Getting started with cyclocross.

I hope you all had an amazing long weekend! We were very busy, as usual, but we did manage to sneak in some downtime as well. I spent a lot of time cooking, and the boys became hooked on shrimp boils. After a big weekend of zydeco, picnics and chasing boys, I was ready to go back to work.

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You must try these!

Oh! I have to share this recipe find with you. I grilled fresh peaches this weekend. They were amazing with ice cream for dessert, but also found them to be a decadent snack by themselves. Just slice your peaches in half and throw on the grill for 5-10 minutes per side (depending on how hot you have your grill). I can’t even express how good they are!

This week looks to be incredibly busy, not only with all the boys at soccer, but I am mixing in cyclocross training this week, and will be driving out to Minnesota to attend Oiselle Bird Camp! (I am so excited! I never do anything like that!) Essentially, it will be 4 days of running, yoga, female-bonding and fun with my teammates. I will be bringing my Go Pro, so expect lots of fun pictures on social media.

OK. Back to Cyclocross. This is something I am really excited (and nervous!!!) about. I didn’t get a lot of bike riding when I was little. I mean, I learned how to ride a bike, but I never had anything fancy, and bike riding was just pedaling around my neighborhood a bit. In 5th grade, we moved to a farm and there was ZERO bike riding going on there. My bike was second-hand and not outfitted for gravel. So… When I was 18 or so, I bought a Schwinn hybrid from the local bike store and did a bit of pedaling on paved bike trails.

 

Flashforward to signing up for a triathlon in 2013 on a whim, and my vintage Schwinn getting dug out of storage and refurbished into a flat motorcycle black and neon pink-rimmed beast. (HA!)

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Pretending I know what I am doing at cyclocross camp

I really fell in love with cycling and ended up picking up a few bicycles. My fear of being hit by a car has sent me to the gravel roads and trails. Last year, a flyer for a cyclocross camp caught my eye. I had a new (too big for me) cyclocross bike and got a crash course in a bunch of new skills. I had never ridden on grass before. I had never ridden us and down steep hills before. I had never done any of this stuff before. I was TERRIFIED. But, I had fun! I wanted more!

 

So this year, I have made it a goal to do an actual race. I have 2 cyclocross practices at a grass course this month, and one women’s clinic this week… and hopefully with lots of practice at home, I will find a beginner-friendly race next month. Wow. This is scary even saying that!

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pretty in pink

I did end up needing to replace my too-big silver bike with a sparkly blue just-right bike. That stung a bit as i really loved that silver bike, and it looked like a total badass. Sparkly bike is pretty, and not so badass. My husband was finally able to swap out the black bar wrap with neon pink — and I think it looks really cool! (The neon pink water bottle cages will come off for cyclocross, of course.)

I did a pre-scope at the local cyclocross course so that I could see what I am up against. It doesn’t look too scary now… but I say that before any chutes, obstacles and such have been put up. I might feel differently as I attempt to clip/unclip a ton of times trying to mount/dismount my bike.

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weird panorama of the course

 

I welcome any and all tips on how to make all these new skills less scary for me. I will share my journey along the way, and hopefully I can get some other ladies interested in the sport!

 

 

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