This season, we’ll be following a few racers who have some interesting stories to share. From a freshly-minted elite racer to a newly declared master, …
Preparation for my trip to Burlington, Vermont and Nor’Easter ‘Cross came with a lot of expectations. After a weekend where I went flying off my bike like Joey hitting a barrier, I was ready to make the three hour plus drive to Burlington worthwhile. I wanted to get a Verge point which would earn me callups at series races for the rest of the year.
When watching the big names like Sven Nys or Daphny Van den Brand cross the finish line, you often see someone running towards them with a jacket and water bottle in hand. This “behind the scenes” character is a soigneur – the backbone to most every cyclist on race day.
Paul is ready to ride – stop by and see him at the USGP today! Photo courtesy of Paul Warloski
By the time you read this today, the mwi cross circus will have gathered under the black and green tent near the start line in Sun Prairie, WI for the first weekend of the USGP.
It’s the start of the racing, the travel, the camaraderie, and off-camber downhill turns. The heckling, suffering, mud, and crashes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In less than two weeks, I’ll be traveling to the first cross race of the season. Like you, I’ve been preparing for these races all year, training hard, eating and drinking right (most of the time … )
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?
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.
Canadian racer Craig Richey is back in North America after his first season racing ‘cross in Belgium. He checks in with an update on off-season successes and plans for a big adventure this August.
It was one of those rare days this summer in Wisconsin: sunny, 75 degrees, mild winds. I was camping with a buddy in Boulder Junction, home of some beautiful northwoods roads and trails.
My friend was going fishing, and I was headed out on the ride. The training program told me to ride zone 2 for 80 minutes.
When I returned, my friend asked me where I’d been.
About five or six years ago, I had the misfortune to have my peak season as a racer coincide with the U.S. National Championship of a certain 12-year-old girl who was perky and sweet and faster than a speeding bullet.
Race after race, town after town, she would crush my soul with her stars-and-stripes velocity. She was truly a phenom and while I knew she had no idea she was humiliating me, it was driving me crazy.
Cyclocross Magazine columnist Paul Warloski profiles his return to cyclocross after a near-devastating injury. Follow Paul as he takes us along for a ride of trials …
Although I’m no longer going to win any prizes for prettiest legs, the crash that nearly took my life has offered a surprising gift.
The day I was brought in by ambulance, the doctors took me into surgery immediately, the first of four, and I spent eight days in the hospital.
During the season, I made sure I raced every race in the series, even races I don’t like, just to maintain my spot in the points for the trophy. To me it was purely a symbolic and tangible piece of evidence that I could still race my bike, just 18 months after the crash.
Like most riders who come to ’cross from the road, I sometimes struggle with technical skills.
I’ve learned a lot in the past five years. Yet I still grab too much brake, don’t trust my tires enough, and slow down too much before barriers and corners.
The remedy this season? Lots of practice in a park nearby and lots of mountain bike riding.
It’s still four months before my first cyclocross race and season preparation is already in full swing. It was kicked off by our BABOCO Cycling Team training camp in Benidorm, Spain. We were treated to eleven days of road riding in the mountains under warm sunny skies. It was especially welcome after a long, bitterly cold winter spent in a paper-thin skinsuit.
Cyclocross Magazine columnist Paul Warloski returns this week as he continues profiling his return to cyclocross after a near-devastating injury. Follow Paul as he takes us …
Cyclocross Magazine would like to welcome new columnist Paul Warloski, who like many of us, has a passion for cyclocross. Only for him, this passion …
Masters racer and Cyclocross Magazine columnist Lee Waldman has been investigating Masters Worlds from a variety of angles. Today he brings you part three, interviewing …
Masters racer Lee Waldman comes to us this week with part two of his reflections on Masters Worlds and his hope to perform well at …
US Masters brought all that is American ’cross to the line at this year’s Masters Cyclocross World Championships. Two-time World Champion Marilyn Ruseckas has returned …
Canadian Craig Richey (CyclocrossRacing.com p/b Blue) represented his country at the World Cyclocross Championships at St. Wendel. Read on for his words about the experience. …
Canadian Elite ’crosser and Cyclocross Magazine contributor Vicki Thomas reflects on a year that didn’t work out quite the way she had hoped, and reveals …