Tag: Steve the Bike Guy

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

CX Nats

One warm evening in 2015, Julie Lockhart made us promise that we’d all go to Nationals and race Masters when it came to Hartford in 2017. She was insistent… I promised. we were at Midnight Ride of Cyclocross, the 1st race of my 2nd CX season. I’d come a long way in the year since my ride on the wheel of Helen Wyman, but grass, sand, and gravel still gave me the jitters. But I promised; half appeasing Julie and half hoping…

As soon as Nationals opened, I registered. I didn’t think, debate the wisdom, or question my ability. I entered my credit card, hit ‘register’, and pushed it to the back of my mind as a detail to be figured out later.

The 2016 season was great. 12 races. I met my goal of finishing more races in the top 50% than I didn’t…I met awesome people…I missed my 1st single speed race goal, but all in all a good season for me.

Then the ball dropped. 2017 arrived. It was “later” and time to figure out Nationals. Denial gave way to doubt with moments of confidence and calm. I was excited and nervous. I carefully scheduled my work to accommodate the day off in the middle of the week. I watched course preview videos. I added Hartford, CT to my weather app so I could check the forecast every 8 minutes. This was getting real.

Work commitments kept me from attending Day 1 to cheer for Jason and 545 friends. Given the weather, it turned out I was lucky. The monsoon or whatever that hit Hartford made for a slippy, sloppy, slow racing. By the time the race reports and videos of the carnage were shared, the idea of racing nationals with my current (hard earned) skills started feeling mildly insane. But this is winter in New England, the weather would change.

Wednesday was a full day on a client site, so it wasn’t until the drive home that I heard that my partner in crime had succumbed to good judgement and made the call not to race while sick and miss a day of work that she really couldn’t responsibly miss. This launched a new wave of second-guessing and doubt. Breathe. I dipped into my endurance mindset and turned my brain off. Auto pilot.

Steve (the Bike Guy) stood in for Kristin on race day. He arrived in the driveway with a planned stop at Starbucks. We were wheels up at 5:30am. The temperature dropped as we drove, but the traffic was light. As we parked at the base of the levy, I informed Steve that I still leaving open the option to not race after course preview. He nodded, wisely quiet.

Pre-ride #1. The levy run up was as draining as it looked. Riding down the steepest part I realized something was wrong with my rear disc brake. It was frozen. I tromped over frozen earth to Shimano neutral support. Steve found me as he finished his 1st pre-ride lap and looked over the bike so I could pre-ride a full lap. Thankfully, because the southern part of the levy had been opened and was added back to the course.

I’d never ridden frozen mud ruts – jarring. This was a hard course. It was do-able, but hard. I was slow, but always pedaling…this was enough to head to registration and collect my numbers – yay, arm numbers.

Pre-ride #2. After the Womens 60+ race, they closed the southern part of the levy again and racers started looking a lot muddier. Although I hadn’t originally planned to, I hopped on to the course for another lap before staging. It’s amazing how the course changed. The temperature had come up a little to 30 and the sun had warmed the frozen mud in several spots. Other spots were slippery like frozen snot. Coming down the steep levy descent I nearly endo-d. I got mad at myself momentarily, but pedaled through the course and back to the car for spikes. Somewhere along the river, riding the course back to staging  I realized that I  had no rear brake. I found Steve, finishing up another practice lap. He confirmed my assessment and that there was no time to do anything about it. So it would be.

The race. Rolling over the start line was amazing. Almost surreal.
The first 2 crashes happened less than a minute into the race. It was slippery. As a group we raced to the levy and climbed up and formed our small procession across the ridge. I ran the whole levy, so that was pretty much the end of me being with a group.  I just kept pedaling. I turned 3 laps (most of the race did 4). Each lap was a little cleaner.

cxnatsA lot of thoughts went through my head as I pedaled in my distant place. Frequently, I felt ridiculous. And then I was pumped I could do as well as I was. And in the end, I was immensely happy that I had somehow learned how to do something for love or joy or the challenge – despite a very real possibility of finishing last. (This wasn’t as easy as I made it look.)

On my last lap, I saw Julie Lockhart (National Champion. again) cheering. I yelled and thanked her sarcastically for making me promise to do this crazy race. She smiled and yelled back that I should Just keep going and then “aren’t you glad you’re here?!”

I rolled under the USA Nationals Finish not quite last it turned out. It was a great day. I was tired. I needed a beer. I raced USA Cyclocross nationals, me. Hot damn! And best beer ever.

cxnats-2017

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”.