December 7, 2009

Frozen Over

Every year I look forward to racing in cold, wet and muddy Portland. This year the weather played a trick on everyone and instead of dumping an insane amount of rain it got really cold… Read more »

November 3, 2009


We all know that to reach the top level of any sport one must be dedicated to the effort. There’s the maintenance of one’s diet, training and recovery, and then there’s the endless logistics of… Read more »

September 14, 2009

And so it begins…

When the light changes, it’s ‘cross time I realise that the road and mountain bike seasons linger on and there’s some big race in Switzerland but in my world the light has changed and it’s… Read more »

August 21, 2009

Four for four and then one more

Kicking back with some sweet single track My spring mountain biking schedule was based on the following criteria: The race must be within reasonable driving distance (no more than four hours) The race must have… Read more »

November 25, 2008

A brisk weekend

I just survived my annual trip to the Hamptons for Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup final round of the NACT. This is my third trip to this race and I keep coming back because Long… Read more »

November 20, 2008

Hometown mud

After a disappointing race last weekend I wasn’t too motivated to race this weekend. My legs felt awful all week. It was like my body didn’t want me to ride bikes anymore and was dropping… Read more »

November 14, 2008

Psycho-Cross: A Halloween tradition

It seems that most years there is a big, important, out-of-town race that I need to be at during Halloween weekend. This year I skipped the USGP and stayed home for some Nor Cal psycho-cross… Read more »

November 7, 2008

Granogue and Wissahickon weekend

After a hot weekend of hard racing in Cincinnati my body showed its appreciation for me by coming down with a doozie of a sinus infection. I spent most of the week sleeping and moping… Read more »

October 27, 2008

It seemed like a good idea when…

…I bought my plane tickets. In reality it wasn’t such a good idea. Three UCI cross races in a row at the start of the season with very little racing under my belt. I’m talking… Read more »

October 6, 2008

Vegas and beyond

Once again I survived Las Vegas, Cross Vegas and one heck of a tiring Interbike tradeshow. Part of my job is to work the tradeshow, and although it sounds like fun, it’s really lots of… Read more »

September 11, 2008

Single Speed World Championships

Over a year ago I heard that Single Speed Worlds were going to be in nearby Napa, California. I immediately knew that I had to race that race. Many things transpired in the meantime and… Read more »

August 23, 2008

A late start and a new beginning

For the past several months I’ve been trying to write a diary to update everyone on the condition of my injury. I’ve written several and liked none of them. Here I am almost eight months… Read more »

February 26, 2008

A bad day in Belgium

A not so good present for Christmas December 25th, Christmas day in Belgium and the day before the Hofstade World Cup. The crew, Derrick, Natasha, Kevin, Nathan, Leslie, Wendy and I drove north of Brussels… Read more »

January 29, 2008

Three in a row

Day 4, Race 1: Scheldecross, Antwerpen Belgium Two years ago, I showed up in a state of jet-lagged confusion and podium’d at this race. This year the start list included Daphny Van den Brand, Hanka… Read more »

December 30, 2007

A foggy recollection of my first days in Belgium

Days 1 and 2 I love to sleep for hours and hours at a time in a row, however this is not possible for me on an airplane. So I faked it for a few… Read more »

December 23, 2007

Perfect Portland weather

Portland never ceases to impress me with its impeccable timing of inclement weather. I’ve yet to race there without some sort of giant storm or freakish cold spell. This year proved to be no exception… Read more »

December 9, 2007

Things to do in Pittsburgh when it’s cold

What does one do in between races while visiting family? I like to bake pies, sleep and ride my bike. The week between USGP rounds three and four and Thanksgiving I got to spend with… Read more »

November 29, 2007

The mile high club

The Mile High Club - Get your sick minds out of the gutter, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about finishing multiple cyclo-cross races at altitudes of more than a mile. It’s my… Read more »

November 7, 2007

Doing Derby City

This weekend’s travel adventure was held not far from the most famous horse race in the country, the Kentucky Derby. Louisville, Kentucky, was the first stop in the 2007 USGP series. When it was first… Read more »

November 1, 2007

Apocalypse Now

The closest UCI race to home was this past weekend down in Southern California. Rachel Lloyd and I decided to chase some UCI points, and make the drive down there. We packed up the Honda… Read more »

October 20, 2007

Weekend in the Hamptons

Richest women’s cross race in the world, a weekend in the Hampton’s, UCI points on the line and the promise of sweet host housing - What more could a girl ask for? So, feeling barely… Read more »

October 9, 2007


Where do I even begin? Perhaps that I’m still recovering, and I didn’t even go out and party. It started Tuesday before dawn with a trip to the Oakland Airport, there’s very little traffic at… Read more »

October 1, 2007

Cross-training with an Xterra

Saturday my brother, Rush, his dog Helmutt, his friend, Sam, and myself loaded into the VW van and headed up to the Xterra venue for a pre-ride. This was all Wendy Simms fault, she suggested… Read more »

September 26, 2007

Back to the ‘burgh

Soaking wet and still breathing hard from the short track, my father and I packed up the van and headed north to Pittsburgh. I was very excited to hang with my family for a week… Read more »

August 29, 2007

On Sugar Mountain

This month’s special recovery tip is to spend many, many hours in a car; it makes your legs feel great. Well, not really but I thought I’d try it anyway. I joined Shannon G., her… Read more »

August 18, 2007

Mt Snow Vermont

This was my third trip to Mt Snow for a mountain bike race and my first time at a Mountain Bike National Championships. After a long and complicated day of flying, Shannon and I met… Read more »

August 1, 2007

Heading for the hills

This weekend it was back to my favorite swimming hole, back to the mountains and the Downieville Classic. I’ve been fired up about this race since I started riding again this past winter. This race… Read more »

July 20, 2007

July heat

The week of the Fourth of July was one of those rare super hot weeks on the coast. Usually, if I want damp cool weather to ride in I just ride towards the ocean until… Read more »

July 5, 2007

Heat, Hills and swimming holes

The Nevada City weekend was one of great highs and lows. Sunday was the 47th annual Tour of Nevada City and I was eager to race having won the 45th edition of the race, and… Read more »

June 18, 2007

Tutus and stilt dancers

All sorts of things went on this past week. I finished the longest (both in time and length) road race that I’ve done in two years in which I managed to meet my goal of… Read more »

June 9, 2007

Teva Mountain Games

Anyone thinking about having a mountain adventure with some competition mixed in should check out the Teva Mountain Games. Teammate Shannon G. brought the Teva Games to my attention several weeks ago. It had lots… Read more »

May 27, 2007

The home front

Fontana was a race that kept on giving. As a result of my superb bike handling skills and collisions with the ground my back tweaked out mid-week at work. It was one of those moments… Read more »

May 21, 2007

Big birds and bruises

The week between NMBS #2 and NMBS #3 turned out to be more eventful and busier than I had planned. This was due in part to trying to keep up with Wendy Simms and her… Read more »

May 13, 2007

NMBS #3 - Out of the frying pan into the fire

The second NMBS race had been rescheduled from Sonoma to just north of Santa Barbara or in terms of temperatures out of the frying pan and into the fire. Nationals in Sonoma last year were… Read more »

May 11, 2007

Napa Valley Dirt classic

This past weekend I had the honor of racing at the Napa Valley Dirt classic. All the locals that I talk to have raced there at some time in the past so it seemed time… Read more »

May 3, 2007

Epicenter of Belladom

After racing at the season opening NMBS #1 event in Phoenix, I went on to Sea Otter, where the Vello Bella presense was strong. Blue and pink jerseys were spotted everywhere, with road and mountain… Read more »

April 26, 2007

Back to racing

Barbara Howe kicked off her season at the NMBS #1 event in Phoenix, which marked her return to racing after a year away. She writes about her experience getting back into racing action. My first… Read more »

December 14, 2006

My one and only ‘cross race of the season

This past weekend, I finally worked myself up to spectate a cross race. All season I’ve been avoiding it because I would much rather be racing than watching. I’m a doer not a watcher. Saturday… Read more »

December 6, 2006

Who is that Vanderkitten?

Who is Vanderkitten? She is otherwise known as Ophelia, she’s the kitten of Dave and Jennie Verrecchia and the inspiration for their clothing company. As I sit here and watch my own kitty hard at… Read more »

November 8, 2006

The fabulous Sheila Moon

Well known in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, Sheila Moon is rapidly taking over the world. Well, her clothing is anyway. In fall of 2003 Sheila Moon debuted her self titled clothing brand in… Read more »

October 23, 2006

Where in the world is Barbarella?

As many of you may have noticed, I haven’t been to a single cross race this season. You may be wondering why. Did Barb get lazy and quit training? Did she finally have enough racing… Read more »

February 25, 2006

Life goes on after ‘cross season ends. Kind of.

It’s hard to come down off a season that ends with world championships without feeling like the party ended while you were still having fun. Coming back home to California, I was treated to warm… Read more »

January 31, 2006

The Greatest Show on Earth

Zeddam, Netherlands Monday morning. Joscelin once again hired herself out and drove Mike, Greg, and myself to Zeddam. I’m staying with Team Canada until Wednesday when the US team arrives. Canada has two little bungalows… Read more »

January 25, 2006

Lievin, Hoogerheide and beyond

Tielt Winge, Belgium Part I I did my first World Cup (Lievin, France) of the year and things are looking good. Helen and I only missed one exit on the way and didn’t even get… Read more »

January 22, 2006

The adventure continues: Hoogerheide, Netherlands

This week I’ve learned a bit of English cooking. Three out of the five residents (Canadian Dave went home) hail from Great Britain and are keen on sharing their culinary traditions. To celebrate the mingling… Read more »

January 15, 2006

Another big show

Cyclo-cross World Cup #9 - CDM: Lievin, France My first World Cup this year and things are looking good. Helen and I only missed one exit on the way and didn’t even get lost following… Read more »

January 13, 2006

Barbarella’s European odyssey - Part the first

In the beginning… So much for being an airport ninja. I got the idea that it was possible to slip around the airport with minimum hassle from my homie in Hamburg, Greg Reain. I flew… Read more »

January 5, 2006

Ready for Worlds

Happy New Year! Mother Nature has decided to punish Northern California this season. We’ve been hit by several large storms, one after another. Friday’s storm was the biggest and nastiest. The wind blew, rain fell… Read more »

December 30, 2005

Holiday season thanks

It’s been raining in Northern California for what seems like an eternity. Christmas day was no exception with torrential rains causing flash flood warnings in various counties. My training plan called for three and a… Read more »

December 18, 2005

The big show

Thursday: Fly to Boston on the early flight. Josh, Simon and I are at the airport eating bagels when Melodie calls an hour before our flight. She slept through her alarm and is just leaving… Read more »

December 1, 2005

Queen Ann: Spotlight on Ann Fitzsimmons

The newest addition to the Velo Bella Elite cyclocross team is Ann Fitzsimmons. She currently resides in Morgan Hill, California with her husband Mark. Best known for her downhill exploits, she’s making a name for… Read more »

November 23, 2005

Spills and the chills

There is so much to write about this week. I started it off by getting sick. Josh was ill last week and I managed to keep the virus at bay until the last possible moment… Read more »

November 16, 2005

The Martha Stewart of Cyclocross?

A weekend off racing and nothing interesting to write about except FOOD! Food is in my list top five favourite things ever and the term is used in the broad sense (including beverages too). Bike… Read more »

November 11, 2005

Tour de Pittsburgh

This past weekend (Lower Allen Classic and Highland Park cyclo-cross) was fun and all, but most of you have probably already know how the races went. Instead of a race report, this is a short… Read more »

November 2, 2005

Climatic extremes

The week between races while on the road is fun; it always makes me feel like a real pro. Generally I spend five days a week at work but while traveling I get to sit… Read more »

October 26, 2005

Heading East - a tale about fitting everything in

I’m on the East Coast for six UCI races over the next few weeks. Josh and I flew into Pittsburgh (my hometown) on Thursday, the 20th in time for a birthday dinner with my mother;… Read more »

October 16, 2005

A home game

This week there was no travelling; my own team hosted a race in Santa Cruz. This particular race was the first Surf City Revival Race, a popular race series not held for the last year…. Read more »

October 10, 2005

Barbarella, Queen of the cross galaxy

By Steve Medcroft / It’s funny how life can imitate art. The liner notes to the 1968 Jane Fonda cult classic invite the viewer to ‘See Barbarella do her thing!’ Velo Bella cyclo-cross racer… Read more »

October 5, 2005

The damp Northwest

Friday: Scoring at the yard sale Just when things were becoming normal again after returning from New York, it starts all over again. Friday’s flight necessitated a before-the-crack-of-dawn start. Driving to the airport at 4:30am… Read more »

October 3, 2005

A week in the life of

Whitemore’s Super Cross Cup weekend, Southampton, NY, USA, October 1-2, 2005 Wednesday Sheer heart pounding stress, that sums up today. Josh and I went into work on our normal day off to make sure out… Read more »