Empowering women in cycling

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Planning the 2011 Season

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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.

Tomorrow is my Birthday, This is What I’m Wishing For

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November 13th is the day that I annually turn one year older, or my mother reminds me that she was in labor for four painful days with me. Either way, I’m going to be older which means I’ll be wiser.   I plan on getting up before the sun, riding my yet to be unveiled bicycle and then go golfing with my parents.

In an effort to take steps forward with my life, and in hopes that I’ll be the change I want to see in the world I am going to publish my wish list of various things.  Please add your own in the comments! Continue reading →

Motivational Monday with Starr Walker

0 Starr Walker

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?

Starr Walker – Boston via RVA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

From commuting to 4+ hour road rides, from flowy singletrack on my MTB to racing Cyclocross, you name it I shred it

What is your first cycling memory?

When I was in the 3rd grade my mother told my brother and I to get something from the garage on Christmas day. It turns out Santa could not fit our MTB’s down the chimney so he had left them there for us. We froze our little butts off riding them all day. My favorite thing was beating the boys all the way down to the bottom of our cul-de-sac.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

Seeing other ladies out there shredding it with smiles on their faces inspire me. Almost 100 CAT 3/4 women toeing the line at the start of the 2010 Great Brewers Grand Prix of Gloucester motivates me.

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

On the bike I have little “best” moments every time I clear a section of trail that I couldn’t ride before. I have a “best” moment when someone says “lookin’ strong.” But overall I think my best moments are when participants of the women’s specific cycling clinics that I organize and assist at tell me, “thank you” or tell me how much more confident they are on their bikes now after our cycling clinics.

Tell us all about your bikes

Road bike: 2011 Colnago CLX 2.0 with SRAM Force
Cyclocross bike: 2011 Bianchi Zurigo with Force/Rival mix
Full Suspension MTB: 2011 Trek Fuel EX 8
Hard Tail MTB: I frankensteined together with parts from our basement.
Around town bike: Surly 1×1 w/ 26″ Large Marge rims and MAXXIS hookworm tires laced to CK hubs…

Motivational Monday : Karen Skorochod

0 Karen Skorochod em:pwr cycling

A Monday morning tradition that we are starting to keep you motivated and to be striving for your goals even during a hard week or long hours at work.   Do you want to get involved?  Send us your answers and photo to girly@BikeShopGirl.com

What’s your name and location?

Karen Skorochod, Wind Gap, PA
Karen is also a member of the new Bike Shop Girl Cycling Club : em:pwr cycling

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Track and cyclocross are my favorites so far

What is your first cycling memory?

Pedaling a tiny used bike I got for my birthday – my first two-wheeler, without training wheels, with dad running beside me the whole way.  It took me a while to get used to that, I have not-so-good balance apparently!

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

There are so many inspirational people in cycling!!   I am inspired by people like Liz Reap Carlson, a world-class track cyclist who started later in life and worked relentlessly to get back to the top once again and taught my very first class on the track, Tom Kellogg of Spectrum Cycles – an overall classy gentleman who builds the most beautiful bicycles I’ve ever seen, coaches like Gil Hatton and Bobby Livingston who have reached the top of the sport and now spend countless hours coaching and mentoring cyclists of all ages, and Julie Lockhart – a multi-time national champion who I believe is turning 70 this year.  She has an amazing attitude and races all cycling disciplines, I just love talking to her and watching her race.  I am also encouraged by the fact that she took up competitive cycling in her sixties – goes to show you it is NEVER too late to try something new and to get in shape!

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Winning the Air Products Womens Finals at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center.  I took one beginner class and really loved riding on the track.  It was a huge thrill being able to compete in and win this race with my very limited experience and training time.  Racing under the lights with a big crowd cheering me on felt absolutely unbelievable!

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

First, for 2011 I need to have a procedure to get my heart arrhythmia (supra-ventricular tachycardia) repaired once and for all!   Then, after that I would like to try my first-ever road racing.  I plan on racing in the Masters and Rookies track series at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center for this summer and taking some more Air Products classes to acquire more skills.  Then, in fall, I would like to try cyclocross once again now that I have my very own cross bike!  I just want to ride as much as my schedule allows (with 3 kids and 3 jobs) and HAVE FUN on the bike all year!
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Pre-Season Part II

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Spinning Legs


My initial post about Pre-Season planning turned some heads over at Team Estrogen’s forum.  Many people were excited to talk about their 2010 goals, but after 4 pages of women’s goals there were a few asking me if I was crazy.  They looked at November and December as resting times, or they may still be trying to complete 2009.

All these things are fair, but I find planning out your season prior to the holiday season makes things easier and you may eat one less serving of mash potatoes.

We didn’t get many comments on the blog about 2010 plans, so let me start off mine:

  • Training for Trans Iowa. The race is the end of April, and it will be roughly a 30 hour race across the “B” + “C” roads of Iowa.  Cyclocross and mountain bikes are much needed.
  • The rest of the year I’ll be doing what I can, when I can.  Maybe continue the local weekly mountain bike series, hit a couple longer distance mountain bike races like the 100 miler, or 12/24 hour lap type.
  • Smaller goals include stretching more, strength training and losing about 15 pounds of fat (hopefully gaining back 8 pounds of muscle.)

Now these are my goals, there are many things behind them like finding a better fit saddle for 300 miles on a cyclocross bike, the proper lighting, nutrition and preparing my mind for all of it.  I knew this task was daunting and overwhelming so I have suited myself up with proper testing and coaching.

Next time we will be talking about what type of testing, what coaching does for you and why even someone getting into cycling or trying to lose weight could benefit from all of this.

Pre-Race Preparation, Rituals and Stupidity

0 Race Day Rituals

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 with Millie Tanner

2 Milliegoat

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!

Milliegoat

What is your name and location?

My name is Millie Tanner and my nickname is Milliegoat because I am good at climbing hills, mountains, overpasses, you name it! I live in warm Southern California.

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

I race road and cyclocross and I absolutely love both. Road is fun and tactical and cyclocross you get to race in the mud.

What is your first cycling memory?

That is a tough question! I think my first cycling memory is actually of crashing. I came around a u-turn and hit a curb when I was about 7 or 8 and on my road bike. I then proceeded to yell “ It jumped up and bit me!!” Ahh, good times!

Who in the cycling community inspires you and why?

I am inspired by many people in the cycling community. One person is Pam Sayler because she is always happy and you always will see a smile on her face! Chris Horner is another person who inspires me, because even at the age of 39 he won the Amgen Tour of California, and always seems to put his best foot forward. Another person is Jens Voigt, he has such a great work ethic and he is super funny too. The whole women’s peloton inspires me because they put their best foot foward, kick butt and have a good time. And last but certainly not least, my parents inspire me too. They always are helping out , working hard and being the best parents ever.

What has been your best moment on a bike in 2011?

I think my best moment on a bike in 2011 was placing second at the USACycling National Championships. I rode a really great time trial and I wanted to win so bad. As I came across the line I had the fastest time. I had the national championship for the next 29 seconds and then another girl came across the line beating my by 1 second.

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2012?

Milliegoat

In the next year I really want to win a national championship and all the state championships. I have won state championships before so I think it is finally time to go and win that national championship.

About my bikes

I have a Fuji Supreme 1.0, a Specialized Langster track bike for the trainer and a Fuji concept frame for a TT bike.

Check out Milliegoats latest at her blog Milliegoat.wordpress.com/

Review: Bontrager RXL Mountain WSD Shoes

1 Bontrager RXL WSD Mountain Bike Shoes

If you can recall I have been using a pair of Bontrager RL shoes for a couple years, I wrote a review about them a couple months ago. After using and abusing my RL’s for a couple years I have taken a step up to the RXL shoes. Hopefully the carbon isn’t too stiff and I’ll be able to rock the gold and black.

What Bontrager has to say

Updated for 2011 with Bontrager’s new proprietary Micro-Fit buckle, the RXL MTB WSD gives hardcore cross country racers a distinct performance advantage. Using top-notch materials to cradle the foot in comfort and an efficient Silver-series carbon outsole to transfer power to the pedals, the lightweight and durable RXL WSD stands ready for all-out efforts on the most rugged World Cup circuits.

MSRP: $229.99

Details: Silver Series Carbon, Micro-fit buckle, women’s specific fit, eSoles insole system.

Initial Thoughts of the RXL Shoes

A few key things (other than the price) of the RXL to the RL that were quickly apparent to me.
#1 The buckle upgrade from 2010
#2 The insole was a lower arch support than the one that came in the 2010 RL
#3 the shoes were the same size (42 euro) but feel smaller than the RL. This could because my RL’s are so worn out they have “flattened” and “stretched.”
#4 The RXL and my 2010 RL shoes are within 3 grams of each other

Details that Matter

 

Bontrager RXL WSD Mountain Bike Shoes

The bottom lugs of the soles are much softer and gummier than the RL.

Bontrager RXL WSD Mountain Bike Shoes
Micro-fit buckle clicks at 1.5 increments

Bontrager RXL WSD Mountain Bike Shoes
The shoes have decent airflow but the “anti slip” fabric on the back of the shoe can rub when you don’t have socks on.

After Two Months Review of the RXL Shoes

These shoes are everything I wanted them to be. Stiff, breathable outer, amazing colors and can do well on the road and longer distance mtb rides. I’m not convinced these will be my goto cyclocross shoes because they are so stiff but I can certainly tell my power to the pedals with these shoes.

After a couple more months I’ll check in with these shoes, give you feedback about cyclocross and how the outer of the shoes last.

 This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

Monday is an Easy Ride

0 Women's Cycling Monday Recovery Ride

Women's Cycling Monday Recovery Ride
Today is the day I started “cyclocross training.” It should have been July 1st, but well I didn’t. August 1st is a doable time period as NC Cyclocross runs later than most parts of the country, October 22nd is the first race. What does this mean?

This means I need to stay inspired and motivated for the next 6 months, through the end of January. It also means I hope to pull my friends kicking and screaming into the scene, while meeting new friends within the scene.

This means I need to ride, I am plugging into TrainingPeaks.com and doing my best to track things. I need to finish my food intake for the day, but normally within 3-4 days things click in my head and I easily start eating healthier. Easily finding comfort in a routine.

Ride One of the Season

What a better way to start of the season than with friends? An easy 1 hour spin around the neighborhoods and along the lake shore. Not a ton of miles (not much at all) but spinning around with 3 good friends is perfect. Tomorrow I hear they are dragging me out to run, good thing it is x-train and lifting day! Now to log off and finish watching the Bacherlotte!