Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Grindcore at Jingle Cross 2011

If anyone felt like they'd lacked the experience of a "real" 'cross race, this year's Jingle Cross was an easy way to end that.


After 5 hours of driving, I wasn't really too excited to race. Legs didn't feel good, stomach didn't feel so great either, and though it was exciting to be there and under the lights and such, the doomy cloudy sky wasn't really revving me up. I did a practice lap and headed to the line with all the rest of the Cat 4s. 

GO! Watch 608, she's my competition...
The mess began just after the start, as the officials had only left a 15-second gap between the 60-ish Cat 4 men and the women. We'd caught the tail end of them in a bottleneck right after the first corner, and trying to maneuver through the group was going to be critical in the first lap.
Click on for more

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aorta brings hipness to the prize table

Wow, don't you want to win something this weekend? With prize sponsors as cool as Aorta, you have to try!

Mixing vintage apparel with quirky appliqued designs, Jessica Plymate keeps her customers looking awesome in her one-of-a-kind clothing.

Aorta has been around for 7+ years, with a brick & mortar location in Downtown Lincoln's Parrish Studios that has been around for 3. I'm a one woman show, specializing in one of a kind appliqued apparel, hand-assembled jewelry and whatever else I can find time to make. The brick & mortar store also carries random vintage decor, etc that I think compliments the brand of the apparel.

my website is
the jewelry is at

Jessica has been featured in books and magazines, and on Saturday, you could go home with a piece or two of your own!

Also, as you can see by the road rash, Jessica rides a bike! But, as she says herself, "I like to ride my bike but I refuse to commit to anything with gears."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Midwest CX STITCH: It's all about WINNING

Sheen removed due to popular demand. Thanks to Josh, designer of the highly acclaimed Nintendo Hustle, for a suitable substitute.
One thing we like about CX is that are lots of ways to win - in NEBRASKA on SATURDAY, 11/19. We'll have prizes for Saturday's performances IN ADDITION TO the SERIES PRIZES. Now, pay attention. There are so many ways to win I'm getting confused just preparing to explain.

FIRST AND FOREMOST....All Midwest CX Stitch awards will be handed out at the after CX party Saturday night, beginning at 7:30, HR Lounge. You must be present to win.

In the combined 3/4 field, Flatwater Cycling has contributed a BONUS pay-out to the top 3 finishers. $50, $30, $20. This is in addition to the race day payout for the top 5 finishers of the Women's Open ($100, $75, $50, $40, $35). So, if you were the first cat 3 or cat 4 across the line and got third place overall, you'd get $100 dollars for your effort.

First 3 places in EACH cat 4 and cat 3....
Thanks to Trek Bicycles of Omaha, Kansas City & St. Louis, there are gift certificates worth $100, $75 and $50 for the top three finishers in EACH category.

Special prizes...
She who makes CX look like the most fun.... If you're not having fun, you shouldn't be doing it and we want to recognize racers who are really diggin' it.

The woman with Skillz doesn't come by those out of the blue. She works at it.

One freakin' gear...this chick either likes less complicated or simply makes the most of what she's got. ROCK ON.

Now to mix it up.....on Hooligan's Hill

  • Best Costume (prize table)
  • Match Race ($25 prime) - If you are neck and neck with another woman, pay attention to the spectators. Conrad CastaƱeda who hosts the Mundo Latino radio show will let you know you've been selected for the match race. The back round the course to Hooligan's Hill wins the prime. 
  • Lanterne Rouge ($25 prime) - Anyone can race around like a mad woman, but it takes measured discipline to be chill and enjoy the hand-ups. Most laps down wins this one.
  • Grindcore Memorial Jump In Headfirst Award - With a bike like that, it's obvious you can't resist a dare. This goes to whoever has the MOST inappropriate bike for cyclocross. (Grindcore's first effort was on a fixed roadie.) (prize table)
  • Crowd Favorite - What would CX be without the spectators? Give 'em something to holler about. There will be a ballot box on Hooligan's Hill.  (prize table)

We're doing it prize table style. You will get to choose what you when. We just pick in which order.

  • Top three places category 3 (1st - Jersey + Prize Table)
  • Top three places category 4 (1st - Jersey + Prize Table)
  • Single-speed (1st - Jersey + Prize Table)
  • Makes CX Look Most Fun 
  • Skillz

Click image to enlarge
Stuff still coming in, but here's a start:
  • Race Saturday
    • Register online at USA Cycling. If this is your first race in any discipline ever, check with me ( to see if there are any first timer coupons left.
    • Race info
  • SHEnanigans at Hour Lounge: (14th & O ST, NW corner) Free spaghetti dinner 6ish, CX Stitch awards starting at 7:30
  • Sunday Survivor Breakfast. Ladies, if you partied like the rock star you are, bring yourself and your entourage to breakfast before you race Sunday. 8:30-10 am. RSVP to receive secret location. Yes, it's that posh.
  • Race Sunday. You race 12:30ish. THANK YOU! For help making this a great event. 

Post those in the comments.

Prize Pool adds Robot Luv!

Lincoln clothing, housewares, and lifestyle accessories designer Robot Luv is on board to add fun items to the Midwest CX Stitch pool at this weekend's series finale and awards party at the Hour Lounge.

Designer Carrie Masters has already added fun to the mix with patches for the leader's tall sox, and you can expect more unique goods from her in the prizes and on sale at the awards party Saturday night.

Carrie Masters grew up in rural Nebraska, daughter of an Chemical Engineer/inventor and a Archeologist/painter. Living on a acreage 4 miles from the nearest town Carrie spent most of her youth daydreaming out doors and discovering nature. Carrie received her first camera at the age of nine, and took photography lessons through the local 4H. With plenty of time to experiment Carrie spent hours snapping pictures of whatever she found interesting, and later became the official photographer of her high school.
She studied, Art, Photography, and Anthropology at the University of Nebraska.
While in college Carrie met her future husband when she walked into his shop and into his life. His store was called “The Ozone.” A team was formed. She spent the next 12 yrs. managing the store, and being the in house designer for original art work, t shirts, tote bags, and other things that they would then sell to their patrons. The years in that shop surrounded with vintage clothing and punker apparel, helped to form her design sensibilities.
Carrie started designing for an LA based t-shirt company. In July 2006. Carrie then put her focus on her photography business, C. Masters Photo and her t-shirt designs. Carrie’s t-shirts can be found at Nordstorm, Virgin Megastores and Urban Outfitters.

Midwest CX Stitch Finale November 19

Stephanie Lamb, Bike America Racing

Elisabeth Reinkordt, SHECLISMO
Saturday, November 19 marks the final race for the Midwest CX Stitch women’s category 3 and 4 racing series. With double series points on the line and cold hard cash on the barrel, the competition is bound to be fierce.  

Bike America Racing’s Stephanie Lamb leads the cat 3 standings by a mere 5 points and SHECLISMO’s Elisabeth Reinkordt holds the cat 4 standings by only 33 points. Other competitions underway during the race include making CX look fun and best technical rider. In the fun category, there will be a special prize for best costume.

Saturday’s events don’t end with competition, however. In fact, bring some party shoes because SHECLISMO’s SHEnaninigans Squad has planned some downtown fun in conjunction with Flatwater Cycling and the HR Lounge (NW corner of 14th & O). In addition to drink specials, local purveyors of wickedly hip wares such as Aorta, Robot Luv, Casey Sheppard Designs and Berly Brown will have their booths set up for your perusal.

6 ish - Free Spaghetti Dinner
7:30 - Midwest CX Stitch Series Awards

Finally, the SHECLISMO invites the racing women and their entourages to a Sunday morning SHEnanigans Survivor’s breakfast between 8:30-10:00. RSVP to get location information.  

Questions? Contact Sydney Brown, or 402-817-0327

CAT 3 Leaders
Lamb, Stephanie Bike America Racing 485
Richards, Laura Free State Racing 480
Lorenz, Lindsay Slimen Und Grossen 335
Dock, Aubree Tulsa Tough Racing 295
Weaver, Renae Free State Racing 275

CAT 4 Leaders
Reinkordt, Elisabeth SHECLISMO 450
Higgins, Julie Unattached 417
Vanackeren, Jessica 280
Brown, Berly SHECLISMO 260
Dralle, Cheryl Rasmussen Bike Shop 175

SS: Berly Brown, SHECLISMO
Makes CX Look Most Fun: Melissa Dehner, Slimen Und Grossen
Skillz: Cheryl Dralle, Rasmussen Bike Shop

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Win Some Fine Art at Midwest CX Stitch!

We're pleased to announce the donation of a fine art piece from Omaha artist and first-time CX racer Ashlynn Neve!

"My name is ashlynn elizabeth neve; I have child-like curiosity, an open mind, and enthusiasm for learning. My life began in the suburbs of Dallas with crayon in hand; my family lovingly fostered imagination into my being. Currently, I happily reside in Omaha, Nebraska with my husband and best friend, Jonathan, and our delightful kittens, Emile Wyatt and Leopold. I am studying for a Liberal Arts Transfer Associates Degree in Art, and hope to one day become a designer. I pursue whatever artistic whim comes to me; from painting and drawing, to textiles, to photography, to typography. My artistic journey is but young and anxious."


One lucky winner in the series will go home with a piece of her fine art. Thanks, Ashlynn!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grindin' it up at Boulevard Cup

Sometimes, things click and you're just ON. Welcome to Boulevard Cup 2011.

Last year, Boulevard Cup was my first out of state race, and in the midst of all my documentary editing and premiering, I hadn't had nearly enough training. In a huge field of 4s, my fresh legs pulled out a 3rd place finish. Needless to say, I was really stoked.

Fast-forward to this year, where I've raced all but one weekend since the 1st of October, as well as every Wednesday night in between. I've done the training. I spent the summer riding gravel and mountain bikes, and improved my bike handling skills dramatically. And after a couple of weekends of somewhat frustrating racing on wide open power courses, we pulled up to this venue alongside a very visible, long off-camber section. My heart started pumping. This was going to be awesome.

Spent my warm-up tooling around Saturday's course with Emily Hoesly, chatting with her about off-camber riding. We watched some of the Men's Master's race, then squeezed in a practice lap on the course. After riding into the sandpit, I realized that I'd been spinning around in my big ring the whole time without even noticing. This bode well, as I've spent a couple weeks forcing myself to stay in that big chainring to build power. It also meant following my travel buddy Schmidty's assessment that this would be a big-ring course. Since I'm still rocking bar-end shifters, minimal shifting is a very good thing.

I headed back to the staging area to find 46 other women lining up. WOW. This has been an absolutely incredible year for growth in women's cyclocross. We were split into Open (fasties, 2s & 3s), 3/4s (where I opted to be), 4s, and then Master's 40+, 50+, and 60+. Behind all of the ladies were junior racers, including an adorable 11-year-old girl.

The start was on a bike path, and I worked to hold myself toward the front of the group. I'd lowered my tire pressure to about 30psi for confidence in the off-cambers, and with pretty grippy tires, this wasn't going to be my strongest part of the course. I managed to be about 10th or so through the first bit of grassy turns, and at the first sharp S-curve, traffic slowed to a near stop. Grr. Time to get a little more aggressive in the corners and move around -- these were going to be my strong sections. Not too long after that, we hit the off-camber hillside for the first time, and I was zipping past women struggling with a couple steep little rollers. This section offered a bit of recovery for me, and even the short run-up was fun!

Loving the off-camber, with Julie Higgins right on my wheel. Photo by Roger Harrison/Lanterne Rouge
We popped out of this and onto a long flat stretch. I don't know if I just get bored with these or what, but they really aren't my strong suit. Unless I'm chasing someone, being chased, or really focused, I'm pretty sure I'm slowing down on these. The first time, I was on the chase, and once we hit the sandpit, I was caught partway through by a couple racers not making it the whole way across. Bailing and running the rest of the way, I hit the pavement in front of them and drilled it into the stretch in front of the announcer's stand, holding 2nd wheel in the 3/4s pack. Renae Weaver of Women's Free State Racing wasn't far behind, and she made her attack on that long back stretch I mentioned not liking earlier. Also chasing was Jessica Vanackeren of, who had suffered a fall and a dropped chain in the sandpit.

Renae's attack stuck, and I spent the remainder of the race checking over my shoulder for Jessica on the flats and increasing my lead in the sandpit and whoop-dee-dos. I particularly enjoyed hamming it up a bit for the sandpit crowd, as it felt proper to let out a big "YEAH!" after grinding it successfully across. 

Peeking over the top of a hill on the whoop-dee-do section, having a blast! (That's on my face, right?) Photo by Roger Harrison/Lanterne Rouge

Emily crushed it! I don't know if my little pre-race off-camber lesson helped, but this girl rocked it.

Emily Hoesly, making serious progress. 5th race and a victory in the 4s. Welcome to Sheclismo! Photo by Roger Harrison/Lanterne Rouge
 After the race, we were chatting, and she remarked that she didn't think she saw anyone with a 700-number pass by her. Could she have won the 4s race? Sure enough, they did the podium, and there she was on the top step! Quick subcommittee meeting:

Sydney: Why isn't she in our kit? 
Elisabeth: We need her in our kit!
[Emily returns from the podium]
Elisabeth: Congratulations! That's awesome! Want to be part of Sheclismo?
Emily: Well, I've "liked" you on Facebook for a long time. Don't I have to be in Lincoln? I'm not getting up at 5 AM for trainer sessions...
Elisabeth: That's too damn early; I don't do that either.
Emily: I'm in!

We cheered on the Cat 3 and Singlespeed men, the highlight of which was heckling our Nebraska guys coming out of the sandpit, threatening slaps on the rear if they didn't go faster. This was particularly fun with Malcolm, all decked out in the Daisy Dukes and a Dolly Parton wig.

Best part of Malcolm's get-up: mimicking the 'cross woman's affinity for tall sox. Photo by Roger Harrison/Lanterne Rouge
It was great to have such a large Nebraska contingent at the race, but it's also been awesome to make new friends through the Midwest CX Stitch series. This weekend, I'm heading to the USGP in Louisville, and then comes our series finale and State Championships at Pioneers Park. Nostalgia abounds...that was my start to racing just two years ago, on a dare. Who are you going to dare into this?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Boulevard Cup's Whoopty-Doos Rattle the CX Stitch Standings

Superfun course. Photo lifted from Emily Pastrovich Johnson's FB feed.
With its twisty off-camber whoopty-doos and tight switchbacks, Sunday's Boulevard Cup favored the more technical riders. In the cat 4, Sheclismo's Elisabeth Reinkordt was able to extend her lead over Julie Higgins with a win, and after shooting to the top of the cat 3 standings with her upgrade bonus, Laura Richards, slipped to second with today's 5th place finish. However, Bike America Racing's Stephanie Lamb holds the lead by a mere five points and the double-points up for grabs November 19 in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Flatwater CX Weekend will decide the final standings for both categories. Slimen Und Grossen's Lindsay Lorenz, Tulsa Tough's Aubree Dock and Renae Weaver of Free State Racing are all within striking distance of the top cat 3 placings. In the SS, Skillz and Fun categories, today saw the megawatt smile of Melissa Dehner of Slimen Und Grossen steal the Fun prize, Jennifer Schwartz rode one gear to the Single-Speed win and Ashley Masoni showed off some serious sand Skillz.

Who's in the tall-sox?

Cat 3: Stephanie Lamb
Cat 4: Elisabeth Reinkordt
Skillz: Cheryl Dralle
SS: Berly Brown
Fun: Melissa Dehner

Full standings

What's next? FLATWATER CX WEEKEND in LINCOLN, NE. I29 is open and we've all the host housing you need, so roll your cx-lovin' butts up here and have some fun.

Double points CX Stitch race
Awards party planned and hosted by the SHEnanigans Squad

SHEnanigans Survivor Pre-Race Buffet Sunday morning
Sunday's CX Race


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Midwest CX Stitch Prizes: Awesome gift certs from Trek Bicycle Store!

Trek Bicycle Store of Omaha and Trek Bicycle Store of Kansas City support the Midwest CX Stitch with $100/$75/$50 gift certificates for the top three cat 3 finishers AND the top three cat 4 finishers in KCOI Boulevard Cycling Team's Boulevard Cup this Sunday! Laura Richards, Elisabeth Grindcore, Stephanie Lamb, Julie Higgins, Lindsay Lorenz, Berly Brown, Aubree Dock and Jessica Vanackeren TAKE NOTE!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

MIDWEST CX STITCH competition heating up BIG TIME with another upgrade!

Laura Richards leads down the Joules CX descent. Photo: Becca Williams

Omigosh. I just received evidence that Laura Richards, formerly the cat 4 leader with 400 pts snuck in her upgrade by the 10/31 deadline and will jump to the top of the cat 3 stack. With 300 points up for grabs in the series, Stephanie Lamb, Aubree Dock, Renae Weaver and Lindsay Lorenz may find themselves in cahoots to bring this upstart down a few pegs. Holy moly! What a race. I'm almost tempted to sit mine out just to watch the action.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All the Local Ladies...

So, this Midwest CX Stitch series is turning into kind of a big deal. More women than ever are showing up at the cyclocross races that Sheclismo's chosen for the series, and we're having a blast racing bikes or just having fun on the course, getting the crowd into it. (See post about Ms. Twisted Sister at Spooky CX.)
But Nebraska women, we need you. We need you to dare each other into entering the Lincoln CX races on November 19 & 20 at Pioneers Park. Having been dared into my first race with absolutely no preparation, I've even decided to make a special first-timer award.
With 2 and a half weeks, you still have plenty of time for a quick lesson to get you comfortable with the basics. Last night, Stacy and I went to Van Dorn Park, and within just 20 minutes, she knows what she needs to do to use her mountain bike for a cross race.
So be in touch. If you have questions or apprehensions, please let one of us know. We want to see you toeing the line with us!