Raven Rock Ramble

A few words from Danielle Baker the Baker:)

The first Sunday in May is always the day the Raven Rock Ramble is held. Find out all about this amazingly well organized supported charity ride here: http://ravenrockramble.org/whyride.htm

This ride is a must do for anyone in the triangle! There are SIX routes ranging in distance from 10 miles to 100 miles (106-ish according to my computer the last time I did the century ride). Needless to say, I love this ride!!! Baker’s Cakes has been a sponsor for several years, I make a ton of mini cupcakes to share with the riders at the amazing food spread at the end of the ride! I could go on and on about how awesome everybody is at this race! Today as I walked into the shelter, the volunteers cheered, “The cupcakes are here!”

Among other accolades from riders, “I love the cupcakes!” ☺️ As I chatted with the IMG_0988volunteers, another volunteer got my packet and brought it over to me! Amazing!!! Everyone from volunteers to riders are so nice!!

My goal for today was to ride the metric century (actually 66.75 miles, but who’s counting) as a fast hard ride in preparation for Masters Nationals. (I bumped into former teammate Meredith Woods Blake on my way to the line up). I found my friend Chuck at the front of the riders queued up and he pointed out some guys to hang with (electric banana, cat up, etc). The group rolled out of Harris Lake County Park at a leisurely pace. I told Chuck I was going to stick to his wheel like glue. The man is a cycling machine, strong and steady and very very experienced! Slowly the pace picked up. Well, it picked up and then it slowed down, over and over again. At one point a small pace line started and I thought we had some good organization, but it fizzled as too many people hopped in on the right and didn’t pull over to the left and stay on the wheel in front of them. Chuck worked his way to the first 20 or so guys and I went with him. And then, and this is the sad part, we came to the first SAG station, the 100 mile route and 60 mile route split, I said goodbye to Chuck and made the turn on the 60 mile route… With only 2 other guys from the Tri Cyclists bike team. 53 miles to ride and I was in a group of THREE!!!!!

Ok, not everybody needs to ride 100 miles to prove they’re tough, right?!??? Adam and Mike from Tri Cyclists were really nice (the theme of the day). We worked together at a nice steady pace. It was readily evident it’s a lot harder to hide in a group of three than in a bigger group!!!! We stopped to refill bottles at the 30 mile SAG and it started to drizzle. We rode and rode and then it started to pour. We rode and rode and then there were a couple flashes of lightening and then the thunder. Sigh. It was a wet wet ride back to the finish. We finished the 66.75 miles in 3:11, just under 21mph. Thank goodness I had Sportique Century Femme Chamois Cream on today!!  I hustled to dry off, chow down on my burrito, and pull on my CEP Pro Recovery Tights!!!! All in all an amazing ride rain or shine made better by the amazing organizers, volunteers, and sponsors.

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Race Report: Belmont Criterium

Allie and Emily packed their car and headed to Charlotte. After watching the Professional Charlotte Criterium Saturday night, Allie and Emily lined up for the Belmont Criterium inspired and feeling speedy. After a fast 30 minutes on the technical course Emily, one of our cat 4 riders, took 5th in the field sprint!! We are so proud of her solid race.

Allie took 9th in the women’s ¾ race and then hopped in the pro 1/2/3 to see what the 20160501_173939corners felt like at the higher speeds. She has one word for us… FUN!

Both Allie and Emily donned CEP Dynamic Ultralight socks to keep their racing feet fresh and dry, and recovered with CEP Recovery Pro Tights (which are essential for long car trips!!). Sportique Century Femme Chamois Cream once again offered a weekend free from saddle rub.

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Race Report: Wolfpack Classic

Ah. Success. The ladies of Spokeswomen showed up and had a solid race weekend. Thank you to NCSU Cycling for hosting the events.

Saturday: Wolfpack Classic Road Race 13015165_10209359275238150_4845779773657709097_n

Danielle, Kristin, and Allie worked hard and team strategy paid off. Danielle found herself in a two-women breakaway on the first lap that sustained the entire race. A late attack on the break secured the win for Danielle. Allie and Kristin came in 4th and 5th respectively in the field sprint.

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Sunday: Wolfpack Classic Criterium13087823_947433808468_2194280592600446194_n

Emily and Danielle rode strong, and Danielle gave Emily a superb leadout for the win and took 2nd herself. Jill and Allie showed up strong in the cheer section, both thankful for the arch support and compression offered by the CEP dynamic ultra light socks!

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Race Report: Criterium Nationals Women’s 3/4

CritNatsSWS rider Allie Wetzel headed down to Greensville, SC this past weekend to watch the Professional Criterium National Championships and race the amateur women’s ¾ race beforehand.

 

 

The field split early, with a strong pack of 9 heading into the last laps. Allie had a good CritNatsCEPposition in the field and was feeling great on her new gearing (thanks Crawford Service Course!!!!!), but coming into the last two laps she found herself on top of a 4-man pile up. It’s never fun to go down, but rider and bike escaped nearly unscathed. Luckily Allie remembered to pack her CEP compression pants and Sportique Muscle Rub so her legs are ready for another weekend.

 

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Sponsor Spotlight: Berger Hardware Bikes

With the infamous Raleigh criterium series less than a month away, it’s time we shine the spotlight on our sponsor Berger Hardware.

BHB, as we call them, are known for putting on a killer summer criterium series, a brutal fall cyclocross series, and sale of Firefly bikes.

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The 7th annual BHB Criterium Series will start May 14th on the notorious Dorthea Dix course. Last year, Spokeswomen saw our very own Danielle Baker on the top step of the series podium and Allie Wetzel taking third overall in the series. It’s a fun and fast race with steep kicker that will make even the best legs scream. Prizes and primes are always on Par, sombreros and beer growlers not withstanding.

Look up Berger Hardware Bikes on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with race series happenings, results, and pics.

 

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Sponsor Spotlight: Par Cycles

Screenshot 2016-04-12 14.09.37What’s our favorite shop you ask? ParCycles of course, in Carrboro. With brands like Argon 18, Look, Focus, Colnago, Bianchi and Scott, we ride some fantastic bikes. Then there are the Kask helmets, Oakley sunglasses, Kuat racks and so much more. Plus special orders for everything we can dream of!

Full service is available, along with bike fits and even a Wahoo KICKR studio- which is great for rainy day training!

Keep a lookout for posts about the great deals Par hooks us up with this season! And LIKE them on Facebook to keep up with the latest cycling trends, deals, and steals in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro areas.

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Race Report: Jefferson Cup

If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen the SWS kit on the podium this past weekend.

Our very own Sarah G braved the pre-race freeze warning, threw on her CEP Dynamic socks, a little Sportique chamois cream and embrocation, and lined up. Our sources tell us the race was hard fought in the hills of Virginia, the field splitting on the climbs and our very own Sarah working hard to stay in contact with the front group.  All of Sarah’s hard work paid off, as she sprinted for a 2nd place finish in the Women’s Cat 3 field.

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SWS would like to thank thank the organizers of the Jefferson Cup Road Race for hosting a well run and scenic race.

We would also like to take this time to offer our Team Friends discount at www.sportique.net– enter WCS1842 at the checkout and you can get our team friends discount (25% off). We swear by their new female-specific chamois cream, Century Femme, but their regular non-sex specific Century cream is awesome, too.

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Sponsor Spotlight: CEP

CEPGoodiesSWS is excited to announce CEP (http://www.cepcompression.com/) as our newest team sponsor!!!!! We couldn’t be more excited to have CEP, the premier compression brand, to train, race, and recover in! Compression is proven to improve performance and recovery by aiding blood circulation and speed up “lactate metabolism.” SWS is honored to be able to say that Cannondale Pro Cycling and Meb Keflezighi are among the elite athletes also sponsored by CEP!!!!!!

Some of our favorite products are the Dynamic+ Ultralight Short Socks CEP1(http://www.cepcompression.com/women/womens-dynamic-run-ultralight-short-socks). After a 62mi long fast group ride Allie said, “This is the first time my foot hasn’t cramped!” They are also fabulous for moisture management! No sweaty feet and no “hot spots!”.

We are gaga over the Pro Recovery Compression Tights (http://www.cepcompression.com/women/apparel/womens-recovery-pro-tights)!!! There aren’t many sports in which you race a Road Race on Saturday and a Crit on Sunday, but cycling just loves to dish out the hard and gruelling fun!!! The Pro Recovery Tights are just what our legs need between 2 races or after a hard workout! Bethan noted that the “waistband is very forgiving” too! Danielle swears that the Pro Recovery Compression Tights “recovery magic” are what helped her stay in contact with the P/1/2/3 field at the Bull City Crit last month! Emily even wears them under her army uniform after morning rides on post!

This is not the last you will hear of CEP. We can’t wait to test these products throughout race season, and then see what our CX riders think later in the year! With some of our riders heading to multi-stage races this year we will truly put CEP to the test.

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Rider Recipe: Peanut Butter Pretzel Energy Bars

This recipe is from our very own RD Sarah Gilbert. They’re easy to make and offer that sweet and salty combo we all crave on the bike. Enjoy!!!

energy bar recipe:
1 cup peanut butter (I used natural)
1 cup raisins
1 cup oats (old fashioned)Sarah'sBars
40g chopped pretzels (~ 1 cup)
1/2 – 2/3 cup honey (nutrition based on 2/3 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Bring peanut butter and honey to a low boil in a small saucepan for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla in. Stir peanut butter mixture into dry ingredients and mix well. Spread in a pan (or sheet, if you like thinner bars). I topped mine with a little honey and sea salt. They tasted delicious

Nutrition info (makes 18 bars): 195 calories, 10g fat (mostly monounsaturated), 0mg cholesterol, 164mg sodium, 198mg potassium, 25g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 5.5g protein. I made these to try to substitute for something like a clif bar-they are not intended to be daily energy bars, but more for endurance exercise (hence the lower fiber, lower protein than other recipes I have made).

Adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/…/oatmeal-raisin-energy-bars-5040…/

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Sponsor Spotlight: Baker’s Cakes

We said we had a baker on the team… now she’s on our jersey too!

Hey! This is Danielle Baker from Baker’s Cakes AND a rider on SWS!! I’m so excited to535131_10154009605877806_5199807309896645098_n “team” up with SWS (see what I did there?) this year as a sponsor!!!! Baker’s Cakes makes custom cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, and cookies for all kinds of special events!!

I like making treats that make people happy, but I love it even more when people compliment my work by saying they taste as good as they look!!! My background in fine arts and experience baking is the perfect “recipe” (I did it again!) for my unique edible works of art!!! Check out Baker’s Cakes Facebook page for more examples of these tasty treats!!! I can’t wait to pop Baker’s Cakes on the SWS team kit this year!!!

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