A Delayed Reaction
The beginning of October I lined up for my second cyclocross race in Colorado. The Boulder Cup at Valmont Bike Park was easily one of my top 3 cx courses ever ridden. Unfortunately, going into the last lap I lost traction on a bridge and wiped out. Quickly dusting myself off I hopped on the bike and bridged the gap on the girl that had been on my wheel and now was 15 seconds ahead. Finishing the race, not in last place, I checked over my appendages and realized the road rash would hurt but I seemed to be okay.
24 hours later my left knee wasn’t bending and by the evening (36 hours later) I couldn’t bear weight without pain. A doctor’s appointment booked, and later an MRI. The end result of this minor crash was a miss-tracking patella and a small tear on the cartilage behind my patella. It could have been much worse and 3 weeks later I am feeling back to 80%.
Shift in Priorities
Often in life, it is when your heart breaks, or you crash you bike that we really take a count of priorities and needs in life.
The mission of this site is to empower women in cycling. I don’t plan on straying away from this but I do plan on empowering myself a bit more. Becoming a more balanced individual, going back to school and maybe even attempting cross fit!
I love riding my bike
Chances are that you are reading my blog (thank you) because you too love to ride your bike. As I shift things around, reorganize and create my content calendar for this site my reminder for all of us is that to slow down and enjoy the ride. Spending the money to have the lightest bike, power meters, or even to put a number on your bike isn’t required. Slowing down with a smile to other cyclists and maybe even giving back to the sport we all love.
My plan is to slim down my herd of bikes, buy less carbon and focus more on the adventure than the destination. I hope you’ll join me.
Sunday Linkage: Rainbow Colored Tires, BikePacking and Getting More Women on Bikes
My short Recap of Interbike 2013, to be elaborated over many post this week
Safety Concerns for Pro Women Cyclists
CO Cyclocross Calendar, if you have something to add let me know!
303 Cycling Flood Relief List - helping those in need after last weeks devastating floods here in Colorado
Pedaling Nowhere list 4 BikePacking Videos to get you out the door
Velo Mom’s Musings on How to Get More Women on Bikes
Wadjda – The first feature-length movie made by a female Saudi director
Lots of colors from Continental in their popular Grand Prix 4000 S II found over at Bike Rumor. Photo courtesy of BikeRumor
Buca Boot hits Kickstarter - This rear cargo box adds security and ease to your bike commuting
Denver’s 15th Street Bikeway Explained
Sunday linkage is a weekly roundup of popular articles here on BSG, or that I found of interest. If you find something worth sharing, let me know on twitteror email.
A Cyclocross Race for Last Place
When someone asks how your race went, traditionally you want to tell them your place 1st or 5th out of 10, something to that tune. When you are in last place you want to list out all the other positives of the race, this was my race this past Sunday. My first race of any discipline in Colorado, my first cyclocross race of the season, and my first race as a Category 3.
Sure, I’m looking at most of this early season’s racing as practice and learning, but it was still a pretty brutal showing on my part.
The Course at Cross of the North
I strongly believe that my carbon 29er hardtail would be been better suited for tearing up the 95% sand course that made up the Cross of the North. Up and down you went, a lot of sweeping turns that let me learn with 4 laps of racing practice, how to turn in sand (you don’t “turn”) and how to gracefully place your front wheel to force you to tumble off the bike.
I’m sure with the proper training in my legs the sand would have been easier to spin through and the necessary dismounts on two sandy hairpins would have been unnecessary, but for this race they were necessary and my legs were toast.
Cyclocross in Colorado
To be honest my biggest reason for nerves going into the race was the people, or lack there of knowing the people. Cyclocross is about the community to me. Shelling out and racing for 45 minutes is just the icing on the cake. Driving to races in the heat, cold, snow and rain is my own version of being a fan of football. Instead of being crowded around a TV or a grill at a tailgate, I’m at a cyclocross race surrounded by some of the best people I could ask for. This to me is cyclocross and I could only hope that Colorado would deliver like Maryland and North Carolina have.
Most of my teammates of Team Cycleton don’t start racing until October, so there isn’t that instant family to find when showing up in the morning but there was faces that I recognized and was greeted with warm smiles. There was the chatter before the whistle at the line and friendly talks in the parking lot with faces you don’t recognize but saw you racing and find the light in the wreckage of your failed race.
Results are in the Smiles and Miles
The race was hot, dusty and a bit shattering for me. I was happy with last place in SW3, which would have been top 10 in the SW4. I am happy that I didn’t submit a downgrade request when moving and I’m happy I showed up to race. One more step closer to making Colorado my home and to create the community I miss so badly from North Carolina.
I need to thank the handful of fast dudes from Boulder Cycle Sport that were all super friendly and eased my nerves when the talked it up in the parking lot at 8am.
Thank you to Megan Hottman of The Cyclist – Lawyer as she encouraged me when passing (after flatting, getting fixed and catching me)
Cyclocross Bicycle Practice, or my First CX Race is This Weekend
My first cyclocross “race” is this coming Sunday; I use the word race loosely as I’m looking at it as bicycle practice, with a very high average heart rate.
Things to do for my first CX race of the season
Find wheels for my cyclocross bike. I have a pair of Specialized Roval Pave wheels that I’ll be swapping over from my single speed. This way I can leave my Powertap on the road bike, and not have to worry about durability thanks to the Roval Pave proofing themselves over the past couple seasons on my single speed.
Find tires for the above wheels. Not knowing any of the courses I’m going to go with my proven “all – around but slow on hard pack” setup. This is a Specialized Terra up front and Michelin Mud2 on the back.
Sign up for a Bicycle Racing Association Colorado license. This is the statewide governing body for all things bike racing in Colorado. While I don’t have to join to race, it saves me from paying one day fee’s and it gives my team points if I place at all.
Register. Thankfully I remembered to do this, and get the BRAC license earlier this week as online registration has already closed for this weekend’s races! Note to self: Always register the Wednesday or Thursday before race weekend.
Test Ride and Skills. This will be tomorrow. Not too much stress, just making sure my bike is functioning and hips are flexible for the mounts. The first few races will be skills clinics in themselves, but I do plan on working in one or two days of CX skills per week.
Review Course. Then forget what I reviewed.
Create CX’ing Playlist on Spotify. Do you have songs that pump you up? Maybe some Katy Perry “Roar”? Let me know what is on top of your list!
Rock Out. Because that is why we are all doing this right?
Photo Credit: Cross of the North Facebook page
Colorado Cyclocross Calendar
it’s my first year living in Colorado for cyclocross and I’m starting to get excited! The calendar on BRAC (Bicycle Racing Association Colorado) is lacking links and non-sanctioned races/clinics so in my effort of research, here is what I have found for cyclocross racing in Colorado.
Cross of the North 2012 – Men’s Open from Jamie Servaites on Vimeo.
20 – Formula Four Boulder
23 – FasCat & Jeremy Powers Cross Camp Boulder
27 – Relay Sixty Boulder
7 - Women’s Cyclocross Camp 2-5pm in Fort Collins. $25 for the camp
7 - Kick It Cross Festival Fort Collins
8 – Cross of the North Fort Collins
14 - Zero Gravel Cross Littleton
15 - Cyclo X Flatirons Mall Boulder
21 - Cyclo X Valmont Boulder
22 - Body Synx CX Golden
27 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp
28 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp
28 – Cyclo X Rhyolite Park
28 – Queens of Cross Arvada
28 – LTR CX #1 Grand Junction
29 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp
29 – Storm the Castle Castle Rock
5 – Frisco Cross Frisco
6 – Primalpalooza Arvada
19 – Colorado Cross Classic Boulder
20 – Boulder Cup Boulder
26 – Cyclo X Xilinx
26 - LTR CX #2 Grand Junction
27 – Frites CX Parker
2 – Schoolyard Cross Brighton
3 – Feedback Cup Golden
9 – Cyclo X Interlocken
9 - LTR CX #3 Grand Junction
10 – Blue Sky Cup Longmont
16 – Cyclo X Louisville Louisville
17 – Mile Hi Urban Cross Denver
23 – Cyclo X Westminster Westminster
23 - LTR CX #4 Grand Junction
24 – Green Mtn Sports CX #2
28 – Turkey Cross Morrison
30 – Castle Cross Castle Rock
1 – Cowboy Cross Denver
7 – Cyclo X Boulder Boulder
8 – The RLW “in Memoriam” Cx
14 – Colorado CX Championships Louisville
15 – Colorado CX Championships Louisville
28 – Tune-up Cup Golden