Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014 #TrekCXCCup

2014 Trek CXC Cup 

Travel Recap:
          Wed FlyFrontier SNA-MKE
          Thurs Ride to Trek
          Fri Preride the course
          Sat Day 1 C1 #trekcxccup
          Sun Day 2 C2 #trekcxccup
          Mon FlyFrontier MKE-SNA

Hotel & Food:
          Super8 Watertown
          El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant
          Super Walmart in Watertown
          Trader Joes in Brookfield

This way to Trek HQ!

Cornfields of Wisco

Working the pits for David

Saturday C1:

          15th place call-up for the day. I really need to work on my starts, that's all I have to say about the beginning of the race. I was immediately back in the teens as the field strung out in the first twisty grass section. I slid out coming around a fast 180-degree turn halfway through lap one and had to pit for the pink B bike. I was a little flustered after this, but gathered my composure and was able to get my head back in the game. I made my way back through the field and eventually passed Katie Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) into 10th position. The last two laps came down to a tradeoff with Nicole Duke (Marin-SPY) and Erica Zaveta (Amy D Foundation). Zaveta had been riding solo in the wind and slowed up for me to catch up and pull for the second to last lap. I didn't realize this during the race and in hindsight I realize I did way too much work there. After we caught up to Duke, Zaveta attacked on the final off-camber section, stringing it out and putting myself solidly in 10th position coming into the finish. Given this day was a C1 event, I was super stoked to know I was able to hang on with the top 10 riders and finish up in 10th. More UCI points and some cash in hand as we got ready for Day 2.

Sunday C2:

         My finishing place on Sunday echoed Saturday, but the races were so very different. I kept telling myself all day that I needed a good start, even practiced a bunch during warmup. But alas, a less than stellar start put me in a tricky position coming into the steep switchbacks. A second of hesitation cost me 3-4 positions as riders jumped off their bikes to run around the turns due to traffic while I tried to stay on the bike. I quickly learned that during bottleneck sections of the course on lap 1, getting off and running around riders/obstacles is much faster than assuming riding through it. At the time, it made sense for me to stay on the bike as much as possible, but after reviewing photos from the race and even seeing Tim Johnson running it when he was only 4th wheel, I now understand that getting through as quickly as possible is best in those situations.
          After that hiccup I had to work my way through the field again once I was back in the teens. With 4 to go I made my way up to 10th position and on the wheel of Crystal Anthony (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies). With 3 to go, Sunny Gilbert attacked into 9th position, putting me and Anthony in a battle for the remaining UCI point and 10th place. I really couldn't believe that I was on the heels of Anthony for those few laps, it was quite surreal and she was seriously throwing down the watts on the straightaway. I held on as best I could and tried to make some moves, but we were matched, watts-for-watts and I was unable to make any passes. Coming into the final steep climb, I knew I was going to run it, but Anthony had been riding it the whole race and attempted to ride it on the last lap. However, she was unable to push the first few pedal strokes and was forced to unclip. This split second mistake allowed me to run up and over the top of the climb first and push all out to the finish, securing 10th place. I ended up having my best lap time of the day on that final lap.. must have been quite a rush to the finish line!

The bikes around Wisco:


We also submitted our team's product suggestion form to the Walmart in Watertown because they did not carry Krema Peanut Butter.
If you have any suggested markets or grocery stores where you'd like to see Krema Peanut Butter, please let me know and I'll get you a product suggestion form to send their way!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Wandering Panda

I've recently had a lot of people asking me what's going on with my life right now and to be honest, I'm just as dazed/confused as all of you.

I'm the type of person who always finds a way to keep myself busy, whether good or bad, and my life is a constant whirlwind of events.

I took a break following Crusher in the Tushar on my birthday, July 12th, 2014. This 'break' involved some time off the bike, eating cake & ice cream, going to the movies, and other normal people things.
"off season"
It was nice, but I was so ready to get training for 'cross season. There was a hunger that started the second I crossed the line in Boulder at CX Nats in January. I demanded nothing less than my absolute best for the next season

I made a quick trip to the doctor's for a blood test a couple weeks into my first training block as my energy levels were feeling low. At that time it was just about 4 full months since my Sea Otter accident and the doctor said I was most likely just finishing the healing/recovery process. Sure enough, after that first block of training, my numbers were back to where they needed to be.

Around the end of July / beginning of August, I made the decision to leave Felt Bicycles. I had just finished up 3 full years of employment with the big bicycle brand and it was time for me to step away. I truly believe that you need to surround yourself with people who support you. If you surround yourself with negativity, that negativity will seep into your life. Let's just say that the negativity and lack of support eventually drove me away. I reached out in March, prior to Sea Otter, to try and get the ball rolling on a marketing discussion of cyclocross season. Felt was working on some new products for CX that I wanted so badly to endorse and help push. I planned it all out, I pitched my idea, I created a timeline of how it would all come together with proper lead times.. all to no avail. I wanted to blame it on the lack of time they have to even think twice about it, I wanted to hold on and keep pretending that something would eventually turn around, I wanted so dearly for it to work out.. but in the end I knew nothing would happen and I'm not the type of person to just sit around and complain. I couldn't wait around any longer and I needed to make a difference. If I wanted support, I was going to have to search for it elsewhere.

It's hard to work for a company that builds race bikes for some of the best athletes in the world and yet doesn't support an environment for me to pursue my own athletic endeavors. There are a lot of happy people at that company because Felt provides an incredible working environment that I was more than appreciative to be a part of, but I had higher expectations. I still absolutely love the company and most of the people who have worked there throughout the years. I honestly believe that their carbon fiber technology and Jeff Soucek's genius absolutely drives the company's advancements and I've been so proud to work there. I'll always be a Felt fan girl.. always.

It was a tough decision, but ultimately it was for the better.
When I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't going to receive any support from Felt, I began making plans to find companies who wanted to support me and the SDG team for the season. Ultimately I wanted to endorse brands who saw potential in our little team.

David and I put a lot of love and hard work into developing the SDG Team for this season. This thing was his baby from the beginning and I've come along to help support his dream of growing the program and getting it the recognition it deserves.

Moving Forward:

Anyone who truly knows me well knows that I'm not living my life as a pro bike racer. I don't have the results nor the money/support to live that kind of lifestyle.
I'm keeping busy. I have an income from a new project I'm working on. Life is a little rough around the edges, but it is good.

So there you have it, I'm going to live like a pretend bike racer for a few months as I commit myself to racing at my absolute best level, supporting the growth of cyclocross, and pushing the new brand of Daily Bikes. I mean, come on, I'm 25 and I don't want to look back with any regrets, right?! Here's to taking risks and facing fears.

If you're still reading up to this point, thank you, and I have just one request.. I've gotten a lot of comments about how there's no future for women in professional cycling. If you all could do me one favor and help me prove them wrong I would sincerely appreciate it : )

Wish me luck and please support me by supporting our Team's sponsors for the season: SDG Components, Daily Bikes, Bellwether, CCN Sport, Krema Peanut Butter, SPY Optics, Kali Protectives, Rip van Wafels, & Carmichael Training Systems

Here is a quick link to follow them all on twitter 


If you see me hanging around the races, come say hi!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The 2014-2015 CX Season Kicks off with CrossVegas!

Hey everyone, I'm back!

A lot has happened in the past few months, so I figured I'd at least write up a Cross Vegas recap and post it on the ol' dusty blog.

Not very many people use blogs anymore, huh? I guess Facebook has become the venue for announcements in peoples' lives, whether good or bad. I've been thinking that I'd like to keep a nice log of 'cross season here this year for everyone to have access to and as a record of events to read back on as I head into the next season.

Quick recap of the night race in the desert:

4th row call-up. Bobble at the start trying to get by someone who had issues clipping in. Took the inside line around the Showcase lap which was a bad idea.. I ended up slamming my bicep and shoulder into the fence as we turned back into the start/finish straight. You can see during the live feed, a huge gap opens up as everyone comes back through start/finish and that was totally my fault after I bounced off the fence and slowed everyone up. From then on, adrenaline was pumping through my veins and I went through the next couple laps slowly picking people off and surprising myself. I made some serious efforts on lap 2 and 3 that put me in a great position to hold on for dear life for the last two laps of the race. Being in the chase group for a majority of the race felt amazing and I was so pumped to be up there.. probably a little too amped as Rachel Lloyd told me after the race that she was surprised at how hard I was going a little too early on haha. #newb
I held on for a strong 8th place finish and couldn't have been more happy with that. Going into the race, I told myself that top 10 would have been a dream given the competition on deck.  Thus, an 8th place finish was pure victory in my book... and oh did it taste sweet. I had a lot of friends, fans, and ex-coworkers at the event, so it was even better that I was able to make everyone go nuts with each passing lap. Thanks for the cheers!!!

The Panda Death Stare - courtesy of Phil Beckman 
The new bike: