Category Archives: Training
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.
- 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.
This past Tuesday night there were 12 women who raced the Tuesday Track race with 3 of them being Naked ladies. The Boss, The Junior, and myself have never all raced together so I was pretty stoked and also super intimidated. Both of my track teammies are fierce experienced track racers and I really am just faking it. I made some goals for the night and here are a couple. 1) Don’t be a complete mess 2) Don’t embarrass my teammies and 3) Don’t lose my job.
Sounds pretty easy for most but I was in zone 5 just driving to the track and was told on the way down “you have a job tomorrow unless you beat me tonight”. So yeah, there is that.
Now for most of you I am going to assume you don’t know what the different races are for track so I will explain a wee bit. Note: I always have to wikipedia the race flyer the morning before I race because I still don’t know what all of them mean. Oh and also note that there were 4 categories for this night of racing. “A” (very very fast), “B” (very fast), “C” (fast), and Women. Because The Boss signed up to race with the “B” group AND Women’s group of course The Junior and I also did.. can’t look like a slouch when she is around. The Boss, The Junior, and I raced all 5 races but to spare you the time I am only going to give the play by play for 3 of them. You are welcome.
Race 1: “A/B” 10 Lap Point-a-Lap
Neutral start where everyone stays together for the first lap around the track and when the gun is fired and after my heart explodes out of fear from that sound the group takes off. Both A’s and B’s were combined to make for a bigger field and really scare the ba-jesus out of me. This was by far the biggest track field I have ever been in and it was definitely intimidating. When the gun went off so did the big boys… oh and The Boss. As she is pulling around me she says “let’s go Amanda”. Blerg. Who invited her? It is not the easiest thing to get to your position, work your way up, move around the group, pick the right lines, and also find the best wheels when you are flying in circles with no brakes. With the command to “go” I had no choice though. Time to try to just stay on her wheel was my thought. Again, who invited her?
How the winner is determined you ask? Points are awarded each lap with 1 point for the first person across the line per lap. Who ever has the most points at the end is the winner winner. Not only do you have to sprint every single lap but you also have to be good at math. Yes, this should be a good fit for me but these races are so fast and your brain is so oxygen deprived that I never have a clue if and how many points I have. The three Naked trackies finished with the lead group thanks to following The Boss but I couldn’t tell you who had what points even if you paid me.
Race 2: Women 1km Scratch
This time the 12 women lined up together to play a little cat and mouse game. After the neutral start you have 3 laps to be the first person across the line. The game comes in because if you make the attack early and someone is able to stick on your wheel they can sling around you at the last minute since they got a free ride and you’ve just used up a lot of your energy. Lots of looks, measuring up, and positioning happened during the first lap. “Who was going to make the move, where were certain people, how am I feeling compared to her, how long could I hold this pace if I jumped here, etc…” I am not sure exactly who made the big jump but it was quickly down to one lap to go with Kirsten Williams, The Boss, and I coming into turn 3 hot. I decided to try to spread my wings a little and attempt to come around The Boss and hopefully catch Kirsten. I wasn’t sure if this was going to work at all but in a last second effort I came up the banking a bit to then use that momentum to swoop down into the sprinters lane. Cool moment: The Boss said when I passed her it made a “wooossshhhh” noise… yeah, that made my day. Best moment: I realized I couldn’t catch Kirstin at the line so I looked around and didn’t see anyone so I decided to save a little energy and not fully sprint. Right as I am approaching the line I see an oh so familiar face out of the corner of my eye. The Boss had been on my wheel and saw my “sit up” moment and pounded LIKE A BOSS… so sneaky and so smart!
Race 3: Women Unknown Distance
This one should be pretty easy to understand. The women once again started with a neutral start but we had no idea when the gun would be fired to signal race on and we also had no idea how long we were racing. I assumed we would make it a lap before the gun went off so when it fired almost immediately I didn’t know what the heck was going on but saw The Junior and The Boss go so I just followed, typical. About 2 laps into the race The Junior went on an attack like a fearless wild flying monkey. Kirsten jumped right with her and was hot on her wheel. Since she had been the one to beat all night I decided to just race side by side with her almost bumping elbows. I knew that Kirsten couldn’t get around Anna if I rode that close and that if I needed to just go I would have no one blocking me. The only risky part of this rubbin’ is racin’ style is that it really becomes a battle between two people and both of you are burning yourself up with no end in sight. How long can I hurt like this? Thankfully after about 5 laps the one lap to go bell was rung. I was still right next to Kirsten with The Boss right on her tail. Naked finished the unknown distance 2, 3, and 4!
What a night! I had the best time getting to go fast with my Naked teammies. It is nights like this that fuel the fire for me and remind me why I LOVE THE TRACK. Stay tuned for more tales from the track. This weekend The Junior and I will be racing State Championship and each of us are going to our respective Nationals within the next two months. Go fast, take chances!
Sharon, Melissa, and Lanier finish up Ride the Rockies strong and leave it all out in the mountains. Read the recap on days 6 and 7 here. Go to www.ridetherockies.com to view videos and pictures of all 7 days.
Day 6: Salida to Canon City. 93.5 miles, 4,455 elevation gain, Hardscrabble Pass
Today we started at Big Dog Coffee shop, in Salida. Today was our reroute day. We ended up doing 105 miles because we ride to the hotel. It was the most beautiful of all the days. We went through Westcliffe and up Hardscrabble Pass. In my 9 years of doing RTR I have never done this pass.
Lanier didn’t ride with us today. She had to rest her engine for state TT and was heading back to Denver. We started with our group of 6 including Kris (303 cycling). He took the day off from the Naked girls the day before but really missed us so jumped back on the Naked train today.
Today we all split up after the first aid station because Dr. Sean was having mechanical issues. We made Melissa stay with him so Sam and I didn’t have to kill ourselves going up the pass with that Mtn. goat. Smartest thing we did all week. We all regrouped at the next aid station and finished together. We were so excited to get out of our chamois. We had a lot of chamois time today.
Day 7 : Canon City to the finish in Colorado Springs. 47 miles and 2243 elevation gain.
Today we rode to Florence so everyone could have their coffee. Since today was a short day to the finish we decided we had to leave it all out there. Sam was talking smack to me last night telling me I wasn’t pushing myself this week as hard as I could. Don’t tell Mama that. I was out to kick butt today. I knew we had some climbing so that was where I was going to have to put the pressure on.
I was talking with Ron Kiefel this morning, so he knew Melissa and I had a plan of attack on the climbs. First big climb kept pace up, but couldn’t shake anyone. I picked up more steam and everyone attacked. I thought I had it, then Sam flies by me going over the crest of the hill. Urgh!!! All of a sudden Ron appears and said, ” get on my wheel you have another hill and another chance.” I grab his wheel and we pass my group. He pulled me for a long time then when the next climb came he went over and said,” go get it.” Away I went and the only one who could stay with me was Dr. Sean and we hoofed it to the next aid station. He let me suck his wheel and gave me the win. I had to win one of the stages of RTR.
We finished the day with a few more attacks but pretty much stayed together. It was another great year with Melissa and Sean. Sam was a great addition to our group and we loved hanging with Kris ( 303 Cycling) for the week. Sean’s teammate Todd from Alchemist rode with us all week, and Erik from Aspen joined our group letting the Naked girls drag him around all week. I highly recommend this event to everyone. You meet great people, eat, drink and ride your bike everyday. Can’t get more pro then that.
Thanks for following us all week and reading our blogs.
I am absolutely thrilled to see the growing numbers in the Women’s Cat 4 fields this season! Kudos to all who have helped raise awareness of women’s racing opportunities. BRAC’s mentoring SW4 races started the trend. Racing teams are welcoming novice racers and showing them the ropes. BRAC’s fantastic 1-day racing camp hosted by Sue Lloyd, Cathy Zawadski, Katie Macarelli with volunteers had 50 women attendees. I hope we see all these new women racers for the rest of the season!
The other focus is retention. In a big move this year, BRAC supported Cat 3-only fields for women. Many racers upgrading from Cat 4 to Cat 3 in years past were immediately thrown into Pro-1-2-3 fields. From personal experience, I know how intimidating this is. Seeing pros I follow on Twitter chatting about my first P-1-2-3 race the night before took my race nerves to a whole new level. Of course, the positive of racing those much stronger and smarter is climbing a steep learning curve quickly. But in my opinion, knowing that the next step was racing pros kept many Cat 4 women from wanting to upgrade. The women’s Cat 4 fields have become top-heavy with experienced, strong racers who are racing Cat 4 at a Cat 3 level. The higher speed of the Cat 4 races can discourage beginner women racers from coming back.
A recent trend that I hope will continue is that more Cat 4 women will begin upgrading based on experience, not only points. As a Cat 3, I welcome larger fields with experienced steady wheels. Racing in larger fields is more exciting and provides more opportunity to employ tactics. As the new Cat 3 gains strength, there is always a role they can play in any race – which in turn increases their strength.
With all the avid women cyclists in Colorado/Wyoming, I firmly believe that we can double field sizes within the year. I envision a day when we are all pre-registering to avoid field caps. BRAC and the race teams have started the momentum, and we all have a personal responsibility to continue the build. If you see a new face in any race, introduce yourself afterwards and tell her how glad you are that she is racing. Invite her to the monthly pot-luck (started last year by Leslie Resnick, Sharon Madison and others). Connect with them on Facebook. Some positive, friendly words after the race go a very long way. This goes for the higher categories as well. Welcome newly-minted Cat 3’s and Cat 2’s to the field. Congratulate them on their hard-earned upgrades.
While I absolutely love the challenge and competition of the actual races, the most valuable aspect of bike racing is the friends I have made. These strong, beautiful women have added such joy and inspiration to my life. I hope that we can recruit as many others as possible into our crazy, fun lifestyle!
Kat and Ingrid (arguably two of our best corner takers on the team) led a cornering practice at the Louisville Criterium course this week. Here’s the quick and dirty on each tip. Now get to practicing!
1. Keep your upper body relaxed. No locked-out elbows.
2. Your outside foot should be down, always. No exceptions to this rule, ever.
3. Weight should be on the inside arm and outside foot.
4. Brake before entering the corner. Never break while turning in the corner, unless you want your front wheel to buck you off your bike.
5. Look through the corner. Do not fixate on the wheel right in front of you.
6. Approach the corner wide, cut into the apex, and exit wide.
7. The accordion effect – why you want to be near the front.
8. Don’t cut under the riders in front of you. You will make no friends if you do.
9. Turn with your hips, not your hands.
And the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwcLwK6Rj90
Brittany placed 6th in a field of 50 strong women yesterday at the Louisville Criterium! Brittany was one of many women out that day from the Naked team. We also had several women who had never raced, give it a go too. Here’s her take:
Mentally, this race started Thursday evening when Ingrid and Kat held a cornering and skills clinic at the Louisville Crit course for the team. After a couple hours of cornering on the course we would be racing on, I went home feeling fairly confident. Saturday morning, the Cat 4 Naked women lined our trainers up where we could watch and cheer for the Cat 3 women while we warmed up. For the future, I will try to park closer to wherever these group warms up will be, because I have exactly zero upper body strength, and I’d never noticed, but trainers are heavy. They should make those suckers out of carbon. As the Cat 3 women wrapped up, we talked through some tactics, pinned numbers, made final porta-potty runs, and debated what layers might be necessary.
My biggest concern is that I’ve never raced with a team, and I’m still not overly confident on what I need to do to work with and/or help my teammates. But the Amandas are wise and assigned several of us less experienced team members jobs, based on our strengths, so we had something to focus on. All I had to do was get my women up the hill, hopefully without dragging along too many women from other teams.
We did a quick lap and lined up, and having waited until the last second, I was at the back of a field of 45. The mentoring women explained the course, the rules, and their roles, and then led out a neutral lap. When we came through for the start, Amanda 1.0 decided to break up the field and took off fast, and we all followed. I managed to work my way toward the front group, near Amanda 2.0. Amanda 1.0 accomplished her goal; the field was fairly blown apart for the rest of the race.
The next thirty minutes aren’t particularly clear; there were wheels in front of me and behind me, women passing me, and women I passed. I spent way too much time not behind a wheel. Coming around the corner at the bottom of the hill, Amanda 2.0 would tell me to go. As soon as we turned onto the hill, she’d say it again. If I didn’t hear her on the hill, I’d look back to make sure she was still there. She told me to stop looking; she’d be there.
At the start of the prime lap, the group picked up the pace, but by the time we were coming back up the hill towards the start/finish, everyone seemed to have run out of steam, or interest. I think that was also when Ingrid (mentoring) told the group that it was a good time to make a move, so I did. I didn’t expect to win the prime and when no one chased me, I started to panic a bit, “Did they not ring the bell last time? Did I lose count? Did I just do something really stupid? Why am I so far out in front?!” I crossed the line and slowed for the group to catch me, and immediately felt less panicky.
At (I think) three laps to go, Ingrid and Rachel (also mentoring) asked if Amanda 2.0 and I were communicating. My internal response was, “I’m doing what Amanda tells me to—does that count?” I honestly don’t know what I said, maybe, “I think so?” Whatever it was, I’m sure it made no sense.
We didn’t get on the podium today, but Amanda and I were both top 10, and I ended up with a free massage from Integrative Healing as my prime prize. This was a great first crit experience, not only because I feel I did well, but the support of the mentors was incredibly helpful. I noticed several occasions where they were able to advise either an individual rider or a group, and I’m confident there were plenty such instances that I didn’t see, so thank you to all the women that mentored.
I am more excited than ever to be racing with Naked this year and am looking forward to more races with the team so I can improve my own being-a-teammate skills, and so I can get to know my teammates better. Hopefully there will be more orders from Amanda 2.0 as well.
Wise words from Berta. The woman can do biathlon, Ironmans, trail running races, skate ski racing, or modern pentathlon but she always comes back to bike racing. Read why:
Biathlon season is over and last weekend when I was in Steamboat I decided it is officially mud season. I declared it such when both sets of shoes that I brought up ended up covered in mud . My official last ski day was Easter day but I am excited as April rolls around and I can set my sights on bike racing. Yes I did sign up for a marathon in June and that has required a lot of running through the Steamboat mud but as I log my miles in my running shoes I long for the weekends with my cycling friends. There is something about the cycling season that is like a reunion. Like going back to school and seeing the friends that you didn’t see all summer because you were not in the same summer sports. Its fun to catch up. “How was your winter?” , “ What ski pass did you have?”. “What are your big racing goals for this year?”
Some women may have changed teams. Some may have gotten new bikes. Some may in a different age or race category now. Some may have had major life events. Whatever the case, there is always something to talk about in that very first race. So it’s time to put away the waxing kit, give the rifle a good end of season cleaning, put away the ski wear and pull out the new cycling kit. Here is to the changing of the sports garb and reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones that have found the sport of cycling. Even though I turn 40 this year, I think it is going to be a good one and we will have plenty to talk about.
We were all happy to get back and we went straight to the wine bar/coffee shop. I’m sure you know what my beverage of chose was. (WINE) I’m sure you know what the Princess In Training’s beverage of choice was. (COFFEE) She’s still in training on the wine/beer drinking. I haven’t succeed with training in that area yet. She decided peeing outside, going commando was enough for her to handle this trip. She is very modest. We have to take baby steps. Next lesson for tomorrow…The Farmer blow. I have a feeling this will be a very slow learning process.
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,