Southeast Cycling

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

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

Scouting Out CX Course
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Monday..Tuesday..WEDNESDAY

When I wake up my feeling of getting out of bed is hit or miss. Either I am really excited about the day and inspired, or I want to cuddle up, staying nice and tucked away for the day. As my family members can vouch, I could sleep a day away and believe me I have! I think it is a trait that I learned from my mother many years ago.

It seems when I go to bed, if I am overly motivated (yes, how can you be overly motivated?) I think too much. My brain starts wondering, thinking about the weights I need to lift, the course I need to ride, the things I need to fix, etc etc. While if I look at riding or “working out” on a daily routine as something that I’m “just doing” my brain doesn’t go in hyper drive at night and I wake up feeling more motivated to get ‘er done.

This week has been one of those weeks that I turn off the alarm and sleep a little bit longer. Monday started off well with core in the morning and running at night, Tuesday well.. Tuesday I fell off the wagon. Shifting my week around I took it as a rest day, leading me up to today for cyclocross practice.

Still, I am feeling motivated. Today’s practice went well. Feeling more confident with the dismount, but still lacking the energy needed to “hurl” myself back on the bike for the remount.

The point of this all? None, I just wanted to do a recap of the week thus far for myself.. not really any other reason.

 

 

Stephanie Cole
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Motivational Monday with Stephanie Cole

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?

Stephanie Cole, Charlotte NC (EM:PWRteammate and motivator)

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road, Mtn, CX – Cyclocross is my favorite!

What is your first cycling memory?

My Dad gave up on teaching me how to ride a bike because I didn’t want him to let go of the seat, I had to teach myself. Yes, I have always been stubborn!

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

I can find inspiration everywhere; it might be someone improving their riding, someone coming back from injury/illness or someone just starting to ride again as an adult.

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

Every time someone says ‘you’re riding well…’

All About My Bikes

Cannondale Hybrid, Giant TCR Road, Specialized Epic full suspension, Giant TCX CX, Gary Fisher Rig

NC CX
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North Carolina Womens Cyclocross Clinic

Bicycling skills clinics are an interesting thought. Adults, having skills clinics in the way you would for your favorite sport as a kid. For myself I need to become confident again going into barriers, and $40 for 6 hours of someones time is a great deal. Stackhouse is limiting the field for good instructor to class size so please sign up so I have friends at the event!

North Carolina Women’s Cyclocross Clinic in Boone

Sunday September 11, 10AM to 4PM

Boone Fairgrounds, 738 Roby Green Rd, Boone, NC 28607

NC CX

Two clinics at one location: our second annual Women’s’ Only CX Clinic featuring National Champion Ashley James and MSG champ Kim Bishop, and a cyclocross skills clinic for the boys led by Jacob Florence.

The Boone Fairgrounds, home of the High Country Cyclocross Series, is a great venue with agood mix of easy and challenging terrain where you can hone your skills, covered pavilions for lunch and lecture sessions, as well as ample parking. Clinics will be held at separate parts of the Fairgrounds so each group can separately practice skills including starts, cornering, barriers, run ups, and more, as well as pointers on training, nutrition, bike setup, pre-race rituals and more from National Champion Ashley James and some of the best cyclocross racers in the Southeast

Early Bird Registration is only $40 until the end of August, Pre-Registration is $50 until September 10 at Noon. Day-of registration is $65. Lunch is included.

Online Registration now open – clinics are capped at 30 participants each

USAC license (Road or MTB) is required. One day license is $5.

For Directions Click Here

Register at BikeReg.com or email us to learn more

Cyclocross Training
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The First Cyclocross Practice of the Season

Have I mentioned how excited I am about the cyclocross season that is coming up? 50% excited about the racing and 50% excited about the environment, friends and culture.

Last night was the first cyclocross “practice” of the season. It really is a reason for friend, George Berger, and I to get out to Fisher Farms with barriers and ride around in circles. Another one of our friends, Mark, showed up to crush us.

Eye Opening Fitness

It is always easier to feel fast when you ride alone, and then you ride with folks that have been consistently riding…that’s when you realize you are slow as a snail!

All I can do is put my head down and plow ahead with training and efforts. Riding with folks that have had solid seasons, and consistent riding for over a year…it isn’t fair to judge myself next to them. Hell, I need to stop judging myself.

Be proud you are out doing it, be proud to be on the bike and keep moving forward!

Ann Groninger
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Motivational Monday with Ann Groninger

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?

Ann Groninger, Charlotte NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Any kind on two wheels – road, mountain, commuting,..etc.

What is your first cycling memory?

I refused to let my dad hold the bike when I was learning to ride. He is still crushed, he says. As a kid I went everywhere on my bike.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

I’m inspired by local bike shop owners who give up so much of their own time on the bike not just to further their businesses but also to make cycling better for everyone. I’m also inspired by so many community activists who channel their love of cycling into good deeds – Trips for Kids, the Dirt Divas and the Recyclery, for example.

What has been your best moment on a bike this year?

This is such a hard question because I’m always happy on my bike! I loved riding the Blue Ridge Parkway recently with bikelaw.com, Black Bear Adventures and some great friends – old and new. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I love riding along the light rail with my 2 year old in his i-bert seat. His excitement about everything around him is contagious.

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

After years and years of riding for fun, utility and a little racing, I think I’d like to get stronger and race a little more…maybe cyclocross? I also want to continue and expand the community work I’m involved in. Bikes make communities better.

All About My Bikes

2011 Giant TCR SL

Santa Cruz Blur

Electra Ticino D7

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