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!


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.


Inspiring Edit of the Elite Women’s Cyclo Cross World Championship

Cyclo cross is just so…amazing. We love watching it and cheering for our favorite racers. While our beloved Katie Compton didn’t podium at Worlds, we still love watching her race. Women have come a long way in the sport, but there’s always room for growth.

We’re hoping 2014 brings a new crop of girls and women ready to take those muddy hills by storm!

Cranksgiving Madison 2013

Madison Cranksgiving 2013

Cranksgiving events are a strong tradition within the cycling community.  Events are held around the US in most major cities. Generally Cranksgiving is run like an alleycat, but instead of paying an entry fee to have a shot at winning prizes (which technically you still do, but you win by having the most pounds of food) you go and collect food for a local food pantry.

We were excited to see Clayton over at Griessmeyer Law for promoting Cranksgiving here in Madison.

Check the deets from the Madison Bike Blog below and shoot Clay an e-mail if you have any questions!

Why: Helping others in the community makes Madison better for all.

Cost: No entry fee.  Just bring money (about $10-$15) to purchase groceries for people who need help as part of the ride.

Get a manifest/ shopping list morning of and ride your bike to various groceries and buy food for Grace Episcopal Men’s Shelter and Porchlight Madison.  Bring the receipts back as proof.  Route is up to you.

Recommended: Messenger bag, backpack or rack and bags, bike lock, warm clothes.

All traffic and trail laws and rules must be followed during this event.  All roads are open.

If you are not familiar with Cranksgiving, its a bike race/ride that has participants bicycling all over the city to different grocery stores, gathering hundreds of food items that are donated to a local food pantry.  The Madison Cranksgiving will benefit Grace Episcopal Men’s Shelter and Porchlight.

Further details to follow in the next week.  To register, please email me at:

Trek CXC Cup Sept. 21st & 22nd


TREK Cyclocross Collective Cup

USAC & UCI C-2 Cyclocross Race(s) Sept. 21 & 22, 2013

Madcross Promotions LLC., with the support of Trek, SRAM, Honey Stinger, all of our other sponsors & all of our Hard Working volunteers, are proud to present the Trek Cyclocross Collective Cup Weekend. This event promises fun and exciting racing for everyone with each day culminating with the Elite Men and Women. The amateurs will be able to race on the same course the Elite Pros will use later in the day.

Register HERE

The folks promoting the race are also looking for volunteers to assist in set up, tear down, course crossing, and registration.
To register as a volunteer click HERE