Girls on the Run is so much fun!

It was a beautiful sunny evening as cars busses and groves of people filed into Binder Park Zoo. The attraction today was not the animals, but over 700 3rd-5th grade girls from Calhoun County. The vibrant spirit in the air matched the bright green of the girls’ shirts and one could definitely feel that this was a special kind of event. Each and every one of these girls would be accomplishing great things today. Today was the culmination of a 12 week program where the girls learned about being joyful, confident and giving while incorporating running. Today was their final 5k and WSI was honored to once again be a part of the event.

Dwight, April, Rose, Marie, Andy, Angela, Paddi and Kevin
Dwight, April, Rose, Marie, Andy, Angela, Paddi and Kevin
As the girls filed into the start corral with their families lining the start line the excitement was overwhelming. The WSI riders rode past making their way to the start and a cheer rose up from the crowd. It was almost time. And what better way to support a Girls on the Run race with a cycling crew of mostly women? (Go girl power!)

The girls shouted out a “boom chicka boom” cheer and the race began. The WSI cyclists led the girls through the zoo, up the paths and boardwalks of Africa and back out into wooded trails all the way to the finish. As the cyclists rode back by signaling that the lead runner was a step behind, the spectators all rose to attention and cheered. Our cyclists did not stop there. They continued to pedal back into the woods riding in, encouraging and cheering on more and more girls until each and every girl had crossed the finish.

Although Katie and Nikki were not on bikes, they have had the honor of being coaches for the last 12 weeks.
Although Katie and Nikki were not on bikes, they have had the honor of being coaches for the last 12 weeks.
Volunteering at events like these is definitely a rewarding experience. Being able to see these girls and the pride and joy on their faces as they cross the finish line will make you want to come back every year, which is exactly what we have done. WSI Cycling has and will proudly support the achievements of our local girls working hard on building healthy lifestyles and self-confidence.

Girls on the Run is so much fun!
For more information about Girls on the Run locally please visit www.gotrofcalhoun.org

Yankee Springs 5-18-14

Impromptu race day ~ Yankee TT was not on my list of races to do. It is usually held in April when I have finals and no ride time, so I tend to opt out of it and stick to the NIMBA series. This year the race was rescheduled and Dwight decided that morning he was going to do it. I was itching to ride my bike but did not want to race it. A good group of our teammates were racing so I figured I would take pictures and follow little Jacob Goff out while his dad and brother raced. Unfortunately for us, his trail was cut from 9 miles to 2 miles…he wasn’t a happy campier.  

The Goff family
The Goff family

For a millisecond, I considered following Dilan Goff but realized that might be embarrassing to him and there was a strong possibility he could be a stronger rider. Those Goff genes are crazy!

          After going back and forth drumming up my excuses with my teammates they solved my issues and left me with no excuses but to look like I “wussed out.” By that point, I already gave myself prerace jitters and just needed to pull it together and warm my legs up! As usual, I did more of the warming my mouth up then my legs, but that’s just another reason why I love racing…mountain bikers are just awesome people!

That’s Me!

 I made my way to the start where sport women were taking off in 10-second intervals. Cyclone was just two people in front of me and she had had her game face on eying the women on the white Niner. I hoped I could use Cyclone as my rabbit but only had a glimpse of her after takeoff. The women in front of me started strong, passing a couple others but by mile four, she bonked too and I had to pass. The 10-second intervals were ideal for me because there was always someone else to try to catch and chat up. It also gave me a big boost when I am doing the passing.

 On that note, I had just passed a girl who was a strong climber but couldn’t handle down hills and turns. I assumed she would get on my tail and follow my lines. Well… we hit the big, black, rubber mat climb. I charge it, my front tire started spinning out, and I thought she was blowing up my back tire. I didn’t think I was going to make it and moved to the right so she could pass. To my surprise, I heard a familiar male voice say, “Damn it!” Apparently, just as I reared off, Dave was passing me in the same direction and I messed him up. (No sad feelings… he still won his class and learned the lesson of calling his passes!)

Towards the end, I shifted to climb a hill and my chain fell off. It was a quick fix with the front ring and a spin of the peddle but the fact that I was at the bottom of a sandy hill with no momentum sucked! My legs were screaming all the way up and I just wanted it to be over…luckily I got some encouragement from a few spectators and cowbells, which felt like a gu shot, giving me that extra push I needed to finish.

To my surprise, I came in second!

yankee 3
Cyclone Cindy (1st ) April Parrish (2nd)
Yankee 4
That’s how we roll…

 

 

I really have to give Dwight kudos here. He gave me his Gatorade and hit the racecourse without even bringing a water bottle. Since he didn’t preregister, he had a great deal of racers to pass and could have used those electrolytes. In the end, he was literally seconds from 1st place against our very own Keith Wilkinson!

 

yankee 5

Keith Wilkinson  (1st) and 
Dwight Denisiuk (2nd)

 

Willow Time Trial Race Report: Haas, Winton & Wolin

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Devin, TT BikeDevin: Willow has always been a good indicator if my winter training. The only thing constant about Willow is the weather: it is never consistent. Some years, it is sunny and 70, while other years it may be blustery and 40. As long as I am within a couple of minutes of previous years, I figure my off season training has been effective.

2014 was windy. Very windy. Riding Cat 4, I started just ahead of my teammate Danny Wolin. With a strong northwest wind, it was wind in your face at the start and finish of the six lap race. Riding “blind,” i.e. without hr monitor or computer, I had no idea what my speed was. By the middle of the first lap I settled into a pace I knew I could sustain and began to suffer. A TT is just a matter of how much and how intense the suffering can be endured.

Well, after 6 laps I finished about where I expected;Danny, TT Bike time consistent with prior years and all in all a fun outing with teammates Danny Wolin, Josh Haas, and Matt Wright.

Thanks to Team Active, WSI, and our other sponsors.

Danny: It was a very nice, windy day to race the Willow TT and also very nice to see Josh, Matt and Devin race as well. While the training was a bit behind due to the winter I felt very good and the intervals paid off. I ended up with second place (again) to the same guy as last year but I was very happy with the result as it was the fastest time and average speed I have had there (26 mph) and 30.35.

-Josh Haas, Devin Winton & Danny Wolin

Bendix Woods

The first race of the NIMBA series was held Sunday at Bendix Woods. This mountain bike trail is in New Carlisle, Indiana. It is approximately 6.5 miles of twisting trails. Although the largest visible hill is on the pavement crossing, I swear the majority of trail is deceptively on inclines! We were both racing sport so we had two laps to do. 

Bendix woods 1
Dwight Denisiuk and April Parrish

We arrived a good hour before the race and it was 40 degrees, dark rain clouds and windy. Little did I know, it would be sunny and 60 when we finished. I dressed as if I was doing the Iceman wearing my normal team kit, under armor, coat, long pants etc…I was still shivering! I quickly recognized my competition; she was warming up on the side trails as I was warming up in the jeep.

Before my 10:20 start time, I forced myself to spin those legs getting about two miles in. I was still freezing so did not opt to take any layers off. This was a time trial race. At the start I was very intimidated by the girl who was taking off behind me, she was doing jumping jacks, full of energy and singing along to the music. Considering the fact that I have only been exercising my brain and possibly had 50 miles on my wheels the past 3 months…I was regretting the beating she was about to deliver. I took off not knowing where the other girls were but thought this girl was taking off 30 seconds behind me. By mid lap, the sun came out and I was overheating. I unzipped it all but could not pull coat off with the camel back strapped to me. At this point, I was    wishing I wore those arm warmers, which would have been easy to slip down. While I was riding, I was trying to figure out how far back the girl was. I picked locations and counted the seconds that I would see someone hit it, but didn’t at all the first lap. I assumed I was in the lead so when I dropped my gu packet, I quickly stopped to pick it up. At that time, I should have taken off a layer but did not want to waste that much time. I eventually heard her on trail, I knew she wasn’t far behind, I tried to take off my gloves while riding and slip them in the pocket. Sadly, I dropped one and weighed my options, a $45 Pearl Izumi glove, or a $25 race.  I stopped and picked up the glove. It was not long after, she caught me! Any other time I would have fought for it but I was toasted/roasted/depleted… I told her how awesome she was and allowed her easy access to pass. At the end of it all, there were only three girls preregistered for the Sport class. I came in second.

Bendix Woods 3             Bendix woods 2

                   Here is Dwight going through the rock garden like a pro…  and then there is me, doing the rookie move looking down.

Oh and about Dwight…his start time was just 15 minutes before mine  and when I reached the above rock section, he was actually on the the return trail next to me! At the start he had concerns about not changing the gearing on his single speed, but already seeing him there, I knew he made it work! He came in first place, beating his competition by 1:02! Unlike me, he was still full of energy and actually wanted to ride the course again before we went home!

Bendix Woods 5
Take notice…I won 2nd place but he won 1st!

                                                                                        And as you can imagine…

Bendix Woods 6
He rubbed in his first place ALL THE WAY HOME!!!

 

 

Girls on the Run 5K Support ~ Matt Wright

I helped lead the Girls on the Run practice 5K Tuesday, May 20th at Endeavor Charter Academy! The coaches had planned a route through the surrounding neighborhood using chalk and signs. Tim Hubbard and I helped the girls stay on pace and on course. What a great program!