deal... that will hopefully... oh please oh please fit well enough.

This seems to be the way I end up with most my rides. Having obtained my first real road bike (Bridgestone RB-2) from a drunken grad student who was storing his bike in my basement... there is no other way. So... after doing my first group ride of the year, i wander off to get the bike running... shorter stem, wheel trued, minor rear derailleur adjustment.... easy... right? HA HA HA. no. turns out my handlebars, which were measured at 31.8mm are a little smaller than 31.8, and only fit well on the too long for me space age looking carbon stem... after having 3 people say... WTF? and searching the Q's knowledge base on this... we found the one stem that was short enough for me, and tightened down enough on the handlebars... so that it worked.

As the home mechanic, who is frequently seen in skulking around mpls bike shops near closing time with a botched home repair... having the mechanic say... 'seriously. dude. what did you do to this?'... i'm relatively grateful, i witnessed several mechanics, saying.. 'HUH. that's weird.' for a seemingly simple matter.

at the same time, as an owner for a spendy ass new road bike, from a spanish bike maker with a decent reputation, the weird sized part thing... makes me think i bought a flippin' huffy/magna/wal-mart bike. and that's annoying. Here's to hoping that it stays nice, so I can take the new bike out. and new bike... prove me wrong. until then. your name is Huffy.

it's finally spring!

Manda, Laura and I with serveral other NOW/Synergy folk (and Lori Jug
from Kenda Tire who kicked butt at Superweek a couple of years a go-
gotta keep an eye on her) gathered at NOW/Snelling on this lovely
Saturday morning.

NOW gal Miriah led the group on a very civilized tour of St. Paul. One
group splintered for a longer ride to Afton, but some held back for

News: Lori was on her new shiney bike, Manda is planning on when she
will have her open house, her BF has a new bike too, and I have a new
TT bike.

Man it was nice out! But I'm still wearing booties.

I hope the weather holds out for the Sunday ride!!! ( roll out 9am east lake st. and river road Dunn Brothers.... passing the Lake of the Isles dog park at 9:20ish...)

-- Barb

Thursday, March 06, 2008


It's been a wonderful winter for skiing! The best part about all the snow is the fact that I got to spend quality time with my fellow Bellas (that's fun to say) while racking up the km's in preparation for the Birkie.

Here's proof that the hours on the trail paid off-- check out the picture of me putting the hurt on this old guy at the halfway point.

But seriously, it's been great fun hanging out with Becca, Brook, Barb, Marjie and a few other special guests this winter. I've never had so much fun training during ski season. And I probably would have never bothered to drive all the way out to Carver by myself, and may have never known what awesome trails they have.

I'll ski as long as the snow lasts, so if anyone is itching to get out, there's still some winter left!

Thanks everyone, for the great company on the trail. It was fun to be first up the hills for a change, but I'm looking forward to you all kicking my a** on the bike come spring.

Kate :)

p.s. to see some pics of the skiing Bellas, check out the pictures on the VBTC Yahoo group.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

fast snowy fun?

A lot of the Bellas here like snow. I'll have to get someone to blog about the cross country skiing that goes on here... 'cause I don't. do. that.

Anyhoo, Maria has been ski racing this winter... and here's one of her Birkie exploit.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spring Kickoff Meeting-- Come on down!!!

When: Sunday March 16th, 3-5pm
Where: Bella Barb's house at 3039 36th Ave S in Minneapolis
Who: All you Bellas, friends and acquaintances interested in Velo Bella
Why: To talk about the great things Velo Bella will be doing this year, sign up for the Ironman bike ride, and put names to faces and meet our wonderful local sponsors

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

back from not blogging

Something about racing makes me not blog. Which is totally counter to why this blog exists, I guess. But. really.... this author's race blog is ALL the same. 1. Got there. 2. Mostly on time. 3. (this happens only most of the time) pre-ride. hey that wasn't so bad. 4. race. ouch. that hurt. Didn't DNF.

But... when you rock at racing.. you have kick ass stories to tell and pictures to show. And that is just one of the reasons why Maria rules.

Check out her adventures in her first season racing with the CX big girls...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

bridge go boom!

I think all Bellas accounted for.

There actually were a good chunk of us out riding and unfortunately crashing (stupid potholes) when it happened.

Sorry about the silence of late. Home demolition has wound down, and I'm back from Portland, OR... so more updates, and copy-ed race reports from weeks previous here...