The Keys to Competing in your 40’s

The 2016 Olympics are now old news and the media headlines are all about Angelina and Brad’s impending divorce… if you care. Regardless of the media’s latest craze; there is one thing in particular that stuck with me from the Olympics and it might be helpful to those that would like to continue competitive sports long after their so-called ‘prime’. And that one thing was brought to light by one person: Kristin Armstrong.

k-armstrong-openKristin Armstrong has inspired so many of us, not only as Americans, but as hard-working, athletic, competitive women who have real lives that include jobs and kids. The fact that she has won three Olympic gold medals – all of which have been obtained after she turned 30 – is revolutionary in the history of the Olympic Games. Kristin is a REAL person, with a REAL job, family, commitments, and struggles. She is someone we women can relate to, empathize with, and most importantly: she breaks the barriers that have held most of us back from serious competition later in life.

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Why Competition is Good for You

Competition is good for you and the sport of bike racing. Why? Well, imagine how boring it would all be if we showed up on the same team? It also helps promote more events, sponsors, and bike-related activities. There is only so much one team can cover. Most local amateur bike racing teams are not owned and operated by someone that focuses solely on bike racing all day. Typically they are either bike-shop sponsored or company sponsored teams with a very few that are individually owned. In other words: most team owners and managers have a day job.

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Saddle Sagas

It’s a fact that discomfort will impact performance. Some of the key target areas are where the human body comes in contact with our 2-wheeled steeds of freedom – in particular: the saddle. For women: the choice of saddle is a Big Deal for reasons I don’t think are necessary to point out here. I know that finally landing (literally) on a saddle that works for me was a journey that included several painful disappointments, many misdirection’s thanks to mindless marketing, as well as significant (and potentially unnecessary) investments.

Here’s my saddle saga…

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Bike Bonding: Clean Yo’ Steed!

There are those who prefer not to do anything but ride their two-wheeled freedom machine for various reasons… Perhaps they don’t feel qualified to clean, lube, check the chain, wipe down the bike, clean the brakes, and so forth. Maybe there’s a significant other that excels at that sort of stuff. Or, perhaps they don’t like to get dirty – whatever it is: these folks are missing out on an important part of bike bonding.

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Pink Pedal Power! …Or Not?

pink flamingoIn general, I like pink.

As a color: I wear pink to work, casually, and so forth. I have a mild exception to being draped entirely in pink (because I’m quite tall and don’t wish to look like a giant pink flamingo). I have my fair share of pink hues in my closet and I’m not afraid to use them! However: when it comes to cycling kits I absolutely loathe pink. As a matter of fact, I am only recently reluctantly embracing a smidge of pink in my life for my women’s development racing team. (Whom I think the world of!) Like I said, I’m not a pink hater, but when it comes to cycling…

Sorry Ladies: pinky-poo girly cycling kits make me gag.

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SMILE!

You can find them at almost every competitive event. They are always looking for you and trying to catch your eye. They hover patiently waiting for just the right moment to pounce. When you are least expecting it: “Bam!” there they are! It’s like they are stalking you or something. Why, they even stake out the most seriously challenging bits of the course and point cameras at you – it’s crazy! They are a bit crazy, but the kind we like: they are your friendly cycling event cameramen and women.

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H-Town Cycling Chics Rock!

H-Town Bikin’ Babes! This article is for you ladies that believe in pedal power and pushing the limits! After all: Houston may just have the very best group of local competitive cycling chics, ever. To some: Houston might be a ‘pit’, but it’s a damn cool place for a ‘Hellhole’ (to quote Jeff Blake: thanks for the article!). Other areas in this great state of Texas don’t necessarily enjoy the same comradery in ladies competitive cycling. I’m not just saying that because I live here either. I’m saying that because it true – but it wasn’t always that way.

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The Road of Recovery

A friend and teammate requested an article on recovery and how to deal with the mental anguish of being off of the bike, trying to recover, and feeling stuck. While articles on racing, nutrition, and performance are awesome: perhaps the hardest part of being an athlete is when you can’t

It goes without saying that if you cycle frequently there will come a time in your life when you want almost nothing more than to be able to ride your bike like you used to before ____ happened. The blank could be an injury, an illness, or maybe it’s just life getting in the way. Regardless of the reason: recovery and time out of the sport or activities we love is painful for more than one reason.

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Cycling Community Gives Back

Based on the events of last night and today, I rescheduled my original afternoon post and find myself at my keyboard in awe of what an amazing cycling community we are so fortunate to have in Houston, TX – and beyond. I am both stunned at the news that has found me here and almost in tears at the out-pouring of kindness from our cycling friends. This day and this community reminds me why I love cycling and why I’ve always felt that my cycling friends are some of the best people alive.

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Roads Less Traveled | Fixed Gear, No Brakes

Every now and then my husband and I will just go down a road or take a route on a whim. Ride somewhere new to find out when the roads less traveled will take us. Oftentimes it’s a great experience and sometimes: we learn something – even if it’s “don’t do that again!”

Whatever it is, if approached from the right perspective of adventure – an experience out of the norm can be rewarding for just being something new. Nothing ventured – nothing gained, as the saying goes.

It was in the spirit of adventure that I tried out something that I haven’t tried yet: Track Cycling.

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