Category Archives: Cross
Gayle took 1st place this weekend at one of Boulder’s biggest cyclocross races, but not after getting a face full of sand….and getting it caught on camera. Read more or just laugh at the picture instead.
If a picture is worth a thousand words this picture writes the race report for me…
This will be my first real season of racing cross after a few races on a borrowed bike last year. My season started this weekend at the US Open of Cyclocross at the Boulder Reservoir. I was nervous for the race after a week of traveling for work (read: not enough sleep/exercise and too much free breakfast buffet). I made my way up to Boulder on Friday to pre-ride the course (in the snow) and was disappointed to see that they hadn’t marked the course yet and since it is a very “taped” out course, it was impossible to get any real idea of what the course would be. I was able to tell that there would be a lot of dirt! I rode around in the snow for a while and made the journey back down to Aurora – after a pit stop for some warmer gloves
Saturday was an early morning. The SW4 race was at 7:32 so I was out the door by5:15 to get up there. I threw every layer of clothes in a bag and just hoped it would warm up. I appreciate that cross is an all-weather event, but I just wasn’t ready for sub-freezing temps in the beginning of September. It was 32 degrees when I pulled in the parking lot…ouch. I layered up and rode the course twice. Not the warm-up I would have like, but I got to ride the course and see where some of the muddy, sandy, challenging spots were. I was glad to see a few other SW3 and SW4 Naked racers there that morning. There’s something to be said for pain in numbers.
As the SW4 race started I tried to get to the front as soon as possible. The two Junior racers started with us and they were the first off the pack. Those girls were fast – I have total respect for their ability at their age. Part way through the first lap I passed two racers and it dawned on me that the juniors were in a different category so I was winning the SW4 race. I tried to keep a steady pace and be cautious in some of the sandy areas. I realized which spots it was faster for me to put a foot down or hop off and run and I sucked it up on the totally bumpy dirt, grassy areas that jostled you to the core. On the third lap I was pumped to still be in the lead, I got to the drop-off spot that was a challenge the first few times. First lap I felt like I got whiplash I landed so hard, second lap was good, third time…not so much. I “guess” I was a bit too far over the bars and in a flash I was flying over the handlebars, face down in the sand. I totally knocked the wind out of myself and it took a few seconds to get up. I stood up, took a few big breaths to re-inflate my lungs and spit out some dirt. A few steps to make sure I was basically ok, put the chain back on my bike and took off the best I could. A few people were pretty close behind me at that point, but I knew if I pushed I could hold them off. In the process of falling I must have smashed my handlebars into the meaty part above my knee-cap which made it hard to push hard, but generally I was ok – except for the massive quantities of dirt covering my entire body. I think I spit out dirt the entire last lap and still had dirt up my nose when I finished the race.
The whole wipeout happened to take place directly in front of two photographers and a medic. Good crowd for a crash! I bet John Flora stayed in that spot all day getting “money shots” of people in mid-crash. I saw he had a bunch of other crash photos later, but I also noticed that over the course of the day the ledge that was there in the morning smoothed out a bit and wasn’t as harsh of a drop-off. Goes to show how much a course changes over the length of a day of racing.
After a post-race stop at the medics (they waived me down asking to check me out) and a trip to the top of the podium I stole an ice-pack from my kid’s diaper bag and made that journey back to Aurora again. I was glad to just be in some pain and not actually hurt and anxious for the photos I knew would emerge in a few hours. After posting my epic face plant pic to the world of facebook lots of great comments followed. My favorite was a post on the photographer’s page from a woman I didn’t even know and it just said “Bless her heart”. Too Funny!
This was definitely an exciting way to start off the cross season. Although I’m hoping to not have this much excitement in future races I am hoping for a great season and possibly another trip onto the podium.
It’s hard to believe our road season is done and cross has really just begun! You know what also is beginning? Planning for your team in 2015! Naked Women’s Racing, in it’s 5th year, is open to race team applicants through October 1st!
Think you want to join? Read more about why you should on our Race Team page. Now are you ready?
Think you *might* want to race but not sure you want to dive in head first? Then you should totes join our Club Team!
Got questions? Email us at info [at] nakedwomenracing.com and we’ll be glad to help you out.
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
Our dirt diva Brittany J. recapped the cyclocross awards party. Naked cleaned up again. It was one dirty job but these ladies went above and beyond and came out on top!
This last Saturday was the Colorado Cross Cup awards party, and Naked represented well.
For those who are unfamiliar with BRAC’s Cross Cup (or the very similar Road Cup), it is a points system that spans the entire CX season. You earn points both as an individual and as a team based on your results, and some races are weighted more heavily than others.
Our own sponsor in 2013, Prestige Imports, hosted the awards party. Basil Docs supplied a veritable wall of delicious pizza, while Great Divide and Izzie provided libations. There was also a raffle for some pretty nice swag from Rudy Project, Polar, and several others.
As the awards got underway, Jenny Lucke took to the podium. Our rockstar junior not only won the individual racer competition for Jr Women 17-18, she also single-handedly earned a second place spot in the team competition for Naked in the same division.
Jenny wasn’t the only Naked woman to earn a spot on the podium, though. Every Naked woman that raced as a Cat 4 during the season helped earn a Team 3rd Place for Naked. Cathy Goodheart and Emily Unger (and I’m not sure why Jenny wasn’t up there, because she raced Cat 4 as well as Jr.) represented Naked on the podium. I’m looking forward to seeing all of these women race Cat 3 next year.
And finally, after many slices of pizza and many grapes and strawberries, Naked was called back up to the podium as the 1st place team in the Senior Women Cat 3 division.
Lanier Allen and I received the 1st place plaque on behalf of Naked and our other Cat 3 teammates.
As far as I can tell, it was a stellar end to an amazing season. Several people have a new mud addiction, while others continued to hone skills and aim for the hole shot.
Congratulations to all the women who raced this season—you played an important part in earning these awards. And thank you to everyone who cheered and encouraged us.
Photos 1 & 2, Jenny Lucke
Photo 3, Ryan Muncy Photography
Emily Zinn shares her CX Nats experience. We had several Naked ladies out there representing in almost every age group and during the UCI race!
The week of the Boulder 2014 Cyclocross National Championships was amped. Juniors grinned ear to ear or scoped the course seriously with their headphones blocking distractions. Masters over 70 sharpened their elbows to contend for stars and stripes. I took it all in with pleasure and the pride of getting to show off something you love at its best.
The non-championship race was a wild ride on off-camber ice that saw girls running icy descents. Fortunately, my Challenge Fangos hooked up great and rolled fast in a straight line. The racing was tight and competitive with lots of back and forth. I was happily in the 5-way sprint for 3rd.
But, as someone who loves chaos, lining up 80th in Sunday’s elite race was something special. Fighting for every position, running the stairs to deafening howls of enthusiasm, hearing the gasps that mean someone went down behind you, the focus of navigating a tough off-camber with eyes blurry from a hard effort, it was all a buzz I could never describe. I fought through a lot of the pack, and took a donut hand-up on the stairs. My Zinn Magster ‘Cross was super responsive and I made lots of passes in technical sections.
I also got to send off the kids I’ve been coaching in Boulder Junior Cycling to battle for their own wins, one of whom took home the jersey and all of whom won the pleasure of racing a championships in front of their community on a course their coach, Pete Webber, designed. It was a uniquely wonderful race and the organizers did a phenomenal job getting the crowds out.
Impressively, more women lined up for the elite race than men, one more thing to be proud of.
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
Emily Unger’s Report
The morning of CX State Championships dawned cool and sunny; cold enough for the ground to freeze overnight but not nearly as frigid as the morning of the Boulder CX where the temps barely creeped above zero. The course had been very slick on Saturday, and I hoped it would remain cold enough for our race to be dry. This would be my first CX State Championship race as this was my first season racing CX, and I was excited to not only race but watch super stars like Georgia Gould compete later in the day. I pre-rode the course and it was indeed hard and fast. The past couple of races had been slow, technical courses, but this course had some nice flowing sections and stretches to pedal hard followed by fun descents that would give my legs a few seconds of rest. I went into the race knowing winning was a long shot because my super speedy teammate Jenny Lucke was also racing Cat 4. My goal was to ideally stick with Marian Mead who was consistently slightly faster. By the time our race rolled around it had warmed up enough to make the course incredibly slick. I had a good start and ended up in 5th which I was pleased with because I started in the second row. I quickly passed the racers in 3rd and 4th places and sat on the wheel of Marian for the first 3 laps. Marian was riding very smart and I couldn’t quite pass her. By the fourth lap Jenny had a sizable gap and Marian was opening a lead on me. I made a critical mistake in the beginning of the last lap and missed a turn and ended up riding through the tape. Luckily I had a large gap on the fourth women and didn’t lose any places, but unfortunately second place was certainly now out of reach. I strove to make up as much time as possible in the last lap but Jenny and Marian were untouchable. I ended up finishing in third not far behind Marian, just as I’d hoped. Overall it was an awesome end to the Colorado Cross Cup and a great way to finish my first CX season. I would especially like to thank all the women who supported me this season and showed me the CX ropes. It is an intimidating sport to try but I’m so glad I did.
Jenny Lucke’s Report
I woke up that Sunday, December 15th excited yet nervous to race in SW 4 for the Cyclocross State Championship Race. I already raced juniors the day before and I loved the fast course with all the cyclocross elements included. There was sand, dirt, grass, snow, mud and ice. There were also plenty of barriers, hair-pin turns and a giant run-up followed by a steep icy downhill. Once I arrived at the race, the sun was shining and it was probably in the high 40º’s. Today was a perfect day to race and I was looking forward to my last race of the season before Nationals. At the start of the race there were only two Naked Women to race in the SW4 category. It was just myself and my fast teammate Emily Unger. I got the fourth call-up and got to line up in the first row, and Emily lined up right behind me. We were ready to race hard and hopefully both get podium! Once I heard the whistle I pushed off as hard as I could and just pedaled like crazy without looking back. The race started with going straight down that big hill that I despised, so I knew I had to get a good start to make up for any mistakes I might make going down it. The race was going great so far and I was in the lead with my main competitor, Marian Mead, right on my tail and Emily right behind her! I had a big enough gap on Marian and Emily that they couldn’t pass me, but if I made any mistakes, they could quickly close the gap. The entire race I just kept pushing it, but I could see the Marian was determined to catch me. After the first and second lap a guy said I only had 17 seconds on them, but by the last lap I had 20 seconds. At every barrier or hill I tried to go as hard as I could to put more time between us and I was determined to win! Coming around the last few corners on the fourth lap I looked back and I couldn’t see Marian or Emily anywhere. I knew that as long as I didn’t crash, I was going to win! I got really excited and I couldn’t wait to finish this exhausting race. Once I came around the last corner to the pavement I smiled big and put my hands in the air to claim Cyclocross State Champion title for SW 4.
I had so much fun this entire cyclocross season and I met some really nice people who made the experience that much better! Also congrats to Marian Mead and Emily Unger who also had great seasons, and both got 2nd and 3rd in the State Champs race!
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.
And the Naked ladies stay on the podium. Due to the superb handling skills, we do quiet well when the conditions, well…aren’t! Here’s Emily Zinn‘s take on the weekend’s cross races.
Finally, back to some real cyclocross. Enough of these lovely, 60 degrees and sunny days with perfect hardpack that make you feel like you’re riding on rails. I want to slip and slide a bit.
It was cold enough that the few inches of snow behaved like light sand if I got caught in the deep stuff, and my bike would start to slither. As the day wore on, the frozen ruts and icy patches began to expose themselves and get slicker, with each lap offering a new surprise and a new patch where your bike thought it might rather be laying on the ground.
The Reservoir course carved up and down the deep sand along the beach, with at least half the course through the sand, but as the snow packed down the sand became hardpack, in most cases it was more forgiving than the conditions the rest of the course.
I find that I am more confident in my relationship with my bike when the day gets slippery and I move my way up the field, and such was the case both days this weekend in both categories I raced.
Sunday carved through the Battle of the Bear trail network in Golden, CO, and on its own wouldn’t have been a technical course, but with the thawing conditions each lap was a different animal and I gapped girls on the slick descents each time. I managed a feat I didn’t realize I was capable of, as well, taking the holeshot from the second row. I finished second behind an astoundingly talented bike handler and all-around tough girl, Katie Clause. Look out for that name in a few years, her face will be on magazines, no question. Now that I’ve thawed and gotten rid of my cold-weather cough I can’t wait for the next day like this.