Playing catch up

It is hard for me to update my blog. Im great with social media, quick posts to FB and Twitter im even good at posting to my GoFund me account, but this blog for me is somehow a black whole where blog drafts go to die. There are several posts, just sitting there never to be published, never to be seen . Why?  Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe its because I believe that no one reads this, or that what I have to say is not funny enough, or interesting enough, or maybe Im just lazy when it comes to writing about me.

This post will include some old stories, to catch every one up. If your not sick of reading about me a new up to date story will follow shortly.


Quick update.  

I just finished up three days of racing in Saint Louis at Tour de Grove. This was quite a different race experience than the previous weeks of NCC racing at Speed Week.


I hit the ground in a crash on the first night, but am ok for the most part. The second day was an NCC race so I grabbed a lot of points but could not quite pull off the finish.

The 3rd and final day was one of the hardest days of racing. I chose to be supper active and aggressive, working to create a break or go with a move that made one. This made for a very hard, active race. I was in just about every move except the one that stuck (always the story). My positioning for the finial lap was good for the final sprint but I wanted to try something new and attacked early hoping to stay away, but was caught at the line.

Over all I was happy with how I raced. I may not have made the podium but I walked away with the experience of what I did right, and more importantly what I did wrong.

I am out side of Chicago now for a week of training with awesome teammates, and being hosted by one of our incredible sponsors Enzo’s and will be racing in one of our other sponsors’ races, the PSIMET fox river omnium .

And then there were podiums in Chicago:

A year of firsts, and it’s only May. 
This is the first year in several years I have been able to race without pain. This has given me the confidence to believe in myself and dedicate myself to racing.

The season is just beginning, and I have already raced in El Salvador, where I surprised myself and a lot of other people. This was the beginning. I had the fight to finish one of the hardest mountain climbs (a climb that destroyed the field!) I have ever done in a UCI race. I spent two stages riding in a break, one of those days attacking the break to win sprint points. Another first was placing top 20 in a UCI race.

I had the opportunity to race Redlands, the first NRC race of the season, and support my teammate to 3rd over all, and I placed 12th in the hardest crit in America.

I had my first win in 4 years at the Red Kite Crit in CA.
IMG_4116Today, in our 6th day of racing at Speed Week, I attacked the field 1 1/2 laps into a 37 lap technical course, creating the breakaway that would lap the field. In a sprint finish I came in 4th, unfortunately one spot off the podium. This is the first time I have ever lapped a field.

I have had many firsts and small victories already this season. Each and every one of them I am grateful for, and I could not have achieved without all of your help.

Your support, and believing in me have contributed to my success, and has opened my eyes to the athlete I can be.


Count down to awesome madness

The last few weeks.

Getting my bike fit on
Getting my bike fit on

I got dialed in on my New Wilier by my dear friend, and fellow bike fitter, Matthew Larson, at Devil Mtn Cyclery in Walnut Creek. We had a lot of fun catching up, getting my fit just right, and talking about the upcoming race season. He asked me some great questions about why I race, what my goals are, and how I feel in comparison to last year. This caught me off guard, and really made me think. It was a fantastic experience sharing this, and it aloud me to be really honest with my self. So thank you Matt.

Ocean View
Ocean View

After being fit on the new bike, and being fully recovered from the flu, I was able to start adding back the miles. Lots of great photo ops. I am lucky to live in such an amazing place.

Got to spend the day coaching a new client. She rocks!
Got to spend the day coaching a new client. She rocks!

So many birds
Tam, sun, fog, we have it all.
Tam, sun, fog, we have it all.
Picture the boss man took. Always love riding with my coach .
Picture the boss man took. Always love riding with my coach .
Mini Me getting caffeinated before our first race.
Mini Me getting caffeinated before our first race.

Cherry Pie was the first race of the season for me. Some of you may have already read the race report on FB, but for those of you who have not, here you go. Those of you who have, enjoy it again.

Today I raced Cherry Pie, my first crit of the season, with two awesome teammates. This race is generally the NorCal season opener, and it’s famous because the podium gets cherry pie, which is not an incentive for us glutards.

I missed this race last year, which was the first time since I started racing. It was not by choice, but out of necessity because I was recovering from hip surgery.

As I was on my way to the race I got that nervous feeling in my belly, and this surprised me. I have not gotten this in years. It was not because I was nervous to race – I have lined up at the start line hundreds of times, it was because I have pretty high expectations for this year and have fought back from several years of injury. I was afraid to line up, and race with the same pain and disconnect of years past.

This was not the case. I felt strong, confident, and pain-free. I felt like myself, a self I have not known in years. Even though I was the designated sprinter and got 6th to my leadout who placed 2nd (awesome), the sprint was there but I chose the wrong side. I accept that, and I was more excited than if I had of won. This was a huge victory for me. The first of many to come this season.

The Sprint.
The Sprint.

More “What I See On My Rides” photos.

Found new bike path on my ride this day
Found new bike path on my ride this day
Lear calm day at Alpine Dam
Clear calm day at Alpine Dam

I mentioned “Awesome Madness” in the tittle. Team camp starts tomorrow!

Riders are coming in from all over the place. We will have an exciting week of riding together, getting to know one another, and meeting with our incredible sponsors.

Camp kicks of with a ride in my neck of the woods.Im excited to be sharing some of my favorite roads with the girls. During the ride we will get to stop by our sponsors Osmo Nutrition headquarters in Farifax to refuel, and give some hugs to some great people.

The next stage of madness will be getting on a flight at the end of camp to head to El Salvador for 10 days of racing!

Stay tuned for FB, Twitter, and eventually blog updates.  Follow me if you want in on the racing action.

Ready to bring the BOOM!
Ready to bring the BOOM!


Introducing Mini me...

Introducing Mini me…

It turns out I’m not the best at blogging regularly. I’ve decided for the 2013 season to do my best to change that. But it’s going to be a bit different this time around. A picture says a thousand words.

But first, I will use a few words to close the door on 2012. Man that was a hard year. For the most part I spent the year racing back from hip surgery. I learned a lot about myself. I met some amazing people. I grew closer to those special people in my life. I learned some new skills, and dusted off some others. I traveled, and raced the hell out of my bike. I laughed, and shared many good times with teammates. I had some good cries. I punched myself in the face a few times putting on arm warmers. I drank a lot of coffee. I thought about updating this blog… I did some other awesome stuff, oh, and survived an apocalypse. No big deal.

On to 2013. The year started off with a bang! No really, fire works were going off in Portland, as Mr. Gino Z. and I were sitting in a small local pub in SE Portland  having a beverage and a plate of fries. We were determined not to sleep through this new year turnover as we had done in years past. Cheers all around, and here we are in 2013.

I spent the remainder of the first week freezing my butt off, riding in snow flurries with my coach Adnan Kadir , drinking coffee, eating gelato, and talking goals. Since then I’ve been back in CA freezing my butt off.  I got my new bike and turned in my old one. It always amazes me how I can get a bit emotional about an object. I got a choked up having to part with her. Yes, my bike is a her. I spent more time with her then any human being last year, so it was hard to say good bye. I hope she goes to a good home. To ease the pain of saying good bye, I got to say, “Hello” to my new 2013 team issue Wilier Triestina Zero.9. We have spent the last week getting to know each other, and it’s going well so far. Beyond that, I am working to book more fit clients, finishing up some freelance design projects, fundraising, and plotting the 2013 season. Thats all.

On to the new Blog Theme. I am going to do my best to post every week. The posts will consist of lots of pretty pictures taken during my training rides, and anywhere else that applies. I will not be taking pictures of my food, unless its juice and a recipe follows. I will take pictures of me drinking coffee, as that is part of training. I will take pictures of my bike and other equipment as it comes. I will take pictures of new teammates as I meat them. Not the second that I meet them – that would be weird, but some short time after. I will post pictures that other people take, and give them credit. I think you get the picture. There will be a lot of pictures. Oh and not to forget Mini me, if you follow my blog you will find out.

So on with the blog. This one will cover the last few weeks of training, Portland, OR and Marin county. Be jealous.

Christmas day ride, it cant all be rode
Christmas day ride. It can’t all be road.
Adnan Kadir of Aeolus Endurance Sport
Adnan Kadir of Aeolus Endurance Sport
It's snowing and we are eating Gilato
It’s snowing and we are eating Gelato
Beautiful last ride for me and the Focus
Beautiful last ride for me and the Focus
Last ride with my old friend the Focus. It was a beautiful relationship.
Last ride with my old friend the Focus. It was a beautiful relationship.
This view never gets old
This view never gets old

Pleased to introduce my little friend Wilier Zero.9. We will be bringing the BOOM together in 2013.

The new Wilier Zero.9
The new Wilier Zero.9
Maiden Voyage ride on the new Wilier Zero.9
Maiden voyage ride on the new Wilier Zero.9

We had some great conversations on this ride. Well not so much conversations – I did most of the talking, but we came to the conclusion that we are going to win some bike races together.

2nd day out better aquatinted
2nd day out. Better acquainted.
I wanted to go up the bike wanted to go down, we did a bit of both
I wanted to go up the bike wanted to go down, we did a bit of both

That is all for now but we did just enter another week of training and my Coach is in town, so until next time. Get used to the new format. Leave feedback. Ask questions, and I will answer them.

Vanderkitten-Focus Team Camp

Photo By Jason Perry.

This past weekend was our team camp and presentation. There are many fantastic photos by legendary photogs Jason Perry and Christopher See, and  articles documenting the camp by Cycling News,  Velowoo, Podium Cafe, and Famous Fan Boy Rand Miller of Counter Attacking Reallity.

Not to get off the subject of camp but I was reading fan boy’s latest blog, and it got me thinking. If I, were to publicly talk that kind of trash, about my teamies or competitors, I would probably be labeled with a not so nice name. Why is it this? Why can men thrive on trash talking, but the second a woman does, she is a catty beeotch? Now its acceptable for women to trash talk the men, and we are often encouraged to do so, at least those who are good at it. I’ve come close to bringing Rand the woo boy himself to tears, but I could never, ever do that to a woman.

So why the double standard? It cant be because women are soft, in fact I think Kristin Armstrong proved just how tough women are by delivering a crushing blow to the majority of the men’s field, decimating their times in the TT at Merco. I will point out to all the men that if they trained harder, and looked down at their oiled legs less, there is a small possibility that their girlfriends could look them in the eye and still respect them in the morning, but I would be lying.

So again why the double standard? What is keeping me from picking a nemesis? Or commenting on one’s ability to race a bike with a stick up their arse? Am I willing to test these waters? Heck no. There are plenty of men out there who would love to see a cat fight, and just because I rock a kitty suit does not mean im willing to go there. So I will have to stick to making fun of myself, the woo boys, and maybe MKUltr4 because she is a tough girl and a bit cray cray.

I could go in to all the details of camp, but I will simple say It was Pro. And leave you with this. 
photo by Jason Perry

New Partnership & Favorite Homemade Recovery Drink.

I was laying on the floor this morning, working my IT band on the foam roller. It’s amazing where your mind will go, during this self inflicting pain session. My thoughts wondered to how fortunate I am. I have a strong support system of Gino ❤, friends, family, and friends who are my family. They keep my head on straight, and keep me going, when days are hard.  I have a team of professionals who are helping me to rehab my hip, and become a stronger cyclist. in addition, whether you know it or not, all of you readers inspire me to be the best athlete I can be. So, “Thank You”.

That foam roller pain session also provided a great segway in to this post.

I’m supper excited to announce a new partnership with Body Kinetics of Mill Valley. They will be helping in my recovery, along with Mill Valley Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation to get me back on the bike, stronger then ever, along with my amazing Coach Adnan Kadir of  Aeolus Endurance Sport .

Body Kinetics Health Club and Spa is a family owned business. Located at 639 E. Blithdale Ave in Mill Valley, lucky for me right across the street from PT and minutes from my home.

What makes Body Kinetics unique, is their personalized programs and comfortable atmosphere.

I have gone to a lot of gyms, and I have never been as comfortable, or as stoked to go to one, as I am to Body Kinetics. It dose not smell, it is not creepy, or over packed, its not a meat market, and your not treated like a bar code as you are scanned in. People here remember your name, and they smile at you when you walk through their door. You get a since of ease and comfort as you head back to their safe, clean, locker rooms where you store your things, in a security code locker. No more excuses of “I forgot my pad lock”.

On top of exceptional services such as, specialized fitness training programs, cutting edge small group classes, fitness camps, Yoga, spa services, and Pilates Method training, they again separate them selves from others in the fitness industry by maintaining a beautiful facility and providing a friendly caring environment.

Their educated, professional staff is able to address the many concerns of a diverse population. I love coming in every day and seeing a range in age, from high school kids to the elderly.

I’m also supper excited to be partnering with a company that promotes social involvement, supports community, as well as environmental and health causes.

If you would like to come and work out with me, check out the facility, or one of their extensive group exercise classes, Yoga, Pilates Mat, Body Sculpt, Core Conditioning, Zumba and Spin classes, just let me know and ill be happy to have you as my guest.

Look for future posts, as I will be announcing rides, clinics, and possible other events I will be leading at Body Kinetics.

Thank you all for being patient, I know I posted in my last blog that I would be sharing recipes, and you probably hoped it would come sooner, so here is the  first one, it is my  favorite homemade recovery drink.

Beet Juice. Shared from my favorite cook book that every cyclist should have. If you do not already have it, I’m happy to introduce you to “The Feed Zone” Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes Cookbook, by Biju Thomas & Allen Lim.

Beets in all their forms are one of the best foods for us. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and recent research has shown that they can even help improve the efficiency of exercising muscles.

Start by cutting the beets to whatever size works best in your juicer.
(I have the Omega J8oo4 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer  ★★★★★ in my book)

3 medium beets, peeled
1 apple, cored
4 medium carrots, peeled

Optional Additions:

1/4 of a fresh pineapple
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1 cup chopped celery

(I personally find it perfect with out any of the additions).
Tip I would recommend. Peeling the beets will reduce the bitterness.

Left to Right. Grapefruit Juice, Green Juice (that recipe next time), Beet Juice, and Carrot Orange, that ones simple Half Carrots half Orange. Enjoy!