Thursday, June 2, 2016

We're starting to think about cyclocross

If you don't know what it is, check out this video about the pro scene from the Global Cycling Network.  We amateurs can only wish for so many tires, bikes, and fantastic venues, but Lincoln and the surrounding region has a lively CX community.  In fact, Iowa City will host a WORLD CUP race this September. If you'd like to learn more about our team, please message us on Facebook. To learn more about CX and how to do it, get connected with Star City CX. This organization puts on some training races in the fall and has skills clinics at the start of the season for new riders.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jingle Cross 2015 Mud Fest

In my experience, Jingle Cross is either mud or frozen mud.  This year was no different.  Warmish temperatures made for a festival of mud.  This, on top of three days of formidable courses and large field sizes, put GPCTCX racers to their toughest test yet.


Race face. Awaiting go time.  Photo: Jill Riese
"Just finished the last race of the cyclocross season. Jingle Cross was an epic way to finish the season. Thanks to all of the good friends and teammates that made this season a total blast!"

Emmett made the most of his handling skills in the huge cat 4 fields and finished 34th on Friday night, then moving into the top 25 for Saturday and Sunday.  


"Jingle Cross was muddy and nasty and hard and a hell of a lot of fun. Despite being frozen (my first race was scheduled right after sunset and I didn't expect the temperature to just drop like that) and a panicked few minutes in the pit clawing mud and grass from my general derailleur area, and some dropped chains all around... It was a really fun course (except for you Mt Krumpit I hate you) and I thought it was especially clever they routed us through the barns. But that much ankle deep sloppy mud?? Omg."

Sara, post race, looking shockingly clean. Photo: Josh Rice  


"Brought me a little Iowa mud home....ok, a lot!"


"Yowza! I was delusional when I registered for two races each day, and chose not to start the pro race on Friday and Saturday in order to conserve energy for the masters women 35+ overall win. The women's master races went off with the masters men, so that made it quite exciting to have over a 100 racers on the course at a time.  It also made it challenging to keep track of where my competitors were, so I just rode and ran as hard as I could to get away from Robin Williams (Minnesota), Jadine Riley (Seattle), and Paula Burks and Shannon Greenhill from Georgia. It was so cool to have several strong riders in the masters race. Is is a sign of the growth of cyclocross?  Might we someday have something similar to ferocious competition one sees in the men's masters fields?  I hope so.  

Climbing Mt. Krumpet Friday afternoon. Photo: Jeff Corcoran

After securing the overall win in the masters on Sunday, I went ahead and toed the line with the pro field that included the likes of Katerina Nash, Katie Compton, Kaitlin Antonneau, Amanda Miller, Elle Anderson, and basically who's who of US Women Pros.  Of course, I never saw them on the course as they disappeared in seconds from those of us lined up on the last rows, but it was a fun race nonetheless. All 34 of us who started were committed competitors and no matter where you were in the field, you were racing - either trying to pass, defend a line, or keep your lead.  It was pretty great. 

The real heroes of the weekend were the folks in the pit, fighting their own races to grab bikes, get them cleaned off, and return to position before their rider came through.  Without my fella, MFD, I would never have been able to get the wins I did. The mud was so heavy, that it necessitated bike changes every half a lap if possible. Jingle Cross took a team to do well and next year, GPCTCX will be doing pit training for everyone along with the rest of it!"
Masters Nationals in Asheville, NC is up next - January 7!  Photo: Paul Buchanan

Monday, November 23, 2015

State Championship Results

Ten cat 4 women on the start line.  
Twas a cold, blustery afternoon with temperatures hovering around freezing.  Fortunately, the sun was shining and the race tent zone was somewhat sheltered.  The course favored the powerful and the fleet of foot as it featured sweeping curves, mushy grass and a long, gradual ascent.  A short, steep descent with a sharp, off-camber right turn at the bottom tested the courage of newer riders.   However, the Goldenrod Pastries team did well.

Women Cat 4

We had four riders in the women's category 4 race.  Cristina took the state championship, placing second to Iowa's Michelle Cleasby in the overall race.  Rachel sped to the silver medal.  Licki missed the podium by one, placing fourth, and Amy, hobbled by pre-dissertation defense nerves, still rode to a seventh place finish. 
Women Cat 4 State Championship Podium: Cristina Woodworth, Rachel Gehringer-Wiar,
and Ashley Perkins. 
Cristina entering the barriers. Photo: Kyle Hansen
Licki looking fast through the barriers. Photo: Lehman Northway

Men's Cat 4/5

The men's category 4/5 was the last race of the day and the largest field with 29 riders vying for the win.  After a less than stellar start, Paul rode his new Focus AX to a state championship bronze medal.  Emmett, who would have liked a more technical course, did the team proud with an 11th place finish. 

State championship podium, men's cat 4/5. Adam Little, Travis Loewens, and Paul Gebers
Emmett speeds through the barriers. Photo: Kyle Hansen

Women's 1/2/3

In the small women's 1/2/3 race, Kaitlin Neary took the win.  Sydney rode smoothly but lost time every lap, finishing second, a minute down. 

"I had hoped to give Kaitlin a good  race this weekend, but I just wasn't feeling it and although a much better warm-up might have helped, there's no substitute for having that mental fire." 

Left to right: Kat Porter (5th), Abbey O'Brien (3rd), Kaitlin Neary (1st),
Sydney Brown (2nd), and Emily Hoesly (4th).

"The new Ibis Hakkalugi is awesome!" Photo: Cristina Woodworth

Masters Women

In the Masters Women 45+, Sara Nispel took took the championship and placed 6th overall in the open women's race on Sunday. 

Sara always has good technical form. 

GPCTCX has to get a bike stand thing. This scattering of bikes must cease.  Next year!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Head Games

Seacrest wasn't the only race in which Amy faced mud
Cunningham Cross in Omaha did as well. Fall 2015

It may seem counter-intuitive, but sports are far more mental than physical. You can train all you want, but if you don’t have your game face on for the race, things will not go well. Case in point: Seacrest #2.

I like to show up to races early. Plenty of time to prep, ride through the course, and calm myself down
before the race starts. Last week, we showed up later than planned and as I was unloading my bike, an announcement stated that my race started in 5 min. This was exactly enough time to register, make a guess about proper tire pressure, and get some advice about the course from those smart enough to
show up early.

Basically, I was in panic mode. As we lined up to start the race, I noticed that everybody else was wearing gloves. Mine were locked in the van halfway across the parking lot. Not good. Did I mention
that it was raining? Shortly after this revelation, the race started and about 200 yds later, when I finally got clipped in properly, I was firmly in last place.

In short, almost everything that could go wrong had and my brain insisted upon reminding me of this
constantly for the first 5 mins. Eventually I realized that there was nothing I could do to fix the way things started, but I could still make the most of the remaining time. I switched my focus to chasing down the people in front of me and finished in the same place that I had in my previous race. So, on the one hand, panic mode didn’t completely screw me over, but on the other hand, I have to wonder how much better things would have gone had I managed to start with calm confidence. And maybe a pair of gloves. With proper tire pressure. You get the point…

But at least I didn’t hit any trees :)


Always riding with a smile. Spooky Cross, Altoona, IA 2015

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved all types of human-powered transportation -- rollerblades, scooters, skateboards and, most importantly, bicycles. I’ve been a bike commuter for my entire five years at UNL, where I am studying journalism and environmental studies.

I bought an All-City Macho Man to commute on a few years ago and my boss at UNL Outdoor Adventures encouraged me to try out cyclocross. This is my second season racing and I’m loving every second of it.

My favorite part about the races is the rowdy, awesome community of people that shows up, the friendly competition and the physical challenge of testing my endurance.

Besides riding my bike, I’m an all-around outdoorsy geek and enjoy rock climbing, running, backpacking and canoeing. I hope to graduate this December and move out west to find a job and be closer to the mountains.


Sara sometimes describes herself as a cyclist who ran for a while.  That's saying something since she ran cross country and track for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln when she was college.

"The bike makes me calm and mentally sparky - and keeps me out of trouble."

Sara's health issues make it difficult for her to ride as much as she'd like, but she believes she might put her life out of balance if she were able to.  Nonetheless, she loves competing and excels in races where technical prowess makes up for raw power.

"I try to find technical areas in the course that can gain me a few seconds on my rivals," she says.

As  a category 3 racer who is also a masters racer, Sara often finds herself wishing she had more age-group peers against which to test her mettle, but she loves a good race whether that takes place at the front of the field or elsewhere.

"I define success as pushing my body to the edge and making a worthy effort - no quitting, being bold, and not letting anyone get into my head," Sara says.

Spooky Cross, Altoona, IA 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Spooky Cross - Altoona, IA

Zealous Racing puts on a great racing weekend called "Spooky Cross."  The last few years it's been held in Altoona, IA, adjacent to the Altoona Aquatics Center and the courses have flat bits and seriously hilly bits, but all the bits are linked together in a fast, fun, flowy, yet challenging way.

Sunday's big climb Part 1

Sunday's big climb part 2 where you needed to keep your
momentum in order to hop the 2x4's and ride on to the top.
Besides fun courses, another nice thing about racing in Iowa are the larger field sizes and higher quality of the races in terms of competition. For example, Sunday's women's 1/2/3 field had 21 starters.  Of these, seven were cat 2's, so if you want to improve your ranking, but racing higher quality races, the closest place to do that is the Des  Moines area.
Saturday's racers wait in the chill for the race to begin. A few sport costumes,
but with the exception of Suzie Goebel, the front two lines are pretty serious. 
Racing for GPCTCX this weekend were Cristina, Paul, Sara, Licki, and Sydney.

Paul and Cristina truly embraced the spirit of the day and sported costumes.

"I found the Spooky Cross course to be a fun new experience. I am not used to hills like that in Lincoln. The rain made the course super slick and muddy, but sliding out on the 2nd lap did make me extra cautious of the sharp turns. I wish I didn't run so much during that race but I was highly doubtful of my bikes ability going up some of those hills with my slick skinny road tires. Probably my favorite part was racing in a hot dog suit. I got a lot of attention and heckling for it, but it was worth it. I only wish someone else dressed up too. I would definitely go back next year! I got 29th of 58 starters in the Cat 4/5 race."

-- Paul

"I enjoyed racing Spooky Cross while wearing a french fry costume and watching Paul race as a hotdog. The course was really slick and muddy which made for an exciting 40 minutes. It was a lot of fun and definitely worth getting up at 6 am to drive to Des Moines. I placed 2nd in the women's cat 4 division."

-- Cristina

Licki also raced the cat 4 women on Saturday and finished 8th of 11 starters.  However, when she faced the big climb on Sunday, Licki showed her mettle.

"Day one of Spooky Cross was so so cold! The course was a ton of fun with lots of up and down and going through stands of trees. The ground was a bit muddy and I botched every single remount. I would gain time and pass... and then lose it all whenever I got on and off my bike. I think I wasn’t being patient enough - I was rushing through getting back on my bicycle and I wasn’t being strategic as to where I was remounting (as far as terrain went). All in all the course was a blast (though the person in the Olaf costume was terrifying) and I got 8th out of 11 riders in Cat 4 Women’s.

Day two was hot and drier! There were some changes to the course and more things to hop over so I really tried to take my time getting back on my bike so I didn’t have a repeat of day one. I think the relative heat (compared to yesterday) was getting to a lot of racers - I would see some racers really tiring at the hill or the barriers. So I just kept trying to push through and pass them even though I was hurting too. Through pure stubbornness (and the great supportive words I got from spectators) I managed to finish out the race. I found out later I had somehow finished 3rd of the seven Cat 4 racers who started. So I got to stand on a box! Boy that was a strange feeling, but good too."

-- Licki

Sara also rode Saturday.

"It was cold. So, I was dressed warm. I picked the layers well. Didn’t get too hot, other than my head and I couldn’t really go without something over my ears anyway. My hands were a little cold. So, the gloves I tried won’t work well below 50.

It was slippery. I LOVED that. I’m daring and it gave me a LOT of time over the competitors around me.

It was challenging. Lots of steep little hills that, by the last lap had me wanting to take a little coffee break before continuing: power areas. No lost time and no gained time here with those around me. But, did sap my muscles by the end.

All of the twists and turns slowed people down, a GREAT advantage for me. Gives my old lungs a chance to recover. Sadly, I wiped out with only a few minutes left and dropped a chain as I was nipping on the heels of 12 and 13 and plotting my attack. I went from a second behind them to 30+. To not get that chance leaves me VERY hungry. At this same time, the lead Cat4 rider passed me. She tossed me some “Come on! Go get ‘em!” I later told her I appreciated that.

From the hole shot to the finish I took around 6 racers and lost position to 1…the Cat4 winner.

I’ll keep working on my muscle strength, and may have to learn how to put on a chain faster. LOL"

-- Sara

Sydney's weekend aim was to podium both days in order to improve her USA Cycling ranking.  

Sydney's mom, Nancy, has been helping her race for a long time, both through
her steady encouragement and by her capabilities for managing everything
from equipment to bike changes in the pit.
"She makes it so much easier and more fun. Until you have someone to help you,
you don't realize how much time and energy you spend taking care of everything
and how that impacts your racing. I'm incredibly grateful for her help." --Sydney
"My mom and I are heading to Nationals the first week of January and hope to do well.  However, one's starting position is determined in part by one's USAC rankings and I would really like to be among the first three rows.  Unfortunately, because this is my first season back after a long hiatus, I didn't have a ranking this year and have been working up from the bottom as I try to develop some race fitness again.  This process has been challenging, but fun. It has also made me keenly aware of the advantages conferred by a front line start. This weekend I made it on the second row, which wasn't too bad except that the rows were only five women wide and if the people in front of you bobbled at all, you were slowed."
Sydney watched Koppenbergcross before the race and said
it inspired her to ride Sunday's climb. 

"I really didn't know how I would do this weekend.  I had ridden only once during the week because it was a designated rest week and I was a wee bit worried about my legs.  However, they were fine and I was able to ride to third on Saturday and take the win on Sunday.  I suffered a fall during Saturday's race and if I ever hope to beat Trek's Kaitlin Neary, I mus'n't give her any gap at all.  On Sunday, she had quite a lead and I had ridden up to third from seventh at the hole shot, but then she hit a barrier wrong with her front wheel and flatted out of the race. With Suzie Goebel ahead, I knew my work was cut out for me, but I felt pretty good and kept pushing and focusing on riding smoothly. On the final lap, we came into the hill climb together.  She attacked, but bobbled the first barrier, coming to a complete stop and the opting to run the rest of the hill.  Because I was right behind her, I also came to a stop, but stayed on my bike and finished the hill that way.  I felt this was the better option and did not push me into the red as much as a run. At the top of the climb, the course turned left and then a sharp off-camber right.  Suzie took a lower line, leaving me a smoother higher line.  I used this to attack as hard as I could and drilled it for the finish line which was maybe 100-130 meters of combined grass and pavement. Suzie followed in second and the incredible Lisa Vetterlein, who had had to start on the rear-most line since she was a day-of entry, came in third."   -- Sydney

Sydney's heart rate profile for Sunday's race.  Analysis from Strava. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Practicing Racer: Notes from October

In my first reflective piece about returning to racing, I talked about being a "practicing racer" as opposed to pursuing podiums.  What does this mean exactly?  For me, it has meant re-establishing habits of body and mind and I didn't try to do it all at once.  I have found attempting change on a massive scale is pretty much a recipe for failure unless that's the only thing you have to think about.  Instead, it's better to break everything into little pieces and address them one by one.


Strange as it might sound, my first move wasn't to start a training program, but rather to just focus on getting a good night's sleep, every night.  Sleep is essential to self-discipline and without that, there's no way to address diet and training, so that was the first habit to put firmly into place.  I go to bed between 8:45 and 9pm almost every night and wake up at 5:30 for a solid 8.5 hrs of shut-eye.  It's simply amazing how good you feel and what you believe you can accomplish, when you've slept well.

 (Here's a good article from Huffington Post with research links about the interactions between sleep and self-regulation, discipline, and control.)


Favorite protein powder with frozen bananas to get 3:1 carb:protein ratio.
I'm almost 10 years older than when I first started racing and my aging body has different nutritional needs.  Moreover, my life since 2012 had become comparatively sedentary and I had become way more relaxed about what I ate and drank leading to about 12 extra pounds.  Consequently, I did some research to see what had been learned about female athletes and nutrition while at the same time began to make changes to my diet.  I found Osmo Nutrition's FAQ a great place for overviews and links to research articles.  Key takeaways for me were that I needed to decrease carbs, increase protein, and be attentive to the timing of pre and post exercise nutrition. Other changes included a massive cocktail reduction, not eating later than 7 or 8 pm at night, and replacing one meal with a super-awesome-layered salad.
Salad, asparagus, cod.

Salad, apple, recovery drink, osmo hydration


From April through June, I rode fairly regularly, but for fun, and kept my focus on sleep habit development.  If I didn't feel like doing it, I didn't, and primarily did group rides or took pleasant solo excursions.  Then, I took July off to do a motorcycle tour, which was tons of fun, but pretty much let any of that foundational fitness go. Beginning in August, I turned my attention to nutrition and rides made up of fun group efforts with some sweet-spot training in the mix as I felt mentally up for it.

As my weight dropped and I felt consistently good physically and mentally, I began to get excited about the possibility of racing again and enjoying it.  This led to the #GPCTCX  project.

I was finally feeling strong enough mentally about riding that I felt some external expectations would help push me were I wanted to go.  I find this to be a key aspect achieving something I perceive to be difficult.  With a team, I knew I would feel compelled to walk the talk, so to speak, but it did more than that.  Seeing people who were new to racing get excited about it and celebrate their accomplishments was fantastic and energized my enthusiasm so much that I decided I could handle the most potent of motivators - some big objective.  I chose nationals and talked my mom and teamie Sara into doing it too. 

Upon committing to attending Nationals it was time to adopt a structured training program. I reviewed several and after recording my riding through the summer, I knew realistically I could not dedicate more than 6-8 hours each week to training.  Knowing what you can hold sacred time-wise for an activity is critical to its success for a couple of reasons.  First, if you commit to something and aren't able to follow through on it, you're going to feel bad and it actually makes you less capable of following through on it in the future.  The good news is that the converse is also true.  Setting realistic but challenging goals and then being successful builds what is called "self-efficacy," which is the belief that you can be successful doing that thing in the future.  In fact, self-efficacy beliefs are one of the best predictors of success and a wide variety of domains.  Therefore, I knew I had to have a plan that accommodated by limited schedule because if I completed the workouts, I'd feel more motivated, and more motivation would help me do more workouts, maintain nutrition and the other habits I'd put in place.

So, I've been using Chris Carmichael's Time Crunched Training Plan (TCTP) 2nd. Ed., and am very happy with it.  I don't have much beyond two hours, but I don't need it.  I need to go full out for a maximum of 45 minutes.  I'm only four weeks into the plan and my legs are starting to feel a bit more reliable.


There's a lot to think about when racing.  Not having done it for so long, I feel in many ways I've had to refocus on it bit by bit.  The first few race weekends, my legs weren't even sore because all my concentration was on trying to execute the technical aspects of racing. Things like identifying and riding lines, dialing in air pressure, getting a feel for the bike, etc.  There is so much.  After day one of Cunningham Cross, I challenged myself to being to really make an effort between technical sections.  This yielded two results: podium finishes and some crashes.  I guarantee if you're pushing the edges, you'll go over on occasion, and I've spent some time on the ground from taking corners too hot.  But, because I am not as powerful as I used to be wattage-wise, I have to find seconds elsewhere, and one key place is in the turns.  Consequently, I've been hitting them hard and fast, getting them mostly wrong at first and increasingly right.  I've also developed a keen empathy for anyone starting further back that the second row.

Not even the twistiest part.
For example, at the first larger race (Night Cap Cross, Des Moines, IA) where I hoped to improve my ranking, I found myself starting on the 4th row.  Holy-moly was that an eye-opener.  On a tight and twisty course, by the time you work your way to the front, the front line racers have disappeared.  It was then that I decided working up was just going to be part of the process and I am relishing the challenge. 

The points system appears to incentivize "racing up," or seeking out more difficult fields because those races are considered higher quality and will help improve your ranking.  If you stay in your comfort zone, say winning local races, you won't improve your standing.  For me, I would really like to be in the first or second row in my age-group race at nationals, so rank improvement is key.

When I began racing this year, I had no points ranking, which meant lining up at the back, but with solid finishes at Flatwater Cross, Cunningham, and Spooky Cross, I've moved to  22nd in my 5-year age range in the national standings.  The next race that could improve my standing is Jingle Cross where I've entered the UCI category all three days.  I know it sounds presumptuous, but the quality of racers there will likely be so good that it may be more beneficial points-wise to be in the bottom half of the top-20 in that race, than to win the masters 40+ race.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Flatwater Cycling Cyclocross Weekend 2015

Michelle doing a fine job tempting racers with cookies.
Photo: Matt Pearson
"The cyclocross community is insanely supportive and fun! This is further enhanced by being the team known for its delicious pastries. Thanks to practice rides in Wilderness Park, I'm was definitely more comfortable and feeling in more control of my bike during this race. Definitely have a long way to go in improving as a cyclist but am stoked for the ride and feel so fortunate to be a part of the team!" - Michelle

"Felt like cobblestones." - Sara on Friday's race course conditions

Rough terrain didn't keep Sara from a 3rd place podium finish. 

Saturday brought barrier treats of donuts and Honey Stinger Chews.  Photo: Craig Schmidt
"This race weekend was doughnuts. I had 4 doughnuts for breakfast on Saturday and doughnut hand ups at the race. I could feel the doughnut flowing through my veins feeding my urge to ride circles in spandex in a park. Guess what? Someone brought doughnuts on Sunday too! Here we go again. Life is doughnuts."  - Emmett

Emmett putting in a great ride despite his donut diet.  Photo: Kyle Hansen

 "Totally over-cooked a corner.  Kaitlin smartly made the most of it, putting in a gap I was unable to close." - Sydney on Saturday's W1/2/3 race

Second place finish for Sydney on Saturday.  Photo: Sara Nispel
"Racing is way more fun when you have rivals to fight it out with, even if you're not fighting for a podium spot. Also, racing two days back-to-back is harder than it sounds like it would be. Also also, being sponsored by a pastry shop is AWESOME!" - Amy

Amy puts the heat on local rival, Ashley,
from Battle Axe Women's Cycling Team. Photo: BattleAxe

No, Rachel. You can never have too much fun with hand-ups.
Photo: Matt Pearson

"My three goals going into this race were: look around my corners (and not at the ground), don't start too strong and die later, and have fun. I accomplished all three of them along with a third place podium spot while I was at it! The best part of the day, however, was giving out Goldenrod Pastries cookie hand-ups to the racers after us. We probably had way too much fun with that."  - Rachel

Rachel rounding out the women's cat 4 podium.  Photo: Matt Pearson

Sara selected a smoother rolling squishy
20 psi for her tires. Photo: Matt Pearson
"I was testing recovery this weekend. 30 min race on Friday & 45 min race on Sunday gave me two good efforts. Only felt like napping after Sunday's race and I did.  I know during that race, I tapped my bucket, as during the middle, it seemed SO long and I had moments where I wanted to drop out. I had two errors so I have things to work on. That's always reassuring. First, my left foot didn't clip out at the barriers and I fell to the ground, and later I accidentally flipped to the smaller chain ring at the finish. I was happy with my off-camber handling and I enjoyed chasing someone within reach (It takes ones's mind off of the pain and draws out greater effort). Stoked, I was only beat by 7 tenths of a second. I don't think I'd trade what I gained in that race for the top of the B race's 3s podium. Money isn't everything."  -- Sara, "The Analyst"

Cat 4 racer, cat1 cookie toss. Licki masters
the hand-up.  Photo: Matt Pearson
"This time around my goals were to keep the rubber side down, not get hurt, and focus on the fun aspect of riding around in a park with good people. It was so dry and windy - fall is really here! Had tons of fun on the bike (and giving out hand-up cookies!). I did manage to somehow skin my knee from a standstill after all the races of the weekend were said and done however. I have so much to improve on but I'm having fun and feeling motivated!"  - Licki

Barrier practice showed this weekend as Sydney used them to her advantage.
Photo: Matt Pearson
"There's so much to putting it all together - from training to nutrition to recovery to equipment. At this point, I've got my warm-up dialed in and glimmers of fitness, but am still struggling with equipment selection and configuration -- that's the hardest part of such a late start to the season. But, Masters Nationals isn't until January 7, so I think I'll get it sorted by then." -- Sydney

After a lap 1 crash, Sydney chased from the back for a 3rd place finish.
Photo: Matt Pearson

Powering away from the barriers, Russell prepares to snatch a donut.  There are a lot of ways to win in American CX and putting grins on kid faces is one of the best.  Photo: Matt Pearson

Post-race recovery with teamies.  Photo: Angela Garbacz, Goldenrod Pastries
For more photos, see Matt Pearson's Flatwater CX Weekend Album on Facebook

Friday, October 16, 2015

Roster and Schedule for Flatwater Twilight Cyclocross - Lincoln, NE

This weekend marks three days of racing beginning tonight.  The #GPCTCX roster is as follows.  Come on out and see us!

5:45 PM - Women Open, Sara

 12:45 PM - Women 3/4 - Licki , Amy
2:30 PM - Women 1/2/3, Sydney
3:30 PM - Men 4/5, Russell, Emmett


 12:45 PM - Women 3/4 - Michelle, Licki , Amy, Rachel, Sara
2:30 PM - Women 1/2/3, Sydney
3:30 PM - Men 4/5, Russell, Emmett


I am the field director for Nebraska Appleseed and  have been cycling independently for about a year and a half. I am looking to meet more awesome women who share the passions I do and become part of a larger community around the sport. I also had the opportunity to watch my friend race cyclocross last fall, and I made it my goal then to try it this year. 

 From team manager and director, Sydney: "Cyclocross suits Rachel.  In the two races she's done so far, she's placed 4 out of 8, and then in her second race, which was a slippery muddy affair, she made the podium for third in a field of 10!"

3rd - Cat 4 - Flatwater Cyclocross, Lincoln, NE - 2015


I am the assistant director of innovative instructional design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where my focus is on helping faculty, departments, and colleges leverage technology for teaching and learning.  I also teach Design Thinking 110, which focuses on a generalized design process made popular by IDEO and which helped Shimano turn its cycling-related business around.

I am also a relapsed former bike racer.  I raced heavily in road and cyclocross from 2007-2010 working my way up to category 1 in both disciplines before turning my attention to a less intense schedule during 2011-12.  In 2013, I decided to become a former bike racer and rode a bike only for commuting, while focusing all my attention on career advancement.

This year, I began to enjoy riding again, spending some time doing road-based group rides.  I enjoyed those and realized how much I missed the people and cyclocross, so proposed the GPCTCX to Angela and Goldenrod Pastries CX was launched.  It's been amazingly fun riding with the team and I am so grateful to Goldenrod Pastries and Monkey Wrench Cycles for their support for this project.  Without it, I don't think I'd be back on the bike and I know I wouldn't be making the trip this January to North Carolina for Masters Nationals with my dear mother, Nancy, who will also be racing!  Please stay tuned for more blog posts about our journey.

Flatwater Cyclocross, Lincoln, NE - 2015