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Entries in cyclocross training (100)

Cyclocross Coaching - The Pete Webber Way

It's safe to say that Pete Webber has a distinct and very clear vision on how training should go: epically. More importantly: unforgettably. Each time you're on the bike, it's an experience, but if you're training on the same stretch of road over and over, you're just not getting enough of them. 

Welcome to Pete Webber coaching. His philosophy: "Life is too short to not ride dirt and see some epic stuff." This past weekend, Pete assembled a crew of folks to get in some specific 'base' prep for the coming cross season. No we didn't don our road bike and ride 'zone 2' for 5 hours. We donned our cross bikes with fat Clement tires and railed single track and some of the sweetest high country logging roads our state has to offer.  

Each mile was epic and yet still had us smiling like little kids. We saw parts of Colorado that are just simply hard to get to...yet breathtaking when you've earned them. The efforts were very shaped along the way..crafted by Webber. Slogs on dirt to get in good endurance, climbing to drop the kilos and insane single track to hone your skills as we all transition from fat tires into the not-so-fat knobby season.

All said and done 50+ miles of radness that I otherwise would never have been able to link together as I'm just not that 'creative'. And that's where Webber's experience comes in....having trained on these roads and trails for 2 decades and knowing each nook and cranny. That and using these hard-to-reach places to keep your mind fresh each time you need to throw your leg over the bike to get in miles to push towards your goals. 

Attention Junior Racers! A Scholarship to Tim Johnson's Camp Awaits!

Hey up-and-coming 'crossers! This is something you do NOT want to pass up. Tim Johnson and Pete Webber are making scholorships available to two junior riders. See details from Pete below...

Cracking the Code: Tim Johnson’s Cyclocross Secrets
Colorado Cyclocross Mini-Camp with Tim Johnson and Pete Webber
Saturday, August 18, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

We are pleased to offer 2 scholarships for one female and one male athlete between 14 and 22 years old. To apply, send an email to petewebbercx at gmail dot com describing how a scholarship to the camp would help you reach your cyclocross goals. Include your name and contact information, age, racing category and racing history. For riders under 18, please include your parent's contact info. Please apply as soon as possible, final deadline for applications is Wednesday, August 8.



Tim Johnson Cyclocross Camp in Colorado!

 It's coming folks. The cross season is on us in a month! Where do you think your skills are when you think about last season? Where was that guy making ground on you each race? How does that gal get back on her bike so smoothly? 

Time to Crack the Code and learn the secrets from two of the most amzing folks in the sport:

Tim Johnson and Pete Webber!

On Saturday August 18th, you'll get to learn from the best and have a boat load of fun while doing it! I'm proud to be a guest coach and will ensure the appropriate amount of huppiness will be experienced with every little tweak we make to your remount, shouldering, cornering and smiling. 

Click here to register!

A more than subtle reminder | Lessons in idiocy

I have taken, taken more, and taken yet again….way more than my proverbial fill. Consider me a glutton who continually would take from my body’s resources…and never gave back.

And to think the only thing I want out of all of this bike stuff is to pop wheelies and shred with my friends. To be the 50+ year old dad some day railing with my sons in Fruita or God knows where.

The past month I had a wake up call. Extremely scary and all demonstrable of the fact that living in fast forward for almost 20 straight years of riding, training and racing yet never giving back to my body what it needs to continue doing it. What happened? Well, let me explain…and I’m sure many of you will immediately know what I am talking about…

Race. Train. Ride. Race. Rest a bit. Train. Train. Ride. Eat Well. Race. Race. Train. Ride more.

Notice anything here? Lots and lots of on the bike volume. Some rest and thankfully due to my unbelievable wife, supreme nutrition.

But all this time: NO BODY CARE. No stretching, massage, yoga…NOTHING. And all the while my muscles getting stronger…but only in their repetitive planes of motion. Yanking, pulling, melding with one another into singular masses of muscle doing the same repetitions over and over. My regular routine was this…

  • Train my butt off during the week…typically before work hours.
  • Immediately shower and get back into work, slumped over my computer, or trapped in a tortuous seat on some airplane.       
  • Race on weekends
  • Rinse and repeat for, oh ~20 years.

About a year ago, I’d finish a cross and my back would essentially be seized. As in ‘Robotic back.’ No real pain per se, just effectively rigor mortis of the back. Stiff as a board. It’d ‘fade away’ eventually so I never got concerned. I’d had no serious bike fit changes so attributed it to a case of the O.L.D. ™ Michael Robson.

Fast forward. About a month ago, the pain settled in. Truly (like I’ve heard it said before) like a stabbing pain. Right in the “Q-L” (quadratus lumborum) above my hip bone (the iliac crest).  It was immobilizing. No sleep, difficulty walking, sitting, lying, bending over. A cripple.

And yes, like a child I was scared and freaked out that “this is it! I think my racing is done!” (Ha…).

And yes, this is exactly why I married my wife. She did the equivalent of the bitch slap of my small brain saying: “Dude…you need to give back for everything you take. Duh.

Um, what?

And thus began my story of “The Obvious” and all the things I’ve done this past month to get back on track with the help of my wife and good friends here in town.

Here is a list of the things I am incorporating and integrating into my life which I would implore you all to do if you feel cycling is going to be one of those lifer things:

  • Stretching – I do not know about you, but I was brittle. As in could not touch my toes. I began to slowly and steadily begin a DAILY stretching routine. 
    • 20min in the AM (first thing, before breakfast). Hamstrings, IT, QL, Glutes, Psoas and back. In addition getting my thoracic area to open (e.g. to work on preventing back rounding and better breathing)
    • 40min in the evening (same pattern but integrated in strectch bands...e.g. HUGE rubber bands to help pull my legs farther)
  • Massage - OK, I admit it's a blessing having my wife be a massage therapist...but even I have to beg to get time on her table! 
    • Trigger release essentially fire the most problematic muscles literally 'releasing' them when they get into their defensive postures to protect the body when it's reacting to muscle issues. 
  • Back Stregthening via Foundation Roots - I am on my 2nd full week of this but it is rather mind blowing. See here for info. Get yourself to a class. DO NOT fool yourself that you can watch the YouTube videos and just do it. You really need to be assisted before you go on your own so you do not wreak havoc on your back muscles. CRITICAL for lower back strength. Especially for 'cross when your back is going UP DOWN UP DOWN UP DOWN for 60 minutes violently. 
  • Core Stregnthening – I am not a fat guy, but not a ripped 6 pack-core guy either. It all comes down to what’s under the surface not only of your stomach, but also of the back (see Foundation Roots above). But for core, I am doing a ton of strengthening to breath better and to generally support my body for longer periods under duress (think: a cross race). 
  • Physical Therapy - This was SO instrumental for my recovery. I visited my good friend, amazing PT and fellow 'crosser Charlie Merrill as he is the 'guru'. I was crippled and his treatment of physical therapy was amazing. I am working on plans with Charlie for 'maintenence' as well. The core of his work was:
    • PT via deep manipulation of my muscles via slow and methodic pulling and stretching. 
    • Dry Needle Therapy- 6cm acupuncture needles deep within the muscles to literally/directly trigger and release them. It was the spark to get them to release deeply along with my wife's trigger release massage (deep...but not as deep as the needles can go). 

So what does all this mean: More work. I need to put back in the till what I take out. It means that I need to tack on and carve out times of day where I need to focus on this. More balance needed so I can ensure my family and work needs are met, but allowing time for these critical things I need to do to keep rolling. And that means what you see above is now a forever part of my life. Many of you will read this and undoubtedly say: No shit, dumbass. But what can I say? I'm a full-gas guy and thus am paying for my sins blazing in fast forward all these years. But alas, I see the magic to this type of body maintenance and the benefits are already surfacing. 

Hope it helps you in "planning for prevention!"

The Valmont Bike Park Cyclocross Race | A power post-mortem

My coach, training partner and good friend Frank Overton of FasCat Coaching walks us through an analysis of power output in a 'cross, specifically the Boulder Racing Series #1 at Valmont Bike Park during the 35A race this past Saturday. Frank recorded his power via his Quarq powermeter supplied by SRAM. The data is demonstrated with TrainingPeaks WKO+ software. Frank talks about the spikes in power and the need for various training techniques such as motor pacing and Tabatas as key ingredients to simulate the speed and 'spikiness' of power in a cross. 


MLSS Testing | Finding the Sweet Spot

finger pric

As we head into cross season, the training each year about this time begins to change. We go from epic long base miles and MTB rides that fundamentally teach you how to suffer for long hours on the bike to much higher intensity workouts that stress your body to the core. Intervals, motor-pacing and Tabatas begin to take over so that the constant power-peaks in a cross can be maintained during the course of a 60 minute race…

Click to read more ...

5 Questions with Coach Frank Overton–FasCat Coaching

fascat_logoThe one day I feel good and decide to take a flyer on the infamous ‘Crack’ ride this summer and I hit the deck. “Snap!” was what I heard. My first thought was ‘shit, that was a pretty expensive pair of Oakley Radar’s I just snapped’. But getting up I knew fairly quickly that the snapping sound was not the plastic of the sunglasses, but my clavicle. My second thought was ‘well…I guess I can take a ‘cross season off this year.

No way.

That was mid June. By July I was still healing but already of the mindset I wanted to be back racing with my friends come the changing of the leaves. It’s what I live for! And to help me try and assemble some fitness and learn how to dig myself out of my predicament, I enlisted the help of a great friend, fellow ‘crosser and one of Boulder’s top coaches, Frank Overton. What I found in working with Frank was a person who simply ‘gets it’. Can see through the person on the other side of the table and their true needs…only a part of which is a core training plan. It’s about balance…and that as you all know…is what is sacred to me. Frank is a daddy, husband competitor and business owner and his clientele range from professional athletes, to folks like you and me who live this sport of ours and want to push to new levels. We all need our personalized level of balance…from rest to blazing intensity…from back to back racing weekends to skipping a race or two and taking the family out for a hike. I wanted to expose you all to Frank, his company FasCat Coaching and the amazing stuff he is doing with his business to bring fitness to people. And so, 5 Questions with, Frank Overton!

M&C: Tell me a bit about FasCat coaching. The services offered, clients catered to and why a coach can be a great thing (we've all heard the nightmare stories before of the militant remote coach....).

Coach Frank: Our new Performance Center gives our coaching business the infrastructure to work closer with our athletes.  We have a retail powermeter shop and an indoor cycling space with room for up to 20 bikes per class.   We have put together a world class physiological lab with the best metabolic cart and lactate analyzer – the very same equipment used in big time exercise physiology lab (Olympic Training Center, Harvard, NASA).   Not only can we tell you your VO2 Max and Lactate Threshold but we will consult with you on what those results means to your power based training.   By linking the two we give our athletes the ability to take the sport science from the lab out onto their handlebar with their powermeter to use while they are training & racing.


Frank Overton – FasCat Coaching. This is the smile I see in the rearview mirror of his scooter as he’s slaying me. Evil.

(This amazing portrait by Smashread on Flickr.)

We also have a full service biomechanics lab for bicycle fitting with former Olympian and Physical Therapist, Ann Trombley.   Ann combines 10 years of physical therapy and bicycle fitting experience for an old skool fit that uses the new skool Dartfish video motion capture system.   Our two camera video setup is displayed on a video monitor for the athlete to see how they look on the bike before, during and after the fit.  The Dartfish software allows Ann to slow down and catch subtle movements that would otherwise go undetected.  We also use the software to measure ankle, knee, and hip angles as well as tracking lateral knee movement.   

Using Dartfish software to dial in fit scientifically. It’s not just for the pros!

All the technology plus extensive  bike fitting experience puts our bike fitting up with the very best.    If you have bike riding pain on the bike you are in no better hands than a physical therapist with vast bicycle fitting experience.   If you are about to start riding your bike a lot and would like to take preventative measures against bike fit related injuries and pain, look no further.

Starting November 2nd, we are going to launch our indoor cycling program.  It’s more than a workout – all of our classes are coach led and power based.  There’s a power based interval workout curriculum and its going to be hella fun in a group setting with music & videos.  Did I mention that all of our classes are going to be power based?   We are using state of the art CycleOps Power trainers and Indoor Cycles with wireless ANT+ sport technology that’s displayed on a Joule 3.0.    For more information please have a read through our Indoor Training information.

We also offer camps & clinics.  Next year will be our fifth year running the Boulder Summer Road Training Camp – which started out of my garage.   This past August we ran a very successful Cyclocross Camp that will be back in full force next Summer.   The feedback we got from campers was very positive and all are having great cyclocross seasons.

It’s hard to walk in these compression socks. But swing by FasCat and try ‘em after your workout!

Last but not least we have some amazing coaches that are passionate about cycling and more so helping athletes be better cyclists. Jason Hilimire has been with me since 2003.   I coached him from Sport to a Semi-Pro Mountain biker and he completed a yearlong internship with me before graduating on to be an associate coach.   Matt Rossman is an apprentice coach with FasCat that is expanding his knowledge even further in an exercise physiology graduate program at the University of Utah.

Tom Zirbel is a FasCat coach.   How cool is it that a guy who got 4th in the 2009 World’s Time Trial can be your coach?  Like Jason, Tom learned coaching from the athlete side first.  I started working with Tom in 2004 and you know the rest.  Pro Contract > many time trial victories > overall NRC title > 2 consecutive second places at the USPRO Time Trial > and then tragedy.    While it is terrific having Tom a part of FasCat and seeing what an amazing coach he is becoming, it completely SUCKS that he is a coach for FasCat  and not out there doing what he does best.

Alison Powers is another FasCat Coach.  Like Tom and Jason she is also a former FasCat athlete (notice a theme here?).  I worked with Alison in 2007 when I was the assistant director for the US National Women’s Team.   She won the Pan American Time Trial and went on to be a US National Time Trial Champ and overall NRC title winner.   Stay tuned for a FasCat Time Trial clinic taught by two of the best!

Finally Jon Tarkington is now a FasCat Coach.  I’ve been wooing him for close to a year now.  In fact way way back in 2006 we talked about opening a performance center.    ‘Teton’ as many know him is a great guy, enthusiastic coach, exceptional leader and lover of cycling.   He comes to FasCat after a tenure as the Director of the American Cycling Association and will be spearheading several coaching projects that I am very excited about.

All in all our coaches are some of the best in the business, and athletes can come to our new performance center to meet with them, talk training & racing and benefit from their coaching expertise.

M&C: Walk us through the genesis of FasCat, Frank.

Coach Frank: I started FasCat Coaching in 2002. The goal was to coach athletes and help make them faster for the races that matter the most to them.   Since I (Frank) was big into training with power, I began using our athletes power data & performances to learn how to be a better coach.   To promote the business, I hung my hat on the internet and  wrote monthly training tips for PEZCycling News from 2003 – 2005.   I did my homework for each training tip, backed up by my own research, power data and other athletes success using those training techniques.  I developed my coaching philosophy while writing those training tips and I continue to write tips as a way to explore innovative training methodologies. 

Fast forward to May of 2004 – I was coaching enough athletes to quit my job as a molecular biologist at a little start up bio company called Bolder Biotechnology.  As a side note Bolder Biotech was developing 2nd generation protein pharmaceuticals like EPO & Growth Hormone.  I was the guy that took the DNA, manipulated to code in a way we thought would be favorable for manufacturing and put the DNA into E. Coli for fermentation productions.   But I digress….

So from Memorial Day of 2004, I have not looked back and it has been full steam working with athletes since then.  I continued to race and analyze power data and focused 100% on the athletes I coached.  In 2006 my 2nd daughter was born and I wanted to step up my coaching by taking on more projects that would develop my skills as a coach.  Enter the Priority Health Professional Cycling team – I coached 50% of the team on a one on one basis in 2006 including Tom Zirbel (who is now a FasCat Coach).   It went well enough that I worked for the US National Women’s Team in 2007 as the assistant director in Europe.  We did all the women’s world cups all over Europe and I worked with some very talented ladies (one of whom, Alison Powers, is also a FasCat Coach).  Both were amazing learning experiences but neither was sustainable as a career – especially one as a family man.


Frank and his training programs have taken his athletes to amazing levels.

In 2008, I turned my attention away from working with teams and focused on developing the business.   We did a 3rd generation website with Goozmo, LLC and opened powermeter shop selling SRM, PowerTap and Quarq CinQo powermeters.   I carried little inventory and mainly placed custom orders for new FasCat Athletes that wanted to train with power and knew they needed the coaching to go along with the powermeter.   To this day we give a free month of power based coaching (with no start up fee) to every athlete that buys a powermeter from us.   Our prices do not compete with other discount retailers but the added value of coaching is a deal that can’t be beat.

Also in 2008, I took on my very first associate coach, Jason Hilimire. For years I had wanted to hire other coaches but I had never found the right one.   The coach that knew his stuff, that knew the FasCat methodology was in fact one of my very first athletes.   Way way back in 2003 I took out an ad on and Jason hired me.  We worked together for 4 years or so where he went from a sport class mountain bike to a semi-pro racer.   For Jason to come on board as a FasCat coach made all the sense in the world.  Jason completed a yearlong apprenticeship with me and now is one of the best mountain bike coaches I the business if you ask me.

Fast forward to 2009 where years of brainstorming a training center finally clicked.   A business plan and a detailed pro forma later & FasCat got its piece of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (aka the Stimulus Package).    By June of 2010 FasCat had its brick in mortar after a custom build out in one of the best locations in town.   I specifically choose our location to be near Boulder Cycle Sport & Amante Coffee.   So far that is our brief history and here’s to another 10 – 20 years.

Enjoy this little ditty of a typical motopacing session with Frank.

M&C: Cyclocross is a unique beast. Intensity for an hour, handling your bike under stress lap after lap, in extreme conditions. What are the key differences in a training plan that should be considered by an athlete who wants to improve their game in what may be their 2nd or 3rd season?

Coach Frank: Cyclocross is an anaerobic sport in which successful athletes have a well developed anaerobic system capable of handling over one hundred 5 – 20 second explosive power outputs in a 1 hour race.   Thus anaerobic capacity workouts are the name of the game.  “1 minuters” are great to get the party started.  I like to progress to shorter intervals at higher power outputs as the season approached.  45 seconds > 30 seconds and then Tabatas!  (20 seconds on 10 second OFF).

Timing is everything and periodization is paramount.   Anaerobic capacity work will be even better if athletes can have a hemi-powered aerobic engine.  Thus the timing – aerobic in the summer, anaerobic pre-season and specificity during the season. You can scope out some previous articles I have done here on our site, as well as on VeloNews.

M&C: Masters racers are particularly difficult students. We demand a lot as we think we're 24 years old. have a lot of dependencies infinitely more important than cycling (families, jobs, etc) and invariably are Type A(+++) personalities that simply have to see results. How do you manage to this customer type?

Coach Frank: With great care.  Actually it’s not that difficult for me because I am a Masters Athlete, I am somewhat Type A and I know what I would want from a coach and I try to deliver that to my athletes.  It’s my coaching golden rule “do unto my athletes as I would expect to be done for me”

Being a good listener and communicating helps a lot.  Advanced planning and goal setting go long way too.   Plus monitoring the master athletes’ (as with all athletes) performance and being on the same page brings out their best.

M&C: Mmmm. MotoPacing. We've all seen it before…visions of Merckx following his derny around the streets of his hometown at ungodly speeds. But specifically what are the benefits? If you can do it, why? And when?!

Coach Frank: Yes, I love motorpacing as an athlete and a coach.   There is nothing more intimate than taking an athlete out for a motorpacing session and being right there as they suffer, the grit, they struggle and as they haul ass.   As they essentially pour their heart and soul out to stay with you, their coach, sitting on the moto.   I can see if they are motivated and going to uncork a can in their races or if they are tentative and fearful of the intensity.  That’s important for understanding athletes and figuring out how to motivate them and get them to perform their best.


Frank practicing what he preaches and gets his 'cross on - here at Aspen Lodge CX October 2010

I often find that the quality of the workout goes up infinitely when I take my athletes out motorpacing. And since I like quality workouts, I am prone to take athletes out behind the moto a lot.

Physiologically athletes improve their neuromuscular power from motopacing. Think of the short bursty efforts that are required to stay 6 inches behind the moto.   Many times this is described as leg speed. By pedaling at a high cadence behind to motor, athletes are teaching their brain to fire their muscles in rapid succession at great power outputs.   Many athletes can make a lot of power, but motopacing helps them make big power FAST.  Thus motopacing is appropriately called a speed workout.

Mentally, motopacing is beneficial because it teaches athletes to “stay on the wheel” To suffer.  It’s a great carrot and with the way the draft works behind the motor – its Darwinism at its finest out there.   Just like bike racing.  It’s one of the most specific workouts that I know of and has been the secret weapon for many.    If there was a way, a place to motopace on a cross course while dismounting and remounting then I’d do it.

UPDATE! Through the keen eyes and memory of my bud in Belgium, Michel Bajorek, I received an email from the 2009 Worlds article on VeloNews with pictures shot by Jeremy Powers. Yup, Stybar behind a derny on course!

M&C OK, the most important question: Nijs or Wellens?

Coach Frank: Neither, Gully!  He was the guy that was kicking ass when I first got into cross.   When I first started racing Cat 1-2 CX races, one of my goals was to not get doubled by Gully and then if I did to stay with him.

The FasCat | Boulder Cycle Sport | JBV Coaching Cross Camp – SUCCESS!!!


Husky FasCat Logo JPG

What an amazing weekend! The camp was an absolute success. It was incredibly fun to participate and help out where I could amongst these behemoths of cross. The preparation was amazing by Frank Overton of FasCat Coaching, Albuquerque native and uber-coach to cross hardmen John Verheul of JBV Coaching and Boulder’s own Brandon Dubba Dwight. The camp also had phenomenal support from Donn Kellogg of Clement tires (and each participant got a free set of the new Clement PDX mud tire. Amazing!). Let me give you the blow by blow of the weekend….and if you’re on the fence for doing a camp or you  think you’ve “already got it”, etc, think again and try and make it to next year’s camp. Amazing time spent.


image Day 1: Welcome to the camp, fitting and VO2 Max testing

To begin, the camp had some great and passionate participants: Denver-Boulder locals Tim, Ed, Doug and new Boulderite Dave Hackworthy.  Dave is an Elite and U23 rider and Worlds and Euro Camp Participant for new the new Clement | Ridley | Boulder Cycle Sport team. We also had Wes from Indy and Joe from Idaho. Great characters. Make no mistake: This was a crew of passionate ‘crossers who want to get their game dialed. The skill levels ranged from first season to Pro. If a Pro rider is in the midst, you should be too! Everyone should continue to learn. It’ll make you fast!

The first day was spent with essentially a 3:1 ratio of coaches to camper focusing on your fit and your imagefitness. It was a true 'lab coat' session and wonderfully educational.

Coach John V used 20 + years of experience (and coaching many of YOUR heroes on the cross scene to huge seasons and World Championship podiums) to get YOU dialed on your bike. This is not a road bike fit for your cross bike. This is position-forward, milk-the-power fitting specific for your cyclocross bike, your style of riding and of course your physiology.  The software programs used (primarily Dartfish) were amazing. You could see in amazing slow motion how various changes would radically improve your position which by extension improves your power and most importantly ‘freshness’ on the bike.


While one camper was getting fit, another was in the VO2testing torture chamber. FasCat coach Krista would work with you on the VO2 max/lactate testing. I’d never had this done before and it was…frickin’ hard!

The VO2/lactate testing was very ineteresting. It involves a radically hard ‘escalation’ of effort starting at 150 watts and progresses in blocks until you’ve reached your threshold.  This could be 350 watts for some, 5 or 600w for others. The interesting part is how the body manages lactate during this load. I was told that I was at 2x the amount of lactate produced than any other camper at my threshold (400+ watts for roughly 60 seconds at the end of my testing). Good? I still need to get the analysis walked through but it’s really how you process lactate and manage it under load. Trust me, no imageLemond am I but having the data is better than NOT having the data! I am better prepared with how to handle it during races.

To get your lactate measured, you offer your finger for prick

ing. You can see my right hand in the picture to the left about to get pricked. Or, here’s what it looks like close up (right)…

So, again, the effort was massive and was (for me) the first depth I’ve done since coming back from busting myself up. But it felt great to go fully cross-eyed for the first time in 9 weeks.

While one camper was being fit and another wired up in the hurt box, Rebecca’s incredibly capable hands as a PTA would ensure your muscular/skeletal system was in good order from the exertions you were putting out. She was also critical in the fit process to ensure your body dimensions matched the bike fit spot on to keep you injury free…


Day 2: Equipment and Skills…

Saturday morning was a cross geek’s dream. We spent considerable time diving into low level details of cyclocross equipment. Brake set up, tire pressure, gearing ratios, running double versus single rings….you name it. It was discussed. Brandon painstakingly walked the campers through all these details and answered everyone’s questions.


We then kitted up and got ready for our day-of-skills training. We would do an AM session at a large thickly-grassed park, the afternoon session at the infamous Elk’s Lodge: where legends are made and hearts are broken every Wednesday morning.

The instruction and training was infinitely low-level. All ninja tricks were exposed to the campers to ensure fluidity and fun. The smoother you are, the faster you are, and it all adds up to more smiles and podium potential.

For our skills sessions, Paul from CrossPropz was a huge help to the camp by providing TONS of his portable barriers. We had them spread out essentially in mini-courses on the grass with Coach Frank equipped with Dartfish taping EVERYONE’s game.  We'd come through the barriers over and over again. We would watch the films, rewind, critique and try again until ALL the campers felt great and proud of their improvements. Everyone was markedly faster through barriers after seeing themselves and having some of the best coaches in the industry work with them to refine their game. Between sessions, we’d go back to the plush HQ of FasCat Coaching and analyze everyone as a group. It was enlightening to hear everyone help eachother out, no holds barred, just to ensure their camp-patriots were faster…

image Later in the evening before team dinner, Coaches John and Frank got together with campers one-on-one to walk through individualized training plans…a HUGE part of this camp’s draw. Campers are worked with on their goals for the season and plans were created accordingly…for each individual. Amazing.

Day 3: Putting it all together…

The prior 24 hours were intense. Tons of watts put out, tons of hot laps put in and LOTS learned. Yet, still tons more to try out! In the morning, coaches John and Frank talked through a general philosophy of training for cross to ensure freshness by the end of the season (sound familiar??). We also talked of how to efficiently warm up. I did a small contribution on race day rituals....quite fun to articulate some of the ninja tricks I've learned over the last 14 years of racing this beautiful sport...


Hot laps and more instruction on handling off-cambers and run ups happened Sunday, the last day of the camp. Coach John dialed in everyone’s technique to show how to save energy, be strategic in taking ‘your space’ through barriers and finding lines that you’d NEVER think about. Only that amount of experience can show you these details.

If you’re interested and have plenty of time to waste, you can look through my Flickr album for the camp. Or, feel free to leave comments to ask any questions about it. Worth every second.

I HIGHLY recommend the camp, or any camp you can attend if traveling is hard to do no matter where you *think* you are in your cross ‘career’. You…Will…Learn…LOTS! You’ll also make some rad new friends in the process who share your passion for what we do on any given weekend in the fall.

Hup hup, buttercups! What did YOU do this weekend to get your head in the game for cross??

P.S. Our camp had Space Legs? Did yours? Ha!

Cross Propz | Portable Cyclocross Barriers

My good bud and local cross 'evangelist,' Paul McCarthy, has created an ingenious invention for us 'cross heads: Cross Propz Portable Cyclocross Training Barriers. Let me tell you about 'em....

Get some cyclocross skills! | Advanced course with "Yo" Parbo!

clip_image001Honestly, I do not think that I’ve ever seen Joachim (emphasize the "Yo!" in Joachim) without his red and white Danish National Champion’s kit. The guy is an institution of cyclocross battling with the best in Za Motherland and we are blessed to have him here in Boulder for a bit. Joachim Parbo is hosting a ‘cross clinic for those who are ready to step up their game. Here’s your invite…

It's time to fine tune your skills, and prepare for the last month of the cyclocross season! Join Boulder Cycle Sport and Danish National Cyclocross Champion Joachim Parbo for an advanced cyclocross skills session on Monday, November 16th at 4:00pm. (Yes, we know it's early, but we have to get it done before the sun sets!). On the bike we will cover topics such as, how to ride sand pits, negotiating off camber turns, dismounts, remounts and more! Once the sun sets we will make our way to Restaurant 4580 for a technical discussion on equipment, bike set up, tire pressure and race strategy. Joachim has battled on the most difficult and challenging cyclocross courses in the world, and against the toughest competition, too. Learn some of his riding, training and bike set-up secrets!


  • Tackling sand pits

  • Proper dismount and remount technique

  • Setting up for tricky off-camber turns 

  • Personalized tips and advice for each participant


  • Technical discussion on equipment, bike set up and tire pressure
  • Cyclocross bike fit suggestions
  • Race course strategy: Planning your efforts right will make you faster!

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16th, 4:00pm - 7:30pm

  • 4:00 - 6:00 pm - On the bike skills clinic
  • 6:00 - 7:30 pm - We'll get out of our bike clothes and head to Restaurant 4580 for an off the bike technical clinic, Q & A, plus food and drink!


CLINIC FEE is $45 per person and included food and drink at Restaurant 4580

Please swing by Boulder Cycle Sport to sign up. Payment must be made with cash or check (to Boulder Cycle Sport)