How to approach Stage Racing.   Study hard, Relax harder


How to approach Stage Racing. Study hard, Relax harder

by ALP Cycles Coach Brianna Walle

It is officially the start of “Stage Racing “season and riders are priming their legs and lungs for the first set of performance(s). All the off-season training and preparation will be displayed as athletes anxiously await in the final countdown before “game time”. There are two aspects behind preparation for a Stage Race: the physical time and energy and the mental aspects.  Physically, you’ve done your homework training and tapering for the event, but how does one cope with the anxiety and stress behind the mental preparation?  Below are some of my personal tips on how to mentally get zoned in and equally zoned out for optimal performance.

Mental preparation: studying the courses

2016 North Star Grand Prix : Cannon Falls Road Race Notes

2016 North Star Grand Prix : Cannon Falls Road Race Notes

  • Once available, skim through the race bible, making a mental “map” of the general flow and rhythm or the race. 

  • For me, it was helpful to draw a “map” of the stage and include visual cues to help digest the week ahead. 

  • If a race bible isn’t available yet, use the previous year (s) bible as a guide.  Make mental notes of adjustments to the courses and take in any “word of mouth” changes as well.

  • Take each stage one day at a time. Similar to chapters in a book, each with an individual theme with characteristics.

  • Note your strengths as a rider on particular days and hone in on those skills. Example: if one day is a “power climb” type of day, write “strength- power climbing!”. 

  • Note challenges or struggles to keep in mind ie: longer hilltop climb finish days and historically going out too hard in the first half of the climb- include a cue such as “ride within, know thy zones” or a cue to remind yourself of your steady “pace” on that climb. 

  • Maybe it’s even helpful to write “ride your guts out” or “beer on top!”. It is really anything motivating or distracting if the climb is daunting. (rider preference;-)) Point is to use your strengths and know your weaknesses.

  • “Maps” are especially helpful for Time-Trials. In my race career, I would draw out the race profile, with my own personal cues and notes to help me visualize the course. I would include my own notes from doing a course recon on the actual course. Basically, notes to help me pace my race.

2016 USA Cycling Nationals Time Trial: 4th place

2016 USA Cycling Nationals Time Trial: 4th place

2016 Gatineau Grand Prix Time Trial

2016 Gatineau Grand Prix Time Trial

Mental preparation: riding the courses

  • Once the theoretical studying of the courses has been completed, go out and ride the courses. We’re all visual learners- fill the gaps.

  • Take additional notes once you’re on course. I would bring my phone, sometime take videos or pictures of parts of the course and write notes in my phone or voice messages. Basically take in all and everything that you can.

  • Focus on lines (especially for TT’s), wind patterns, obstacles on the course and note areas where you think there may be break-away opportunities. In TT’s, I would note places on the course to go a specific zone or exertion, making notes of a physical cue ie: a BBQ stand on course

  • If you are not able to preview the race courses in person, use Google Maps (street view!) to virtually explore the course. Any preview is better than none.

  • Doing a recon will reduce your anxiety on race day

Mental Preparation: RELAXING HARD and good distractions

  • It’s super easy to get fixated on the racing- teammates are talking about it outside of “team meeting” timeframes, you’ve got a nervous roommate, etc…it’s equally as important to relax and let your mind flow onto other topics. Otherwise it could be detrimental to your race performance.

  • It’s ok to be focused, but it’s also important to sprinkle in the fun to keep you balanced- this keeps the anxiety levels lower and reduces “performance pressure”

  •  I would always make sure that in the days leading into racing, I had time carved out for : pedicures, coffee, a nice lunch, etc. this is especially good to do with teammates to cultivate team-chemistry and enjoy some fun before it’s game time.

  • REST HARD between the Stages- feet up, take in your nutrition and watch a funny comedy, for example. Play cards, read, etc.

  • The day/evening before the next stage, briefly (10-15 mins) read through your “notes” and re-familiarize yourself with the day ahead.  This can help alleviate the race day jitters…then, put your feet up, do something fun and later something relaxing before bed.  Ie: bath or shower, meditate, read, some stretching, etc.

Remember, you’ve done your homework. Now it’s time to shine! Re-evaluate and revise your race goals daily, be flexible and most importantly HAVE FUN! If you have FUN, you actually go FASTER, and this is a FACT.

What isn’t to love about a Cinnamon roll the size of your FACE!

What isn’t to love about a Cinnamon roll the size of your FACE!



How To Transition Your Indoor Fitness Outside

By ALP Cycles Coach, Jennifer Sharp.

Once winter retreats enough to thaw out the bike lanes in your neighborhood, hordes of people will take to the streets again to breath in the fresh air and feel the wind in their face. All of the fitness you gained while anchored to the trainer is more than ready to be showcased and what better way to test yourself than in a group ride? I’m sure I’m not the only one eager to reconnect with their cycling tribe - finally seeing them in person and getting a glimpse of what new jersey colors will fill the peloton. And as excited as you may be, there are a few things to keep in mind once you’re back out on the roads that will keep you and the group safe. Below are some tips to ease this transition and keep you upright and rubber side down. 

Bumping drills with friends and teammates helps!

Bumping drills with friends and teammates helps!

  1. Dial in your equipment. Tires pumped, chain lubed or waxed, screws tightened on your headset, water bottle cages bolted down, etc. Paying close attention to details and addressing any issues with your bike now can save you an Uber call when you’re stranded later. Some additional things to check: tires for tread wear, brake pads and maybe replacing your bar tape if it’s in bad shape. Remember - a clean and well cared for bike is a happy and fast bike. 

  2. Bike handling practice. Spend a little extra time dialing in some bike handling practice in your driveway before you take to the streets. Familiarize yourself with how your bike moves in tight, slow turns and looking over your shoulder. Get up and out of the saddle to reacquaint yourself with how your bike moves without the restraint of a trainer. Remember: look where you want to go not what’s directly in front of you and anticipate what’s going to be in your path.  If you want to accelerate your acclimation back into a pack, recruit some friends and do some bike bumping and wheel touching drills and even some emergency bike braking drills. These simple drills train your brain and body not to over react when an accidental contact happens. You’ll know how your bike reacts to different brushings and how to position your body in order to steer clear of any over reactions. 

  3. Rules of the road. Staying to the right goes without saying and so is knowing the rules of the road and stick to them. Every state in the US has different rules, as do other parts of the world. (For those stateside, check out this handy link by The League of American Bicyclists.). Being predictable is just as important within a group as it is for other motorists. I’m also a big fan of rear blinky lights to give drivers a second pause that could save your life due to increased visibility.

  4.  Group ride etiquette. Communication is key and pointing out hazards in the road is super important and helps avoid unnecessary crashes. The safest place to ride with others is either bar to bar or bar to hip. Protect your box (which extends the width of your handlebars to the tip of your front tire) and increase your odds of staying upright. Call out and point at upcoming turns, oncoming runners, potholes, and even passing cars to alert your fellow riders to potentially dangerous obstacles. 

  5. Clothing. 90% of being fast is looking good, right? Get close fitting clothing that doesn’t flap in the wind (loose jerseys =lost watts) tuck extra clothing tightly into pockets, etc. Bright clothing can help motorists see you and take it from the Trek-Segafredo team - they value their racers they provide them with a bright neon training kit that is 300% more visible than their discrete racing kit. Awareness is key and saves lives!

  6. Have fun! A happy, relaxed mind is a steady and smooth one, especially in group settings. Loosen your jaw and use piano fingers on your bars if you’re over gripping and tight. Position yourself on a side with an out - either towards the gutter or the opposite lane so if something were to happen, you’ll have a little more wiggle room to work with. 

Get comfortable riding close next to others and don’t be afraid of a little contact.

Get comfortable riding close next to others and don’t be afraid of a little contact.


Tips& tricks for Race day


Tips& tricks for Race day

by ALP Cycles Coach Patricia

Race season is almost here. Some of our ALP athletes already completed their first race of the 2019 season, others will kick off their 2019 season very soon. Everyone is excited to finally pin on a number and make use of all the training during the winter months. But in order to have success, you should be well prepared for race day. Ideally one should have a race day routine and maybe even a checklist that will help get the mind into the game.

Have a checklist in order to be well prepared

Have a checklist in order to be well prepared

Here are some tips and tricks:

-Check the condition of your bike. Is your bike in good working order? Are the tires, brakes, drive-train and shifting in good condition and working? If the bike needs any work done bring it to the shop early enough to have the bike “race ready”. Especially after winter training, it is important that your bike will get a good maintenance check. Also make sure the cleats on your cycling shoes are in good condition.

-If your bike has electronic shifting; check the battery status and charge the battery if needed.

-Pack your trainer or rollers for a proper warm-up, especially for Time Trials or Criteriums

-Talk with your coach about the race course, strategy and how to approach the race


-Look at the race course, profile, past results (how did the race unfold/ end last year?) and check weather forecast. If needed write a stem (or top tube) tape with some important cues. The stem notes will help you to remember important key points during the race.

-Pack your bag the day before the race to avoid any stress on race day. Don’t forget to bring your race license. Pack bike tools, pump and any other items you will need. Bring enough clothing options and layers even if the weather forecast looks good. Having an extra jacket or arm/ knee/ legwarmer as options is always good. Bring also some warm enough clothing to wear during the warm-up and after the race.

-Nutrition: prepare your race bottles and race food the night before. Bring food and hydration/ water for pre and post race. Remember that you should have a recovery drink within 30 mins after finishing the race plus a snack (solid food)

-Pre-talk with your teammates: show up at the race venue with enough time to pick up your race number, warm-up and also to have a chat with your teammates about the race. Having a plan/ tactic for the race is key for sucess. Have a back-up plan ready (plan B) in case plan A is not working out during the race.

-Pre-ride the race course or the last few miles. This may not be possible for every race but if you can pre- ride a course or at least the final few miles of a race it will be an advantage for you in the race. If you live close enough to the race course you should pre- ride the race course in training.

-Post race: put on some dry and warm clothing, have your recovery drink and go for a cool-down ride (spin your legs out with an easy gear for 10-15mins) Don't forget to have your post race snack. Have a chat with your teammates and coach about what went well and what could have been better/ can be improved for next time.

Good luck to all our ALP Cycles Athletes for the 2019 race season!


Training to Train

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Training to Train

By ALP Coach Alison Powers

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Two weeks ago, while in Leadville for ALP Cycles Racing’s Winter Training Camp, a few of the riders asked me if I had started to train yet, and if so, how it’s going.  A bit of history here; 3 months ago, I signed up for the 141 mile Steamboat Gravel race in August. My reply to the if I had started to train or not question was, “I’m more in the training to train phase. Meaning I have to get my body back to a place where it can handle the training load required.”

 I quit professional bike racing 5 years ago. During this 5 year span, I have continued doing many of the things I did when I was racing, but more at a just have fun level.  Things that weren’t fun or were costly disappeared (stretching, core strength, massage, body maintenance). Things that were fun, I had the freedom to do more of (short lunch time rides, rides with friends, no riding if I didn’t feel like it).

 During these 5 years of retirement, in addition to nearing 40 (aging), my body was starting to slowly fall apart. After 2 career’s of professional sports (ski racing and bike racing), the injuries that comes with those, and 10 surgeries, I was starting to feel and ache like an old women. Bike rides started lasting 60-90min not because that’s all I wanted to do, but because that’s all my back could handle on the bike.

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Signing up for this gravel race was just the kick starter I needed to start taking care of myself again. My goal for this race is to ride it fairly fast, faster than any other female. The training required to win this type of race is very different than the training to just finish a race.  Plus, I’ve never ridden 141 miles at one time in my life.


This brings me back to the “I have to get my body back to a place where it can handle the training load” statement.  If I can’t ride for 90min without pain, how am I supposed to train for and race an 8+ hour race and expect to win? I can’t, that’s not realistic.  

For the past 3.5 months, I have backed up, and started from ground zero. Consistent strength training and core strength have been the base of my “training”.  I’m back to stretching and rolling every day. I visited Specialized Boulder for a Retul bike fit.  This work on top of the body work I was already getting, and I no longer feel like an old women.  I did a 2.5hr ride and not once did I have to stop, get on the ground and do some kind of strange twist or stretch to try to relive my back pain. My body is starting to feel like it will be ready to train again. To handle the training load required to ride fast and hard for 141miles.

 The training before the training might be the most important training period in the yearly training plan. However, it is the step that is most easily brushed aside, and forgotten about. As coaches, we recommend that athletes stick with coaching on a year round basis.  We can help you work on your weaknesses in the off season, and build a strong base of “functional” strength and fitness before focusing on the bike. 

 It has taken me 3 months to start feeling like I’m in a place to be ready to train. While I haven’t officially started training yet, imagine if I had waited until March or April to start thinking about my bike fit, my core strength, how to deal with my back pain, etc.  I would be way behind the 8-ball and would not be in a good place to reach my race outcome goal in August.

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No doubt I will need to stay diligent on my core strength, and mobility through this process (and throughout life), and I’ll be able to focus more and more on the bike soon (but first cross training, Nordic skiing, strength training) to reach my outcome goal in August.

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Team Bonding, Exiting Your Comfort Zone,  and Views, Views, Views


Team Bonding, Exiting Your Comfort Zone, and Views, Views, Views

Alp Cycles Women’s Racing team headed to Leadville, Colorado for #alpfatcamp—three days of fat biking, Nordic skiing, yoga, and team bonding. Some teammates were meeting for the first time, and others were completely new to fat biking and Nordic skiing. At 10,000ft with cold temps and new equipment, we were all in for a great adventure. Our group included an array of talented women, including: Doctor, pharmacist, veterinarian, students, mothers, coaches, and many more that took time out of their busy schedules to enjoy being active outdoors with friends.

Day 1: Colorado Mountain College Trails

Seven miles of singletrack trails are accessible from campus at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville with an additional seven to ten miles of wider groomed Nordic trails. The mellow terrain is good for all ages and abilities—rolling, easy and enjoyable. This was a good spot for our first ride as we had just rolled into town. We were a small group as the others hadn’t arrived yet, so our goal for the ride was to stay together and just enjoy. We had a few tumbles as riders were just getting used to the feel of riding a fat bike in the snow, but towards the end of the ride everyone improved greatly! It always helps to have a little encouragement from your teammate when you’ve sunk into the snow.

Riding on the CC trails

Michelle taking a tumble and Libby there to help!

Day 2: Yoga & Mineral Belt Trail

The group headed to Ray of Light Yoga in the morning to get loose for the day ahead. It was a good experience to share together as some riders were less accustomed to yoga and others were clearly regulars. It was inspiring to see teammates with such flexibility and core strength. Our instructor Erin was kind and encouraged us to set an intention and connect with how our bodies were feeling and responding to different movements. After feeling rejuvenated and limber, we headed back for a quick snack before hitting the Mineral Belt Trail. 


The Mineral Belt Trail has been listed as one of Colorado’s top 10 mountain trails. The 11.6 mile loop travels through the historic mining district, and follows along old mining-camp railbeds. The riders were cruising through the loop with ease, and stopping to take a few photos of the spectacular views. After one loop we wanted a little more, so we went on a few other trails. Solid day on the bike with far less tumbles, many great learning opportunities, mentoring from coaches, and team bonding.

Homemade burrito bowls for dinner were accompanied by a great group discussion with the leading question—If you could have a cycling superpower, what would it be? A few good answers included:

  • Having endless energy and not needing to take nutrition or water while riding

  • Being able to hear the thoughts of your competitors

  • Ability to control the race

At the top of the Mineral Belt Trail—Great views!

Alison instructing the riders

Day 3: Tennessee Pass Nordic Center

Before heading out for the day, the team gathered around the TV at 7AM to watch the Cyclocross World Championships. It was a great opportunity to talk about bike racing and cheer on our favorites. After the race concluded we started to suit up and get ready for the day. It’s important, especially when exercising at altitude to stay well hydrated and nourished. The team uses NBS Nutrition for hydration and recovery. After bottles were filled and bags packed, we jumped in the cars and headed to the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center.

The Team watching the CX World Championships

Mollie got very patriotic, cheering for Team USA

Today riders had the option to nordic ski or fat bike. With a combination of both, it made for a really fun day. Of course we need to make most things a competition, so the fat bikers and skiers would try to race. A great moment in the day came when a rider was told to go outside of her comfort zone and try a very challenging black diamond trail on the fat bike. The climb was long and very steep but she did it and felt much better afterwards. Sometimes you need a friend and coach nearby to give you a little extra push ;)

Tennessee Pass Nordic Center

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Top of the Black Diamond trail

Later in the evening we returned to the CMC trails for another ride as the sun went down! By this time all the riders were much more confident and really crushed the trails.


Above photo: All of the riders at the Tennessee Pass Nordic center, keeping warm with our KÜHL neck gaiters and hats

We are all grateful to have experienced such a beautiful, challenging, and rewarding camp. We tried new things, bonded together as a team, and in the end we have become better bike riders and teammates.

Big thanks to KÜHL cyclist Jill Cederholm for opening her beautiful Leadville home to us!


4th Annual ALP tour of Colorado


4th Annual ALP tour of Colorado


 We'd like to invite you to our 4th annual ALP tour of Colorado. A 3- day tour, in and out of Avon, through some of the biggest mountains and best scenery Colorado has to offer. July 28-30 2019. (lodging starts on the 27th). 

The 3-day tour starts and finishes in the small town of Avon near Beaver Creek. 

Day 1 - Avon to Aspen over Tennessee Pass and Independence Pass. 7,000ft of climbing over 95 miles.

Day 2 - Aspen to Carbondale - up to Ashcroft, up to Maroon Bells, then down the bike path to Carbondale 4,800ft of climbing over 80miles.

Day 3 -  Carbondale to Avon- 66miles, 3,000ft of climbing. 



3 nights of lodging (double occupancy)                           

-Breakfast each morning                     

-An opportunity to ride with and learn from ALP Cycles Coaches Alison Powers, Patricia Schwager, and Brie Walle.                                                                

-Wine, cheese, snacks, happy hour in Aspen and Carbondale.                                                   

-On bike nutrition and hydration (NBS/Breakthrough Nutrition and ride food/snacks/boom in your belly sandwiches)        

-SAG/Follow Van                                                                                                                  

-ALP Schwag



Price for the 3 day/3 night Tour (double occupancy) - $775
Bring a friend incentive: Bring your spouse, a family member, and/or a friend and save $50- $25 each to $750

Early bird price (commit by February 28th) -$725
We are limiting this year's tour to 17 riders.

If you have any questions and/or would like to join us, shoot an email:




Quality Over Quantity

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Quality Over Quantity

By ALP Coach Alison Powers

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For most of us, we don’t have 15-25hrs each week to train and ride our bike. We have to make the most of what time to train we have. For this reason each training ride or workout session must be quality. The secret, then, is knowing if your ride or workout really was good quality, or if you were just going through the motions. When I look at an athletes ride file, one of the first things I do is look at time spent in various training zones. If the goal of the workout was a steady 2.5hr Zones 2-3 endurance ride and she spent 65min in Zone 1 and 10 min coasting, I know that was not a quality ride. Zone 1 (>55% of Threshold) is good for the start of a warm up, cooling down, doing a recovery ride, and recovering between hard efforts. Zone 1 is not good for building endurance, as it doesn’t tax any energy system hard enough to create a training response. This means, an hour of this athlete’s ride was wasted and she only got a good 90min of training time. Ok, minus 15 min easy warm-up and 15min mellow cool down and she still has 35 min of wasted training time—plus 10 min of coasting, which does absolutely nothing for fitness (unless resting from going very, very hard).

With 9-14hrs of training time a week that most of us have, we have to make every single workout count. Everything has to be quality, or else you are wasting your time. The question then becomes, how do I know if it’s quality? The answer is through goal setting and focus. Every single workout and training ride must have a goal. The goal of the workout might be specific time in Tempo, or speed limit sign sprints, or a steady endurance ride at a specific cadence, etc. Even recovery rides must a have goal and focus. When you ride, make sure you are accomplishing that goal.

You must also stay focused on the little things like staying relaxed and keeping your shoulders down, working on a specific cadence, spending some time in your drops, keeping your head down when riding your TT bike, etc. Every little thing matters and you must stay focused on the goal of that specific workout.

My most favorite training tip for getting a super quality ride is- no coasting and no soft pedaling. You’d be amazed by how taxing and tiring it is to go ride for 2 hour at zone 2 without coasting or soft pedaling. Want to make it even harder? Aim for a 95+ cadence- the entire time. That is a quality 2 hour ride that will beat out any 3 hour ride with time spent coasting, surging, and soft pedaling. Your weekly training hours are precious. Make the most of them and make every bike ride and every workout count.

Happy (quality) Training!

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Training to be Healthy

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Training to be Healthy

by ALP Cycles Coach, Brianna Walle

Winter is in full force and base-miles and intensity are increasing. With the increased training, cold weather training conditions and all the viruses that are floating around, the body is often put into a suppressed immune state.  The same formula occurs in season, with big racing blocks, added life stress and travel….point being, we are human and we will get sick. This weeks’ blog post is about what to do (or not to do) when sick.

Some basic rules:

  • Rule #1. Your Health is #1, always. Period.

  • Rule #2 Be HONEST with yourself, both physically and mentally with how you are feeling. Acceptance of being sick and taking action towards getting healthy is the hardest thing to admit.  Nothing is more annoying than being in denial about your health or having others (especially in a team environment) be in denial as well. Do yourself the favor, and be vulnerable and courteous to yourself and others.

  • Rule #3: communicate openly with your coach- even if you feel like you *might* be getting sick, include your coach in the conversation.  You’ve hired your coach to mentor you, and your health status dictates the direction of training once you’re feeling better.

…………………………………………………So, how does one tell if they are or getting sick??

First off, if you experience any of the below symptoms, you are sick and warrants time off the bike and NO TRAINING:

  • Fever, chills, clamminess or “off” body temp (ie: sweating when you’re cold)

  • Scratchy or sore throat when swallowing

  • Excess mucous or pressure in lungs

  • Sinus pressure

  • Aches in the body, general weakness

  • Changes in resting HR (if you keep track, take note of resting HR in the AM when healthy as baseline. If HR is elevated more than 5%, there’s a good chance your body is tired and/or fighting a bug.)

No training means NO: riding, running, lifting, skiing, hiking, backpacking, or extensive walking, anything that demands any kind of strength or stamina

Some other helpful tips to battle illness (or if you’re shutting down the onset of illness):

  • Increase your water and hydration and sleep and rest as much as possible.

  •   Increase Vitamin’s A and D (through supplements and nutrition)- Vitamin A- orange veggies (Beta carotene)- is a bacterial fighter. Supplement 5,000-10,000 mg’s per day for one week when not feeling well.  Vitamin D is a Viral fighter and helps with hormone production (amongst other things) and bone rebuilding. It’s important to supplement and take with meals so it can be absorbed with fat. 5,000mg’s a day for 1-2 weeks.  Fish, salmon, trout, sunlight, some diary. Colloidal silver is a great supplemet to take at the first sign of illness.

  • Drop sugar levels as low as possible and eat lots of fruits and veggies.

 During the process of resting, keep your coach updated of your symptoms and progress. Remember Rule #2, be honest with yourself and your coach.

Once you’re feeling better, a typical schedule might include the below:

  • One day away from any of the your symptoms: Recovery pace 30-60 min

  • Two days away from any of the your symptoms: Recovery pace 60-90 min

  • Three days away from any of the above symptoms: Endurance training, up to 2 hrs (if you’ve been sick for longer, you might need more recovery rides before entering endurance)

  • Four days away from any of the above symptoms: Talk to your coach about how to return to your regular training program

 Our number 1 concern as athletes is that taking time off means decrease in fitness and derails your game plan, but remember you can take 10 days off the bike before losing fitness. The sooner you can address your health, the faster you can come up with a game plan to bounce back. Also remember, it’s easier to build an athlete back up than to recover from over-training, especially when in the deep dark holes of illness.

True story…….In my racing career, there were a number of times when I was forced off the bike to rest from illness. It’s a huge blow because you have big goals ahead of you and being sidelined by illness makes you feel like those goals are not attainable anymore. However, it can be a blessing….A great example was in 2014- I was sick with bronchitis and flu symptoms. I took a full 10 days off the bike. Later, 5 days leading into Tour of California, I started up with some recovery, later some endurance and some openers for the Time Trial and Circuit race. That illness was a disaster, but it turned into a golden blessing in disguise. Before getting sick, I was on edge from months of hard training and racing. I was overly susceptible, and in my “open window” got it, hard. On the positive side, being out meant forced rest and recovery after a hard block of racing. I was able to bounce back into action with more energy and placed 2nd in the Time Trial, 3rd in the Circuit Race!

Being optimistic and positive is also very helpful in recovery. The mental game goes a long way.

2014 Tour of California Circuit Race: 1st: Carmen Small, 2nd: Coryn Rivera, 3rd: myself

2014 Tour of California Circuit Race: 1st: Carmen Small, 2nd: Coryn Rivera, 3rd: myself

2014 Tour of California (Time Trial): 1st: AP !, 2nd: myself, 3rd: Taylor Wiles

2014 Tour of California (Time Trial): 1st: AP !, 2nd: myself, 3rd: Taylor Wiles

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Criterium 101: Presented by ALP Cycles Racing


Criterium 101: Presented by ALP Cycles Racing

Back for our second year in a row…Want to try bike racing and don’t know where to start? Already racing and want to learn how to be more efficient? Want to hang out with some really cool women and have fun on bikes? Then this clinic is for you! 

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When: Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 10am – 1pm

Where: Specialized Boulder

5600 Airport Blvd.

Boulder, CO 80301

Who: Any female category 1-5

Cost: $50 for three hours of hands-on learning!


USA Cycling certified coaches, Alison Powers (2014 National Crit Champ), Patricia Schwager (former pro), Brie Walle (former pro) and Jennifer Sharp (2017 CO State Crit Champ) will teach you what you need to know to race your first criterium. Specifically, we’ll be discussing cornering in a group, sprinting, race tactics, safety and have a couple of practice races.


What to bring: Fully functioning road bike with drop handle bars, brakes, helmet, water, a snack, and an openness to learn! Clothing options will depend on the weather. When in doubt – wear too much! 

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 All participants must be USA Cycling licensed, sign a release and wear a helmet. One day license option available to all category 5’s. Upgrade points available for: Cat 5 to 4 (5 points); Cat 4 to 3 (3 points).

 To register, please use this USA Cycling Registration link:

 Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to check in, and to sign release waivers. Licenses are available at Should weather become an issue, we will move it inside and have off the bike discussions.

SnowyMountain Photography

SnowyMountain Photography



Mental Toolbox - Noticing: Thinking vs. Feeling

Written by ALP Coach, Jennifer Sharp

When you first start mental training, your tool box starts small.

When you first start mental training, your tool box starts small.

It’s Tuesday night in early January and I’m in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center Velodrome getting ready to do some motor pacing. The velodrome has a bubble over it - making year round riding possible and offers a variety of programs to track cyclists.

It’s easier to suffer with friends so I made the 100 mile trek south from Boulder, pumped up my track tires and slapped on a large gear to sit behind a motor for three 20 minute sessions. The first session is a warmup and there’s a mix of riders - from first timers to older timers and everything in between. The motor provides a steady, consistent draft that allows the group to go much faster than it would on its own for longer. It’s a great way to get in some quality training and work on your handling skills not to mention staying out of the elements.

Over time, your mental tool box will grow as you use various mental tools.

Over time, your mental tool box will grow as you use various mental tools.

Sitting behind the motor itself is soothing and calming - it’s getting to that point that can be the challenge. If there’s someone in front of you that’s tense and surging, it will ripple throughout the group. Similar to riding in a group on the road - if you find yourself around someone who is moving erratically and unpredictability, it’s only a matter of time before something disastrous happens. The best thing to do is to put some distance between yourself and that rider.

During the last 20 minute points race simulation, I started to suffer. At one point I was so fixated on the wheel in front of me that I couldn’t tell which side of the track we were on. All I could do was continue to stick as close to the wheel in front of me as possible. Maybe that sounds like some group rides you’ve been on recently?

The laps counted down, with sprints every 10. With an increased pace, I knew that going for a sprint would prove suicidal. So I sat in the pace line and started to bargain with myself: just 5 more laps. Then once I’d get through those 5 laps: just 5 more. You can do five more. I knew that breaking down the suffering into smaller, manageable chunks would help me stick in just a little bit longer. It’s when I saw six to go and knew my engine had been red lined for a while that I pulled the plug and came off the pace.

Was I discouraged? A little. But rather than dwell on my performance, I took the time to notice what happened… I had partly let my head dictate my performance. When I started to hurt, I gave into the hurt and decided I didn’t want to push any more. Later that night, I listened to an interesting Headspace session on training that talks about noticing when we’re thinking or when we actually feel something in our bodies and how it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two.

So I encourage you to notice during your next training session to see if you can recognize when you let your head take over or when you tune into the sensations in your body. And when things start to “hurt” see if you can just notice it and not assign a label to it. "Well, isn’t that interesting my legs feel like 1,000 pounds?” And then keep pushing. I think Jens Voigt said it best, “SHUT UP LEGS.”

Having the right mental tool for the job changes over time. Being able to collect and store various mental tools is important throughout your cycling career.

Having the right mental tool for the job changes over time. Being able to collect and store various mental tools is important throughout your cycling career.