• Posted Jan 12, 2004

Nebulous Nuances of the Road

Roller Racing Gets Its Start in Iowa If you’re prone to lots of television in the winter, dust off the bike and saddle up on the rollers, Iowa! Its roller-racing time! The format is two racers are on individual Kreitler Killer Headwind rollers monitored by a heads-up computer display tracking their progress. For newbies, getting used to rollers can take a little practice, so it is easiest to find a friend who has them already to give you a little practice, some coaching and moral support. Pretty soon, you’ll turn into a magician who can rub your belly and pat your head while holding a cadence of 120! If you think this is the safest way to race, you’re partly correct. You won’t have to worry about road rash, however, if you happen to fall off the rollers…everyone will know about it. On Saturday, January 10, Doghouse Bikes in Indianola and the DMOS/Mortgage Solutions racing team presented the first 2-mile Kreitler Killer Headwind roller race. Over thirty participants raced head-to-head, setting numerous personal records and seven individuals did their first race! Hope to see you at the next roller race! The dates and locations of future roller races can be found on everyone’s favorite site ~! Hey, Most Of The Snow Is Gone Well, if you can see a little dirt under the white stuff, then that means you can mountain bike, eh? Those sickos up north in Fort Dodge are putting on Snow Bike MTB #1 this Saturday~ dress appropriately and get more information at Join A Cycling Team in 2004 It’s still early; make yourself a resolution to join a racing team in 2004. In the spirit of keeping it simple, here are my top reasons for why YOU should join a bicycle racing team in 2004. 1. Retire that nasty ten-year old jersey and rotten shorts with a clean team kit. 2. Make new friends who can help you meet your training goals. 3. Learn how to organize training rides and races. 4. Many of the social opportunities include beer! 5. A support group for your significant other to swap ‘he spent THIS MUCH on a bike’ stories with. 6. Get friendly with your local bike shop! 7. The second-best way to support the sponsors of our sport! (#1 being SPEND YOUR MONEY ON THEM!!!) For more information on local clubs and race teams, check out the links on! Professional Racing in Iowa: Megan Elliott Interview 1/12/03 Megan Elliott, Tama IA, is a 21 year-old professional cyclist who has been chasing her dreams across North America and Europe. She rode professionally for Saturn in 2003 and is working on her 2004 contract with the new Quark women’s cycling team. Q: You're one of three professional bicycle racers living in Iowa. What are the accommodations you've had to make to continue as a top-tier North American racer? A: The first was probably my education. I couldn't race full time on a professional team and be in school full-time, so I've had to find a sort of balance between the two. At this point, I race full time and go to school part time both in residence and through correspondence. Secondly, I have started spending winters in a warmer climate in order to be better prepared for early season racing. Spending hours and hours on the trainer didn't give me the same level of fitness that I was able to get by moving south and getting a better base outside. So I guess I've become a nomad, living here and there in order to get better training and better fitness. Q: You're quite the academic ~ what is your current education status and what are your aspirations? A: Right now, I'm somewhere in my junior year. If things go well, it will take me three more semesters to graduate. At this point, my major goal is to get my undergrad. At some point, I would like to go back to school for graduate school, but I don't want to do that while I’m racing. Racing takes so much time out of the year that I want to wait until I can really focus on school before I go back again. Q: For the aspiring professional racer, what is your advice? A: Be prepared to get your butt kicked. Honestly, I think the best thing that I learned is how to lose. You have to be able to lose before you can learn to win, and it's more important to be able to bounce back from a loss. Bike racing is a very hard sport. It's a sport where you have to be ready to struggle and suffer, because everyone does. Even the best bike racer has off days, and you have to be prepared to deal with it and move on. Until you learn to let the bad days go, you will never really accomplish anything, because you will spend all of your time focusing on the negative aspects rather than the positives. It's all about learning from mistakes and using that to do better in the future. Q: What is the best and worst part about being a professional in today's marketplace? A: Obviously, the down side currently is that there are very few jobs. The market has gotten very tight, so a lot of people have taken a pay cut this year or are still without a team. As a successful rider, it isn't so bad, because top riders are always needed. But for developmental riders, it's a bad time, because there are fewer jobs, so the younger riders are getting pushed out. But it seems to all go in circles, bad years come and go, and then good years come and go. In this sport we are lucky to still have very good industry sponsors who are very supportive, and that is what makes this sport great. Coming from the now defunct Saturn team, I got to see a lot of the positive and negative aspects at the same time. Obviously, losing such a major sponsor has a resounding effect on the entire sport - riders and staff members out jobs, one less team in the marketplace, etc., however I've also gotten to see how supportive people in the industry have been to everyone. Companies who wouldn't normally wait so long to sign on to sponsor a team, have waited to see if we could come through with a new sponsor. Loyalty from certain sides is by far the best aspect about this sport. And being on Saturn was great, because we had some of the best sponsors in the business. Personally, I can say that not having a finalized, signed contract in January is a bit stressful! Questions: Name: Megan Elliott Hometown: Tama, IA Age: 21 Job Status: About to sign with a team, Quark. Family Status: Single. 1. Current Bike/Components: 2003 Lemond/Shimano Dura-Ace. 2. Dream Bike/ Components: Anything that's free! 3. Bike Racing Team: Not yet signed. 4. Fave Race: Previously HP Women's Challenge, now San Francisco Grand Prix or Redlands. 5. Fave Training Ride: Mt. Lemmon ride (in Tucson) with pie at the top. 6. How I got into cycling: My mom got me into riding - she had gone on RAGBRAI before I was born and took me to ride one day of it when I was young. 7. Recent Accomplishments: Under-23 national champion, surviving cross nationals without getting a concussion this year! 8. Do you use a coach: Yes, I just started being coached by my former teammate Ina Teutenberg. 9. 2004 Goals: Support my teammates as a domestic; do whatever it takes to help the team win. 10. Long-term Goals: Race in the Olympics and world championships, be competitive internationally, have a good career in the sport. 11. What is the condition of USA Cycling: Things are a little rough for women, because you are either on t-mobile and on the inside or not and not really a part of USA cycling. It is hard to be selected for anything that would normally be a "national team race" because those are now races done by t-mobile. Development for young riders has kind of gotten lost in the change. 12. What is the condition of Iowa bike racing: I'm not sure, I haven't done much racing in Iowa for several years, so I really can't comment. But Memorial Weekend is still great. 13. Favorite part about training and racing in Iowa: Much less traffic than anywhere else in the country. 14. What could be improved: Better weather! 15. Hobbies: Watching movies, hanging out - anything that doesn't have me sitting on a bike 16. Something that you may not know about me: I don't think there is anything that isn't known about me. Random Notes: From a Cat5 to Team Mack Elite within less than a year~ former Iowa State racer Wes Hartman joined the Team Mack Elite squad for 2004. Wes showed up on the scene last year winning the infamous Snake Alley AND the Quad Cities Criterium as a Cat4, Superweek Overall as a Cat3, and promptly upgraded to Cat2 after smacking around the competition at the Overland Park Criterium. Look out for Wes in the Mack colors with Cannondale Midwest alum Jim “Donger” Holmes! Hey baby, check out my Hot Tubes~ former Midwest Rolling Thunder racer Nick Frey is rumored to have joined the über-junior squad, Hot Tubes, for 2004. Look for Nick to be burning it up in national and international events! Stick to the road, will ya ~ on-again-off-again roadie JJ Bailey joined DMOS/Mortgage Solutions racer Lisa Vetterlein in New Zealand for the World Triathlon Championships last month. Check out JJ’s site @ for the complete update. I can’t believe it’s not Dura Ace 10 ~ C’mon, no one had the new DA10 at the Doghouse on Saturday. Work on that Spousal Acceptance Factor, eh? Site du jour: MN racer Dan Swanson: lucky dog got his picture in Velonews: mmm... bike porn... and my wife thinks I read too much as it is... Asian Proverb: “Self-love is the best love”

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