2011 September

NC Cyclocross
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NC Cyclocross Clinic Recap

This past Sunday I dragged myself out of bed at o’dark 30 to prep myself and brain for my first cyclocross “clinic”. At around 7 o’clock teammate and all around awesome guy, George Berger, picked me up in his little Prius and we were off into the sunrise. The goal was to get to mountains of Boone North Carolina and the Pirate Race Products Cyclocross Clinics.

NC Cyclocross

Walking into a cyclocross clinic I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have participated in cyclocross practices, and various other road/mtb clinics before but never dedicated for cyclocross.

Here are the things I did know:

The clinic was segregated for women and men. There ended up being roughly 12 women that showed up which seemed to be a decent group for learning and trying new things with two instructors.

It would be a long day. The clinic was scheduled from 10 to 4, and I knew from cyclocross practices that I would be completely worn out doing these quick burst of anaerobic effort.

NC Cyclocross

There would be good food. Burrito’s from Black Cat in Boone, if you haven’t been there – go visit soon.

I had no goals. There were things I want to improve on in cyclocross this year, but a specific skill other than not hurting myself, I didn’t have one dead set in mind. Oh wait, that is a lie.I want to be able to do the “flying squirrel” remount by the end of the season. You know that one were you “hop” off the ground and gracefully slide over your saddle like a cowboy on a bareback horse? Yes that is what I want to be able to do.

Drills and practice makes perfect

For 6 hours I was taken back to high school. All the drills and random technique forming (brain numbing) things you would do, and hate, wanting to just PLAY the game you were practicing for. You didn’t want to practice sprints, side to side, crazy legs, etc.

Quickly these feelings went away and I was left really enjoying myself and fellow company. I hope to have video’s of all the things below later this week. Video editing is just not in the time early this week.

Crazy 8′s -  You basically take two objects, maybe 20-50 feet apart, with a partner you circle the objects/cones/trees/phone poles in a crazy 8 fashion. Learning how to take the corners properly at speed, while at the same time making sure your partner doesn’t catch or pass you (especially in the corners.)

Hill Climbs – This is the one I avoid, I did it twice and stopped. Find a hill and run up it with your bike. At the top either walk down or hop on your bike to ride back down. We started off slowly, simply picking up our bike and walking up the hill to learn where to place the bike on our shoulders and how to use our free arm to propel ourselves up. After a few times in slow, we then would ride into the hill, dismount and “scurry” up the hill.

Dismounts – A great thing for someone getting used to hopping off the CX bikes, especially with clipless pedals. With some momentum unclip your right foot and swing it over the saddle to be behind your left foot. Simply glide in that position. Once you feel comfortable doing this, repeat but this time swing your right leg back over to and clip back in. Next step is to complete the dismount. There were two schools of thought for this, sliding your right leg between your left leg and bike, or swinging your right leg behind your left and allowing the momentum to unclick you. I don’t feel comfortable the first way, and I’m much faster with the second.

Mounting – At a walking pace work on hip rotation and in motion of your walking stride take your right leg and slide it over the saddle so you “catch” yourself on your inner thigh right below your groin. Work on getting faster and “pushing off” your left leg so you get more speed into the sliding onto the saddle. (This is the one I need to work more on.)

Starts- Try out different gearing for your start, where should you be on your seat, do you do better with your hands on the shifters or in the drops, learn your limits so that you can push them but also land in the top positions in the start of the race. It is always better to allow people to pass you than to pick off people through out the race.

Other things gained at the NC CX clinic

NC Cyclocross

The drills were awesome. Having 12 women to talk about womens CX and learn their ways of doing things, was awesome. Having “hot laps” at the end, was awesome. More than anything I believe the best part was meeting 12 semi-local women that will be on the courses beside me. Having people to talk with, making new friends and hopefully helping grow the sport.

Kuat Rack Review

Testing out George’s new Kuat rack was also very informative, if only they came out for a hitch for my new car!

I feel more motivated and able for the season. All I need to work on is my motor and I have over a month to work on that one. Here’s to NC Cyclocross! You can find all the photos over yonder.

Race Day Rituals
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Pre-Race Preparation, Rituals and Stupidity

What are your race day rituals? I find that rituals are so different between the niches of cycling. You can easily identify someones personality by how they prepare for a race. Is your gear in a box all organized? Are your bottles prepared the night before and put in the fridge with your gels already under the cap? Do you warm up on a trainer, or in your jeans on the road?

Mud and Cowbells put together a great Powerpoint deck of pre-race rituals for cyclocross. Click through but please share your setup and rituals in the comments below!

Pre-race Rituals for Cyclocross

Motivational Monday Jessica Moore
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Motivational Monday with Jessica Moore

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

What’s your name and location?

Jessica Moore, Uh, Nomad USA? (MI via OR via NC, etc)

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

The kind with other people and you have fun. Technically speaking, road & mtn are what I’m familiar with, would love to try cx. Oh, commuting & touring too. (is that everything?)

What is your first cycling memory?

Well, I remember riding bikes with my older sister one summer. We lived on Pleasant St so I’m guessing I was younger than 7 when she challenged me to a race around the block. Wondering if she was on my tail or not I turned around to get a visual—and ended up crashing into a parked car. Next ‘cycling’ memory is from jr. High…

Motivational Monday Jessica Moore

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

Mostly, my future self. There are days I don’t want to ride, or eat my spinach, or even do basic maintenance things, but all that does is keep me where I’m at. I desire to continue pursuing my best self, and that means making those small choices to keep in that direction, like riding to the store today. I want to be that girl that races and has a ton of fun, that lady that rides her bike to work even if it’s raining, all the while smiling. I want up be the old lady that arrives at the market with her bike to pick up the week’s groceries. I’m not there yet, but in thinking of that future self, I am motivated to make the small decisions. “Am I gonna ride today? Eh, well, the cool old lady you wanna be would.”

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

I was somewhere in Oregon, bike fully-loaded for a cross country tour (heavy!) and climbing the longest hill I’d yet seen. Earlier that week I’d experienced a huge let down that completely shattered my plans for the next 2.5 months and I was emotionally & physically depleted. And alone. Barely managing to turn the cranks, I kept a steady pace of 5 mph, next to racing RVs and other cars, trying my best to not give up and just cry by the side of the road. But then a song would pop into my head from days spent in youth group, and I’d remember those bike trips, how hard they were at times. But also the source of the best memories of my life. You never really remember the pain, how it felt–just that it was present. So I knew that what I was currently experiencing would dissolve, that if I just kept turning the cranks however slowly, I would eventually reach the summit, and soon enough I’d be coasting down the other side, stronger, and with a smile of satisfaction on my face.

Tell us all about your bikes

My all-purpose, good-for-everything bike is my black beauty, my Surly Cross-Check. A labor of love through many hands and a few states. Then there’s the bike that receives the most beatings: my GT peace 9r (a SS 29er, of course). I’m currently jobless so that helps control the stable from being overpopulated.

Waterbottles
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A Wash of a Weekend

Going in to the weekend I had great plans for riding every day, enjoying time with my lovely and hitting up roller-coasters at Carowinds. Can I tell you that I did not do almost any of those things?

While the closest I got to riding was overhauling the Airborne Goblin Saturday morning, and cleaning out my car from all the water bottles I have been collecting for the past two weeks. Yes, that is the closest I came to riding. It stunk. More to come later on overhauling the Goblin, including the steps you should take when lubing the chain and pumping up the tires aren’t enough. Needless to say I was very excited to ride a non-creaking, tire and seat-post swapped, shined up Goblin but it didn’t happen.

Neither did that road ride on Saturday morning. I didn’t even meet up with the last Trail Crawl of the century with the Dirt Divas.

Here’s to not being sick and sleeping more!

 

NC Cyclocross
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Cyclocross Schedule in NC and SC

As a resident of the Charlotte North Carolina region I can tell you that cyclocross has been slow to pick up in the area. It seems this season is going to change all of this. More practices, more area races and more folks wanting to ride their cyclocross bikes more during a year.

Clinics

September 11, 2011- High Country Cyclocross Clinics – Women’s and General Clinics in Boone, NC

Practices

Boone on Tuesday Nights – Alray Tire Boone Cross Series – Tell Stackhouse you found his races here!

Asheville on Wednesday Nights- Asheville Cycloccross

Charlotte on Wednesday/Sunday Nights- Join the Facebook group to learn more.

Lake Norman/Huntersville on Wednesday Nights- Email me for info

Winston Salem on Tuesday Nights- Located at SECCA, I hear they’re giving out beer coupons. Join FB for the details.

East Bend Wednesday Nights – Right in Ken’s backyard.

Endurance CX Races

September 25, 2011 – Three Peaks USA in Beech Mountain, NC

CX Races

September 10- Asheville CX in Bent Creek Park

September 24- Asheville CX at TBD

October 1 & 2, 2011- Va Du Mar Cyclocross in Spartanburg, SC Flyer and Registration

October 9, 2011- Asheville CX at Pisgah Brewing

October 9, 2011- Winston Salem Cross and Waffles

October 16, 2011- 2011- Cyclocross Kick Off in Cary, NC Pre-Reg here

NCCX 2011-2012 Calendar Dates (Many TBD)

Race #1 – Sat. October 22, 2011
Race #2 – Sun. October 23, 2011 – Raleigh, NC
Race #3 – Sun. October 30, 2011 – Boone, NC
Race #4 – Sun. November 6, 2011 – Salisbury, NC
Race #5 – Sun. November 13, 2011
Night Race – Wed. November 16, 2011 (non-series) -Asheville, NC
Race #6 – Sat. November 19, 2011 -UCI-NCGP  - Hendersonville, NC
Race  #7 – Sun. November 20, 2011 – UCI NCGP – Hendersonville, NC
Race #8 – Sun. December 4, 2011
Race #9 – Sun. December 11, 2011 – Wilkesboro, NC
Race #10 – Sun. December 18, 2011 – Tanglewood, NC
Race #11 – Sun. January 8, 2012
Race #12 – Sat. January 21, 2012
Race #13 – Sun. January 22, 2012

Raleigh Clubman
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The Romance of Bicycles

This past week a friend and cyclist, Peter Wilborn of Bike Law, wrote a beautiful about the art of the group ride. I won’t do the article enough justice so please go read. 

The article stirred up many thoughts and feelings within me. Memories of early morning group rides with friends in the various cities I have inhabited over the years. Memories of the cold rides when I was still a young junior, do my best to hold on for dear life and feeling that hand on the small of my back aiding and pushing me up that one last hill. Many feelings I haven’t felt due to two things, the first being simple that I have been avoiding group rides and the 2nd that group rides have lost the team spirit and “the code.”

As I think about these feelings my mind wanders to all of the reasons I am drawn to a bike. I often am asking all of you “why do you ride” so that I can make that connection and push it on to others. This goes deeper than most think of, the reason we ride is often for the feelings we can’t explain.

Bicycles to me are romantic.

Bicycles are that stiff latte in a small coffee shop in Manayunk roughly 2 hours into a rainy ride with 3 friends on a Sunday morning in January.

Bicycles are that warm hand that you find in the dark when you wake at 3am to make sure your loved one is close by.

Bicycles are the long flowing dresses of girls on the first warm day of spring.

Bicycles are the book you have read 15 times since you were a youth but that you always go back to when in need for a good book.

Bicycles are a worn out typewriter that a passionate writer pounds on, even with their new computer looking over their shoulder .

Bicycles can be the means of self torture or the way one finds themselves after a grueling week.

Bicycles can be rewarding or create a feeling of loss.

 

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