Start At The Beginning-Sellwood Cyclocross Clinics Are Back

2013 brings even more new riders

2013 brings even more new riders

Late summer sunshine and smiles greeted coaches at Alpenrose Dairy in SW Portland as cyclocross newbies signed up for the bargain price of $10 to learn a new sport from the experienced and enthusiastic volunteers hailing from  Team S&M, Les Femmes de S&M and Gentle Lovers.  A few new faces joined the coaching staff  this year too. 

SAGE action-wear

SAGE action-wear

David Rosen/Sage Cycles was on site to promote his new line of titanium cyclocross bikes, complete with disc brakes, loaning the stunning steeds out to newbies for the night. I got to sample David’s personal bike for the evening and can say that I am a fan. Love the disc brakes!

David Rosen and his beautiful SAGE

David Rosen and his beautiful SAGE

Tonkin Jr upstaging Tonkin Senior

Tonkin Jr upstaging Tonkin Senior

50 adults and children gathered at clinic #1 to first hear an overview of the evening from Sellwood Cycle Repair owner and Kona Factory pro racer Erik Tonkin. Next, head coach Rhonda took charge and split the group into two big adult groups A and B in the open field, and the kids were sent with Sean Babcock/Kona and Ron Strausser/Team S&M, both great guys with the little ones. When the group was asked how many had never seen or done a cross race, a sea of hands went up.

90 folks attended week #2.

Matt, Sue and Beth Ann ready to coach

Cary, Matt, Sue and Beth Ann ready to coach

Coach Matt Mahoney/Gentle Lovers ran our group assisted by elite racers Sue Butler/River City, Molly Cameron/Portland Bicycle Studio and myself.  My teammate Beth Ann assisted in group B.  The “push slide push” technique demonstrated that when mounting our bikes, we are not jumping up into the air like superman,  but pushing the bike forward, sliding the right leg over the saddle, then with the left leg, pushing off to continue momentum before clicking into the pedals.

Rhonda shows the STEP THRU technique

Rhonda shows the STEP THRU technique

A few riders bobbled and found the ground during practice but popped right back up. Next was remounts and then lifting the bike to jump over the barrier.  One rider, working with a damaged right rotator cuff, couldn’t lift the bike with the right side.  He simply improvised by doing a rarely seen right side dismount/remount version.  Seats were lowered and pedals adjusted to allow for an easier on/off the bike transition. 

No bikes needed!

No bikes needed!

 We encouraged our riders to first run and jump over the barriers before we introduced lifting the bikes. Coaches watched the large group, assisting and offering suggestions and encouragement along the way.  After remounting, one man on a mountain bike asked, “How do I stop my stutter step? to which Matt and I replied in unison, “SLOW DOWN”.

 

Week 2 returning riders group

Week 2 returning riders group

One of the nicest surprises came in the from a 17 yr old junior rider named Thomas, whom I met post clinic on my ride home. Turns out Thomas commutes 40 miles round trip to come to the Sellwood Clinics. Now that is a very motivated kid.

Sellwood Beginner Cyclocross clinics finish up on Wednesday September 11th at  Alpenrose Dairy. Sign up on the link below.http://www.crosscrusade.com/flyers/2013/clinics.html 

 BLIND DATE AT THE DAIRY race series starts the following week at Alpensrose on September 18th and runs every Wednesday night through October 16th

For more information on Sage Cycles check out their site http://sagetitanium.com/

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