Category Archives: Commuting by Bike
Sometimes it is just as fun to not race, though we had plenty of opportunities with the Maverick Stage Race and Rumble at 18 Road MTB race. Camp was the great kick-off to the season and a reminder that being a team can still be fun even without racing.
Team camp top 10:
- Wind sucks but it is better to ride in a team, especially behind Katie
- Criteriums are more fun when you are watching from the beer garden
- Wardrobe malfunctions do not happen just in superbowls
- Costco is a wonderful bartender
- Jen is still gluten free after 27 hours (only because we include sleep time)
- “If you can’t ride it, walk the next 5 feet” Cathy (when mtbing at Mary’s Loop). Best advice of the day.
- Nadiya takes the 3rd step in the Grand Junction crit
- Pigs are smarter than dogs
- Surprise rain storm turned to gorgeous day on the tacky trails and road
- MTBing requires just as much commitment as skill
Kerri, Jen, Cathy, Elizabeth, Katie and Amanda
We’re excited to announce our new sponsorship with The Feed! The Feed specializes in providing athletes with the best sports nutrition available to fuel their sport and life. Athletes work with a personalized nutrition coach to get one-on-one advice, form a nutrition plan, and build a fully customized box of nutrition from the best brands, delivered monthly with free shipping. Read more about The Feed, visit www.thefeed.com. Connect with The Feed on Facebook and Instagram too!
You’re 50 miles from home, you’re in the middle of nowhere and you reach in your pocket and suddenly realize you really should have stocked up on bars and gels or anything, because now you have nothing. Does grass have carbs?
This year we’re really excited to be working with The Feed. They’re a sport nutrition delivery company out of Boulder, Colorado that stocks all of our favorite brands in sport nutrition, ships them out every month (to keep you stocked) and works one-on-one with us to develop nutrition plans to support our training, racing and lives.
During training blocks full of long rides we may rely on more PowerBars, and recovery products to keep us going, but as the race season kicks in we’ll find more need for gels, and Brooks works with us to make sure we’re stocked up, and know exactly how, when and why to use certain products.
It’s one thing to have food in your pockets and electrolytes in your bottles, but to actually look forward to the the nutrition, can be a foreign concept to people. That’s where The Feed has been great. Nutrition Coach Brooks recommends products to fuel our training and match our varied tastes, so we’re never bored, never go hungry, and never fear dehydration (thanks Skratch Labs).
Check out the food that fuels the Naked Ladies in our team Feed Box: http://thefeed.com/nakedracing
Things get better with age-like our forth annual Ride for Reading delivery! Join Colorado Women’s Cycling Project (Naked Women’s Racing) for National Ride for Reading Week! See below for a quick synopsis of what Ride for Reading week is all about.
What: Colorado-based women’s competitive cycling team Naked Women’s Racing will deliver thousands of donated children’s books by bicycle to Travista Elementary and Middle School Friday, May 9th for National Ride for Reading Week. Naked Women’s Racing partnered with the charity Ride for Reading, a non-profit with a mission to promote literacy and healthy living through the distribution of books via bicycle to children from low-income neighborhoods.
Who: Cyclists of all shapes, types and sizes! Commuters, mountain bikers, roadies, newbies, masters riders, trackies, unicyclists, tricyclists, bi-cyclists, juniors and more! We are looking for volunteers to join us in our delivery. It will be the most fun you’ve ever had on two wheels.
When: Delivery takes place Friday, May 9 from 8:00 am to 12 pm. We are collecting donations of books and/or cash donations for Ride for Reading from now until delivery date!
Why: In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Reading is an integral part of education, and without books it is hard to build a strong academic base. Our children need materials to read at home and it is our goal to provide the means. And in the process, we can fight childhood obesity and nature deficit disorder through the power of cycling, too! Exercise the mind and body and lead through example.
Where: Fulton Academy of Excellence located at 755 Fulton St. Aurora, CO
Meeting Location: Turin Bicycles at 700 Lincoln Street. Join us at 7 am if you want free breakfast and coffee! Be ready to ride with books in tow by 8 am!
Bike Route: It will be doable by any person of any fitness level on any bike! We assure you, so please join us. It’s only 7.3 miles! We’ll share the bike route the week of the event. We will also have a police escort:)
What to Bring: Bike (duh), helmet, backpack or panniers or some form of bag to carry books by bike. We could use chariots to load extra books so please bring if you have one!
Want to donate books? Here’s all our dropbox locations around your area!
Also, if on Facebook we’ll be updating our event page with new information so join our event there too!
Can’t make the ride but want to help? Donate book at some of our many drop off points around Boulder and Denver! From the Denver Public Library to bike shops all around town. If you can’t find a drop off point on our list, you can also mail book or cash donations (checks made out to Ride for Reading) to:
902 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
As a benefit of membership, Colorado Women’s Cycling Project hosts clinics each month in the off season and are led by leaders in the cycling industry on topics ranging from bike handling skills to nutrition to sports psychology. Clinics are organized by committee members Brittany Jones and Roberta Smith. If you would like to teach a clinic or have questions regarding a clinic, please email us to their attention.
Check out our calendar for more upcoming clinics and group rides!
Thurs, Jan 23: Advanced bike mechanics/maintenance – Turin, 6-7:30pm
Weds, Feb 5: Sports Psychology w/Julie Emmerman – QuickLeft, 6:30-8pm
Tues, Feb 25: Physiology Clinic w/Rob – Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, 6-8pm
Tues, March 4: Nutrition Clinic w/Ryan – Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, 6-8pm
Tues, March 11: Bike Fit Clinic – Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, 6-8pm
If you want to buy the Naked ladies holiday gifts, here’s some hints about what we want! If you need some ideas for the cyclist in your life, definitely check out some of these products below courtesy of our team members.
Belgian TFU T-shirt from Handlebar Mustache
There’s only one company that does a better job of supplying slogans for your suffering than Niner, and it’s Handlebar Mustache. “Everyone has their personal favorite, but mine is an easy choice: “Belgian the F*ck Up,” which are my personal words to live by when the temperatures drop below 10 on cyclocross race day.” — Emily, Boulder, CO
$26 men’s or women’s cuts
Their fabrics are luscious, their women’s cuts and chamois flawless and their designs either whimsical or elegantly restrained. The GS Panache 13 Women’s Bib Short is a great way to spoil a woman who spends a lot of hours in her saddle.
“Locally owned and operated, Panache is truly one a personal favorite for cycling apparel. Having worked with them in the past on a custom kit for a local women’s riding group, the process was easy, their feedback was truthful, and production turnaround time efficient. The fit and feel of their kits is outstanding and also durable enough to last any avid rider’s busy cycling season. Helmets off to Panache for making fantastic gear!” — Katey, Boulder, CO
$160 bib shorts
With short days and bad weather, it can be a tall ask to train anywhere but in your downstairs pain cave. While their name is well chosen, nobody makes enduring indoor training more enjoyable than Sufferfest, who makes training videos that put you inside the actual peloton in the Spring Classics and World Tours and have you chasing the wheel of the world’s fastest with specific workouts. “Well, I’m nose deep in Sufferfest videos at the moment. So… If you (or someone you love) have a crappy work schedule or crappy weather — or if you’re really unlucky, both — those are good gifts.” — Brittany, Boulder, CO
Custom Pendilight from Zlux
Price: Custom quoted
The sky is the limit on what you could get custom cut and dyed for your flashing light-up pendilight. I might start with a cowbell, crank, chainring or chain link for a cycling enthusiast.
Mad Alchemy Pro+ Chamois cream and Warming Embrocation
Mad Alchemy Pro+ Chamois Cream is a must-have, although should probably only be a gift to someone you’re close to. It lasts for hours and keeps your skin moisturized and rash-free. The women’s La Femme Chamois Cream is also specifically made for women’s needs and is just the right soft, non-sticky consistency.
Mad Alchemy Embrocation is made locally, and makes the locals’ extremities warm and yummy smelling “I’m a fan of the Cold Weather Medium Heat. Decreases dependence on Sufferfest videos.” — Brittany, Denver, CO
Tearing through rock gardens as Colorado mountain bikers tend to do is not kind to mountain bike tires, and they need frequent replacement. Plus, the perfect tires make the ride. “My favorite tires would have to be Schwalbe Knobby Nic for the front with a Racing Ralph on the back of the mountain bike. It’s the perfect combo for better floatation and corning in front and less rolling resistance in the rear.” — Rachel, Boulder, CO
Turin Bicycles gift certificate
Best and easiest gift: Support your LBS and get a gift certificate from Turin. Maybe the person you’re shopping for really needs a fatbike, some serious winter clothing, and a couple good lights so they can ride outside regardless of daylight or weather. Or a new bottle cage. Or a bottom bracket overhaul. Maybe they just really hate wrapping handlebar tape. Whatever their needs, trust me, they will know what they are.
Sadly, one of our teammates’ bike’s was stolen last night, and this isn’t the last time a bike will be stolen either. So we put together some tips to hopefully help you recover your beloved stead and catch that dirty bike thief! If you have any to add, let Rachel know.
- Scour Craigslist and eBay to see who is trying to sell it. You can also set up Google alerts or eBay search alerts with descriptions on your bike just to see if anyone posts something about it online.
- Set up your own Craigslist ad and email it to all the bike shops in the area. Sometimes thieves and pawn shops are dumb enough to call a bike shop to ask about the value of a bike. If the bike shop is aware of your stolen bike, then they can reach out to you when it happens. This happened to a teammate of ours and she was able to recover her bike!
- Pawn shops are another place to look. Call starting with your area and then expanding beyond.
- To recover your bike, you have to show proof of ownership. You can get this from your bike shop if you didn’t keep your receipt assuming they have good records. They may also have your serial number. Take lots of pictures and one of you with your bike, too.
- To the point above, because thieves can scratch off the serial number, etch the last four numbers of your social security number beneath your rear triangle. Most thieves are too dumb to look there and figure that out. It’s also undeniable proof the bike is yours if your bike is recovered by police and your serial number removed.
- File a police report! Supply them with your serial number, pics of the bike and any other identifying/unique info. If you don’t have any of these items on hand, call your bike shop and maybe they can help with proof of purchase/serial number.
- Get grassroots and make missing bicycle posters to hang around town, in coffee shops and bicycle shops. The more creative the more likely someone will be able to remember your poster and share it with others. Check out some of these posters. Include a unique but easy to remember hashtag!
- Encourage everyone to post/share your bike via social media. Create a hashtag so in case someone sees the bike, they can snap a pic, hashtag it, and post it on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram! The more eyes looking for your bike the more likely you are to find it. Make sure you include the area that you’re in, too, just in case the thief is stupid enough (because thieves are!) to ride it around in your area.
- Get renter’s insurance if you don’t have it. You can file a claim and get a new bike. If you don’t have renter’s insurance, it’s only about $150-250 per year and absolutely worth it! Happy to refer you to my insurance agent who also sponsored our team for two years:)
- If you care about your bike, EVERYONE should register their bicycles with the police. Take pics of your bikes and serial numbers (usually under the bottom bracket). Boulder, Denver, and Golden reg is below. You can Google your “city” and “bike registration” if you don’t live in any of these local areas.
What do you have to add?
If you can make it to Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park, you can also join in a public memorial the Dombroski family is holding tomorrow from 6-8 PM. You can follow the Facebook page for more updates. Ride there if you can because parking will be limited. We’ll miss you, your smile and your fierceness out there on the road and in the dirt.
Rachel has had her fair share of mishaps while riding in the dirt and on the road. Here’s her top 10 road side maintenance tips, and yes, they all have happened. Do you have any to add?
1. Don’t PANIC! What’s done is done and you’ll get back riding much more quickly if you keep a level head. You can’t think clearly when you’re freaking out. I know, speaking from experience here.
2. Know how to change a flat. Not that you’ve watched someone change one, but actually practice doing it.
- Always have at least 1 size appropriate tube, CO2 w/dispenser or hand pump, and two tire levers.
- Patch kit can be your best friend.
- Stand with a tire between your legs to get some leverage to roll it back on. It helps, promise.
- If you need to bum a tube from someone and it’s not the right size (too small or too big), some sizes can work in a pinch but not recommended.
- If you rip your side wall of the tire, you can use a dollar bill, tire boot or a food item wrapper to plug the hole.
- Always bring cash in case you need to buy something along the way. Also, many remote gas stations or markets only take cash.
3. Check your spare tube occasionally. Don’t just stuff it in your saddle bag and fugetaboutit! Many times I’ve had flats, my spare tube was already punctured from having been in my saddle bag. Bummer:( This is why you need a patch kit.
- To see if your tube is flat BEFORE you put in your bike, you can blow air in it. You should do this before changing your flat anyway so you don’t get a pinch flat when putting the tire back on.
4. Multi-tool. Know it, use it. I’ve had cleats come off mid-ride, head sets come loose, bolts come loose, handlebars come off, derailleurs rip off, and so on. You don’t want this to happen.
5. Weather. It’s Colorado and you always need to be prepared and dressed appropriately when it begins to snow/rain/sleet/hail etc.
- Pearl Izumi makes a great protective barrier that wads up in a tennis ball size.
- Rubber surgical gloves year round! Great for changing flats so you don’t get dirty or for warmth in a pinch. And pack really easy.
- If you must, newspaper for an extra layer in your jersey and plastic bags on your feet make for great emergency layers.
6. Broken spoke. This one is a bit tough depending on the spoke count of your wheels.
- You can use your knee to try to bend the wheel back in a less-wobbly position.
- Open your brakes up to allow the wheel to spin through.
- If you have a lighter rider with you, switch wheels so you can get back. The lighter rider will put less pressure on the weak spot in the rim and potentially prevent more spokes from breaking.
- If you’re a serious randonneur, they do make spokes on the fly called Fiber Flight.
- Check to see if your multi tool has a spoke wrench, and also, learn how to use it. (Youtube it or Google and practice on a spare set of junk wheels)
- Low spoke count wheels are great if you have a team car and your paycheck depends on you getting to the finish ahead of the other guy/girl. Get a higher spoke count wheel, especially if you’re heavier.
7. Broken Chain.
- More applicable to mountain bikes but make sure to have a chain breaker, know how to use it, and a spare pin to reattach your chain.
- You could also reuse the pin but make sure to not back it all the way out because you may lose it.
- Remove broken link by removing 2 segments of the chain at the damaged end. You need to remove 2 segments instead of 1 because the two types of segment alternate. If you just remove 1 segment you can’t re-attach it. Fixing a broken chain is no more difficult than fixing a flat tire if you’re prepared.
- You won’t be able to shift normally so make sure to not shift under a lot of load. However having a derailleur allows you to remove links more easily. If you have a single speed, it’s a little different.
- Get out those rubber gloves! This is a dirty job and you don’t want to mess up your sharp kit.
8. Broken Cable (Coincidentally encountered this tonight).
- If you have a geared bike, you can manually move your chain where it needs to go in the big and small rings (get out those rubber gloves).
- If Rear Der. goes out, you can still shift in the big and small rings up front. No biggie.
- Get cable replaced asap when you get back.
- Could be an array of reasons why this happened, but take it to a shop if you don’t know how to diagnose or change your cables.
9. Crash:( It happens.
- Straighten whatever is crooked with your multi tool (seat post, stem, wheel, etc) and scope out your helmet to make sure you it’s not broken. If you crashed in your helmet and hit your head, replace your helmet. No ifs, ands or buts. Most have a crash replacement policy and they should be replaced every 2 years anyway.
- If you have carbon bars, as much as this is a pain in the ass, you should unwrap and check to make sure your bar isn’t cracked. Never a better time to replace your bar tape, especially if it’s white.
- If you’re missing clothing, use spare clothing to cover up revealing rips in your kit.
- Make sure to scrub your road rash (you must) and buy some tegaderm! If it’s a BOGO, buy extra. (YES, that happened).
10. Prevention is a great way to avoid road-side emergencies! It’s always a good idea to simply keep your bike clean, lubed in pivot points, make sure bolts are tight (with a torque wrench) and inspect each time you clean or crash for cracks.
- “ABC Wheel Quick!” Make sure to check the following:
- Air in tires
- Brakes and Bars
- Chains and Cables (nothing fraying or obviously out of place)
- Wheel –check for trueness and spoke tension
- Quick Release – Make sure it’s tight. Nothing worse than lining up for a race and you notice your front skewer just dangling.
- USACycling’s Club of the Year
- 1st place in BRACs Rocky Mountain Road Cup Team Competition for Cat 1/2s, Cat 3s, and Cat 4s
- Many individual series wins in road, mountain and track. I’m sure cyclocross will be the same.
- Several state champions among us.
- Mountain bike, track, road and junior nationals competitors among us (and cyclocross if you count last season).
- We collected 3000 books and delivered to two different elementary schools in need for Ride for Reading this year.
- Bannock Criterium was hugely successful and saw some of the largest women’s fields to date.
- Our first year of having a club was a success and only will continue to improve and introduce more women to the sport of bicycle racing.
- We started in 2010 with 6 women and are now close to 100 with club and team combined. Wow. Just wow.
- Too many stories to recap, but it’s great to go back through our blog and see what was accomplished. We’re so impressed by all our teammates.
We know Rachel isn’t the only one to commute to work by bike on the team, but she’s going to be the second one to write about it! From time to time, she’ll share her commuting stories. You’d be surprised of what can happen in a 6 mile round trip commute.
When I moved to Colorado 2.5 years ago, I had to sell my beloved Litespeed, Bella, who I commuted 32 miles round trip to work in Tennessee. I also traded my city fixie, a sweet 80′s Schwinn, for a couch so I’d have something to sit on once I got to Colorado (I no longer own the couch BTW). Though I missed my commuters, I still had a road, mtn, cx and TT bike to keep me busy. But life just wasn’t the same. It felt like Sophie’s Choice (great movie for all those young ones on the team!)
But….flash forward two years later….
After moving my life and career to Boulder, I decided to buy myself a celebratory present–my very own, tricked out Raleigh commuter bike! Complete with an internal 8-speed hub, that I pretend is a power tap, my new gal is the latest addition to the fleet of 20 bicycles at our household. She’s also worth as much as my car (my car isn’t very expensive and is for some reason always missing doorhandles). Though I loved her stock, I’ve since added an SKS rear fender, reflective dots and tape, Krieg cycling bag, massive U-lock, an “I <3 my bike” bell, Niterider light, and three blinky red taillights. She’s quite sexy all dressed up.
So now that I’ve been commuting the last three months, I’ve only filled up my gas tank twice (instead of every week when commuting to my old gig), saving nearly $500 (which is greater than the cost of the bike). Also, since taking this leap of two wheels faith, my car insurance company has a device that plugs into my car to track my usage. Got a 6% reduction in my rates-taking that to the bank! Beyond the cash benefits, mentally it helps me wind down and reflect for the evening or prepare for my day on the way in.
Only one episode of epicness ensued since my commuting adventures have taken place. Jeff and I decided to ride our commuters up to NCAR and then hike Bear Peak, he on a single speed and me with my 8 gears, struggling to get to the top of the hill and start of our hike. While we both know better, neither of us wanted to carry a bag of extra clothes. Strike number one.
After hiking nearly 4 miles, snowflakes started to fall and the wind picked up. While this happens often in CO, we both had summit fever, decided to shrug it off, and we powered to the top. Strike two.
My arms were so numb from the cold that I could hardly pull myself up the rocks to the peak. So without any additional layers and getting colder by the second, we turned right back around and booked it to the trailhead. Luckily, I brought a banana. But was too cold to eat it. Strike three.
Finally, we made it back to the bikes, close to 4 hours after our journey started, with only one bottle of water between us and one banana. We started back towards home but had to descend down NCAR. Snow was blowing so hard and the temperature dropped about 30 degrees. Somehow we both managed to get back safely, albeit 80% frozen and 100% exhausted. We both fell asleep before 7 pm.
While epic adventures gone awry make for great stories, most of my commuting experiences go without a hitch. Occasionally, I’ll forget my work shoes, or it will be sunny in the morning and snow a foot by the afternoon, but those things make me laugh more so than seem an inconvenience. I wouldn’t trade my 3 mile stroll for a petrol-guzzling car ride any day of the week. And god-forbid waste any amount of water washing my car (clearly a pet peeve). Plus it takes me longer to drive, park my car and then walk to work than riding my bike to the front door of the office.
In fact, many of my coworkers feel the same way. We participated in Boulder’s Winter Bike to Work Day together a few weeks ago and had a great time. More communities should offer and encourage these things. Check out the video below.
Look for another blog post in the spring regarding my daily commutes. I’m already excited to ride my bike without a puffy coat, gloves, hat and night lights. However, I’m sure come spring, I’ll be trading the 20 degree temps for 50 mph winds so we’ll see how that goes! Either way, it’s always guaranteed to be an adventure.