Taco Mamacita Group Ride on Wednesdays

The group ride

We have a beginner ride that meets on Wednesdays (every other, I believe) in downtown Chattanooga. Members of the Taco Mamacita race team and members of the Scenic City Velo club gather for a chill ride through what is called the “poop loop.” I brought my camera along and joined them this time to also celebrate Amy and Deb back from surgery!

Showing off this year’s kits

And my favorite favorite favorite one:

And to make you laugh, what in the world was I doing here? Practicing polka? Twerking? Wondering where my bike is?

@tacomamachatt @villagevolkswagen @audichattanooga @hincapiesports @tifosioptics @sword @honeystinger @swiftwicksocks @rockymounts @revive_val #dowhatmovesyou #beswift #chaseadventure #drinksword #ridefast #womencycling #sceniccityvelo #villagevolkswagen #susongdermatology #rockymounts #sterchiconstruction #revivemetherapy #womenscycling #likeagirl #ridelikeagirl #stingorbeestung #honeyStinger #HSHive #tacomamacita #echeloncyclingandperformance

Max Gander Memorial Criterium 2017

I used to get butterflies and stage fright at the thought of lining up first in a criterium. I have only done a few at this point, but I no longer mind to line up at the front. In fact, I will aim for that every single time moving forward.

And, I wish I could line up in the front this Saturday at the state criterium championship, but it is not going to happen. Work calls.

Max Gander’s criterium profile was a 0.75 mile (1.2017 km for the metric folks) lap with a small “climb.” I wouldn’t call it a real climb, but after a few laps, it does become more prominent on taxing the system.

Analyzing the small 3% or so “climb”:

  • The PR of all the laps was 17 seconds. Cadence was 113 rpm dropping to 92 rpm. Avg power was 284.
  • The second PR of the same “climb” was 113 to 77. A big difference which tells me I shifted during the climb maybe? HR went a lot higher, but it could be the lap was later in the race? Avg power was 432. Speed 22.1 mph. This was also the last climb before the end where I attempted to attack.

All in all, it was a good day. We didn’t have a moto and so there was some hesitation on my part when entering a turn at speed. I wasn’t sure if people would stop or not especially after the field split up. The first place winner was fresh the whole race. She and another lady seemed to control the race. I had a fun time with my teammates.



ToSH 2017 Race Report

My husband signed me up for this one. Last year, I drove down and watched him race and snagged some pretty cool pictures of the Village Volkswagen Team.

ToSH 2016

This year, ToSH was located in Woodstock and Ball Ground, GA. We decided to wing it and take the kids, too, since most of the events had enough time between to pull it off except the road race on Saturday which I was more than happy to bail on from if someone couldn’t watch them for about a ten-minute gap. We arrived on Friday night after work and picked up our packets where the TT sign-in included.

The next morning, I drove to the TT first and took off at 7:43:30. The temp was a balmy 27 degrees, but I was not cold. I went with lighter tights, but no vest or jacket. I did a proper warm-up on the trainer while watching the parking lot fill fast with later TT racers. I had left my husband and kids in the hotel room about 20-minutes away, so right after my TT I would have to hop in the car and head back to get them for Jeff’s TT start at 9-something. The course was only 2.8 miles. Talk about a short 7-9 minute effort. I wish I could race my TT bike but had to do it Merckx. I wasn’t thrilled about that because I still don’t have my aero perfected on the road bike, and it showed in the end, in my opinion. I had a number in my head for watts, and overall due to the downhills I didn’t keep it my average, but I was within 10 watts. That is something I have to do better with – driving the downhill. I did catch one rider ahead of me, and that was thrilling. I wanted to catch a second rider, but I suppose the course was too short for that or I was not fast enough.

I ended up 1st place in category 4 women with a time of 8:58:60. I left to pick up the rest of the family and a teammate texted me a copy of the results. The results ended up changing sometime after I saw them. I made the podium shot in time luckily, but 3rd place wasn’t there. The texted picture had #2 as last place with a very slow time but updated with her at #2 a little later. To make a very long story short, I was told after questioning the results that #2 SC had been given a 30-second penalty for missing her start time of the TT (a strange random number to penalize when the race bible stated the 30 second penalty was if you didn’t sign in NOT late for TT).

Strava showed a different story. Strava showed the same results that the timing company had shown; that we were neck-in-neck. If a 30-second penalty had been given to SC, she would not have had the same time as me. This was all handled, though USAC rules are pretty clear on how long the penalty should have been (more than 30-seconds), but in the end it did not affect my results but probably the results of #3 and #4 below. I will say #2 and me were neck-in-neck in the TT which considering I’m probably 20 years older than her, will take it. I should have had >20 mph average though. No wind. I will have to work on it.

USAC rules about TT: 3E5. Start. (a) Each rider shall report to the starter at least three minutes before his scheduled starting time and shall start at the scheduled time. If a rider appears later than the appointed starting time, the start will be allowed only if it does not interfere with the riders starting on schedule. If it does interfere, the rider may be further delayed. In case of a late start, the appointed time shall be used in computing the results. A rider who leaves the line early shall have that time added to his overall time as a penalty unless an electronic starting mechanism is triggered on the rider’s start. (b) The rider shall be held at the start, but shall neither be restrained nor pushed. (c) No restarts are permitted for any reason.


Women 4/5
1. 479 BETH LOFGREN Taco Mamacita 443635 08:58.60 19.1 mph
2. 475 SOMMERS C 526369 08:58.97 0:00 19.0 mph
3. 477 MELANIE H Free Flite Masters 475258 09:39.50 0:40 17.7 mph
4. 474 CAROLINE B L5Flyers Cycling Team 525546 09:41.18 0:42 17.7 mph
5. 472 KEREN B Evolution Jr. Devo Team 413796 09:42.28 0:43 17.6 mph
6. 476 KATIE H Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sportswear 493723 09:42.44 0:43 17.6 mph
7. 478 ALI L Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sportswear 521537 09:47.77 0:49 17.5 mph
8. 471 HANNAH B Evolution Jr. Devo Team 468558 09:55.89 0:57 17.2 mph
9. 481 ELIZABETH M Frazier Cycling Juniors 439196 10:04.48 1:05 17.0 mph
10. 470 ELEANOR A 516475 10:07.50 1:08 16.9 mph
11. 480 AMALIA M Team Whitetail Bicycles p/b Pure Taqueria/Blueprint 524288 10:36.17 1:37 16.1 mph
12. 482 ANASTASIA S Team Whitetail Bicycles p/b Pure Taqueria/Blueprint 524981 10:43.69 1:45 15.9 mph
13. 473 SUSANNE B 526704 10:53.00 1:54 15.7 mph

The circuit race was different for me. 3 laps of 5 miles each, I think. We stayed together for the most part, but at the end, I was in a spot where I couldn’t really sprint out. I need to do a better job of planning how to get out a little quicker. By the time I could really take off, the lady in front of me sat up, and that was it for the most part. I don’t mind finishing with a bunch of cat 3 and 4 women in the main field, but I think I can sprint more than I have and want to learn how to really take off at the end. One lady did have a tire blow, but she didn’t take anyone else out. Luckily it was on a climbing section and not a speedy descent.

1. 477 MELANIE H Free Flite Masters 475258 20.5 45:38
2. 475 SOMMERS C 3 526369 20.5 45:38 +0:00
3. 478 ALI L Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sportswear 3 521537 20.5 45:38 +0:00
4. 472 KEREN B Evolution Jr. Devo Team 3 413796 20.5 45:38 +0:00
5. 476 KATIE H Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sportswear 3 493723 20.5 45:38 +0:00
6. 479 BETH L Taco Mamacita 3 443635 20.5 45:38 +0:00
7. 481 ELIZABETH M Frazier Cycling Juniors 3 439196 20.5 45:38 +0:00
8. 474 CAROLINE B L5Flyers Cycling Team 3 525546 19.3 48:24 +2:46
9. 470 ELEANOR A 3 516475 19.3 48:24 +2:46
10. 471 HANNAH B Evolution Jr. Devo Team 3 468558 19.3 48:24 +2:46
11. 482 ANASTASIA S Team Whitetail Bicycles p/b Pure Taqueria/Blueprint 3 524981 18.7 49:49 +4:10
12. 480 AMALIA M Team Whitetail Bicycles p/b Pure Taqueria/Blueprint 3 524288 18.6 50:14 +4:36
13. 473 SUSANNE B 3 526704 17.9 52:12 +6:34

Saturday night, I was a bit stressed because I had a lot to do and the road race looked brutal.

Sunday morning, we woke up late. Not good. We had to fly through the morning like most mornings of my life at home trying to get out the door for work. I’m going to drift into that chaos for a moment and just say sometimes I wonder how I even stay afloat half the time. There are moments when the list of things to do and to get done to get out the door on time never ends, and even now I’m stealing time away from sleep to just type this up. I kind of feel like it’s all a bit overwhelming and that one day I will just collapse with fatigue and sleep for a week.

So far, I’m staying afloat.

Yes, the bike is my beer. And there’s a lot of thinking that goes on while pedaling. And praying.

Back to the road race. I stared at the course typed out on some paper. I was royally screwed.

But, in usual Beth form I told myself that I love to climb. Most people would look at me and think I wouldn’t like to climb because I’m not built like most road climbers, but you see, I’m a mountain bike climber. The reason I like to climb is that I HATE to descend, so I had to like the opposite. I can climb up as fast as I can and suffer at a steady painful effort, but the descent I would like to hand to someone else to do. I own last place on many road mountain descents locally. Fear is real. It’s not an issue of fitness.

It keeps me alive, I guess.

All this to say, the climbs looked bad on the road race. I didn’t warm up properly because it wasn’t clear where we were to sign in. We parked behind the school where a church apparently meets and my husband had a church member pretty much cuss him in front of our kids on Sunday morning! LOL I can’t help but laugh but it was poor planning. No one asked us to move our car, but it was apparent we were really causing the church to have a bad Sunday. We were supposed to be neutral for a couple miles or so, but we pretty much went hard from the beginning, and by the time we got to the 2nd climb on mile 4, the break was made. I watched as a couple of cat 4s went with them, and I figured at that point I needed to try to stay with the group I was with once it was formed. Some moments I remember: the first descent, the second time. I let go with no feathering of the brakes at all at around 38 mph. Not bad for the descent with some curves. I need to work on this badly. The second descent was insane. I had more fear that the traffic wouldn’t truly be stopped at the bottom and that I would die.  I hit over 40 mph, and I did not die. I had a big grin on my face, too when at the end I had a little umph to sorta slowly sprint into 4th.

I have to work on that sprint.

1. 472 KEREN B Evolution Jr. Devo Team 2 413796 1:32:24 0:46:12
2. 475 SOMMERS C 2 526369 1:33:44 +1:20 0:46:52
3. 476 KATIE H Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sportswear 2 493723 1:35:12 +2:48 0:47:36
4. 479 BETH LOFGREN Taco Mamacita 2 443635 1:35:12 +2:48 0:47:36
5. 478 ALI L Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sportswear 2 521537 1:35:12 +2:48 0:47:37
6. 477 MELANIE H Free Flite Masters 2 475258 1:35:16 +2:52 0:47:38
7. 471 HANNAH B Evolution Jr. Devo Team 2 468558 1:40:10 +7:46 0:50:05
8. 474 CAROLINE B L5Flyers Cycling Team 2 525546 1:42:23 +9:59 0:51:11
9. 481 ELIZABETH M Frazier Cycling Juniors 2 439196 1:44:10 +11:46 0:52:05
10. 482 ANASTASIA S Team Whitetail Bicycles p/b Pure Taqueria/Blueprint 2 524981 1:50:15 +17:51 0:55:07
11. 473 SUSANNE B 1 526704 0:59:14 -33:10 0:59:14
12. 480 AMALIA M Team Whitetail Bicycles p/b Pure Taqueria/Blueprint 1 524288 DNF +40:56 2:13:20

So. What did I learn?

Read the USAC Rules and know them well. Apparently, the judges don’t know them well to not assess someone a penalty. No, it would not have changed my 3rd place GC, but it would have changed some TT results for 3rd and 4th places moving up. I learned that tech guides are wrong sometimes. The picture of the jersey was wrong in the guide. Also, the masters’ field had a lap shortened and some of the field were not even told and found out when the ones who knew sprinted for the finish. Communication was challenging at the event. The UHC women’s team missed their start time for the circuit race. Wondering how that happened? I also learned a lot watching my teammate Krystal kick some butt out there only to have a crap pothole ruin her road race. I wish I had had the ability to help her as a teammate, but I am nowhere near her power or level yet. One of these days maybe? I learned that not everyone thinks the right thing is the right thing.

I learned my son really likes the Lorax, and that my daughter is working on a career in wrestling against her brother. And, she needs new pants because she is outgrowing her pink ones!

Krystal 2nd in cat 3 women circuit race
Krystal in the GC lead after TT/circuit

My teammate in Taco Mamacita, Krystal, ended up 1st in cat 3 TT and 2nd in cat 3 circuit. She was on track to win it, I bet. Can’t wait to see her win the next one. Or hear about it, if I can’t go.

I ended up 3rd in the GC behind Keren B and Sommers C. Hoping I see the small check for winning TT and 3rd in GC (for cat 4 women) arrives soon.

Next up I think is in April – a road race and TT and Big Frog 65!


Prison Prevention Ride 2016

I think Jeff does this one every year (the Prison Prevention Chattanooga Century). Maybe. I wanted badly to sign up for the century, but I opted for the metric century. The plan was NOT to ride at race pace and have a nice easier ride. I had that plan fixed in my brain leading up to the event, but the morning of the ride asked my sweet husband if he would ride with me. You know, do that thing some married couples do and ride together…

If you can keep up with me, sure we can ride together.

Well, if you know me at all, that was pretty much a dare and game on. I can keep up with him, I thought. How dare he… (he doesn’t remember saying that, though. But, I heard it in my head the first 30 miles and so I am sticking to it).prisonpreventionstart3ifyoucankeepupwithmeyoucan

At the start, I watched him in the front with all of his blue, yellow, and black-clad hairless legs and arms friends dart off as the start was announced after a prayer from the announcer. While I don’t have a lot of experience with road biking and group riding, I knew that maybe, just maybe I could hang. All I had to do was suck wheel I heard, and to prove a point I could do it. At least, I told myself that. I was starting beside my friend Kelly, and I knew she didn’t want to go hard today because of the team ride tomorrow.

The course was about 68 miles and had an elevation of 3000 feet or so. Give or take depending on what you use. Here is my strava file. I remember in the beginning feeling super zoned to just stay with the lead group, which meant I had to work my way up to the front and also meant I was already leaving my plans with Kelly in the dust. I didn’t really want to do that because I knew the risk of getting dropped and riding alone for awhile, but I took the risk. I also knew I was messing up my River Gorge pre-ride with the Taco Mamacitas the next day. I would be fatigued and miserable. Dang it! Stay with the fast group ahead. Show him.

If you can keep up with me, sure we can…

I can keep up. I can keep up.

A lot of yoyoing going on for me. I am wasting energy and many have been dropped. I’m hanging on the back and watching people at various places get dropped. By the time we reached the north part of Keith Valley Rd SE, I was hanging off the back trying to stay in the pack, but using a lot of energy to stay with the pack. I remember turning left onto Zion Hill Rd SE and feeling the group surge and having to really work hard to catch up. I was definitely riding above my threshold and hanging on for dear life. Sometimes a guy would talk to me. But, we were not talking much.

Hunt Road to the left, and I was feeling it. Mentally, I was starting to cave. I was at mile 25 or so and saw a glimpse of my average speed hovering around 23.3 mph. That is fast. My brain is really geeking out over the speed. I don’t average this high ever. Wow. The power of the group. A split second of thinking about something else and losing focus on the wheel in front of me, and I have to work hard to catch back up to the pack. I’m sure in the front the guys were attacking, and I was going to be their next casualty. I needed to keep focused, but I was getting tired.

Strawhill Rd SE. I was mentally crashing. The focusing was not as sharp. We turned left onto Red Hill Valley Rd SE. I imagine myself hanging off of a ledge with just the edge of my fingers hanging on. A left on Poteet through Johnson Rd SE and I watched the lead group disappear ahead leaving me alone in the heat and realizing my heart rate was higher now than before. There was nothing more depressing than watching the group pull away and me just helplessly watch them leave me. It almost looked as though they were going twice as fast as me as they pulled away. I saw my fingers slip from the edge of the ledge and freefall toward whatever was below. Ok, not really. But, the real work was to begin.

There’s no way I can catch back up with them. I suddenly realized the power of the peloton and how my reluctance to stay in the middle of the pack left me hanging off the back too much, causing fatigue and the inability to keep catching up. There was a lady with me during the drop, but she made a right turn, and I didn’t realize she turned until I was already gone. I suppose I was in the pain cave too long and my senses were not super sharp. She was on a pink bike, I think. I never saw her again, but I think she did the century.

A lot of alone time. I was glad for one earbud with some noise. The course was well marked and a lot of the roads Jeff and I have ridden the few times we get to ride together. Or rather, the few times I get to try to chase him or dodge sweat bullets. One thing is for sure, I was really on pace to do well. Seems like competition is enough to motivate me even in the middle of a dropped situation at mile 30 with 38 miles to go. The temperature was in the 80s. I was feeling some twinges in my legs.

Somewhere around mile 42 or so, I saw James and Stephen helping someone with a mechanical of some sort. I guess I missed the split where Jeff would have gone on to the 100-mile route, so I probably would have been alone at this point anyway. I felt better. I hit the sag stop and filled up and wasted no time getting back on the bike to get going.

My sag stop!
My sag stop!

A guy passed me on Lead Mine Valley Road. I think it was two guys working together, but I couldn’t grab a wheel. I really need to work on that group stuff. What a difference it makes.

I will say along mile 40-50, I started feeling leg cramps. This was a first for me really. This season and leg cramps. I was getting a proper introduction and desperately wanted to get off the saddle and pedal because I still hadn’t found my perfect saddle. I had a saddle sore.

Along Beaverdale Cohutta Rd around mile 64 or so, a little group caught up with me. It was one female, and in my pain cave state of maintaining 19 mph on my own since mile 30, I thought it was the same lady that made the wrong turn back at the drop. I learned later it was not. This is how out of it I was. The group had another male, James, Stephen, and maybe one or two more. I don’t know. The cramping was getting worse in my legs. I wanted to stand. I downed some Base salts, but I really believe the cramping was due to fatigue, because I don’t ever maintain this kind of pace for this long on a road bike.results

During the last mile or so, I don’t even know, I took off. I had this argument internally with myself that went like this, “You know, they’ve all been working together for awhile. It’s ok to give up because you have been alone now for 38 miles. You are tired. You have done well.” I responded to myself with, “Um, no. You are not going to give up this ride “race” at the end because you are tired. You have worked THIS hard until now, don’t stop now because you will regret it if you do.”

I picked up the pace and tried my best to sprint up the hill to the finish line. I learned a little bit later that I was the first female to cross for the metric century with an average pace of 20.8 mph. I’ll take that. It’s funny in a way how I expected maybe going faster wouldn’t feel so hard, like I would be in better shape but honestly learning that it’s not that it ever gets ANY easier. You just go faster.

Post race
Post race

Post-race I felt pretty bad. That’s a good thing, I think.

Prison Prevention Ministries

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PPM is a PREVENTION MINISTRY Preventing Youth from GOING to Prison Preventing Inmates from RETURNING to Prison through a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

To offer prevention programs and life-skills seminars that result in lower incarceration rates among youth and recidivism rates among inmates.