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Showing posts from November, 2015

State Championship Results

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. 
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 champ…

Head Games

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.



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 …

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.

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.
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, …

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.
Sleep 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 b…