Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
It's this second factor that I can tell you the most about. Instead of the team staying in a hotel, eating out at restaurants for every meal and mechanics setting up shop in the parking lot, Carmen works with each race management team to secure us a family willing to host us in their home. An BOY did we get hooked up at Redlands. Last year we stayed with Carol and Dick Gentile and thank goodness we behaved ourselves because they opened up their house to us again this year. Carol and Dick are unbelievable host family, so much so that by the end of the week we were calling Carol "MOM"!!! We literally took over their house:
-Bunking in every spare bedroom and office in their house
-Setting up massage in their living room
-Cooking all sorts of strange concoctions in their kitchen
-Turning the dining room into our pantry
-Putting their laundry room to the test
-Taking over the garage for our a bike shop
-Conferencing at their dinner table well into the night
Carol and Dick are true PRO- they knew what to expect and they couldn't wait to have us back! Crazy, right? And there's more...most nights Carol prepared enough food to feed an army (and we did our best to eat it all!), they made signs for us (see the one on their garage behind us in the photo above) and put them all over their neighborhood and Dick drove them both all over every single course we raced to cheer us on at what seemed like every turn.
They were out of this world hosts and I want to thank them from the bottom of all our Aaron's hearts!!!!! Carol and Dick Gentile ROCK!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Tension could be felt in the thick haze that was the air around downtown Redlands. Today's race starts with a neutral section from the start line out of town to the actual Sunset Loop course and it is a battle every year. It's the most non-neutral neutral on the NRC circuit- josseling for a position in the front of the pelaton is critical as entering "the loop" in the back means you're immediately behind because it's super narrow, twisty and turny. Here we are, not racing, riding neutral up to "the loop":We are so wide across the road because we are going slightly up hill and everyone is trying to zip up the outside to move to the front. I'm third from the left with the blue arms, beside the two girls in green...probably trying to move up closer to the front.
The race this year was not unlike any other year, one by one riders were dropped as the pelaton dwindled down from the group you see above to less than twenty riders. Aaron's had a good day, especially our superwoman Meredith Miller, who AGAIN spent much of the day off the front in a break. I had a good day, not great but good and loved every minute of the Sunset Loop. I can't wait 'till Redlands next year!!!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The Redlands crit is legendary...possibly one of the toughest stage race crits we do all year. Not only is it fast but it's also extremely technical! But today, something happened to me that has never happened: I got a call up!!! In big races, the top riders are introduced to the crowd and "called up" to the front of the field at the starting line. (I'm thrid from the left above with the blue arm warmers on the front row.) This is such a big deal to me I can't even tell you...I felt a little self-conscious when I got up there but it was pretty cool :) ......and that was where my good day ended....I must have started the race with a slow leak because I struggled for the entire race only to notice with FIVE laps to go that I had a flat tire! Fortunately Carmen confirmed that I would receive pack time because I could barely hang on the back of the field. Trying to corner on a flat is scary and I was really happy to call it a day. Rebecca and Kat shined for the Aaron's team with a fifth and sixth place finish respectively.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
A BIG part of what we do as professional cyclists for the Aaron's Corporate Furnishings Womens Pro Cycling Team is visit elementary schools to teach the children about bicycle safety. The day before the Redlands Bicycle Classic started we all visit the Reche Canyon Elementary School. A croud of first through sixth graders gathered to learn about bike safety and our lives as professional cyclists. We aren't professional speakers but we do all thoroughly enjoy the time with the kids!