Category Archives: MTB
Susan A. CRUSHED the first mountain bike race of the year….all 60 miles of it and landed on the podium. Even after racing 60 miles, she still supported her other teammate doing the 30 mile race. Truly inspiring ride for the day.
I was undecided; race 30 miles or race 60 miles, after all the last time I raced 60 miles, let alone rode 60 miles on my mountain bike was two years ago. Then I read a Facebook post made by Vera, “to live every day and enjoy everything you have”. So the 60-miler was it, heck why not! Saturday was shaping up to be a beautiful day and as it got closer, I started to get nervous…what was I thinking signing up for this? I am not in the right kind of shape…I have no clue how to race this kind of event. But I reminded myself that life is about living and to believe in myself.
The morning of the race, I got a text message from Rachel saying that she was going to be at the race supporting her boyfriend and that if I needed anything to let her know. I was planning on going with the flow and if necessary using neutral support, however having her there for feeding and moral support gave me a huge sense of relief. I did a 15 minute warm-up with a few hard efforts, then headed over to the start-line. I was nervous yet calm, as I knew the effort wasn’t going to be all out from the start.
The start was on a gradual uphill paved road for about 250 meters before we hit the singletrack. The whistle blows and Cristienne Beam (Tough Girls/SCOTT) takes off like she was shot out of a cannon. Holy crap! I quickly joined her, because I wasn’t going to let her get away. The pace was high and the two of us were caught by Laura (unattached). We found ourselves pulling away from the rest of the group. I guess was wrong about the pace!
After a few miles, I found myself in the lead and pulling away from the other two racers. I thought: Am I going too fast? Am I going to bonk? I had no clue what to do or what to expect. I chose to go with it and just see what happens. I had about two miles left of the ten mile lap and I was still in the lead. I thought well, okay, let’s do this one lap at a time. The goal for the first lap was to cross the lap line in first place. I did just that for first lap and then the next three as well. I felt great for the first 30 miles, I was riding strong and technically sound, but I really wasn’t sure what so do, how fast should I go or not go? I had no one in my group to chase down.
To keep my speed up, I started focusing on men in front of me and trying to catch them and repeating the mantra “out of sight out of mind”. At times, I would catch my mind wondering, thinking about all kinds of stupid things and not the task at hand, but I quickly realized it and redirected them. I tried to focus on positive thoughts, like I am strong, I am good at endurance events, I know how to ride my bike. But I also, had keep my skills dialed in by reminding myself to keep my chin up, look where I want to go, keep my grip loose, etc.
The course had several punchy climbs, a few short climbs, but mostly it was twisty-turny with loose gravel on top of hard-packed dirt. It is easy to go too fast and find yourself off the trail wrapped around a tree or headed down a ravine. While the course isn’t technical in the sense of big of rocks, drops and tree roots, it does require skill and the ability to control the bike at higher speeds to prevent crashing when going fast into a corner. It is mostly about tire pressure, weight distribution and finding the right amount of speed to go fast and stay upright.
Around mile 42, I started to get tired and found myself looking behind me a lot to gauge where the other racers where. Going thought the feed zone and approaching the beginning a lap five, Rachel said, “I think you are in first”, I said.” yes, I am”, but I knew my lead was about to be challenged. I tried to keep pushing it, but eventually I was caught and she said “wow, I thought I was never going to see you again” and then said, “ keep it rolling, there are a few close behind”… I was tired and speechless, but appreciated the encouragement. I stayed with her for a bit, but was starting to make several mistakes, almost crashing a few times. Although I surprised myself that I was able to make the save each time, and keep from crashing. I backed it off a little, otherwise I was going end up off my bike in the dirt. While it is frustrating to lead a race for two-thirds of it and end up in second place, I am very proud of myself and what I accomplished, both mentally and physically that day. I took a chance, relished the moment and had a successful outcome and that IS living.
Quick Left - 902 Pearl Street
FirstBank, Breckenridge Branch - (N. Park/9 & Ski Hill Rd)
200 Ski Hill Road
9-news - 500 E Speer Blvd
Transamerica Building – 303 E 17th Ave
Downtown Denver YMCA – 25 E 16th Ave
Community College of Denver Department of Dental Hygiene - 111 Havana Street
Campus Cycles - 2102 S. Washington St.
FirstBank, Frisco Branch - (N. Ten Mile Dr. & Hwy. 9)
960 N. Ten Mile Dr
4 U Mini Mart - 15750 S Golden Rd Ste B
Campus Cycles – 7310 West Colfax Avenue
FirstBank, Silverthorn Branch - (I-70 & US Hwy 6)
160 U.S. Highway 6
Things get better with age-like our third annual Ride for Reading delivery! Join 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.
NEW for this year: We challenge YOU to lead a Ride for Reading delivery in YOUR CITY! If we can get 5 new cities on board, then we will donate $250 to Ride for Reading on behalf of the Naked Women’s Cycling team.
What: Colorado-based women’s competitive cycling team Naked Women’s Racing will deliver thousands of donated children’s books by bicycle to Smith Elementary School Friday, May 10 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.
When: Delivery takes place Friday, May 10 from 8:15 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: Smith Elementary School located at 3590 Jasmine Street Denver, CO 80207
Meeting Location: Parking lot of 9NEWS located at 500 E. Speer Blvd
Bike Route: Our bike route will be doable by any person of any fitness level on any bike! We assure you, so please join us.
How to Register to Volunteer:
How to Make a Donations: Cash donations are tax deductible so please provide your name, mailing address, and donation value with your donation so Ride for Reading can send you a tax exempt letter.
If you’d like to donate used or new age-appropriate books, please drop them off at one of our many DROP OFF LOCATIONS around Denver and Boulder. If you aren’t local and would still like to send us books, please mail them to the Quick Left to Attn: Rachel Scott, 902 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado 80301.
How can my business become a drop box location? Simple! Email us at info [at] nakedwomenracing.com to let us know so we can add you to our list of drop off locations and get you a poster notifying the public that you are an official Ride for Reading Book Drop location. You can also download our 8.5 x 11 RfR_Poster_2013.
Are you a member of the media and want to publish this story? If you are a member of the media, feel free to publish any of this information here. We welcome you to join us on the delivery too! We are available for personal interviews pre, during, or post event so please email us (info [at] nakedwomenracing.com) and a team representative will get back to you immediately. Video and photography are welcome at the school; however, you must contact the school to arrange parental waivers ahead of time. You can also contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the delivery date, and we can add your language to our photo/video release.
Read how last year’s delivery went HERE: Includes recap, images and video from last year’s delivery. We had so many books that we got to do an impromptu delivery to two schools last year!
See what Ride for Reading is all about below:
We just had our team camp and had 20+ Race and Club team ladies come from all over Colorado to convene in Moab, Utah during the Skinny Tire Festival (great item Roberta won at the BRAC Road Awards Party). We played in the dirt, road through state and national parks, national monuments, and drank a little too much wine. Here’s a very brief recap from the twins but more to follow of our team camp.
As kids we went to camp to get away, stay up late, eat food our parents would never give us, and not shower. As adults camp is actually very similar. The Amandas packed all our chamois, a couple extra bottles of wine, and headed West to Camp Naked Moab with 18 of our fellow teammies.
Here are 10 things we learned from Camp Naked Moab:
- Berta “The Basa$$” will teach you everything from paceling to Peace Corp Popcorn
- Even though everyone might like the twins, not everyone considers the best part of waking up is overly excited Amandas chitty chatty loudly.
- Your legs aren’t the only things that need to shut up; butt, thighs, feet, Helga, etc…
- The scenery always makes up for the elevation gain… ALWAYS.
- Riding with your teammies in crumy weather is way better than riding indoors & alone…period.
- Real team bonding happens at a winery.. chocolate, cheese, and wine are great for recovery!
- There are no deer in Utah!
- Jumping fences is only legal when there are hot tubs behind them
- Paul is the best husband any group of Naked cyclist sister wives could ever have
- We have the greatest group of teammates and friends anyone could ask for
Already looking forward to Camp Steamboat,
NOTE: This award wouldn’t be possible without the support of our 2012 sponsors. They believed in us since day one. Special thanks to Naked, Prerace.com, Spine One, TriBella Women’s Multisport, Partners In Women’s Health, Prestige Imports, Curve Inc., Kinesys, Power Bar, Handlebar Mustache, Rudy Project and DT Swiss. Thank YOU for supporting women’s cycling!
Colorado Springs, Colo. (December 17, 2012) – USA Cycling is excited to announce the winners of its 2012 “Club of the Year” awards! Three clubs earned overall “Club of the Year” honors in divisions I, II, and III and an additional eight clubs earned special awards in the junior/interscholastic, masters, women’s, new club, track, mountain bike, cyclo-cross, and collegiate categories.
In addition to bragging rights, the winning clubs will receive a trophy and complimentary renewal fees for 2013. Congratulations to our winners!
Division I – Team Dayton Bicycling (Dayton, Ohio)
Division II – Northwest Cycling Club (Houston, Texas)
Division III – Ghisallo Foundation (Austin, Texas)
Junior/Interscholastic - Team Velosport/ Sho- Air/ Rock ‘n Road (Irvine, Calif.)
Masters - Cross Creek Cycling (Fayetteville, N.C.)
Women – Naked Women’s Racing p/b TriBella (Boulder, Colo.)
Best New Club – East Aurora Racing Club (East Aurora, N.Y.)
Track – Rubicon Cycling LLC: Project London 2012 (Vancouver, Wash.)
Mountain Bike – Whole Athlete/Specialized Cycling Team (Woodacre, Calif.)
Cyclo-cross – Snakebite Racing (Lakewood, Ohio)
Collegiate – MIT Cycling (Cambridge, Mass.)
Winning clubs were chosen for exhibiting excellence in several areas including race promotion, membership composition, instructional clinics and seminars, club activities, charity work, and race performance. Here’s a break-down of what our 2012 Clubs of the Year have been up to.
So we had a new course this year for race number six in the mountain bike series. I love riding my bike up in the mountains, it’s refreshing and beautiful. But I especially love it up in Winter Park. I was excited to race today, the weather was great and I was ready. It was unfortunate that I was not able to ride the new course before race day, but I wasn’t going to focus on that.
3-2-1-GO! The fast paced start was on a steep climb on the road, which led us onto the single-track. I quickly found myself in the red zone, but I knew that after a three mile climb a descent awaited me. The climb had several steep technical sections, which is where a made my first mistake. I chose a bad line and found myself unclipping my foot to keep from falling over, struggling to get going again, and three racers passed me. I fought hard to catch up to them as we crested the climb. But then came the tricky descent with several near death whooptydoos… Just kidding, but seriously if you hit those things wrong you will go flying off the bike.
Whew, I made it through it, but as I tried shifting into a harder gear to pedal through the next section I realized that I had dropped my chain on the descent. I had no choice but to hop off my bike and put it back on, and again a few more racers passed me. At this point, I was a little frustrated, but not ready to give up. As I went through a muddy section in the trees, I was thinking to myself, “yeah it would have been nice to have ridden this prior to race day.” I was not able to look far down the trail, because it was too twisty, and this slowed me down. I was also slipping and sliding on the roots due to my wet muddy tires, so I had to choose my lines carefully, which I was doing well. But next thing I noticed, my chain fell off again, and on top of that, my rear brake was squeaking.
Okay, now I was really frustrated, mad and ready to give up. I wanted to do well today and things just weren’t going my way. Several times, I contemplated bailing, but I had no idea how the heck to get out of there besides following the race course. Plus I have learned from experience that quitting a race is much harder afterwards than just having a bad result, so I stuck it out and finished.
Janet scores a Cat 1 podium spot for the Naked Women’s Racing Team at the Burn MTB XC TT race. Any race that combines TTing, MTBing, and Uphill simply sounds painful!
On a race day morning there’s a moment in waking when your feet touch the ground and you do a body inventory: are my hamstrings the tight knots they’d been for three days? Did I sleep enough? Did I do anything stupid last night? I woke on Saturday with relief that the hike up Mount Shavano had finally healed, my hamstrings were mobile, and I’d avoided drinking a martini or three the night before so had slept fitfully. I looked out at the soft twilight over Denver as the dog ran in circles around my legs and thought I’m going to win.
The route, drive, and morning routine and breakfast are all inconsequential. These are dreary details that you might find fascinating, but even your coach would yawn to hear. Since I don’t have a coach I will yawn at them myself. One detail is of consequence, I’d lost my inhaler and it was hot out. I have asthma, its mild at best, but that day this was a notable detail.
If you’re not familiar- The Burn is a mountain bike time trial- so it started with a quick chat at the time clock with the USCF official, and then I was off in my big ring. My legs felt good at the start and I eased the downhill since I’m not a hotshot downhiller. It turned up to the first climb and initially was hot to go until my asthma kicked in. I’m going to win, I thought, audible wheeze, and guessed my oxygen sats were around 70 at that point. Wheeze, I’m going to win, wheeze. Yes, it was a bit of a buzz kill, but I kept it up as eventually the adrenaline would kick in and I’d get relief. Sure I couldn’t breathe, but my legs were still working. You have to stay optimistic, right? I slammed a rock or two in hypoxia, I’m going to win, I thought. Gasp.
Then I passed two women, then a couple more. The wheeze stopped. I was in the middle ring going up that sandy climb in the burn and feeling alright. Maybe I would win? I still kept it in my pocket. I was almost to the top and a woman caught me and passed me. Shit, I’m not going win, I thought. But at least I had someone to chase and a reason to keep it red-lined. I followed her until she disappeared up the last big climb. Thunder rumbled overhead and dark round clouds billowed low. A wind picked up but I didn’t notice as my legs cranked the hill. I passed a few more women. I’d wanted to keep it in the middle ring but caved halfway up and slipped to my small ring and spun it for my quads. On the apex of the hill I clicked up to the big ring and give it all I had. We crested into trees kneeled forward and a raging headwind that knocked a lot of steam from my engine. Shit, I thought, go legs, go and I cranked until they screamed and somehow made it around the lake. Alright, so I didn’t win, but I gave it all I had and I podiumed. I’ll win next time.
Race report from Susan Adamkovics on the first mountain bike race of her season.
Ridgeline Rampage...First mountain bike race of the season…check box. I knew it was going to be a hot day, so I made sure to fuel up with some Naked coconut water on the way to the race. I was pretty sure I was going to die, joking of course, but I am not in nearly the kind of shape I’ve been in the last few years at this early in the season. None the less, I signed up for the 30 miler. My teammate Joan and I were suffering from pre-race jitters at the start… 3-2-1 go and we’re off. We both got a great start with Joan winning the holeshot. Joan led for most of the first lap; she is a little mountain goat and quite honestly an amazing mountain bike racer. The course was dry and slick with technical turns. It was tricky, because you had to lean the body not the bike. I did it wrong one too many times, but fortunately I was able to save myself from complete disaster. There were a lot of riders on the course at the same time, so I often found myself getting stuck behind them. I was making risky moves to pass so I didn’t lose too much time, but that is a part of racing. “Head-up” was the mantra playing over and over in my head, this was important because I was not familiar with the course and it was fast with a lot of turns.
During the first lap, I felt as if my rear tire was a bit low and I started to worry about what to do; should I stop and put some air in, or keep riding. I chose to keep riding, and thought about the advice my husband Peter always says to me, “just focus on riding the bike, don’t worry about the other stuff.” Which if you know me, can be a laundry list of items. I posted a solid time on the first lap, 51 minutes. I started to fade midway through the second lap, and from that point on it was a back and forth with my effort. During the final lap I could see a female rider coming up behind me. This gave me the extra motivation to keep pushing during the final couple of miles. I ended up 3rd in my age group and 4th overall, while Joan took the win in her age group and got 2nd overall.
Pictures coming soon from Mountain Moon Photography!
Kim and I have had quite the adventure so far getting to Silver City, New Mexico for the 26th Annual Tour of the Gila big girl race, aka pro race with the likes of Kristin Armstrong and Alison Powers to name a few. Though I don’t quite deserve to be here since cycling is my hobby, and I most certainly don’t get paid (nor could I) to do this as my day job, it’s fun to challenge yourself. Like my friend Alli told me, “even if you don’t have a great race, it’s the cheapest and most effective climbing camp you’ll ever do!”
I’ll do my best to summarize the start of our saga; however, I’m quite exhausted after racing and thumbing for a ride following the point-to-point race.
Sunday-Spun on my rollers for 45 min before swinging by Kim’s to load up the car. The day before, we spent the entire afternoon taking off our generously provided Thule rack on our generously provided team car by Prestige Imports, and outfitting it with longer bars, 5 roof racks, and two wheel mounts (stolen from Kimberley’s car). Before we knew it, our journey began. We drove nearly straight through to Albuquerque. A howling bloodhound on the loose in Trinidad held us up at the gas station. We did what we could to find the owner, but gave him to a panhandling man for safe keeping. Then dinner stop in ABQ at Farina Pizza and Wine bar for dinner, before driving to Socorro, NM for the night.
Monday-Kim and I are great at GSD (Getting Stuff Done)! We both woke up, and got an easy spin in from our hotel room. We both showered, packed back up, loaded all the bikes on the car and were out the door within 25 min. of our ride. Now that’s fast! We arrived early in Silver City, after both of us got car sick from the weaving drive into town through the Gila National Forest. Since we are both about GSD, we drove the sketchy descent everyone has warned us about on stage 2, and confirmed our fears. It’s a doosey. Then went to the grocery, stocked up on plenty o’calories and p’haps a lil’ wine. Unloaded everything at our A-MAZING hosts’ house. Denise and Steve are great folks and we couldn’t have picked better hosts, and a better pad to relax between races. If I get the nerve to do this race again, I’d love to come back here. We have yet to see Javelinas, but make up for it in hummingbirds on their amazing porch with a picturesque view.
Tuesday-Eat and pre-rode the TT course. This will be ridiculously tough. 1500 feet of climbing, yet mostly doable on a TT bike. No one said it would be easy though. And if anything, this is my cheap climbing camp I’ve always wanted to go to:)
Wednesday-Eat and Race. Stage #1, 73.1 miles and too much climbing (4500 ft though my Garmin says more). Our field consisted of 60+ super strong women, mostly comprised of pro’s. After the 2 mile neutral start rolling through town, the gas was on full blast. Several small attacks occurred one after the other, with one sticking through the end of the race. And these aren’t those attacks that I attempt to throw out at a race-this was the real deal. Aaaand if you got dropped on these rollers, you’d kiss your chances of finishing anywhere near the time cut goodbye. On one of the rollers, a girl attacked so hard, I think she wiped herself out. That’s what appeared to happen as I narrowly missed it, running right up on her tire while trying not to dart out of the way causing another crash. Unfortunately, she wiped out some teeth too in her crash. I hope she has a speedy recovery!
Most of the race for me was trying to find a good place to hide and stay out of the wind. Kim did a great job at this. At about our half way point, the entire field agreed to a pee break, since our mechanics don’t allow for us to go from the bike itself. Because the lead group was led to take a wrong turn, this was the prime opp to get her done. So after relieving ourselves, we were neutralized until the lead group could get their time back from the break, and then allowed to go. All very new and very interesting to me.
All was great for me with the exception of my normal leg cramps I can never seem to shake. I’ve learned I can push through them and sometimes if I’m lucky they will go away. They came and went in this race starting at mile 40. Other than the cramps, I felt great…until we got to the last feed zone before the climb. I tried to grab a water but the rider in front of me got it and the volunteer only had 1 bottle. Then I rode very slowly to grab another one from a volunteer reloading….and then it happened. Kaboom-I couldn’t go anymore as the group was pulling away. I chased and chased but alas, I couldn’t do more without walking on the last climb. I kept the group in my sights for the next mile until the climb. Lost a lot of time and should have never stopped at the feed zone.
In starting the climb, I worked with a couple other dropped riders, but was too worked from chasing by myself. They finished a couple minutes in front of me on the 6.7 mile climb (that averaged 11%!). I honestly contemplated walking my bike because it would have been faster than I was riding. I did see a couple other male riders doing this. As I crossed the finish, my only hope was that I made the time cut off (and didn’t get last, but at that point I was just glad to be done!).
Besides the last climb, the hardest part was attempting to hitch a ride back after riding 80 miles and climbing nearly 4,600 ft! It was a point-to-point race with the end being about an hour’s drive from town. And us not being that pro and all, had to beg for a ride because the shuttles that they promised were no where in sight. Awesome. Luckily, Kim hitched a ride with Tibco since they had one spot, and I gave my spot in another vehicle to John Klish. I then hunted with Cat Johnson (who took 9th!) and Amy Charity for a spot and asked the UnitedHealthcare pro team to take us back. We had to wait till they finished, but fortunately and unfortunately they won the stage which means they had to stay for interviews and podium! So we had to wait another hour after the hour we spent searching for a ride before Rory Sutherland got back and then his teammate who took 6th. We finished at noon and didn’t get back home until 4 pm. But thank you to Alex, the United’s amazing soigneur who gave us chocolate, water and chairs to sit in while we waited.
Poor Kim had to wait 2 hours for us to get back in a random guys hot RV because I had the car keys! So much for recovery! We’ll see how this will affect the rest of our race:)
Time to shove more food in my face!