Empowering women in cycling

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Next Race on the Calendar: Tree Shaker 8 Hour

0 Tree Shaker 8 Hour MTB Race

As I look back at this spring and my two “A” races it makes me rather frustrated that both of those races ended in tears. Both gave me motivation after looking through the dark very, very hard!

Warrior Creek 6 Hour ended with me so wrecked from my crank seizing up and having to walk/struggle.

Burn 24 Hour ended with me wrecking myself out 9.5 hours in.

Take What You Learned and Move ON

Another way to say it, Keep Calm and Carry On.

Endurance racing is hard as you put a ton of energy into one race. Not only training, but financials, pit support, setup, take down, etc. To have your race ruined due to a mechanical, physical or emotion break down completely stinks as it isn’t like it was a 2 hour race and you’ll be doing another one next week.

Tree Shaker 8 Hour Mountain Bike Race

Next up is an 8 hour race not too far from my home. Located in Fort Mill, SC this race will be a ton of laps and hopefully a ton of fun. Running from 9am to 5pm it will be a hot one at the end of June!

I’ll be doing this solo, hopefully a couple friends will be racing it duo and keeping me company out there. Kim will be my perfect pit crew boss and keeping things running smoothly.

Goals? Too early to tell. I know I won’t win the thing, but good consistent lap times with short pits is the main focus for me. Simply swap water bottles, eat something and keep moving.

Race Report: Bouldergeist at San Lee Park

1 Stay Humble

My main goal for the 2013 season was to move from Sport to the Expert class. That was THE goal.

Thanks to a killer performance at the Winter Short Track Series I was moved up to Expert or CAT1. If you aren’t familiar with the difference of the two categories, it often is double the distance and sometimes on a different/harder course. Racing 22 miles on a rough, rocky, course was a bit humbling.

My first true race as an expert was at this past Sunday’s Bouldergeist at San Lee Park as part of Southern Classic Series.

The Race

Starting at the line there was 6 of us split between the two age groups, all I need to do was finish and I would be third. The start was on pavement, up a driveway climb and then left over gravel into the woods. The climb felt great on my legs, and entering the woods I slowed down to let some of the faster girls in front of me. It was a great feeling to have the hole shot, but I knew I would be in peoples way.

The course was pretty fast with nice twists, switch back climbs and some “rock” sections that with a proper pre-ride I would be able to clear easier. There was one section that only the Pros and Experts had to ride called Free Fall. I believe I walked 1.5 miles through this rock invested “trail.” Again, maybe with proper pre-ride and guidance I could have ridden more of this section, but it made me feel like a beginner all over again.

After the long walk through woods and over the rocks I was pretty mentally fried. It seemed like I was getting dehydrated and pretty disappointed. After that first lap I was done. There was an 8 hour drive infront of me and the idea of another 1.5 hours on the bike was not exciting.

The Aftermath

Thankfully I have a very supportive group around me. Constantly over the past 2 days I have been reminded that I made a big jump with my categories. It will take time to be able to hang, and then to be competitive. As an athlete this sounds bogus to me, but then I slow down and think of what I would tell someone else. They are right, I need a reality check and time towing the line. It will take time, I need to be patient and put more time on the saddle.

I don’t have another race until 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, here’s to as many long rides as I can fit in!

All Over the Place

1 Driving in the night

Spoke easy

I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere. – Johnny Cash

I’m feeling like Johnny did so many years ago. Last Friday was a great monthly demo party at Spoke Easy in Charlotte. The rain scared some folks away but no fear it was a great attendance! The Surly Pugsley, as always, was the main attraction!

Driving in the night

Where am I?

That’s a good question! Currently I am sitting in Charleston, SC. I’ll be here until Sunday morning when I’ll head to Memphis. Roughly a 12 hour drive, so I’ll be trying to get started as early as possible while still spending last hours and moments with my girlfriend until I see her later in the week. I’ll be in Memphis until Wednesday, when I’ll then drive back home to Charlotte, NC for final prep for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek that I’m doing with partner in crime, Melissa.

Whole Foods Lunch

The “Diet”

Eating well is still going strong. While traveling I’ve been packing my lunch box, making sure I have a good stocked fridge and etc. I’ve expanded from the 17 day diet to Matt Fitzgerald “Racing Weight.” I’m feeling good and the few times I’ve been on the bike while cutting calories over the past week and a half I’ve felt okay. Better now that I’ve reintroduced some more carbs in to daily intake. Simply watching when I’m eating them, trying to eat earlier (tonight I failed at that) and still no coffee or other drinks other than green tea and water.

There’s other things going on, tomorrow afternoon after I figure out how to install the new SiriusXM radio (gotta have entertainment for my 12 hour drive) I’ll be sitting down and writing up a few thoughts bouncing around in my head about women’s geometry, and tech geekiness.

Wilkesboro NC Cyclocross Race this Sunday

0 Wilkes County

As I am bouncing all over the region, and US this week I hope you can understand the late timing on this but it’s worthy of your read. Stackhouse of Highcountry CX is at it again with a great (painful) course on a great venue in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Wilkesboro historically known for moonshine and beautiful mountain biking will be hosting a days worth of cyclocross starting at 10am running until roughly 4pm.

Here’s what I challenge you. If you are a roadie reading this, come heckle with me. If you are a mountain biker some of the best riding of the Dark Mountain, Warrior Creek and Kerr Scott Dam is right there. If you want to try it, comment below and I’ll find a bike for you to ride.

Seriously. It will be one of the more entertaining races in the North Carolina series. Read the flyer, come hang out and there’s two kegs of beer to finish off! For now let’s watch a video of Stackhouse bumping along in his ragged old car.

Location:

Sewerfest Campground, Snyder Street, Wilkesboro, NC

Lack of Post

0

I apologize quickly about the lack of post, I’ve been “training” and participating in various various.

Last weekend was a Sprint Tri in Huntersville, NC – Cool Breeze Tri.  I finished, that was the goal

This weekend is a 6 hour mountain bike race in Wilkesboro, NC – 6 Hours of Warrior Creek.

On top of all of that, the weather has broke, the shops busy and I’m trying to get some riding in. 

Look for a catch up early next week!  We have 3 podcast we have been working on, about 7 product reviews to finish and a ton of how to tips!

Planning the 2011 Season

4

It is easy to say that 2010 for me was one of changes, mental rearranging and finding my footing in the end.  I have many hopes going into 2011 for life and more specific cycling.  Some of my goals are more basic than others but by mid 2011 I hope to have my feet under me going forward quickly!

A Rough Sketch of 2011 Cycling Season

There are other key notes for the 2011 season

#1 Losing Weight

Putting down the Krispe Kreme donutes, putting down the fork after a serving, drinking less “frappe-latte-caramel-whip” coffee’s. Drinking more water, packing more lunches and potentially tracking calories

#2 Hitting the Gym

Rising at 5am, getting in the car and off to the gym.  Atleast 3 days a week, if not more

#3 Riding the Trainer

This will be the hardest, but I plan on riding the trainer during the week atleast 30 minutes to an hour a day

#4 Getting Back on the Road

Finding a couple slower group rides, or dragging out my girlfriend into the cold.  I need to get back on the road, I need to for my soul.

#5 Commuting

Gulp.   I need to get back on the horse, and now with a new announcement of being a “sponsored commuter” I’m going to have to get on that horse!!

Things Unspoken

There are other thoughts and feelings in the back of my mind.   Goals that aren’t said. Maybe I’ll race on the road again. Maybe I’ll make that yoga class at lunch during the week. Maybe just maybe, 2011 will be a year of progress and reformation.

Laurel Trail Review at Lake Norman State Park

2 Lake Norman State Park MTB

When I am riding locally in Charlotte NC I have roughly 4 trails I visit, either due to distance from my house, work or time restraints. One of my favorite trails,that is also one of the closer ones to my house, recently had a trail addition that opened earlier this fall.

Lake Norman State Park which is about 25 minutes north of center city Charlotte is a great trail for all levels. 20 or so miles can now be found wrapping around the lake. Well maintained with a decent amount of length it will give you a reason to make the drive. The words I would use to describe the whole circuit of trails is flowing, moderate, and scenic. The Tarheel Trailblazers have done a great job building and keeping up with the trails, the State Park Rangers keep an eye on the trail, encourage use but also make sure it isn’t abused when the weather is foul.

The recently finished addition, the Laurel loop added 8 miles to the other two loops that have been staples at Lake Norman. The loop is a bit more technical, adding fun switchbacks, little kicker climbs, man built log rollers and will give you a work out no matter your experience. Those in shape will hit the trail harder, those looking to step up their game the trail is completely rideable, you may need to walk a couple hills but there is not shame in it!

The trail reminds me of a tamed Warrior Creek in Wilkesboro. Not as much elevation change, not as many berms, but fun. 20 miles of mountain biking, with 10 more planned will make this a destination spot. I’m lucky to live relatively close to the trail (10 minute drive)!

 

Things I am Thankful For

0 Montana

Currently I am on vacation with my family in Bozeman, Montana (if you live around here let me know and we can get coffee.) The post are limited, and the thinking of bicycles is rare. I’m doing my best to spend time with my family, meet new family and freeze my rear off in the snow.

Christmas is a great time to look back and be thankful for what you have and what you were able to achieve in the past year. I’m not a very religious person but the Christmas holiday always leaves me feeling very humbled and thankful for my life and loved ones.

My List of Thanks for Cycling

EM:PWR Cycling - a great group of cyclist coming together to get more people one bikes

The Memory of Jeff Papenfus – Jeff was an amazing figure in cycling in the Southeast, he is missed.

A Patient Partner at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek - Thank you Melissa for not making me do another lap.

Airborne Flight Crew – A great opportunity to ride a good bike, a free trip to Sea Otter and meeting new people.

Motivational Monday – It inspires me weekly when strangers will answer my questions about their cycling lives.

My Support Team at 24 Hours of Burn – Patient, funny, great cooks, horrible mechanics and amazing people.

 

 

 

Properly Preparing for the Offseason

0 Offseason Fall

As we head into Thanksgiving most folks that have the cyclist mentality start thinking about the next season. Even those that are deep in the trenches of cyclocross racing are thinking about what they need to be doing for the next season. As the next 6 months of my life are going to be rather haphazard I want to lay out broad strokes of goals and targets for 2012.

My Offseason Arsenal

Goals for 2012 – As basic as it sounds. No matter if it is race dates, milage hopes, or milestones you want to meet. It is helpful to layout something.

  • My butt on a bike at least 3 times a week. I know this is my sweet spot for fitness. No matter if it is 30 minutes on the trainer, an hour spin, or a few hour mountain bike ride.
  • Eating responsibly on the road. This may include learning to bring more food with me, where to shop, and trying not to eat out too much while traveling.
  • Trim down more. I feel comfortable about my current weight, but want to lose more body fat and gain leaner muscles! (Hello Jillian Michaels abs.)
  • Three main events – #1 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, #2 – Burn 24 Hour, #3 2012 Cyclocross season
Bikes Ready at All Times – This is something I hope to finish up this weekend, but I want my cross bike and main geared mountain bike to be ready to ride at all times.
Winter Riding Clothes Organized – At least twice a month I run around my house looking for my other knee warmer. Another goal for this weekend is to make sure all my winter clothing is where it belongs, organized and ready to go. When it gets dirty, I wash it and put it quickly back where it belongs.
My Trusty Trainer – An item in for review this fall is the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine trainer. This bright green trainer should see some use this offseason, especially on those days I’m cramped for time and need to get 30 minutes on the bike.
Motivation – This part of the offseason is the hardest and can come in many different forms. Some examples of motivation :
  • My family. I am fortunately to be surrounded by an active significant other, and very active children. Watching them push themselves and try a bit harder, practice a bit longer or be super pumped around an extra point motivates me.
  • Music. The off season is when I perfect my playlist, learn new artist and help the music industry make more money.
  • People. Reading blogs, drugging myself on amazing photos and watching helmet cam footage for trails I dream to ride. Some great folks to follow : Jeff Kerkove, Salsa Cycles, Gnat Likes, Milltown Cycles, SheBicycles, Soozed, DJ Scene (Great podcast music),  Saddle Up Bike…the list keeps going. Maybe this deserves it’s own post!
Riding with Others – Whenever possible I plan to hit up group rides and drag my family kicking and screaming into the cold.

What are You Doing This Offseason?