Want to sport the Sheclismo kit on your bike, or flash the look around town in a cozy thermal jacket? Order now!
Short-sleeved jerseys, long-sleeved jerseys, bib shorts, and thermal jackets are all available for purchase, shipped directly to you! The store will be open until Dec. 2nd, so if you're looking for a gift for the cycling woman in your life, the timing couldn't be better.
PS -- The jacket cut fits men and women, so we welcome our gentlemen supporters to rock it, too.
Monday, November 11, 2013
There are so many great photos from this weekend that it will take forever to put them all together. How about a few highlights and a slew of gallery links? We'll try to get a better gallery together soon, but we have to recover first!
More beautiful photos from Pioneers Park from Michael McColgan!
|Start line of the Women's Open on Saturday in Pioneers Park. Photo: John Peterson|
|Sheena raced THREE races on Saturday -- the Madison relay, Singlespeed, and Women's Open. Not bad for a first race weekend...Photo: Jan Rice Ferguson|
|Joy takes the dollar at the top of Hooligan Hill. It was her first bike race, and she was on road slicks. Well done, Joy. Photo: Jan Rice Ferguson|
|Jamie rocked two days of racing on the singlespeed (plus doing the Madison race on her fat bike) in her stylin' rainbow Chucks, bringing home 2nd place in Women's Singlespeed. Photo: Jennifer Greer|
|Ashley Reinsch wraps up a stellar first season of racing at Day 2 in Omaha, with Susan Cronin and Jamie chasing through the barriers. Photo: Jennifer Greer|
|Jamie & Elisabeth share a laugh on the podium for Women's Singlespeed State Champions. Photo: Jennifer Greer|
|Elisabeth takes 3rd step of the Women's 1/2/3 State Championship podium with Carly Thomsen and Jolene Holland of Greenstreet taking 1st and 2nd. Photo: Jennifer Greer|
More beautiful photos from Pioneers Park from Michael McColgan!
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I move into position as my name is called and glance at the women around me. We smile at each other and high-five, exchanging words of encouragement. But the nerves kick in as I click my right foot into my pedal. I grip my handlebars, anticipating the start of my first 30-minute cyclocross race.
“Racers take your mark. On three…”
I look down at my feet and then up ahead, reminding myself to breathe.
Everything falls silent for a brief moment. I grip my handlebars harder and lean forward. Here it is – the high-pitch whistle blow.
And we’re off. Sprinting up the slight incline of the pavement. I hop the curb and enter the course, winding through pine trees. There’s a burn in my chest as I push through the open grass and up a slight hill. I gain speed on the decline and hit a bumpy section before rounding a tree. The course opens up again and I see a set of barriers ahead. My right leg swings over the saddle and I unclip my left foot, completing the dismount. I pick up my bike and leap once, then twice. Upon remounting, I smile to myself. People I’ve never met before yell my name and cheer for me as I continue to complete my first lap.
|Racing in the first Star City CX Race at Seacrest Park.|
I knew my first big purchase with my post-college career was going to be a cyclocross bike. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and this fall I had the opportunity to give racing a shot. My first season has been surrounded by the theme, “I just want to say I’ve completed a cyclocross race, even if it’s just one.” Well, I’m proud to say that I have completed three local Star City CX races, Sunday of the Omaha CX weekend race and recently traveled to Kansas City to race in the Boulevard Cup.
And I’m addicted. It’s an atmosphere and camaraderie unlike any other. (Where else will you race past a group of spectators shaking cowbells, heckling you and holding out pancake hand-ups)? It’s for the simple reason that cyclocross has made me a better cyclist. I’ve come a long way since that first Star City CX practice at Memorial Park. Prior to that evening, I had my cleats only two weeks and had no idea how to swing my leg over the saddle to dismount. I hadn’t even biked on grass before, let alone around trees. But I was determined to work toward the completion of my first race. (And this is where I must give a shout out to Elisabeth Reinkordt and Josh Rice for their hard work and dedication to teaching and encouraging beginners).
This first season wasn’t about the podium, but you can bet I’ll be riding so much more now and will be looking forward to Fall 2014. Perhaps my theme for next year will have to be, “If you’re smiling, you’re not racing hard enough.”
|Jumping barriers at the Omaha CX Race.|
|Running through a sandpit at the Omaha CX Race.|
Saturday, October 12, 2013
After 3 weeks of Star City CX Wednesday night races -- the last of which took place on an incredibly challenging course at Tanker Hill in Arnold Heights -- we have some solid new cyclocross racers in our ranks. More importantly, though, we have a bunch of women HAVING FUN getting out on course with their bikes, challenging themselves and each other, making new friends, and building community.
|Crystal and Sheena at the start of the Tanker Hill race. Photo by John Peterson|
|Ashley climbs through the prairie. Photo by John Peterson|
|Sheena -- our Derby Girl recruit -- takes on Tanker Hill on her brand-new singlespeed. Photo by Jan Rice Ferguson|
|Cristina tears it up in her second race. Photo by Brent Baum|
|Liz really brings the fun to cyclocross in a cow costume -- and her Sheclismo jersey, of course. Photo by Rob Evans|
|Marcia's made huge progress this month. Love that smile! Photo by Jan Rice Ferguson|
|Megan races with style and swagger, earning herself a new set of tires from the judges. Photo by Brent Baum|
|Susan came charging back after a mechanical last week, cranking up Tanker Hill like a boss. Photo by Brent Baum|
|Elisabeth in the A Race on her singlespeed. Photo by Brent Baum|
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
We'll be back at Seacrest Park this Wednesday. Pre-register here: https://www.usacycling.org/register/2013-3379
Here are some photos from last week!!
Thanks to Corey Godfrey, Jan Rice Ferguson, and Nathan Swanson for the photos!
Here are some photos from last week!!
|Starting line-up of the beginner women. Awesome field!|
|Crystal did her first cyclocross race to celebrate her 40th birthday. And she crushed it.|
|Heidi in her first cyclocross race, smiling on a singlespeed!|
|Ashley's been coming to cyclocross school regularly this year, and it paid off. She raced hard and smooth in her first race.|
|Megan loved racing without all the added weight of a Bob trailer full of Farmer's Market goods.|
|Elisabeth loving/cursing the course she helped design|
|Jamie in her first race, diving right in with the 1/2/3 women in her signature rainbow Chucks.|
|Sara is back in top form this year, kicking off her first full season as a Cat 3.|
|Beginner women lined up in height order for podium? Nice work, ladies, and congrats to Crystal (right) on the win!|
|Elisabeth and Janna did a podium hug after the A's race.|
Friday, September 27, 2013
This month marks one year since I moved from the United States to the London, England area. Moving to a new country is never as trivial as one would hope. There is a new currency, a different selection of grocery items, new social norms, and of course new ways to cycle. (Difference number one, biking in the United Kingdom means to ride a motorbike.)
|Me with Big Ben and the London Eye |
(Posts about London require steriotypcial London pictures)
To commemorate a year of cycling, I have decided to write an article about how I am adapting to cycling in a new land. Hopefully this will serve as a guide for those of you who love to travel with your bikes. If any of you journeys to my part of the world, please do join me for a ride.
Biking on the Left Side
In England, cars drive on the left side of the road. This is something we all know. But what we often do not realize is how instinctual traffic flow expectations become, until they are reversed. How quickly we can map over one traffic coordinate system to a new system depends on the person. For me, it was and is a rather slow process. Here are a few pointers if you find yourself in such a situation and country.
- Be intentional before you ride. Remind yourself to stay on the left-hand side all throughout your ride, especially at first. It can be surprising how easily one can start drifting to the right.
- Be especially intentional when turning, especially when turning right. You will likely feel like you should be turning into the opposite traffic lane.
- If your rear light is attached off to one side on your bike, make sure it is on the right side of your bike.
- Check for traffic by looking over your right shoulders not your left.
- When looking both ways to make a turn, check right and then left and then right. (This is the opposite of how one looks both ways in the US.)
- Find other cyclists and ride with them. This is the best way to get used to a new traffic flow
- Realize it may take, weeks or months for your instinct to really switch over, especially if you are biking stressed or tired. Just the other morning I found myself confused as to what lane I should be in. But intentional awareness can make up for a lack of instinct, particularly if you are only going on a short trip in such a country.
- I know I have stressed the importance of being careful, but in quick thinking situations this can be urgent. I was nearly hit by a car because I checked for traffic flow in the wrong direction.
This list is not exhaustive, but hopefully it is enough to get you started. If any of you have experience riding on the left side, please feel free to add other considerations in the comments. Also, it can be really fun to experience the world from a new perspective, so enjoy the learning process.
One traffic staple that we have come to know and love/hate in the United States are traffic lights. You will find that they are much less common in the United Kingdom. Instead, you will find a plethora of roundabouts. These can be a little daunting at first, since most drivers in the US do not maneuver them correctly, so here is the appropriate way of biking through a British roundabout.
- As you approach the roundabout single which direction your turn is. Make sure the vehicles around you see you signaling.
- If there is more than one lane for entering, make sure you are in the lane that corresponds to where you are turning on the roundabout.
- Yield to oncoming traffic before entering, but prepare to enter the circle with confidence.
- Turn left to enter the roundabout and ride towards the center of the circle until you are ready to exit allowing cars and other vehicles to exit at turns preceding yours.
- Signal again to let others know you are exiting
- Exit to the left
The most important part of going through a round about is to communicate with all the cars/bikes around you. Most drivers will give you extra space on these if you have made your intentions clear. Also if you are leading a ride that is going through a roundabout hold up the appropriate number of fingers to indicate what turn everyone will be taking. One further note, if you are approaching a particularly congested or dangerous roundabout and are biking by yourself and do not feel you have the confidence to go through it, get on to the sidewalk, dismount and walk your bike around using pedestrian crossings. It is better to be safe the sorry and I see people doing this all the time. The best way to get better and more confident at biking roundabouts is to practice and ride with others with more experience.
In the rare instances where you encounter a traffic light instead of a roundabout, be aware that the light will turn orange before and after a red light and the orange light does not last long so be extra careful when you see these. Also, intersections with neither a stoplight nor a roundabout will normally not have stop signs. Some will have a yield sign, but an unmarked area is quite common. To bike this, just make sure you communicate with the cars/bikes around you and pay attention to communications coming your way and yield and move forward accordingly. One of the benefits of biking in Britain is that drivers are more used to watching for signals set to them from cyclists, which sometimes leads to a more harmonious relationship.
Narrow Streets – (I mean really narrow)
To those of you who are reading this from Lincoln, NE, biking in that city will spoil you. There are so many bike paths that take you all around town and to other towns. We have big wide American roads and usually have ample shoulders. Bike lanes are fairly plentiful and somewhat logically placed. Then there are the glorious gravel roads that I truly miss. Not to mention all the men and women who participating in cycling advocacy in Lincoln and who work hard to keep the roads safer for all of us. Such things do not exist everywhere in this world.
We have often heard stories about how narrow European roads are and these stories are true. Most cities and towns are hundreds of years old and were built for the use of carts and horses, not modern day cars. Sharing these roads can be a little bit of an adjustment for someone who is used to having lots of room on the road. However, these narrow roads can take you to places that are breathtaking. You can see old ruins, quaint villages, and beautiful farmland, so riding them is well worth the adjustment.
Most roads in England do not have shoulders. There are usually only curbs. Also the sides of the roads are usually littered with debris. So far on my daily commute, I have had to dodge everything from potholes and drains, gravel and broken glass, to knives and banana peals. (I am not making any of this up.) This dodging puts me even deeper into the lane of traffic. What this means is that cyclists in England bike very close to the cars. It is not unusual for cars and trucks to zip by me within an arm’s reach. This took me a while to get used to, but I know not everyone is so shy about cuddling with traffic. However, since one is so close to the cars on such narrow roads, it becomes even more important to bike in a straight line, defensively and with confidence. If you are nervous about being so close to large vehicles, give yourself extra time to bike at your own pace until you adjust.
Two further notes: There are a fewer streetlights in England so being visible on these narrow roads is even more important. Make sure you have good bike lights and reflective clothing on especially at night. Most bike paths outside of London proper are on sidewalks and can end very abruptly. I have found it is generally better to stay on the roads, unless traffic is particularly bad.
The United Kingdom is making positive cycling progress every year. They even have the bike to work program. The bike paths will continue to get better and drivers are becoming increasingly more aware as more people turn to cycling as a form of transportation. There is still a need for greater advocacy before the UK reaches the cycling progressiveness of other European countries and certain US cities. Then again, think about how far the US has come in the past ten years.
London Public Transportation and Bikes
Before you travel to any major city with your bike, make sure you read up on their policies for public transit and bikes. I have cycled in both Manhattan and London and both had very different rules, some of which I had to learn the hard way. (Being stranded at a train station in Newark is not a great way to spend your birthday.) If you are traveling to London with your bike and plan on taking it on public transportation, here are a few things to keep in mind: Regular non-folding bikes are not allowed on busses, the underground, or the trolleys at anytime. At the operator’s discretion, you can bring a collapsed folding bike onto one of these vehicles. All bikes are allowed on trains, at the conductor’s discretion, except during rush hours. Most cities anywhere in the world will have restrictions on bikes during rush hour for the safety of other passengers. If you bring your bike onto a train, be polite to the other passengers and stand with your bike instead of propping it up against a door. One of the benefits of living in the United Kingdom is how easy the rail system is to use to get anywhere in the country. I took full advantage of this to travel to my races. These rules are specific to London and will likely be different depending on where you travel, but can be vital to planning a journey.
Lastly, no matter where you travel, bike culture is everywhere. A big part of bike culture is participating in racing. No matter where you travel to or move to, I hope you participate in a few races. This past year, I did the London Summer CX series, and after a rough start, I had a blast. (You can ready about those races here, here, and here.) Racing with people from all over the world is really an amazing experience. Joining a race series is often as easy as contacting the race directors, showing up and paying the entrance fee. Some races do require a license, but this information will normally be posted on the website. Most countries also have a webpage devoted to the national sport of cycling that will list events and license requirements.
|Racing Cross in East Croyden|
I hope you have found this article to be helpful if you plan on doing any bike travel to London. While this is a long piece, it is not exhaustive, feel free to add other considerations in the comments. Better yet, if you are member of Sheclismo, write a post about what you learned from traveling/moving with your bike. Biking in different parts of the world can really give you a greater connectivity to the international cycling community and I hope all of you have the opportunity to do so. I have said this already, but take advantage of every opportunity you have to race all over the world and wear your Sheclismo blue with pride. In the last race I competed in, one of the racers complemented one of my Sheclismo blog posts as they passed me. I felt a flush of pride through my sweat that I was truly a member of an international racing community. Enjoy being part of a team that will support you and encourage you no matter where life takes you.
Happy Riding and Racing.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
After a great launch for the first night of the cyclocross series we're co-sponsoring with Cycle Works, we were treated to great photos and a nice story about our practice in the park on Sunday. We'll see you at the races next week -- Seacrest Park at 5 PM!
Full article here
Full article here