Motivation

Crossfit Sanitas
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Crossfit: Try #3

Back in October I mentioned very discreetly that I might be giving Crossfit ago and a week later I did just that, I gave it a “go.” My better half fell in love with the sport and I couldn’t walk right for 4 days. This is when friends would chime in saying that it was my first true activity since cracking my patella and that it was probably setting myself up for failure. I didn’t feel like I failed but I did feel deflated and frustrated.

Fast forward 2 months, my gf is hooked and I haven’t really moved forward with any particular hobby. I’ve been giving running a stab but with the Polar Vortex and crazy cold weather we have had since early December it hasn’t been ideal. So, I did what any athletic, overly competitive, endorphin chaser, would do – I pulled on my big girl pants and went back to Crossfit Parkhill to get my butt kicked again. First by front squats, and then by the WOD of my Whole Life Challenge baseline test. When I was done recovering, including trying not to throw up on the car ride home, I knew what needed to be done.

Do It

I’ve always had a strong belief that if you are scared of something, you need to try and conquer it.

Well, I am scared of crossfit.

I’m intimidated of the girls that could toss me over their heads like a pizza, I’m scared of box jumps and double under jump rope contests. How can I fix that? Well, last night I signed up for a Basecamp class at the Crossfit gym near my work in Boulder, Crossfit Sanitas. 3 classes a week for 2 weeks and unlimited access to the other classes. This morning was my first fundamental basic class and I loved it. Starting at the very basics is what I needed (and to work on my push-ups) and I’m already excited to show up to tomorrow’s 6:30am WOD to try it again.

 

 

Whole Life CHALLENGE
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Tackling the Whole Life Challenge

It hasn’t been a secret that I’ve been struggling to find my personal identity when I removed the “bike racer” from 25 hours of my week. Combine that with a new state of residence and a month old job, I have felt pretty disconnected from who I believe I am.

Over the past week I started researching (again) about Paleo eating to address some stomach problems I’ve been having. Naturally when I was training a lot my eating habits were 90% of what is outlined in a strict paleo diet. The 10% was left in greek yogurt for smoothies and thin whole wheat bread with almond butter & jelly.

Without knowing that I was looking at the Paleo diet my girlfriend emailed me Friday morning to see if I would sign up for the “Whole Life Challenge” with her. Initially I was very resistant. You want me to pay $49 to track my eating and body weight? After some reading and taking a “pride check” that my biggest goal for this challenge would be for Emily to meet her goals. I wasn’t too good for this, and by submersion into better eating as a family we will have the best results.

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Colorado Winter Cycling
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Staying Motivated During the Polar Vortex and Colorado Winters

I need to confess, I haven’t been riding my bike as you can probably tell from the lack of updates and Strava achievements. In the cold and dark I’ve been turning to running and exploring the trails near my home. While this isn’t ideal for a content on a cycling specific site it is ideal for my happiness. My 2014 goals include no bike races for the first time in many years but instead to explore more and become a more rounded athlete.

How are you staying motivated and moving during these cold spells that keep hitting? Are you hitting the gym or maybe braver than I and suiting up for a bike ride? Perhaps you are smart and on the trainer in your basement pushing those watts around as your sweat hits the ground.

Tell us, what are you doing?

 

Family Bike Ride
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4 Tips for a Successful Family Bike Ride

What do you think of when you envision riding with your entire family? The dream is that you will all be in a state of family bliss, riding along together at the same pace, wind at your back, kids smiling, and lots of family bonding.

The reality is that while that can happen, you need to plan and work at it. And don’t be discouraged when the first (or two or three) rides seem overly rough. As you all fall into a routine it will get easier and it will be fun.

Assuming you are already an avid rider I’ll spare you the most basic of bike riding tips. But here are four things to consider before you set out with the entire family.

Do the Prep Work

If you are an avid cyclist you are probably good about maintaining your bike. But don’t forget the kid’s bikes or trailer. Basics include proper tire pressure, functioning brakes, and a lubed chain.

You also need to prepare snacks, possibly toys or books for a trailer ride, baby wipes, drinks, and more snacks. Don’t underestimate the power of snacks on a bike ride. And a bike ride might just be the perfect time to allow a treat if the going gets tough. I swear by energy chews like Honey Stinger or Clif Bloks for both fuel and mental incentive when my son needs extra motivation.

And check their helmet for fit and safety. Don’t be one of those parents with a $200 perfectly fit and adjusted helmet while your child has a cut up foam mess – half hanging off his head.

Alyssa, a mom, and cyclist from Salt Lake City swears by helmets with visors. “I cannot tell how many skinned chins, skinned faces, and skinned noses we have bypassed by that silly visor taking the fall.”

Take the Proper Gear

Trailer and kids bikes can (and will) break down during rides. Be prepared to fix not only your bike and theirs. If you are not 100% comfortable with emergency bike repairs, bring the gear so someone can help you. In addition, bring along some step-by-step instructions so you can walk yourself through a repair if nobody is around. Check out Hero Kits for an affordable all in one tool and instruction kit.

Tip: If you don’t have a small tube for your kid’s bike you can use your full size tube in a pinch. On a recent ride my son forgot his 24 inch tube and got a flat. I used my 29 inch tube. It got us through our ride and back to the car.

Adjust your Attitude

Family Bike RideNancy Sathre-Vogel biked from Alaska to Argentina with her two boys so she knows a lot about family bike rides. Her #1 tip is to never doubt your child. And it’s true that they are often capable of so much more than we think or give them credit for. I have often thought a ride was too long or too hard for my son only to have him breeze through it and want to go farther. Of course the other side is not doubting her when she says she is too tired or not in the mood. Try to leave your goals and plans on the back burner and listen to your kids. (Insert bridge.jpeg in this section)

Think about the Destination

For adults a ride may be about the journey and exercise but for kids it’s often about the destination. Tanya who writes a family blog called Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies says, “riding for the sake of riding may work for some kids but for others, riding to a playground, a duck pond, a big bridge, or even ice-cream shop just might be the incentive they need.”

Personally, our most enjoyable and memorable rides have been to a destination. Pick somewhere they love and the ride will become part of that enjoyment.

Family Bike Ride

Image Credit: Tanya Koob

So what are you waiting for? Okay, maybe for the snow to melt depending on where you live. But why not start to plan your next cycling adventure as a family.

Jen Charrette is a blogger at Velo Mom where she discusses family cycling, wellness, training and racing.

Chasing Mailboxes
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Motivational Monday with Mary

What is your name?

Mary Gersemalina

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Bike touring, randonneuring, day rides, commuting, and tooling around town

What is your first cycling memory?

My first memory is being a little kid and learning to ride without training wheels. To master two-wheeled technique, I resorted to a combination of weaving and paddling circles on a little red bike in my parents garage, hidden from any potential onlookers (or, in my case, siblings) until I finally figured out the basics of two-wheeled transport.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My parents initially inspired me to ride, and I carry that with me today. They introduced me to the idea that my bike is a vehicle for exploration and instilled in me the importance of being active. In addition, my husband and my friends also keep me motivated. We use our bikes to meet up after work and go out for dinner. Simple things like that get me out the door. My husband, friends, and I also love spending the day together touring the countryside on bikes, whether it is a randonneuring event or just a fun century ride. When I initially began riding seriously as an adult I did most of my cycling on my own. Over time I’ve found that I like solo rides on occasion, but generally I like that my cycling has a social element to it. I’ve met some really great people through commuting, touring, and randonneuring, and it helps get me out the door when I know that I’m going to see my friends on any given ride.

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

My husband and I rode a weeklong tandem bike tour that we planned and routed ourselves, averaging 85 miles per day over seven days. As part of that, we climbed Trail Ridge Road– the highest continuous paved road in the United States– on our first day. Trail Ridge tops out at over 12,000 feet. To me, that tour and that day riding up Trail Ridge, showed me how much I have grown in my confidence as well as my abilities as a cyclist as well as tandem rider. It really was a spectacular adventure. We were two little bike riders climbing big tall mountains and having the time of our lives. I wrote about it a fair amount on my blog, Chasing Mailboxes.

Tell us what you ride

I own primarily steel touring frames. As I mentioned, my husband and I have a custom tandem, a Co-Motion Java 29er that we use for touring and randonneuring as well as a Cannondale mountain tandem– which is aluminum– that we use for off-road riding. I own a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, which is a packable flyer and ideal for something like paved light touring. My Surly Long Haul Trucker and Rivendell Quickbeam are perfect for bike commuting and grocery shopping. I use my Rivendell Romulus and Rawland Nordavinden for century rides and brevets/randonneuring events, if I’m not on the tandem. I also own a Bike Friday TIkit, which is a fast-fold bike designed for commuting and multi-modal transport. I really enjoy trying out different bikes and using them for various purposes.

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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! 

Wolfner
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Domestiques for Wolfner

In case you haven’t heard, Mike Wolfner of my Cycleton team is recovering from a serious cycling accident. Many of my teammates are putting together a fundraiser for Mike and his family, as he makes his recovery.

Please join us for a party and silent auction (with over $8,000 in merchandise and free swag!) taking place at Lowry Beer Garden on December 5. A few auction items include:
Specialized Tarmac Pro Frame – $2950 Retail Value
Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 or Cosmic CXR60 wheel set – $2750 Retail Value
Full ENVE Carbon Cockpit (bars, stem & seat post) – $890 Retail Value
Thule T2 Hitch Rack – $469 Retail Value
FasCat Coaching for 1 Month – $350 Retail Value
Feedback Sports Spring Workstand – $235 Retail Value

More event and donation information can be found here:

https://www.igivefirst.com/raindroppartners/silent-auction-and-benefit-to-support-injured-cyclist

expo
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Week End Roundup

Philly Bike Expo

This weekend, Nov 9 & 10th

Juliana Bicycles Hiring

Juliana Bicycles, a women’s specific mountain bike brand, is looking for a Brand Manager

Quick Start Cyclocross Training

Have you been bit by the cyclocross bug? This quick start plan will get you in better shape for the late season successes!

Bikenomics

Bicycle infrastructure creates more jobs per million dollars spent than any other kind of transportation

A Winter of Cyclists

The story of a group of Colorado cyclists who challenged each other to commute by bike, at least 52 times, during the cold, dark, and snowy months.

Motivational Monday with Julie
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Motivational Monday with Julie in NC

What is your name?

Julie in Cary, NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Mountain biking and wafting on the greenways

What is your first cycling memory?

Learning to ride my brothers big Schwinn when I was five. It was the only bike we had at the time and it was way too big for me.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My 22 year old son. I love riding with him. It is one of the few times we get one on one. He is fast and loves to ride technical trails. I am a big scaredy cat when it comes to skinnies and jumps but he has patiently encouraged me and coached me.

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

It would have to be when I rode through the state park and over the highway to have coffee at a cool downtown coffee shop with my daughter. I guess that’s why I love riding – it keeps me connected with nature, community, but most importantly my kids.

Tell us what you ride

My son gave me my bike several years ago. It is a Specialized Myka.

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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! 

Motivational Monday Ashley
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Motivational Monday with Ashley in Malaysia

What is your name?

Ashley in Penang, Malaysia or at AeroChick.com

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road and Cyclocross

What is your first cycling memory?

I’m sure if I go way back I can remember things earlier, but one of the things I do remember is my brother, who’s three years younger than I, picking up my bike and riding it around sans-training wheels. I remember being pissed that he could ride it better than I could.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

A good friend of mine is owner of Beverly Cycles in MA, and just exudes a passion for cycling. He was one of the ones that unknowingly got my head back into cycling after giving up for a time.

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

I’ve done a fair amount of races this year, more than the last couple of years, but I think the best moment was the other day. We’ve recently moved to Malaysia from the Boston area, and the other day was my first bike ride here. While it was a whopping 3 miles and was only for getting around to run errands and meet up with folks, it broke the ice of cycling here. I’m much less worried about going out for rides, and I can’t wait to go out again.

Tell us what you ride

I have many bikes. My theory is the usual N + 1 where N is the number of current bikes, and I have enough parts and frames in the basement of our hours in the States to build several bikes.

That said, my road bike is a 2009 Fuji RC frame with Ultegra 6700 parts and Mavic Krysrium wheels.

My CX bike (the only one I have with me until October) is a mix of various parts I’ve bought in shops, online or salvaged from other bikes. It’s a 1×9 with BB7 disc brakes, carbon fork and Mud2 tires. I’m planning on putting road tires on soon until my road bike is shipped over.

I have two bikes that I left in the States for when I visit, one is a 1976 Raleigh Grand Prix with Sora crank, fenders and 700c wheels. The other is the first new bike I’ve ever owned, a 2002 Trek 1000 road bike, which will be my primary bike when I’m back home, in case I want to jump into a race.

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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! 

Motivational monday with Betsy
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Motivational Monday with Betsy in Rhode Island

What is your name?

Betsy in Rhode Island

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding a small blue Schwinn around the driveway when I was probably around 6 years old.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My biking friends are very encouraging. We’ve been riding together for a few years. Before this, I used to ride by myself for years and day dream about riding with a group. It’s such a great way to spend time outdoors. I want to continue riding this winter to maintain my fitness. Next, year I may ride in the time-trials and continue working on my hill climbing.

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

Riding with women who are thirty years younger than me and keeping up. What a rush, literally.

Tell us what you ride

I have a 2006 Ruby comp. Her name is Ruby (of course). I rode her through the winter last year and plan on riding this winter again. I also have a 2013 Amira SL4 Expert, named Zippy!

Zippy helps me keep up with the faster riders. She is always spurring me on to ride faster!

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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! 

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