Monday, December 14, 2009

Kitty Cat Christmas

Rainy skies didn't keep the cats from getting all dressed up to celebrate the holidays at Barb and Albie’s lovely home. It was so nice to catch up with everyone since we’ve all been going in different directions over the last few months. It was so nice to have Vanda back with us after a long stay at the hospital. She received a very nice birthday present from her husband which was a puppy. Our team now has another mascot.

Congratulations to Summer for graduating from JMU on Saturday. She’s actively pursuing a job of interest at this time and hopefully will have some good news very soon! Congratulations to her parents, Barb and Jim, for raising such an exceptional daughter.

Our club manager Barb, and her assistant and neighbor Ann Kay, were busy making party favors so that our club members wouldn't go home empty handed. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedules to make sure your team mates had a keepsake. We will treasure our handpainted wine glasses and will put them to good use over the holidays.

Jennifer once again did an amazing job on the cake. Her business is booming and she's already booked for wedding cakes well into the fall of next year. When Jennifer's not baking she's staying finely tuned by bellydancing, another sport that keeps her as fit as a fiddle.

Our club has grown to 40 of absolutely amazing women. What started as a handful has turned into a tight knit group of women who have become friends both on and off the bike!

Podium Cat

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quiet Before the Storm

Tropical storm Ida made her way to the beach and played havoc. While lots of us wanted to be on the road riding our bikes, most of us found our way cleaning up yards full of debris, water damage to our homes because we live in low lying area and roads that just wouldn't drain because there was no place for all that water to go. We had some on our team that had to face adverse conditions and had to do without water and power. We're all thankful that Ida has gone and made way to sunny skies.

The kittens have finished their race season and everyone is doing their own thing getting ready for next year. Congratulations to Ali Cat for her upgrade to CAT 3. Congratulations to Ali for winning the CAT 4 BAR. Congratulations to Laura for winning the CAT 1,2,3 BAR. Congratulations to our team for winning the women’s BAR for VA Cycling.

We have had more clinics getting our new kittens comfortable with pace line riding. They are also learning about mountain biking. They can now all change their flat tires in record times. Our team numbers have grown from a handful to somewhere in the 30s. These felines are ready to tow the line. With the help and instruction of our team captain, Cheetah Cook, they will be more than ready for race season next year.

Along with the good comes the bad. Our Zipp Cat, Vanda, has spent more time in the hospital the last month than most spend on their bikes in a season. Plagued with some blood clot issues that just won’t go away, she had to resort to surgery to help her on her road to recovery. After 20 days in the hospital it looks like Vanda will be going home soon. Unfortunately she had to miss Thanksgiving with her family, but the good news is that she’ll be home for her birthday this Sunday. Vanda, you are an inspiration to all because of the way you handled the adverse conditions handed to you. Your infectious smile had everyone grinning and while we were out on the road doing our thing, you were acting as the “Mayor” of the 4th floor at VB General keeping everyone in line.

No sooner did we almost get Vanda out of the 4th floor, when Matt (JRVS) became one of Vanda’s neighbors, by taking a nasty fall on an AM ride. Matt was on fire taking his pull in a sprint zone, when unfortunately his front wheel hit a pothole the same time he was looking over his shoulder to make sure the lane was free. Matt went flying over his handlebars at 28 mph and ended up breaking his collarbone in 2 places, 6 broken ribs and a broken thumb. He collapsed a lung and had to have a tube inserted to reinflate his lung. When I went to see him today he was in good spirits but swore off morphine. This specimen was able to handle the pain on his own and hopes to say Good Bye to the 4th floor this Saturday. The Vanderkittens are glad Matt is on the road to recovery and look forward to him leading us on our group rides soon.

Warm weather is over. Cool temps linger ahead. Snow is in Charlottesville. Xmas countdown has started. 23 days until Santa arrives. My wish list has been posted. Health and happiness to all.
Podium Cat Gone Bad!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Devil is in the Details

Headed up to the 22nd Annual Tidewater Mountain Bike Challenge on Sunday for the once a year opportunity to ride on some sweet singletrack that's been carved out in the woods of someone's private property. The 4 mile loop provides a garden variety of what you find on any given trail but the unique "gravity cavity" sections are my favorite because they're not only fast & fun, they're set up to let your momentum do most of the work for you! The course is perfect for spectators, even providing some spots where you can see a few different sections of the trail from one vantage point. With Ingram, El Cap & new cat Karen there to cheer our friends and me on, I had great support to go along with the prime conditions (both weather & trail).

The expert women class was set for 5 laps. I've been mountain biking for many years now but never got into the racing aspect of it. That said, I think my green horns (costumes were encouraged) were aptly worn that day at the start. I got caught up in the back & fumbled a bit riding so close to each other, had some reoccuring shifting issues and then topped it all off with an unsecured rear wheel skewer (that I noticed about half way into the 1st lap after dismounting to reset my chain that had come off). Good stuff. Finally got the kinks worked out and caught back up to the pack. Don't know for sure where we were when I manuevered my way up to the front but I do know I was glad to get there. The familiar feeling of being out on a trail with no one too close by helped to temporarily distract me from the uncertainty of the not knowing just how close "too close" was. I settled in on a pace that I was able to maintain and tried to keep count by remembering how many times I got to hit the jumps (another favorite
section). Managed to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the race & can honestly say I had a blast along the way!

This race was not only about the ridiculously fun course the promoter et al set up out there but it was equally about the easy going air circulating through those woods. Mountain bikers are all about having a good time and it shows, especially at this race. Already looking forward to signing up next year but I'm hoping it'll be the Duo-Enduro class with Cheetah...thinking we should enter as the "Flying Feral Felines" but there's plenty of time for deciding on that.

Thanks to everyone whose efforts pulled off yet another successful year in this long standing event & thanks to the other girls who raced...the quality over quantity concept was once again in full effect, making for another enjoyable experience from start to finish!

Ali Cat

P.S. Mysterio Muggler is da Man!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Meet and Greet – We’ve got new Kittens!

Club Manager, Barbi Cat, hosted our 2nd annual” Meet and Greet” welcoming some of the new kittens to our club team. Once again, our membership has grown to include some of the brightest stars. Coming from every walk of life, our club welcomes Christy, a children’s dentist from Norfolk who loves to ski along with riding her bike. Holly has been raising a family while putting her cycling on hold for almost 7 years. We welcome her, and her Softride Bike, out on the road and look forward to watching her long ponytail going airborne when she’s on her bike. Sherry and Iris come to us as “2 peas in a pod”, training early in the AM as well as sharing a friendship on the side. They are triathletes and found us surfing the net while looking for “cat” stuff. Erika aka Miss P, is our Latin teacher and part time bike shop employee who enjoys triathlons. She’ll be a great example to all of her students as the teacher who is well rounded. Gabby is our realtor who will take our team to a new level. She’s a multi-talented athlete and gives it her all no matter what sport she’s doing. We look forward to her making her mark as a CAT 4 next year. Jacqui is a competitor and you can tell that when you look in her eyes. A very strong runner who is now switching to cycling, she’ll be a great addition to our team once she toes the line at any race she does. Suszann is on fire and will represent us well in the 40 plus category. She not only has a strong desire to do crits and time trials, but wants to do them well! Although some of our newest felines couldn’t make the 2nd annual "Meet and Greet" we also want to welcome Jennifer, owner of Shockley’s Sweet Shoppe. She will be the sweetest addition to our pride. We understand that her business is booming – a great thing for her as long as she gets time out of the kitchen so she can spend more time on her bike! Karen, a local triathlete who is a great competitor, will also be joining us next year. She wasn’t able to make it to our meeting at Barb’s because she was out training in the mountains, but we look forward to great things from our resident pharmacist as a strong CAT 4 next year.

If you are interested in joining our fast growing club team, please contact Barb at for more information.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Love Gettin' Dirty

It's that time of for getting off the roads & on the trails! The leaves will soon be changing and there's nothing better than making some road trips to take it all in. With that in mind, El Cap and I headed up to Freedom Park on Sunday to meet up with a few folks and practice our A,B,Cs (trail designation).

It was a little wet with some puddling in sections but for the most part the area drains pretty nicely. When you connect the trails together, there are about eleven miles of well maintained singletrack - thanks to EVMA. Nice options throughout so you can do as little or as much as you want. We decided to taper down (A/B/C, then A/B, then A). Neither we nor the trail were worse for wear afterward - though we did get a little dirty as you can tell from this pic. As is most often the case, the second loop proved to be better (this time it was due not just to typical progression but also because the trail was drying up and getting faster). Still a challenge with slick roots and a few squirrelly sections to keep us focused.

This was Cheetah's third trip up there (after many years of strictly road riding) but you'd never know it. She's been riding borrowed bikes and will hopefully be getting her own soon because she's definitely got what it takes - obvious cardio & handling skills but even more key to me...mental fortitude. I've always been thankful that I got into mtbing when I was younger & took more chances (read dumb). Now that we're older & seemingly wiser, it takes all of those elements above to get out there & give it a go because trail riding inherently holds potential for spills with all that you encounter but it's one hell of a ride!

Had a great time mixing it up & am looking forward to many more miles o' smiles...

See you in the woods!

Ali Cat

Friday, September 18, 2009

Patriots Half Iron Man Report

A sleepless night, a crisp cool morning, the two mile car ride to the race site, wet dewy grass and an amazing sense of calm is how this half ironman started for me. Setting up transition in the dark was challenging. However, with the music blaring all these motivational rock n roll tunes, it was hard not to get excited. We had scoped out the scene the day before so when the announcement was made that the swim would be in reverse we breathed a sigh of relief knowing we would not have to run over concrete back to transition, but we still did have probably a 125 yard run up a slight hill from the swim exit to the transition area. We are petitioning that next year they call it the 71.3 Patriots HIM.

Making the trek down to the swim start is always a bit surreal for me. I said to myself– Well Claudia, you’ve gone and done it again; you sign up for these races and then you get to this point and you feel like you don’t want to do it. Despite the fact that this was a goal for me I still felt the same. I have yet to go to a race where I haven’t felt this way – like buyers remorse, only racers remorse. In any case, the ground was wet and my feet were freezing which is maybe why the water felt so warm at first touch, a welcome feeling. The heats started going off – I was heat 5; so I had plenty of time to try to determine which angle I wanted to take out to the first buoy, which by the way seemed like a million miles away, much less the fourth one where we would make our first turn. The gun started and we were off, the swim was really a no brainer for me. Swim, sight, swim sight…it felt rather effortless and I really like swimming in fresh water as opposed to bay swims in salt water. Really the only problem I encountered other than swimming against the current the first leg of the swim was the sun shining in our eyes on the last two legs and being completely blinded trying to see the buoy. I relied on the swimmers ahead of me and hoped they were seeing the buoy better than me! Finally I felt the ground and looked up. It was very shallow but quite a ways to go until the shoreline. I opted to swim in as far as I could go rather than fight the resistance of me in my wetsuit against the water. I think this was a smart decision. I wound up 2nd out of the water in my age group. I knew I was doing well when I saw a large group of caps from two heats ahead of me, I didn’t realize I had done that well, but was really pleased. Swim times in general were really slow compared to past years, which leads me to believe the current either screwed us all up or the swim was longer than it was supposed to be. Nevertheless, although I wasn’t pleased with my time, I was pleased with my placement.

Transition seemed like it took forever. The good thing was my rack was right next to the bike start. So I got my shoes and socks on, helmet, glitter headband of my daughters to help motivate me, gels, gloves and I was off. I was freezing the first 10 miles of the ride from the cool morning air and my dripping wet body. It felt like somewhat of a dream and I thought well here I am on the bike, that swim felt easier than Breezy Point and wow, I have 56 miles ahead of me….doot da doo…what should I think about. I truly can not recall what occupied my thoughts during this bike ride. The aggravating wind took up some of my thoughts and I even verbally expressed my disgust using a few choice words to no one in particular during the ride although a few people who actually heard me concurred. One girl in particular who felt the need to play cat and mouse with me took up some of my thoughts. She would slow down, I would pass then she’d speed up…aarrrgghhh – make up your mind woman. She eventually passed me for good but when she did pass me every time she would cut me off and I almost wonder if she’s the reason I got assessed for drafting despite the fact that I moved away from her every time and said something to her, she continued this the whole race. Whatever, the mile markers came faster than I thought and I was pleasantly surprised by my bike performance. The fact that this was the course I had ridden for the Cap2Cap century ride probably had a lot to do with my comfort level on the course. Like I said, the wind was the only real aggravation and I didn’t even mind having to go over and back the Chickahominy Bridge despite the fact that it’s pretty big.
Watching my time I knew I’d come fairly close to my goal time of three hours but bike transition was tricky and the last 100 yards or so was on this bumpy, pothole infested path so I lost track of my time.

Run transition felt fine, not overly long but not as speedy as I had hoped. I tried to keep my coaches words in my head, start slower than you think you need to. I had to stop right at the start of the run to use the restroom as my body wouldn’t cooperate in the water or on the bike. Then I was off. Slow and steady I told myself but I could tell already I wasn’t thrilled with the course. It was kind of like the V-day 14K where you could see where you had to go and people coming back, too much criss-crossing in my opinion and this whole two loops thing is for the birds. The one thing I did like was the trail running part through the woods which we got to do twice, although the second loop through found me crossing the path with a flying leap at one point to avoid the copperhead snake that decided to slither across and jack up my heart rate! I’d like to say I negative split the run even just a little but I didn’t really pay attention. Around mile 7 my hip started acting up and from there on it was just a matter of hurry up and finish. I got to the last part where I could hear the crowds and immediately saw my family standing and cheering for me. My left inner quad muscle had started seizing up by then but I didn’t care. With the finish line in sight I smiled and sped up and crossed the line with a total finish time of 5:57:35 and a ½ marathon time of 2:05. I was handed a cold bottle of water and a cold wet towel by some wonderful volunteer and a medal was placed around my neck by another (after all that is really the only reason I do these things!); Erika – my friend and training partner was waiting for me right at the finish line and we hugged each other and high fived and rejoiced in what we had just accomplished!

Overall it was an amazing sense of personal accomplishment. It is something I will certainly do again. I received many different tidbits of advice but just want to thank my friend Eve for telling me to enjoy the scenery which I did, and Julie (Cali cat) for reminding me to have fun. I thought about what she had said remembering Daniel Hersch during her Angel’s Race and it certainly made the painful moments seem less painful. I would have never had the discipline to improve my cycling as much as I did had Erika not been such a faithful cycling buddy and overall amazing friend. My coach Denise deserves the biggest thanks for encouraging me and challenging me with my workouts, and believing that I could do it. Last but certainly most important is my amazing husband Ross for giving me time to train, encouragement and support and being my best friend and cheerleader through this all. I was proud to wear the Vanderkitten logo and get out there and kick ass. Despite my bike penalty for drafting – I still managed to get 6th (should have been 5th – darn penalty) in my age group and I took second out of the water in my age group! I’m excited to have some time off and looking forward to the challenges that next season will bring! Until then ladies, ride fast, take chances and kick some ass! - Claudia

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Season Finale!

Last night we celebrated the end of a very successful season at our Smitten Kitten's home with most of our felines in attendance. Our very cool VK Tent was up for all to see and even decorated with twinkling lights. Smitten Kitten and her manderkitten Steve outdid themselves by having a purrfect yard, purrfect lawn ornaments and lots of food and drink for all.

We had a few speeches, we had a few awards and one of us shed tears of joy for what was a very special season. The evening was topped off with a slideshow of photos on and off the bike which brought oohs and aahs by everyone. Thank you Mitten Kitten for making the show and music a work of art.

Although everyone was recognized for their efforts this season, 2 of our cats stood above all else when it came to racing. Laura was recognized for winning the CAT 1,2,3, BAR and Ali was recognized for winning the CAT 4 BAR. The team was also delighted to receive the coveted Womens Team BAR award from VA Cycling. Barb, our Club Manager, was awarded a photo album of this year's highlights. Wendie, one of or newest, outdid herself by making sashes for the winners which would rival sashes given out at a Miss America Pageant.

Our evening ended on a sweet note when we saw the cake that Jennifer Shockley had made for our dessert. Words can't describe it so I hope this picture will!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

It seems like yesterday when the concept of a club team for Vanderkitten at the beach was being bounced around. The idea of an all women’s team, who would be giving 100% of their financial support to the pro team, was new to all of us. Those who came to join the first club for Vanderkitten had many reasons for joining as well as varying levels of cycling fitness. The first order of business when setting up the team was to have a mission statement that worked for us, which was to “support women in their cycling endeavors, whatever they may be”. We are proud to say that our inaugural year of Vanderkittens at the beach surpassed all our hopes and dreams. Not only did we grow from a handful of girls to almost 30, every girl on the team had the support from all the others, so they all felt special. Our race team was small and almost unbeatable. We had members that were in their teens and we had grandmothers as well. Our felines that chose not to race found themselves comfortable in group rides getting to know each other and finding confidence in their ability to join in and be a part of something big. We found that we had triathletes who used our training rides to get better. We had runners who found their race times getting faster. We had ladies who went from beach cruisers to road bikes without missing a beat. We even had some who joined our team to be able to wear the coveted Vanderkitten kit. We are proud of each and every one of you.

The race season is winding down and fall training has started. The weather is about to turn cool so that centuries will be the ride of choice. The Vanderkittens will be seen sporting their kits up and down the East Coast. We want to thank Dave Verrecchia, the owner and creator of Vanderkitten Racing, for making this dream come true!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Third Time's No Charm But...

...what a great course! It had a little bit of everything: flats, rollers, climbs, descents. The Page Valley road race this past Sunday brought together racers from the MABRA & VAC to compete for the championship in each division. There was a good turnout for the Cat 4 group with a total of 18 girls entering. As a flatlander, I knew going into it that I was in for some pain...didn't know until that third & final climb, however, just how much.

Thankfully we had an 8:05 a.m. start b/c the day turned out to be a roaster. Our first lap was pretty non-eventful...think it may have broken up the group a bit though (guessing 18 down to 10 but don't hold me to it). Second lap proved to be more interesting as the pace picked up during different flat sections in an effort to break down the number even more. Though several attempts were made, none were seemingly successful (again, as far as I could tell).

On the back side of the course we descended again around 45 mph to head for the last 1/2 lap. One of the girls and I made the sharp right turn at the bottom and tried to get a gap going. A girl from another team joined in and the three of us managed some space for a few flat stretches. Unfortunately the effort was for naught as we couldn't hold long enough to make any ground on them so we all embraced the glorious journey up that initial climb together (for the 3rd & final time). Managed to find some(demented)humor along the way when a little help was requested at the front and a taker emerged up the middle. Problem was, once she got the space, she just kept on going & dropped us like a sack of potatoes. She was kept close enough that with some extra effort we bridged up to her just before the top.

Then as we crested & started shifting for the downhill, another girl pulled through on the outside and the chase was on. Kind of felt like we all got caught sleeping but maybe it was just me. So, here's my blow by blow at that point: try to catch her on the downhill but she’s holding the gap, turn into a straightaway, still has the gap. Realize that I'm feeling pretty spent now & better get off of the front to conserve what little I have left. With that, the pack of maybe 7 or 8 now(?) comes around me on the outside to go into the last turn (a sharp left). Lead girl in our chase group goes down in the turn due to speed & gravel. She slides out but I'm on the inside so I clear the accident and head for the dreaded uphill finish. In and out of the saddle trying to close in on the leader but not getting anywhere fast. Resign myself to 2nd if I'm lucky (because I'm sure I could have run that bike up faster). Look back & see that I'm in the crosshairs of another girl who's on the move. Dig down but it's not there - might as well have been in quicksand the way she passes me. You know you're hurtin' for certain when that happens and you can't even muster up the energy to be discouraged about it! Finally cross that $@#% line and end up 3rd overall, 2nd in the VAC division.

All in all I had a great time (easier to say now of course) & will definitely do it again next year - just with more training on hills beforehand so the pain will at least be familiar. Very happy to report that the rider who went down was okay & what’s more, she got back on her bike & finished the race! It was a strong showing for Cat 4 out there in my opinion & who knows how it would have turned out had she not crashed (doubtful I would have faired as well). Big thanks to her, her teammate & the rest of the girls who worked hard to make the race so challenging! I'm a broken record but I think it's worth noting again how quality the girls are that I’ve met this year. It's made my first season of racing truly enjoyable!

Oh yeah, the camera battery was dead so I apologize for the lack of pictures documenting my many grimaces but I think the photo below captures my race face quite well.

Ali Cat a/k/a Ramblin' Rose

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

PLT TT’s 1 - 3 (Mute Vandertunes player to hear video)

A Special thanks to our Manderkitten and my husband David, for the following video footage of the Peter Teeuwen Memorial 23 Mile Omnium Time Trials 2009 Presented by: Velo Racing on Sunday’s June 14th, July 26th and August 2nd (aged-graded state championship). I had the pleasure to participate in all three PLT’s, and as we all know, Vanderkitten made an impressively strong presence in the Cat 1,2,3, Cat 4 and 40+classes per the previous blogs. I now truly understand why TT’s are considered “the race of truth”!!! Please enjoy the videos. Meow
Zipp Cat

PLT #1 Time Trial (Peter L. Teeuwen) from David Kennedy on Vimeo.

PLT #2 from David Kennedy on Vimeo.

PLT #3 (State Championships) from David Kennedy on Vimeo.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Triathlon’s “Tour de PA”

Philadelphia “Diva” Women’s Triathlon
July 12, 2009
This time this kitty kat had to go at it alone, as I decided to do a “Tour de PA” of sorts. I started off in Philadelphia, PA competing in the Women’s “Diva” Triathlon. There were approximately 1,000 women from all walks of life. Unfortunately, for me, the night before the race, it poured down rain and caused them to cancel the swim, thus transforming the race into a duathlon. Those of you that know me well know that running is my weakness…ugggh run 2 miles, bike 17, then run another 5K (3.1 miles). Nonetheless, I tried to remain a “cool cat” and did what I had to do to complete the race to the best of my ability. I finished with a respectable time of 2:11, not so bad for kitty without running legs. The bike course was AWESOME!!! 2 loops around Fairmount Park, along the river and past the Art Museum that the Rocky movie made so famous. Since the race was now a duathlon, had no way to compare it to last year’s results for a PR, however, I did improve my bike time by almost 2 minutes for the 17 miles. That’s saying a lot considering how much running, before the bike, took out of my legs. I attribute my bike time to becoming a part of Vanderkitten Cycling this Spring. Prrrrrrrrrr!!! I decided to create my own VK tri suit before moving upward & westward.

Johnstown YMCA Triathlon July 18, 2009
Onward with my PA tour, moving west across the state to my hometown of Johnstown, PA, due southeast of Pittsburgh, PA. A glutton for punishment, competing in my second triathlon in the same week. If that wasn’t enough, this one was unusual in that the bike portion was and unprecedented 21 miles through the Allegheny Mountains. Ok, I admit I hate running, but climbing on a bike is certainly not a strong point for me by a long shot. I thought “wouldn’t this kitty kat look cute in a red polka dot jersey???” This same mountain brought me to my knees (literally) back in 2007, where I had to dismount and gather myself. At that time I had only been riding two months. It certainly didn’t help seeing signs on the side of the road letting you know that this was an “aggressive driver high crash zone” and this was the biggest gap this side of the Mississippi (1,000 ft. drop over the edge) gulp!!! The Swim was a short pool swim of 400 meters and on to the mountains I went. I took off like a bobcat for the first few miles leaving town. The climbs were unlike I recalled, with a top speed of 9 mph on most steep climbs and as low as 7 mph. I have never felt the base of my lungs ache so deeply in my life.After about 6 major climbs, things began rolling again and one major downhill at 40 mph, before heading back into the city. I made it…and I never stopped moving. I knocked off about 5 minutes from that last attempt in 2007. My legs felt like I had recently been in a “cat fight” as I pushed forward to complete the 5K run. Upon viewing the posted results of my 14th triathlon, I had actually won a 3rd place medal, my first ever!!! My time was 2:18 and oh how good it felt to have my name called, get my medal, and all with my makeshift Vanderkitten tri suit. My husband David was such a great Manderkitty, as he followed me in my friends van, and taped my journey through the Allegheny’s. This video footage was like catnip next to my bronze medal.
Zipp Cat

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend for VK

Friday night had the Vanderkittens getting together to celebrate our Ali Cat’s 39th birthday. As the evening went on some of the younger felines felt the need to go and show off their talent at throwing darts at another local establishment while the senior felines headed for bed. On Saturday Donna celebrated her birthday and the weather gods let the sun shine long enough so that we could ride some miles to loosen up our legs for the state age graded time trial on Sunday! Today 8 of the VK girls arrived at the time trial to race while Ali and Linda came to support our team. As expected, our Cheetah, Captain Cook, won again by 2 minutes. I was happy to finish as the 3rd fastest women and claim the title as first master’s women finisher. As the season comes to a close with time trials, many of our girls are sad because they were just getting the hang of how bad you are supposed to feel when you have given it your all in a time trial. Tonight we ended our weekend with a fundraiser for the Team Kainer Foundation along with an auction for our team. We had great attendance at the 501 Grill and had a great response to the many items donated for our auction. Thanks to all those who came out to support us and the Team Kainer Foundation and thanks to 501 Grill for hosting the event.

Next stop for some of the VK cats will be the Page Valley Road Race.

BJ aka Podium Cat

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's a SWEEP!!!

Sunny skies and wind didn’t stop 28 ladies from coming out to test their time trialing skills at the PLT #2 today in Chesapeake, VA. As we drove into the parking lot we all checked out the wind by watching the flag standing straight out letting us all know that we would suffer on the way out but enjoy a nice tailwind all the way home. We also found ourselves racing with temperatures in the 90s, something we had not encountered this year.

7 Vanderkittens were able to make it to the race so felines were seen in every category. Once again our Cheetah, Captain Cook, not only had a 35 second PR but again broke her own record with a time of 52:21. Ali Cat also had a PR with a time of 54:59 to again take the gold in CAT 4. I was able to capture first place in the 40 plus with a time of 56:01 so it was nice to have a sweep 2 weeks in a row.

Joie, Barb, Vanda and Susan were out there giving it their all and by the looks of their faces at the end of the race, had nothing left in their tanks. Way to go cats, we are all proud of each and every one of you for coming.

Laura and I have been doing a little “coaching” to our 007 kitten who was our guest rider today. Although her name remains “TOP SECRET” she did share with us one of her secret training methods which was to put a picture of Laura and I on her bike so that whenever she let her mind wander, she would have a visual of us to keep her on track. We are happy to report that 007 did just fine today.

Next stop for the Vanderkittens will be the PLT #3 next week where I expect to see more records and PRs.

Congratulations to all for a good time and good times on the clock.

BJ aka Podium Cat

Sunday, July 19, 2009

TNP Time Trial

So being from the Beach, we don't have a lot of hills to ride unless you count the Pungo Ferry Bridge. I don't know about you all, but I frickin LOVE hills! Well this past weekend four Va Beach VK's packed up and headed to Richmond to do a 14.6 mile time trial, complete with some nice rollers. It was pretty cool to see speeds ranging from a low of 17 to a high of 37 during the race. Usually on flat tt's my speed doesn't vary by more than 3 or 4 mph so this was a nice change.

The best part of the day was what I affectionately refer to as the "Vanderkitten Sweep". Not only did we win all three women's categories...Podium Cat BJ Samuel took first in the 40+, Ali Cat Ingram took first in the Cat 4, and I won the 1,2,3...but we also posted the three fastest times of the day for the women. Barbie Cat (Barb Viola) rounded out our group, doing the race old style on a road bike without aerobars. She road incredibly strong and I'm thinking there's a tt bike in her pressure Albie :)

Until next time...

Captain Cook

P.S. by Ali Cat: Just call her butter cuz she's on a roll! Sorry (not really) but I had to add my two cents in here because CC humbly left out some significant info above....she once again broke the course record (her own from last year!) at this TT with a time of 36:11!! The streak is going strong!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Our ride started in Onancock on the wharf. What a darling little sits on the Onancock River and is surrounded by beautiful sailboats and fishing boats. The 9 of us kittens saddled up and headed out...BarbR, Summer, BarbV, Susan, Linda, Donna, Maggie, Wendie, and Kelly. Thanks to our Mitten Kitten, as she had planned a wonderful journey for us.

The wildlife was abundant...from deer, to bees buzzzing in Mitten Kitten's head (only to find out it was her cell phone...hee hee), to BiG dogs. Very BiG dogs with very BiG teeth that could run like hell!! The guys at the Tour weren't the only ones getting a sprint in... I've never seen Kelly ride so hard. Way to put on the sprint, Kelly Kat! Being the fast little kittens that we are, we managed to outrun those BiG Bad dogs!

We enjoyed our little breaks throughout the day : )

And the breakaways, too, with Summer leading the way (which resulted in some lost kittens). Not to mention our trip to the jail : ) Bad little

Truly a lot of history in these little towns on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Our ride ended with happy, tired, hungry, we treated ourselves to a YuMMy lunch at Mallards on the Wharf and celebrated Maggie's birthday!

A happy ending to a FuN day of adventures with the Vanderkittens! Thanks to the citizens of the Eastern Shore who harbored us from unfriendly canines and who found our lost kittens.

And Congrats to Wendie and Kelly for their 1st Tour!