When You're Only Chasing Watts, It's Easy to Forget About the Rest

When You're Only Chasing Watts, It's Easy to Forget About the Rest

Usually around this time of year, I like to enter a mountain bike race and a criterium, partly to celebrate my birthday, partly to see exactly how much the offseason treated me.

This year started a little differently, but taught me a sharp lesson that I needed to remember. I decided to enter this year’s MTBNJ single track race with my cyclocross bike. Before you scoff, I should mention that I had good cause to think this was a sane idea. Firstly, several years ago, Kate completely handled the course on her ‘cross bike. Secondly, plenty of riders were reporting that I’d be able to manage the course with no problem.

 Jalapeno Cycling getting in the drops on one of the lighter sections of the course (photo by Tony Utitus)

Jalapeno Cycling getting in the drops on one of the lighter sections of the course (photo by Tony Utitus)

This weekend, the course was rerouted into Allamuchy’s low-line: an area filled with rock gardens aplenty. After a soft pre-ride, I realized that while I wouldn’t destroy my bike, this race for me was going to be a game of track-standing finesse. The race itself went as much as expected, and I was pretty liberal in swinging off to the side of the course to let anyone lapping me pass right on by.

With the exception of three very stupid line choices during the course of the hour, I actually felt like I rode the course well considering I was on 32mm tires, and while I never had a perfect lap that strung everything together, I was able to ride every part that the track offered. But I knew I could have ridden it much faster, even with the same bike.

It wasn’t the tire pressure, and it wasn’t my lungs; my limiting factor was 100% my upper body.

Riding rough single track on a fully rigid, thin-tire bike meant I had to be out of the saddle over 90% of the race, and that my arms, shoulders, core, and back had to be extremely active. Not even a lap into the course, and I felt my lower back straining against me as I tried throwing my front wheel over rocks the size of barriers. My legs felt really good, but I knew they were taking on a load of my upper body weight that could have instead been stabilized by a strong core.

In other words, my training from Cyclocross Nationals to single track had been a little too one-dimensional, focusing exclusively on how many watts my legs and lungs could crank out, and not enough on the rest of the body.

Now I know that most of you are never going to find yourself in a single track race on a cyclocross bike, but in reality, these were just exaggerated symptoms for weaknesses found in all kinds of riding. How often on a long ride are we over-adjusting our positions to compensate for a weak lower back? How often are we putting loads of pressure on our hands and arms during a ride because our weak core muscles are forcing other muscles to take on more of the load?

While two weeks ago, Kate Cumming detailed out attacking aches and pains with training exercises focused on the glutes, I asked her if she had a few key exercises she also did to build strength for a big ride. She had a small list, but emphasized two workouts that could help all cyclists become more efficient:

1) Deadlift: This exercise should be approached with caution. While it is one of the most beneficial for cyclists, if completed incorrectly, it can strain the lower back. Deadlifts can be completed with a barbell, dumbbells or kettlebells; however, as the weight you lift increases, a barbell will be most beneficial. At heavy weights, dumbbells will be too cumbersome and/or not available in heavy enough weights for you to complete the exercise.

Begin with feet about hip width apart and barbell centered over feet. Flex the knees and sit the hips back, hinging forward at the waist to grab the bar with an alternating grip. Ensure your back stays flat and you are not arching or rounding. Exhale and push through your heels to begin lifting the bar. As the bar passes your knees, drive your hips forward towards the bar and engage your upper back (shoulder blade area) to come to an upright standing position. Inhale and return the bar to the ground in a controlled manner by reversing your movement.

If completing this exercise with dumbbells, begin standing holding the dumbbells in front of your quads. Inhale and slide the dumbbells down the front of your legs to approximately the middle of your shin by flexing the knees and sitting the hips back. Ensure that the back stays flat. Then exhale and push through your heels and drive your hips forward to return to an upright position.

2) Ab Rollout: Similarly to a deadlift, ease your way into the ab rollout. The ab rollout can also be completed with a variety of different equipment, from an ab wheel to sliders to a weighted Olympic barbell.

Begin kneeling with the barbell in front of you and your hands on the bar approximately shoulder width apart. Slowly roll the barbell forward, extending your body into a straight position. Only extend as far as you can without your hips sagging or lower back arching (think plank position). At your most extended point, pull from your abs to drive the barbell back towards your body.

To progress this exercise, complete from your feet rather than kneeling.

Looking to keep up to date with the latest blogs and news from Jalapeno Cycling? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get our cycling tips delivered right to your mailbox. Also, if you are looking to prevent those aches and pains of constant sitting, be sure to sign up for our Strength Training, Off-The-Bike Classes, with more info to be found here.

Come Test Your "Tour of Flanders" Legs at Jalapeno Cycling on April 2nd, Win Great Prizes

Come Test Your "Tour of Flanders" Legs at Jalapeno Cycling on April 2nd, Win Great Prizes

The Tour of Flanders is one of the major classic races, and this year marks its 101st run. In our last newsletter, we said Jalapeno Cycling would be streaming many of the Spring Classics live in our shop, but for the Tour of Flanders, we are taking it a big step further.

Starting at 7:00 AM on April 2nd, and lasting through the race coverage, Jalapeno Cycling will be having a contest for everyone to simulate riding one of the iconic course sections.

The Rules for the Faux Pro Competitors:

1) Claim your free spot to compete on mindbodyonline.com. (We are maxing out with 16 total riders for this event, so we are expecting the spots to fill up FAST.

2) Either reserve one of Kate or Andrew's Von Hof bikes by emailing us, or bring your own mountain, road, or cyclocross bike.

3) Show up at least 20 minutes before your slot and ride your heart out.

The Rules for Spectators:

1) Cheer on the Men's and Women's Pros on our TVs.

2) Cheer on the Faux Pros in the back attempting to race on the same grade hills as the pros.

3) Don't throw beer or cobblestones at the riders.

What to Know:

1) Entering the Tour of Flanders challenge is free, but you will need to sign up to do it in order to claim your trainer spot.

2) The competition is over distance. Everyone will be riding the same length of the course. This means that your ride could be anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on your ability.

3) While we are not yet disclosing what section of the course we are using until the week before, you can expect that there will be at least one serious grade. April 2nd is not the day to bring a bike with zero climbing gears.

4) Don't schedule a time that interferes with the Pro Tour's finishes if you want to see the live finish. Currently, the wise UCI predictors say that the Pro Women's Race will finish around 8:50 AM EST and the Pro Men's Race will finish around 10:30 AM EST in the fastest case scenario.

Prizes:

-Both the male and female rider with the best time will get one of Jalapeno Cycling's custom #RideSpicy Pactimo kits (a $160 value per winner!)

-The rider who comes closest to the average finishing time (note: not the median rider, but the average time) will score one of our custom Faux Pro caps made by Rothera Cycling.

Preventing Aches and Pains with Strength Training

Preventing Aches and Pains with Strength Training

When coaches talk about strength training for athletic activities such as cycling, often people think of building muscle mass. If done properly, strength training has the ability to create a stronger pedal stroke and running stride and prevent pain from endurance sports without building mass. In today's coaching blog, Kate Cumming examines a few workouts that get people's seasons started off right, but are also designed to combat the stresses of sitting all day at work and on a saddle.

by Kate Cumming

Too often, riders talk to us about aches and pains related to riding and racing. Whether it’s nagging knee pain, a lower back that gives out when the going gets tough, or a stiff neck that tightens up with each bump, symptoms of muscle imbalances really flare up by the last few races of the season.

I have been involved in several conversations lately where athletes indicated they felt one-dimensional and weak at the end of their race season. These feelings are not surprising as the repetitive nature of endurance sports will lead to muscle imbalances over time. While a bike fit or equipment change may help to reduce these problems, returning exclusively to the repetitive movement that created these imbalances will lead to the same aches and limitations over time.

As your early season training resumes, strength training should become an integral part of your weekly plan. With more sport-specific focus on endurance training, you will be able to incorporate strength training without feeling like you cannot hit the top end power or pace numbers you would be fighting for during race season.

Although there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to strength training, the ideal starting point for most athletes is glute activation. Active glutes have the ability to generate significant power through the pedal stroke or running stride and can also help prevent injuries. If you find that your lower back takes the brunt of steep climbs, your hip flexors cramp or ache, your IT bands (or in very loose terms, the band that runs on the sides of your leg from your hip through your knee) are tight or your knees gravitate towards your top tube while riding, your glutes are probably not doing their share of the work. Countless other scenarios can involve your glutes, but these are some common scenarios we are seeing with our athletes.

Thanks in part to significant amounts of time spent sitting, our glutes often remain dormant when we need them most. Begin building your strength foundation today with glute activation exercises. Once your limitations are resolved, the focus can shift to more time spent focusing on sheer strength and then explosive power as your training progresses.

To get the glutes firing, focus on these three exercises:

1. Glute bridge: Begin on your back with knees bent and feet about shoulder width apart. Exhale and push through your heels to lift your hips towards the ceiling. Engage your glutes at the top and inhale and return to the starting point. The single leg version of this exercise is a great progression and will also help address imbalances between your left and right sides.

2. Side lying leg lifts: Lie on your side with hips and legs stacked. Keeping your legs straight, exhale and lift your top leg about 6-8 inches with arching or rounding your back. Inhale and lower the leg with controlled speed.

3. Single leg squat: Standing on one leg, inhale and sit your hips down and back into a squat. Exhale and push through your heel to return to standing. This exercise is best done with visual feedback to ensure your knee does not move forward over your toes or fall inside or outside of the ankle. When starting single leg squats, it can be effective to use a bench or chair as an aid; squat down to the bench and then return to standing.

Looking to keep up to date with the latest blogs and news from Jalapeno Cycling? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get our cycling tips delivered right to your mailbox. Also, if you are looking to prevent those aches and pains of constant sitting, be sure to sign up for our Strength Training, Off-The-Bike Classes, with more info to be found here.

Test Your Functional Threshold Power to Help Your Training, Not Hurt It

Test Your Functional Threshold Power to Help Your Training, Not Hurt It

Starting next week, Jalapeno Cycling will be spending several days devoting our classes to testing Functional Threshold Power (FTP) for athletes. Because the vast majority of training plans use FTP as a baseline measurement for drills and targeting zones, you may have already heard of the test, but before signing up for a class, you may want to see if performing the test makes sense for you.

To begin, we should mention that the formal test isn’t a walk in the park. Its goal is to give an accurate indicator of how much power a rider can exert over the course of an hour. Because attempting to hit the gas for a full 60 minutes is an impractical assessment for the majority of riders (it’s far too easy to overcook or underperform early in that kind of long effort), the test instead involves warming up and executing a full 20 minute effort that coaches base the FTP around.

Even though it isn’t a time-consuming effort, the test is stressful on the body, and isn’t for all riders and situations. Here is a list of common times when you should NOT take an FTP test:

1. “Right before a big event.” This is an understandable mistake: riders may second-guess their power numbers just before the big day, especially when it comes to the solo efforts of time trials and triathlons, and want to know what targets they need to hit after several long cycles of training blocks. However, a hint of uncertainty and tapering towards the event is far better than putting additional fatigue on your legs.

2. “If you are about to engage in dedicated training for the first time.” Unfortunately, some programs often have beginning riders perform an FTP test right off the bat. The test is difficult without spending much prior time in the saddle, and the data it provides riders won’t be useful for long. When new riders begin dedicated training for the first time, the gains not only come fast, but are incredibly volatile for each rider. There are far better and accurate methods of tracking progress and determining zones than this immediate trial by fire.

3. “If you recently took the test.” We are amazed at how often we see pre-made programs that want you to perform an FTP test every other week. There are several major problems with this: while a 20-minute block is a great way to find a baseline for the rest of your training, it’s not the end-all be-all interval that you only need to gauge your performance by. There is no reason you should be taking this test more than three times per year (and even that is borderline overdoing it). It is a test that will monopolize several days of your other training, which is not a good thing if you could use some One-Legged-Drills, Base Riding, or VO2 Max Intervals instead. Secondly, by constantly measuring yourself with this test, you’ll inevitably catch a test on a bad day, and demotivation will strike hard when you believe you are regressing after months of hard work.

Those were the bad times to take an FTP test. On the other side of the spectrum, there are some ideal times that your future training could benefit from the test:

1. “Early into your building period before your season begins.” This is a great time to allocate some training time towards one FTP test, especially because this is usually the time when you or your coach is planning out your training schedule, and it helps give more direction. It is also a period of time where you are not interfering with any big events. Be forewarned, though, that there is one drawback to performing an FTP test here. Usually this time frame comes a little after an extended off-the-bike recovery week or two from the season before, and you shouldn’t be too surprised to find that your numbers will likely be about 10-20 watts lower than the power you were putting up after tapering for the big event at the end of the prior season. Remember that this drop is natural and necessary; don’t let it demotivate you.

2. “A few weeks after you get a power meter for the first time.” In reality, this shouldn’t conflict with any of the three times not to take an FTP test above (you REALLY shouldn’t buy a power meter right before a big event; I promise that it won’t improve your short-term performance.) After you purchase a power meter and get familiar with it and the numbers for a break in period, you might as well put it to good use. A FTP test gives you an even better meaning to the numbers you are seeing and can help you chart out a training path in ways that “perceived effort” cannot.

3. “During your season if you feel that your power numbers have already drastically changed or you believe you are training in the completely wrong zones.” This is very difficult to correctly gauge without an experienced coach. It could mean that you’re overtraining, or possibly feeling under the weather. Still if you are deep within a hard interval block and you feel like you could carry a normal conversation, you may want to consider taking an FTP test. Again, there are plenty of other factors that can trigger an unexpected drop or rise in power: a miscalibrated power meter, low batteries, or an error in an earlier FTP test. However, if you feel like you went through the full troubleshooting gamut, and you feel like you’re working well out of your zones, it might be time to see where you now measure up. This is especially true if you are basing your current zones on an FTP test you took a year or more ago.

If you find that this is a good time to take an FTP test, consider booking an appointment at Jalapeno Cycling. While you can set up individual sessions where you can take the test all by yourself, Kate is also hosting small-batch sessions as a more economical option. You can email her at kathryn@jalapenocycling.com or click here to create a profile and reserve your spot next week.

Jalapeno Cycling is a bike shop, sales, repair and fitness center located in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

Faux Pro (moters') Response to "Cyclocross is Still My Favorite Bourbon"

Faux Pro (moters') Response to "Cyclocross is Still My Favorite Bourbon"

Cyclocross Worlds is upon us this weekend, and we at Jalapeño Cycling can't believe that we'll have to start using the #crossiscoming hashtags already. (In the area and want to watch the World Championships live? Be sure to swing on by our store starting at 7am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday for some coffee and pastries and fauxpro commentary.)

A few weeks ago, Kate Cumming and I wrote a piece called Cyclocross is Still My Favorite Bourbon, mainly in response to reports of the stagnating participation numbers for the sport of cyclocross, and possible solutions. We were overwhelmed and gracious about the number of readers and replies. One of our favorites came way this morning from a couple of self-described "fauxpromoters," who responded to our thoughts with a full article. They promoted their first race this year, and their cyclocross vibe gets our serious thumbs up of approval (we'll overlook the pinwheel for the first year). They offered a few more thoughts that some of the salty faux pros here at Jalapeño Cycling overlooked, as well as made a few points that ran counter to ours. We appreciate the ideas and keeping us honest. Be sure to check them out with their links at the bottom of their response.

By Gordon Jones and Colston Jones (title photo courtesy of Marci Fulton)

DISCLAIMER: The authors are not experts (on cyclocross or anything else). In fact, neither of us had ridden in or even attended a 'cross race before last year, but we put together a team of fauxpromoters and hosted the Rustbucket Races in our hometown of Norfolk, Virginia on December 17 of last year. 89 people came out to ride; we are grateful to all of them and can’t wait to do it again next year.

Here is our reply to “Cyclocross is Still My Favorite Bourbon” by Andrew Reimann.

1) Cast a Wide Net

Gordon: We sold 35 one-day USAC licenses for the Rustbucket Races. Since this was our first time promoting a race, we didn't know what that meant, but our lead official informed us that it was a big number, especially for a first-time event.

Our race had a broad reach in part because we are outsiders to the sport ourselves, so many of our contacts in the local bike community are commuters and people who ride for fun. Getting a few riders who typically wouldn't race or weren't familiar with cyclocross to sign up for the race really helped spread the word locally. Getting involved in your local bike community and going on new or different group rides can really pay dividends. 

Colston: At the same time, it’s important not to be a stranger to the existing cyclocross community. We volunteered to help with set-up at the local races, and were rewarded with great support from a strong local club, Rogue Velo Racing (four-time Virginia state champions, by the way). As a practical matter, it would be difficult to start a race without some established support, because the cost of stakes for the course could be prohibitive otherwise.

To your point on attracting people who are new to CX, it was important to me to offer true beginner categories, so our Novice races were only open to Cat 5 men and Cat 4 women. (In theory, if you have raced more than one season, you have "experienced out" of your initial USAC category with a mandatory upgrade.) Setting up the Novice categories this way may have put off a few experienced racers, as we didn't offer a Men's 4/5 race. In the future, we may offer that in addition to the Novice category, but the beginner-exclusive races will likely be a fixture. 

2) Promote Cyclocross as Inclusive

Colston: After race day, one of the folks who rode in the Rustbucket reviewed the race on Facebook. He wrote that our race showed that cyclocross is an "extremely inclusive" bicycle discipline. He nailed one of the great things about 'cross: inclusivity.

Andrew touched on inclusivity when he argued that 'cross should be promoted as an affordable sport. No one should feel like they can't try a CX race because they don't want to shell out for high-end gear, and that's a great thing to emphasize.

Inclusivity goes beyond cost, though - 'cross is for different types of bikes: not only CX bikes, but mountain bikes, vintage road bikes, singlespeed bikes, even fixed gear bikes. 'Cross is for people of all ages and all levels of fitness and bike-racing (and promoting) experience. We were really welcomed warmly into the awesome community of cyclocross, even though we didn’t know a run-up from a hand-up. 

Another piece that experienced CX racers who want to promote the sport might be overlooking is that the pro racing kit may scare people off. By having different categories on the course at different times, it seems like most races can accommodate both people who want to ride in (regular) shorts and a t-shirt and people who want to ride in a skinsuit. People who own a bike but not spandex make up a big group of potential cyclocross participants. It wouldn't hurt to aim some promotion at them.

3) Find a Way to Stand Out

Gordon: We found a unique site for the Rustbucket Races: a site owned by the Norfolk Public Works department that has been used for unloading trucks, impounding cars, and storing parade floats and hurricane debris. We'd like to take credit for hand-picking the site, but we didn't know it existed until our contacts with the city brought it to our attention. 

Because we wanted to keep the race in Norfolk, options were limited after the city parks, our first choices, were ruled out due to access and use concerns. It worked out in our favor, however. I think it's safe to say that not many ‘cross races are held in industrial areas in the middle of cities. Tying our name to the site gave us some immediate visibility (thanks, Sean Freeman!). 

Second, we were not part of a series. This gave us more control over the categories we could offer, like the World Heavyweight Championship of Cycling, and allowed us to have some fun with kit contests and the like. It made the race seem less intimidating, at least to me, a first-time bike racer.

Also, by not being part of a series, we stumbled onto a date that was open for lots of possible riders. December 17 was an open date for our local series, the Virginia Cyclocross Series (VACX), but also the MABRA and North Carolina Cyclo-Cross series. If you're an aspiring promoter, don't think you have to be part of series right off the bat to be successful.

Please visit our website, rustbucketraces.com, or find us on Facebook and Instagram @rustbucketraces. Thanks for your support!

Cyclocross is Still My Favorite Bourbon

Cyclocross is Still My Favorite Bourbon

Over 15 years ago, my now father-in-law discovered his favorite bourbon from a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Kentucky (bear with me, this IS an article about cyclocross). At the time, it was practically a no-name brand. He was able to buy it cheap, and almost everyone he could find above the legal drinking age, he talked to about it. He displayed it in his favorite cabinets, and poured a glass of the 23-year-old bottle for whisky-loving guests during the holidays.

About seven years later, some host on the Food Network raved about Pappy Van Winkles, and the Pappy scene exploded across the country. Every hipster bar in the country stocked it, and even empty bottles of the best aged vintage were selling for thousands of dollars on Amazon. Today, my father-in-law may still pull a Pappy from the cabinet on special occasions, but he never raves about it much anymore. The lure and excitement of being in “the know” has faded.

For me, this is a relatable metaphor for cyclocross. For those who are not up to speed: three days ago, Cyclocross Magazine asked Colin Reuter of Cross Results on twitter about the participation of unique cyclocross racers over the last few years. He crunched the numbers, and discovered that with his data set, cyclocross participation has plateaued over the last few years, with 2016 numbers looking a little leaner than 2015 across the nation.

I’m not going to delve too much into the data breakdown. Jls.cx already did an impressive job deciphering some of the state data to find the major trends: cyclocross out west and in the southwest is rapidly deteriorating, and participation is only on the slight rise most everywhere else. (For a quick side note, I think other, smaller factors could be considered. For instance, as I already stated online, I wonder if there are new promoters out there who don’t see the value in sending their race data to cross results. In any case, on the whole, I do think we are not seeing the growth in the sport like we were in 2012.)

 Crowds are still big, and Women's participation continues to grow in areas like New England

Crowds are still big, and Women's participation continues to grow in areas like New England

Two years ago, I interviewed Derek Bouchard Hall, president of USA Cycling, who told me that his goal was to stay hands-off of cyclocross because it was growing at such an astounding rate and that he didn’t want USAC to interfere with that. This approach didn’t exactly pan out. So what’s going on here?

Perhaps we need to step back to the larger picture, to a time beyond Cross Result’s data. I’m probably going to piss off loads of the New England guys who were racing in the 80’s and 90’s (who were the savvy cyclists in the know), but America’s love affair with cyclocross in the modern era intensified when a Texas doper tried the sport out and then showed off some cyclocross skills on route to his second Tour de France “win.” The second explosion arrived out of the Grand Prix, whose organizers were able to bring the UCI World Championships to Kentucky.

Life for the American cyclocross scene was easy. The New York Times was calling our sport the cooler superbowl, races were popping up all across the country, and even the adrenaline-junkie promoting Red Bull company was pumping up the sport through athletes and events.

We went from that regionally exclusive, hidden jem of the cycling world to the scene that everyone wanted to be a part of. Our brand was being displayed in hipster bars all across America, and business was booming.

Now the excitement is no longer in the air. The Kentucky hangover is lingering. Participation isn’t hiking, and you have professional teams like Raleigh-Clement who are angry at the lack of increased American coverage and are threatening to just spend their seasons in Europe on Twitter. Things aren’t in apocalypse mode. We’re not like the situation of Mountain Biking that has seen serious decline in numbers.

 Having tough courses are one thing, marketing crash reels are another.

Having tough courses are one thing, marketing crash reels are another.

I’m not going to fault Derek Bouchard-Hall’s lack of foresight; I too thought we’d be drinking from a firehose in terms of recruitment for a few more years until we plateaued. But I eventually knew we’d be here. After all, this is a cycling discipline in America, and this country’s widespread respect for cycling athletes died out sometime between 1890 and 1925.

Cyclocross is now the County-Fair Orchid instead of the Chia Pet: we’ll have to actually work at making it grow. I have a few ideas, and I’d like this to be a dialogue, since I don’t have the full picture (after all, I’m not even a race promoter).

1) Market cyclocross as a cheap sport to your friends.

This isn’t something that we have to leave to the industry to do. They won’t. Articles, like the one this week in Bike Rumor, about wisely having 15 different types of tubular treads for every condition, makes it seem like the only way to have fun in cyclocross is with either a deep pocket book or great sponsors. I can’t blame Helen Wyman for writing that article; she’s a sponsored rider, and it’s her job to hype up every Challenge tire imaginable. But this need for the perfect equipment isn’t true in the Elite field, let alone the Cat 4/5 field.

Kate and I spent our first year on cheap mountain bikes, and the next few years on a pair of 7$ Kenda clincher tires (Mo Bruno Roy raced in World Cups on clinchers!). I had a blast in the sport on them, and Kate won a few races and took plenty more podiums. Yes, in the last few years we moved to tubulars, but we share wheelsets, and ride on either file treads or mudders. Is it ideal on course? Not always. Is it ideal on our current bank account? You betcha. Cyclocross Magazine used to do these great cheap bike projects, and they still review pretty inexpensive bikes. Cyclocross can be an insanely affordable sport, (especially if you can lend your old pit bike to your non-cycling friend).

2) Market cyclocross as a safe sport.

I think the KMC Cyclo-Cross festival does a lot right. Providence was amazing, but there is room to grow at other venues. However, like Richard Sachs, I am dead set against that crash reel they posted as a promotion video after their event. In the same way, I get upset any time a promoter goes social crazy with how intimidating their course is. I literally had a promoter tell me via Facebook that he didn’t have enough collar bones broken at his event. That's not a way to design a course for all levels.

So what happened after the KMC promo video? Surprise, surprise, dozens of people I’ve been trying to persuade to get in to the sport tag me in that stupid reel and ask me if the sport is this dangerous. No. I have to explain that these are pro-only sections designed for the top level athletes.

Look, I get it. The marketing works to an extent. You get the adrenaline junkies from all across the country to fly to your race to experience that “wall of death.” That type of marketing reminds me of the Red Hook Crit. The biggest difference is that the Red Hook Crit events are in urban areas with heavy spectator crowds, and that series can scoop up plenty of cash from advertisers that see this crowd attendance. I doubt that cyclocross events in America will gain the same traction unless we start using downtown construction zones as are venues. For now, I think we should still build this up as a participation-based sport, and we won’t get many new cyclists to an event if they think they are going to break their arm their first time racing.

I'm not asking to tame EVERYTHING down. But the marketing can have a little less "wall of death" #hype. And courses that Cat. 4 fields shouldn't be designed to be a perfect replica of Namur.

There is the reason why Triathlons are constantly booming. They are thought of to be a (relatively) safe, personal challenge. The funny thing is that most cyclocross courses provide the same type of environment with a much cooler crowd! Getting new riders to a clinic is a great idea (Kate and I have been putting on free skills and drills sessions all season and pre-season), but also showing your non-cycling friends the tamer events is a great start.

3) Influence that sweet-spot age group.

When Mo Bruno Roy first explained to me the target of the Amy D. Foundation, I understood why the scope was narrow, but I loved the age objective. “It’s not the Juniors we have to worry about, many of them who want to race cyclocross have parents,” she told me, “It’s the right-out-of-college woman who doesn’t have any cash for equipment that we are looking to help out.”

A lot of people on Facebook and in person at the Nats venue have been telling me of their great Junior scene in their area. That’s good. But I also think it’s good if you’re just a future Stephen Hyde bumming around in a 7-11 parking lot on your BMX bike doing tricks at 15. I love that cyclocross is an event you can bring the family to and have an event for everyone, but there is still a nicer target that not everyone is hitting.

One of the biggest exceptions to this is DCCX, and if those races have any indication, I think Washington D.C. will be the next major hub of cyclocross. Go to one of those races of the Super8 series. On the sidelines, you’ll see crowds of people, not cyclists, and many in that sweet spot post-college age.

The Amy D. Foundation’s original target athlete age is perfect, for both men and women. Don’t misread my sentiment, I’m not suggesting to ignore the rad 35-55 aged man or woman in your life. But those post-college students who are finding their feet are also looking to grow their roots, and it would be sweet for those roots to grow in cyclocross.

4) Go to growing festivals and limit diverging series:

While Oregon, Colorado, and California’s decline in cyclocross participation also surprised me, the Texas bell curve held my interest this week. After all, it felt like the Texas participants abandoned their UCI series, and all of their local races looked like they have thinned.

I reached out for thoughts, and received plenty. The great part about Texas is that the number of race series is growing. The bad part is that it seems like the series are working against each other. The Dallas crew rarely goes to Austin, and vice versa. The scene sounds like it has diverged into a series of cliques, and each race doesn’t have the same lively group of hecklers and supporters, making the culture quieter and the promotion more difficult.

Look, I’m all for local races you could ride to; that’s pretty sweet, but I don’t like how there is a North New Jersey, South New York, Western Connecticut, and Eastern Pennsylvania race all on the same day in late September and all an hour from one another.

If you are going to take someone new to a cyclocross event, try and target an established series with a crowd that you know they might enjoy. On the East Coast, we are treated to the Vittoria (formerly Verge), the MAC, the Super 8. When these series do compete, they usually do so because the races involved are five to six hours travel apart from one another, and one is usually the bigger UCI race.

Unfortunately, this can compete with my recommendation number two. Again, I said there are a few things that KMC does right. Their move to creating a festival is an incredible move for cyclocross, and one that Gloucester has made without calling it such. An event with great food vendors, a beverage tent, multiple days, big athletes is a combination to success. I know this isn’t something that just happens one year, but cyclocrossers that can share their love to the next generation have a perfect setting in the number of festivals now coming up on the East Coast.

I’m sure new promoters are going to hate my reasoning, but in reality, there are plenty of weekends where a new race makes more sense. My team was really impressed with the quickly-put-together Rainey Park Cyclocross. It offered a late December race where they could get permits within New York City that might have been much harder to get in warmer weather when everyone is using the park. Plenty of folks showed up, and it wasn’t conflicting with any other races like all of those new late-September races do.

I think the takeaway message here is that cyclocross in America has been, and still is, a grassroots sport. We can’t depend on the bike industry to do the vast majority of our sport’s promoting, because they will convince us that we each need to bring three bikes and five deep dish carbon wheelsets, and make the event feel more like a chore rather than the fun time it can be (yes, I do see the irony in that I have been a member of said industry for a decade). I think the big move to keep expanding the sport is by tapping into those people who are not everyday cyclists, looking to give themselves a challenge and a healthy habit. I feel like it is a mission that some media platforms (like Cyclocross Magazine) have been attempting over the years, and even better still, groups like the PHL Devo Team have lately been employing for road racing and now mountain biking.

Again, these points are not some silver bullets that will return us to the spiking growth of 2011-12. There’s always the possibility that Beyoncé will tweet about cyclocross and we’ll see ourselves overcrowded with growth. But until then, it is a simple matter of working at it, and remembering that cyclocross is still the favorite bourbon.

Jalapeno Cycling is a bike shop, sales, repair and fitness center located in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

Please be one of these 12 types of bike customer

Comment

Please be one of these 12 types of bike customer

Yesterday, Bike Radar published an article offering advice on how to avoid being one of 12 customers that bike shops dread. Judging by the sheer volume of replies in the comment section, it appears as if the average bike shop customer was taken aback by some of the suggestions, and to be honest, we were too. We've listed their 12 "bad" customer types, and why we'd love to work with them.

1. The know it all (keep on knowing it all, and let us in on your secrets)

Sure, it might be kind of weird to quiz us Jeopardy style, but we have less than zero problems with a customer who wants to tell us about technology they are familiar with. Bike shop employees live and breathe bikes full time, but they are not always able to read every new article on emerging technology or have an encyclopedic understanding of all the Schwinn and Raleigh standards from the 20th century. There's a difference between knowing more than a customer and knowing everything more than a customer. The former is likely, the latter is doubtful. Customers should expect to share their passion of a subject with an interested listener.

2. Bringing in a filthy bike (pffft, you should see OUR bikes after a race)

Perhaps it's harder to inspect a bike for micro-cracks or properly adjust cables and threads when a bike is dirty. On the other hand, I've had to repair a bike knee-deep in a muddy cyclocross pit within three minutes. Having some road debris on the back of a seat tube isn't something I'll be up in arms about.

Customers should expect the offer of a bike clean for a price, but should also be treated like a rad rider they are for going on an adventure in the first place

3. The JRA Rider (Sometimes bad stuff does happen to good people)

So obviously fabricating a story will likely get called out by most wrenches, but that doesn't equate to having a "Just Riding Along" story. I'm still amazed at the time my chainstays snapped on my old carbon road bike when I was doing sprint intervals in the park. Just because someone was Just Riding Along doesn't mean it didn't happen.

A customer should expect someone to give an assessment of moving forward, not eye rolling for using a J.R.A. story.

4. 5. 6. 9. Wanting stuff for free, Showroom shopper, Internet parts customer, the haggler (Play with those market forces, baby!)

Why did I group these four customers together? Because in many ways, they are one and the same. Look, the onus is fully on the bike shop, not the customer, for this one. If you have great salespeople and not great mechanics, people will more likely pay full price for a part and haggle down to near free labor. As a customer, I happily pay a premium for good work.

As for internet sales, I really can't get angry at a customer for something I do all the time. Online retailers often have parts that wholesalers are out of stock in, so it's far more than just a matter of saving $4-6 bucks. Sure a shop needs to prioritize making money, but in today's market, there really isn't room for the words "good luck finding someone to install that internet part," because chances are, they will without luck.

7. Poor mechanic (Be excited for trying)

OK, so bicycles are FAR more complicated than online retailers let on. Building a bike is never just a matter of installing handlebars and throwing on the front wheel like plenty of companies suggest. Still, it is within every bike shop employee's power to give a customer a non-condescending explanation of what a good job looks like, and what the full labor entails. A good mechanic will leave a customer thinking "Woah, there's no way someone could afford to build a bike for a customer for ONLY $20!"

8. Leaves it to the last minute (People gotta work)

Look, life gets in the way. Kate once got a dress hemmed the day before a wedding she was a bridesmaid in. The tailor bailed her out rather than shaming her, and now you better believe she's a loyal customer.

10. Truth deniers (We all are)

Again, repeating my point from customer number one: Bike shops are not the gatekeepers of all divine bike knowledge. I have always wished I could be the cycling equivalent of Merlin from "The Sword and the Stone" with a mad wizard laboratory that contained every facet of bike knowledge past, present, and future. That's unrealistic. Practically every customer has the ability to bring something from the table that a shop employee can hear out.

11. I'll just leave it here for repairs... (And thanks for choosing us)

Wait, I know I'm originally from the Motor City, but do all of you call your auto mechanic ahead of time to schedule an oil change? Because I sure don't. A bike shop may not have time to work on a bike in the near future, but it does have time to give any bike a free estimate within a matter of hours and a time frame when the work can be completed.

12. The one that never picks up their bike (wait, you didn't know it was done?)

I'll admit it. This is the number on this list that I agree most with Bike Radar on, if only because I have a soft spot for lonely bikes that want to be ridden. On the other hand, the problem of lingering bikes is usually another example of the onus being on the bike shop. I have literally worked for shops that thought it was okay to not call a customer when the work was done because the work was finished in the same time as the estimate. Of course a shop will have a pileup of finished bikes in that case! Like any relationship, things happen to flow smoother when the lines of communication are open.

Again, the problem here is not the customers. It's the shop not adapting to their customers' needs. Sure, a retail shop is about making money to pay their employees, but that can easily be done without crossing arms and rolling eyes. Setting up an equation where the staff wants to problem solve, the culture is great, and the love of cycling is obvious will result in a place where those 12 customers will be some of your best.

Comment

Free Classes After the Grand Opening Party

Free Classes After the Grand Opening Party

Last week, Kate and I broke the news that we will be opening a bike shop in Bloomfield New Jersey. Both of us will be working there around the clock, with Kate focusing on bringing her decade of training experience leading small-batch exercise classes, and me using my equally long experience as a mechanic servicing and upgrading bikes.

But there is so much more to the shop than just those two facets, and to be honest, a blog can’t express everything that Jalapeno Cycling can provide its clients.

That’s one reason why we are really excited for the Grand Opening on February 4th, 2017, to show you what your new neighborhood cycling hangout is about rather than just tell you. This is also the reason why we are also offering a major incentive for people to try us out.

We mentioned that we would be offering up to six free classes for anyone who came to our Grand Opening Party, and today, I wanted to detail what that would look like.

Kate is crafting together a week-by-week schedule, built by a top-level cyclist for a very broad range of developing cyclists, from beginner to elite. The on-the-bike classes use power meter-based training to hone in every client’s ride, and classes range from high intensity workouts to base building sessions.

But cycling workouts are not all a developing cyclist needs. Kate will also be offering off-the-bike strength and core classes, as well as stretching and recovery classes, throughout the weeks.

During the time between February 6 and March 20, anyone who comes to our Grand Opening Party will be able to slot in a two week period of their choice where you can take up to four on-the-bike classes and two off-the-bike classes, completely free of charge.

February can be a tough month for cyclists. However, we are designing these classes to have the comradery and motivation that you can’t find alone on the trainer, with intelligent cyclist-centered workouts that you don’t find in a spin bike studio. We’re hoping to make your February a little more cheerful, starting with great Opening Party vibes on February 4th!

You can RSVP you’re coming on our Facebook event page, or reach out to us directly at andrew@jalapenocycling.com and kathryn@jalapenocycling.com. (Or you could just be the savvy, under-the-radar kind of person that shows up at the last minute and surprises everyone. We’d still be stoked either way.) Hope to see you then!

Jalapeno Cycling Getting Ready to Break New Ground This Month

Comment

Jalapeno Cycling Getting Ready to Break New Ground This Month

Kate and I are gearing up for the rest of the cyclocross season ahead, with two weekends of Texas racing and Nationals in Hartford left to go (Kate racing among the Elites as always, and me duking it out with the Single-Speeders for the rest of the season).

The last month of the season will also be a major balancing act, as we're both excited to announce that we will be opening a bike shop in February in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

You can see the abbreviated elevator pitch in the new section of our website, but I wanted to share a more lengthy, heartfelt explanation of some of our hopes and dreams here for the friends, family, and race buddies that want to take the time to hear about it. We've just completed the agreement for a really cute shop at 57 Washington Street, and Kate will be leaving her job as a corporate wellness manager to begin the renovation work later this month.

Between her degrees in Sports Science and Biomechanics, along with coaching and training for nearly a decade, Kate will be presiding over the beating heart of the shop. She will be leading classes that focus on the strength training, stretching, and on-the-bike workouts specific to the vastly different cyclists' needs.

The cycling-focused class is very different from a "spin bike workout," and involves attaching a rider's bike to one of our eight power-based trainers to simulate efforts on the same machine that will be used for events. This small-batch coaching studio allows her to focus on the client's form and offer tailored programs in ways that larger studios can't dream of doing. Her schedule allows her to accommodate both riders looking to try out a single class, and those clients looking for long term solutions to peak for events and productively use their power files throughout the seasons.

For as long as Kate's been in the health industry, I've been in the bike industry. I'll be focusing on the service end of our shop. I've been inspired by the dedicated racers who have opened up some seriously amazing service studios over the last four years. While it's amazing that we're a ten minute bike ride from our house to the shop, that's not the only reason we've picked downtown Bloomfield. The amount of growth there is pretty amazing, from new restaurants to new bike commuting options. In many ways, we see that the Bloomfield area is in need of a mechanic with a vast cycling background who knows exactly how important it is that everything works flawlessly.

We just want to open up the kind of place that so many bike enthusiasts dream about hanging out in. For every decision we have made and will make, we ask ourselves if the choice will help Jalapeño Cycling have a relaxed, fun atmosphere that is only serious about the results of our services.

A local cyclist told me that "It doesn't get easier, you just get faster" was the worst advice he ever received. He's spot on: when the legs feel right, when the bike beneath you feels perfect, when you know you've prepared yourself for a ride or an event as much as a balanced lifestyle will allow, cycling is both mentally and physically easier. This goes for all cyclists, whether they are local riders looking to make the climbs on a group rider easier, or elite athletes striving to gain form before the season.

Jalapeño Cycling is here to make the ride not only easier, but to add a little spice to it as well.

Comment

2016 HPCX Masters Women's Race in Photos, Sponsored by Jalapeno Cycling

2016 HPCX Masters Women's Race in Photos, Sponsored by Jalapeno Cycling

We were pretty excited to be able to sponsor the first equal payout in Masters Women's cyclocross history this weekend. What got us more excited, though, was watching those athletes tear up the field on day one.

Erin Mascelli (Yukato Yoga p/b Sole Artisan Ales) and Robin Dunn (Cognition Coaching) combated for the holeshot, and both were able to get a very brief in the first few corners until the field rejoined at the staircase.

Joanne Abbruzzesi (Bike Line) was able to connect with the front group, and stuck on Mascelli's wheel for the first few laps as Dunn comfortably stayed in third.

MAC Series leader Jennifer Kraut (MidAtlantic Colavita Women's Team) led the chasing group, who included Lisa Most (Guy's Racing Club), Tara Parsons (CRCA/ Rapha Cycling Club), Lisa Vible (MidAtlantic Colavita Women's Team), and Tammy Ebersole (Evolution Racing). Kraut broke free of the rest on the riders, and started cutting into the time of the leaders as the race continued.

Abbruzzesi suffered a rough crash mid-way through the race on the off-camber before the barriers, allowing the duo of Dunn and Mascelli to lead off ahead.  Kraut was able to fight her way into third place, and within a few laps to go, she was in sight of the leaders.

By the end of the last lap, Mascelli was able to create a few second gap on Dunn to take the win, as Dunn came in for second and Kraut third.

We were able to capture plenty of great shots of the action in the race. You can scroll through them with the right and left arrows. Feel free to share or use any of these photos of these women who came out and really put in a killer effort!

HPCX Has First Cyclocross Equal Pay for Masters, Sponsored by Jalapeno Cycling

HPCX Has First Cyclocross Equal Pay for Masters, Sponsored by Jalapeno Cycling

Today we wanted to talk about making strides forward. Not for the Jalapeno Cycling Team, mind you. Hopefully by now you understand that we are a lost cause. No, what I’m referring to is the steps forward in the larger picture of cyclocross.

Every year, Kate and I complain against yet another gaffe committed by the Superprestige or some other admired cyclocross series that hasn’t figured out a way to join the 21st century. Usually, this means Kate rolling her eyes at the only broadcast of the Elite Women’s race: a 5 minute recap that precedes the 30 minute introduction to the men’s race. This is often followed by me going on Facebook as the social media warrior, ranting and raving for three pages.

This year, we are taking a more proactive approach.

In our opinion, the fields of the future are the Masters Women’s races. This year, we saw a healthy growth of women in the 40/50+ fields, partly due to the MAC Series commitment to organize several fields around these demographics. It is great to see a place for so many high-performing Masters Women who have been in need of something other than the 3/4 entry women’s race and the UCI Elite Race.

Judging by the growth of women’s participation in cyclocross in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, Kate and I feel like it is only a matter of years before the Masters Women’s fields begin to rival the Masters Men’s fields in number.

Instead of waiting for that to happen, Kate and I are using a part of our team budget to proactively take a step forward. To our knowledge, for the first time in cyclocross, a Masters Women’s field will have the same prize payout and depth as the Masters Men.

Jalapeno Cycling will be sponsoring HPCX’s Masters Women’s 40+ Field BOTH on Saturday and Sunday. The races will now payout $330 each day, at five deep up from three.

For us, targeting HPCX was the obvious choice. It is the second longest running UCI race in the nation, just behind Cycle-Smart International. More importantly, it is the home state UCI race of the Jalapeno Cycling Team, and is a race that we feel is close to our heart.

While we hope this might encourage a few more women in New England and the Mid-Atlantic to come to HPCX, we already know we’re in for a treat no matter what. We’ve been watching the podium battles between Master superstars like Erin Mascelli, Robin Dunn, Jenny Defalco, Jennifer Kraut, Donna Tozer, Jennifer Maxwell, and Traci Rodosta, not to mention so many more great athletes out on the course.

You can register here at Bikereg, with the races taking place in a few weeks on October 29-30th.

The Charm of Baltimore Cyclocross in Photos

Comment

The Charm of Baltimore Cyclocross in Photos

We just wanted to show off a quick photo gallery of day one of Charm City Cyclocross Day One just before we head to the races for the big C1 race on Sunday. If you look very closely, you can see some great details, including great course features and friendly faces!

Comment

Whirlwind World Cup Tour and Photos from JingleCross

This week included plenty of firsts for the Jalapeno Cycling Team. Although I have reported on Interbike and CrossVegas for a few years, neither Kate nor I have ever touched the course with a bike. Likewise for JingleCross. Ever since we've been taking cyclocross seriously, these were two of the three Meccas that had been left off our UCI calendars due to logistics and funds (the third was the UCI race at Bend, which looks like it won't be resurging back to life any time soon).

For Kate, these firsts came with a bonus that they were the very first World Cups in the United States that she was qualified to participate in.

There are something about World Cups that Kate genuinely loves, and it's not simply the elevated level of competition. Unlike most C2 events, World Cups are usually filled with chaos. It's more than just a bump in the course or a mere bobble up the steps. Sometime during one of these, every athlete present gets a serious punch to the face, something that flips their game plan upside down and forces every rider to try to save their ruined course or craft a new strategy at 180 beats per minute.

That is an environment where I flounder and Kate thrives.

As you will hear every cyclocross writer tell you, the courses at CrossVegas and JingleCross couldn't be any different. Kate didn't pit a single time in the desert, and racing meant keeping a constant force on your pedals, even while descending. Iowa, on the other hand, was laden with muddy climbs and rutty descents, and she was forced to pit several times to ensure that she didn't collect too much mud on her bike at any given time.

Her first impression of both were of the highest marks. She loved the smaller but knowing community at CrossVegas, where everyone in the bike industry shouted at her with "Kate" rather than the formal Kathryn that shows up on the start lists. JingleCross blew her away. The noise on Mt. Krumpit was more rancorous than at France or Belgium last year. Both were the highest caliber events that Americans can not only be proud to label as World Cups, but Europeans should be delighted by as cyclocross expands beyond the reaches of Belgium and the Netherlands.

In the end, we celebrated before and after races in the style of Jalapeno Cycling, making sure to always remember that we're just out here racing bikes and not saving lives. The best celebration was not the wine of Vegas or the bourbon in Iowa, but being able to stop in Chicago between the two World Cups, and seeing our quite literally newborn nephew, Charlie, who came into this world only hours before the racing began at CrossVegas.

I was also glad Kate was able to meet Morleigh and Nathan of Snowy Mountain Photography, who are a rad Midwest cyclocross couple who I've known since my time at Cyclocross Magazine. When Nathan discovered that I was going to be working the pits, he reached out and asked if he and Morleigh could spotlight the team on Saturday for his photography. So instead of rambling on about JingleCross, I'll let their photos tell the story better than I could.

(P.S. I prefer talking about tire pressure in person rather than online, and always feel free to chat at me on race day, but if you were wondering what kind of bars Kate was running, there's a picture of me riding to the pits that will help explain the course at JingleCross; which couldn't have been any more opposite than CrossVegas).

Racing in the Heat at Fairhill Cyclocross of the MAC Series

Racing in the Heat at Fairhill Cyclocross of the MAC Series

Fairhill International is more widely known as a Mid Atlantic center for all things equestrian. If we've learned anything from when the Cyclocross World Championship was hosted in Kentucky, cyclocross and horse culture can thrive amicably.

The course was in a new location: possibly a perfect spot for an autumn day, although in near triple digit heat, spectators hid in the shade. Among the comments we heard, some included that cyclocross shouldn't start until the Fall equinox.

In my opinion, the race was done well, and like most cases of braving the elements, so much depended on preparation. Athletes who were lucky to have a support crew were able to get showers of water blasted at them from beyond the course tape, and those that didn't, needed to carry a bottle on the bike or rode with a pack of ice.

I don't mean this to be preachy. In some ways, I love the challenges that the weather can throw at riders to change a race, and cyclocross is one of the extremely few disciplines that grows richer by having so many different environmental conditions toying with the results. Think of snowfall at NBX, or the hot-to-rapidly cooling nights at CrossVegas, or a downpour at KMC. For my money, late-August is fair play for pre-season races, let alone early-September races.

Kate threw down in the Women's Elite field. She went toe-to-toe with the winningest women in cycling, Laura van Gilder, and a killer lady from the south, Katherine Sweatt. Between an early crash from Kate and a few chain drops from Laura, there was loads of drama and lead changes, with Kate taking second in the group and Laura pulling it off in the end.

We have a few shots from the Women's Race at Fairhill on Saturday. If you see yourself or a friend, don't hesitate uploading the photo and sharing!

Pictures From 2016 Quiansen Trophy Day Two

The day two course in China was a BMX/Singletrack rider's blast, with zero straightaways (even the start line barely made the regulation length). Jalapeno Cycling opted for risking pressure, dialing in the corners at 1.2 bar (around 17 psi). Kate nearly held it, and kept riding through the field until she front flatted. Andrew almost immediately flatted halfway through the first lap. Still, we had an amazing time, and wanted to share some of the photos we captured from the Women's Race.

Pictures From 2016 Qiansen Trophy Cyclocross in China

For the second year in a row, our team went to China to get a little rad on cyclocross bikes. We'll be posting rider diaries in the near future, but for now, we give you photos from today's women's race. Click on the photo to scroll through all of them, presented here mostly in chronological order.

Wednesday Worlds with Jalapeño Cycling and Von Hof Cycles

The Jalapeño Cycling Team and Von Hof Cycles put on a drills session at Liberty State Park every Wednesday at 6:15 PM.

We won't be focusing too much on individual corrections and perfecting form (like we do during clinics), but we will be getting bodies warmed up and ready to go for the cross season ahead, reminding the legs what it feels like to ride through the tall grass and run up hills off the bike.

Liberty State Park is awesome with bike culture, and we want to do everything in our power to keep it that way. The department there doesn't have extensive experience with cyclocross riders, so if you are coming, just remember to be polite and courteous to joggers, dog walkers, and park representatives alike.

The parking lot is right across the street from the Interpretive Center in Liberty State Park. Feel free to join in later if need be, we are shooting for 60-80 minutes of workout time. Riders of all skills are welcome. We will either be running or riding the off-camber hill within site of the parking lot, or in the open field behind the hill.

For up-to-date into, be sure to follow Von Hof Cycles.