Friday, April 15, 2011

The Race: A Brief Overview

            For those of you who have not attended the Little 500 before, here is a brief summary of what you will be watching today. The women’s race is approximately 25.49 miles long, made up of 100 laps around the 410-meter track. Each team is placed within the lineup based on their Qualifications time—from front to rear and inside to outside. Given that our team placed 16th during Qualifications, they should be placed (roughly) in the middle.
            Each team must race with four riders. In our case, these four riders will be Laura Bliss, Megan Caldwell, Helen Han, and Kelsey Holder. They turn in the names of these riders the Monday before the race. Once they have turned in these names, there cannot be any substitutions (without the approval of the Cycling Committee and Race Director). If a rider becomes injured during the race, the team must continue to compete with those that they have left.
            All of the teams have been given two Little 500 bikes, which they must use on race day. After the race, they may keep or return the bikes.  During the course of the race, each team must complete 5 exchanges with these bikes within a 32-foot pit area.
            Additionally, there are many flags that are used throughout the course of the race. Failure to observe the flags will result in penalties. Their colors and functions are as follows…

GREEN............................................................... Starting signal, clears course
 BLACK.............................................................. Ride on the outside of the track
RED.................................................................... Stop; race is halted
YELLOW........................................................... Ride with caution and maintain position
BLUE WITH ORANGE STRIPE...................... Bicycle attempting to pass
WHITE............................................................... You are starting your last lap
CHECKERED BLACK AND WHITE.............. You have completed the race

            Best of luck to the ladies of RideOn as they compete today. The Dynasty Starts Today!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

1 More Day :)

There is only one more day until the race begins! Everyone remember to go to the DAC, either today or tomorrow, between 1 and 5, to pick up your T-shirts before the race. Also, don't forget to come to the DAC at 1:30 tomorrow to send our riders off in style. Get excited!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Hey All! The days are flying by and we are getting ready for race day. On Monday Kyle Vail, an avid fan of the team, invited Laura Bliss and I on to his radio show. We got to talk about Little 5 and other fun stuff on their sports show The Evening Schmooze with Dan and Kyle. Here is the link to the podcast of the show.

More updates to follow! 3 days!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good morning Little 500!

Well its official the race is only 8 days away and the Little 500 fever has struck Bloomington. I am currently on my front porch eating a bowl of cereal and listening to Sweet Home Alabama, spring has sprung! The weather is heating up, the bars are getting more crowded and the track is filling up with nerves.

We had the final practice race of the season and we looked strong. Laura started us off and kept us on the lead lap and with the top ten teams. Most of us got a chance to get on the track and experience a taste of what race day will be like. As a veteran I feel very lucky because I know what is coming. I feel like I am holding an amazing secret, because the girls have no idea how much fun they are going to have yet.

It would be impossible to truly put into words what it means to be on that track on race day with thousands of people cheering and all your best friends in matching shirts. Your heart swells and you feel this numbing feeling of pride in Indiana. There are few things more true to the University's core than the Little 500. Here students come to throw their hearts and bodies on the line to compete for essentially bragging rights for the next year and to raise money to support their fellow students. You feel this connectedness with all the riders past and present that can't ever be fully explained. If you have been lucky enough to witness a Little 500 in Bill Armstrong stadium you have had a taste of this passion and pride and for those of you who will be going for the first time, GET EXCITED!

So thank you all for your outpouring of support this year and we can't wait to share next Friday with you. And for my girls, who are checking the blog instead of homework, I love all of you very much. I think I may burst with pride when I see all of you ride on Friday. And I can't help but feel sorta like Santa since I have had the privilege to put the Little 500 in your lives. And trust me this is better than Christmas.

Thank you all! Enjoy spring and GET EXCITED only 8 days to the Women's Little 500!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Team Pursuit

This Saturday is the final Little 500 Spring Series Event, Team Pursuit. RideOn will be on the track at 1:24pm and will be on the track with team Air Force Women. In this event two teams take the track, one in turn 2 and the other in turn 4, prepared to race against each other as well as the clock. Team Pursuit consists of 12 laps (15 for the men) and at the end of the day the two fastest teams are lined up for one final showdown.

Other Spring Series Events are fairly simple, "ride hard, turn left" but Team Pursuit requires the rare opportunity for a cyclist to do some thinking. Communication and teamwork are the keys to performing well as each team's four riders must stay in a tight pack throughout the entire 12 laps. Team members take turns in the lead position, where each woman is responsible for determining the team's speed as well as taking the full force of the wind for her teammates. This is where communication becomes crucial, as the ladies behind must let their leader know if she is going too fast, if she can speed up, or if someone has dropped off the pack. Each team is allowed to drop one of their four riders, but must complete the event with three women in the pack, as the third cyclist's rear wheel determines the team's time for the event.

While all of this internal communication is happening, there of course is another team on the track! And the event is called Team Pursuit for a reason, as each team is in "hot pursuit" of the team across the track from them.

So come out and support us this Saturday as we pursue the Air Force Women!!

"But to say that the race is the metaphor for the life is to miss the point. The race is everything. It obliterates whatever isn't racing. Life is the metaphor for the race."
- Donald Antrim
*quote stolen from Isaac Simonelli

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week in the Life.

April is the craziest month of the year if you are a Little 500 rider and RideOn experienced a week packed with riding, racing, pacing and fun!


We all raced in Individual Time Trials this past Wednesday. It is four all out laps around the track and ranks all the female riders
in order of speed. We were at the track all night from 5 until 11 but we had a great time and were able to see the best riders compete during the 'power hour.' Our coach Tim was a part of this!!

Danielle, Morgan and Kelsey dropped time from the practice run the day before, a combined 25 seconds! Our own Laura Bliss was in the top 30 in spite of the 11:30 start time and 30ish degree weather, STUD! Check out a few pictures from the night and find all the results HERE.

Saturday- Part I Mini Marathon

Saturday morning was early for RideOn and the entire IU Alumni Association. IUAA was hosting the IU Mini Marathon for the first time and we were asked to be the 'pace bikes' for
both the 5k and Mini Marathon. It was a great time and the support the Alumni volunteers showed us as we rode around the course was amazing. We were humbled by the athleticism of the runners and enjoyed being able to give back to IUAA. The sun was rising on a beautiful day in Bloomington and we were off to a great start with 1000+ runners.

Shortly after the first runners finished we all hopped back in bed for a nap before Part II of our epic Saturday Miss-n-Out!

Saturday- Part II Miss-n-Out

This is by far the most thrilling series event of the spring. 8 women start on the line and each lap the last rear tire to cross the line is dropped. Strength, agility and strategy are all key factors in Miss-n-Out.

The day started off with Morgan. She was able to hold on for 4 four laps, pushing through a terrible head wind on the back stretch. Kelsey and I were in a heat together and we worked together for positioning, unfortunately going into turn 3 I got boxed in. Kelsey however had the performance of the day. With a 1/4 lap left she pulled from behind the pack of girls and beat them all to the line. Anyone who was there can attest to the power she showed in that last quarter lap. Danielle also held her own in her heat, strategically boxing out multiple girls but unfortunately like Helen and Morgan the headwind on the backstretch got the best of her. Laura Bliss worked well with two Kappa Deltas during her heat and dropped all the other girls in her heat. She cruised into the line without breaking a sweat.

So Kelsey and Laura moved onto the second round. Both girls showed incredible agility and strength up against many of the fastest girls in the race. They made all of us incredibly proud and slowly but surely teams are starting to take notice of the new team with the cool red jackets. For ful results look HERE. Exhausted with ciders in our lungs we all went home and as Kelsey said had a great night sleep.

A look ahead

As the day's count down our lives get busier and nerves kick in but the real fun starts. Just 12 days until the race. Wow. Thanks for all your support!! Next weekend come see us compete in Team Pursuit and then enjoy a relaxing day of riding with us on Sunday in the first annual RideOn Community Ride. Again thanks IUAA and all our fans!


A normal night for me is filled with tossing and turning. When I begin to get sleepy, I wash my face and brush my teeth, slip on size-large men's basketball shorts and a baggy tshirt, and organize everything I'll need in the morning.

I then lay in bed, watching Days of Our Lives on Hulu and documentaries on Netflix. After a good 3 hours of not falling asleep, I slowly drift into a state of relaxing until my alarm goes off.

This past week RideOn participated in Individual Time Trials on Wednesday.

On Saturday, we were up by 6:30 to act as pace car for the IU Mini Marathon, and then lounged around until noon for our second Spring Series Event of the week, Miss N Out.

Speaking for the team, we are exhausted.

Last night I fell asleep six minutes into the latest episode of Days of Our Lives.

Thank you, Little 500, for bringing hours of sleep into my life.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How the women's race began...

The women’s race started because, in 1987, the women of Kappa Alpha Theta attempted to qualify for the men’s race. They missed qualifying by one spot.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Miss-N-Out Lineup

Heat 11 [12:50PM]
Morgan Smith

Heat 13 [1:00PM]
Kelsey Holder
Megan Caldwell

Heat 17 [1:30 PM]
Danielle Thoe

Heat 23 [2:00PM]
Laura Bliss

Heat 29 [2:30PM]
Helen Han

Visit IUSF Website for the complete lineup!

Go RideOn!!

RideOn 2011: Boys and Girls Club

Thanks, Mark Cuban

Thanks to IU alum and chairman of HDNet, Mark Cuban, you do not have to be present in Bloomington to watch the race. The men's race is broadcast live each year on HDNet!