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 More »
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 More »
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 More »
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.
Ingrid participated in the first (annual?) Fat Tire Flurry as a fundraiser with Cyclists For Jamestown. While it was a cold one, she and many others braved it in support for one of our favorite areas to ride that was destroyed by the Boulder floods in September.
I recently got the chance to pin one last race number for 2013 on, and for a good cause. I participated in the “Fat Tire Flurry”, a fun ride from the base of Lefthand Canyon to Jamestown. The roadway and much of the town was devastated by the recent floods, and as a result, closed to cyclists and non residents. The route up Lefthand to James Canyon was opened for cyclists for a few hours on Sunday morning, December 22nd for the brisk charity ride to raise more funds for Jamestown.
Only mountain bikes or CX bikes were allowed, so I dusted off my 1997 aluminum Raleigh, and stuffed my pannier with gear for the descent. It was about 25 degrees when I started, so I knew the descent on snowy and icy roads would be the most challenging part of the ride. A really nice guy in the parking lot offered me a few extra hand warmers which I gladly packed for later. I ended up placing them in between my bootie and shoe right above the foot vent for the descent. What a great idea that was! I’ll remember that trick for later.
Despite being really cold, I had a great time on the ride. I made a new friend on the way up, saw a lot of old cycling friends that I’ve known since I was a teenager. I also got to chat with Jamestown’s Mayor, Tara Schoedinger, an old co-worker of mine, and catch up a bit. Although my strength is track racing, the ride to Jamestown is one of my favorite rides, and has been since I was young. It was sad seeing the state of the roads. There were times when I’d look over and see some of the road paint peeking through the snow cover, noticing the normally center line yellow was now the edge—the entire east bound lane had been washed away.
It was great to see so many people braving the cold and coming together in support of both the residents of Jamestown, and showing respect for the roads we share.
If you’d like to help any of the communities affected by the floods, please visit the Community Foundation of Boulder County.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Jenny, our 16-year-old phenom, crushed her cross race this weekend taking the top step of the podium. Also, Jean encouraged her to keep pushing and took second too!
On Sunday morning I woke up feeling extra nervous for this race. It was at Xilinx (where a pervious race had been) and it was probably my favorite course. I was excited because I was racing in SW 4‘s that day. But once I got there, I realized they completely changed the course! After I registered and got my number pinned on, I pre-rode the course along with some friends. Even though the course was different, I still felt I had somewhat of a chance to do well since it was fast and hilly.
At the start line, I was called up to the third row. Once they blew the start whistle, everyone sprinted up the pavement hill! I like hills, so I knew this was the place to get away from the field. When we hit the dirt section, it was single-file so it was hard to move up. After racing not even half the course, my dad yelled at me that I was in 9th place. This motivated me and I immediately passed two racers. Since I knew what place I was in, I could keep track of how many people were in front of me. At each of the pavement sections I tried to make up as much time as I could to catch up to the group in front of me. By the second lap I was top 3. I could see Jean and my friend Savannah, who races for Front Rangers, in front of me. I caught up to them and tried to catch my breath before attacking again. Once I caught Savannah, I sprinted as fast as I could by her and leaped over the barriers. My dad once again yelled at me and told me I was in first place!
The next two laps I passed as many Cat 3’s as I could and tried to maintain my mini breakaway. But by the end of the fourth lap I could see Jean and Savannah closing in on me! This gave me even more motivation to go as hard as I could even though my legs were burning and my mouth was completely dry. Going into the fifth and final lap, Jean was hot on my heels yelling very inspirational words at me. To put it into PG words she said: “Open your heart and GO! You know you want this!” I pounded hard on my pedals and tried not to use my breaks. In the last dirt section before the pavement finish my heart was beating out of my chest and I was about to win my first Cat 4 race ever! Finally in the last turn I stood up and sprinted up the hill around the curve to the finish line and threw my hands in the air with a big grin on my face to claim victory in the most exhausting race I’ve ever done!
Also, congratulations to Jean for taking second and Savannah for getting third! Cathy also had a great race and got 9th out of a field of 33!