Local Cyclocross Promoter Hosting Series of Women’s Clinics

alyssacyclocross

Local cyclocross race promoter, Renee Callaway, is teaming up with members of the local cycling community to host a series of clinics and workshops dedicated towards women riders.

The clinics will start September 30th at Olin Turville Park near downtown Madison.
Riders should be arrive by 5:15pm.

The clinics are open to all levels of riders. All riders need is a bike with wider than road tires such as a hybrid, mountain, commuter, or cyclocross specific bike. No other special gear is necessary and each week the clinics will cover different skill sets needed for cyclocross.

The first clinic will cover a lot of the basics such as cornering, mounting, and dismounting.
For more info. about cyclocross in Madison and all over Wisconsin please visit the Wisconsin Cycling Association banner below!

WCAHEADER

Trek CXC Course Preview

Last night I had the opportunity to pre-ride the Trek CXC Cup course. With nothing to compare it to (I didn’t get to ride last year’s course) it’s hard telling if it’s better than last year. I did hear a number of riders say they enjoyed it and that the “sketchy downhill” wasn’t as gnarly as it was last year. I saw one rider take a spill down it as she had opted to ride down it and not run the bike down. Even running with the bike down it was tough because a) bike shoes have crap for traction b) it was short and really steep.

The course has a lot of what I would call “fast” sections where you can definitely make up time that you’ll spend navigating sharp turns and running with the bike. In the “forest” section it’s a bumpy ride, but that leads you to a short section of pavement and then grassy flats.

The start has a short uphill and then the section of hairpin turns that could make or break someone race. If you can navigate them well and not get caught in the inevitable clusterf*ck…you’ll do well. After the pin turns, you cross over the pavement to get to “sketchy hill”. I would probably run down it so as to not completely crash out. You then get to a short fast flat and reach a hill that I would probably opt to run up, but some riders may be able to ride it and not waste the time having to clip back in. The route then takes you through a grass section and you hit two barriers you have to go over before you hit the little forest section with the bumpy ride and then to more grassy area and you eventually get back to the start.

There were a couple of times while I was on the course where I pulled over and watched how others would navigate obstacles. Was it faster to stay on the bike and shift into small gear to ride up a steep hill or was it faster to put the bike on the shoulder and run? Should I ride the inside or outside of a line to make sure I don’t crash into a the gates lining the course?

The best part was that most of the other riders out there (at least the ladies…the guys, not so much) were all very supportive and helpful. They could probably tell I was a total noob, but at least they were nice about it.

I must admit that I’m not that big into racing in general, but riding on the course made me want to get a license for the day so I could take a stab at it. What I think I love most about ‘cross is that you need the speed of a road racer and the bike handling skills of a seasoned mountain biker to be good at it. Tackling the barriers, sandy pits, hairpin turns, and ruts all takes practice. The challenge is what makes it intriguing, as well as the short race times. Most of them don’t last longer than 30-45 minutes.

I look forward to getting more involved in the local ‘cross scene. Madison has some pretty die hard racers and super fans. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up getting my racing license and entering into the Cat 4 field. I’ll probably get my ass handed to me, but at least I’ll be having fun!

CxC_Cup_Map

The Trek CXC Cup is happening all weekend long at Trek’s world headquarters in Waterloo. Stop out to watch the race, visit the expo, and have a good time cheering on the riders!

Half the Road

Half the Road is a newly released documentary written and directed by Kathryn Bertine. The film includes interviews with a wide range of cycling professionals, governmental leaders, celebrities, and other representatives within the cycling world all discussing the gender inequality taking place in the sport. Not only is the nature of professional cycling discussed, but the sports industry in general.

Women are severely lacking in the sponsorship and media support that male sporting events and athletes have garnered for years. Half the Road bravely dives into the world of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and gets to the root of the issue on the topic of inequality in the sport of cycling.

If you enjoyed the trailer and would like to watch the film, Wheel & Sprocket is hosting a viewing in Milwaukee on May 1st. Please visit the Facebook event page for more info.

 

Soma Doublecross Build

Every so often you make the decision to purchase a bike for fun. Not out of necessity, not to replace an outdated model, but just because you love the idea of having some new eye candy to roll on.

Buying the Soma Doublecross frame was one of those purchases. It wasn’t like we needed anymore bikes. I have a Raleigh RX 1.0, a Surly Cross Check, a vintage Raleigh fixie conversion, a vintage Peugot fixie conversion, Keri’s Fuji touring bike, and Keri’s Trek Lexa SLX. All fantastic options for going out and riding about town.

The purchase of the Doublecross frame couldn’t be helped. It was love at first site and with a bank full of tax refund, there weren’t any excuses not to buy. Once it was settled, I gave a call to the wonderful folks over at Merry Sales. They are one of few Soma distributors and work closely with the folks at Rivendell to import some quality bike goods. I placed an order for a 48cm Soma Doublecross frame, matching fork, purple IRD headset, a Suzue touring wheelset, and a Nitto front rack. The order was placed and there was no turning back.

The next step was ordering some items from QBP. A new triple crank from Shimano, a matching Hallowtech bb, Jagwire cables in white silver, a Sram 9spd chain, and a new Shimano XT 9sp rear derailleur. The rest of the parts were transferred over from the Surly Crosscheck.

It took a few weeks for the build to be completed. Tools to complete all the tasks were the biggest hurdle, so each week a tool would be purchased that was necessary to get the job done. The purchases would probably seem a little unnecessary to the casual cyclist, but since we plan on opening a shop and all…it’s going to end up being a write off anyway!

If there was one task that was the most difficult or I guess rather annoying…it would be setting up the rear brake. Soma went about placing not only a built in hanger for canti brakes on the frame, but also a braze on for if you wanted to use V brakes. The only thing is that with the noodle design of the Paul Mini Motos, you can’t really get a nice clean line coming off the noodle to the cable housing. There was lots of experimentation to be had with housing length. It seemed like the more streamlined/shorter it was made, the more difficult it was to set up the brake properly. In the end it was decided to leave the housing on the long side and just deal with it. Maybe someday when the schedule allows that issue will be tackled, but for the time being the bike works and so do the brakes, so that’s all a girl can really ask for.

This build was officially the first that was completed without the help of anyone else. Usually I grab a more mechanically inclined friend to assist, but I decided it was about time to suck it up and do it on my own. I knew how to install everything, I knew how to lube, grease, and tighten everything to spec. In most cases when it came to assembling a bike it was the lack of tools that really made me lazy. I’d take the bike into a shop or ask a friend if I could come hang out to work on my bike and they usually did all the work for me. Not this time. I’m proud to say this is the first of MANY bikes that will be built by me. My goal is just to improve upon my mechanical skills and hopefully pick up some tips along the way to make things a little speedier and easier along the way.

For all the bike nerds, I’ll list all the parts below.

The official build list is as follows:
Frame: Soma Doublecross 48cmFork: Soma painted to match
Wheels: Suzue Touring /Cyclocross
Skewers: Salsa Flipoff purple
Tires: Resist Nomad
Crank: Shimano Tiagra
BB: Shimano Tiagra Hallowtech II
Front Der: Shimano 105 triple
Rear Der: Shimano XT 9spd
Chain: Sram 9spd
Seatpost: Ritchey Classic (cut down to fit in the frame)
Seat clamp: Salsa Liplock purple
Saddle: Brooks Flyer
Stem: Dimension +- 17 degrees (give or take) 90 or 100mm 26.0
Handlebars: Nitto Noodles 41cm/42cm depending on source
Headset: IRD/Tange-Sekai purple
Brake Levers: Tektro short reach
Brakes: Paul Mini Motos
Cables: Jagwire
Shifters: Shimano 9spd bar ends mounted on Paul thumbies
Handlebar tape: Velo Orange leather
Pedals: Crank Brothers Candy C
Bottle cages: Velo Orange Moderniste

Last night the bike was tested around our parking garage and it was such a smooth ride. I don’t like comparing two different cycling companies, as they both have their strong suites…it’s just that the Soma was a great improvement from riding the Surly. The frame tubing is higher quality, the welds are smooth as butter, the paint is gorgeous, and using vertical dropouts instead of horizontal made for much easier assembly. The vertical drops will also be appreciated should a rear flat ever occur. The frame felt zippier and a little more responsive than the CC.

Spring can really arrive any day now. The Doublecross is itching to get out on some road rides and rail trails. A full write up on the long distance ride quality will be added once we get some miles racked up. I’m still looking for a name for my new found love. The Surly was always lovingly known as Foxy Brown. Give us a shout on Facebook if you have any suggestions!

CORP & Machinery Row Fundraiser

corplogoHelp CORP and Machinery Row raise money for a new off road trail in Madison
Capitol Off Road Pathfinders has teamed up with IMBA to develop a 4.5 mile section of trail at Seminole Park. Located at the intersection of PD and Seminole highway, and just off the Capitol City Path, the trail will be easily accessible by bicycle. The trail will double as a fantastic opportunity for cyclocross and beginner mountain bikers alike. Machinery Row is hosting a party to fund equipment rental for trail building: providing free beer, snacks, and schwag to all who attend.

Where do you come in? In order to enjoy the awesomeness, please bring $20 to partake in a raffle, get snacks, and locally brewed beer. The entry fee will get you a bracelet for edibles and one raffle ticket to win sweet prizes from our sponsors below. Additional raffle tickets will be available for $5. Fill your pockets! All money will go to CORP for the new trail.

Fundraising Party at Machinery Row Bicycles
When:
Saturday, March 29th, 6-9pm
Where:
601 Williamson St
Madison, WI
RSVP @ https://www.smore.com/sweg

WITH PRODUCT SPONSORSHIP FROM:
Ale Asylum
Bianchi
Boynton Coaching
Cannondale
Club Ride
Continental Bicycle Tires
Drunk Cyclist
Felt Bicycles
Fi’zi:k
Giant Bicycles
Giro
Industry9
Light & Motion
Niner Bikes
Pearl Izumi
Ray’s MTB Indoor Park
Saris Cycling Group
Shimano
Trek Bicycles
Yakima
9Round