Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A whirlwind of 2 weeks!- photo essay!

The Eat-Clean Diet Women's Learn to Race/Ride Skills Camp was a success - click here to read more about it! 40 women came together to push their skills a little further and at the same time, met some great potential riding partners as well.

The weekend got off to an early start for the team because we tried to fit out team photoshoot in just before the camp. We met up with photographer Waverly Wyld at 7:30am to get our team shots posted - will have a gallery soon - but below are a few shots from the morning's shoot.

Earlier in the week, Leigh attended a Company of Women seminar on a Winning Attitude. She was one of three athlete panelists who spoke on the correlation between the mindset and skills you need to succeed in sports, and the success factor required to do well in business. The panel spoke about what it takes to succeed in any arena and how to deal with the setbacks that can come along. Leigh was joined by World Champion sabre fighter Donna Saworski and world-class boxer Wendy Broad. Photography provided by Shannon Eckstein.

April 18th saw Petrina and Leigh take a long drive to Calabogie (5hrs) to race on the Calabogie Motorsports race track with the master & senior 3 women's field.

The 10-lap race saw lots of action with tons of jumps and attacks during the 50km race. The course was on a 5.05km closed race track with 23 turns and an elevation change of 20 metres per lap. Leigh took home a 2nd place and Petrina with an 8th place.

You can read Petrina's race report here.

Earlier that week, teammates Wendy Morley and Leigh Hargrove ventured into Caledon, Ontario on April 15th to speak to grade 7 & 8 students about nutrition and goal setting. The seminar, "Tools for Life - Sound Body, Sound Mind" resulted in a school project for the students to develop a vision board for their goals and dreams.

The motivational seminar was given to both boys and girls and Wendy and Leigh were assisted by Bob Knuckey and Taylor Reid.

On April 14 Mel hosted the first Gears Girls "Meet & Greet" of the season.

In the last few weeks, Mel has seen over 45 members sign up for the club this year and e load was on board to give out nutritional samples to the cyclists while they checked out some new casual wear clothing pieces for the club designed by Niko Apparel Systems. (Mel's wearing the club's new Tee!)

She's planning an upcoming clinic for members - more details will be posted on that soon.

April 2 kicked off the season for the team with the Good Friday road race. You can read her race report here. Leigh was able to use the camera from to film the first lap of the race. Footage from that event will be posted on but you can watch the 3-minute trailor below:

April was a busy month for the team, with two races under our belts and a series of events, we're very excited to be reaching out to the cycling community and putting our best foot forward!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 2 Camp Success!

What a crazy great weekend! Day 2 of the women's learn to race/ride skills camp was a success despite the cooler temperatures and wet conditions.

Due to weather conditions, the schedule shifted around slightly to leave the riding to the end of the day so that camp participants wouldn't be sitting around wet and cold all day long. Participants enjoyed a morning seminar on gearing and gear ratios, followed by an inspiring session of goal-setting, training journals and vision boards.

A quick session before lunch gave the team members a chance to talk about the team and the great sponsors that came on board this year. Each camp participant was given a goodie bag filled with some samples and information from each of the team's sponsors.

Lunch came quickly and Momma Hargrove came in with some cold salad conconctions that thrilled campers.

The afternoon saw wheels came off and hands getting dirty. Joined by Oakville Cycling Club President and camp volunteer Rob Narejko, in groups of five or so, the women took their wheels off, pretended they had flat tires and proceded to change their flat tires. This session was the last of in-class prep before the women braved the cool, wet weather and got ready for their group riding drills and skills.

A cold ride saw the women practice their shifting, climbing, group riding and communication skills.

The weekend was a success. A gallery of photos will be posted within the next couple of weeks.


Rumors were heard that a second skills camp closer to the fall might be in the works...we'll keep you posted!

A big thank you to Rob, all team members, Momma Hargrove (and helper Jeff), all our supporting sponsors, and of course, all the brave women that signed up for the camp this weekend! Thank you!!!!!!!

Success: Day One Cycling Camp!

The Eat-Clean Diet® Women's Learn to Race/Ride Skills Camp DAY ONE took place yesterday, April 24 in Oakville, Ontario.

The team started the day off with a team photoshoot crammed into 45 minutes bright and early Saturday morning!

Team rider Tosca Reno kicked off the day with a great discussion about nutrition which unveiled a lot of questions women have about eating, working out and nutrition itself.

Tosca's presentation was followed by team rider Petrina Tulissi's humourous and informative review of bike mechanics and maintenance.

Ladies took a quick break for a lunch - a big shout out goes to Momma Hargrove, who cooked up a storm of eat clean recipes including vegetarian chili, a nice fresh salad and Tosca's Power Balls!

Papa Hargrove and friend Jim Dolson came out and reviewed group riding and ethics, paceline how-tos and even the benefits of drafting and the execution of an echelon.

This was the most amazing group of women to come together! The group of 40 women was divided into two groups - one for group riding and the other for bike handling drills.

Group one, led by Peter and Jim, rode over to the local track (those lines were excellent for keeping everyone straight!) and each group successfully rode a single paceline, a double paceline and an echelon.

Group two got a chance to take off their bike wheels (surprise test by Petrina) and proceeded to review skills necessary for day two's lineup of events.

Day two is Sunday and the agenda includes gearing and shifting, hill climbing, goal setting, time trialling, changing a flat tire, and a review of other resources available to participants...

A big thank you goes out to all team riders for helping coordinate the camp day and being so helpful and informative, even getting up there and teaching! Another big thank you goes out to volunteers Peter Hargrove, Jim Dolson and Phil Preston - thank you for giving up your time and coming out and passing on the love for cycling and teaching what you know! Last but not least, a big thank you to Mom and boyfriend Jeff Fower, lunch was delicious and I can't wait to taste today's medley of food!

Monday, April 19, 2010


I had such a great week-end! After not racing seriously for about 5 years, and having not done a road race in 2 seasons, it was really exciting to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Leigh, her boyfriend Jeff, and I drove the 5 hours to Calabogie for a circuit race on a car race track and it was great!

I liked that my first race of the season involved a road trip and an overnight stay as the packing up of clothing and equipment helped me get more focused about the race, it made the event feel special, and having Leigh to share it with was fantastic. The last time I raced in Ontario I was independent, would travel to races alone, and as much as I like my own time, space, and solitude, it was a bit too lonely for me and lacked the excitement and fun that comes with being part of a team.

Race day morning was chilly, but the sun was out, a welcome sight after driving up in the rain. We did our warm-ups, took to the line with about 20 Master Women, a group of Cat 3s and Junior women, and cadet boys. Our group was about 35 to 40 riders, a pretty good size and I was excited to have lots of places to hide from the wind. Leigh and I the wind. Leigh and I did our "Hoo Ha" cheer to commemorate our sponsor Hoo Ha Ride Glide™ and off we went.

(PLEASE NOTE - If you are interested in ordering the Hoo Ha Ride Glide Chamois cream made for women, 15% of all orders made with the code: EATCLEAN1015 will go back to the team's fund.) Let us know if you do it and try it and what you think!

The women in the group were friendly, rode confidently, and I felt very comfortable in the pack.

There were several attacks by Junior Rider Florence Laplante-Lamarche who showed early on that she was the strongest in the group, but she wasn’t able to get away as the group worked well together. The course has 23 turns and it was easy to get disoriented as to where you were in relation to the finish line and which side you wanted to be on to get the best shelter from the wind.

One of the things I was most proud of was being able to move around in the pack, make my way to the top six before the “hill” where someone would attack almost every time around, and ride between riders to fill “holes”. In the past I have been a bit nervous riding between people when I didn’t know them, but I completely trusted this group, and it felt great to be back in the mix. This also allowed for maximum protection from the wind and save energy.

The other thing I was proud of was my gear choices. Bad habits are hard to break and riding in too heavy a gear is something that I have been known to do in the past, but I kept the gear easier than I would normally and cadence high, so I could “dance” up the rollers and keep my legs feeling fresh – which I think helped, but with only 2 weeks of riding leading in the race after being away for a month for work without a bike, my legs weren’t as strong as I would like. That said, I felt way better than I thought would.

There was confusion with 2 laps to go and for some reason our race was cut short. So with 2 km to go they announced that this would be our last lap and the pace quickened as riders tried to get in to a good position for the finish. I got caught near the back and just couldn’t make up enough ground, then we made the final turn in to the finishing straight and in to the headwind. My “sprinters” legs have yet to show themselves and I lost a lot of placings in the last few hundred meters, which was disappointing, but watching Leigh kick it in to high gear, pass riders, and continue to sprint forward was inspiring.

At the end of the day, Leigh came second in our category and I was 4th – not bad, but there is still a lot of room for improvement and I am looking forward to getting back in to a training routine.

Good Friday video footage

Although my race got cut short I still managed to get some great footage of the Senior 3/Master Women's road race. Jeff, my boyfriend, filmed the ambiance shots!

Check out this great 3 minute video that our sponsor, put together...

The full-length video feature will be up on within a week or so!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Petrina: iPhone ride

Riding with a group is a great way to get faster, improve skills, and enjoy the social aspect of cycling; however, there are times when it is nice to ride on your own. After spending the better part of the past two months off the bike due to travel for work and some beach time I am getting back in to a training schedule, so on Saturday I squeezed in to my tighter than normal fitting bike shorts (did I mention the time away from the bike?), slipped on a jersey and jacket, fastened my helmet, tightened my shoes, put in my ear buds and placed my iPhone in my pocket. I don’t condone exercising with headphones and am well aware of the safety concerns; however, I like the entertainment and am sure to have the volume at a level where I can still hear the cars … plus, for reasons I’ll go on to explain, it motivates me to get out riding.

A few months ago I was with the National Track Cycling team before they went to the World Cup in Beijing and we got to talking about what they listen to before they race. Some answers were expected, elektronica and rap, but some were surprising, Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero”, Pointer Sisters “Jump”, and “Holding Out for a Hero” from Footloose, plus some other great 80’s hits made up the playlists of this group of 20 year olds. I will admit to having some cheesy songs on my pre-race playlist with “I’m so excited” by the Pointer Sisters at the top of the list, but when I am out for a long endurance ride I don’t listen to music at all.

I have several podcasts on my iPhone and have been known to listen to the news or other informative shows while riding, but more often than not, I listen to Comedy. I like CBC’s “Laugh Out Loud”, but my ultimate favourite, and the one that gets me out the door on days I don’t feel like riding is Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café. For those not familiar with this Canadian Gem, he is a humourist, story teller, author, and CBC radio personality. He travels the country, visiting small towns, putting on “concerts”, and entertaining and educating us on the history, character, and personality of these towns that make up our Canadian Identity; but what he is better known for are his tales about “Dave and Morley”.

So on Saturday, I was all kitted up, pressed play on the podcast and started riding. I often wonder what others think of me as they see me riding down the street, huge grin on my face and quite often laughing out loud – Stuart McLean is funny, and better yet, his stories of Dave, Morley and the kids are hysterical. After being away for work the last month, I was excited to catch up on the Vinyl Café episodes I had missed and the first one that came to life was the episode from March 27th about Dave’s friend Ted, the cyclist. It is pretty funny, and I think anyone interested in the sport will also find it funny, you can find the Vinyl Café on iTunes Podcasts, or here is the link from CBC if you are interested on the CBC website.

As I get ready to race next week-end I will be creating a playlist to get me motivated, and help me dig deep as I know the race will hurt. I have not done the preparation that I would have in the past, it is tough to stay on schedule with all the traveling I’ve been doing, but hopefully I’ll get back in to the swing of things and as the season progresses the results will improve. So let me know what you like listening to, maybe there’s a song on your playlist that will do me well!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A winning attitude - upcoming event!

A Winning Attitude

with Wendy Broad, Leigh Hargrove, Donna Sawarski and Moderator Wendy Perkins

April 20, 2010

With the Olympics fresh in our minds, we’ve learned from our athletes about their determination to win, despite the odds and the pressure on them to succeed.Is there a correlation between the mindset and skills you need to succeed in sports, and the success factor required to do well in business? Our panel of athletes will be sharing what it takes to succeed in any arena and how to deal with the setbacks that can come along.

Wendy Broad won numerous international medals and finished among the top boxers in the world at the 2001 and 2002 World Boxing Championships.

Leigh Hargrove rose to the level of National Champion multiple times in the sport of bicycle racing and placed 14th in the world at the World Championships in 1995.

Donna Saworski was on the National Team in the sport of Women’s Sabre. In 1998 Donna won Canada’s first gold medal in the World Championships.

Moderator – Wendy Perkins came later in life to sport and has won numerous international medals, serving on the Canadian team for sprint canoeing.

Join us and learn how you can develop a winner’s mindset.

Oakville Conference and Banquet Centre
2515 Wyecroft Road, Oakville
(just south of the QEW at Bronte)

$45 members/$55 non-members + GST
(includes networking, dinner and speaker)
Cash Bar

For more information, contact Megan Barnes at (905) 338 1771 or check out Company of Women's event page here:

Friday, April 2, 2010

First race of the sesaon!

Ahhh! The Good Friday Road Race! It has come and gone and the season has officially launched here in Ontario.

Well - I was definitely reminded of one thing about bike racing that I forgot: You learn something at every race - whether it's about yourself or about bike racing...

My race started off well today - but just at the second hill my chain fell off on the inside. If it fell off on the outside I would have been able to pedal it on - but it fell on the inside. I threw my hand up in the bike so everybody could ride around me - I pulled off to the side of the road and put it back on. I jumped back on my bike and chased the group...and chased, and chased!

Oh - how frustrating - I can't believe it. I chased for 10km - the pack in sight but slowly pulling away - I just couldn't get back on.

I pulled out of the race after one lap (18.5km). I was devastated. My gears were skipping, I was bummed - I felt so good on that first hill - I felt sooooo good! Now I will never know how it would turn out...

So - I pulled out. This is the worst. I absolutely don't recommend this. In fact, it's not like me. I usually never quit. But I did today. I pulled out - and it was all ego - I hate to admit it. I was so devastated that I got a mechanical that I just couldn't finish. I let my head talk take over - and that was it...

What did I learn, you ask? Or rather, what did I remember/relearn?

I learned that it's not about anyone else but myself. It's about me and the bike. It's about not giving up - ever! It's about trying...It's about going out there and giving your best...

So yes, I'm disappointed - but there is a long season ahead --> Onwards!