Category Archives: Race Report
Emily and Brittany escaped to the warmer temperatures of Austin, Texas to compete on the fat tires. They not only came away with new PRs, they also qualified for Leadville! Despite Emily’s illness, she still got 8th female overall! Here’s her recap.
On the morning of March 29th Brittany Jones and I embarked on a 100km mountain bike race in Austin, Texas: The Austin Rattler. Neither Brittany nor I had ever ridden a mountain bike this far before so we were both nervous and wondering if our legs would hold out or if eventually they would just turn into jello. I was especially nervous because in the two weeks before I had had the stomach flu and bronchitis and ridden my bike just once. I had originally planned two weeks of careful tapering but I had opted to just give myself complete rest to see if that would get me better faster. The night before I was still hacking up a lung, but the humid air of Texas seemed to be doing me good and after dosing up on Dayquil, cough drops, and caffeine I felt ready to ride!
The start was slow and crowded as hundreds of eager riders vied for space. I managed to pass a ton of riders and settled into a fast group for the first lap. The riding was very fast; mostly fire road and smooth single track. There was one especially beautiful section where the trail wound through a giant field of blue wild flowers. Most of the riding was non-technical but there was a fun section near the end that was essentially a natural half-pipe. It was really satisfying as a woman to pass lots of men struggling to ride through this technical section!
Each lap was 15.5 miles and after the first lap I realized I had gone out far too fast. I also had been so excited to be flying along I hadn’t spent enough time eating and drinking. I slowed things down a bit for the second lap and tried to drink and eat, although this proved hard because the pace was so fast and the trails were often bumpy and turned frequently, making it hard to eat and drink enough.
During the third lap, around mile 40, I hit the wall. My legs were constantly on the verge of cramping and I felt totally drained. I latched onto a group of faster riders and drafted behind them for the rest of the lap mentally talking myself through every pedal stroke. I stopped at the neutral feed station after the third lap and downed as much food and liquid as I could and took a few salt pills. Feeling a bit reinvigorated I began my final lap. I was totally fried at this point and knew it was a mental game. It was also becoming quite hot and humid as we approached noon, which I wasn’t used to. Plus, after mile 50 every pedal stroke I took was new territory since I’d never ridden more than 50 miles on my mountain bike. This lap was a test of my will power and I had to take all of the technical sections slowly because my legs were feeling so shaky, but I eventually could see the crowded finish line and knew I would complete the race!
My goal before I had been so sick was to finish in under 5 hours, I came in at a time of 5:02. Since I’d been so ill, I had just been hoping to finish and I was really excited that I had come so close to my goal while having bronchitis! I ended up coming in 9th overall for women and 2nd in the 20-29 age group. I actually qualified for the Leadville Race but had to turn it down because I’m starting medical school in Boston just a few days after and the timing didn’t make sense. Plus the idea of riding 40 more miles than I’d just ridden was mildly terrifying. Overall though it was an amazing race. I felt pretty awful after and on the way home I coughed up a bit of blood, which just goes to show I pushed myself to my limits. I’m really glad I did the race and I have all the more respect for endurance mountain bike racers!
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
Kimberley had a great start to the 2014 racing season due to her hard work over the winter. We think the rest of the year will be very similar for her! Read about her first race of the season, Valley of the Sun.
While I fully intended to post throughout the fall and winter, chronicling the ups and downs of winter training, that just did not happen. Between taking on a new position in one of the three jobs I juggle, putting in ungodly hours on the trainer each week due to the bipolar weather tendencies of Colorado, and trying to stick to my new years resolution of keeping …READ MORE ON HER BLOG
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!
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
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!
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.
Coach Cathy made it on the podium despite the less than desirable conditions – but, that’s cyclocross and why she loves it!
When I first read about this race I thought I should add a Mohawk to my helmet. I signed up immediately and had grand plans for getting my ‘cross punk on – you know, tons of safety pins, doll head dangling from the saddle – you get the idea. When Sunday rolled around it was all I could do to get out of my warm bed to race. I decided braving the single digit temps that morning would be “punk” enough for me.
As crazy as it may sound, you do get warm during these cyclocross races. Don’t get me wrong, I did have a minimum of two layers of clothing on, and three in places (knees, chest, and arms), but it wasn’t miserable. It was actually pleasant and fun (like any other CX race)! The sun even peeked out a bit.
The start was on snowy hill on asphalt, which sharply turned into a descent on the trail. The cold temps had frozen some good ruts into the trails, which made for a sporty descent. And as the temps rose the course changed. Whatever started as a frozen and iced over became slushy, muddy goodness! The course meandered through the forest and abruptly stopped at a barrier and run-up. There was a flat chunk of the course with two more barriers, a thick sand pit, and one more barrier for good measure. It was a good mix of riding, and running.
My start was horrendous! I was dead last, but that meant I had people to chase. By the second lap I was in second place. After that I lost track of cold, pain, amount of laps, and everything else (as evidenced by the snotcicles). At one point I was right on the wheel of Maurine Sweeney, a formidable competitor and all around nice lady, who was in first place. Between a fumbled remount, and a snowy crash I lost some ground, and finished second.
I was happy to see some of my fellow crazy teammates out in the cold. Brittany Jones and Emily Zinn (2nd place) both made it out for the SW3 race.
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?