Tag Archives: amanda cyr
Another great post from the newly crowned Cat 3, Amanda Cyr. Maybe you shouldn’t have gotten that “4 4 Life” tattoo? There’s something in this post for everyone, so enjoy because these are the best years of your life. Go make the most of it!
When I was in high school (just a couple of years ago) people would come up to me constantly to tell me how “these are the greatest years of your life and make sure you do ____ and don’t do ____ and this is how you should _____.” The only thing I remember from high school is acne, trying to fit in, drinking Boones Farm out of a Sonic Route 44 cup, and listening to “Tiny Dancer” on repeat. I don’t consider those super awkward years to be the best years of my life. They definitely served their wallflower purpose but I wouldn’t call them “the best years” by any means… I mean who really loves holding their friends hair while they return the wine spritzer they bummed off of you onto your Converse?
While in college people had more pearls of wisdom about how “these are the greatest years of your life and make sure you do _____ and don’t do _____ and this is how you should ______”. Wanna know what I remember from college? Acne, trying to fit in, drinking PBR, and listening to “Tiny Dancer” on repeat. BTW, I would also not call these years “the best.” Sure I went to a great school (GO GATORS) and made great memories but again who cherishes holding another friends hair while they ralph the last round of beer pong onto your Tevas?
Last weekend I got the pleasure of volunteering for the BRAC women’s clinic. 50 women came seeking bike skills, information, and ultimately other friendly females to ride with. It was an awesome day of cornering, cackling, and camaraderie. This past Friday, I got the pleasure of being a part of another way to give back. Our team hosted its Ride for Reading book delivery where nearly 3,000 books were delivered by bike to two lower income elementary schools in Denver. Another incredible day getting to give back to the community in a practical and yet hugely important way. And then Saturday at Wheels of Thunder I got to give back in yet another way. I was able to help strategize, encourage, cheer, congratulate, high five, and share in the excitement with all the new cat4’s who rocked their first race!
All of those people from high school and college were wrong. THESE are the best years of my life. I am getting to play a small role in something that is making a difference. Women’s cycling is growing. Women’s cycling is giving back. Women’s cycling is changing. There is a new tide rolling in and it is good. More hands helping out in the community that we ride through, within the community of fellow riders, and within the community of future racers.
It is a very exciting time to be involved in women’s racing from the jazzed up Junior level to the nervous newbie Masters racer. Be warned though blog post reader: people are watching us and our words and actions make huge imprints on the future of our sport and community. I am sure we have all had some less than friendly moments in races where people were just *#$#(*&$ and then we reacted or thought negatively about racing because of it. Good news though, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can change the vibe and perception that is out there. There is new blood that wants to make racing accessible and fun for every woman that comes out to play. We all work hard and we want to do our very best. We can do those things while remaining good people and helping each other… don’t ya think?
I want to help women’s cycling grow but need your help. Come play and let’s be the change we want to see. I promise I will even hold your hair after a TT while you purge all the lactic acid build up onto my bike shoes.
Vive la revolution y allez allez allez!
Amanda 1.0 can’t stay out of the dirt. The cyclocrosser took to Weld County to work with our other cat 4s to secure a podium spot. Naked Women’s Racing would like to send warm, healing thoughts to all of those women who were affected by the crash.
This road race had a little bit of everything with both dirt and pavement sections. The one-mile of packed down dirt had a good line to the right. However, the remainder of the dirt path would jar your upper body, bounce around your smooth pedal stroke and toss waterbottles right out of their once secure cages and into other riders. Hence the neutral area led by a pace motorcycle was welcomed by many riders, although the cyclocross riders were a little disappointed since dirt is what we ride best and thus is a slight advantage for us. After the dirt, there was a right hand turn and then the remaining 12 miles was pavement with a few well-marked potholes and corrugated cattle guards. The neutral start came to an end a few hundred feet onto the asphalt. The previous chatty cat 4s, got into their drops and quickened the pace. Everyone was getting into a good drafting position when the unmistakable sound of beautifully designed machines clamoring into each other and fellow racers going down with them was heard. This split the pack. Worried about our cyclist friends who had crashed and hoping that everything was okay, we continued on the course. Some women in the front of the pack did not hear the crash occur. The race had dwindled from 39 people starting to the lead group of 15 women working together and I will proudly say communicating well. We were like a flock of birds trying to stay guarded from the wind and of course Amanda 2.0 AKA Goose was our fearless leader in the front making a flying V formation and keeping her teammates (and others) out of the wind.
Team tactics had been discussed prior to the race but we were also in contact during the race to ensure there were no changes. 2.0 would gently remind me to draft when my urge-to-surge would kick in. We completed the first lap and then turned back onto the dirt once again, this seemed to go better the second time. Four miles to the finish, a racer attacked. 2.0 had been pulling for almost the entire race and our other teammate was strong at hills and thus was a more likely candidate to do well at the end of the race, so I chased the racer. I was several feet away from her when I felt like I had nothing left. How could I get so close to bridging the gap and then give up now but I had nothing left? That is when Shelley Hartman saved the day. She was on my wheel, came around and proceeded to bridge the remainder of the gap. The pace picked up as we were nearing the end of the race.
This is such a supportive and amazing group of riders. As we approached the finish, you could hear people cheering for each other, 2.0 telling me that I could keep going (even though my body vehemently disagreed with her) and Breeze Brown from Primal Women’s Racing pulling me back into the group after I started to yo-yo off the back. I did get dropped with 1K to go but it did not matter. The most important part of racing is having fun and being with other supportive women. The win does not build as many memories as the camaraderie and connection between these women. That being stated, our teammate Brittany Jones did get 3rd place that day and congrats to her for racing smart and sticking with our plan.
Added bonus to this race report our 2.0s quotes of the day:
1. “If you want your race numbers (there were two) to fit, eat a sandwich.”
2. As we were all climbing the last section of the race, “Every climber that I beat up this hill, owes me a beer.”
3. Very end of the race, “Shut up legs.” This got a mid breath chuckle from many riders and someone later stated that they thought, “Yeah legs SHUT UP.”
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,
Amanda 2.0 just can’t stay out of the news. Colorado Daily decided to feature one of the twins!
Four years ago, Amanda Cyr weighed 350 pounds. A doctor told her she would die unless she changed her lifestyle.
Cyr, who now races for the Boulder-based Naked Women’s Racing cycling team, knew she had to change her lifestyle but had never really participated in organized sports, or a regular exercise schedule.
“Oh yeah, couch potato was a big sport of mine,” the now-29-year-old said, laughing.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DENVER, Colo (February 19, 2013) – After last years triumphant debut of the Naked twins, we are pleased and concerned to announce the return of the Amandas.
“Last year was like waking up from a comma to discover you had a twin you never knew about and the weirdest part is she looks just like me” said Amanda Cyr.
“Yeah, all my life I knew I was missing something but never did I imagine it was a twin I never knew I had!” weeped Amanda Bye. “She is the padding to my chamois” smirked Cyr and “she is the cream to my itch” winked Bye.
They both have had to work through their new found identical identities though. Cyr talks about having to overcome learning that her twin had in fact tried to eat her in the womb. ”There was a reason I felt like I had been in a zombie movie in my past life.”
“I have always loved me some BBQ and there is no hiding that” Bye said jokingly…we hope.
Quick Left CEO and Colorado Womens Cycling Project sponsor Ingrid Alongi was overheard stating “I would rank them in a top 500 female cycling twins of all times VH1 special if someone paid me.” Rolling Stones magazine is calling this “The most anticipated return to the stage since Milli Vanilli.” Just recently Will.I.AM begged the girls to be featured in his new chart topper “Scream and Shout”.
2013 looks to be a big year for the hottest Naked twins since the Olsen sisters. ”Parents better watch your children cross the street and crazy jumping deer beware” touts Bye. ”No road rash too deep, no curb too high” proclaimed Cyr. ”We are back to bring the Naked Amandas action to a city near you!”
As a new member of the Colorado Women’s Cycling Project (aka Naked Womens’ Racing), I set out to determine the team’s culture. I have found that the elements that led me to join the team hold true. Naked women are serious racers focused on community outreach and encouraging other women to join the sport, who despite being fast do not take themselves seriously and have a lot of fun. That fun can take the form of hilariously merciless teasing of fellow teammates.
At first, I joined in. Poking fun at a racer as strong as Sharon Madison is immensely gratifying. If I can’t beat her on the bike, at least I can win the war of words. But I then began noticing a disturbing trend in certain team emails, involving said Sharon Madison’s age. This nagging feeling solidified when I recently received an invitation to my 25th (gasp!) high school reunion. I then thought about how very much I love reviewing race results and noting how many racers finished after me who could legally, and not just biologically, be my children.
So as fair warning to my younger compatriots, I am squarely in Sharon Madison’s camp. From now on, I will give her leadouts up those hill sprints during team rides. I will thank her when she gives me her “tough love” look that means I need to increase my average wattage in Computrainer class. And know that when you give me those blank looks at my music and movie references followed by a cute little comment about not being born yet, that you are just strengthening my resolve to beat you up that next hill.
In light of recent (read as gone on way to freakin’ long) news and interviews in the world of cycling I thought I would add some positivity to our beloved sport. Things to know before reading…
- I have not been a “competitive cyclist” for a year yet so what the heck do I really know
- I hate drama so I pretend like it is not happening by shoving my fingers in my ears and tap dancing
- Coffee is really kicking in already so this could be like reading a crack junkies journals
Remember when you were a kid and you learned to ride a bike? What an accomplishment that was and the world was immediately different. You had wheels and freedom and speed and streamers on your handlebars if you were really lucky! At first just riding up and down the street under parental supervision was all it took to make life so exciting. Soon my riding turned into meeting friends and riding to the boundaries our parents had set up for hours and hours. Then of course we had to build ramps and try catching big air that was probably more like 3-5 inches but hey I felt like I was flying. Riding bikes were fun and that was the end of the story. I was hooked.
A little later in life I found other hobbies that took me away from any physical activity whatsoever so there went bikes all together… sad face but hey this will come around I promise. I eventually (a year and a half ago) began cycling for exercise and that was the first time I had been on a bike again since I was probably 12. Did you know that even though it had been (cough 16 years cough) a large amount of time it was just like riding a bike. I knew that in order to stay upright I just had to keep moving forward. Side bar: Ok is it just me or is that some kind of analogy for life?
Anywho, I immediately loved riding my bike again. My lady parts maybe not so much but Helga has come to terms with my new hobby and hates me and my bike less. Since I was a “runner” at that time (read as a woggler = walk/jog) I started to see the differences pretty quickly when I got back on the saddle. Those differences then turned into me joining a team and becoming a racing junky. But here for you now I shall bullet point some of the reasons why I feel so positive about this wacky sport we call cycling.
- Some of my best thinking happens when I am pedaling. It can be just you and your bike with an open road/trail ahead of you with miles and miles of thinking/de-stressing. It’s like therapy but cheaper.. kind of… sorry Dr Amanda 1.0
- While biking you can opt to not pedal for a moment or six and still be moving along. If you were to stop running and try to coast you would now be standing still. Sometimes a coast or draft is a beautiful beautiful thing. Thanks again Lanier Allen, Tami Burke, and Sharon Madison for the view of your Naked butts yesterday…I enjoy them more than you probably know!
- Even on your hardest day on the bike you still just got to ride a bike and that is a priceless privilege that should not be forgotten
- You can make a ton of friends and if you are as lucky as I am some of those friends become your family.. not in a polygamy kind of way but more like a Sister Sledge “We Are Family” way .
- You get to see parts of the world from view points many people don’t get to. Yes you might have to climb to see them but it is ALWAYS worth it at the top
- Flying down a mountain pass that you just conquered makes you feel like you are 9 again ramping off of a dirt mound with your wonder woman cape on
- Pushing yourself to your limits and overcoming something you weren’t sure you could is unlike any other high
- Getting to sport your team kit for the first time is the coolest feeling. I raced several races this year before my kit came in and I remember so badly just wanting to squeeze my bod into that Naked lycra… it was like Christmas when they came in! I took off of work early so I could go pick them up myself because I wanted mine first.
- Lining up at the start line with all the training time, preparation, nutrition, dedication, adrenaline, nerves, vomit that is running through your brain and veins at that moment can seem unnerving but then at that very moment when you are considering wetting your chamois your teammate leans over and makes some smart @$$ comment about planning to rock out with her _____ out and you forget all that other stuff and just crack up laughing. It’s the funnest time.
- Getting to be a part of something NOT about yourself but about your teammates/friends/family and their aspirations and dreams is so rewarding. If you can then help them in any way it’s the icing on the Powerbar, which are delicious btw. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about your team and those wonderful individuals who love cycling just like you do and work as hard (or harder) which makes you want to ride even more and with your whole heart.
So yeah I went all kind of sappy and off topic and I made another pot of coffee but hey don’t judge me. What this all boils down to is I have decided I like bullet points when writing and wanted to try it out. No really seriously yeah there is some junk clogging the engine of the sport but it is so not about that. It is a weird and hard time to be called a competitive cyclist but it’s not about that. I didn’t start riding my bike to be cool like, insert any pro name you would like, I started riding my bike again to get some exercise and to feel like a kid again. Because of those two reasons I have found out who I really am as a human being. I am a dork, a bit OCD, have a fake it till you make it mentality, not a climber but secretly like it, a team player, a wee bit competitive, a Facebook stalker, a need for speed wanna be sprinter, flats are my friend, curbs are not my friend, my high fives cure many problems, start line jokes are my thing, I like a challenge, I like to be pushed, I love my bike on a good day and on a bad day, I love the sport, I love love love my team.
This sport is so exciting and contagious I only wish more people knew that and then everybody would be doing it! This team is unbelievable and I tell people all the time I feel like I won the lotto by getting to be a part of it. The friendships on the team and from the other women racing out there… I don’t have the words to describe. It is a community of hard work and respect and smiles and laughter. You get out of it what you put in to it and it can be life changing. Can you tell I am biased and hooked?
There is my attempt at positive rambling today. I really hope you get to ride your bike today. If you need someone to ride with let me know. I love riding my bike.
Twas the morning of December 15th, when all through the city
Not a cyclist was riding, not even a Madison.
The trainers were set up by the tv with hate,
In hopes that Spring soon would be there.
The computrainer women were nestled all snug on their bikes,
While visions of outdoor riding danced in their heads.
And me with my hangover, and laziness to boot,
Had just settled my stomach for a short winter’s ride.
When out on the trail there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my saddle to see what was the matter.
Away to the reservoir I rode like a sloth,
Forgot about my heart rate monitor and threw out my training plan.
The sun never came on the new-fallen snow
Gave gloom and doom to the road below.
When, what to my watering eyes should appear,
But a group ride with a 5 cyclist train.
With a wheel sucking leader, so spunky and steady,
I knew in a moment it must be Naked ladies.
More rapid than eagles their train they came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
As dry leaves that fly from the wild hurricane winds,
When they meet with a headwind, mount to a paceline.
So up to the resy the cyclist they flew,
With their jerseys full of cookies, and water bottles too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the road
The clacking and shifting of each little gear.
As I gasped for air, and was about to turn around,
Down the trail Lanier Allen came for an attack.
She was dressed all in lycra, from her head to her foot,
And her clothes were all shiny with zippers and reflectors.
A bundle of speed she had flung from the back,
And she looked like a pro, just putting a gap on the pack.
Her eyes-how they twinkled! her dimples how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a faucet!
Her freakish massive quads were drawn up like a hammer,
And the beard of her chin was a little alarming.
The stump of a Powerbar she held tight in her teeth,
And the boost it created her speed like a missile.
She had chiseled legs and zero percent body fat,
That never would shake, not even freakin’ wiggle!
She was fit and lean, a right obnoxious old sprinter,
And my legs hurt when I saw her, in spite of my speed!
A wink of her eye and a flick of her elbow,
Soon gave me to know I had no chance of catching her.
She spoke not a word, but went straight to the front,
And picked up the pace, then picked it up more.
And laying on the pedals aside of her bike,
And giving a pull, up the reservoir she rose!
She sprang from her saddle, to give me a taunting,
And away they all flew like a bat out of hell.
But I heard her exclaim, ‘ere she rode out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-ride!”
“Cranksgiving is a charity bike ride that began in 1999, organized by New York City bike messengers. Food is collected at grocery store checkpoints and then after being collected at the end of the race, will be donated to a local food bank. All kinds of cyclists are welcome! There is no set course, and you can ride at your own pace. Cranksgiving – Boulder is an effort by Boulder Cycle Sport to give back to those in need during the holidays. Furthermore, this event is to bring community awareness to support locally and independently owned business.”
11 Naked members/friends/kids participated as a team in the 2012 Cranksgiving in Boulder on Sunday. The event might appear to be a family friendly ride collecting can goods for a local food bank but was actually something a bit more hard core. It is more like a UFC cage match + roller derby + super market sweep + bumper cars. Yeah, like I said… hard core.
It would be impossible to give a play by play of this massacre, I mean madness, woops woops how about blood bath but here are a few tidbits from Team Naked…
“I don’t know what happened.. they said go and it was mass chaos..turkeys and burleys and bikes everywhere..I was scared”
“Oh my god she just flipped her baby burly trailer over when she hopped that curb”
“Man down man down…I tried to go in the sliding exit door but my arm, my poor arm didn’t make it”
“Where is $^#*@&% neutral wheel support..this tube change is killing our time”
“Don’t worry if the tuna isn’t dolphin free just grab it and go”
“Crits have nothing on Cranksgiving”
“Run through the store Tami don’t walk, get your head in the game”
“ooooo free samples!”
“I’m in my red zone.. seriously zone 5+ guys”
“I just got out sprinted by a 9 year old with a turkey on his bike”
“Did someone say free beer at the end?!?!”
Riding bikes on a gorgeous fall day with friends to help the less fortunate was one of my highlights of this cycling/racing/socializing year. We had everything from mechanicals to injuries but more than anything we had laughs. We didn’t win but who was racing right (umm just so you know you can take the racers out of the race but you cant take the race out of the racers). Overall the day was a ton o’ fun with some pretty amazing women remembering the reason for season…free beer!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for….an open letter from Sexy Beast.
I have been accused of not being very nice to a certain member of mountain goat status on our team in the past. In fact people claim that I, Amanda Cyr, have written negative statements about us not being friends on this blog. They make me out to be such a bad person and that I have no reason at all to feel so victimized by before mentioned person. I feel like since I am too chicken to race cyclocross and therefore can not write any race reports I should offer up a piece of evidence into the case of Mean Mama Madison vs. Amanda St. Cyr.
It was a late, 5:30p.m to be exact, Wednesday evening when I received a text message from the plaintiff regarding my attendance in her spin class on the next morning. I explained to the plaintiff that her class was so early, 6:45a.m to be exact, that I wasn’t sure if it was natural nor healthy for me to be in attendance. (Dr. Amanda Bye can confirm and will agree with everything I say forever and always in case you need a note stating that I should not be doing anything physical before an entire pot of coffee) Not caring about my well being, as usual, she responded with an extremely harsh and violently worded message. In fact it was so bad that due to its graphic nature I must censor to keep this piece of evidence PG. “If you don’t get your %&*^$*# @$$ to class I %&$*#)%& swear I will #*$#*$ your #(*&#&#^#$ up with hill climbs, (@#*$&%* intervals, #$*%(%*$ lactic threshold, and the #$(#$*&#^# #*$%&#(# copper triangle.” You get the point and you can now understand that I had no choice in the matter.
*This next section may not be suitable for younger viewers*
“Resistance all the way up on the bike, hill sprints, squats with kettle balls, hill sprints again, squats with dumbbells, Cyr is a sissy, more sprints, plank, zone 100 Cyr or else, hill sprints again, wall squats, always deeper, don’t breath Cyr, core, core, core, core, core…is that all you have you #($%&#@(@&$% Cyr”
I want you all to know that I did not want to bring this to your attention today for any other reason than to educate you on the real Mean Mama Madison. At the end of road race season I heard talk of the off season and how people eat chips and salsa, drink refreshing adult beverages, and let their bikes collect dust. I feel like my off season is in jeopardy. I feel cheated. I feel betrayed.
What happens if she is allowed to continue I ask you? How long can one person take this abuse? Where has my off season gone?
If you feel like you need a first hand spin class experience with the drill sergeant known as “Mama Madison” I feel it is my civil duty to warn you that your legs will turn into cement blocks, your arms into wet noodles, your core will burn like the fiery pits of hell, and your lungs will burst into a thousand pieces. Yes you may be in amazing shape by the end, and yes she is a great teacher, and yes you will leave feeling like Rocky on the top step of the Philadelphia Art Museum but blah, blah, blah. It’s hard and it hurts and I am sure I will go back for more of this pain and suffering because she makes me.
I rest my case.
-Amanda J Cyr I