Category Archives: MTB
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.
After two years of injury, Susan has come back strong as ever. Great to watch her thrive in the dirt and on the road this season!
It’s the last race of the Winter Park series and I’m barely hanging on, suffering from burn out. I need to take a break from racing and I know it, but I decided use this final race as a way to better myself in the future. It was cloudy and cool, but the sun was starting to come out the closer we got to the starting area. Today’s start is on a three mile dirt road section…
3-2-1-go and we are off.
I quickly tuck into the middle of the pack, bits of gravel are spitting up in my face and dust plumes are being kicked up by the mass of women racing down the dirt road. At the first incline the group splits up and I find myself dangling off the front group at my limit and I can’t hang. I’m quickly joined by a few other racers; we work together to catch another racer who fell victim to the fast pace set by the Pro Women.
Somehow, I end up in the front pulling the pack right before the left hand turn onto the singletrack. While being on the front is typically a great place to be, the problem was I had spent too much time on the front and was tired. Every rider in my pack passed me as we started the climb up Morse pass. Trying hard to not beat myself up; I told myself to ignore the little devil in my head, keep pedaling (even though I wanted to stop) and find a rhythm. I actually reached the top of the pass in a decent time. I planned to stop at the top to let some air out of my rear tire. Before I stopped, I practiced it in my head how I was going to do it so I would not lose a lot of time.
I pushed myself on the Blue Spruce descent to make anytime I possibly could and was able to catch a racer. Next up was Flume and Chainsaw, two of the more technical parts of the course, and I rode it well. I pushed myself a bit too hard on the last part of Chainsaw, which is an energy zapping climb. I had enough left to get me through the Elk Meadow climb, but I was getting tired and starting to ride sloppy on the downhill part. The course was wet and muddy, with lots of puddles.
Right before the D2 climb there were two huge puddles and no way to avoid them. Right after that, I had to quickly downshift as the steep part of D2 was right in front of me. Unfortunately, my chain got stuck. It was jammed in there pretty bad, but after a few hard yanks I managed to get it unstuck. This really deflated my mental state and I found myself unable to fight any longer. Typically, I can continue to persevere, but not today and not right now. I finished the race and thought I was going to die a few times during the last few miles or so and of course I knew I certainly wasn’t going to die, but I wanted it to be over. I crossed the finish line with a smile. It was a victory smile, as I was proud of myself for sticking with it and never giving up (even though I wanted to many times). I finished 2nd overall in the Expert class 40-49 for Winter Park Series, not a bad way to end the mountain biking season.
- 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.
Susan A. took first (along with Megan) this weekend at Winter Park’s technical Point to Point race. Despite all her mechanicals, she pulled out the big W!
The unexpected win. My body was still recovering from Mountain Bike Marathon Nationals, I hadn’t been on my mountain bike for a week, historically I have never done well at this race and well…I flat out wasn’t in the mood to race today. I even tried to offer up my rear wheel to my husband who got a last minute flat during his warm-up ride, but it didn’t work.
3-2-1-GOooo and we were off. I was taking it easier at the start than usual, but I knew I didn’t want to get stuck behind anyone going into the single track, so I give a few hard efforts to make my way towards the front of the group of racers I was with. The first section, called Lower Arapahoe, was a little tricky and I wasn’t riding it well, but once I found myself on Upper Cherokee I was flying, trying make up the time I had lost a few minutes earlier. I got up to the racer who was in first place, Michelle (Avout Racing). I stayed on her tail for a while, backing off every now and again, but never losing sight of her. At the Vasquez Ford water crossing she had some trouble and had to dismount, while I was able to ride through it and pass her upon exiting the ford. Then we played a little cat and mouse, but she eventually pulled away from me. During the second half of the race, I dropped my chain six times while descending, two of which I could not get back on my crank simply by shifting the front derailleur, and so I had to stop to manually put it back on. It was frustrating, but not uncommon for this race, however I will say that six times seems excessive. I kept my cool and tried to make up the lost time on the flats and hills, which must have worked because during the last 2-3 miles I caught Michelle again.
We were on a trail called Flume, a rooted, rocky, twisty, and technical trail in the trees, with short punchy technical climbs, which are my strength. I passed her and then put the hammer down, and found that I quickly gained a slight gap. The trail popped out onto a jeep road before heading onto more singletrack. I looked back and she was closer than I wanted her to be and I knew I had to ride focused, smart and FAST. Again, I opened up a gap, but larger than before. However, even though it was a flat trail, it was loaded with roots and rocks and I dropped my chain for the sixth time! That horrible feeling of lightning speed pedaling with no traction is always sinking feeling. I couldn’t downshift to force it back on, so I quickly hopped off my bike, pushed my rear derailleur forward to provide slack in my chain, used my finger to get the chain back on my crank, clicked my left shifter and grabbed my pedal to rotate the chain around the crank to make sure it was on, crap! I did it too fast I didn’t get enough of the chain on the crank, so I had to do it all again. In the nick of time, I hopped back on my bike, did a quick look back and saw Michelle out of the corner of my eye. This was it, with very little remaining to the finish line, I had to give it all I had and not screw up. I crossed the finish line first and took the win. It was unexpected, to say the least and it felt good, but winning usually does.
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,