Step 1: Catch on: #Stylewatts.
Tweet it. Live it. Some of you may have noticed that I’m starting to have a bit more of a presence in the sprints of some big pro races: 10th at the NRC Presbyterian Crit in Charlotte, 11th at Sea Otter, 4th at Dana Point. With a Vanderkitten kit, Focus bike, Vittoria shoes, custom Kask helmet, and Smith sunnies, it’s hard not to go fast. Normally, I wouldn’t consider myself a sprinter but this season has reinforced my beliefs that sprinting is 90% aesthetics and only 10% muscle. Thus, if you want to increase your lactate threshold in the least painful way possible, practice your swagga and practice it daily. Quality time in front of the mirror will pay dividends to your performance.
Embrace the Ultr4 lifestyle.
^Word of caution: That is not me raising my hand in first place but a Canadian trackie (i.e. Style watts can only compensate so much for real watts)
Step 2: Milkshakes are the new spinach. Don’t neglect them.
For the past two years that I’ve raced Mt. Hamilton, I’ve always been dropped in the first mile (the first 18 miles are uphill). This year, though, I was determined to make it over the top with the leaders and so I suffered my way up and stuck it out all the way to the Queen of the Mountain with the lead group of 10ish riders. All of that salad-eatin’ had finally paid off! Unfortunately, only a few miles later, the scenario I had never anticipated occurs. I am dropped on the descent. I’ve given out a million and one good excuses for such an embarrassment (my brakes were too bad, my brakes were too good, the girls kamikaze-ing it down the side of the mountain are clinically insane), but I think the only one that I’ll be satisfied with is that I hadn’t had a hearty milkshake in far too long. Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to In n’ Out we Go!
^MKelis doin’ it better. I can teach you but I’d have to charge.
Step 3: Win a bike race and do it in style.
Now anybody can just sit in all race and sprint at the end (I can’t), but a win is so much more glorious if one has been agonizing off the front long enough for a crowd to start hootin’, hollerin’, and hecklin’ around the course. On Memorial Day, I went to Morgan Hill to participate in the one-mile long criterium course that the Pro12 women were racing around for 50 minutes. I stayed pretty well concealed in the peloton while my teammates, Starla, Courtney, and Vanessa, attacked off of the front and kept the pace high. With 6 laps to go, the peloton chased after a group of 6 that had gone up the road and reeled in five of them. Right then, I felt a lull in their sense of urgency and I attacked to the right with everything that I had. I caught up to the lone girl ahead and we worked really well together, sharing the workload and railing it. We only were holding a 15 second gap or so and with 1 to go, we were down to 7 seconds. I didn’t pull on the penultimate straight away at all but my breakaway mate wasn’t going to let the peloton catch us. At the last corner, I could feel the field breathing down our necks and I stood out of the corner, put my head down, and sprinted with everything that I had for the final 300 meters. The peloton was so close that a racer who had sprinted out of it, thought that she had actually won and posted up. But alas! ‘Twas I who crossed the line first! It was a crazy, suspenseful, beautiful way to win a race if I do say so myself.
Step Four: Win U23 Nationals.
You’ve completed the first 3 steps and you’re almost there. You’re the virtual national champion based on the USACycling Race Predictor but now you need the real championship. You need to go to Augusta, ride your heart out and lay it all on the line. Then you will be a BAMF.
*Since this is a “family blog” (ie. my grandmother reads it), you may urbandictionary this term at your own discretion if you already are not on the “in”.
photo cred to Jim Maher, Dale Tapley, Thomas Preisler