Posts in category the racer’s view

interviews, profiles and diaries


Get fast: ride chaingangs. David Evans
editorial

Cyclocross on the Cheap: Chaingangs and Powermeters

Cyclocross rarely knows such glamour, despite richly deserving it. And Vegas had it all: shiny things, light things, new things, expensive things; trade shows were ever thus. Oh, and the hangovers. I’m sure there were some immense hangovers.

A casual glance at this array of goodies might convince you that their purpose was to make you faster. Anyone who has ever pressed a pedal in anger can tell you otherwise. These gadgets exist solely to tell you how slow you are. They can express inadequecy in figures accurate to the third decimal point. The all-consuming guilt that can be inspired by a powermeter is phenomenal. If I ever find myself poor (poor in a serious way, not poor in my current self-proclaimed, irreverent, slightly flippant way) I will qualify as a psychoanalyst and specialise in treating the anxieties of middle-aged bike racers. I would never go hungry again.

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You can learn a lot at a clinic, though you may not be bunny-hopping barriers anytime soon. Neil Schirmer
rider diary

Racer Profile: the Master

Neil is a Masters cyclocrosser in his third season of racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. Bikes and bike racing have always been part of his life, starting with BMX racing as a youngster, evolving into recreational MTB riding in college, eventually ending up in competitive amateur road racing and cyclocross today.

For the 2012 season, his goals are to score points in his local race series, improve his skills, and continue having more fun racing bikes than any adult should rightfully be able to have.

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Our newly elite racer, Donny Green, post-race at Nittany. Molly Hurford
rider diary

Racer Profile: The Newly Elite

It’s every racer’s dream to upgrade to the Elite field, to line up at the start with the pro racers that we love to read about. Every year, more and more racers are starting in the Elite field, and we wanted to hear what it feels like to go from winning in the lower categories to starting in the back of the grid with racers like Jeremy Powers in the front.

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The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo
editorialFeatured

The Girl with the Cowbell Tattoo: the Good, the Bad, and the Awesome

At Interbike on Wednesday, you see beyond the glitz and glamour of carbon fiber road wheels and fixed gear glory. You feel the grass, you smell the dirt, sweat, blood, tears … you know it’s almost time for CrossVegas. You check your watch over and over again, counting down to the moment when you can finally start heading to the event you’ve been waiting for.

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The amateur women on the line at Green Mountain this past weekend. Jeff Bramhall
rider diary

“You Got This”: Reports from the Amateur Women’s Field at Verge, Part 1

It has been whispered that the Women’s field is one of the fastest growing in cyclocross racing today. Looking down the line of the first race in the 2011 Verge Series, Green Mountain Cyclocross, this is visually apparent – a mass of close to 50 competitive cyclists tensely await the whistle. This is ten riders more than last year and while this may not seem like anything more than a tiny victory compared to most other sports, even other types of cycling, that number is huge. If ten new women race every season that means there could be close to 60 next year, and so on. Not to mention that because this is the Amateur Women’s category, most of these women are only a few seasons in and keep coming back or, even bigger, are brand new. We have been talking. We have been recruiting. We have been having fun, seeing results, getting better and telling our friends to join in.

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Johnson speeding away from Powers. © Cyclocross Magazine
editorialFeaturednews

Pro Cyclocross Rumors & Rumblings Week of September 16th, 2011

The Belgians came, they saw, and, oh man, have they conquered. Well, an American did grab one win and that was a UCI race, so I guess it counts for something. The first week of the international season is under way and is there ever a bunch to talk about! First is CrossVegas, so much going on there. We can’t not talk about this weekends upcoming races in Seattle, Vermont and Maryland. Did you catch the velo bowl? Jurgen Mettepenningen is confident in Pauwels, Aernouts and Vantornout. National Champ Todd Wells will not defend his stars and stripes this January; London Olympics and Louisville 2013 are the goals. Finally, in this week’s Working Man’s Edition there were just too many of you, so instead, there’s a list of all the riders that deserve some respect!

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Jesse Anthony is racing his last race at Gloucester this season.
Featuredinterviews

Jesse Anthony to Retire from Cyclocross

As many of you know, Jesse Anthony has announced that after Gloucester’s race this year, he will be retiring from cyclocross to pursue road racing as his main sport. After the summer he’s had, we can’t say that we blame him, as he’s had some amazing finishes and wins, winning Nature Valley overall to name just one. But we will miss him in cyclocross. Issue 15 will include a reflective piece from Anthony as well as a look back at his superlative cyclocross career.

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Lee is ready for cyclocross to start up again, and has a few tips for new racers.
editorial

It’s Fall – A Column By Lee Waldman

It’s almost Autumn. Hard to believe when the temperature in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, yesterday was in the mid-90s. Our first ’cross race, the target of all my work this past summer, is in less than three weeks. As soon as I got back from Nationals I began thinking about, planning for, and training towards this season. How many times in my life am I going to have the chance to even consider going to Masters Worlds? With their presence in the US for the next two years, it actually is a reality for me. All of the goals I’ve set, every mile on the mountain bike this summer, each circuit on the ’cross course; they’re now money in the bank. This week I’ll finalize my racing schedule for the season and then, with Louisville firmly planted in my mind, I’ll start racing. One more endurance race over Labor Day weekend, and then, cyclocross. Scraped shins, mud of all varieties, ruts, sand, max heart rate, blood, sweat and drool. What could be more fun?

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And they're off! Here, 2010 Nittany Lion Cross kicked off UCI season. It might be a bit muddier this year. Anthony Skorochod/CyclingCaptured.com
editorialFeatured

Pro Cyclocross Rumors & Rumblings: Week of September 9th, 2011

The Euro’s are coming, the Euro’s are coming. Have we really made that much of an impact or is this just a fluke as everyone is thinking about the 2013 World Champs in Louisville? It is officially here though folks, ’cross season’s big kick-off tomorrow. So with that being said, where are the pros going this weekend and what are they up to if not racing? Jeremy Powers, Adam Myerson, Tom Van Den Bosche, Ian Field, Bryan Fawley, Luke and Jesse Keough, Justin Lindine and Weston Schempf are all lining up for the men at the 6th Annual Nittany Cross. And for the women we have Helen Wyman, Rebecca Wellons, Laura Van Gilder, Vicki Thomas and Gabby Day. Tim Johnson is out training with ’cross buddy and fellow New Englander Jesse Anthony; will we see Jesse hit the dirt much this year? Zdenek Stybar gets serious about ’cross, at least on Twitter. Ryan Trebon starts the competition early at the GP Molly Cameron. Telenet-Fidea looks towards the future with Bart Wellens and an all-new women’s team with Nikki Harris, Sophie de Boer, Nicole de Bie and Pavla Havlikova.

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Gabby taking a muddy downhill ahead of an opponent. Photo courtesy of Gabby Day
Featuredinterviews

In The Saddle With Gabby Day, UK-Based Cyclocrosser

The Euro Invasion has hit the East Coast, and UK-based cyclocrosser Gabby Day has been staying with me in the days leading up to Nittany. This 26-year-old racer has never been to the US, and while maybe the Philadelphia airport wasn’t the best introduction to the country, I’ve been trying to show her some of the nicer parts. Granted, it’s been raining every day, which is going to mean a very muddy start to her US cyclocross season, but she’s taking in stride. With her first US race only a few days away, I wanted to ask her a few questions about her first impressions of the US and how it feels being a woman in the sport.

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Steal a bike and this may be your new residence. 826 Paranormal
rider diary

Urban Ecology Of A Stolen Cyclocross Bike

Two years ago, I started bike commuting to Arizone State University (six miles each way) after not having ridden in a decade. I decided to get a versatile cyclocross bike. It could be easily converted between a road, touring, commuter and light duty mountain bike. While cyclocross is one of the fastest growing sports in America, ’cross bikes are still fairly rare. I starting racing in a local race series with about 50 other people, got hooked and was interested in getting a faster race bike. About 10-50 bikes are listed on the Phoneix Craigslist every day, but a ’cross bike only appears every week or two, and it was never the right size or what I was looking for. So, I started upgrading and customizing my bike over two years, while putting about 5000 miles on it.
Then it got stolen, a comedy of errors ensued, and all was amazingly resolved in less than 24 hours.

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David Sterry, post-race. Photo courtesy of Flickr's klamath_falls
Featuredrider diary

A Fine Line – Trying To Stay Upright In Oregon

I’m getting dropped. It’s a Saturday morning in the middle of August, and I’m on a training ride with my teammate Christian in Portland’s Forest Park. We are headed up a stupidly steep fire lane and all I can think is: I’m getting dropped. I should be at home sleeping in, or at least eating breakfast and reading a book. But instead I’m out here, heart rate through the roof, sweat dripping on to my Garmin so I can’t even read it, looking for an extra gear I know isn’t there. What am I doing?

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The_Book_4cbdd6f3623a0
interviewstraining & skills

In The Saddle With Simon Burney: Cyclocross Author, Coach and Manager

Today, we caught up with Simon Burney, the author of the seminal how to book on cyclocross, Cyclocross Training and Technique, now in its 3rd edition. He is a former professional cyclocross racer and has spent more than twenty years managing professional cyclocross and mountain bike teams, working with some of the top cyclocross racers in the world. Simon served as the Performance Manager for mountain bike at British Cycling and has raced, wrenched, or managed the national team at the Cyclocross World Championships for 28 years. He’s spoken with us before, but since the season is about to stat, we wanted to pick his brain for some tips for our new-to-cyclocross readers and get an idea of what he’s been up to lately.

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The Elite Men's Podium (L to R), Goguen, Lindine, Myerson ©Lodrina Cherne
Featuredinterviews

In The Saddle With The Working Man’s Pro, Justin Lindine

When it comes to Northeast cyclocross racing and specifically Northeast-based cyclocross professionals, most think of the usual suspects: Adam Myerson of Cycle-Smart, Jeremy Powers of Rapha-Focus, Tim Johnson of Cyclocrossworld.com/Cannondale, the retired Dan Timmerman (formerly of Richard Sachs), Jamey Driscoll of Cyclocrossworld.com/Cannondale and the list goes on. However, if you attend almost any Northeast UCI level cyclocross race, you will find perennial strong man Justin Lindine mixing it up at the front of the race with the big names in the sport and often finishing on the top of the podium. Recently, Justin took the time to sit down and answer some of my questions regarding his recent move from full time road racer to full-time elite Mountain XC racer, his racing plans for the future and of course, cyclocross.

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The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo
editorialFeatured

The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo: Ready To Race

The past four days have been all about cyclocross for me. And I have to tell you, it has been amazing. Between seeing how “real cyclists” exist in their normal world to being at the Cycle-Smart Cyclocross Clinic, I have learned so much and met some really incredible people, again reaffirming why I love this sport so darn much. Now that I’m finally at the beach on my family vacation, I get to sit and reflect on the past few days and decide where I go from here. Cyclocross season is only a couple of weekends away, and I’m feeling pretty ready for it.

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James McCabe leads Austin Jones up the stairs and out of the bowl at Cyclocross Nationals. Photo Courtesy of James McCabe
interviews

Collegiate Chronicles: ACCC’s Leadership Gives Us A Season Preview

We’ve heard a lot about the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference in the past few weeks from coordinators Joe Kopena, Tim Manzella and Steven Hopengarten, but what about the other conferences out there? We’ve been reaching out all around the country to find out how collegiate teams are making cyclocross season count. Wilson Hale, cyclocross coordinator for the Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference, was kind enough to give us a sneak peek into the makings of a stellar season when schools are situated south of the ECCC. Unlike the ECCC, the ACCC has a shorter season and chooses to host their own races, rather than racing collegiate within standard cyclocross races.

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Criterium racing as training for cyclocross: a smart move for speed. Photo from flickr, fasterpandakillkill
rider diary

It’s Always A Good Day To Ride: Progress; And Why ’Cross Is So Much More Fun Than Crits

It’s summer in Wisconsin, and that means a lot of criterium racing. We’re fortunate to have two race series here, and as a teacher I have a bit of time in the summer to race.

The result of all the racing is that I’m definitely making progress in my recovery. I’ve felt progressively stronger as the summer has gone on. I don’t think I’ll ever be the rider I was before the crash, but I have become a different rider.

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