Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sheryl's Birkie

Well, Barb, the Prez has asked for an update on what the "Snow Bellas" did over Birkie weekend. HAD A GREAT TIME! That's all. They ended up shortening the course to less than half the distance- and only timed the Elite racers. Surprisingly, Velo Bella Maria Stewart was not allowed to compete in the elite wave (she was very magnanimous about it, considering it was really unjust- as she has been skiing SO WELL lately and on the podium so many times!) So she skied out there with the masses- which includes the rest of us, like Lori D., Laurel S. (were you out there?) and myself. Hope I didn't forget anyone!
As you can well imagine, I myself spent most of my time chatting during the "tour" and getting to know some Birchwood gals who ski, and inflicting "Ole and Lena" jokes to anyone who tried to pass me on the hills. I do think I was successful in communicating to the Birchwood Betties that Velo Bella is THE PLACE to be and we are always welcoming here in the pink and electric blue. So, stay tuned... ;-)

Otherwise, we are just so happy to have snow and good health! See attached photo of Birkie finish line smile....
Until the trainer ride then! Allez allez!


Free Tri Clinic!!!

March 24th - Free Rookie Clinic, 9AM to 11AM, Shoreview Community

Send e-mail to info@turtleman.org

Train Safe,
Dan Conway
Race Director, 2007 Turtleman Triathlon

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Birkie Blog

Hi, it's Kate, with the post-Birkie report.

This was a particularly mentally grueling Birkie due to the changing nature of the press releases in the days leading up to the event. My boyfriend, Michael, went up to Hayward on Wednesday to set up the Craft booth at the expo. He called me that afternoon to tell me it was 52 degrees and raining there.

I didn't let that depressing news deter me from packing up my many bags of stuff and heading over to Northern WI on Thursday morning to meet my mom, sister and niece at the cabin we rent on Lake Namakagon. It was my mom's 24th Birkie, my sister's 14th, and my 4th. My 17 year old neice has done a Birkie event every year since she was three years old, and this was her 2nd Kortelopet.

On the drive over, I got a call from Michael "did you hear? the race is on hold unless they get snow before saturday morning." I started to wonder whether I should stop my carbo loading process, and was it worth it to pay to have my skis waxed? I remembered previous years when there was no snow on the ground anywhere else, but the trail still held that ribbon of white, so I dropped my skis off anyway. At Outdoor Ventures in Hayward, they looked at me a little funny when I said I wanted them waxed "did you hear about what's going on with the race?" Yes, but I was holding out hope anyway.

All day Thursday we wondered whether it would be another cancelled Birkie. The forecast didn't look like we'd get the three inches of snow they said they'd need to put on a safe race.

On Friday we got the good news. The Birkie was on for half the distance, but there would be no times recorded, and people could start anytime within half hour time frames. This was a little odd, but hey, we still got to ski!

The weather was great, the people were good-humored, and the trail, despite any snowfall prior to the race, was in surprisingly good condition.

Everyone was very cautious on the icy downhills, especially after we saw one poor guy lying on the trail who had a broken hip and compound fracture of his leg. It reminded me that even a seemingly safe sport like cross country skiing can have its dangers.

Even though it was a recreational ski, I did bring a watch and noticed that if I'd have done the whole thing, I probably would've done better than last year. It gives me something to aim for next time.

Sunday morning we attended the Birchbark Leggings breakfast with my mom, who belongs to that special club for people who have completed 20 or more Birkies. It's so inspiring to see all these people who have participated in up to 34 of these races, and they really want to pass along the enthusiasm to the younger people.

Our family is not the fastest bunch of skiers, but we know how to enjoy ourselves while keeping up a tradition. My mom dubbed us "Team Sturdy Women." I'm looking forward to next year, when my niece will be old enough to ski the 51 km race, and we can have three generations of Sturdy Women in the Birkie.

Hope everyone else who attended had a great time as well!

"if you're gonna ski the birkie, you better put some time in trainin'
cuz if you don't pay attention to that, you're in for a little pain-in'


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Kieran's Mixes a Crappy Shandy - But the Comp'ny was Dandy!!!

Great turnout for happy hour last night, Sara(n), Becca, Jenn, Sarah,
Manda, Shirley, Barb and Paula (former Bella). Hanging around with the
Bellas was a super way to wind down after a loooong work week. We all
agreed this was something we need to do more often! And who knew you
can reserve a happy hour table at Kieran's?? Note to self for next
time . . ..

So, watch for another Happy Hour posting in the near future. But next
up on the docket, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, a Friday night
field trip to watch Sarah and Manda (and ????) tear it up at the BMX
barn in Lino Lakes! Details coming soon!!

Thanks for coming out, gals!



Well, the cold snap has broken. You know it was a evil long one, when anything over 20 feels damned good. I even saw a couple of kids in shorts today. Crazy.

At these temps, it's damned unfun to bike, so some of our team does other stuff. And they kick ASS at other stuff. You heard about the skiiers, but Kristy Powell is a bandy player. If you don't feel like going to wikipedia, bandy is "field hockey on ice."

So... here's Kristy's reports on 2007 Women's Bandy World Championships in Budapest, Hungrary. Kristy's on Team USA 2007. Wish I could tell you which one she is, but... I've only ever seen her clothed... and it's HARD to pick out who is who when everyone is in a team jersey. :P

Without further delay:

From: Powell, Kristy
Sent: Mon 2/5/2007 8:56 AM
Subject: Women's USA Bandy - Budapest, Hungary Feb 11 - 18, 2007

Well, the USA Women's Bandy Team departs on February 10th for Budapest Hungary for the 3rd ever World Championships in Women's Bandy. Before I take off with the team, I wanted to provide some information to you in case you are curious as to how we are doing.

1) Web site for the Women's National Team (where you can find the link to the Tournament info)

There, you can select the link to "2007 Women's World Cup", which is the tournament site. You can see the tournament schedule, standings/results, photos, and even view "game live" --- a broadcasting via the internet of the games!

2) If you want to see the venue where we are playing, you can go to this site...there's even a webcam for the rink! (Check it out - the rink is in front of a castle!) http://www.mujegpalya.hu/

3) Support us as we make this trip AND get a cool souvenir!

Thanks for everyone's support so far!
From Team USA and myself,
Kristy #6

From: Powell, Kristy
Sent: Sun 2/11/2007 8:58 AM
Subject: RE: Women's USA Bandy - Budapest, Hungary Feb 11 - 18, 2007

Hey All!
23 hours of travel later, and we're in the "Pesht" side of Budapest. It's beautiful (as far as architecture goes)...the weather...well...let's just say "not the best bandy weather" --- I guess yesterday it was 60 degrees and rainy, thus standing water on the ice. I'm not looking forward to that, but I guess that's one of the beauties of bandy - you never know what the elements will do to your game!

We traveled a round about way....Minneapolis to DC, DC to Copenhagen, Copenhagen to Vienna, Vienna to Budapest via bus.

We will watch Hungary vs. Canada tonight (9:00 pm), and for those of you wondering "what time is it there?" It is 4:02 PM on Sunday - but that's 9:02 AM Sunday for you folks back home.

Well, time to brush the teeth, get changed, head out on the town for a couple of hours before the team dinner and viewing of the game.

More later --- and I do have access to the internet easily! *yeaye!* So I'll keep you all informed!


From: Powell, Kristy
Sent: Mon 2/12/2007 9:33 AM
Subject: RE: Women's USA Bandy - Budapest, Hungary Feb 11 - 18, 2007

Hey All!
We started out slow against Finland this morning - must have been a lot of jet lag, or the fact that we were traveling for 20 + hours YESTERDAY and had to jump on the ice first thing...who knows...anyway - we didn't play OUR game like we could have and we lost. We did have some good points, and we skated away with our heads still high, looking towards our next competition - Hungary. We skated away from that with a 10-0 win. I had a pretty good game personally, but will step it up in the next game - can never be too statisfied.

We face Russia tomorrow --- should be a tough game, but good. Russia takes on Sweden tonight - a great rivalry which I'll be sure to watch.

Weather conditions aren't all that great, surprisingly. You would all love to be out of the MN cold and be in the 50 + temps here, but that causes about an inch to 2" of water to gather on the ice. Not easy to carry the ball with or slide on. When you do slide --- you can bet that you'll be water logged. I was able to ring out the inside of my skates --- that's NEVER a good sign. Needless to say, I'm in the hotel room right now with the hair dryer blowing the insides of my skates so I can put them back on for opening ceremonies tonight.

All is good - some rough play, but all in all, great bandy!


Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 03:56:50 -0600
Subject: RE: Women's USA Bandy - Budapest, Hungary Feb 11 - 18, 2007
Greetings from Budapest!

This may have typos or be short --- I have a bandage on my finger due to taking a few shots and sticks to the finger. All is OK -- just a bruise from playing Russia. We lost that game, although we played well. Today, we came out with our full force and intensity and managed to pull off a first in USA Bandy - we shut out Sweden and we tied them 0-0!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's an awesome accomplishment, and I'm sure many of you have heard me talk about how great Sweden is!

We have a game again this afternoon against NOrWAY. We have to beat them...and I am positive we can if we play our game.

As one of our teammates said (mary Hannula) - our ability to skate with the Swedes has a lot to do with the off ice training we did - Danielle - we'll see you many times to come. I have found my explosion of speed off of the line while defending a corner stroke has allowed me to take the ball from the other teams close to 10 times now (and gave me the owie on my finger...but it was worth it, the ball didn't go in!)


Today Norway, tomorrow Canada - we will show them how we are United as one!



Friday, February 16, 2007

NOW trainer rides

Last Wed MAnda, Megan and I (and fella) worked up a sweat at NOW. I was
good to see Megan who hasn't made an appearance since track sesaon (YAY


Yep... trainer rides. It's definitely more fun to ride on the trainer watching spinervals with your team mates than it is to do it alone. At least the cast members in the videos end up with nicknames-- porno guy, coach troy (wait. that's his real name), pasty girl, too cool for sleeves guy....

But.. trainer sessions at NOW are damned sweet! They have the trainers there.. just bring your bike. They have regular trainer sessions are open to the public. Just scroll down their homepage to find out when and where.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

mo' skiing

When it is this cold, people here ski.. not ride...

So... there's some skiier Bellas kicking ass.

Here's the scant details from Sheryl...
Maria Stewart took another PODIUM in ski racing. She took 2nd woman overall- in a very fast lightning finish at the Mora Vasaloppet.

Sheryl also finished 3rd in her age group, and 9th overall. kickass!

Sorry for the delay in posting these.... I was waiting for some details.. If you got any... post 'em in the comments, or send them my way...


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Skiier News

Velo Bella Maria Stewart is a skiier in the winters... and she rocks just as much on snow as she does on two wheels (and of course in real life... )

She took home some prize money for the Saturday night sprints and podiumed the 25K Classic ski event.

Go Maria!

(and that's all the details I know... was kinda waiting for a race report and THAT's why this is late.)


Monday, February 05, 2007

it is -that- damned cold

Towards the end of the race, as we were riding back to downtown in a wicked headwind, my bottom bracket start schooching out of my bike frame. I'm like wtf?, but elect to deal with it later, enjoy the after party, and bus home since I'm not used to riding drunk.

Discovered after the Triple Rock (for you berkeley people, this is NOTHING like the triple rock there) brunch, that my bottom bracket and bike frame have compatible threading. It easily screwed back in, and tightend down pretty well. Odd. the only thing I can think of is: bike frame is older.. mid-80's maybe. Bottom bracket is brand new. Different materials, possibly, which leads to different rates of contraction due to the cold. No clue. but it's fixed now.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

saturday fun times

First the day started with me teaching a spinning class. Always fun. always surreal.

Then I drove over to Now bikes-- Snelling for the Castelli trunk show. Fabulous deals and steals for us... market research for them. We even got a sneak peak at the 2007 women's gear. There was definitely some interesting and styling stuff in the 2007 line. I was by FAR the most excited by the zippers. But, being that I still dress like a 16 year old skater boy and am not shaped like a women's size (but who is really?) someone else (*cough* sheryl, barb, JenG, Kristy, bueller, bueller?) who is less butch than me should blog about it.

But yeah... their stuff is cool. I'm a girl that shops by function/economics, and -then- by fashion.

Picked up a rad orange windproof and water resistant Castelli outer shell that RULED Damn, that thing is warm. I race-tested both the jacket and the giordana lobster gloves at Stupor Bowl a couple hours later. The gloves kept my fingers toasty all race. The jacket allowed me to shed one of my upper body layers. awesome.

So, how does a cold weather wuss dress for this wicked cold ass stuff?
starting at the top.

my head
fleecy hat
snowboarding goggles

my abdomen

tank top
warm-ish pearl izumi short sleeve jersey
rei fleecy jacket (actually made it too warm and added too much bulk. this was removed before the race)
Castelli jacket
Snowboarding jacket
chrome bag with change of clothes and race schwag

bottoms and feet

bike shorts
regular clothing tights
furry on the inside bike tights
craft base layer
khaki pants
aireator socks
smart wool socks (removed to make room to kick ass heat pads)
skate-shoe like bike shoes

The race rawked. Heard today at brunch something like 273 people registered.

I made it to 8 out of... uhh.... 20? stops. 9 if you could standing behind the new guthrie on the river waiting for the start. Being that my goal was 3 stops minimum and 5 maximum. That ruled. I even stayed warmer than I thought I would. Victory is mine. muah. Couldn't have done it alone...

I gotta thank bridget, liz, and danielle for lotsa fun and encouragement. We even made it to the Sunrise, which was by far the stop furtherest south, and even rode back it. Never believe anyone when they say "oh. yeah. sure... we'll just light rail it back in."

Yay to people at palmers with friendly dogs, the nomad and their bananas and sport jelly bellies. The scallywag clubhouse had free coffee, soup, and cookies.. The sunrise had a live cover band, free ice-daquari's at someone's house, no idea what all was at joe's garage, though I know we went, good people at Mackenzie's, and tasty free food at Foundation.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

post stupor

.5 cookie
1 beer total ( me and bridget split)
1 tequila shot

9 stops total

4 whiskey sours at foundation

10 fingers.
10 toes.
none of them blue. yay

holy crap it's cold...

and Stupor Bowl X is still on. Yes, we know it's cold. There has been some changes because of the cold. one of the message boards is filled with tips on how to avoid frostbite. This is probably sign number one that people shouldn't be riding.

sign #2 that argues against riding is... the severe weather warning. something about windchill. UGH. Last i heard the race officially starts at 3pm. and it's STILL only -10 degrees FUCKING COLD right now. That's without the wind chill.

sign #3: from mplsbikelove again. The question was: "do I need to ride a fixed gear bike?"
answer by MegD (organizer of ze race): hells no. I would warn you though, probably best to ride either a fixed OR a geared bike. In weather this cold, I"ve had bearings freeze up on regular single speed freewheel cogs. But maybe that's just because of my mechanical inaptitude.

the only reaction to "weather this cold, i've had my bearings freeze up.." is... OMG, WTF?!

but... i love this race. it's the thing that started it all. But... my first one was stupor bowl 8, and THAT was awesome. It was in the high 40's and the streets were dry. The boy I was with at the time was my domestique. heh. So.. it's only downhill from there, i guess. but it's still HELLA fun.

If you wanna watch... I dunno. Maybe hit up some local watering holes. there's lotsa activity at one on one right now. CRC is probably a stop. Behind Bars is a sponsor... NE grumpy's is probably a stop. But this is all speculation. We won't get manifests until 2:30.

Everyone will show up to foundation by 6. They open at 5. $5 for non-riders.... I hear rumors there's food and drink specials... So come out and hang with the riders and support a new-ish local club!

eh. back to getting dressed.

Friday, February 02, 2007

winter warmers: jameson, castelli, and hotties on hot bikes

It's 3 degrees out right now. I wussed out riding into work today because it woulda been -2 degrees when I left the house. No idea (beyond jameson) how to cope with tomorrow's high of -4 (yes. that is a negative sign, NOT a typo) for Stupor Bowl tomorrow.

The way more sane bellas are going to the Now Bikes and Fitness-- Snelling for the Castelli Trunk show.-- 10am

Here's the details from Bob (Now bikes and fitness):
The Castelli rep "is going to sell any of his samples at 40% off . We
will offer 20% off on any spring 07 clothing due to arrive in
He is going to bring an inventory of sale Fall Winter stuff and offer
at least 20% off those goods too. The fall winter goods are what they
have on hand and will ship the next week."

Drop Barb a line if you plan on going... This weekend is also the City of Lakes Loppet, maybe our new blogger and XC skiier, Sheryl, will blog about it.

oh... and the ray of sunshine? my dream of paradise...

check out this following video...

Special Professional

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mmm. hot punk boys. sweet bikes. san francisco.