Category Archives: Off Season
We’ve all been there or we will eventually experience it…the dreaded injury. Some worse than others but it does a number to not only your physical state but your mental one too. Unfortunately, Katey is on injured reserve this year, but hopefully her story of healing will help others out there as well!
Doctors coined it “overuse”. I called it enjoying life. Years of intense pushing, pulling, lifting, hauling carrying and simply being me had caused irreparable damage to my right shoulder. I had torn this, dislocated that, had arthritis here, bone spurs there. It would crackle happily in its socket daily. My right shoulder had become a can of Alpo encased in skin. I had been in pain for years but sadly no amount of PT, Cortisone shots and pats on the head from doctors could alleviate the pain. It was chronic and it needed to get be fixed. The MRI didn’t lie and my orthopedist agreed it was time. Dear friends and family members rallied around my impromptu decision. I figured I had gone big this season skiing over 40 days. But I paid the price, licking my wounds each evening. I waited until my sister and her son visited to ski with our family and went in for surgery the following week.
I am active. Perhaps a little too active? I have a husband, two kids and own a small business. I thrive on keeping busy and being physically active. It’s my sanity and riding is a huge part of it. It was going to be my first season racing with Naked’s mountain bike team. I was devastated. I hadn’t really raced in 10+ years and was ready to represent. My husband had bought me a new 29er for Christmas and I was ready…I was so ready…dangit.
The first few days after surgery I was in a purple haze of oxycodone. My shoulder size would have made a linebacker jealous. It was encased in gauze, goo and swelling. Medication would make me nod off mid visit with friends. I’d wake up in a pool of drool and pain, but I was still in good spirits. Dear friends took care of my boys, made us dinners, brought me flowers and kind words. One even changed my blood soaked dressings for me. My 88 yr old mother in law whom I call “Nonna”, kept me company, quietly working on her Italian crosswords, making me tea and polenta (the only thing I could keep down), and giving me an insufferable stink eye when I even thought about taking more pain medication early. We watched multiple Judy Dench period pieces – they were wonderful distractions and hugely soporific. (Yawn).
Sleep (or lack thereof) was elusive. Anything less than an upright position was excruciating. I had nested on our large leather couch in the family room. Truth be known, I slid off that couch in the middle of the night when I dozed off. (Ow!) I migrated back to our bed much to my husband’s chagrin because sleeping next to me with all my tossing and turning, “ouching” and expletives was just as painful for him. Without sleep, my kids were too loud and my husband looked sheepish. He skulked around my ever changing mood. My road bike was set up on the trainer in our living room winking at me.
My arm was in a sling….but not just any sling but a bright white 6 in wide harness/girdle of medical madness. It velcroed around my waist and arm to let my shoulder hang naturally. Such a good look. It drove me batty. I am left-handed thankfully so I had my dominant arm available but trying to put on underwear, let alone dress was ridiculous. Forget about a bra – too much effort. Skinny jeans- impossible to put on anyway, let alone button with one hand. That mixer on the top shelf- let it collect dust. Want a salad – buy it pre-chopped cause honey, you and a knife one-handed is just plain stupid. I was underslept, overfed and underexercised. Baggy jeans and button down shirts became my uniform. I couldn’t put my hair in a ponytail because I couldn’t reach behind my back far enough. (My husband still has to clip my hair back every morning.) My husband in the early stages had to fish me out of our tub because I managed to strand myself in it. I had so many little WTF moments; I had to chuckle, and chuckle, laugh, and roar out loud I did. For a woman who is painfully independent, resourceful and stubborn as hell, this has been quite a humbling and amusing experience.
But I haven’t let this stop me. I started riding that trainer in the corner tentatively the first week in my girdle. Yes, it was a little precarious and a little silly, but I did it. During following workouts, I’d shed the girdle mid-spin and rest my arm on the top tube for as long as I could without falling over because I couldn’t reach my drop outs. House of Cards and Scandal characters became my friends. I would spend time spinning prudently with Kerri Washington and Kevin Spacey. I wanted to cut my hair like Robin Wright but then a friend said I’d look like a Q-tip (with a big butt). She’s right and I haven’t cut my hair. I went back to my regular indoor spin class two weeks in. I felt like I was in an episode of Cheers…fellow cyclists cheered my dogged, one-armed nature. It gave me hope, it gave me incentive, it made me proud. I also had to remind myself ‘slow and steady girlfriend’. Slow and steady – which technically is not in my nature.
Fast forward five weeks post op, where I am now. My girdle is long gone…burned with the unbecoming jeans. I can sleep now comfortably, know how to get in and out of a bathtub safely, and continue to chuckle about my limitations and cheer at my small successes. My arm has atrophied significantly but my doc gave me the thumbs up to start PT (along with more rigorous exercise). I started to trail run again but I can’t bike outside just yet. If I crash, it could mean another surgery (although I’ve already hit my deductible for the year so hmmm. Strike that.) I spent the kids spring break in the Caribbean (a surprise trip my husband had booked before he even knew I was having surgery) bobbing in the waves with New Jersey retirees. While my husband and I dreamt of bare boating with the kids this trip, we knew my limits. We will next year. I have to remind myself this is just a blip in time.
While my teammates ride their hearts and lungs out, I wish them luck and podium finishes. And I…well, I will be riding on a bike path… ecstatically! Next season, I will be back. Oh, yes, I will be back.
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: Trevista Elementary School located at 4130 Navajo Street Denver, CO 80211
Meeting Location: Turin Bicycles at 700 Lincoln Street. Join us at 7 am if you want free breakfast and coffee! Be ready to ride 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 4.5 miles! We’ll share the bike route the week of the event.
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
When it’s -5 degrees outside, too cold to ski and spitting snow, sometimes you’re forced to remain indoors to get your ride on. But there’s reasons to love indoor training rides, too. Ingrid shares her favorite reasons to ride indoors. Have any to add?
Most of us think of cycling as an outdoor sport. The romantic notion of wind in your face, the freedom to roam the neighborhood as a kid, fun nostalgic stuff like that. But, with a busy life, I really look forward to the season of indoor group suffering on trainers. To be clear, I am mostly focused on the types of classes that allow you to put your own bike on a trainer, but spin classes are also really great. Here’s my list of reasons why riding indoors with friends is not so bad:
1. It’s scheduled
Most of us are just trying to barely fit our training schedules into our lives filled with work and family. And yes, it does feel like other people seem to have more time to train than you do. But, one thing that helps me is having a regularly schedule time to ride, where people will be expecting me. It’s on my calendar and as such, it’s set in stone. It’s a little too easy to skip a ride if you’re just going solo, but when you’ve paid a fee and people are expecting you to show up, it helps.
2. You can do it at night
This one could be considered reason 1.5, but being able to take a class in the evening can also help with hectic schedule and daylight issues in the winter and spring. Challenging myself to get out of work early enough to ride before the sun sets in the spring is one I never win. Inevitably, my ride is cut short as a result, if I make it at all.
3. You get to see your team mates in the off season or make new friends
One thing I love about cycling is the social side of it. I have so much fun during the season racing with women, getting to know them, seeing people improve, etc. The off-season can put a damper on these connections as schedules take over. Organizing a class at a local studio formally or informally with your team mates or good friends can keep those connections up over the winter. We are currently training together on Tuesday evenings at Inspired Training Center.
4. You can focus on your intervals, not worry about traffic and cars
I don’t know about you, but after a long day (or even in the middle of it!), getting on my bike and turning off my brain is really appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I love riding outside, but putting my head down and focusing on only my legs is a good break from my daily chaos.
5. You can listen to loud music without annoying and unsafe earbuds
I try not to ride with earbuds most of the time so that I can be aware of cars and traffic behind me. But, a good jam can really increase your positive attitude and even performance Most cycling studios have great sound systems and some will even let you make requests. And, I have even ridden in a place that had a disco ball!
Overall, riding long hours indoors can get you down as the winter turns to spring. While you’ll see me skate or classic skiing rather than doing a 3 hour indoor rides ever, I do appreciate the mid week, social group cycling class.
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
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 know Susan H., you know she doesn’t like being cold. That doesn’t stop her from riding during winter though! Here’s some tips from Susan. If you want a winter clothing checklist, here’s Rachel and Vera’s previous post to summarize it all for you!
This is one of those difficult questions to answer because what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. I’m the one who shows up for a morning winter ride wearing wool socks, toe warmers, shoe covers, tights, 2 base layer tops, a therminal top, winter jacket, hat under my helmet and something almost equivalent to my snowboarding mittens on my hands. Imagine, if you will, the younger brother on the Christmas Story movie. That’s how I dress for a 20/30 degree morning. The guy I’m usually riding next to on that morning ride has on knee warmers and arm warmers. That’s it! One can only assume he has covered his body in Mad Alchemy Embrocation to keep warm in those type of temps. If this guy dressed the way I needed to, he would probably be a solid block of sweat-ice midway though the ride because he would be over dressed for his needs.
Having a few essential layering pieces can help anyone have a more comfortable cold ride. Also, depending on your cold tolerance and trial and error will depend on how you decide to layer them. A good rule of thumb when preparing for a cold weather ride is to start off just a little cold, because after about 10 minutes of pedaling, you’ll warm up quite nicely. For most folks, if your overdressed, overheating can be uncomfortable, so you may have to experiment a little before you get it right. For me, even though I’ve only ever lived in Colorado, I’m more afraid of being too cold.
Leg and knee warmers. These are awesome because they keep your legs warm when it is in the up 30’s to the 50’s. A cycling rule of thumb is to keep the knees covered when it is 50 or below. For some, such as myself that temp tends to be closer to 60. Another nice thing about leg/knee warmers is that if your starting your ride in colder temps and you are riding long enough that it warms up enough you can take these off and they easily fit in one of your back pockets. If it is really cold tights may be the way to go. Tights can provide that extra wind protection in the front of the body.
Toe and shoe covers. There are a few parts of the body that are more susceptible to the cold air making it important to properly cover them… the hands and feet. For the feet there are a few items that you can consider. Toe warmers slip over the outer shoe and cover the toe box keeping the cold air from getting in. Typically this is all that is needed when it is 40-50 degrees out but when it is colder, say 20, a whole shoe cover is nice. Again…. to be like me you can just wear BOTH!
The core. Even in the cold when you are working, saying climbing up a hill or pedaling along to keep up with the group your riding with, you are sweating. Because of this, a base layer that wicks away the moisture is essential to keep your skin and clothing dry and to avoid heat loss. The next layer I’ll wear is a thermal top. This assists in trapping air between the layers, providing a insulation to help hold heat in. Now…if it is super cold outside, I need to keep the cold air from even reaching me so I’ll layer with yet another layer, a winter coat or something with a wind resistant front layer. This outer layer keeps that cold air off of you and holds the warm air in. This outer layer is often forgotten when someone goes out on a climbing ride. When you climb you are going slower and working harder which makes you think it is warm enough to not need a outer wind resistant layer, but when it comes time to turn around and descend…. It doesn’t take long before regret sets in.
Your head. About 30 percent of the body’s heat is lost through the head. So if you keep your head warm, your body will stay warm/warmer. And no, your helmet is not enough nor does it count as a scull cap. Remember all of the holes in your helmet allow air circulation on hot days. On cold days the cold air circulates. Depending on how cold it is, there are differing levels of gear that can be used. Head bands are a good beginning. A scull cap is also good lightweight remedy but on those crazy cold days you might consider a heavier winter cycling cap or even a balaclava which also protects your face. In 20 and low 30 degree weather you probably want your chin, lips, nose and cheeks covered.
Hands. Visit your local bike shop because they will have a myriad of different gloves. Keeping your hands warm and keeping the cold air off of your hands is very important. If they get too cold and ‘numb’ from being cold…. It makes it very hard to shift and more importantly it makes it very hard to brake. Believe it or not, this is another area you can effectively layer. There are lighter layering gloves that can easily go under a outer wind resistant pair.
In a nut shell….. layering is your friend.
You may have noticed a logo on our jersey and asked, “So what is Zlux?” Susan H. goes into detail about this company that actually PRINTS LIGHT? Way cool.
“We print light”
Through the use of Zlux Electroluminescent Lighting Technology, printed light is now a reality. Using their innovative Zlux Electroluminescent lighting technology along with your custom graphic, they create captivating displays that make your company’s message stand out above the rest. Basically, they turn any normal advertisement type sign into a more attention grabbing sign using light.
You might be wondering what this long “electroluminescence” word is, and what it has to do with Zlux. Well, allow me to explain. First a little history… Electroluminescence Lighting (EL) was first observed in 1907, but was not first published about until 1936 by Georges Destriau. There have been several reports of EL research throughout history, specifically for radars and airplane windshields during World War II, but it was not until the mid-1960′s that it crossed the pond to the United States. Sigmatron Corporation first demonstrated a thin-film EL display in 1965, but were unsuccessful in commercializing the displays and the company folded in 1973.
Here comes the complicated part, explaining what EL is. In its simplest form, it is printed light… When certain chemicals are combined, printed on one another, and attached to a power source, the elements react off of one another and produce light.
Originally the first EL products were made of thick, inflexible and fragile materials, but no longer. Zlux has found a way to make it thin, flexible, and can apply it to an infinite amount of items. In comparison with other lighting, EL is one of the most efficient forms of lighting on the market, it burns very little energy and glows cool to the touch.
Zlux has many products to help with promotion of your company. Signage & Displays, pendants, decals, domed magnets and car magnets. They can also get any promotional product, t-shirts, hats, pens, waterbottles, etc. They also made a pretty sweet Naked Juice sign for us:)
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.
With the forecast turning sharply south (like -16 later in the week) some take to the trainer. But Ingrid prefers to take to the snow!
Even though I get to race with them, I am not a pro. And because only my ego, not my livelihood, depends on me having tip top spring fitness, I really enjoy getting into different sports when it’s cold outside in winter. Sure, I’ll hop on the trainer a few times a week for some interval training, but getting outside to Nordic ski keeps me happy and excited about the bike come spring and summer.
A lot of cyclists take to skate skiing in the winter, but I happen to also love good, old, classic technique. I have a great pair of waxless skis with “fish scales”, making it easy for me to just get out there and go without the hassle of applying kick wax and getting that wrong. Sure, they’re slower, but sometimes it’s just about getting outside.
Skate skiing is absolutely great, because it gives you a chance to use muscles that you may never use on the bike–but that can be a bit hard on your body until you’re trained for it. Additionally, skate skiing is technique-heavy and can take quite some time to learn how to do it without flailing around (I’m still a bit of a flailer). Have you ever watched the women skate skiers in the Olympics? Their middle sections look like tree trunks (in a good way)–they’re using all kinds of core strength. Until you get the proper technique going, you’re likely to use a lot of upper body and arm strength. A few skate ski days in a row can wreck you.
How can you keep yourself fit in the winter with plenty of variety and not over do it? Enter good old classic skiing. While you can certainly go very fast while classic skiing (I may enjoy keeping up with skaters while classic skiing), it is also a lot easier to keep your heart rate down as needed. Classic skiing is a great way to have an outdoor recovery day or to have a good interval session with the proper recovery periods in between.
I’ve definitely found a new appreciation for it. So, give it a try some time! Hope to see you out there.