Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shopping for a Sheclisma: Keep her ears warm

Cycling caps are great. Winter cycling caps with earflaps are even greater. Why not keep your favorite lady's ears warm?

Check out that wooliness! Can someone say EAR SWEATERS??

Little Package caps are handmade by female cyclist Caroline, who lives in Portland. In addition to her upcycled wool caps, she also makes custom designs. Check out her storefront for loads of unique selections for women or men. She'll do caps for newborns, too!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Gift of Knowledge

In our second installment of shopping by/for a Sheclisma, how about giving the gift of knowledge?

As I enter my fifth winter of year-round bike commuting, I can't even count the excuses I've heard from people on how much they'd like to do what I do but [_________] or [___________] or [_________]. Give the gift of helpful hints to get a new everyday cyclist on her (or his) way with a copy of Elly Blue's Everyday Bicycling.

Elly's blog, Taking the Lane, is just fantastic. Plus, she's an advocate for female cyclists of all stripes, and provided sponsorship for our Midwest CX Stitch series in the form of a pack of her beautiful 'zines. While you're at her site, pick up some of those 'zines or bike stickers, too!

Order here:

Read a review here:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shopping for a Sheclisma: Iva Jean's Reveal Skirt

We're kicking off a new series for this holiday season and posting some cool stuff sheclismas like.

First up is the Iva Jean Reveal Skirt

What can I say? I've been looking for this for the last two years. I even considered learning to do more than make curtains on my sewing machine. I am saved, however, thanks to Iva Jean.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jingle Cross Rocking Fun

Megan helps start the dance party Friday night
Sheclismo repped it at Jingle Cross in Iowa City this weekend, with Sara "The Wolf" taking 2nd and 1st place finishes in the Cat 4 races Friday and Saturday (and having jaw-dropping fun watching the elite women race), and "Whirly" Berly rocking the super tall thigh high socks with 10th and 9th place finishes Saturday and Sunday in the Cat 4.

Sara holds up dropped jaw. "These Elite women don't make mistakes!"

Sunday at the start of the Women's 2/3
In the super-fast Cat 2/3 women's field, Allison "The Mixer" claimed 12th and 10th place finishes Saturday and Sunday, Elisabeth "Grindcore" sprinted to 14th and 13th place finishes, and Emily "Lil' Pants", after taking a vampire-stake-to-the-chest in a crash Saturday, still finished 26th, then hopped up to 20th on Sunday.

Grindcore at the mudbog
Emily taking corners in the field
Allison through the first mud section
Grindcore did double duty as racer and reporter this weekend, taking photos and writing race reports for Cyclocross Magazine. You can check out her coverage here:

Wyman and Driscoll Steal Christmas from Racers at Jingle Cross Day 1 

Wyman Doubles, Johnson Redeems at Day 2 of Jingle Cross

Sheclismo superfan Dave takes the minibike for the speedo race.
Money pony is offering dollars.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

CX Stitch 2012 Ends With A Chilly Sunday in Omaha

Day two of the Greenstreet Cyclocross Weekend in Omaha decided the final standings of the CX Stitch.

Jolene Holland (Greenstreet) takes the cat 4 win. Photo: Julie Higgins
Cat 3 Podium: l-r Carly Thomsen, Leah Kleager, Allison Hunt Photo: Emily Hosely

In the cat 4 series, Greenstreet's Jolene Holland took the win and thanks to a sweet 75 point upgrade incentive bonus plus a killer day two hole shot sprint win, SHECLISMO's cx upstart Allison Hunt took the cat 3 jersey. Finally, with three or more riders at each event each weekend, SHECLISMO held on to the $500 they'd put on the barrel for the team competition.
Allison Hunt (SHECLISMO). photo: Kyle Hansen

Going into this weekend, it looked like Hunt might secure the cat 3 win unchallenged. However, the SHECLISMO crew likes competitive racing and tossed out four 25 point bonus opportunities with a hole shot sprint and fastest first lap each day.

Leah Kleager (Midwest Cycling Communmity). photo: Kyle Hansen
With the likes of Midwest Cycling Community's powerful Leah Kleager and super strong Wanda Simchuk from Free State Women's Racing tied for second in the series and Greenstreet's Carly Thomsen coming to the start line, it looked like the newly minted cat 3 Hunt would be hard pressed to secure a podium spot, let alone hang on to the series. However, Simchuk opted to stay in Kansas.

While this may have rendered the podium one place easier to get to, the course seemed tailor-made for strong steady-state riders and it seemed quite possible Kleager might sweep the bonus points and take both days wins to secure the jersey.  However, on day one, although Kleager took the hole shot, Thomsen showed surprising strength and held Kleager off long enough to steal the bonus points for the first lap. This meant that to get the series win, Kleager would have to take the hole shot again on day two along with the first lap.  But, Hunt knew her lead was at risk and leveraged her natural sprinting ability to hold off all comers and take the hole shot. Likewise, Kleager dominated the first lap, leaving nothing to chance.  Unfortunately, one bonus wasn't enough and Kleager missed out on the series jersey.  She did, however, enjoy two $100 gift certificates courtesy of SHECLISMO and Trek Stores of Omaha as well as secure the Nebraska State Championship.
Carly Thomsen (Greestreet Cycles) photo:Kyle Hansen

Series organizers, Sydney Brown and Elisabeth Reinkordt, discussed their objectives.

"We have three key goals for this beginner's series: first, showing up matters, second, upgrading pays off, and third, racing is fun," Brown said. "Given the small size of our fields and often predictable outcomes of local races, it's difficult to adapt the points system developed on the east coast to meet our needs," Brown added.

Brown said the cat 4's were SHECLISMO's biggest priority and that it was imperative to get a super dominant rider moved to the cat 3's as quickly as possible.

"To get these new riders hooked on racing, they need to experience the thrill of vying for the podium," Brown said, "but how do you get a cat 4 who has the win sewn up to put it all at risk and upgrade mid-series?"

SHECLISMO added an upgrade bonus to the points east coast points structure last year. The bonus is 75 points and bumps the new cat 3 to the top of the standings.
Elisabeth Reinkordt (SHECLISMO) photo: Kyle Hansen

"We're hoping that gives her a bit of a thrill and motivates her to ride her very hardest - not give up even though she's been tossed into a pool of stronger, more experienced racers," Reinkordt said.

The Boulevard Cup, which wasn't part of the CX Stitch series this year, gave Hunt her first taste of cat 2 and 3 competition.

"It was frustrating. The course was so technical and even though I knew I was faster, I kept crashing. I saw they had the skills and I had a lot to learn," said Hunt, who placed 6th out of 7 racers that day.

In contrast, the courses used for the Greenstreet Cyclocross Weekend and the CX Stitch finale, weren't terribly technical, rendering speed and power more important than handling skills.

"While harder courses would have definitely made the cat 3 race more interesting, the less technical set-up was great for our first-timers and cat 4's honing their skills," Reinkordt said.

In fact, the cat 4 series winner, Jolene Holland (Greenstreet), earned the final 3 points towards her cat 3 upgrade in today's series finale.

Overall, the two team leaders consider the series and their recruitment efforts this season a success because even though several of the local women who have been racing cyclocross this season were not able to attend, there were still seven local riders in the field of 10. At the 2010 state championship, there were only two local riders  and they weren't even in the same field.

"We're optimistic. We're seeing women arranging rides, practice sessions, commuting and just a lot of growth over the last couple of years," Reinkordt said.

"Yeah, it's crazy, it's starting to look self-sustaining," Brown added.

Huge thanks to the following sponsors. Without their support, SHECLISMO would  who have not only supported this series but a great many of SHECLISMO's outreach efforts.
Kansas racers: (l-r) Jennifer Schwartz, Sandy Collins, Julie Higgins Photo: Emily Hosely

Sara Nispel and Sandy Collins meet Michael, the man behind the Bikel Art trophies.

Sandy Collins, Jolene Holland and Emily Hosely are CX tough with a Zombie Skull Crusher and a couple of Ulu's from Bikel Art. Photo: Emily Hosely

  • Fantastic photos from Tom Winfield Photography: Day 1 (70+ degrees)

CX Stitch Final Day

Going into the final day, Allison Hunt leads the cat 3's, but with hole shot and first lap bonuses up for grabs, Midwest Cycling Community's Leah Kleager could take the win. Sandy Collins and Elisabeth Reinkordt are tied for third.

In the category 4 contest, Sara Nispel trails racing newcomer Jolene Holland and Jen Filipiak rounds out the top three. 

Today's racing will be especially exciting because in the case of points ties, the order of the first lap will determine the victor.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


This weekend is the Midwest CX Stitch finale at the Greenstreet CX Weekend and NE State CX Championship. There are some awesome prizes for the cat 3 and cat 4 women.  ***BOTH DAYS*** we will be awarding the top three finishers in each category with *** $100/75/50*** gift certificates from Trek Bicycle Store of Omaha. Series winner trophies, jerseys will be awarded after the races on Sunday. SHECLISMO also put together some great Omaha destinations for food and drink. SEe you at the races! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

CX Stitch contest heats up - big time

After the Iowa Spooky CX weekend, Leah Kleager is tied with Wanda Simchuk - each with two wins on two different weekends. However, if SHECLISMO's cat 4 upstart Allison Hunt upgrades before Halloween she'll get a 75 point bonus and be jettisoned to the top of the cat 3 rankings.
Wanda Simchuk, Women's Free State Racing Team (KS)

Allison Hunt, SHECLISMO (Lincoln, NE)

Leah Kleager, Midwest Cycling Community (Omaha, NE)

For the category 4's, Smart Honda's Jen Filipiak (IA) sits in the lead with 195 points and is tied with SHECLISMO's Jolene Holland (Omaha, NE).  Katherine Kelter of KU Cycling holds third and SHECLISMO's Sara Nispel comes in fourth at only 5 points down. Looks like the Greenstreet showdown will shake this contest up as well. Will Kelter and Filipiak make it to the Big O and contest Holland for the title? Will Nispel's focus on handling skills this season pay off on the Nebraska State championship course?

In the team standings, SHECLISMO holds a commanding lead despite Free State's Sandy Collin's attempt to collect some points at the Spooky event. However, word has it that Free State is coming to Omaha in force and as the "travel team" they'll get to count their top five riders while home team, SHECLISMO, will only get their top three towards team points. The November 10 & 11 weekend is going to be a showdown.

In the single speed division, SHELCISMO's Berly Brown holds 10 points over teammate Kat Schiffler.

View the standings

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Round 1 of the Midwest CX Stitch

Allison Hunt enjoyed her first and last weekend as a cat 4. With three wins in as many races, she's got to move to the cat 3's.
Standings are posted. Sheclismo leads the team series, but not by much. In the CAT 3 contest, Wanda Simchuk (Free State) leads with 15 points over 360 Racing's Allison Adams who is tied with Julie Crowe Higgins at 185 points. In the category 4's, Allison Hunt of SHECLISMO took the wins both days to lead with 200 points. Katherine Kelter of KU Cycling sits second with 180 and Tanya Hoffman (unattached) holds 3rd.

Check the Standings page:

Next on the schedule is Spooky 'Cross in Urbandale, IA this weekend

Thursday, October 18, 2012

First-timers defy ferocious wind for Weds Nite CX Race

Vicious, Berly, and Grindcore, known collectively as "The Subcommittee"

Singlespeeder Kat's got game.

Emily, Licki, Allison, & Heather. All are doing their very first CX race except for Emily.

Allison, who's been doing boxing training, sprints from the line and never relinquishes her advantage.

Allison, Emily, and Kat go 1, 2, 3

Greenstreet's Carly and Sheclismo's Grindcore step up to the 1/2/3's, joining Vicious and Janna from Elkhorn Valley Cycling.

Vicious, Janna, and Carly go 1, 2, 3.

We're getting our legs. Next up, the Home Team is hitting the Flatwater Cycling Weekend at Pioneers Park here in Lincoln, NE, while the Travel Team heads to Joules CX in Lawrence, KS for the first weekend in the Midwest CX Stitch series.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Are you ready for the Return of Midwest CX Stitch?

We've got prizes stacking up, and the race calendar is going to be formalized just as soon as Ms. Series Director Extraordinaire Sydney completes one more big step to becoming Dr. Brown. (CRUSH TODAY'S DISSERTATION PROPOSAL DEFENSE THE WAY YOU CRUSH THE CX COURSE, SB!!)

Sheclismo is very excited that Elly Blue, a bike critic and feminist cycling activist based in Portland, is donating a set of her publications to our prize pool. Check out her blog, Taking the Lane, shop her online store (and hey, if you shop and then win, you can always use these as a gift...), and follow her on Twitter @ellyblue

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cyclocross Season is in Full Swing

Ah, cyclocross. My favorite season of the year! So many races with maximum hang-out time with excellent folks. Full recap of the season so far on my blog, a few photos here!

Coming out of the singletrack at the season opener at the Greenstreet Twilight race at Swanson. Photo: Jeremy Cook
Catching Emily on the run up at the USGP in Madison.
Sheclismo really represented at the Flatwater Twilight CX #1, showing Nebraska cycling that cyclocross is something we're all about! We had 6 women in the 3/4 field, and Sydney was able to take a quick break from her dissertation to take home the win in the 1/2/3 race.

Running the barriers. Everything but the remounts felt good. Photo: John Peterson

Railing the slick corners, tripod style. Photo: John Peterson
I love my team. Strong, fun, competitive, multi-talented women. 4 languages spoken in this group alone! Photo: Jane Reinkordt
Podium! Coffee & sunglasses! Photo: Jon Curran
Next up, Fontenelle GP in Omaha on Saturday, and trying to figure out how to get to Ft. Collins for the next USGP...

Monday, September 17, 2012

CX Clinic Introduces New Riders to the Sport

On Saturday, Sheclismo hosted a cyclocross clinic at Van Dorn Park, and we were excited to see new faces giving 'cross a try.

Getting checked in on a beautiful fall Saturday.

Kat is one of our Sheclismo first-year cx mentors.

Sydney goes through the basics in our first hour for beginners.

Beginner cohort

CX mentors Berly & Kat learn about body maintenance while Sara learns bike maintenance in the background.

Huge thanks to our expert teachers Jay & Matt from Trek CXC, maintenance specialist Matt Wills, body maintenance coach Dr. Hochstein from Synergy, and chief referee Scott Bulfinch. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

RestWise App Review

- by Sara Nispel

I like living actively, so generally I tend to push myself too hard. A few years ago, when I started biking for more than just leisure, I started logging data (with the help of a system Sydney introduced) so I could guess when I needed to back off and rest. I had a pile of data and only an inkling of how to interpret it. Then I stumbled upon this nifty app called RestWise.

In their own words, RestWise, uses evidence-based research, rigorously-tested variable weightings and a proprietary algorithm to provide the solution to the question that plagues every athlete: "am I training too hard... or not hard enough?" RestWise is a subscription service which allows users to try it for free 30 days before charging $19 monthly, $99/6 months or $149/year.

Each day you answer 14 questions. For the first few weeks the app teaches you how to fill in the data and answers your how and why questions with a series of emails. After this introductory period, the RestWise team tells you the program has gathered enough data to begin giving you reliable recommendations. Because the recovery number is based on the data you enter, the longer you use it, the more accurate it becomes.

The first image below is what the data entry looks like on a computer. The second image is what the data entry looks like on an iPhone. When you have entered your data, you can ask to see the results. You are given a percentage, a recommendation, and a chart. On the second website view, you will notice that you can email the chart, export the data, and even update your training peaks.

They have an easy to find "feedback" link on their site to get in touch with their team. I have found them to be quite accommodating and pleasant. Previously, I was tracking my tiredness by my week's workload; taking my perceived effort x minutes work. When my total reached a certain point, I'd better back off or I'd fall ill. When I shared this with the RestWise team, they generously added a perceived effort log to my program. Previously, it was only used by teams in the UK.

So far, I'm very pleased with RestWise. I have found I take a major knock in my recovery score if I don't get 8 hours sleep. Then, upon waking, I'm told, "Dude. Rest" So, in a way, I am rewarded for resting. Instead of viewing sleep as annoying dawdle, I now find myself thinking I need to get to bed so when I wake up in the morning, my app turns me loose and says, "Go kill it!"

In the end, I agree with Jesse Thomas. He says, "I think the system appeals to the analytical/logical side of my brain (which exists, believe it or not). I know that rest is absolutely key in training, but like most driven/competitive athletes, I’ve always struggled with allowing myself to take it easy. As an athlete, you don’t want to be the one that says, “I need to rest.” You want to always think that you can take more, it’s a confidence thing. So for me, that should be the coach’s job. What sold me on Restwise was that it was another “coach” that could tell me, rather objectively, “You’re tired, and you need to get some freaking rest, dude!” (my Restwise has an attitude, and I like it). It was a way for me to feel that someone (or something) else was telling me to rest, not myself. It’s another tool that gives me the benefit of rest but takes the burden off me and off my confidence."

RestWise Enter Data Web Page
RestWise Enter Data iPhone
RestWise Recovery Score & Chart Web Page
RestWise iPhone Recovery Score
RestWise iPhone Recovery Chart
RestWise UK Perceived Effort Feature Web Page Only

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cyclocross Clinic September 15th

Want to try cyclocross? Or brush up your skills with instruction from the region's finest? Join Sheclismo and members of the Trek CXC squad for a cyclocross clinic that will get your season off to a great start!

Learn about cornering, barriers, dismounts & remounts, and bike maintenance. And for the rigors you put yourself through, learn about body maintenance from the doctors at Synergy!

Register online:

Invite your friends: