It’s that time of the year when cycling associations get together to plan for the seasons ahead, and in Pennsylvania, home state of Team Laser Cats, there are five rule changes on the table this year. The association meets Saturday, February 10th.
Here’s a guide to where we stand. We’ve copied the text of the proposal, and provide our rationale for supporting below.
View the list of proposals here. Continue reading →
Musings on a long cyclocross season.
by Elisabeth Reinkordt
Two World Cups in the Midwest. I had to go to one of them. It was just too tempting to pass up, a homecoming and friend reunion of sorts, a great way to use some frequent flyer miles, a gracious offer of host housing, and the chance to both race against and then cheer for the top riders in the world. Sure, it would be brutally hot, my Achilles heel, but I couldn’t resist.
There is a perfect moment seared in my overcooked brain, a second that froze in time, as I looked across the course to see Sanne Cant’s rainbow stripes. “You are in a race with the World Champion right now. This is not a charity event. This is not a joke. This is really it. You’re doing this.”
Elisabeth “Mama Cat” Reinkordt at the 2017 Rainey Park Cyclocross race in Queens, NY
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The following is reposted from State College Laser Cat and resident #femdurobro, Lindsay Hall-Stec. You can read more about her adventures at http://trainingonaprayer.blogspot.com/.
“The best rivalries are not about the rival. They’re about the insecurities that your rival brings out in you…” – Rogelio from “Jane the Virgin”
When I first read Gloria Liu’s Bicycle magazine article titled “That Time I Went Full Enduro” a few weeks ago, it was hard to get through it without my heart racing and my eyes welling up with tears. I had developed a bit of a girl crush on Gloria a year or so before, when I discovered the value of reading bike and gear reviews from a real person who I’d encountered in real life and whose riding style and terrain was close to my own. Gloria’s opinions held much more weight than any random woman in Colorado, California, or the UK talking about howwell (or not) bikes and gear performed. When she won both the enduro stage and overall enduro classification at the Tran-Sylvania Epic this year, I was stoked…and jealous, but knowing that it wasn’t my time yet, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather see it go to.
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Quick Intro: A few weeks back, Team Laser Cats instagram featured a GoFundMe to help Shaniyla pay for a really cool summer program. That one didn’t pan out, but she managed to find another one that is doing great work in Baltimore. From the Baltimore Urban Program (BUP) website: “During this intensive 6 week internship students grow together in their understanding of the city, the ways God is at work here, and their own response and involvement as Christians. After initial orientation, students serve as interns with various Urban Ministries and non-profit organizations throughout Baltimore.” (Link to BUP “About” page)
The following is cross-posted from BUP’s blog, an entry by Shaniyla Johnson. Excited to hear more!
BUP IST SHICKE TOLL!
By Shaniyla Johnson
CAUTION: THESE ARE ALL OPINIONS DERIVED FROM SHANIYLAS BRAIN BUT PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CHALLENGE MY OPINIONS IN THE COMMENTS. ALSO FEEL FREE TO COMMENT WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR THINGS YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO INCLUDE IN THE UPCOMING WEEKS.
I was reserved about leaving my house again as I’ve been all over the place this year. Do I really want to spend my summer away too? So many places, so little time.
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Three years ago, I moved to Philly. I came from a land with few rocks and scant log overs. I felt like I had to completely relearn how to mountain bike. I got a bike that fit better, and I’ve broken some parts and collected some bruises overcoming physical and mental barriers.
A nice long downhill rock garden wasn’t something I used to look forward to. Photo: Paul Freeman
Sunday, I felt like it all came together. I lined up with no expectations but to ride a good ride and not get hurt. I didn’t start particularly fast. I watched the front group ride away. But the pieces connected, and by the end of the first lap, I found myself climbing into 3rd in the Pro/Elite field. I spent those next two laps just keeping on keeping on. Ride clean. Focus. Don’t get hurt. HAVE FUN. And I did. And I’m really, really happy about it.
Thanks to Bicycle Therapy for the new brake setup at the last minute. Those were essential!
Diego always has our backs. Photo: Paul Freeman
Disclaimer: The following is a description of my recovery from a prolonged concussion. None of this should be read as medical recommendations, and I strongly urge anyone who has had a head impact or suspects a concussion to see a doctor specializing in concussions as soon as possible. I wanted to share this story, not to offer medical advice, but to shed light on an highly mercurial injury whose recommendations are changing very rapidly as it becomes better understood. Every concussion is unique, and only a professional knows how to distinguish between unpleasant but non-serious symptoms versus symptoms that may point to something much more serious that could lead to serious complications or permanent brain damage.
2017 was going to be the year that I’d try for CX Nationals. Fall 2016 would have been my fourth real CX season after two fairly strong ones as a cat 3, and I finally felt mentally ready to say that yes, I wanted to see how far I could go in this strange, wonderful sport I fell into, and yes, my life circumstances finally allowed me to structure my schedule to make this happen.
I didn’t make this decision lightly. Although I had a passably strong martial arts background, I had been a very mediocre XC runner in high school, and it was to my great surprise one day that I was somehow able to win a bike race. I was very comfortable with being a “mediocre” athlete, but it was also empowering to believe that a part of my identity I thought was unchangeable, I actually could change. It was another sea change to begin to wonder and possibly believe that perhaps I could be part of an elite group of athletes, that even if I was far from being a contender of National Champion, that I would at least be a part of “the best” at something athletic.
As one does when reaching for lofty goals, I found a coach to build accountability. After years of luddite resistance, I purchased a power meter and garmin, learned to use them, and altered my decade of ingrained ride routine to include data downloads (the horror). I didn’t skip any workouts, but between my full-time job as an architect and my part-time job as an adjunct professor of architecture, it meant I frequently got very little sleep. I wasn’t too worried though, as when school let out, I’d have more time to recover and build before the fall CX season. I kept dreaming.
The Quietest Punch to the Face
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Want to support the racing of the fabulous women of Team Laser Cats?! Show your feline pride and give us a boost by wearing our warmers. ALSO DONUTS, SPACE, SLIME, AND CATS DUHHHH.
Head on over to the Laser Cats n’ Such store to ORDER MEOW.
Also available, for our totes casual MTBaes:
With wide smiles and faces full of salty road spray, the Team Laser Cats TTT squad claimed a commanding 2nd place for the 2nd year in a row! This year’s tall squad featured not one but two junior racers, with our dirt superstar Emma trying out this skinny tire thing and guest rider Maddie of KMS jumping in for her first ever TTT. Mama Cat Elisabeth and resident poet-on-wheels Knar rounded out the team.
Team Laser Cats is looking to expand! We’re especially interested in diversifying our squad and encourage WoC/T/F to apply. If you’re interested in becoming part of TLC, please complete the application here: https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfRq49ztJHvBiipP…/viewform…
The application deadline is 5:00 p.m., January 30, 2017.