Monday, April 28, 2008

Still Crankin' ...

... out articles. My latest for USA Cycling is here.

It's about the fact that things look excellent for US women in Beijing this summer, but USAC is already looking ahead to London for the 2012 Olympics. There aren't "hills aplenty" on that British Isle, so it's all about the sprinters -- and we've got some!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring has (Kinda) Sprung in the Bubble

When I left Boulder in early March, most days were still chilly and gusty winds kept me inside on the trainer many days. But I returned to Spring! Beautiful blue skies, 60+ degrees each afternoon, and even tulips on the Pearl Street Mall!
Today, though, those winds were back, the temps dropped a bit, and I was again inside on the trainer, afraid of the gusty winds. I think I even saw some real weak snow flurries ... ahhh, love those Rockies!

Last Christmas ...

Went through some of Missy's pics when I was in Bridgeport, and came across our "family self-portrait" from last Christmas. I began irritating the family by asking everyone to pose for these a few years back -- but now it's turned into a tradition everyone likes, I think. My brothers and dad are definitely outnumbered.And my fave part is when we stop being serious.
Next year maybe I'll post the annual shot a little closer to Santa's visit.

Strange Eating Habits

One thing to be said for the fam back in Cali -- we're definitely a people who love our food. Mom is a great cook and raised us on pretty healthy fare, and both Mom and Dad love to go out to eat, and love to try new foods, so we're all pretty comfortable with trying new things. But apparently, my nieces are taking these Reid traits to a new level ...

On my trip back to Colorado by way of Bridgeport, on the first night, we all met at Rhino's, a sports bar that big brother Jim and his bride, Missy, used to own. Bill arrived with wife Cathy and their three girls in tow, and though they'd eaten dinner already, Alyssa was hungry, and was snacking on some Saltines that were on the table. And to eat them, she crushed them into her glass of ice water, and then fished them out ... ewwwww ...All of us liked the birthday cake a few days later -- made by the local "cake maker," Mrs. Smyth, my first grade teacher -- but you could SEE how much Alyssa liked it.
And youngest niece Lacey is perhaps the healthiest eater of us all. In one sitting, she'll down a whole avocado and a whole tomato, and still want more. She loves fruits and vegetables, and even eats onions -- just plain 'ole diced onions. The day we celebrated birthdays, she made up this culinary masterpiece -- sliced cucumber dipped in her spilt orange juice. Mmmm ...
Now that I'm finally back in Boulder -- got back last Sunday after a 17.5 hour drive, straight through -- I kinda miss their weird eating habits. I think I'll go have some sushi ... maybe I'll dip it in saki ...

Friday, April 25, 2008


My worst nightmare -- making the podium and then falling in front of Tom Boonen and Robbie McEwan ...

I think maybe he was trying to say the name of the race ... Schedleprijs Vlaanderen. That would make me fall over ...

"Terrible" Two's? ... Naaaahhhhh ...

Emma turned 2 on March 21st and Lacey turned 2 on April 16th. Though Grandma and Grandpa Reid helped Emma's family celebrate her birthday nearer the actual day, it wasn't until my visit to B-port on the way back to Colorado that the entire family could get together to celebrate. Primarily, the focus was on Lacey -- she got the cake! -- but since some of us hadn't seen Emma either, there were presents for her, as well.

Thank goodness for older cousins, though, as we could have been there all day waiting for the 2-year-olds to open presents by themselves. Alyssa self-appointed herself Lacey's assistant ...
... and Abbey was Emma's main helper.
Emma took a moment to just take it all in before the unwrapping started.
I gave the girls each a Bubble Mower -- how cool is that?! Lacey was clearly overjoyed.
Alyssa had to show the younger girls how to use the mower, and whipped it around so fast that I couldn't get a non-blurry pic.
With a dad and an uncle who owns a sporting goods store, how could the girls NOT like fishing?
She must be her momma's girl, as Emma caught one before anyone else.
Don't let your kids do this at home ...
At Christmas, I started teaching Abbey and Alyssa to stand on their heads. You've got to pass down those important skills, you know? Abbey's still using the wall for support, but no longer needs my help getting up -- sniff! She's growing up! (Thankfully, no one's snapped my pic when I'm demonstrating...)
Cake time! I wonder how old Lacey will be when she's too big to sit on the table with her cake ...
On her first birthday, she wasn't too hip to sweets like cake, but since a grandpa-to-go-unnamed here introduced her to M&M's a few months ago, well, she's all over the sugar!
And one more skill that both Missy and I passed onto the girls this trip -- making "blowfish" faces on the window. Grandma was appalled, but the giggles were worth it! They haven't quite got the hang of it yet, but there's plenty of time for that. Perhaps not enough Windex ... but plenty of time.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Back to Colorado ... by Way of Bridgeport

I left Ventura last Friday after six weeks in Cali -- what a trip! The work and play was great fun, though I was quite relieved to turn my Su-boo-buh-roo back toward the Rockies finally -- I could finally stop living out of a suitcase! But, I'm so thankful to all my friends and family who let me "couch surf" along the way (actually, I only stayed on one couch, one floor, and a variety of beds). My last night in Ventura, I talked Sara into going to a movie -- "Leatherheads" -- for the 10:00 p.m. showing since she had a meeting until 9:00. I even talked her into letting her teenagers, Lauren and David, go -- on a school night! We all thought it was a great idea and enjoyed it until it let out just after midnight and it hit us how little sleep we'd get....oops. I made them pose for a pic in the theater on our way out.
I drove to Bridgeport on Friday as a surprise to my family, who didn't expect to see me again on this trip. My youngest nieces had both turned 2 in the past weeks, and I found out the fam was all gathering in B-port on Saturday to celebrate -- how could I resist stopping in for that?! I surprised everyone at Rhino's in town, and look how happy birthday-girl Lacey was to see her Colorado aunt!
Oldest niece, Abbey, was pretty jazzed, too.
Apparently, though, Alyssa could have gone without seeing me...
On Saturday before the birthday party, sis-in-laws Missy, Cathy, and I took the kids to the park where Lacey showed me that she can go down the twisty slide all by herself!
Oddly enough, she was a bit more suspicious of going down the straight slide with big cousin, Abbey.
The other birthday girl, Emma, loved the swings.
As did Alyssa...
...and Abbey. Is she talking on a cell phone?!!
Emma isn't one for having her pic taken usually, but the park brought her out of her shell.
After the park, we headed over to Lacey's new playhouse in her backyard -- it's very cool, and even has a mailbox and flower pots.
Spendin' time with the nieces...a pretty nice break on the long drive home!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sacrificing Money for Experience

My latest article has just been posted to USA Cycling's website. It's about five women pro racers who have sacrificed part (and in one case, all) of their pro team contracts in order to spend the majority of the season racing with the US National Team over in Europe.

An impressive group of women in a great new program that has potential for not only furthering their cycling careers, but for improving the women's peloton in the US. Good stuff. You can read it here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Women on

Anne Samplonius, a Canadian National Team member and racer for American team, Cheerwine, has started a rider's diary on that is definitely worth a read. Check it out!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix -- and Melting!

Spent a fun and hot afternoon up in beautiful Ojai today, covering the Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix. It was 90 degrees, and the racing was hot, too. My report is here. Didn't manage to get a snap of the women's podium, but got this one of the men's -- Health Net-Maxxis' John Murphy's on the left in second, teammate Kyle Gritters is top spot, and Hilton Clarke of Toyota-United sprinted for third.

Been spending most of my time here in Ventura inside tapping away on the computer, as I had a USA Cycling article due Friday, and am working on a VeloNews mag feature that's due Tuesday, and I have another USAC article due this coming Friday. But, a couple nights ago, I did take a break to walk along the beach with Sara, the friend I'm staying with. We walked along a portion of beach made famous in Beach Boys songs, and it was sweet. I'm a mountain girl to the core, but do love the beach in the morning and evening. Watching the surfers wasn't bad either, although I was a little surprised that they all looked my age....old surfers?! Nice to know we still got it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Beijing or Bust!

Felicia Gomez -- my "fan" from the previous entry -- arrived in Europe just a couple days ago, and hit the ground pedaling at a crazy-fast race in Holland -- the races are long and flat there with absolutely no climbing. Though she lives in the US, Felicia is a Canadian citizen, and is racing with the Canadian National Team in Europe in the hopes of making the Canadian Olympic team for Beijing. She is in the Olympic pool of riders that will be considered (a huge feat in itself), and with good results over the next weeks and months, will attain her dream of being an Olympian - how exciting is that?!!

There's a picture of her here in that race in Holland -- the caption only mentions Oenone Wood, but Felicia is the Canadian-maple-leaf-clad rider pulling at the front. Yup...she rocks.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Fan Letter!!!

Woo-hoo! There's a fan letter for my Redlands coverage in the "mailbag" on today -- it's the fifth letter down, and you can read it here.

And, well, yes...Felicia is a friend of mine -- she's a prof at Fresno State, too, so we know each other from there. But, honest....I didn't ask her to write this!

Some of the racers I've interviewed and met at the races have been very generous in their compliments of my coverage, but believe me, the feedback hasn't all been positive...I even got snapped at by a team director at Redlands when he felt I'd slighted one of his riders (he apologized later, though, so it's all good now). While I'm obviously not covering a war zone so it's not a life-and-death situation, what the racers do is very important to them -- and it's also very important to me to try to report it as accurately as possible. It's pretty challenging, I think, for both of us -- I can't see everything that happens and have to rely on them to help me piece it together, and they are so tired after their efforts that talking to a reporter is probably the very last thing they'd like to do. But, it usually works out. It's a fun challenge for me, and because I do feel like I give it my all, it's nice to receive feedback now and then that it's appreciated. Just as I'm sure the racers enjoy getting some pats themselves. Awwww, I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy now....

'Rappin' up Redlands -- Stage 3: Sunset Loop

The final stage of the Redlands Cycling Classic on Sunday was exciting as always, and once again included multiple circuits around the Sunset Loop, a beautiful residential area in the hills above Redlands that includes challenging climbs and twisty descents. The women's race was first, and I was unable to get podium shots because as soon as I'd grabbed a few interviews, I had to jump in a media vehicle to get back out on the course in time for the men's race. But, as always, you can read my story here on, and see the much more professional snaps of Casey Gibson.

I did get a few snaps of the men's podium after their race was over. This is Santiago Botero after his team secured his overall win. He's waiting to don the yellow and red jerseys, and held onto that bottle of vitamin water through each new fitting. And, what can be said about those Rock Racing kits?....they've definitely added color to the men's peloton...
Here's the final men's podium from a pretty bad camera angle since Rock Racing's entourage was pretty excited at their overall win, and were dominating the press area. Toyota-United's Chris Baldwin took second, and Burke Swindlehurst of Bissell came in at third.
And there was a lot of schwag for Botero, including a Redlands Classic framed poster and trophy. He kept trying to leave the podium but they just kept bringing him stuff.
Race over, I stayed up late to write my last report for VeloNews, and then slept in -- aaaahhhh! While most of the ValueAct Capital team had left before I even got home from the race, a few spent the night, too, so we all said some tearful goodbyes in the morning. This is Martina giving a very heartfelt hug to host mom, Leslie.
And this is Martina trying to find a place to sit in the team car for a 5-hour ride back to Oakland...
...and from the other side of the car, you can really see that it was a tight squeeze with all the team gear! In the end, they had to transfer some equipment to a couple other cars so Martina could sit in the car instead of riding with the bikes on top!
Since I hadn't had much time to take pics at the host house all week, I made everyone pose for one final group shot. This is, left to right, team mechanic, John, from Boston; team soigneur, Molly, from Portland; the famous Martina, a racer from Oakland; Lara, another racer who I met for the first time this week, who lives in Colorado; host dad, Joe; racer Sharon, who lives in Denver; racer Hannah, from Australia; and back to the left in front, host mom, Leslie. Just part of the fabulous crew that welcomed me into their race world this week -- it was definitely an honor, and fun to boot!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Redlands Stage 2: Downtown Crit

Stage 2 of the Redlands Cycling Classic is a smokin' fast criterium in downtown Redlands. Nine turns, the best racers in America, lotsa crash-potential, and overzealous crowds make it a really great race. Here's my report on along with some snaps.

Teams don't typically share their soigneurs with each other, but Aaron's Meredith Miller kinda brings that out in people. She's a hammer on the bike, and a great person wherever she is. Here, ValueAct Capital soigneur, Molly, gives Meredith's legs a rub-down before the race while Meredith dishes with Martina Patella.
These are our ValueAct Capital hosts -- Joe, Leslie, and their oldest daughter, Caty -- at the race to cheer on their VAC girls. Joe and Leslie are firefighters and just about the nicest people you could meet. When I referred to myself as an "embedded reporter," Leslie said I'm more of an "emfloored reporter," as I was sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of her daughters' room all week!
Waiting for the start of the women's race.
Though this is not the best picture since I caught her scratching her nose, I was happy for VAC's Leah Goldstein when she got called up at the start -- she was in 11th place in the GC, and the first 15 were called up. I put her in the race notes of yesterday's report on because she is back racing her first full NRC season after having a horrific crash at the Cascade Classic in 2005. She crashed on a 40 mph descent and had terrible injuries, including severe damage to her face. She is truly amazing, and it is very inspiring to see her racing -- and racing incredibly strong. You'll hear more from her, guaranteed.
This is Abbey, a beautiful 9-year-old who is the National Spokesperson for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, singing the national anthem before the women's race. I talked to her mom on the sidelines, and she said Abbey's form of MD is very rare, and, thankfully, not fatal. She was absolutely fearless in front of the large crowd, and when she finished and everyone went crazy with applause, she smiled, confidently looked at the women lined up to race in front of her, and gave them a "thumbs-up" with an enthusiastic "Good luck!"
And, of course, her singing and enthusiasm brought a lot of the women to tears -- Team High Road's Kim Anderson, far right here, had to take her glasses off to wipe her eyes, and was clearly very moved.
European races like the Grand Tours are famous for their podium girls. In America, of course, we're all about equity, so Redlands has podium boys...woo-hoo! Here, one of them gives Alex Wrubleski, the day's second placed racer, her stage medal.
The women's podium, left to right: Webcor Builders' Alex Wrubleski in second, 19-year-old Swede Emilia Fahlin of Team High Road in first, and Advil-Chapstick's Brenda Lyons in third.
Mara Abbott remained in the yellow and red jerseys and Alex was in green.
And the men's stage podium, Cuban Luis Alberto Amaran of Colavita-Sutter Homes in second, Jeff Louder of Bissell in first, and Toyota-United's Ivan Dominguez, also of Cuba, in third. I caught Ivan in an interesting pose here.
And on my way back to the car, I caught these little Aaron's fans....their parents have hosted the Aaron's team in years past. There was a third little guy with them in a jersey, but apparently he'd had enough of being chased by the papparazzi all day, and refused when I asked their mom. No worries, little guy -- your support of Aaron's women's racing is plenty enough!