KOOCHELLA

FTW Racing in Minneapolis/St Paul

2K19 KOOCHELLA CLASSIC:
BRUNCH CAT

It is time again for our annual alley-cat bicycle race!! We aim to make this event as community-focused and beginner-friendly as possible. This year, we’re going to BRUNCH. This race is for any and all beings and first -time alley cat racers are welcomed and encouraged to try this one out! We are looking forward to enjoying this wonderful day with you! 

Proceeds from our Sunday Funday will go to our Cyclocross (CX) Scholarship! More information and applications for which will be posted soon after the Classic. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DAY OF NITTY GRITTY

10AM Coffee Hour & $10 Registration at Cherry Cycles  

11AM Race Start

2PM Race Cut-Off 

 

*IMPORTANT INFO FOR VOLUNTEERS: 

Because it’s BRUNCH CAT, we are going to have a potluck after the race. Because it’s us, we have options for you. 

OPTION 1:  Bring Food/Snacks for POTLUCK BRUNCH after the race. SIGN UP>> HERE!

OPTION 2: Classic Alley-Cat Stop Volunteer. SIGN UP >> HERE!

 

*IMPORTANT THINGS FOR RIDERS TO BRING

  • Bicycle (or unicycle or tricycle), 
  • Helmet
  • Lock 
  • Pens!
  • MUG & ENTIRE CUTLERY SET (SPOON, FORK & KNIFE)
    Making garbage is so 2k18. Just be responsible for your desires and byo fave coffee receptacle.
  • All of your friends
  • A welcoming and inclusive attitude

SEE YOU THERE!!!!

 

Our incredible sponsors:

Yess Yoga

All-City Cycles

Borah Teamwear

Cherry Cycles

Kali Protectives

Lake Cycling

PeaceCoffee

Sturdy Bag Designs

 

Cycling can be a dangerous sport. Koochella Racing, LLC is not liable for any interesting ramp tricks gone wrong. Please ride responsibly for the sake of others sanity. By participating in this event, you give Koochella Racing, LLC and associated sponsors full rights to use your image and likeness in any form (including but not limited to photography and video) indefinitely. Thank you!

 

*SAFER SPACES POLICY: Any unwelcome sexual advances, homophobic or transphobic “jokes” and language, macho showmanship, lack of respect for gender pronouns, belittling insider lingo, negative comments on someone’s gear or ability, excluding people based on gender/race/ability/orientation, etc., will be called out and you might be asked to leave. (Language from Grease Rag Ride & Wrench)

 

I thought we might have a mild winter this year in Minneapolis. (So hopeful, so naive.)  I’ve spent most of my life in Michigan and upstate New York, insulated from bitter temps by giant lakes. I can blast through looming snowdrifts in my little Toyota Corolla without flinching. I have mastered winter? Not in Minnesota and not on my bicycle. So in January I signed up for an 8 week spin class led by a local cycling coach. The class would be 90 minutes long and structured by intervals for building endurance, power, and mental focus. It would be for cyclists by a cyclist.

I (my name is Anna) could ride in this snow, or I could not [image description: full shot of woman standing in freshly fallen snow in bike shorts and winter boots, laughing]

In November I had just finished my first ever season racing (cyclocross) and wanted to build on the fitness I developed during the season. I planned to be that hardcore commuter and winter rider after the two less-than-committed winters I’ve spent in MN so far, but that plan quickly fell apart once extreme cold and record snowfall arrived. I have no trainer, cycling computer, power meter, or online training platform, which are all very expensive separately or together. Spin class was going to give me the opportunity to ride 20-25 miles a week indoors as well as use technology and training metrics for the first time without buying new equipment.

In class we use the STAGES training platform, bike, and power meter. The class is located at a YMCA and registration was open to nonmembers (me). I spent a couple of classes dialing in my fit on the spin bike. Everything is adjustable, so you can wiggle and slide all the components around to approximate the feel of your IRL bicycle. I’m in the middle of my second 8 week session right now and I finally feel like I understand how all the numbers we train with work together. My power numbers have finally improved! I don’t want to admit how much I’ve fallen for the numbers . . . To my surprise, I felt fine working out with a bunch of other folx. (Usually I ride alone.)  The bikes are well-spaced, and everyone in class is working/suffering by their individual metrics together, which I find motivating. Spin class is like riding a bike! But there are no weather or scenery or bumps or stops affecting my ride.

Warm-up [image description: shot from above legs in bike shorts on a spin bike]

That might sound boring, but I do find enough stimulation in class to focus for 90 minutes. The bikes face a projection screen where all participants’ power percentages are displayed and the computer on your bike shows your speed, cadence, watts generated, calories burned, and so on. Because of this class, I now know what all these training words mean and how they relate to my individual capability.

I figured out my preferred numbers about a month into class: my favorite cadence, when to focus more on pushing or on spinning, etc. Each session I complete a three to four minute FTP test. I ride as hard as I can sustain for that period of time, which determines the maximum 100% power (measured in watts) I can sustain for 20-60 minutes (there is an equation for this; STAGES calculates). That’s the number that the intervals for the rest of class will dip below and above. I’ll ride for a period of time at 80% of this wattage, then 90%, then 100%, then 50%, then 120%… You get the idea. And then I leave class feeling like a wet noodle, yet refreshed by own sweat and endorphins.

Bri and I smiling and sweating after spin class [image description: close-up of two smiling people in a room of spin bikes]

I was becoming very frustrated from class to class when my numbers were not increasing despite feeling stronger and putting out what I perceived as increasing efforts. As it turns out, looking at what the computer says I’m doing is the main difference between just riding my bike outside and doing whatever I think is a challenging ride and training. Riding with the technology in spin class has changed the way I will approach riding. While I ride bikes because I love riding bikes, I love more and more the work I can put into riding my bike. I see myself spinning next year, but in the meantime I’ve been setting tip money aside in a jar (really) to buy a cycling computer, accompanying sensors, and heartrate monitor to help me train. Another day, another dollar, another ride.

 

 

 

 

 

The Women Behind knog

As part of our sponsorship from knog, the whole team recently flew out to Australia to tour the offices and get a behind-the-scenes scoop on how our favorite lights and locks are made!

…just kidding. That would have been sweet, though.

We did, however, sit down (digitally) with the women behind the brand. Their roles vary from graphic designer to logistics and they all pack a big punch when it comes to product innovation, brand marketing, and smoothly-running day-t0-day operations. Read on to learn a bit about these incredible individuals!

Michelle – Product Designer

Tell us more about your role at knog. 

I’m one of the behind the scenes designers that make the awesome sketches, drawings and ideas into a reality. I put together the computer files and the drawings so that the factories know what to make. And then I make sure that they make them the way that we want them to.

Finish this sentence: The one thing people should know about Australia is… 

That we don’t all look at speak like Steve Irwin (but some of us do!). Australia is diversely multicultural and I love being able to call people from many different backgrounds my family, friends and colleagues. (And to be able to eat food from many different cultures right down the street. Yum!)

 

Maddy – Graphic Designer

Tell us a bit about yourself! 

Due to a number of unfortunate incidents occurring over the years, my bike riding days are currently on hold. I love to travel (cannot wait for my next trip to Japan), try new restaurants and spend time with family and friends.

What’s your fav musical group right now? 

Michael Kiwanuka

Leah – International Sales Manager

What are some of the challenges you face working in the bike industry? 

It is still a very male dominant industry, there’s no doubt about that. Of course in the early years, if you’re a female at a tradeshow you were immediately mistaken for a promo girl. Thankfully times have changed since then, and I’m very lucky that I currently work with such great companies and people all around the world, who treat you like an equal no matter your gender. I would really love to see more females working in the bike industry, and now is a better time than ever to see that happen.

What’s your favorite knog product? 

The Oi bell. The design, its so revolutionary, yet so simple. The best thing is watching people’s reactions when they first see it, its like love at first sight! The Oi bell has been such a global success, and we are about to clock over 1 million units produced since its launch 18 months ago!

 

Meesha – Logistics

Tell us about yourself! 

I have a bright yellow retro bike and I love  going to music concerts, hiking and brunch.

Finish this sentence: The one thing people should know about Australia is… 

The coffee is the best in the world.

 

Virginia – Finance/HR Manager

What do you like most about working in the bike industry? 

The relaxed but busy vibe.

Finish this sentence: The one thing people should know about Australia is… 

AUSTRALIA IS INFAMOUS FOR its dangerous animals. With more deadly snakes than any other country worldwide, it isn’t surprising. Though sharks, spiders, and snakes get the majority of bad press, it is actually an awesome array of predators and venomous critters that have earned Australia its fearsome reputation

Not enough knog in your life? Check out the brand’s latest project, the Bandicoot headlamp, and pledge money to the kickstarter to get one for yourself!

I first met Jenny during QBP’s annual intern bikepacking trip (Jenny was an engineering intern). Her can-do attitude and general stoke factor was immediately evident as she stuffed (at least) two cases of beer into the back of her cargo bike for the 40-ish mile round trip journey. Yeah, no big deal. Also, it was like 95 degrees out that day.

Anyways, All-City wisely hired her shortly after the internship ended, and she’s been making magic for them ever since.

When did your interest in bikes begin?

I was running a lot in high school, and decided that I wanted to do a triathlon. I didn’t have a bike so I bought this World Sport from a garage sale and made it my summer project to tear it apart and clean it and then put it together. It went really terribly because I had no idea what I was doing and no guidance, but it was really fun and I wanted to learn how to do it properly. I got a job at a shop through MSU’s triathlon club and started riding and working with bikes more seriously.

 

What’s your current bike style? 

Commuting is what I do most, just because I have to go places, like work, every day. I race cyclocross and I have dabbled in gravel, but I think riding mountain bikes with my friends is my favorite bike style. That includes bike packing trips, which I’m hoping to do more of this year.

Why engineering?

Up until halfway through my sophomore year of college, my major was philosophy. I was also working at a shop, and having a lot of fun learning how to fix bikes. There was a ton I wanted to learn though, and the shop mostly serviced bikes for college kids, so the technology was pretty unimpressive. One of my friends at the shop was doing mechanical engineering, and had done internships with Trek. When I heard about the things he was doing there I wanted that internship, so I started engineering as a second major. I have always liked making and fixing things way more than reading and writing, so it felt more natural, and I went that route.

 

How’d you get your start in the bike industry?

I got connected through that bike shop, MSU Bikes. I worked in the front room, which was the shop area, and all the repairs were done in the back. It was really small, and most of our customers were students on tight budgets, so I always tried to fix their stuff without having to check it in and have them pay for the repairs. Our head mechanic was also really cool and would teach me how to service high end stuff, which I was a lot more interested in. Learning how to wrench got me a long way, and I think it was a foot in the door when I went to apply for the Trek internship.

What advice would you give to other femme/trans/women (FTW) folks who want to work in the bike industry, but don’t know where to start?

I would say learn as much as you possibly can, and just start tearing into things. The bike industry is definitely intimidating when you’re new, because there is so much to take in, and it seems like everyone else is already in the know. But in my experience people respect when you want to fix your own stuff, and if you want to learn how to do something there will definitely be someone who will teach you. And don’t doubt your abilities just because others have been conditioned to seem more confident. That took me a long time to learn.

 

Can you tell us about any exciting projects you’re working on right now or are they all top secret?

I think they are mostly top secret, but I can say that I am working on things that are pretty.

If you could engineer anything in the world, what would it be?

I could get down with designing motorcycles. My second choice would be artisanal kitchen equipment.

 

What’s it like working at All-City?

It’s great, everyone is so passionate. Sometimes I’ll see a heated argument break out during a meeting over something that seemed so minor. And it’s obvious that it only got heated because of how much everyone cares, because after the meeting we go back to talking about Law and Order Valentine’s cards. The team works together really well, and it’s cool to see how much thought and care is behind every single detail.

Where’s your favorite place to ride?

My favorite ride is my commute to work because I love my job!!! Just kidding. The coolest riding I have ever done was on the Colorado Trail. Around here I like riding the bandit trails along the river. There are always new things to see and explore.

 

Favorite quote/saying:

Live laugh love

Follow Jenny on Instagram <3 <3 

Disclaimer: The author of this article is 100% guilty of doing the thing she’s writing about, which is what inspired this post. – Renee Hoffmann 

 

When people say “[insert cycling discipline here] is dead” they mean one of three things:

  • It’s not popular anymore.
  • It’s not exclusive (to me and my group of friends) anymore, therefore it’s no longer cool.
  • I don’t like doing it anymore.

In the land of bike talk, this phrase seems pretty innocuous. Here’s the thing, though — it’s not. When you start dissecting what this phrase means, what it assumes, who says it, and the effect it can have, it becomes evident that it’s actually pretty problematic and ultimately harmful.

Check Your Privilege

When you think about it, trying out a cycling discipline and then moving on to something else actually takes a lot of resources. And I don’t just mean money (which is also a big factor). It takes access to certain gear/equipment, industry or social connections, and living in an environment or society that supports you and normalizes what you’re doing.

For example, cycling “trendsetters” who wax poetic about a certain discipline getting “too popular therefore it’s dead” tend to be privy to inside industry information or know influential industry professionals that many people don’t have access to. Spoiler alert: It’s a (cis/white) boy’s club.

Or there’s the classic case of “person who tries out road, goes really hard, and decides it isn’t for them.” (aka me) During my two-year pursuit of Cat 4 road glory, I had access to a bike team, sponsorships, industry friends/knowledge, and all the equipment I could possibly need. I’ve lived a pretty damn privileged life and used up a ton of resources just to be able to say, “road is dead.” 

For some people, road is a goal.

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Recent discussion on Facebook about 2018 goals. “CRITS” indeed.

Don’t Shit on my Parade

Unless you’re using some sneaky-ass reverse psychology, chances are telling someone that a certain thing they want to try “is dead,” will dissuade them from doing it. Yeah, [insert cycling discipline here] might be old news to you, but for them it’s brand new, shiny, and exciting. Maybe it’s the discipline they’ll fall in love with. Maybe it won’t be, but that doesn’t mean us curmudgeons should make new riders feel like they’re late to the game and shouldn’t bother giving [said discipline] a shot.

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Remember: One person’s midlife crisis is another person’s 21st birthday.

People are Amazing…Even if You Don’t Know About Them

Finally, this phrase and way of thinking is problematic because it fails to take into consideration all of the incredible progress that POC, women, LGBT folks, people with disabilities, and others (basically anyone besides your typical white dude cycling bro who gets all the attention) are making. Examples of a few amazing people/groups that should get way more attention: A Quick Brown Fox, Foxy Moxy, WTF Bikexplorers, SS Gravel Crew, Ellen Noble #bunnyhopthepatriarchy

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Chris Foome, meet Ayesha McGowan.

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