Tuesday, February 26, 2008

4:1- More than Just the Ratio of Men to Women at your Average Nightclub

Accelerade : Ready to Drink
There are TONS of electrolyte replacement drinks out there that work great... but there is only one with a patented 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio: Accelerade.

I used to use the predecessor to this awesome product called Endurox R4 as a recovery drink when I was in the game. Then they formulated a during-exercise, protein enhanced sports drink in powdered canisters, and now they have READY TO DRINK bottles popping up EVERYWHERE!

Stop by the Vanderkitten booth at Sea Otter and try out the new flavors and decide for yourself. I find the protein cuts the acidity, a problem I have when going all-out and needing a sports beverage. It also has some major advantages in recovery on and off the bike.

The appealing packaging is also preferred by Raycer, hands down.

Team Camp Day 1

What a whirlwind! Just as I was relaxing from a long weekend of running bikes, frames and parts all over Nor Cal, I was at it again! Scott, Sandra and Cheez-It came in on Sunday and made it to the end of the race, Sunday night was a brief strategy session, picking up "The Canadians" and going to bed early... 1:45am.

One of the misconceptions of Vanderkitten is by "living life" we encourage the party first, train later mentality. Sure, we like to have fun because life is short, but as these girls were about to find out, when the racing is on, we're all business.

BH Bici on the car

Monday I got to the house early and was swapping old tires for the new Kenda Kriterium and Ultra Light Tubes. We were doing some last minute fit adjustments on the BH's and getting ready to roll-out for an easy 65 miler.

Scott and I rode in the V70 wagon and munched on tidbits of racing strategy and honey-glazed pretzels while the girls and Dave (Cheezit) handily dropped us in down town Walnut Creek. We finally found them and offer we went. There were some zigs and zags, uncertainty about the route, but we made through Alamo and Danville and out to a winding, country road.

The girls were taking turns at the front and the pace was about 20-22 on the flats. Jenny Trew got a flat, and we got her going again in fine fashion and motorpaced her at about 28 up to the rest of the group. Not bad for a girl with a cold the rest of the house would soon catch!

Day 1 Ridin
The day concluded with a stop at Pegasus Cycles and Coffee at Peet's. The coffee was a bit strong for the like of Moriah and Heather, who are self-proclaimed Peet's addicts, so I steered clear and got an iced latte.

The girls took off without the Volvo SAG wagon and we took Flavia back with us to Walnut Creek so she could get to class.

That evening we worked on bikes, adjusted shifters and swapped out bars, stems, etc to get the fits dialed in. It was early to bed for another long day in the saddle. Light's out at a very un-party like 9:45pm.
Christine Vardaros on CTodd

For those of you who don't know, there is a better place to go for a laugh when you want to see a video than You Tube... CTODD. CTodd is a bike racer that brings you current events, news and side splitting laughs on his Video Blog (there is a cooler name for it, but I just don't know it). I first heard of CTodd from my Bestest MANDY LOZANO then from artist and bike racer Kim Blodgette.

This month, CTodd interviewed Vanderkitten's Belgian kitten Christine Vardaros. Christine piloted our foray into Cyclocross racing in Europe on the World Cup before her season ended with a string of head knocks and a serious concussion!

Here is an awesome interview where we all get the opportunity to learn just a little bit more about Christine Vardaros, an American in Belgium.

Caution, this is a PG-13 Video as some of the impersonations in this clip use profanity.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

She's My Cherry Pie... Camp Day -1 (that's negative one)

There is little room for lampooning hair metal when it comes to bike racing. But, there is room, so we need to put a shout out to the organizers of this race in Napa as a tribute to one of hair-metal-pop's worst bands: WARRANT.
When I heard the winners of this race got a Cherry Pie, I was hoping the band at least autographed the LP. To my relief, the only Cherry Pie getting won here was fruity and delicious... I'll give WARRANT the former, but certainly not the latter.

So, if there is ever a plan for cycling ours is to control the media. Here's the basic equation: great athletes + media coverage=sponsorship $$. Plain and simple. Another way we like to roll is to keep other teams on their toes. We are not all that secretive as much as everything is just beginning, so there are no real secrets... except for out kits. I keep the kits as a source of pride and protect the designs with guns and rabid, malnourished bunnies.

We decided to pay tribute to the cross and mountain girls who will be wearing the dark-chocolate and pink plaid kits by kicking off the 2008 Racing season by putting our roadies in them for the Cherry Pie crit. It's also important for everyone to match, we're Pro afterall...

Jane looked happy to be out representing Vanderkitten for the first time ever, and she was joined by Liz, Melissa, Mary Maroon and Flavia Oliviera. Secretly, our team director Scott Gross was hoping to make it in time to see how the girls raced together naturally.

If you are looking for a play by play, I can tell you Liz went off the front in typical Liz style, and then Kelly Murdin from ProMan was out there, way off the front for a while. TIBCO's Brooke Miller was always sitting Lance Armstrong style in the top 8-10 riders ready for anything.
In the end, everyone was keyed on Liz which opened the door for Melissa to jump around for 5th, Jane 7th, Flavia then Liz and Mary. It was a great race and fun to watch. Keeping in mind Melissa had not even had her bike for 24 hours, it was great to see how easily she cam up to speed with the new shifting, etc.
Team Camp, Day -2

What a ride! On Feb. 9th Mark picked up Heather Sborz and Melissa Sanborn from the Oakland airport and stopped by with them on their way to Martinez to join Liz and get settled in. Heather, figuring her flight and drive from the airport was not long enough, elected to keep me company and drive up to Petaluma to our sponsor shop Bici Sport. (Bee-chee Sport)

Jerry was busy putting together our bikes, which Andrew had asked to give them 4 days to do... but in typical fashion, parts were being delivered on Thursday afternoon for bikes needed Saturday. We hovered over Jerry and his side-kick Colby for a while and he finished up our new BH Connect bikes. I had purchased a new team car a few nights before, a 1999 Volvo XC Wagon, and we were piling on the miles quickly... I bought it with 91k, and by the end of camp it would show 94k just 2 weeks and several tanks of gas later!

The first thing we noticed was how light the complete bikes were. We are still waiting for some chi-chi wheels from Spinergy, but the stand in DT Swiss wheels had Melissa's bike close to the UCI minimum!! HOT DAMN! Heather loved the look of the bikes and was stoked to be the first to ride.. but no pedals meant she was waiting til we got back to Mark's house in Martinez to meet up with Liz.

Liz rode her custom Ahrens and the girls went out to get used to the new shifting of the Driven components . The goal was to build only the bikes we'd need for the girls coming into town and get the show going for the Cherry Pie crit in Napa the following day. I threw some new Kenda Kriterium tires on Liz's bike as well for the race.

This whole team thing was unfolding as a reality so fast I don't think Mark and I had a chance to digest all that we were about to experience trying to herd our "VKats".