Tips for winter training

OUTSIDE IS FREE(zing) 

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Being a track rider from California it was safe to say I was a bit of a fair weather rider. Having moved to Belgium, the days of letting rain delay my rides are long gone. It’s not a matter of if it will rain here but when. But my new location has given me a newfound appreciation for fall and winter. Embrace the change in season and get out there and ride!

They say there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing.

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Dressing for the cold:

Layering is like the three bears- you can’t wear to little or too much. It has to be just right. Ideally you’ll be cold for the first few minutes but after your heart rate kicks up and the blood is pumping you’ll be warm. If you start out too warm you’ll quickly overheat and end up with your layers in your pockets for the remainder of the ride. Save that room for snacks 🙂

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Choose items that are easy to add on or remove. Don’t overdo it!

Extremities 

Winter Layers

Your head, hands and feet are where your body retains and looses most of its body heat. It is also near impossible to warm up again just with physical activity. Keeping them warm is your key to success. This is especially important during rainy months.

Head- I’m a big fan of headbands and buffs. Buffs are great because you can wear them as both a head cap or neck warmer. Keep your head and ears warm.

Hands- The colder it gets the more important your gloves are. Look at the labels! Most gloves give breakdowns of the temperatures they’re best designed for.

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Feet-Warm socks paired with the right booties will keep your feet warm and dry. Keeping  you pedalling through those long winter base miles.

Hydrate

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Athletes often overlook the importance of hydrating during the cold winter months. During summer when you begin to feel thirsty this indicates that you’re not drinking enough. However, in winter you can dehydrate yourself long before you begin to feel thirsty so it’s important to remember to drink up. This is because all your warm layers that are keeping you insulated are also trapping in your body’s heat and causing you to sweat more. Aim to take a few good sized sips from your bottle every 10-15 minutes from the moment you start your ride. For eating I recommend eating a little, often. Nutrition on the bike isn’t for that moment, but for 10-20 miles down the road.

Hit the indoor trainer! 

You have to train fast to be fast

Rollers vs trainer- Each bring their own set of advantages and disadvantages. They’re different but not necessarily better than one another. That being said, I prefer the rolllers. I just got a set of the Cycleops resistance rollers- what a difference! All the benefits of the rollers with the added resistance of a trainer.

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Photo by Joel Sunderland

Why rollers?

Rollers help with balance and reactions on the bike.

Rollers also help with leg speed and pedal efficiency.

Rollers keep you engaged and make you work for it. There’s no slacking off while on the rollers-there is zero downtime with the rollers so every pedal stroke counts.

Korina Rollers

Photo by: Kerstin Wintercamp

Souplesse – French for suppleness – has been appropriated into the cycling lexicon to describe the perfect pedal stroke; that fluid cadence we all strive for, but rarely achieve. To pedal avec souplesse is to spin without thrashing, dance without stumbling; it is to look entirely natural on a bicycle. -Rapha

Sufferfest

Sometimes the hardest part about winter training is finding motivation. Finding the energy to go do intervals and push yourself. Sufferfest takes all the guesswork out of training and pushes you. I’m the type of athlete that likes to be told what to do- when to go hard, when to go all out which allows me to focus on riding. The Suffrefest videos are great workouts combined with various cycling footage to keep you engaged and suffering while on the trainer.

Hit the gym/ Cross train

What to do:

Planks

Burpees

Squats

Hill Sprints- yes I mean running

Hill sprints will raise your heart rate, work your upper body and core, develop proprioception and general motor skills, provide some impact for improved bone density, help assist a more upright posture, and develop explosive power in your legs to help with cycling. –Breakingmuscle.com

Leg Extensions (One legged to work out muscle imbalances)

Keep it dynamic- dynamic training for strength and explosiveness

Core Strength Training with Tinkoff-Saxo

Yoga- regular yoga practice as part of your training can have many benefits for cyclists, including improved strength, flexibility, balance, and focus. On top of that, it may play a key role in injury prevention.

Cyclist doing yoga

Wash your bike

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Winter is filled with rain, mud and grime. Winter is harsh on your bike so it’s important to keep your bike parts clean to add life and efficiency to them. A clean bike is a fast bike.

Dan Horndasch, mechanic extraordinaire, recommends taking a dry paintbrush to your bike after dry rides to remove dirt in those fine nooks and crannies of your bike.

Another mechanic says,

I always advise not to use a waterhose. Rain doesn’t get into your bearings and chain, while water from a waterhose sometimes does get in nasty places. I sometimes see chains or even a bearing which is rusted because the oil/grease is ‘hosed away’.You can safely use water out of a bucket, with a sponge. But do not use a hose. Especially not a high-presure hose!

The best thing to do is clean the bicycle entirely with some cleaner without grease. Based on silicon for instance. Spray it on the bicycle, and clean the bicycle with an old cloth.

Add in your tips and recommendations for fellow athletes as well.

Now get out there and ride your bike! #JammiesToChamois 

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Jammies to Chamois

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Team kits now available!

When I started my new track racing team I had the freedom to design my own kits, and skinsuits. I had a lot of fun getting creative and working with Castelli to bring my design to life. Now we are bringing this kit to you! (Available to men and women ) All profit from the kits will go towards my 2015 track racing schedule.  Thanks for sharing and for your support! image3Jersey: $90

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Bibs: $135

image2Kit: $225

image1Arm warmers: $40

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The arm warmers are the print shown here on the skinsuit. You can view all pieces under the ‘graphics’ tab on the web page.

Purchase your kit today! Simply follow this link http://bit.ly/1xfue6i enter ‘new user’ info and order your favorites!

Dealing with injuries in 10 simple steps (with pictures!)

Injuries are inevitable in sports. Some are easier to bounce back from than others. Not even two weeks after being on could nine from winning Nationals did I face my first big injury of the season. I was racing in a co-ed madison out in Rochester Hills, Michigan when several riders in front of me collided. I was sitting 3rd wheel and T’d into the rider in front of me which sent me flying off the bike. When I was younger I took tumbling classes and I think they’ve paid off. I somersaulted and then flipped onto my back which caused the side tabs of my vertebrae to fracture.

Hospital Bill

(Here’s what paying my hospital bill is going to look like)

Having a broken back sounds much more dramatic than it is (or at least in my case) but trying to convince my mom of this over the phone was not so easy. I bruised my kidney’s and had punctured the lower sacks of my lungs as well. My treatment options were as followed: take time off and take it easy, that’s it. There were no other options. As most endurance athletes know, being told to not do anything is almost as harsh as having to work for the first summer post college graduation.

So here are my guidelines for dealing with an injury:

Step 1: Grieving

Cycling Injuries

Coping with your injury: your friends will tell you to stay strong and to stay positive, but they will also take cruel photos of you while you’re in the hospital so what do they know…

Step 2: Deal with your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

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That’s right, your friends are going to keep training and racing without you. Those bas#%^$%& . All of a sudden that lame race ride you’ve avoided now seems like the coolest event that you desperately wish you could attend….You’ll be fine

Step 3: Catching up on calories

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While your friends are out getting fast you’re in fear of getting fat….You’ll be fine.

Step 4: You’re never going to be fast again!

Slow Mo

(Slowmo is cool with it, you should be too)

No, that’s not true but that thought will cross your mind an awful lot…. You’ll be fine.

Step 5: Trying to workout despite your injury

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Don’t- I know you’re thinking about trying to anyway but it usually leads to muscle compensation and more severe injuries down the road. Ya, you probably won’t be fine if you do this.

Step 6: Coming to terms and then going over board.

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Binge watching on Netflix! This is honestly the best part of any injury and in true American fashion I say, ‘go big or go home’. I highly recommend House of Cards and Scandal.You’re welcome.

Step 7: Re-Set Goals

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It’s hard to admit that you may lose some of your fitness during your injury but resetting goals is a good way to keep your motivation while still being realistic with your injury…You’ll be fine.

Step 8: De-active your Strava Notifications

Strava

Unless you want to get a bunch of emails about how everyone is out stealing your KOMs and how you’ll be getting a bunch of PWs (Personal Worsts). This also takes us back to Step 2, your friends are jerks.

Step 9: Be grateful for technology!

Marc Pro machine

For me the biggest issue with my back was all the muscle spasms. The Marc Pro machine was a great tool for rehabbing my injury. It allowed the muscles to contract and loosen up without putting any strain on the injury.

Rocktape

Rocktape was also a contributor in my road to recovery. It helped expedite the bruising and stabilize the area when I resumed training.

Set 10: The Silver Lining: Trying new things.

Cycling

Since we know you don’t have any hobbies outside of cycling.

*Huge thank you to Erika Fulk who took such good care of me during my injury and Brian Adams, an amazing PT out in Michigan that helped me create a rehab plan to get me back on the bike. Thank you Adams Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy!

Fiorenzuola and Elite Track Nationals

Track Nationals have been on my mind all year. I had been living in Holland for the summer, racing on the road for Vanderkitten as part of the USA Cycling Development program. This was my first full time season on the road and it sure had its highs and lows. I got my butt kicked in ‘block 1’ of racing, kermesse racing proved to be a little more my style since I was able to crack my first European top ten. Road racing was paying off in terms of fitness gains but still I thought of the track. Track racing to me is the most beautiful form of cycling there is. Nothing compares to the all out efforts on the track and nothing is as fun as flying down the banking of the turns. I was itching to get back on the track.

I quickly scoured the UCI website and found the Fiorenzuola Selle de Rosa race on the calendar.  It was perfect, a six day race offering an Omnium, Scratch and Points race in beautiful Italy.  I had only been on the track twice all year so adding in this race before nationals was just what I needed.

Korina HuizarPhoto by: Michael C. Hernandez

Fiorenzuola:

Selle de Rosa was the first six day race I had ever attended and it did not disappoint. The race was well run, big crowds came out each day, the men’s racing was exciting to watch, and the women’s field was one of the more competitive fields I had ever raced in. Huge thank you to Claudio Santi, Jan Kopac, Amedeo and Luigi Sabino for making this race possible. The week was filled with tough races, great food, and awesome people. While in Belgium I made friends with Elizabeth Steel, who is from New Zealand, and she accompanied me to Fiorenzuloa to race on the track. I’ve yet to meet a Kiwi I didn’t love and who isn’t a blast to be with. Her and I even entered the Keirin races together where I managed to get 6th place! Between great racing and a fun group of riders, Fiorenzuola was the highlight of my racing experience in Europe.

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I thought racing kermesses would have better prepared me for track but boy was I wrong. The top end speed you get at the track is a new level of pain and fitness that you can only obtain from track racing itself. It was a great experience getting to race with Giorgia Bronzini, Kristen Wild, and the other tough and storied competitors who came out and made the racing challenging and fun!

After Fiorenzuola my coach had me doing rollers every single day for 20 minutes to work on leg speed to help prepare me for nationals. I trust my coach and his workouts, we can’t always get fun routines but I knew that the effort would be worthwhile.

We raced our last kermesse Saturday night and six hours later we were on a flight back to America. Twenty four aganozing hours of travel later I landed in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Monday was a blur between trying to readjust to time zones, lack of sleep, and rain storms. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get any openers on the track and would have to make do. I had ridden on the track before and so much of getting openers on the track is about getting a feel for it. I was confident that my previous experience on it would get me through the next day’s race.

Racing started with the Omnium on Tuesday: I love the new format for the Omnium and think it makes for more animated racing. Day 1: Scratch, IP, Elimination

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Omnium Scratch, Photo credit: Weldon Weaver

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Individual Pursuit: Photo Credit: Erika Fulk, Detroit Spoke

The scratch race was fun and it was good to have some intensity in to help flush out the legs from all the travel. The Individual Pursuit was not as fun. Our race had been pushed back due to a rain storm making it a late night. I came unclipped at the start of my IP and had to restart. Evidently my cleats had gotten completely worn down in Europe and I should have changed them before the race. For the second start, I once again came unclipped and hesitated being unsure of what to do. I could hear Zak yell ‘GO!!!’ from the infield and became determined to make up all the lost time in one lap. My next split was 17 seconds- not smart. I settled in, caught my rider, and held even splits for the remaining of the race. Lesson learned: always check your gear to make sure it’s race ready. The pressure you apply to your pedals in a standing start effort is so much greater than the force and torque you apply in training.

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Flying Lap: Photo Credit: Erika Fulk, Detroit Spoke

Day 2: 500 meter, Flying lap, Points race

I really enjoy the sprint events of the Omnium but need to spend more time focusing on them. So much of sprinting is about technique and specialization. Having the Omnium conclude with the points race is such a great way to finish because anything can happen with that many points on the line. I wasn’t expecting to do well in the Omnium since I hadn’t been able to dedicated the time time necessary for the track this season, and my body was a little toasted from jet lag but I think every race is a good learning opportunity. Beth Newell and I were cubby mates for nationals, she’s a great friend but also someone I owe a lot to as a rider. Her fiance, Michael Hernandez, and her are the two biggest reasons why I got involved in the track. People often ask if it’s hard having Beth and I be friends and also competitors. If anything it makes us better, she always challenges me which makes me work harder. We talk openly about races, and our gear choices going into events; because at the end of the day there shouldn’t be any big secrets in the sport, there should just be a lot of hard work.

photo 1 (1)Pre-Race with Beth Photo credit: Weldon Weaver

Points race:

This race was my goal race. After my first points race back in 2012 I knew that this event would be my favorite! It’s the best of everything to me: endurance, sprinting, tactics, math (?) there’s no hiding in this race. Based upon my performance in the Omnium I knew I had the endurance but not the top end speed necessary to win all the sprints. My plan was to be active and make this race as hard as possible. With the race being 100 laps I knew I should follow the right wheels in the early laps, go for the points where I could but focus on making the second half hard. I went into the race with good legs but more importantly I went into the race with confidence; I believed I could win. I wasn’t a ‘favorite’ by any means but I truly felt that I could win.

photo 4Photo credit: Weldon Weaver

I found myself with very few points early in the race, only picking up 1 or 2 in the first few sprints: Kim Geist and Beth Newell were picking up the bigger values. I constantly attacked throughout the race. I went off the front with another rider to pick up 3 sprint points halfway through and then immediately got back in the pack. I knew I need to do something if I wanted to win. With 32 laps to go I attacked and found myself off the front with two other riders. I picked up 5 sprint points and realized that we still had a fair gap- this was it. I needed to go all in. We needed to get a lap in order to make a difference in the race. We all drove that break with as much as we could. The pace shelled one of our riders and it was just down to Emily Thurston and I. At one point we got about ¾ of the way to getting the lap on the field. Unfortunately the riders in the pack realized this as well so Beth and Kim attacked and srtung the field out. We caught dropped riders but not enough to count as the field so we had to keep fighting. With 8 laps to go the other break rider dropped off pace and I was left all alone, fighting to get the lap or collect enough points on my own. It was an amazing feeling having my friends cheer me on from the infield, the announcers stating that if I got the last sprint that it could be enough for the win. I kept fighting in my legs and in my head, saying over and over that I could do this; that I could win. Emily rejoined me in the last two laps and I was then fearful that she would collect the valuable points that I needed in order to edge out Beth and Kim. With one lap to go I went all out, I wanted so badly to win; I wanted to win more than anybody else that day.

10584094_10152306493951334_1537326297420561103_nFinal Sprint in the points race: Photo credit: Weldon Weaver

I crossed the line and couldn’t believe it! It’s funny how cycling works sometimes. You work so hard all season long, and for the most part few hardly ever win races. But the day that you do, the day that it all comes together, it makes it all seem so worthwhile. It makes all the bad luck, and injuries and days where you didn’t want to train mean that much more. They say a short term memory is the best trait you can have as a cyclist but I think a selective memory is more appropriate. Move past the bad days and hold onto the good ones- let them be your motivator for success.

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Points race podium: Photo Credit: Erika Fulk, Detroit Spoke

USA Cycling Post Race Interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoaaCZWNOQQ
I want to extend a huge thank you to my family, and friends for all your support. My coach for always guiding me in the right direction. Thanks to Erika Fulk and Weldon Weaver for all the great photos! Kim Deacon for being an amazing host! To Vanderkitten and Usa Cycling for providing me with so many opportunities that genuinely helped me develop as a rider. Also to my sponsors that help get me from race to race and equip me with the best: Vanderkitten, FFWD, Marc Pro, Enduro Bearings,  Clement, OSMO, and Rocktape

10561653_10152306494651334_7815448502273868592_nPodium Jump: Photo credit: Weldon Weaver

Team Camp

Team Camp is like Christmas for cyclists. It’s a time for all your teammates to come from far and wide to get together and ride bikes! I’ve joined Vanderkitten this year and I’m more excited than ever about racing! I swear this team’s kits get cooler and cooler each year. #stylewatts. Our team is has some big talent and even bigger personalities.

Vanderkitten

(Photo by Jason Perry)

The 2014 Roster includes (Pictured Left to Right): Fiona Strouts, Amy Charity, myself, Miranda Griffiths, Kate Chilcott, Elle Anderson, Liza Rachetto, and Tiffany Pezzulo. Not shown are: Gillian Carleton, Sophie Williams, Emily Kachorek, and Jeannie Kuhajek. We also have three development riders, young bucks with tons of potential: Libby Caldwell, Kennedy Hill and Katie Quinn.

Camp kicked off by picking up our new whips and taking them on a ride in beautiful Palo Alto.

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(Photos by Jason Perry)

The support we get on the team is pretty amazing: Colnago’s, SMP Saddles, K-edge, VP Pedals, PSIMET wheels and Clement Tires. Basically everything to make a bike comfortable, functional and FAST!

Almost every ride either started or ended at Terun, in my opinion one of the best Italian spots in the Bay area. Between the espresso’s and pizza nutella we were plenty fueled for our rides.

IMG_3971                     Jono our Team Director and on rare occasion pizza nutella delivery man!

Each day we were able to pack in great rides, meetings with our sponsors and time to hang out with our teammates.

IMG_3946Discussion with Stacy Sims and Lisa Hunt of Osmo Nutrition (Photo by Jason Perry)

Korina Vanderkitten credit Jason Perry

Mobbin’ (Photo by Jason Perry)

We had a day where we focused on echelons, pace lines and leadouts. Having ‘skills days’ are huge for any team that wants to race together cohesively and successfully. Knowing how each riders reacts to different rolls, what each individual’s sprint is like and where each other’s strengths lie will help us work together more efficiently throughout the year.

Amy is an all around strongman – this girl is going to tear it up at El Salvador. If you’re a betting man go ahead and take that as an insider tip.

Tiffany is sprinter extrodinaire- this girl is going to throw down at a crit near you!

Miranda, Fiona, and Kate are all around workhorses, aka these girls are strong and I’m happy to race with them and not against them!

Elle and Emily are our cross superstars who have killer power, quick intuition and solid bike handling to boot. The tear it up on the dirt and crush it on the road.

Liza. As Jono would say, “Legend” This girl has been tearing up the peloton and has raced some of the biggest races in women’s cycling. She’s smarter on a bike than most of the coders working at Google. She has the ability to effortlessly move throughout the pack and makes for one killer team captain.

Gillian I’ve met through track racing and she’s as legit as the come. Silver medalist in the Team Pursuit in the 2012 Olympic games. Enough Said.

I can’t wait to meet the other girls on our squad. It’s going to be a fun year of travel and bike racing with these ladies!

DQdmqMuAUiynSLf2qCSuqMihmepGBErIDcm_ft8h0O0See you at the races!

(Pictured: Kate Chilcott photo by: Jason Perry)

Stay up to date via our Twitter  or our Instagram accounts.

You can also check out my teammate’s blogs for the insider scoop:

Kate Chilcott’s blog

Amy Charity’s blog

Jeannie Kuhajek’s blog

Tiffany Pezzulo’s blog

Liza Rachetto’s blog

Paskenta

While most American’s are partaking in Superbowl Sunday me and my scantily clad spandex wearing friend’s partook in SuperBro Sunday. A race ride with more bragging rights than most Velo Promo races. Rodney Cox puts together this super cool 100 mile course as well as several other well run races in the Chico area. It’s a mass start race ride with 200 people of wide abilities and multiple discipline bikes.
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Mike’s Bikes and Marc-Pro Strava started their season long fued off early by having multiple riders contest the unofficial race, but ride your bike as fast you can, ride. However the win in the men’s field would go to Professional Jelly Belly Racer, Kirk Carlsen.

Paskenta via swatson262The route is a pretty awesome 100 mile loop out in Chico, nearly flat but with a few rollers. The allure comes from the 4-5 mile gravel section that further breaks up an already shattered field. The course has strong crosswinds that split the group this year and mile 35.

Paskenta groupGravel + 200 riders is as close to spring classic training as you can get in NorCal, all I need is some rain.

Paskenta+Road+Race+086                                             The gravel section on race day

IMG_3747                        What you get when you win Paskenta is a super sweet trophy.

Paskenta BurritoWhat you eat after you race Paskenta is a burrito the size of your body!

Thanks Rodney for putting together this awesome ride, and Team Zipz for your great hospitality!

Track Racing in Texas

The National Track Calendar (NTC) kicked off this last weekend starting in Frisco, Texas. Frisco to Frisco-  give or take 30 degrees. Jennifer Zierke and I decided to commit ourselves to racing the NTC this season and are representing our local Velodrome, Hellyer.This was the first of six races that are part of the NTC spanning from California to Indiana.

-TEXAS-

117197504_64db97b9ebWe headed out Wednesday night after work and tried to pass time as our flight was delayed by a storm. We later learned that there were huge tornadoes that hit an hour south from where we were staying.

IMG_1006Jen watching YouTube videos of cats…what did I get myself into??

Evidently the saying, “go big or go home” doesn’t apply to rental cars here in Texas:

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IMG_1008Our host provided us with Metromint! She has such good taste!

The next morning we assembled our bikes before heading out to ride on the velodrome.

IMG_1016Jen’s pretty helpless when her boyfriend Keith, or a master’s racer isn’t around…

10015300311-Myanmar-workerWhat Jen and I look life after wrenching on our bikes.

IMG_1028Checking out the Frisco Superdrome.

My dad always calls Velodromes, Thunderdromes so I think he’d be pretty to happy to hear there’s one called the Superdrome. I don’t know if he fully understands that I just race my bike and don’t go around jousting people on it.
IMG_1040I loved that we were immediately greeted by one of the officials polishing his gun at race day check-in… welcome to Texas!

Friday:
Though we flew out to contest the endurance cup we figured we might as well take part in the match sprints on Friday. Our racing started with a flying 200 meter- not exactly an endurance riders strongest suit. Racers participate in a flying 200meter to get times, they then match up the times in order to seed the sprints. I placed 4th in the 200m and was able to win my first match. I lost my second match and went into the repechage round which selects positions 5th-8th. Another racer and I went toe to toe at the line that had to be decided by the finish line video. I came in second by less than a 1/10 of a second!

Match sprints: “It’s like water buffalo, as soon as one of them farts the rest of them go!”

970701_10152831108170427_1484505241_nWe helped keep the ‘summer camp’ tradition alive by painting our nails in between heats.

After having our fun pretending to be sprinters we got our bikes ready for the next morning’s Individual Pursuit, the first race part of the NTC. As I was switching out my handle bars I over tightened the headset and snapped it right off! I don’t even know how this is possible, I’m a cyclists- you know we don’t have upper bodies!

tx3Yes, that’s a saw and a hammer in the picture. Things got pretty desperate at 2 am.
Our amazing host family helping me try to fix my bike.

IMG_1090Around 2am we finally were able to wrap things up and go to bed,  but not before Jen yelled out from the other bed, “ Korina….we’re sprinters!” I think Missy and Dana might still have a thing or two to teach us 🙂

Saturday: 

3k:  We went into the Individual Pursuit pretty blind- I’ve only ever done one IP and being on a different track I didn’t have a goal time or pace. My goal was to go into the IP steady and slowly pick up the pace throughout the laps. Jen and I both cheered and yelled out all of Michael and Beth’s go-to comments. “Breath, steady” and other encouragements throughout each others race. We placed 2nd and 3rd, loosing only to stud Catherine Moore who will be a force to be reckoned with Master’s Nats- don’t say I didn’t warn you. Texas is a lot hotter and more humid than what we are use to back at home so we made sure to stay hydrated. Thank you Fluid and Nuun for keeping us hydrated and going throughout the weekend!

IMG_1084Flying 250: I wish I started racing as a junior. Not to have all of that extra experience under my belt or anything, but because I love junior gearing and racing in a baby gear would have been my jam. So when I pretend to be a sprinter and put on the big girl gears, well, the planets simply aren’t aligned. Since track racers are sometimes super secretive about what gears they’re racing in I’m just going to say that I was basically in a 112. Give or take. Aka way too big of a gear to turn over in that short of time. I love how much there is to learn in track racing and how much you can learn from trial and error. I’ve had a lot of errors in the trip so it’s safe to say I’m learning a lot!

IMG_1055I have family who lives out in San Antonio and they were sweet enough to drive up and come watch me race. My aunt Lisa and cousin Jeslyn were such a blast and great distraction from the races. My aunt loved the aero helmets:

IMG_1097Thanks Limar for the helmet!

Our Hellyer Jakroo Skinsuits were a great talking piece. People would always come up and ask about our skinsuits, ask if it’s our local track, share stories about their Hellyer adventures or had heard about our Team Pursuit program!

IMG_1065Points:  I was tested for ADHD as a kid and learned that I have it. I’ve never taken any medication or anything but having ADHD as a bike racer means you get bored just sitting in a pack. I hate negative racing and will probably never be a ‘pure sprinter’ because I don’t think I’d ever want to conserve THAT MUCH energy. But I will say that the points race is my Ritalin, it’s my peace. I love that there’s always something going on, I love having to mark riders and keep track of who has how many points. I love that there are sprints every few laps and that the race just keeps getting harder and harder. I was off the front with another rider through the first sprint and I out sprinted her to pick up top points. We regrouped with the field shortly after and keeping the pace high shelled riders. As we entered our second sprint we ended up catching two riders who sat in-between the pull and the stayers so I had to drop down behind the rider in front of me to avoid crashing into the lapped riders. I still managed to take 3rd in the sprint. With a few laps to go I started thinking about how I wanted to final sprint to play out. I attacked with a few laps to go and was able to get a 1/2 lap on the field and take the sprint and the overall win!

IMG_1080Elimination: Jen took Larry Nolan’s advice to heart about getting to the front. You’ve never seen a cyclists get to the rail as fast. I had noticed that I had become a marked rider so to prove this I sat 7-8 bike lengths behind Jen at the start. Sure enough, everyone lined up behind me leaving that gap between the two of us. I stayed up front throughout the race and attacked at the final bell to take the win!

I was happy to have won two races in front of my family. I always think of those stupid bike racer memes when I talk to non cyclists friends and family so I’m happy that they have a better idea of what I do.

IMG_1092Sunday:

Scratch: Hot off her TT at the Amgen tour of California I knew Lauren Stephens would be the one to watch. The scratch race was 40 laps, which in my mind was a perfect opportunity to be aggressive and try to initiate moves. I kept attacking to initiate a break, Lauren followed and we were quickly riding away from the group. Jen bridged bringing two others with her, one immediately fell off pace. The four of us worked together to take a lap on the field. Lauren kept things active even after we re joined the group. The field was more worried about their omnium standings so didn’t seem to be concerned about Lauren riding away. Jen and I were marked on the other hand, every attack there was at least two riders quick to follow. We both kept being aggressive knowing that the length of the race would play to our strengths. Jen attacked and the sprinters just looked around like, “so which one if you is going to chase that because I’m not”. After a few laps with the field or ‘sprinters lounge’ I realized that unless I made a move those two were going to ride away to the finish line. I attacked and separated from the group with four laps to go. I caught Jen on the bell, Lauren having caught the field, therefore placing Lauren first, Jen second and myself third. This was the final event for the NTC so Jen and I were able to go 1-2 in the NTC endurance omnium with her leading just 1 point ahead of me. It’s going to be a good season of racing!

IMG_1020I’m not going to say that this is “Bike porn” because that’s a really creepy thought when you think about it. Honestly, who is pulling up pics of bikes when doing the “business” ?
But I think we can all admit that this is one good looking bike with some pretty sweet Fast Forward Wheels

500m: As if the Texas heat and humidity wasn’t enough they had wind! Worse than Davis wind! These were nasty 25+ mph gusts that make you wish you brought more than a disk. I had to start in the headwind section, as if a standing start isn’t hard enough but was able to get into my bars through the tailwind section, hooray for circles! I ended up placing 5th which solidified my Matrix track omnium standing in 2nd.

Overall I had a great experience and fun time racing. I learned not to stress over the variables you can’t control. Always bring spare parts, you just never know.Traveling can be more stressful than the racing itself. There’s always something you can improve on, and recovery is key.

Thanks to the Hellyer Velodrome Community for supporting us through this adventure and all of our amazing sponsors:

Jakroo          Fast Forward Wheels          Rocktape        Enduro Bearings     SportVelo Hughes Allmart  Insurance        Limar Helmets        Selle SMP Saddles      Betwixt Chamois Cream   Clif Bar           Clean Bottle        Rose Garden Health       Zealios Sun Barrier       Albabici 

Next up we’ll be heading to  Blaine, Minnesota for Nature Valley Fixed Gear Classic June 6th-8th!

45177_163570333801437_527402801_nThank you Betwixt and Zealios for providing me with the best chamois cream and sun barrier there is!