This was my first official season of racing. I came from a tri background and don't really miss it. Cycling is so much simpler in a way. Not nearly as much stuff to keep track of for a race. No transitions, no wetsuit, goggles, no dilemma over socks/no socks, shoes clipped in or not. Just get on your bike and pedal. But the only thing I do miss is that it was easier for me to identify my strengths (swimming and transitions) and my weaknesses (or as I like to call it, 'my tri-nemesis' which was running). I formed my plan for the off season to work on running, power and endurance. Racing season was usually 3 races. Maybe 5 top. Heavy mental preparation for those select few races and then on the big day, I'd exploit my swim as best as I could to gain time for my abysmal running leg.
Cycling is different. After a season of racing, I'm still not sure what I'm good at and what I'm not. I raced a variety of races but it's still not clear as to what I should do next or focus on for next season. I often over-train and Joel Friel's "Cyclist Bible" makes no sense to me whatsoever. I know it should, but it doesn't. I know I need to hire a coach but I'm reluctant to do so for various reasons. Mostly it's the thought that as a newbie cyclist, I'm just not worth it.
This is the most dangerous train of thought to hop aboard as a Newbie. There are multiple ways on how this sabotages you as an athlete new to racing. Here are some you may be familiar with:
I'm only a Cat 4 so...
I don't have to have a training plan.
My diet doesn't really matter.
Sleep doesn't really matter.
It doesn't matter if I warm up before a race.
It doesn't matter where or when I line up.
I don't deserve to fight for a position in the
Over-training doesn't apply to me.
An off-season doesn't apply to me.
Obviously this is complete crap when you look at it. However, I would say that it took me at least 10 races before I didn't constantly have these negative trains of thought running through my head. And even yesterday, late into my first cx season (well, late for me), I STILL battled these feelings. That feeling that everyone else who is racing seems to know what's going on more and will be faster.
I think when I start to consider myself "a racer" instead of someone who is "trying out bike racing" then I'll allow myself to succeed. I had several podium finishes over the summer, but always found myself negating them. I'm only a Cat 4. Like it matters. Well, yes and no. Does it matter the way a Cat 1 podium finish matters within the local/national cycling community? No. Does it matter to my two little girls who are 7 and 9? Yes. Do my non-cycling friends and family understand that I'm on the lowest rung of the bike racing ladder? No. They think I'm a super-star. Why not let this misconception go on instead of always immediately dispelling it? I am a completely average athlete, person, and mom. But when I race, even if I suck, I am a superstar. That's what being a newbie racer is. Allowing yourself to become a totally average super-star even if you think you don't deserve it.
What's it like to race? Do you remember that void of not knowing what it is like to race a bike? What will it be like, will I crash and get a compound fracture, will I win and get to do some crazy Peter Sagan victory arm dance thingy? Will I get kissed by two chicks at the same time? But for many this world of shaved legs, embrocation, glued tires and the assumption that everyone dopes, is a lot to take in and to decide to step into if they want to give this cyclcross thing a try. Last year we ran a Coffee Talk Tuesday on Getting more Newbies to try out Bike Racing that got a lot of good discussion. Also last year Primal sponsored a race, Primalpalooza, which had a category that was JUST FOR BEGINNERS and according to ACA records 45 people raced in it. That is 45 people who had never done a cx race before!
This year PrimalPalooza is back September 29th and so is the the Beginner race so tell your friends, co-workers, girlfriends and/or boyfriends, bosses, etc. Learn more about PrimalPalooza
Tami’s Newbie Perspective
I’ve never officially raced a bike before. Unofficially yes. When I got my first (and current) carbon fiber bicycle and rode around the city of Chicago on it, often with friends who had fixies, or less-speedy road bikes, it was not uncommon to find ourselves pedaling as fast as we could before the next light or stop sign and seeing who got there first. Just enough time for the legs to burn a bit, to get that exhilarating feeling of wow, what an amazing machine this bicycle is, and to trigger the habitual thought that mine was worth every penny.
You're riding your bike through Central Park and decide to stop at the Boulder Farmers' Market to buy some fresh veggies. While there, you decide you'd also like a box of peaches and some bread.
Before you know it, you have bags of food and no convenient way to get it home.
It's with this kind of situation in mind that the Boulder Farmers' Market this year has partnered with Denver/Boulder Couriers to provide a bike delivery service for customers, market manager Jenn Ross said.
"This is a service so people can complete their shopping in one stop," Ross said while making her rounds at the market Wednesday. "You don't have to take a car down here. You can buy three cases of peaches and have them delivered to your house. It's cheap, it's efficient and it's pollution-free."
Using a 5-foot-long by 2.5-foot-wide aluminum trailer, a pair of coolers and a gently used 18-speed bike, DBC offers $6 deliveries to locations north to Iris Avenue, south to Table Mesa Drive and east to Foothills Parkway. A delivery to areas outside that perimeter but still in the city of Boulder is $9. He offers the service from 5 p.m. until the market closes on Wednesdays, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Read more about the new delivery service at the Daily Camera
One of Colorado's most popular bike paths — one that climbs all the way to the top of Vail Pass — is getting a much-needed make-over.
On Tuesday, Colorado Department of Transportation crews will begin resurfacing the Vail Pass recreation path from Bighorn Road in east Vail to the Vail Pass summit. Work is expected to finish in early October.
The new 2013 Cyclepassion Calendar is out and Colorado's own pro mountain biker, Sonya Looney, is one of the featured models. Check out Sonya's blog and the recent Westward Magazine article about her thoughts on the experience including why she finally accepted the offer to be in Cyclepassion, balancing the masculine and feminine within herself, her reflections on her recent racing career and why she likes living and training in Boulder.
A couple weeks ago, my bike case and luggage were back out – the glorious theme of the year. Go to new races, try new things, and enjoy. I wasn’t planning to go to Germany until I got a request from CyclePassion to be in their calendar. They had asked me the year before, but I told them no because I did not approve of the theme of the 2011 calendar. I told them if the 2012 edition was different, I’d consider it. The 2012 calendar was given to me at Interbike last year. I thought it was well done, so I told them I would come to Germany the next year and give it a try. I admit, I was nervous about going. Sexy photoshoots were not really in my repertoire and there are a lot of mixed feelings on the calendar in the US.
That said, there is pressure from the other side if you’re doing a photoshoot. What do you wear? What is ok for me? What am I comfortable with? Will I be sorry? That said, if you’re looking for tons of skin in my photos, you’ll be disappointed. I was probably the more difficult of the athletes to work with because I didn’t want to show as much skin. I wanted to keep it classy and fun. So we’ll see what turns up in the calendar in September!!
There's a lot of pressure to be masculine when you're a professional athlete, and there is a time for that, especially with the ultra-endurance racing I do. You have to be tough, you have to be hard, and sometimes you have to be emotionally hardened. It seems like there are a lot of women in mountain biking and in sports in general who feel that pressure, the pressure to not be girly. I remember being at races when I first started racing pro and I'd feel embarrassed to put makeup on or wear a skirt! So partly I did it to show that you can be feminine and you can have a sexy, hot side to you and have fun with it and still be a hardcore professional athlete.
Living in Boulder is a very humbling experience for a mountain biker because there are so many top elite-level athletes living here. A lot of times there can be fiercer competition at a local race series than you'd find racing out of state or even internationally. Personally, I think it's an advantage to be humbled, to be living in a place where everyone is really good, because there are lots of people to remind you to keep working harder.
From New Belgium: New Belgium Brewing’s cycling circus, Tour de Fat, is coming back to Denver for one day on Saturday, September 8 at City Park. Tour de Fat rookies and veterans alike are encouraged to grab a bike and join us for a whimsical day of entertainment and two-wheeled revelry, all while raising money for Bike Denver and Denver Cruisers.
For those who haven’t experienced Tour de Fat, it is a thrilling rite of passage that includes an unparalleled costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eccentric entertainment, local food, unusual bike contests and much more.
The Bike Parade begins at 10 am from the West side of City Park, but be there early to register.
The pinnacle of Tour de Fat is the ceremonious car-for-bike trade. At each Tour de Fat, one person becomes the center of the show as he or she gets up on stage, hands over car keys, and pledges to live one year car-free. Tour de Fat is now seeking volunteers to accept the swapper challenge. Each car-for-bike swapper will choose a local bike shop to help them turn their $2,250.00 budget into their ultimate car-replacement commuter bike. The cars will be auctioned by Vehicles for Charity, with proceeds to benefit local cycling organizations.
Announcing call for Safe Routes to School Applications & Encouragement for Walk to School Day Events
STATEWIDE – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is now accepting applications for Colorado’s 2013 Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding. Awards for both non-infrastructure (education) and infrastructure (capital) projects are available. The goal of SRTS programs are to provide education to get more kids walking and bicycling where it is safe and to fix conditions where it is not safe.
Eligible applicants include schools, school districts, cities, counties, tribal entity, and/or any other local or regional government entity. Non-profits may apply by partnering with any of the above entities.
Colorado has one of the most sustainable SRTS programs in the nation. Each SRTS project selected must demonstrate in the application a strong commitment to program sustainability and ensure their SRTS efforts will live on long after their grant is concluded. SRTS grants are also performance based and before and after results are reported.