Category Archives: Road
Continuing her Roadie Series, Rachel shares some tips with you to help hold your position in the pack. You worked hard for that spot, so here’s how to keep it!
BEST TACTICS FOR HOLDING YOUR POSITION IN THE PACK
First, read this blog post from the Norcal Cycling News on how to hold your position in the pack. Oldie but a goodie. Some very good pointers here and will set the groundwork for the rest of my blog post. Seriously, required reading before diving into specific tactics.
As we all know, our competitors have certain strengths. If you don’t know these riders and their strengths and weaknesses, be sure to watch them and find out. It’s usually pretty clear. But, as we’ve also seen in our own riders, we each have strengths we didn’t know about. So, we don’t want to get trapped into ANY expectation for ANY rider. Including ourselves. So while some of these tips are just scenarios, each could end a million different ways. This is just what I perceive (and my coaches perceive) are best practices so to speak. Intrigued? Read on!
BEST TACTICS TO HOLDING YOUR POSITION IN A BREAK
So, you find yourself in a break … what are the “best” tactics? In a break, you must be honest with yourself … and the question is this:
“What can I do in this break that will give my team the best chance at winning the race?”
So what are those some answers?
- drive the break
- sit on the break
- attack the break
- be conservative in the break
- kill the break
- sacrifice for a teammate in the break
- attack for the win from the break
- repeat 7.
- never, ever get dropped from the break. Ever.
and, so on.
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“So I’m in a break with a sprinter, she’ll beat me…what do I do?”
Good question. First answer: don’t work with him/her. Unless you make the decision that you are happy with second if you can’t beat this gal/guy, then take whatever you can out of the situation. Because, sometimes second is as best our team is going to get. Them’s just the honest facts
However, for the vast majority of races, the proper tactic is to put your team in the best situation to win the race. And so, that may mean killing a break that has a sprinter who will beat you in it. But what if you have a teammate with you against that feared sprinter? Well then, I think you know you can beat her then.
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“I’m strong in the break, but no one will work with me?”
Well, I have to be honest with you, 99% of the time if a girl isn’t working in a break, it’s because she can’t. Everybody, I mean EVERYBODY wants to be seen as strong, it’s as simple as that. If there’s ever a rider who’s sitting on you for a reason other than she’s tired or that her team tactics dictate it … well, those are what we deem as wheelsuckers and they will get branded as such.
But, the honorable riders don’t sit on unless there’s a valid reason to do so. If you have a teammate up the road, it’s almost always suitable to sit on chasing riders. If you can’t win the race out of a 2-up move and you don’t want your team to settle for second, it’s ok to sit on that rider. etc.
And so, back to the original question – you’re strong, but the riders won’t work in the break. Well, maybe the best tactic is to kill the break immediately so you can re-absorbed in the pack and try and attack out again with a more favorable set of conditions for you.
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“I’m in a 4-person break and I might be the weakest rider. Should I work or wait for teammates?”
The answer to this question will answer a lot of your questions about whether to work for a teammate, or what you should do as a teammate when one of your other ladies is up the road.
Anyone who does the work to get into a break or ANY of your teammates who does the work to get into a break deserves to get a result out of that break. We love winning, but we love the chase of the win more. Meaning, if one of our teammates gets in a break, let’s support their chance at a result. The reasoning behind this is obvious. If we all share the work, we’ll all share the chances at being that rider either in the break, or positioned well for a field sprint.
Any examples you can share? Let us know!
Already three races deep in the Spring Classics season, and just like that, the road season is upon us! Channeling her inner Boonen in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne today, Rachel is going to share with you some early season road racing tips in her Roadie Series. Any you have to add?
EARLY SEASON RR (ATTACKING AND COUNTERATTACKING)
a) recognize which breaks to go with;
b) how to share the workload in covering attacks;
c) how to try and conserve energy while in breaks.
WHICH ATTACKS TO GO WITH? WHEN SHOULD YOU ATTACK?
OK, first thing to remember is that EVERYONE is fresh and fast in the first 5 minutes of a race. If a break goes right from the gun and they stick it to the end … well, they deserve it. But, that’s very, very rare – so, my suggestion is to play the odds and try and be as relaxed and cool in the first couple laps as you can. Get to know your competitors, get to know the course.
Now then, you MUST recognize which teams have larger presences and that if they attack – they are likely interested in forming moves. If a single rider attacks – it’s often ok to let them go off the front; however, you then prepare yourself to follow the NEXT person(s) who try to bridge to them. In the end, racing is a lot of math (with knives). If your pack can average 23mph – you know that a breakaway will have to average higher than that. It is rare that a single rider can do so – but, 3 or 4 riders can do so with much more regularity. And so, if you see a move of 3 or 4 riders going off the front, that’s when you need to make sure your team is represented.
The key to being represented in moves throughout a race is to share the workload. If you have seen a teammate just attack or follow an attack, you MUST ready yourself to follow the next one. You MUST extend the energy needed to position yourself near the front of the race … but not AT the front of the race. Riding in the first 10-20 riders almost always allows you enough space and time to attack out of the pack. Don’t be nervous about positioning, you can do it.
Remember, even in races with “lower category” riders – there will be attacking riders. But, there will be some CHASING riders, too. There will be big, strong girls who won’t really know how to race bikes – but will know how to go hard. If you see these women going to the front and setting a hard pace – let them. You don’t need to attack them, be patient and see what happens. The time to attack is when the speed drops – it’s speed differential that makes the gap, makes the race. But getting the gap is only the first part – keeping the gap is the second.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s fun. Have FUN!
Remember which direction everyone is pulling off, and flick with the INSIDE elbow to signal that you’re coming off. Then, move slowly in the direction the group has been pulling off. Now, if no one pulls through – just keep slowing down. Remember – you have teammates behind who will follow the next attack if your group gets caught. That is SO IMPORTANT to remember – you MUST be willing to let your group to get caught. If your breakaway mates aren’t going to pull, the move is doomed and there is no sense in your killing yourself in it.
Don’t surge! Keep the same speed as your break’mates. If you surge in speed, it will decrease the likelihood of them continuing to work with you. And remember, MANY riders will surge with their pulls – so you’ll need to be fresh to be able to accelerate with them. Many riders do not have experience in breaks and will do a lot wrong in them. You must be able to anticipate and adapt.
Many times the finish of the race is on the top of the hill (short or long like our Bannock Criterium team race); it helps the officials to sort out the group also.
If you are in a breakaway, you need to remember that hill will be taxing and you can get dropped faster than freshman chemistry. If you attack, or you follow an attack – be sure to regulate your effort as much as possible so that you have some juice in the tank for that long effort up the finishing hill. Now, how does one do that? You still need to pull in a breakaway group, right? YES! and no.
A very good skill is to learn how to take quick, short pulls in a breakaway. In a criterium – it’s all about recovery. So, taking short, 4-8 second pulls where you keep the speed the SAME as the group is going to be very beneficial. Be sure to signal that your pull is ending a second before you want to drop your speed.
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
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 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.
There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. And these brave riders braved the cold with Lanier to prove it!
Cathy Goodheart, Kimberley Turner Johnson, Amelia Messegee and guest rider Connor Livingston braved the cold for our Naked team ride this afternoon. As the sun peeked out of the clouds, our shadows flew before us and the camaraderie of the paceline kept us warm. We agreed that riding outside is always best, even if conditions are not ideal.
Why ride in cold, rain or wind when there are plenty of inside training options? In increasing priority, these are my answers.
5. Beauty. Colorado’s scenery is flat-out gorgeous, no matter what the season. What better way to experience it than riding outdoors?
4. Pleasure. Yes, pleasure – just delayed. For pure indulgence, there is nothing better than sinking into a warm bath after a cold ride. Well…some things, but it’s a short list.
3. War stories. For years to come, you can talk up that time you rode in 100 mph gusts that knocked semis over on the highway, or the ride so cold you had to stay in that bath for an hour to warm up. Your friends will act horrified, but they secretly admire you.
2. Quality training. Many factors of riding outside contribute: variety of terrain, keeping pace with the group, chasing down other cyclists and/or vehicles or simply time trialing to get home as quickly as possible. You can always get more intensity outside than in.
1. Readiness. Inclement weather is inevitable when racing in Colorado. If you train in poor conditions, you will acquire mental toughness your more delicate competitors may lack.
As long as roads are clear, you will find me outside on the bike all winter long. Join me!
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.