Womens Cyclocross

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

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!

Women's Cycling Monday Recovery Ride
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Monday is an Easy 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!

North Carolina Cyclocross
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Follow Friday Links: Training for Cyclocross

North Carolina Cyclocross I’m officially getting pumped for the upcoming cyclocross season. Maybe it is delirium over the heat lately, or maybe the simple feeling of setting a goal for myself and really wanting to meet it?

Over the years I have compiled a great list of resources for inspiration, information, tips and basic outlines of creating a training plan for the season. By no means am I recommended that any of these are replacing a dedicated coach, but it will give you some structure and inspiration! Next week I’ll work on the ‘cross blogs worth your following!

Training Peaks – Tons of training plans, great coaches, and their personal workout/food/training online system is killer. With a free option, or for a small fee a year they will track all your workouts, weight, nutrition and goals with ease! (I personally use this system, and have used it for the past 4 years.)

Cycle Smart - You can’t be in the cyclocross industry without hearing Adam’s name, or see the Cycle Smart kits. Adam has been an online friend of mine for years and always an inspiration come June/July through the winter.

CX Magazine – Daily news, tips and resources for the cyclocross racer.

Bike Radar - How to fit cyclocross training into a full time job

NC Cyclocross – My local series, come play with me!

Motivatonal Monday Sirena
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Motivational Monday with Sirena Lundsford

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!

 

Motivatonal Monday Sirena

What’s your name and location?

Sirena Lundsford, Winston-Salem NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

I’m happy whenever I am on my bike. Anyone who knows me knows that cyclocross is what I enjoy most. I love the people and comaraderie I have found there.

What is your first cycling memory?

Very first cycling memory would be riding down the sidewalk when I was like 4 or 5 with no training wheels. My mom was coming home from work, driving down the street cheering me along.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

I’m fortunate to have some really positive people in my life, most of which I have met through cycling .So, in general my friends inspire me the most. I will have to say though that Justin Bristol and Kim Bailey of Cyle-Smart Grassroots Team have been real game changers for me this year.

Motivatonal Monday Sirena

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

I think the best moment on the bike this year hasn’t happened yet! I have had some really great opportunities to “work” for friends and other riders during some road races this year. Nothing feels better to me on the road than putting in a good pull for someone else.

All About My Bikes

I have one bike right now, a Ridley X-Fire that I am simply in love with.

George Berger Cyclocross
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Race Report : NCCX #14 Greensboro

George Berger, the first member of the new em:pwr cycling team,  started riding BMX as a kid in Houston, graduated to local crits and road races, then moved into mountain bikes and triathlons before finally ending up as someone who loves ‘cross more than anything else. The problem, he says, was that each major cycling ‘era’ for him was in different decades. He says that if he’d have stuck with cycling throughout his life, he could have been as good as…well, any shortish, stoutish, strongish mid-40′s Flemish ‘cross racer.  George resides in Davidson, NC with wife and daughter.

The final race of the North Carolina Cyclo-Cross Series was held last Sunday in Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro. Arleigh and I drove over there from the Lake Norman area to race–first me in the (new to me) Masters 45+ category at 10AM, and then Arleigh at 11AM in the CX4 (remember, she’s racing a single-speed against the ‘gearies,’ folks!)

It was cold out there at 9AM or so…so we were all glad that the park had its nature center open for us, with bathrooms, tables and chairs…not to mention cool live and stuffed animal exhibits…and, around the park all sorts of cool parkie stuff. I’d definitely go back there for sure.

The races themselves were a lot of fun; the course was set by Greensboro Velo and Cycles de Oro, and technical obstacles included a couple of sand volleyball pits to ride through (icy is good in sand, by the way, because it packs down), one set of double barriers, a short, sharp two-pedal-revolution climb/90′ turn that you had to hit standing up, and a cool set of stairs that popped us up from a sharp off-camber turnto the main level of the course. Lots of sharp turns that got progressively rutted as the day went on, and some pine needle sections that you had to pay close attention to in order to not spin. Lots of reasonable up- and down-hilliness, but nothing too steep. Fun!

Welcome to Masters 45+

I raced Masters 45+ for the first time. Frankly, so long as I could stay out of the way of the faster guys (and Pro/1/2/3 women, who are almost as fast as the 45+/55+ guys), that was fine with me…and those (other) old guys are damn fast. My goal was not to crash out like last week, and to finish, which I accomplished without much incident. Not much of a goal, but still. I’m a beginner at this. It was my 4th CX race, and I think I’ve learned a lot about bike prep (see my comments from last week, when I crashed over and over due to poor tire choice made before the race), bike handling, and tactics.

One thing I’ve noticed about myself, and it’s a goal to figure out before next year: when I’m actually racing, I feel like I’m working as hard as I can, while still conserving some energy (and air) for later laps of the race. I feel like I’m pushing hard, but not hyperventilating (I did that a bit in the Winston-Salem race, and don’t want to do that again). But then, after the race, I feel almost OK pretty soon after…not like I’ve REALLY worked so hard that I’m spent. Gotta figure out how to get more energy into the race, but not be dead (body or brain-) before the last lap. It’s one thing to push yourself around in the middle of a crit peloton…you can almost always sit in the group to catch some breath. But this is different–you have to negotiate obstacles and the course pretty much by yourself, even if you’re on the wheel of someone. You have to stay sharper, and have to save some energy for the later laps.

I really wish the CX season went on longer though. I’m looking forward to doing 55nine Performance’s Southern Cross down in Georgia on February 26th, so I’ll put the road wheels on the cross bike for a while and build up some fitness…hopefully, it’ll warm up a bit.

Carla Swart
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Take a Moment for Carla Swart

I didn’t know Carla Swart, though she went to college an hour from my home and many of my friends rode, races or coached her.   I’ve heard rumors about Carla.   A girl that was ripping legs off at Nationals,  a girl from North Carolina winning big time cyclocross races, a down to earth girl that was fast and genuine.

For full details on Carla’s accident and reasons for death do a quick google search.

Take a Moment

While on your ride, at the gym or while taking a walk please take a moment and say a prayer for Carla’s passing and her family.  I wish all of my readers safe travels during their rides over the weekend.  Please make sure to look all around you and take your safety over convenience everyday.

Photo Credit : USA Today

NC Cyclocross
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First Race of 2011 : DFL

This morning I attended my first cyclocross race of the year, and notably the first one in over a year and a half. There were two goals going into my women’s CX4 race, first was to finish and the second was not to be lapped.  Going into the race I wasn’t too sure of the latter, I knew I could pedal around slowly for 30 minutes but to keep in front of all the other ladies is another story.

Prep Work and Bicycle Builds

Never build a bicycle days before a race without being able to ride it, never make major changes like gearing or tires with out being able to test ride.  I tell this to every client and I’m telling this to you, are you listening?  Well, I don’t listen to myself.  I built my Raleigh singlespeed on Thursday, test rode on Friday.   The gearing was way too tough, and so I changed the gearing on Friday night (the night before my race.)

Singlespeed Cyclocross am I Crazy?

This will be a follow up article, but you need to know the basics – I love riding single speed and very excited to expand on riding it in cyclocross races.

Go Time at the Races

I warmed up in a thick windstopper jacket and jeans over my bibs and knee warmers.   It was cold, not as cold as Minneapolis but it was cold and I haven’t been riding outside to be broken in.  When the sun was shining and the wind wasn’t blowing, it was bearable but when the wind blew and the sun went behind the clouds – it was HORRID.  One jacket was dropped at the finish line, and my jeans with other jacket were stripped off at the start line.   Then it was go time.

The race was basic, I started at the back, ended at the back and was passed by a great amount of the juniors then lapped by the guys in the single speed class.   I didn’t want to do my last lap, I was within 45 seconds of being lapped at the finish line but thankfully a good friend was there to push me along.

Motivation

Achieving what I set out to, not pulling off before the last lap, pounding on the pedals or walking up the hills.  I’m proud.  After the last three months and what has happened, I’m proud of myself and motivated.   This is the perfect way to kick off the season and I can’t wait until the next race in 8 days!

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