Outdoor Edit // “Back To School”
Cyclocross season is just a month away, and I tweeted yesterday that the beginning of cross season feels like going back to school to me: you get excited about seeing your friends, you get nervous about all the work involved, and, of course, the back to school/back to cross shopping is pretty much the best thing ever. #NewKitDay, amiright? My seasons have evolved over the years, from racing as a beginner, then as an elite, and then transitioning into writing about the sport while racing. My work has overlapped with the sport even more, and while it’s still my favorite pastime, this year isn’t going to have as much racing. But that hasn’t dulled my enthusiasm even a little bit!
Love this // Like I said, I’m not going to be racing much cyclocross this year (though we are holding a series of talks and clinics). Since I’m working with the Aspire team plus doing a ton of writing, my weekdays and weekends are pretty jam-packed… but luckily, they’re packed with being at a ton of the races, so even if I’m not on the start line, I’ll be in the racing action! Pretty excited for another full season of travel and adventure. Since I don’t get to don a skinsuit, I’m already thinking about my ‘back to school’ fashion for hanging out at races, and I think this year, one of my favorite pieces is going to be the Rapha Breton lightweight pullover. I’m a huge fan of neutrals, so I love the gray version, and the loose fit makes me think it’s going to be super comfy, while the merino guarantees it will travel really well. I’ll probably pair it with Rapha’s new sleeveless button-down shirt (with a cotton back for comfy-ness!) some of the time, but likely just rock it solo most of the time.
Try this // I’ve been riding my mountain bike EVERY DAY for the last week. This is the first time I’ve ever done this, despite a) riding lots, and b) really wanting to get better at mountain biking. As it turns out, it’s a lot easier to improve your mountain bike skills when you practice them. Every day. I’ll pause while you get over the shock. I’m writing a whole post on this, but seriously—with the cyclocross season coming up, I can’t stress enough how important it is, even if you only have 5 minutes to get on your cyclocross bike, to get on it every day and just practice a few of the key skills, like dismounts, remounts and running barriers.(Cornering is another huge one, probably worth your time even more so than barriers, to be honest.) It makes such a huge difference, practicing daily versus once a week. I promise you’ll amaze your friends with your progress.
Read this // Some light back-to-school reading. First, test your knowledge of cyclocross in prep for this year’s two World Cups in the US in just a few weeks. Then, if you’re new to the sport, you’ll want to study up on this guide to cyclocross in GIF form. And, for extra credit, I’ll refer you to my book on the subject, Mud, Snow and Cyclocross. (Oh, and for some exciting writing announcements from me, make sure you’ve subscribed to my newsletter and checked out the issue from earlier this week.)
Before You Go // What?! I’m getting married in just about two weeks? Where did the time go?! Last week, we did a ton of new interviews for our podcast, The Consummate Athlete… We have some super, super exciting news coming out about that soon, as well as a new episode about how to crush it at golf your first time on the course for next week. And, as always, keep an eye on my new Events page and try to make it out to say hi!