Category Archives: cross_crusade

I Left My Legs at Horning’s Hideout

I don’t really know how to race a bike, but I do know how to suffer.

Yesterday I proved that:

At 5:00 in the morning an alarm goes off on the other side of the bed and I lay perfectly still. There are rules in this household and one of those rules is that the The Princess doesn’t move on the weekends until a warm cup of coffee is placed in her hands. I consider this my just desserts after a full week of waking up at 4:30am. Luckily, I have a boyfriend who agrees with me.

My coffee arrives at 5:15am and so begins what we now refer to as another “Cyclocross Sunday”. Continue reading



Filed under cross_crusade, cycling, cyclocross, motivation, racing, sports

Glycogen Loading: Pre-Race Rituals for Entering the Carb Kingdom

There was a thread in the Cross Crusades forums last week about pre-race nutrition. I neglected to chime in, but I thought I’d share my nutritional preparation strategies here.

My diet is typically about 30% carbs, 30% fat, and 40% protein. If you know your macronutrients well, you’ll notice that it’s a pretty low-carb plan. I’ve tweaked the ratio several times over the past years, but I’ve found that this works pretty well for me, leaving me with enough energy for my workouts but allowing me to stay lean and support and build muscle structure.

Eating for ‘cross races demands something a little different. Continue reading


Filed under cross_crusade, cycling, cyclocross, diet, eating, food, nutrition, Uncategorized

A Little Taste of the ‘Crusade (Cyclocross Video Footage)

A quick update to yesterday’s race report, and some video candy.

Turns out I placed 19th in a field of 58 which isn’t as terrible as I’d thought. Hell, I’ll even go so far as to say that I’m happy about it! And in case you’re one of those readers who has no idea what I’m talking about when I talk about all this cyclocross crap, here’s a little taste of what went down yesterday at Alpenrose Dairy in Portland, Oregon.  I’ve also included some photos at the bottom of this entry.

A preliminary quick edit by Crank My Chain: Continue reading


Filed under cross_crusade, cycling, cyclocross, racing, Uncategorized

Did You Hear That Bell? Schools Out!!!

I prayed for rain.  Seriously – I prayed all night long.

The weather report last night said 70% chance of rain and I thought, “Oh my god!  God still loves me!!”

And then today… nothing.  Not a goddam drop.

I guess god is still really still be pissed off at me for sleeping with my church camp counselor ‘cuz he didn’t squirt out a single little shower for me last night or today.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip. Continue reading


Filed under bikes, cross_crusade, cycling, cyclocross, racing, sports

Barlow, Thy Name is Mud

This year, cyclocross is a completely different ballgame.

I’m confident.
I have a team.
I’m not afraid.
I’m hungry.

No. I’m ravenous. Continue reading


Filed under bikes, cross_crusade, cycling, cyclocross, racing, sports, Uncategorized

Horning’s Hideout

We were a little late getting out to Horning’s Hideout for the race. By the time we got there I only had 40 minutes to register, ride the course, warm up and report to the start line for staging.

I’d opted to ride the Men’s Beginner’s race at 9:00am for a variety of reasons but mostly because it offered the least amount of lead-in time to get nervous. I wanted to keep my nerves under control and the longer that I stood around watching races, the worse they would get.

I knew there would be a few other women in the field and I wasn’t worried about it. The only drawback is that the men’s beginner’s field is always massive. In this case there were 110 riders to start despite the fact that the race organizers claim all fields are limited to 100.

Sam and I pulled into Horning’s, which is nestled at the bottom of a long, curvy, gravel road. Race staff flagged us into a makeshift parking spot and I jumped out, found my way to the registration table, located the start line and the finish line and then hopped on the course to take a loop and see what I was in for.

I could tell right off the bat that it would be challenging – long, steady climbs promised pain. It was when we turned up and into the woods that I got really worried. Single-track. And lots of it. Single-track straight up and single-track straight down and single-track drop-offs with 90 degree turns at the bottom. I powered my way up the first bump and then came up behind some others who were previewing the course. The trail became too steep to ride so we dismounted, shouldered our bikes and started half-running, half-hiking up the grade.

It would have been hard even without the bikes. Murmurs passed down and back from rider to rider: “Holy shit…” “Oh my god…” “Dude, are they for real?”

Continue reading

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Filed under cross_crusade, cycling, cyclocross, motivation

Any given Sunday

It was pissing rain by the time we arrived at the course on Sunday morning. I planned to race so I went out with Sam to ride the course, got around 3 times and then flatted in a really major way. Sam was on another part of the course by that point and he had the car keys so basically I got stuck standing in the pouring rain for about 25 minutes.

By the time he came back I was soaked to the bone. That was when I realized that I’d only brought one set of riding gear and I was wearing it.

And it was soaked through.


So I played the day like a rookie and ultimately opted not to race.

But enough about me, let’s talk about the *real* racer in the family.

I let Sam sit on the trainer for about 5 minutes too long and then we were both confused about where the start line actually was. By the time we found it most of the field had already lined up.

Continue reading

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Filed under cross_crusade, cycling, cyclocross, motivation, sports