Friday, March 30, 2012


Today is Friday, race is on Sunday, so yesterday we drove from our B & B in Ter Aar to our Hotel in Wetteren then headed out on the bikes to preview most of the Flanders course.

It is such a feeling to know that these are the same roads that the pro men will be going over and how much history and stories there are from this race. It's such a big deal here! Caravans have already set up shop, they were getting the VIP tents set up on the cobbles and climbs and the barriers have already been set up. Racers are riding the course and there is a citizens ride on Saturday that covers most of the course.

It's such a small world sometimes. One of my old teammates from college soccer lives in Ghent and is coming out to the race! Wow! I haven't seen her since 1999! WHOA! Looking forward to that.

The weather was nice yesterday but today it was cloudy, cold and spitting a bit of rain, I'm glad I got in the time yesterday:)

Anyway, I'm hoping the race will be shown on this website: please check it out! Enjoy the pictures:)

One of the roundabouts from the course.....those are all bicycles!
My ride was done, here are 2 of the girls on a cobbled section. Notice the barriers on the left, not letting you ride in the gutter(smoothest part). The red buildings on the right, I think were part of the VIP sections.
In Ghent, a beautiful square with tourists and coffee shops...
Same square, looking to the right, down one of the streets....
From another corner, the buildings are beautiful!
2 of my teammates - Megan and Sam - at coffee...

Watching: random TV shows
Listening: Band of Horses
Reading: The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
Feeling: ready for a nap:)
Eating: hotel meals

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ter Aar, Euro trip #2

We just finished Redlands Bicycle Classic where my teammate, Megan, started in the yellow jersey and finished the same way. It was a hard race with some tedious moments of counting seconds but Megan was savvy enough to keep an eye on those that mattered and gain extra seconds when she needed to.

The race finished on Sunday and we were on a plane to Amsterdam early Monday morning -uft. First flight was to Chicago, then on to Amsterdam by Tuesday morning. Once here, the craziness has started - we’ve had some serious laughing since. We’ve won GC at Redlands, we can all relax till the next race and we are jet lagged in a foreign country with some funny phrases - yeah, we are laughing a lot.

The 2 rides haven’t been to hard on the legs, it felt good to get them going again after the travel and racing. The sun has been out, the grass is green and things are about to bloom here - it’s beautiful! Tomorrow we head closer to the Flanders course and to preview a part of it - we race on Sunday.

Enjoy the photos....

Wheeler waving from behind the sea of bike boxes and bags.....we each had a cart that looked like that....
Amanda is always being safe....please note the window break tool above her....
My area....for a couple of days at least....
Stairs from our room to the kitchen and bathroom, makes for an interesting pee walk in the middle of the night....
Snow globe collection above the table...
View from the kitchen, the netting is another bed for a rider and we were doing massages in the living room....tight squeeze!
I think this is coffee. Whatever it is, we've had a good laugh on that one....
Their little owl critters for sale...
The collection....
Small road, windmill, canal...the usuals....

Reading: People magazine
Listening: teammates typing in the background
Eating: food at all hours, my body isn't sure what time of day it is....
Watching: Soccer on TV
Feeling: ready for another good sleep!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


A quick blog about being thankful for Dolores and calling it home. In the quick 9 days that I am here, I've enjoyed 60 degree weather, blue skies and stops at a couple of my favorite places.

1. Dolores Food Market - Taz, you rock!! You have great products and a wide selection and a bunch of friendly folks.
2. Kokopelli Bike and Board - THE best bike shop in the four corners in my opinion. Friendly, lots of product in stock(year round) and supporters of women's cycling.
3. Breitenbach chiropractic - Dr. Bill has gotten me fixed right up and feeling good.
4. Lance, Karen and Michael - my ULTIMATE support group and best friends. Plus, the guys have been around women cyclists enough they have broken out the word, 'cute' by choice and then counteract them with raunchy jokes -but that's cool with me, you make me laugh.
5. Miller - he's been with me for 12 strong years. He is slowing down fast, which makes me sad but he is still so excited when I get home and such a sweetheart.

Plus the town is supportive of my endeavors, thanks Dolores!

I'm back on the road again on Wednesday, 21st to Redlands, CA for a stage race, then on to Amsterdam again for more racing abroad. I will be back April 19th, hopefully spring will be here:)

Follow along on Team TIBCO's Facebook page and Twitter. I will also be updating as much as possible.

Monday, March 12, 2012

First World Cup and Euro races

Well it was everything they said it was going to be and more! Even with the crashes, stress of the peleton, crazy girls, cold weather and small roads - IT WAS AWESOME and epic. The first race was on Thursday, Drentse 8(140k), then, Saturday, the world cup race - Rhonde van Drenthe(132k) and last Sunday was Novilon(140k).

Thursday's start was insane....I'm not sure if it is the legs that you need here or the brakes, cause there were plenty of full on, handful of brakes, sliding back wheels, type motions and getting to the front is EXTREMELY hard. Small gains, BRAKE, sprint, small gains, repeat. TONS of yelling in all languages and you can usually guess what's being said:)

Saturday's world cup was a better race for me, even if I did crash in the last 20k. I actively participated at the front, tried my best to protect those that needed it and stayed out of trouble mostly. After the selection was made and the group was up the road, our group was just rolling back in and my crash was just bad luck.

Sunday was more small roads, that seemed to go on forever. About 70k into the race, most all of the Team TIBCO girls were on the right hand side of the peleton and I was sitting comfortably on my teammates wheel when - BAM - some chick pulls a move on my teammate and she runs into me, me flying off of the road and THANKFULLY smacking my head on the grass in between the road and bike path...otherwise, I'm pretty sure that one would've been ugly.

I remember the whole landing on my back and my head hitting the ground. I instantly stood up, grabbed my bike, then said, WHOA, that one hurt a bit. So I took my helmet off to give it a look, kneeled back down and noticed the crack but I wasn't quite sure if it was all the way through or what. Then I have the race doctor in my face saying, "Look at me, are you dizzy?" My answer, "Yeah I'm dizzy, it's bike racing!" hahahaha. So I climb back on my bike and make it back to the peleton behind the team car and right when I make contact with the peleton - BAM - down goes my teammate and 5 or 6 more girls, right in front of me. So there we are, back in the caravan again and that was the extent of the day for me....I fought through the caravan for the next 20k and then made it back to the start finish and was hurting bad enough in all the wrong places to pull the plug.

Crashes are all part of it and yes they hurt and yes, I'm disappointed that I couldn't 'race' more but that is all the experience of it. And hopefully next time I progress and learn more, steps forward.

One more thing, you will like this story. So on Sunday, it is a neutral start for maybe 1k to another start/finish line, through these narrow streets and you get off your bike, run to the sign in board and FIGHT LIKE HELL for a pen to sign all of your teammates in, it was CRAZY and ridiculous all at the same time. Then once you sign in, you run back to your bikes and hurry to the start/finish line for a good position to start in. I was laughing!

Here are a couple of pictures from the last couple of days in Holland, enjoy!

A section of cobbles from the World Cup.....

Alisha and myself in Tucson, the is 'Lauren, pre-Euro racing'...
Following the car to the start, please note the lovely weather....
Um yeah....tight squeeze!
Not a great picture, but the crack in the helmet....

Reading: New York Times
Listening: Dear Mr. Fantasy, Traffic
Watching: movies on the plane
Eating: apples and bananas in the United Club
Feeling: sleepy from travel

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Saturday officially started the 2012 travel/racing season with a trip to The Netherlands, flying from Tucson, AZ to Amsterdam - not to bad of a flight plan actually, only one stop in Houston.

So far it has been overcast everyday and the terrain and environment reminds me a lot of the MS delta - flat, farm lands, cold and dreary and lots of ducks! Ha! Minus the big trucks, it seems the same:)

We race on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and I’m excited to get back to racing. We’ve checked out some of the cobbles from Saturday’s course and it seems the more I ride them, the more comfortable(if that’s possible) it feels. It reminds me a lot of cyclocross in the sense when you first see a cyclocross course, you take it easy and pick your line as best you can, then after a lap or so, you start attacking it more and more until it feels comfortable - yeah, something like that.

Other than that, just relaxing and having fun with the girls!

This is outside the grocery store, looking down the street and bike path...
Our town....
Signs to our Bungalows....
Our Bungalows....
Amanda, Megan and Sam...
My spot.....

Reading: Straight on till Morning(almost finished)
Watching: cycling on tv
Listening: stories from the girls
Eating: nothing special