Sunday, December 19, 2010

Baby It's COLD Outside!

This wacky weather is just making the cats on Vanderkitten restless. One day it’s nice, the next it’s not. One day the winds are howling and the next day you couldn’t fly a kite if you had to. We’ve now had some snow, some ice, schools have been cancelled, schools have had delayed openings all playing havoc on a cyclist training schedule.

Today we had a 90% chance of rain so Captain Cook took the bull by the horns and decided it was time that the Vanderkittens spent some quality time together doing a little spin class of our own. Although the group wasn’t large, we had fun and spent 2 hours plus doing what we do best! Thanks to our leader for getting a game going to break the boredom! I think we’re all getting to know each other really well and the game was a nice little ice breaker to say the least! Thanks to Laura, Ali, Claudia, Lisa, Jen and Brittany for being a part of the day.

Happy Holidays to all. Looks like it’s going to be White Christmas for many this year!

Podium Cat

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lisa - Her First Cross Race!

As many of the Vanderkitten followers know, our team is made up of racers, riders, runners, triathletes and as much talent off the bike as on it. We have seen in the last year mountain bikers become road racers, runners becoming triathletes, we have Cathi who organized the Bosom Buddies Ride for VA Beach and others on our team who have made sure all the riders are getting in their rides with safety in numbers. One of our newest members, Lisa, stood out this last weekend because she did her very first cross race and LOVED it!

Lisa has quite a running background and has been placing high in the results as one of the top in her age group. She did Project Athena in November and finished 3rd in her age group at that race. Soon after she ran the Turkey Trot and was 4th at that race. Her goal next year is to win her age group and bring home a coveted Turkey Trophy!

I happened to be at the Mt. Trashmore race to take photos of the racers last Sunday and Lisa’s smile stood out from the rest. Not only was she smiling at the beginning, but continued to smile up and down the hills and even at the finish. She rode her first cross race on a hybrid but hopes that Santa will bring her a lighter bike for future races. Lisa brings to our team an enthusiasm that is contagious. When she’s not running or biking, she’s happy at home with her husband and son. As for her profession, she owns a knitting shop where she keeps her hands very busy! Because of her job and hobby, Lisa is affectionally known as our "Knitten Kitten". Lisa, we’re proud of you and happy that you’re a part of Vanderkitten. We’re also proud of you for losing 50 pounds!
Podium Cat

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winter Training!

On Sunday, Captain Cook rounded up a large group of Vanderkittens for a long ride out to the country. Not only did everyone get in 50 plus miles or more, the group enjoyed riding in a double pace line which allowed everyone time to get to know members on the team a bit better. Hours later we were all back having a party at Barb’s where we were able to sample everyone’s culinary efforts. The team looks forward to more adventures south on the bike as well as more parties at Barb’s house.
Our team has also had some great results this fall. Brittany and Jen are landing on the podium at cross races, Lisa is winning running races and doing well at triathlons, Karen just finished running the NY Marathon and Theresa was seen at the Between the Waters Century having the time of her life.
I'm glad to be a part of this very accomplished group of women who really have their act together. WE ARE VANDERKITTEN!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Bright Spot!

The weather for the Virginia Beach Bosom Buddies Bike Ride was the only bright spot between 4 days of rain before and 2 days afterward. We were fortunate to have a gorgeous sunny day to ride our bikes in support of the Susan B. Komen Foundation. Those of us who chose the longer routes had to contend with some major water hazards (due to the heavy rain 2 days before) but fortunately, knowing our way around, were able to detour and still get our miles in without following submarine routes! Our Cathi did a great job organizing the event with 125 riders. Vanderkitten was well represented with the largest team contingent of 8 of our finest riders. Thanks to everyone who came and thanks to all the volunteers who made this happen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bosom Buddies

The Virginia Beach Bosom Buddies Bike Ride to benefit the Komen Foundation is scheduled for October 2! Cathi, Vanderkitten's own "Chatty Cat", is a 16 year survivor of breast cancer and is a chairperson for this event.

Many of us have a loved one, friend or co-worker who has been struck down with this diagnosis. Please help us continue to work towards finding a cure for our children and grandchildren and generations to come. All proceeds will be going to the Komen Foundation!

It's a great day planned for the Virginia Beach Bosom Buddies Bike Ride! There will be a raffle for a road bike donated by East Coast Bikes and a hybrid bike donated by Fat Frogs. Bring CASH for raffle tickets, 12 chances to win for only $20.00!!!

Additionally, SAG will be provided by Conte's and mechanical support will be provided by Bike Beat. Rest stops are at VB fire stations with Fire Fighters volunteering. Massage therapists will be available at the after party at Seashore State Park on 64th Street. There will also be music provided by local schools and a scrumptious lunch included.

Tell your friends to go to: for registration and more information. Early bird registration for $35 ends on September 24th.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Meet The Teacher!

I took Gracen to soccer practice tonight and cut out a few minutes early because it was the night to MEET THE TEACHER at her school. Since it was a little crazy in the parking lot , I told Gracen I would walk her in to MEET THE TEACHER while her mom was trying hard to find a place to park at the midnight hour. Not liking that I wasn’t dressed to the 9’s, I figured I would fit in since Gracen was still wearing her soccer uniform and cleats and I was in workout wear. We made it just in time to meet her friends, their parents and meet her teachers. I didn’t realize until I got home that was I wearing this t-shirt. Nice way to get on the right side of the teacher. Thank goodness I’m only the grandma . I may not be invited back as a volunteer…..

Podium Cat aka Gracen's Grand Bee

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ricky Young - You will be remembered

72 riders showed up on our Saturday ride with blue ribbons tied to their bikes, to remember Ricky Young who passed away at the age of 16. Ricky was from a very loving family. Whenever anyone asked Rick (his dad) how little Ricky was doing, Rick would talk about all of his friends, his love of baseball, and how he was just getting the driving thing down pat. Ricky had undergone 2 heart surgeries this summer. Unfortunately, complications after his 2nd heart surgery were the cause of death. Many in the cycling community were present at both the wake and church service where we were made fully aware of just how many friends and loved ones adored this boy. He was not only an honor roll student and an athlete, but obviously was everyone’s best friend. Our condolences go out to the family in this difficult time for all.

Sunday we all woke to temperatures in the high 60’s which is not typical of August weather in Virginia Beach. The waves are near perfect for the surfers in town for the East Coast Surfing Championship. While the pros were in the Atlantic trying to find the perfect wave, a large group left Conte’s to go out to the country for a nice easy long ride. In town for the weekend were Don Saroff and his lovely wife Michelle, who came along for the ride. We soon learned that Don and his team set a new national record at Track Nationals in Trexler, PA on August 22nd in the 45 plus 4k team time trial. Thanks for visiting us here at the beach and for taking a 50 mile pull on your Cervelo track bike. Don, You Rock!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Am I the only one who LOVES time trials???

I woke up at 5:15 this morning to make my way over to Stony Creek for the state time trial only to hear rain falling on my skylight here at the beach. Thinking this was not a good sign, I checked the weather for Stony Creek and found that it was the place to be since rain was nowhere in sight!

The women’s 40 plus was the first category up so it was nice to get the time trial out of the way and enjoy watching the others suffer later in the day. A total of 21 women time trialed with lots of girls coming down from northern Virginia. It was nice to win my category with a time of 1:01:54, along with the 3rd fastest time of the day for the ladies, but I was equally happy to see that I’m not slowing down at the age of 59. I hope for good things next year and may even make a trip out to Bend, Oregon, to race with some other girls my age at Nationals.

As expected, Karen Hansen and her team put on a good event today. I was happy to receive some meat from Fiorucci as well as a gift card to Conte’s. I personally love this course and enjoyed the 30 second start times as well as the fact that Karen let the first to sign up be the last off in each category. As for my racing season, I’m done for the year and will find myself riding lots of centuries and taking photos of cyclists everywhere I go. Since my accident 2 years ago, I have found my way back to the crit scene a few times just to get my confidence back. Next year I hope to do more crits and get back to some road races.

Look for good things to come from Vanderkitten next year. Our team is growing!

BJ aka Podium Cat/Vanderkitten Racing

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chesapeake Crit and PLT #3 Race Report

The 100 degree weather left in time for cyclists from all over to descend on Hampton Roads for 2 days of great racing.

Saturday the stage was set in a crit course around the Chesapeake Municipal Center. The signups for the ladies were low until race day when another 10 signed up. Our Podium Cat started things off so the speed quickly moved from the teens to the twenties by turn one. She stayed up front long enough to get things going and moved comfortably back to watch the race unfold. Jennifer Rasmussen (Kenda Tire) made a bold move off the front but was brought back in. She later took another flyer with 3 other girls who stayed together almost to the end. At the finish it was Jennifer Rasmussen taking the win with our Captain Cook in 4th place. Ali came in first for the field sprint and Podium Cat was the caboose saving herself for her time trial the next day. Race promoters provided a great purse of $500.00 so the lion’s share went to Jennifer who was clearly the strongest competitor out there. Ruth did a super job as race announcer and had us all cheering the racers on all day long. Next year all the women racers need to come support this race so they don’t take the money away!

Sunday found many of the Saturday riders back to compete in the PLT #3 in Chesapeake, VA. This lollipop course is a favorite to many. The fields for the ladies were pretty evenly stacked. Jennifer Rasmussen again took the gold with a time of 53:20. Ali Cat was close behind with a time of 53:50, a PR for her by almost a minute. Podium Cat won the GOLD for the 45 plus and received a gold medal in this state age graded race. Lisa came out to help the team by racing in Category 4 and was pleased with her 8th place finish with a time of 1:08:52. We even had an out of town VK racer to cheer us on. Thanks, Ronna, for making the trip South.

All in all it was a great weekend for the Vanderkittens. We continue to enjoy each other’s company both off and on the bike and look forward to the VA State time trial next weekend and the last race of the season, the City Center Crit on September 11.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Hill"acious Road Trip

Cook and Ali headed to Stanley, VA on Saturday for the VCA/MABRA Road Race Championship up in Page Valley. It was sunny and warm for this last race of the day. There were 21 women pre-registered for the 1/2/3s. The course was an 11 mile loop (52 miles total) and had a nice variety to it: flat sloped sections, rollers, momentum carrying hills, a lengthy mid-grade hill, a shorter, steeply pitched hill and, saving the best for last, a bomber downhill.

The start was moderately paced with everyone staying together. Small gaps were created a couple of times but no true attempts were made to break away, most seemingly content to keep company. Around about 2 laps into the 4 ½ laps, some separation occurred reducing the lead group to roughly 12 riders. The pack would break up in some sections and come back together in others. Eventually, with a lap to go, the group had dwindled down to 9. In the final steep uphill finish, 4 pulled away and the remaining 5 battled it out for the field sprint. Cook won that taking 1st in the VCA division and 4th in the 1/2s overall. Ali fell off the back around lap 3 ½ but managed to find her way back to the car, cooler & contentment.

The drive home later that night was one for the books. Thanks to the Sperryville police department for locating the unscathed wheel bag (with a set of our friend's 303 tubulars inside!) year we’ll intentionally drive through your town – with dozens of donuts to deliver! And as always, many thanks to those who promoted this well organized race. Great job!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A CAT NAP for some but not for all!

This last weekend was quiet for racers in Hampton Roads. Some of us used this time to get off the bike and go visit family. Others decided to just ride for fun, race or travel miles away to beat the heat. Here are some of their stories.

Lisa, one of the newest members on Vanderkitten, did the 3Sports Tri in Richmond, Va last weekend. She loved the course with rolling hills and not much traffic. She rode her 20K in 37:14 and then was off the bike for a hilly 5K run. Her total time was 1:15:02, placing her 4th in her age group. We love it that Lisa had fun and can't wait to do her next tri.

While things were heating up to in VA beach to almost 100 degrees, Ali and Rob took to the road for 3 days and drove to Colorado to spend some time in the mountains. They're in Crested Butte for several days doing what they love most.

As for me, I've discovered some more kittens under the store where I work. I was lucky enough to find a great home for a kitty last year now only to find out that the kitty from last year has left behind some kitties with exactly the same markings. I'm already naming these kitties but Bob is saying "NO" to my adopting some more pets.
Podium Cat

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bryan Park

Quiet weekend of racing but Ali headed up to the Bryan Park Circuit Race in Richmond yesterday. It was a small group of 9 at the line. From the start, Julie K set the pace and got a gap on the field. She kept everyone in check staying off the front intermittently throughout the race. A few short burst break attempts were made by different racers but nothing was sustained as Emily J. closed it down. The field stayed together coming into the final lap and Brittany led out the sprint for a long, hard push to the line. Ali eeked out 2nd by inches.

Nice job to all the racers and promoters!

Looks like another road trip coming up but it'll be to the mountains of Blacksburg. Hopefully Cap'n Cook will be back in the saddle to join Podium Cat for that one!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cream Rises to the TOP!!!

Lots of news with the VK Pussy Cats this weekend!

First of all the VA Beach Vanderkittens want to congratulate Ali for rising to the top to becoming a CAT 2. You go girl – we’re glad you’re keeping Captain Cook company in the very elite group of top racers.

Captain Cook and lean Gene Rutledge had the fastest time of the day for a coed team at the VB Wheelmen’s team time trial in Smithfield on Saturday. Not only did they clock in at 1:01:22 for their time trial, but they also had the 4th fastest time of the day. Way to go Laura and Manderkitten Gene!

A few of the VK gals and their spouses headed to Staunton for the weekend to take in part of BIKE VA. They left behind some of the hottest temps ever to enjoy scenic routes in and around Staunton, VA. The century ride included a Category 1 climb at mile 50 which caught everyone’s attention. When it was all over, it’s amazing what a cold beer and good pizza will do to make the pain go away. 200 miles later it was a good weekend for riding. Bob and BJ continued on with more miles on the BLUE RIDGE Parkway to take advantage of the opportunity. Here's a link to our photos from the trip:

Rounding out the weekend was good news to hear that Linda and Steve were married at the beach in the wee hours of the morning. Congratulations to a great couple who are spending their honeymoon riding the picturesque roads of Italy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Better Late Than Never - Amazing Tri Cats

The past several weekends brought out our Vanderkitten triathletes competing in three different races; Breezy Point , Eagleman 1/2 Iron Man and Tidewater International triathlons. The results prove that we indeed have a diverse group of women and talent in our club.

Breezy Point was a hot weekend and for the first time in a long time, a wetsuit ineligible race. This didn’t faze our gals. Roberta Guimond finished 5th in her AG; Karen Franke, Claudia Baker and Vanda Kennedy who were the swimmers on relay teams all turned in respectable performances fighting a wicked current and Claudia’s team Red Hammer Racing (which consisted of Denise Wood - Red Hammer herself, Claudia and Jessica Lennon) scooped up a first place finish.

The following weekend Lisa Armistead, Claudia, and Erika Peck headed up to Hampton for a bright early 7am start at the Tidewater Olympic triathlon. The swim course consisting of two laps at jellyfish strewn Buckroe beach was less than desirable but at least they weren’t the stinging kind. The bike course through Fort Monroe proved to be a bit windy in spots, but that wind turned out to be our friend on the long, hot, very UNSHADED run course. All Olympic athletes had to do two loops of each leg while our spring counterparts only had to do one. I think we were all wishing at some point during the race we had chosen the sprint. But alas we all prevailed with smiles on our faces. Erika had a dynamite run that lead her to a top 5 finish in a very competitive age group!!! Claudia and Lisa both took home 3rd place AG wins! Overall, I think we can all agree it was a really fun successful day!

On Sunday Karen Franke headed up to Maryland to compete in the highly esteemed Eagleman Half Ironman. Again a wetsuit ineligible race proved to be a scorcher of a hot day and athletes were truly tested. Karen prevailed and proved to us that she is indeed an endurance athlete who can turn it on when the heat gets turned up!

Way to go Tri-kitties!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Here, there and everywhere

The Vanderkittens were all over the State this weekend. Ali Cat ventured up to the TNP crit on Saturday and loved the new smooth course with all sorts of turns and twists. Ali and Catherine Freck broke away on the 2nd lap and held a fast pace throughout. At the end it was Ali taking the GOLD and Catherine taking the silver. Very nice.

Seven Vanderkittens toed the line at the PLT #1 time trial in Chesapeake, Virginia on Sunday. We had some veterans out there as well as some who had never done a time trial. We were very proud to have Lisa out there for her first, but not her last, and were happy to hear her husband was taking photos of us at the start and finish. When all was said and done, Captain Cook took 1st overall with a time of 53:50 while her teammate, Podium Cat came in with the 2nd fastest time of the day at 56:09. Rounding out the top 3 was Jen Pope from Fat Frogs. All the girls did well and spread points for the team in all categories. Hats off to Barb, Wendie, Suszann, Karen and Lisa for coming out on a brutally hot day to race.
Ali headed west to the Massanutten Hoo-Ha mountain bike race on Sunday. It was her first time entering this 22nd annual event, part of the US Cup race series. The course, consisting primarily of singletrack with some fire road & field connectors, was 24 miles long (2 loops of 12). There were rock gardens and bermed switchbacks, both in the climbs and descents, making it challenging, fast & fun. She finished 2nd in the women’s open category and 10th overall with a time of 2:54:37. Your team stands in awe knowing you were out there racing with the pros including Sue Haywood.

The Vanderkittens want to thank all the race promoters for the weekend races. We also want to wish our Manderkittens a HaPPy Father's Day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Heat Was On

Humidity was high but so were our hopes for a smooth and successful 1st annual Cause for Paws Crit on Sunday. Rainy skies in the wee morning hours cleared to gray and eventually blue by the time it was all said and done. We had a nice turnout and the numbers were well distributed among the various races. In the women’s open race, there were 17 entrants at the line. Cook took off right from the start with one rider jumping on her wheel. They got a gap halfway into the first lap of the .6 mile loop, with BJ and Ali sitting on the front of the pack and Suszann in the middle. A few laps in, BJ jumped and scrambled the field. Ali bridged up shortly thereafter and the break of three now held their split for a few more laps around the course. Then Cook jumped and pulled away to solo the next several loops, gaining solid distance from the two. Ali sat in and ultimately made a move to try and bridge up to Cook. Once that was done, they alternated positions with the remaining laps to finish up 1st and 2nd. BJ and Suszann worked hard in the field and finished strong, all four getting lots of support and encouragement from teammates working the race as well as spectators.

Many thanks to all who helped out in the preparation and staging of this event. It could not have been pulled off without the multi-tasking abilities and leadership of Cap’n Cook, the guidance and experience of Carolyn Goble, the cooperation and assistance from the City of Chesapeake and all of the volunteering team members & Manderkittens. We greatly appreciate everyone who supported us by coming out to participate whether it was to race or watch or both - most especially those who traveled from out of town! We hope a good time was had by all and you’ll all be back next year! Results will be posted on BikeReg soon. In the meantime, you can take a look at the numerous pictures our fabulous photographer, BJ, took to capture the day’s activities:

Last but not least, a special shout out to those who donated items and/or money for the critters at the VBSPCA. We’re looking forward to delivering all of your contributions this week.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The BJ is back!

Time trials, while they hurt like hell, are relatively safe. Crits, on the other hand, have the potential to knock you down and bang you up, making you wonder "is this really worth it?" Two years ago BJ was asking herself that question as she lay on the ground, cut and broken, at the Casey Crit. A broken collar bone, several stitches, a pretty bad concussion, and months on the trainer led her to decide that no, crits were not worth it. Since then she has continued to do time trials, beating not only the women in the 40 plus category, but also almost every other woman as well. She is a time trialing Goddess! So, as they say, time heals. And thus it has for BJ. At 59 years young, BJ is THE most energetic person I have EVER met. Not to mention a little competitive. And determined. And crazy, in a good way :) All of those characteristics combined, plus the support of an amazing husband, brought BJ to the conclusion that maybe crits aren't so bad afterall. That taking calculated chances is worth it. After dipping her toe in the water in a couple of crits earlier in the season, BJ jumped in with both feet this weekend. And, as expected, she ROCKED. Here's how the weekend played out: At the Amphib Crit yesterday she made an early break and stayed out there with various other racers as things played out behind her. In the end she came away with 2nd place for the 40 plus women and 4th place overall. One of the other racers was heard saying, "I almost ran you down in the sprint!". At just over half BJ's age this woman was excited that she ALMOST caught BJ in the sprint! After an almost 60 mile ride this morning, BJ decided she would forgo her usual Sunday afternoon routine of manicuring her perfect lawn (think Martha Stewart on steroids) and throw her hat in the ring at the Langley Speedway. Once again she found herself in a breakaway, this time with two very strong women, one who is a Cat 1 racer. BJ ended up 1st for the 40+ women, lapping the field, and third overall. We should all be so lucky when we're 59. Cap'n Cook and Cap'n of the BJ is a BadA** Fan Club

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It Is What It Is

And what it was wasn't pretty. Headed to Newport News Saturday for the Casey Crit @ Todd Stadium. Tunnel traffic & a wrong turn made a short road trip a bit longer & more comical to start things off. Laura & Ali raced with Suszann & about 15 other women in the Women's Open category. BJ was there to take her standard stellar photos of several different races on what turned out to be a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The pace started slow & didn't change much with a couple of surges during the first several laps. Eventually Cook set up Ali to break which worked but another racer got on her wheel. They made a few laps together and then Cook bridged up to assist. Keeping their gap from the field, they continued to run laps around the half mile track, the two of them primarily doing the pulls. As they came into the back side of the course during the bell lap, with Cook leading Ali out, the sprint started right before the final turn. Emily came around the outside and got the win. Ali 2nd and Cook 3rd. Suszann, racing Cat 4, finished in the pack in the field sprint shortly thereafter.
Another well done event this year and a forecast that wasn't expected but appreciated. Thanks to the JRVS Team & to the ladies who came out and gave it their best effort!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cause for Paws Criterium - June 13, 2010

Vanderkitten Racing proudly announces their first annual “Cause for Paws” crit to be held in Chesapeake, Virginia on June 13.
This is a VA Cycling Bar event which promises to have great primes, lots of race money taking place on a spectator friendly course. We have a 50 plus men’s category and also have special medals for the juniors.

A portion of the registration fee will be donated to the Virginia Beach SPCA so that they can take care of our furry friends.

Registration is now open on BikeReg at: