Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Feminine Fortitude

 In Madison last month, we had our 2nd-ever female overall win in an Urban Assault Ride.
It's a pretty impressive accomplishment to best all the other 646 riders, but Stephanie and Julie took home the win (and a year's supply of Jack Link's beef jerky).

The UAR crew asked them a few questions about their victory and how it feels to tell all the dudes in Madison, "You just got CHICKED"...

 1. What was your strategy at the UAR?
We mapped out short routes between the checkpoints but also ones that allowed us to ride continuously without frequent stops. Sometimes this meant that we added on some distance in order to take the road and avoid a bike path or stop light. We were sure to hit the first mystery checkpoint early on - this was important as we needed plenty of time to figure out the second one! Riding as fast as possible between the checkpoints and working together to block the strong winds that day were also key.

2. What did you do to train/prepare?
Julie is training for Ironman Wisconsin so the endurance/biking/training piece was already there for her. In preparation she put some mountain bike pedals on her road bike so that she could use her mountain bike shoes but still have a nice light road bike. Stephanie has several hundred cycling miles tracked already this year, and put cages on her road bike pedals so getting on and off the bike were speedy transitions. We both rely heavily on our bikes for transportation and know our ways around the city. We spent a good amount of time the week before UAR test-riding the course, working on the quiz (we scored 90%!) and trying to figure out the first mystery clue.

3. Are you going to share your Jack Link's winnings?
Julie has the brilliant idea of hosting an Iron Chef Jack Link's beef jerky party so of course we are going to share! We already have our friends and family thinking about recipes for the Jack Link's jerky and will be challenging them to come up with a delicious dessert that includes beef jerky.

4. What was your favorite obstacle? What was the hardest?
The bike tire sling-shot with the Keen shoes was really clever. It took a few tries to get a hang of it but we had the shoes launching high in no time. Riding the mini bikes with one person sitting on the handlebars was pretty hard. It was tough to pedal and navigate, and the person sitting on the handlebars had a tough balancing act.  Julie's vote for the hardest obstacle was the bike wheel barrel race - her abs hurt for a week after that one! Figuring out the second mystery clue was also a challenge.

5. How does it feel to be the 2nd female team to win the overall at a UAR?
It's pretty awesome! We got out there and rode hard and smart, and it was fun to see our efforts pay off. It's not too often that we've seen a women's team win an athletic event overall, and the UAR staff did a great job of making it known to the guys who was boss that day! There was a lot of chatter about "getting chicked" during the awards ceremony, and the crowds really got in to it. Hopefully other ladies can be inspired to get out and ride, and maybe we'll see some more female teams take home the beef jerky in upcoming UARs!

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