Saturday was our team banquet/kick-off party which team owners Teresa and Jeff so graciously hosted. It was a fun-filled evening of celebrating the team’s 2017 accomplishments, kicking off our 2018 season, eating/drinking, and getting to know our sponsors.
The party kicked off with Teresa announcing all of our sponsors, returning and new, and acknowledging them for their immense contributions to our team. She also acknowledged each rider, Cat 1 through Cat 5 – we have a great mix of riders who are all going to contribute so much to our team’s success this year, and it was so much fun getting to know everyone just a little more than before.
Teresa then announced our team “awards” which the team voted on for the 2017 season. Huge congrats to our winners - Andy (Team Riptide Award), Shaina (Most Improved Rider), and Deborah (MVP – AKA Superwoman). Well deserved to all!
After the awards, the only thing left to do was to party! Several teammates brought amazing food/dessert/drinks for everyone to enjoy and we continued the celebration for the rest of the night!
This year we have many new riders and sponsors and it was the perfect time to get everyone together, introduce our newbies, and truly thank our sponsors for everything they do for us. Our sponsors are integral to our team’s success and we cannot thank them enough!! Overall it was a great night with many laughs and we can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for us!!
This past weekend was our scheduled February team ride. The let down of frigid temperatures that prevented a hilly outdoor ride was quickly replaced by our team owner Teresa. She managed to arrange a fun day off the bike including yoga, a hike, and lunch. It was a great alternative to riding since we were better able to get to know each other while having fun and doing something active. We all met up in Philadelphia to begin our 75 minute yoga session. Team friend and fellow cyclist, Erin Mascelli, led our strength based yoga class. While some of us are yoga enthusiasts, others have never set foot on a yoga mat. Erin had us in numerous yoga positions that are most beneficial for cyclists, focusing on balance poses. Everyone did great and loves the idea of Erin leading a few more yoga sessions for us during the season.
Afterwards Teresa handed out some goodies, including Castelli neck warmers and our new podium sneakers, courtesy of Miles Ahead Sports. In case you haven’t noticed, we are going ALL out with the pink and blue color scheme! Naturally pink and blue sneakers were a must and Miles Ahead Sports had two great styles for us to choose from.
With the sun shining we headed out to Wissahickon Valley Park for a nice hike. Even those of us who would usually prefer to be ripping through these trails on our Trek mountain bikes, welcomed the change of pace. Our furry Golden Retriever companions, Cooper and Trek, were excited to come along. By now we had built up a huge appetite and headed over to In Riva in Philadelphia for a delicious lunch. Not just regular delicious, more like crazy delicious. To complement the perfectly cooked wood-fired pizza, some of us shared broccolini caesar salads, balsamic roasted asparagus, a Sicilian calamari bruschetta, and grilled octopus with a fig sauce. Of course there was a lot of cycling talk! Our 2018 team race schedule is coming together and we will be out in full force in just a couple of months!
This past week, Cheryl and I had the pretty awesome opportunity to model for Castelli during their sales meeting in NYC. Our team’s Castelli rep, Phil Penman reached out to our team owner Teresa to see if anyone on our team would be available to model for their meeting. Luckily both Cheryl and I were able to make it to the city for this incredible opportunity! Upon arriving at The Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South, Cheryl and I chatted with the two men who were modeling the men’s apparel for the sales meeting. We all went up to the floor where the meeting was hosted and after entering the room I was immediately captivated by the breathtaking views overlooking Central Park from the 46th floor! We were first introduced to Melissa on the sales team who would help and direct us on what our job would be for the day. We were offered breakfast which we ate with the 20 or so buyers from the tri-state and New England area as we gazed out to the mesmerizing view of Central Park and the surrounding city.
After breakfast, it was show time. The first line we modeled was next year’s Castelli winter line and boyyyy did those clothes feel awesome and so warm!! We did several wardrobe changes modeling the different jerseys, jackets, bibs, gloves, neck gators, beanies, and socks to the buyers who inquisitively looked over each piece and occasionally asked us questions on how each piece felt. We then modeled Castelli’s custom team line which we proudly wear as a team! Putting on these kits was a familiar feeling but this allowed us to give more knowledgeable and experienced based answers if the buyers had a question. After eating a delicious lunch and talking to some buyers and the other male models about bike racing it was time to model another line of clothing for the buyers. This time we modeled the company Sportful’s next year’s winter line. Sportful is owned by the same parent company as Castelli so that is why they were included in the sales meeting. You could definitely feel the warmth that these clothes had as soon as you put them on! After we finished up with our last wardrobe change for the Sportful line, we were free to go as the meeting continued to go on with the buyers. Cheryl and I then walked down to Grand Central Station where she caught a train luckily at the last second and I met my sister who goes to school in the city. Overall it was an incredible experience and I couldn’t be more proud to wear Castelli products!
Saturday was a day of riding at Wissahickon in PA. We drove to Deborah’s house and began our adventure from there. With Deborah leading the way and her husband Damon accompanying us, we were off. Deb is super lucky to be able to just hop on her bike and be in the woods a moment later, no packing up and traveling to ride an awesome place has to be great!
We were all excited for decent temps and to sport our new kits. Once we were in the woods life was good!! It had been too long since we were out and this was a much needed day for us. Teresa, Beth, and I followed Deborah through the trails with Jeff and Damon in the back as we started out. It was great to ride Deborah’s wheel a bit as she knows the trails so well and tackles the rocks like a champ. It’s nice to have someone give you feedback of the terrain you are about to encounter and then prep mentally to do it.
After coming up a rock garden we regrouped a bit and all of a sudden Teresa saw a donkey just hanging out near the trail. We obviously had to go check it out. The owners were super nice and allowed us to get a picture with Smokey the Donkey and pet him before leaving. Fun fact—he is 13 and they can live up to 40 years.
We continued on our ride, each of us had some moments of awesomeness and that really helped drive our excitement and boost our confidence a bit. As we were cruising the trails we made a turn and to my surprise it took us onto a huge cement pipe that drops on each side and devastation/disaster if you make a silly mistake. There is a moment of telling yourself to just look straight and pedal. Once across you are like “YEA!”, it’s really not technical at all just a mind mess but still a cool check off the list of new stuff.
Since we haven’t had the best weather as of late it felt good to be outside and have fun with awesome friends. The trails were hopping with lots of people taking advantage of the beautiful day. There were families of hiker, bikers, runner, and pups…lots of people. We made our way through a nice loop and back to Deborah’s, got cleaned up and walked to The Market for a tasty lunch to cap off our day before heading back to NJ.
Date: January 21, 2018
Event: January Team Ride – Road Team
Location: Jackson, New Jersey
This past Sunday, the women of Riptide-Cawes kicked off 2018 in style. With the new team kits having arrived just in time for the first team ride of the year, and being able to officially represent the team properly as well as the wonderful sponsors that keep the team going, the emphasis on team on this team ride could truly be felt. After a quick photo session with the talented Amy Cutler, all the riders were itching to hit the road to take full advantage in the break from frigid temperatures and test out the new Castelli gear.
The ride was an organized 45-55 mile loop through Jackson New Jersey hosted by team owners Teresa and Jeff Johnson. The team warmed up for several miles as a whole then focused strengthening team tactics for range of abilities about the halfway point. Working in more concentrated groups allowed all of the riders gain confidence in their skills that will be crucial in races, not only as individuals, but more importantly, as teammates. With such a strong start to the year, there is so much excitement and high hopes for the upcoming season!
Stay tuned later in the week for a post about our super fun photoshoot and a peek at some of the picture we took!!
As a cycling team, it goes without saying that the women Team EPS/M3 p/b Brielle Cyclery Riptide-Cawes would much rather be riding their trusty, 2-wheeled Trek steads outside on the road, or on the trails. But, this is the northeast, and it is December, and it snowed yesterday… so our monthly team training ride was moved inside.
11 of our 23 cyclists showed up on the morning of 17 December for a teambuilding riding session of time trialing heats on our trainers in the Johnson’s pain-cave basement. We started off with a weigh-in and then each rider completed a 3-mile, individual time trial so that team co-owner, Teresa, could accurately assess our current fitness and match the riders based on abilities for the following heats—Riptide-Cawes women are serious about improving for the 2018 season! Once we were divided into 4-women teams, each group completed a hilly and very painful (in a good way-ha!) 10-mile team time trial. The purpose of this time trial was to work together in order to complete the mileage in the best possible time while sharing the workload. During the time trail, we had the opportunity to practice effective communication and learned more about each other’s riding capabilities. Our team’s other co-owner, Jeff, offered coaching advice and motivation to every heat of riders. And, one of our incredibly strong Category 1 riders, Cheryl, rode in almost every heat to ensure all were getting a good workout. While the time trial heats were being ridden, the remaining 7 riders were spinning out their legs on other trainers so that we all logged at least three hours of solid riding time! We finished the day with a well-deserved feast of salad and pizza from a local restaurant.
Not only was the indoor ride a terrific workout, it offered a chance for us to continue to get to know each other; this team is packed with women who are making positive impacts in our community on and off the bike. Alli just completed and easily passed all of her finals for her first semester of Physical Assistant School and still finds time to ride her bike. Serena, our kick-ass mountain biker, balances raising four young kiddos, working as a Physical Education teacher and riding her bike. Katrine is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force, was just selected for the Secretary of Defense Fellowship and is Mom to three rescue doggies. Amanda is an experienced, labor and delivery Registered Nurse who is also raising two boys while still maintaining mad-skills status as a time-trailer. And, Teresa, who has been an active racer and advocate for women’s cycling for many years, is so dedicated to this team that she spent her 6th wedding anniversary in her basement with her riders; and Jeff, her husband, was there with us too! This is just a sampling of the women on this incredible team.
Be sure to stay tuned to learn more about our cyclists and the amazing things we are doing on our bikes!
As always we would like to THANK all our sponsors who support us throughout the off and on season. We couldn't do what we love without them!
Written by Deborah Leedale-Brown
Winter can be lonely months for training, and so that is why each month, this dedicated team of women racers look to ride together. Both for camaraderie and to get to know each other's riding styles and strengths in readiness for race season. Last Sunday was our November ride date, the temps were certainly chilly and it was significantly windy but after our team owner Teresa checked her 10 weather apps (only joking she just checked 4) we all headed out for a 40 mile loop. Only missing a couple of our team mates due to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend we had a nice size pace-line all sporting our new Vice Pink Bontrager helmets. The group was a mix of all our category riders and the aim of the ride was to keep it together and work on some skill development with our newbies. It was a a solid winter pace and everyone did their share of work based upon their skill level and fitness.
A great end to the Thanksgiving weekend, to ride together, take some cool photo's on our new Trek Bikes and eat some fabulous home-made Lentil soup and pulled pork (made by Teresa's fair hands) after the ride.
How lucky do I feel to be part of this amazing team!
Race: Race the Ridge
Date: November 4th 2017
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Rider: Jessica Kutz and her partner in the race Michael
Results: 1st place co-ed team
After racing the Buff Betty in September, I got in my head that I wanted to tackle a bigger adventure race. It’s a fun way to stay in shape for mountain bike season and a great outlet from work in the Fall. In my opinion, there is no better time to be outside. Something about the smell of leaves and cool temperatures warms my soul! I knew Race the Ridge, which was a 15 hour adventure race requiring elite level navigation, was not a race I could do alone (remember my team name for the Buff Betty race was “Directionally Challenged.”) Lucky for me I was able to talk my two adventure racing buddies, Michael and Barry, into racing. This adventure race was only mountain biking and trekking/running, which is helpful for me because I’m crap in the boat. I watched the forecast all week leading up to the event and came to the conclusion it would rain a little bit in the afternoon, no big deal. Whelp, as per usual the weather man (or woman) threw me for a loop. Instead we got rain the majority of the day!
The race kicked off at 6am sharp (we were almost late for the start!). After a short prologue run we jumped on the bikes, riding trails at the Blue Ridge School via lights. The Blue Ridge School is a private all boys boarding school outside of Charlottesville, VA and they have an amazing trail network that they open up to the public (THANK YOU!) The temperature was reasonable and the weather at the time was dry. We rode a big climb to a trail called “Moonshine”. I was warned this trail may or may not be the best downhill on the east coast! The race was perfectly timed so that we were hitting the peak of the ridge at sunrise and riding the sweet, flowing trails of Moonshine by the first mornings light!
Michael's navigation was on point the whole race. We quickly hurried through the early check points, holding the lead for all teams. We had a grueling 8 mile climb to the highest privately owned peak in VA, Flattop mountain. On the way up the mountain we had a checkpoint in a winery….no wine though! The weather started going south while we were on a trekking section at the top of the mountain. The next thing I knew I had all my clothes on (including my rain shell) and I was struggling to stay warm. It was going to be a long day. The race seemed to chug along, lots of riding…little bits of trekking, all the while getting more and more cold (we were already soaked at this point).
Moral was lifted when we got to some special private mountain bike trails not generally open to the public. Thank you to the owners of Blue Ridge Cyclery for opening up the trails on their home properties for us to ride! Just after finishing these sweet trails, mother nature opened her soul and we were getting poured on. We made it to a check point at a cabin that had volunteers where our team gathered ourselves as the weather worsened. At this point in the race I was graced with a Honey Stinger Waffle, a sip o’ beer and a trash bag for added warmth! Those three items are probably the reason I was able to finish the race! After a foot trekking session, we were headed back to the Blue Ridge School. At this point we had been racing for 12 hours; I was cold and couldn’t feel my hands and I could feel myself emotionally losing it. I rode ahead of the guys on my team and had a few minutes to myself to generate some extra body heat while pedaling hard and to get myself together. I wasn’t going to freeze, I was just really cold…time to move faster.
When we got back to the school head lamps were on and we were out for the final trekking session. We struggled finding a few of these checkpoints. Probably a combination of it being 13 hours into the race, cold/dark and pouring rain. We were getting pummeled with rain and before I knew it we were concerned about not making it back by the 9pm cuff off. We quickly shuffled our way back to the finish with 10 minutes to spare.
This is the first time we’ve not cleared a course (acquiring all the checkpoints), but given the weather we were pretty pleased with our performance as a team. We snagged the overall win for the co-ed team division and were the 3rd place finishers out of everyone. Another adventure race in the books and some solid mental training! Thank you Adventure Addicts Racing for another great event!
Wowee Shaina Kravitz is a busy busy girl this time of the year!! Shaina competed very successfully in TWO CycloCross races this weekend both of which were apart of the Brewery Cup CX Series!! Check out Shaina's thougths below on her exciting weekend of racing!!
Race: Swashbuckler Cross PACX Series & Brewery Cup Series Race #1
Date: November 4th, 2017
Location: Manheim, PA 17545-8711
Rider: Shaina Kravitz
Survived! Rolled in 2nd after leading most of the race. The course had varied terrain- pavement, grass, gravel, sand- and a lot of sneaky elevation. (And it’s through the Ren Faire!) My goal was to stay on the bike as much as possible to avoid stress on my leg. I was able to do that a majority of the race following messy first lap traffic. One of the last times over the barriers, I clipped a pedal after remounting and felt a twinge that never let up. I wasn’t able to match my friend and fellow rider’s power through the sand and let a gap open. Hitting a lapped rider and a small bobble in a rock sealed the deal and I fell 13 seconds off after over 50 minutes of racing. Think they miscalculated the laps. (Poor 3/4/5 ladies raced for an hour.) Not feeling as healed as I’d like to, but not disappointed with my first race back in a few weeks. Will play the next races by ear and listen to my body first.
Race: STOUDTS CROSS PACX Series Race & The Brewery Cup Series Race #2
Date: 5 November, 2017
Location: Adamstown, PA
Rider Shaina Kravitz
Another 2nd for the weekend and finally a proper muddy race! The rain overnight made the course perfectly wet and tacky, but not too slick. The course essentially runs up and down a hillside with some single track through surrounding woods with one set of barriers, stairs, two small logs and a rideable ledge. Despite the conditions, the course raced fast, even the off camber descents. Rode a clean race sitting in 2nd most of the time. No problems pedaling, but still having issues with transitions, off the bike, and will take the next few weeks day by day. If not racing, I will definitely be spectating, enjoying beer and cheering everyone on.(didn’t get my own pics, but grabbed some ig screenshot from friends)
2018 Road and Mountain Bike Team. Top Row L to R: Erin Healy, Alli McCabe, Sara Iepson, Beth Bonilla, Amanda Rinderer, Diane Elmore, Mckensie Walker, Jo Johnson, Cheryl Clark, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Shaina Kravitz Bottom Row L to R: Serena DeFelice, Katrine waterman, Sarah Hauze, Danielle Ferland, Andy Maher, Owners Teresa DiSessa and Jeff Johnson, Taylor Armstrong, Emily Underwood. (Not picture: Manger Bobbie Mach, Jessica Kutz, Meredith Ehn)
This is my first year as a rider on the Riptide-Cawes Team EPS/M3 p/b Brielle Cyclery, and the kick off meeting was incredible! It is clear that Teresa and Jeff care a lot about each woman on the team. They spent a lot of time organizing for a day packed with information. The meeting was at Brielle Cyclery (best bike shop in the land if you haven't heard already!). We were able to meet most of the women on the team, and were also introduced to some of our amazing sponsors, including Toni from EPS Corporation who has been with the team as a sponsor since the start in 2005, Mary Mease from Ocean Gate Yacht Basin as well as Dr. Majeski from Main Street Foot and ankle.
Next up, we met with Castelli clothing representative Phil Penman, and were able to try on samples for our kits. It will be difficult to choose which pieces to buy because there are so many incredible options, many of which are also worn by team Sky. A sample design of our kits was also revealed - they are going to be so awesome!
Next up, Steve Hawkins from Powertap/CycleOps/Saris gave a presentation on pedals and power trainers available to us, and I'm glad he did - it can be hard to navigate all the pedals and power trainers available on the market. It's good to know that the Powertap products are what DC Rainmaker compares other new products to, so the standard is obviously set.
Team group pictures was next up on the schedule. We are a great looking group! No we didn't plan the black Tee shirt and jeans, we are all just that connected. hehe
Right before lunch which was provided by Teresa's family place Bruno's in Neptune City we received our helmets, sunglasses and any other products we had ordered. This was pretty exciting - it felt a little like Christmas. Then (almost) all of the amazing bikes that had been ordered from Trek by teammates were revealed. Talk about some serious bikes. Teresa also received a new bike, which was a complete surprise to her, and it is a beauty!
After all this excitement, it was down to business talking about contracts (read it, follow it!), team ride dates, and racing for next season.
It was a lot of information to take in all in one day, but, fortunately all the documents and links are available to us online.
I am grateful to be a part of this amazing team with incredible sponsors and team owners that make it all happen!
Thank you again to Brielle Cyclery and their crew for hosting us, building all the team bikes in time for our meeting, and for treating us like family. We are truly lucky to have such an amazing shop who supports women cycling. Thank you, James Erb for all you do to make sure our team is on the best equipment possible.
Thank you to our sponsors. We couldn't be where we are or go as far as we do without the awesome support from all our sponsors and their commitment to women's cycling.
Thank you for believing in us and providing the resources to do what we love!
Thank you to Toni Musorrafiti from EPS Corporation and "Moose", Meg Moore "Goat", Greg Wright from John B Wright Insurance, Mary Mease from Ocean gate Yacht Basin, Dr. Majeski from Main Street Foot and ankle, Bruce Robinson from Miles Ahead Sports, Dr Dana Fallon from Dana Fallon Studio For Cosmetic Dentistry, and Sara Iepson "Flying Pig"!!