Sunday, February 1, 2009

Extra Extra Read All About Us

Good news is traveling fast and we were fortunate to have John Streit of The Virginian Pilot write a very nice article about our new club team. We had some ladies contacting us after reading the article and thought we looked like a very "mature" team. Since Barb and I were the 2 interviewed, I guess it's easy to assume that the team make up is of 57 year old ladies but that's far from true. We're just the ones with more time on our hands! Here's the article!

Club aims to turn riders into racers
By John Streit
Team Vanderkitten got out of the gate quickly. Cyclists are accustomed to traveling fast, but even the team’s manager, Barb Viola, and marketing director BJ Samuel were caught by surprise.
The North End residents unveiled the all-female professional cycling team’s first club of amateur riders earlier this month and found riders reaching out to take part.
“So far, we haven’t had to recruit anybody,” said Viola, a 57-year-old distance runner turned cyclist. “Team Vanderkitten really speaks for itself. It has a great reputation.”
Team Vanderkitten’s goal is introduce women to “adventure racing” like cycling and triathlons, and Viola and Samuel are looking for athletes, both aspiring and experienced, to join their ranks.
Aside from the social network of female athletes that Viola and Samuel hope to create through the club, the $50 annual membership dues support Team Vanderkitten’s professional riders.
“The girls on the pro team serve as ambassadors for women’s cycling and are guest speakersfor corporations and nonprof it organizations,” Viola said. “They encourage women to be a part of the sport of cycling.”
Membership also has its perks. Club riders receive the team’s highly visible pink and brown “kit” – a racing shirt and cycling shorts – at cost, along with other Vanderkitten clothing.
Aside from being on the pro team, club membership is the only other way athletes can sport Vanderkitten kits at races.
Samuel said that the local Vanderkitten club will host clinics with the team’s pro riders, as well as other social events. Members will also be able to take advantage of discounts on gear from Vanderkitten’s corporate sponsors.
Samuel is a three-time state champion cyclist who medaled three times at national championships. Member Laura Cook is a three-time state champ as well, and Julie Hyslop won her heat at the Virginia Beach Cyclocross Winter Endurance Challenge.
“It will be an elite cycling team that will be very competitive,” said Samuel, 57. “We really have some talent.”
While developing riders into racers is the club’s ultimate goal, Viola and Samuel said they want to attract recreational cyclists as well. But with racing season fast approaching, the pair hopes to get as many Vanderkitten riders as possible involved in time trials and races.
“We’re trying to get all types of cycling involved and encourage women,” Viola said.
John Streit, 639-4805,

Professional cycling’s Team Vanderkitten recently opened its first amateur club to local female riders under the direction of North End residents Barb Viola and BJ Samuel. Vanderkitten looks to expand its ranks to recreational and competitive rider alike. Pictured are, front, from left, the team’s charter members BJ Samuel, Julie Hyslop, Barb Viola, Laura Cook, and back, from left, Ali Ingram, Maggie Schratwieser, Barb Ryan and Donna McInturff. Not pictured are Lauren Frisk, Linda Galvani, Bonnie Layton and Kelly Sheeran.

Our team is very proud of Donna and Maggie who went to the Officials Clinic in Toano today. I haven't received word on whether they aced their exam but they get 4 stars from our team for making the trip.

Some of us cats went out to Creeds today with our time trial bikes. We worked hard fighting a 20 mile an hour headwind on the way out but reaped the benefits on the way back with a nice tailwind. We spent time at Starbucks afterwards enjoying a nice sunny day and realizing that race season is only a month away. Folks from all teams seem to be in great shape. All those hours on indoor trainers are obviously paying off.

For information on how to join our club, please contact

1 comment:

matt said...

You should check out Blackbottoms Cyclewear for next season, we have been around since 1974 and make some of the best quality cycling gear for teams and clubs. Check us out at

Post a Comment