Category: cycling

Thank You Team Steve the Bike Guy

They say that if you want to be successful or happy (or both) you should surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. This is the hallmark of Team Steve the Bike Guy.

What started as a crazy idea back in the summer of 2014 has grown into a team that does an incredible job of welcoming people of all ages to the sport of cyclocross. The team has a magic energy that makes riding in the drops around a grass field fun. Team STBG helps and inspires each of us to venture out of our comfort zones, gain skills, build confidence, and laugh a lot. Team STBG is a remarkable collection of some of the most enthusiastic supporters of athletes at every level.

The team would like to say a very special thank you to Kristin and Steve for building and supporting this team! And thank you to Steve the Bike Guy Velo Studio for being the kind of bike shop anyone can walk into with a crazy wish and little cycling experience, but be treated as a cyclist with untapped potential. The investment of time that you make to welcome people to cycling and cyclocross is amazing. You guys have created space for joy and friendship even when we’re pushing ourselves hard and busting our butts to become stronger cyclists.

2016 has been a great year for the team! The roster has grown. It’s been awesome to see all the new juniors and women doing incredibly well. Most of us have had our best seasons, yet, this year.  Thank you for making this season so successful and happy. And we’re excited for next CX season and possibly to try out MTB together this spring.

~ Thank you from the team!
#teamworkmakesthedreamwork

cx-2106-secret-squirrel-4“I decided I would check out what this Cyclocross Craze was all about this past summer when STBG had an “Intro to Cyclocross” Session at the shop. Immediately I felt welcome and excited to race with this team. The STBG crew taught me the basics gave me the push I needed to commit to my first race in the sport I would later fall in love with. They became my teammates, encouraging me whether they were at the race or not. By the end of the Season the STBG CX Team was my family. Thank you for being such an integral part of my first Cx season and for giving me some serious fun for my Triathlon off-season! “❤– Lindsey

cx-2016-minuteman“I love STBG because it opened me up to a world that I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced. CX brought balance to my tri life. The STBG crew exemplifies the fun loving spirit of CX!” -Lisa

cx-2106-minuteman“Some of my most memorable moments from CX 2016 were my many wipeouts and face plants but my favorite times were CX practice with the girls from Steve the Bike Guy and racing with my friends. I felt so proud to race in the team jersey. Kristin, thank you for making cx something that will always have a special place in my heart and I already can’t wait for next year” 😊 -Anna

cx-2016-pete-the-famous“What was life like before Steve the Bike Guy and Cyclocross? Boring that’s what it was like! Thank for allowing me to fly around on my Mares and be somebody. I love this team and sport!”- Pete

CX fever“I signed up for Gloucester weekend (two races!) without even one CX race under my wheels! I met the STBG girls at a gravel grinder in the spring, and they opened their homes & their hearts to me, so I knew GPCX would be an epic, FUN weekend! My STBG kit matched perfectly with my #cxfever socks, and STBG made sure I lived a full on NECX experience, complete with supported course preview, finish line Hi5’s, beer, heckling giggles, cheers and encouragement.   I am honoured to be the honorary international member of the STBG Crew!!! Can’t wait for GPCX 2017!!” – Jules (representing Canada)

cx-2016-minuteman-jason“I like being on a team with fun members who are so happy to be on their bikes. Our teammates are serious about racing and doing their best but not ridiculous about it.” -Jason

cx-2106-crossmas

“Thank you so much for an awesome season and for getting me into CX in the first place! One of my favorite memories of the season was dancing at Crosstobeerfest!” #keepCXweird -Hannah

“Love this team. First season of Team STBG I was too scared to ride on the grass in my own back yard and this year I raced at Nationals. So grateful for a team where all the weirdness is all good and we just help each other become our best.” -Alex

CX Tom“Thank you for teaching me to be a cyclo cross rider and letting me be on your team.” – Tom

STBG
#yaybikes #yayfriends

Special thanks to the talented photographers who helped capture these moments:Jeff Deiffenbach, Katie Busick, Scott Ryder, Kristin Brandt, Jason Carleton

Alexandra and the Terrible Horrible Day – almost

The sun snuck through the windows. Ugh. Morning came to early. I checked the clock. 6:10. Ugh. It was already late. The morning workout should’ve already started.
I hated that the daylight hours were getting this short. I couldn’t tell what it was. The later sunrises? Maybe not having a next race or end of the season blah? Maybe my period or some pre-menopause shenanigans? Maybe ragweed? Maybe low iron? I don’t know what it was, but I was so blah.

It was supposed to be a swim / run day.* But I switched my weekly long run to the next morning, so that didn’t make sense. “I’ll bike.” I thought.  The morning was chilly. I forgot my arm warmers. I didn’t want to drive less than a mile to the pool. I didn’t want to walk. Ugh. Stupid day.

Caffeine helped. I’d bike to the pool, swim, and then bike after.

I pulled on my swimsuit and then reached for the kit I’d laid out for the morning. Short sleeves. Too cold. Ugh.

“Oh screw it!” I pulled the tags off my pretty new Betty skin suit. It was far too pretty for this crappy workout and I just didn’t care, it had long sleeves. I pulled it up and and zipped it over my swimsuit. I paused and sat back down on the bed. This wasn’t what I wanted to do.

*Why the hell was today “supposed” to be a swim day? Says who? I’ve got no coach. No training plan. Not even any triathlons on the schedule. It would be over a week since I was last in the pool, but really…”supposed to be a swim day”???

“Oh screw it!” I unzipped, took off my swimsuit, and pulled the skinsuit back on. I was just doing the bike ride. But not on the road. Of course I broke my cyclocross bike earlier in the week. What I had was my old mountain bike. Crap. I didn’t take the pedals off my bike when I turned it over to the Bike Guy’s care. But I was so not going on the road,  so flat pedals would just have to do.

You know those days… When you can’t get out of you’re own way? When you can’t get all the things you need to leave the house in the same place at the same time? When you think going back to bed might be the safest thing to do? When you want to cry because you hate how you feel, but you can’t make it stop and you think you just might be broken? It was one of those.

As I slowly pedaled away from the house, my phone rang. It was Jason. “My old pedals are in the tool box.” (This is cycling couple speak for “I love you. It’s going to be okay.”)

With pedals changed, I rolled out for the second time. My legs were heavy and tired. (moping is exhausting)

I came to the end of the pavement and all I saw was a sky filling with rising sun.

I usually stay on the hard packed, rocky beach road on my cx bike, but because I broke my bike, this morning I had the wheels for the beach. I rode for however long on the sand, right at the water’s edge,  seeing no one.

I almost chose the bad day. This was all right here and I almost chose the crappy, down-on-myself, can’t-find-a-thing, what’s-the-point day.

Play. I must remember to play. I must remind myself that immersing myself in the outside makes me happy. It is simple, it is free, it restores – it’s so hard to remember!

Scenes from the Terrible, Horrible Bad Day that wasn’t:

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I almost chose a crappy day over all of this. Inertia is tough! 🙂

 

Fatbike Time Machine

When I hopped off my mountain bike, a couple of weeks ago, I confirmed my carefully reasoned decision that I didn’t need another bike. More specifically, that I didn’t need a fatbike.

Between my cyclocross bike and my mountain bike I was really all set. There wasn’t much terrain I couldn’t tackle with one or the other. I hadn’t been on it in a while, but the mtb handled crusty snow trails very well. Plus with gravel kings on the road bike, there was no real potential of missing any possible winter riding. And the reality was that as a tri geek, I spend most of my winter on the trainer chasing watts, anyway.

Done. Although tempting, I felt great with the decision. Moving on.

Fast forward a few weeks. My friends, who did not subscribe to the same carefully reasoned decision, declared that we’d be riding fatbikes for our ride and that they’d borrowed one for me. There was no protesting.

We met. We ran. We got dressed to ride. We hopped on the fatbikes. We pedaled.

I’m fairly certain that what I was on was a fatbike time machine and I was back in the time before careful reason and rationalization were valued or required for any decision.

“wanna make a fort?” “yes.”
“wanna see if we can dig a hole to China?” “yes!”
“wanna build a ramp and jump our bikes over Angie’s little brother?” “of course!”

There was no asking why. It might be fun. No rationalizing. Just “wanna.”

It was the same on this fatbike…

“wanna see where that trail goes?” “yes.”
“wanna see if we can ride over those bushes?” “yes!”
“wanna ride through that stream and that mud?” “yes…I really do.”

That bike was about as fun as anything ever was! I laughed for most of the ride. I laughed when I looked at my friends on their huge bikes barreling up and down hills, over logs, off trails and into the woods. Like grown up, big kids, we were thrilled to find a wooden bridge or fallen logs. Everything had potential for fun. Terrain that would have caused me to pause and worry about safety or brakes on my cross or mountain bike was just another invitation for fun. Fatbike fun

The forest became one giant “wanna!”  

I had felt content in my carefully reasoned decision that I did not need a fatbike. But seriously does anyone not need this kind of fun in their lives?

“wanna fatbike!”

 

*special thanks to Steve the Bike Guy for the fatbike rental & to his son for letting me borrow his for my first trip (of many) on the Fatbike Time Machine

Knighthood of Sufferlandria – Trials of Courage

Follow. But! Follow only if ye be of valor! For the entrance is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel, that no one yet has fought with it… and lived! So! Brave knights! If you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth…

Killer bunny

 

What’s he do? Nibble your bum?

He’s got huge, sharp… er… He can leap about. Look at the bones!

The official knighthood attempt is just 3 weeks away.

The hours on the knighthood trainer have increased dramatically with hopes of being prepared for 10+ hours. Our legs get tired from the pedaling and pain shakes. Our minds wander and sometimes we have to try very hard to remember why this seemed like a good idea at the time. (#forthekidsandasticker) But the most ferocious and most frightening part of the quest is without doubt…Killer bunny menacing the quest

…the chamois shredder.

It has huge, sharp…er…

Adamo saddleI know very little about quests and knighthood. Actually, most everything I know comes from Monty Python. After hours on the saddle this weekend, I’m thinking that King Arthur and his knights may have been on to something with the coconuts. Seems like a viable approach to avoiding saddle sores. Now all we need are a few migrating swallows to carry them together.
They’d have to have it on a line.

♥ Our trials of courage pale in comparison to the awesome trials that many kids take on when they come to Boston Children’s Hospital for care. We are inspired by our fellow candidate for knighthood, Nancy Gomes, and the entire Miles for Miracles marathon team. So we pedal on.

If you’d like to be part of this valiant quest, consider donating to the Children’s Hospital Miles for Miracles team – Donate here.  Or come on by the Steve the Bike Guy  Velo Studio on February 7th. The quest starts at 6:00am and we’ll be there all day.

(oh and yes, I’ll be beating the Holy Grail theme to death in the coming weeks of training)

Quest for Knighthood

 

3 QuestionsWhaaat is your name?

     It is Alex, Alex with an x.

Whaaat is your quest? ahhhhhh!

     A sticker. I mean decal.  No wait, exclusive decal! 

The Quest: Knighthood of Sufferlandria

To be ordained a Knight of Sufferlandria, one must complete 10 Sufferfest cycling videos (ranging from 55 minutes to 2 hours)… in one day…in a row..indoors…on a trainer. We are a band of 6 brave souls who will make the attempt together on Saturday, February 7th.

Knight of SufferlandriaWhy will we attempt such a (crazy) feat? Although the decal is indeed ‘wicked pissah’, we are pedaling our brains out to raise money for Boston Children’s Hospital. The attempt is inspired by Miles for Miracles marathon team member (and candidate for knighthood), Nancy Gomes.

If you’d like to be part of this valliant quest, consider donating to the Children’s Hospital Miles for Miracles team – donations of any amount are greatly appreciated!  Donate here.  Or come on by the Velo Studio to cheer, jeer and support the team – if you’ll be in the Sherborn area on the 7th.

We’re a few weeks into training and based on how tough riding on a trainer for 2 1/2 hours was last weekend, I’m certain that 10+ hours of Sufferfest videos is going to be quite an interesting challenge. Add this to the list of things that “seemed like a good idea at the time”.

A short love story

“If Trainer Intervals inTentyou’re lucky enough to have someone who will grind out a bunch of intervals on the fluid trainer with you in the dark at 5:45am,
you’re lucky enough.”

~ inTent & inLove