Monday, April 25, 2005

Napa Valley Dirt Classic Race

By: Kathleen Meyer
It was 1995, my first ever mtb race, where my inexperience caused me to crash and fracture my skull. I decided that racing wasn't for me and I should stick to enjoying my bike. The following spring Glenn Wegner convinced me that the Napa Valley Dirt Classic course was so fun that I should go and just ride it like a ride. The course is on private property, usually not open to mountain biking. It was awesome!
Now 10 years later I found myself back there. I have been there many of the years in-between but this time I had company. Having promised my 15 year old that I would pay for him to race if he put in a good effort at the Sea Otter, I had to keep my promise. No reason for me not to race while there too. Jeff wanted Garrett (12 years old and not so into biking) and Mac (our newest addition to the family-from the beagle rescue) to come along too.
Saturday night at a Motel 6 in Fairfield was meant to give us a good night's rest but we didn't plan on a beagle in unfamiliar territory. Just as we were drifting off, Mac alerted us to the possibility of danger off somewhere outside. A sign of things to come! Patrick (who had avoided sharing the bed with his brother by sleeping on the floor under the window with the air conditioner/heater) had knocked the cover off the heater during one of his many tosses and turns. Mac, woken by the sound, sat on the bed continually growling at this invader...grrruuu.....grrruuu....grrruuu. I was finally forced out of bed to retrieve the object from a still sleeping Patrick and able to show Mac that the enemy was taken care of. It was the kind of night everyone hopes not to get just before a grueling race.
We got there way too early. As I registered Patrick and me, I realized I was in a different age category. As I showed it to Jeff, he said I should change it and race with the women I know, down one age category. I asked and they agreed. Good job!
The mice were coming in as were the Velo Bellas (Meredith) and fellow TWWers. Missing was Erin. The excuse I heard for her not showing was to lame to repeat.  Sorry Erin...    :)
My friend Walt (Walt introduced Berry Stevens to mountain biking and trailwork) came up to visit us. I had asked him to come see Patrick race and he was there. He has been a great friend for the boys and me over the years.
We were at the start line when Julie Brown (I can't remember that other name! ...Barrott) came up looking for her group. Turns out Paule didn't help her pay attention-she was in the original category I singed into. Their start would be 6 minutes later and there wouldn't be any of the women she usually raced with. As we with lined up with 2 minutes to go, I called out to the starter. I explained the situation and asked him if she could start with us. He called for her on the mic, had her come up and join us. It eventually caused some confusion in the scoring but made for a much better race for all.
Patrick started 2 minutes behind us. I wasn't really into racing but the course was fun. I spent the first half wondering if I should stop and wait for Patrick, then I could ride in with him. I had forgotten just how hard this course could be. Not everyone will understand the conflict going on inside me. Here I have taught this kid how to ride. He enjoys it, we both do. Our times riding together have been a special time for him to talk to me. Yet this course is so tough, I kept thinking "what if something bad should happen while he is on my watch?". Was he really ready for it? Then again, finishing on his own without mom hovering is important to helping him become an independent person. Really tough call. It's not always so easy being mom!
Once the serious climbing started I let go of the worry. For one thing, I have always climbed that heinous hill and even though I am not in racing shape, I didn't want that to be an excuse.
I made the hill, had two cramping calves and a good sprint at the finish. Coming across the finish line, Garrett and Walt were there with hugs. I, of course, let them both hold me upright as I stood there collecting my hugs!
No one at the finish line had any horror stories about crashing kids on the course so I figured with Patrick 30 minutes back, I'd take a quick shower. Imagine my surprise to come out of the building to see Patrick standing there with his bike. "You didn't finish the race?" He replied he had. "Did you cut the course"? No he replied. It took a while before I actually believed he had not only finished but he did much better than I expected. The results don't lie.
02:27:23 Patrick
02:15:31 Mom
Good job mom!!!!
Mac and Patrick were in bed by 8pm last night. Wonderful!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Shooting Bike Racing

Bike Racing Photo
Today is another rainy day, so I had to cancel the bicycle ride I was going to lead today for JC Henderson. Instead Sue and I went Shopping and Wine Tasting. Well, if I cannot ride a bike I can at least play with bike photography. Here is a photo we made at last weekend's Sea Otter. It was a great event!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Russian River Rally Staffed!

Great News!
This is from Mary Paquet:
Diane LeGore, with Chris Thompson assisting, has volunteered to chair the Russian Rivery Rally. I asked Diane at the general meeting. I guess by the end of the meeting she decided positively and let Penny know. I called her last week, and she told me the good news. I will ask Diane if she wants to write an article for next month's B&BB or if she would prefer that I do it. Either way, Steve, plan for a few paragraphs for RRR.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Whine and Dine Update

The route sheet for my ride is now posted at the website:

Please note it is a white day. Folks are invited to bring a bottle of wine to the ride to share at the after ride meal.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Newsletter and Del Valle Campout

The newsletter is being printed by the same printer as last month and will be ready for distribution on Thursday. I have been busy with projects at work so this one got done by the skin of my teeth. I didn't get everything I wanted to get done with it, but I think it will be fine. There is a few things that didn't make it into this issue, they will have to wait until the next.

It appears the Del Valle Campout is going to not happen due to lack of a chair. The newsletter lists it as a May event. It appears at this point the same may happen with the Russian River Rally. My understanding is the processes and procedures are pretty well documented. So, if somebody is interested in having these great events happen, please don't be shy about stepping up. You will have guidelines to help you know what to do. It is a shame to see these events not occur.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Here is the May newsletter

After burning the midnight oil and then some, here is the May BBB:

Now I can go to bed!


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Yesterday we went to the Sea Otter

Kathy Pruitt at Sea Otter
Yesterday Sue and I went to the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca Raceway. It is a huge cycling event that has no equal in our area. There are many races, both road and mountain, lots of vendors and events for non-racers. I got this great shot which I like a lot, It is of Kathy Puitt of Luna Chix loosing a close race to Sabrina Jonnier of the Fox Racing team. Jonnier went on to win the event.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

First alpha of May BBB Posted

The first "alpha version [ definition here ]" of the May newsletter is posted here. It is just the first 14 pages and has lots of missing content! More will be posted as it becomes available.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tierra Bella 2005 Coverage

Me as a reporter
Saturday was our club's annual Tierra Bella Century Ride. This is also our biggest fund raiser and is generally a huge deal in our bicycle club. Jim Chaskin and I went out as a reporter-photographer team to cover the event for our club's newsletter. The event was a huge hit!

Sunday was a hectic and not a good day. In the middle of the day I decided to try to take a break from the work I was doing and went for a bike ride. On my way up Kennedy I fell and scraped up my knee pretty bad. Then this morning I fell again on my scooter. That was not nearly as bad as falling on my bike yesterday was. I had a heavy and padded leather jacket on. The jacket absorbed the impact. As far as the accident on my bicycle is concerned, I learned how important it is to check the quick releases often. The rear release had worked loose. I am lucky my wheel did not come off!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Whine and Dine Ride Info Here

Here is the URL for the whine and dine rides. The rides are currently all road rides on Wednesdays at 6pm, from summit bikes in Los Gatos. Rides are led at 2 or 3 performance levels, so we try to have something for everybody. Everything you need to know about Whine and Dine (WND) is here.

The rides are very, very social and after the rides we go out for burritos, which is very, very, very social! We have wine with dinner and folks are invited to bring some to share. We alternate between red and white weeks, this coming Wednesday is a red week. John Morgan has a great photo gallery with fun pictures from our WND rides. It is located here.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

May story queue now open

The story queue is now open for the Black and Blue Bottom. Please follow this link to see what is on-tap for the next edition. Potential contributors please let me know if you would like to add stories and photos and I will add you to the list.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Can you believe it, it's whine and dine time again!

After consulting with Tyler. I am creating a NEW whine and dine E-mail list for 2005. If you wish to be on the new list for 2005, please reply to this by E-mail. Remember, road rides are on Wednesdays this year.

Click here for more info!