Velo Bella-Kona Ride

Putting it into perspective

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Meet Wendy Simms of the Pro MTB Team

Well, I am officially a Velo Bella now! I had known last fall that I would be racing in the pink & blue this season but it feels more official after the mountain bike training camp in California. Our team manager, Alex Burgess organized the camp with his mom, Judy as the chef extraordinaire and his brother, Tim as the mechanic and chauffeur. We were the Burgess Bellas for the weekend.

The rest of the team met on Wednesday night for dinner and Thursday they went to UC Davis for testing. Unfortunately I was working but from what I hear we have some physiological phenoms on the team! After a crazy roundabout journey I arrived in Sacramento Friday morning.

Tim drove me up to Kim's beautiful place in Auburn where Judy helped me stuff my face (a common theme for the camp). Alex gave me a lootbag of gear, flashed the wicked new Kula Lisa at me and told me to get ready to meet the girls on the trail in 30mins. I was busting to look through the lootbag but decided I wouldn't be very popular if I was late because it was so cold it was snowing!!

The girls were freezing by the time I met up with them. There were quick introductions but we had to get moving.

As the sole Canadian on the team I got busted for saying "eh" within minutes of my arrival. Dammit!

After my short ride uphill we got primped for the photo shoot and went to Jed & Suzie's place to meet the Velo Bella road team and get officially "glammed." If 2 pounds of makeup is glam than I am all for being slovenly. I felt like someone who could make pimpin' easy. The makeup girl said she would love to do something really "dramatic" with my eyes but I told her to step away from the makeup case.

Everyone felt a bit awkward but somehow laughing at ourselves was a good bonding experience. The photo shoot was fun, as was watching Jed roll around on the ground trying to get the hair dryer to blow our hair just right. But the rockstar feeling started to wear off around 6pm when my inner demon wanted food and the road team had to get organized for their first race the next day.

Everyone was starting to feel pretty comfortable with each other and it was obvious that we were going to be a tight team. Already I knew it was going to be a fun season.

Saturday the local shop gave us a valuable lesson in bike maintenance but I was itching to get on my new bike to go for a ride, especially since the sun was out. I did a little clinic on starts and then Kim took us for an incredible ride through the foothills. It was amazing!!

Fun twisty trails with big long climbs. Everyone looked wicked on their Kona Kula Lisas and we were like a bunch of bike geeks chattering about all of our gear: "...the Schwalbe Racing Ralphs are hooking up really well, I can't believe how light the Easton wheels are, how do my new Zeal sunglasses look on me? My SRAM shifters are so snappy, the Giro helmets are stealth, how does your SSM glamour saddle feel...?" Chitter chatter... And all the while Alex learned to mountain bike the hard way: behind a bunch of pro girls who flew over the technical sections and spun up the climbs. All with a smile on his face (or was that a grimace?). Our yummy (bacon sandwich) lunch was delivered in style at a trailhead and we kept going for 7 hours!!!!

Saturday night we were all pretty fried but had a good session about the upcoming season, individual and team goals, schedules, team values, pre-race routines, etc etc etc. It was really important to get all of that stuff sorted before the first race and help us understand what we needed from each other.

Sunday morning we had to say goodbye to Noel. The rest of us went for another fun ride in the foothills. It was time to start packing and head home. Everyone was fired up about the upcoming season and our new team.

Thanks to Alex for organizing the camp, Judy for keeping us VERY well fed, Jed & Suzie for hosting lace and Tim for keeping our bikes running smoothly. Thanks to our sponsors for providing us with some super fast and stylish gear for the season and thanks to Kim for letting us messy mountain bikers trash your home.

Oh, and thanks to the team for being so cool! I have never met a group of girls I gelled with so quickly!

See you at Sea Otter!



At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy! Way to KICK ASS at Sea Otter! In WAY less than ideal conditions you proved, once again, that Canadian Girls have no morals... especially when it comes to taking podiums in the USA!

It was great meeting you and thank you for sharing your Smarties with me, although next time I'll take a Timmy Ho's crueller and a double double, eh.

-The Kitty Guy


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