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Instead of participating in he new arms race, why not forget about 11 and just go straight to singlespeed?

2 years, 11 months ago on Pro Cyclocross Rumors & Rumblings Week of December 3rd, 2011

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@vickith Vicki -- thanks for sharing your race report and your story. People who don't have UC (or it's cousin, Crohn's) don't know how [bleep]ing tough it is to race, let alone simply ride a bike, on days when you're not up to full strength. As someone who knows what it's like to have a form of IBD and stubbornly chooses to race anyway, I salute you and wish you the best of success in the remainder of your season. Cheers!

3 years ago on Rider Diary – Vicki Thomas Reflects on Nationals, Form & Disappointment

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One of the best posts from you yet. Thank you, and a belated Shana Tovah --bh

3 years ago on Deep Thoughts: a Column by Lee Waldman

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Great column, Lee.

Our biggest non-bikey thing together is gardening. I get in some of my best training running errands for the garden on my cargo-bike. Sweetie comes along sometimes and we make a morning of it, with stops at the garden supply and farmers' market. It gets her on a bike more often, it gives me a decent workout, and we enjoy non-race-oriented time together. If the weather holds, when we get back I help her weed the vegetable rows, refill the bird feeder, push-mow the lawn, and then sit and enjoy our yard with her. It's as good for me as it is for us.

Balance is good on so many levels.

3 years, 1 month ago on Ten Things About Your Partner: A Column by Lee Waldman

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I will buy a tee-shirt IF a cut of the proceeds goes to a good cause.

Please advertise at the CX Mag forums when available.

Meanwhile, it's good to hear that Joey is ok. (I saw the video and was horrified.)

3 years, 2 months ago on Is Joey Really OK? Joey Speaks Up and Tells His Story – Updated

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Excellent article.

I entered college as a music major nearly thirty years ago. My parents were broke and couldn't help me; I had to cobble together a financial aid package that included scholarships, loans and a work-study job; and when that wasn't enough I lied about my age to get an off-campus job as a bar-back at a local tavern. Later, I joined a local band and got paid to play at the same tavern three nights a week. There was no time for sports, intercollegiate, intramural or otherwise -- to stay in shape, I rode my bike back and forth from my tavern job and took a weight-training class for my requisite PE credit. I got up very early to study and practice, and stayed up late to work. I averaged about 5-6 hours of sleep on a good night. I was taking an average of 18 credit hours per term.

When the dean of my department found out about my insane schedule, he ordered me to quit my off-campus jobs, and told me he'd try to get me out of the work-study gig as well; I needed to spend more time in the practice room. I shot back that short of pulling dollar bills out of my butt, there wasn't much else I could do to pay for college. In the end, I quit the school and took a longer, far more circuitous path to my degree elsewhere. But I think the lesson here is that the combiantion of youth, talent, familial/other support and excellent time-management skills is usually key to producing the Zach MacDonalds of the universe. For the rest of us, excellent time and health management is a very good start (so make time for sleep!).

3 years, 2 months ago on Collegiate Chronicles: Cyclocross versus the Semester

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Lee -- I really enjoy your articles. Thanks for sharing your experience and the wisdom that comes out of that.

I am less physically prepared for 'cross than I'd like to be -- a new second job and schedule-juggling is mostly to blame -- but I am still looking forward to my first race. Practices so far have been solo but rewarding and being part of a local team is good for motivation. Like you, I see and enjoy the little rituals involved in racing (I can't wait till it's cold enough for embrocation) and I think they really contribute to the overall experience.

All the best to you as you pursue your goals this fall and winter. I look forward to reading about your exploits here.

3 years, 2 months ago on It’s Fall – A Column By Lee Waldman

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Good that you called the police and got them involved. Better that you live in a town where the police were willing to be of help;it's not like this in all cities. Better still that you're a guy; women trying to recover stolen bikes may face additional risks if they take the same course of action.

It's nice that your story had a happy ending -- so few do!

3 years, 2 months ago on Urban Ecology Of A Stolen Cyclocross Bike

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Lucky you to have such supportive parents!

For those of us who are, for whatever reasons, too old to move back in with Mom and Dad, the next best thing -- and it's a biggie -- is having a supportive spouse.

My non-cycling spouse (well -- she rides to and from the Farmers' Market now and then but that's about it -- never says a word about my filthy kit waiting in the laundry basket, the mud I accidentally track into the house (even AFTER taking off my shoes outside), or the smell of embrocation as I prepare to go out on a cold, wet training ride early in the mornings. And no matter how I do at a race, she is always the first one to tell me I'm a rock star -- and she means it.

Support from the ones who love us is worth more than any sponsorship. Thanks for sharing a sweet perspective.

3 years, 2 months ago on The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo: The Things We Do For ’Cross

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Great post. Toughest thing for me has been the break between short-track and 'cross seasons -- nearly a month between my last short-track race and my first group 'cross practice, due to work and vacation plans. I've stressed a bit about losing fitness and facility on the bike, even though I've continued to commute to/from work. Still learning how to find the balance between training, racing and rest.

Best of success this fall and please keep us posted about your exploits.

3 years, 2 months ago on Lessons Learned – A Column By Lee Waldman

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" To some newbie riders, platform pedals and running shoes may seem like a good idea (considering the running sections), but think of it this way: if that system worked well, everyone would be doing it. The positive connection between clipless pedals and the shoe cleats still reigns supreme."

Thanks for re-posting this helpful article.

I, too, enjoy racing 'cross on a mountain bike (fully-rigid, singlespeed).

As far as the above quote, for those of us with knee problems and/or balance issues, platform pedals remain a sensible choice. As someone who will never be able to use clipless pedals, I'll enter my third season of 'cross on Crank Bros 5050's with every hole filled with a pin. They grip like mad and work well even in the muddiest conditions. While I totally understand why clipless pedals make sense for racing, the right platform pedals DO work well for the handful of racers with few or no other options.

3 years, 4 months ago on Newbie News: Racing Cyclocross on Mountain Bikes

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I admit I'm bummed about this move personally, since PIR is practically in my back yard and racing there allows me to participate without creating a huge carbon footprint.

However, I understand that race organizers don't generally worry about the effect this has on entry-level racers like me -- their raison d'etre is to cultivate the higher echelons of the sport so that Americans can compete at the same elevated level as their European counterparts. There has also been a general professionalizing of cyclocross, which will cost the sport at least a little of its grass-roots origins and vibe. It happens. (No sour grapes on that score, just making an observation.)

It's possible that organizers are trying on purpose to shrink participation numbers -- especially among amateurs -- because of the complaints by some that the number of racers has grown too large for some US venues to handle. Moving the USGP to Bend will certainly accomplish that secondary purpose.

On the downside, Bend is simply too far away for a lot of racers from the I-5 Corridor, and adds greater time and expense; more days off from work will be needed for travel time, and then there's the added expense of hotel rooms (which cost considerably more in a resort town during ski season than they do in otherwise-ordinary, rainy Portland).

So for the higher categories of racers, this probably won't be a huge deal. But for folks like me, it will simply end my cyclocross season earlier. That's either a disappointment, or a chance to gain a fresh perspective and a few more weeks of rest and recovery time. Depends on how you look at it.

3 years, 4 months ago on USGP Shifts from Portland to Bend

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Great article. You are not alone in your quest for sensible cheapness.

3 years, 4 months ago on Cyclocross on The Cheap: Base Training And Moving Country Rolled Into One Simple Exercise.

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I've been racing cross on Conti Cross Country (26 x 1.5 version, no longer made).

I've thought of switching to the Schwalbe but how much narrower is it? And would it require a narrower/specialty rim? Anyone?

3 years, 4 months ago on Tire Review: Schwalbe CX Pro Sport 26” Tire

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After taking a short break at the end of my short-track season, I'll be running twenty minutes three mornings a week before I go to work. Nothing crazy or dangerous, just down the street to my local park for some laps around the grass and berms. Will it help? I don't know, this training stuff is still pretty new to me. But if weight work helped me get stronger for short-track, hopefully running will help me for 'cross. I'll let you know in December.

3 years, 4 months ago on Prepping for the Season: To Run or Not to Run

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"If I’m going to focus on cross to the exclusion of racing on the road I’m going to make sure I have FUN during the summer. September will be here soon enough and then each weekend will be a suffer fest."

Indeed. Against every fiber of my overworked little mind, I took the long holiday weekend and spent it doing NOTHING bike-related: hiking, swimming, lazing about. Four more weeks of mountain bike racing to go, and then a vacation where once again I won't be riding. Although a part of my mind worries about the rest and recovery, another prat reminds me that when I take these breaks I almost always return to the bike with fresher mind and legs. Thanks for the reminder.

3 years, 4 months ago on 30 Years And Counting – A Column By Lee Waldman

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Nutrition is a tough one for me; an autoimmune disease prevents me from utilizing all the nutrients in certain foods and I must supplement my food-based nutrition with vitamins. Some days, when absorption simply isn't happening, I have harder days and can't perform on the bike; in a few cases in my first season it resulted in a few DNF's.

In this, the beginning of my third season of racing, I've managed to dial in not only kinds of food, but quantities and timing (when to eat) prior to a hard ride or race. It has helped a lot to pay attention to my digestive cycle and note what seems to work repeatedly. Staying away from excess carbs in the evening has also helped (carbs keep me up and make it harder to fall asleep).

Best with your season!

3 years, 5 months ago on The Girl With The Cowbell Tattoo: Building a Base for Base

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Great post. Especially the part where you say, "I ride for no other reason than the pure joy of riding."

Racing is just another flavor of that joy. Thanks for sharing yours.

3 years, 5 months ago on Tough Questions - A Column By Lee Waldman

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