Category Archives: Portland Velo Club

March Madness

After posting this photo before heading out on a very chilly Saturday morning ride with the club, my friend called it “March Madness”.

I have to agree with her. It was 21 degrees but felt like 12 with the windchill. So much for March, “in like a lion out like a lamb.”

We have seen below normal temps for over a week now. It feels like it will never warm up. At least this morning it wasn’t snowing like it was last Saturday morning.

The alternative to riding outside this morning was the trainer (yuck!) or waiting for it to “warm up” but having to deal with 20+ mile an hour winds. So a cold morning ride seemed like the best option for me.

I also wasn’t alone in showing up for the club ride. We even took a club photo before the ride. (Though this only represents only part of the riders that rode, many others just weren’t in the photo because they are not club members.)

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Mid-Week Early Season Ride

With a prediction of sunny skies, temps hovering around 50-degrees, and longer evening daylight, we put the word out about a mid-week ride. I expected 10 or so women. We had 17!! How freaking awesome!

Kit Social

The kits for the PVC women arrived recently so we organized a kit distribution social as an excuse to get together.

We had about 50% of our membership base participate, which made for a nice group photo.

I’m not alone in my assessment that we have a wonderful group of women ranging from 25 to 60 who just love to get together to ride their bikes. (And if you thought the 25-year-old smokes the 60-year-old on two wheels, you’d be dead wrong!) Our group continues to grow and it’s a testament to the character of the women and cohesiveness of the group. The respect and support these women give each other is truly amazing. AND we have a ton of fun!!

Spring Sunday Ride

A few of us managed to get out and ride again today. Our goal was to scope out routes for the second half of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Women’s Ride.

It was cloudier than anticipated but still nice to be out on the bike. Though I was very disappointed with a 14mph average and after 20 miles I was happy to be done as I was just pooped! I have to keep telling myself that it’s only March.

The best part about many of our rides, especially when it involves being near Pineland Farms, is a stop for coffee. Today, it was at the end of our ride.

First Saturday Morning Ride of 2011

Last week was the first official Portland Velo Club Saturday Morning Ride (SMR). However, I had been sick the week before (my first cold in 7 year) and with the rain that morning, none of the women rode, though there were a fair number of men that showed.

This week was a different story. The weather looked like it was going to cooperate (no rain and above freezing temps) so a few of the women thought we’d give it a go.

Six of us ended up hitting the road this morning. I was still concerned with a lingering cough but hoped I’d be fine with the agreement that it would be a “social pace.” Sure enough, the pace was as anticipated and I did fine to hang on.

It really felt good to be out on the bike. I haven’t been out since the end of January. Of course riding in the relatively warm sun with good friends probably contributed more to that feeling good than the ride itself.

Tomorrow we are scheduling another casual ride of approximately 25-miles. Here’s to the start of a wonderful season!

Tri For A Cure 2010 Video

Portland Velo Club Women

So the biggest reason for my hiatus is the work I’ve been doing with the Portland Velo Club (PVC) women.

This group started out last fall and was the idea of David Brink and Eddie Quinn, owners of Cyclemania in Portland. After a couple years trying to develop a women’s team, unsuccessfully, they wanted to try again.

About 35 women showed up for the initial meeting in October. However, there was a different spin on it this time around. They encouraged women who wanted to ride triathlons and charity rides to be members as much as people that wanted to race. It morphed into more of a club than a team.

Over the past several months we have grown to 50 female members. Now, that might not seem a lot to you but every other club I’m aware of in the state can’t come close to those numbers for women.

We have two group rides during the week – one on Monday nights at 5:45 and the other on Saturday mornings at 7:30. There has been as few as 4 or 5 and as many as 20 on these rides.

We have become a sight to behold in the Greater Portland area. I recently bumped into a women who is new to cycling and she saw us on a ride, all in our baby blue kit, and said, “I want to ride with them.”

The most important thing we focus on in this group is having fun. And we have a ton of that, anywhere from hanging out and enjoying coffee or beers after a ride to brunches and private yoga sessions.

Before you think this group is a bunch of 20-something hard core cyclists, think again. The median age of the group is probably in the mid-40’s. There are some triathletes, one racer, and mostly ordinary cyclists. The group has also been a catalyst for some to try training crits and some time trials.

Our group received a little press in the local paper recently, in addition to a mention in the August issue of Bicycling Magazine featuring Portland, Maine (pages 22 & 23). (There was actually a photographer that took photos on one of our rides but none of the photos of us were used in the article.)

Below are some of my favorite photos taken thus far this season.

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Ladies at a social event.

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Trek Across Maine Team.

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Team PVC photo from Trek.

Yoga Session.

Post-TT photo.

Trek training ride.

Birthday brunch.

Saturday morning ride.