amy alison dombroski

2013 Blogs

The idea is to create a less formal cyclocross clinic and hold several of them throughout the summer. That is how 'cross SESSIONS were born. The first was held the day before Mother's Day for ladies-only. 

'cross SESSIONS ...

Cyclocross in May?!? Yes. I will say April is much too soon. A 'cross race at Sea Otter is just silly. But practicing in May is perfectly acceptable. A proper professional athlete practices all throughout the year. A ski racer will migrate to opposite seasons such as Chile and will train and sometimes race in August. Just as road racers flock to warm and mountainous places all over the world. So why shouldn't someone with a sick fetish for the ugly duckling of cycling, cyclocross, practice all year long? Especially with the Belgian-like rain Colorado had been receiving in the week leading up to the clinic date. Mister CrossPropz put this idea into my head in March, when I had only just returned from Belgium, when I really couldn't be arsed to pedal a bike, let alone look at one with cantilever brakes and think about the mellifluous form of jumping on it.  March came and went too quickly and the motivation to get on my push bike remained a far-fetched novelty. I was nervous, thinking I should start forcing the sensations but friends reassured me it would trickle back. Just as you can't force good form, you can't force motivation. You can assist it but it can come and go with the wind. Somehow the abnormal snow and cold we received through latter April and May sparked the fire. Hearing other people complain kinda spread a smile and flickered a flame within because I knew if I wanted to, I could ride in whatever weather Mother Nature threw at me.

April came and went and I was feeling a slight glimmer of good sensation in my legs. May's showers rained cyclocross into my thoughts but "trails are wet, please stay off the trails" seemed backwards. Wet trails! Splashing mud! Slippery roots and rocks! Getting dirty! It all screamed Get In The Woods! But I am not in Belgium anymore. I guess the trails are different here, more fragile, or maybe just more immaculately manicured. Total buzz kill. Fortunately the weather turned back to Colorado normality and we saw the sun we see 360 days of the year, and Valmont Bike Park dried up enough for 'cross SESSIONS to be held.

18 women showed up, in addition to my World Champ helper, Kristal Boni and Mister Paul CrossPropz. The energy was high and so was the level of these women. I did think I would be working with more newbies but everyone who showed really challenged my ideas and methods. Maybe I just needed more coffee. For the first half hour or so my words were tangled up in a car crash. I'm not a morning person, and I know many people wouldn't classify 9am as the morning, but getting the thoughts churning and the words flowing took a while. I suppose the whole public speaking thing - or something as modest as speaking to 18 lycra-clad humans with their eyes all on me - is like all things in life, it's easier as you practice. But you gotta understand, 99% of the time it's me talking to me. Whatever doesn't make sense, I somehow justify. So to explain something...sure it makes sense in my hampered hamster mind, but to a normal person who talks to a multitude of people on a daily basis, it may be chicken shit. Then throw in other notions and questions and my little thought bubble is bursting. I digress, once I awoke from my slumber and was able to begin jumping around I think it got a lot better. Thankfully I had Kristal at my side to assist and bring clarity. And thankfully I had Paul to pull the raffle tickets and read the numbers because you don't even want to get me started with numbers.

We began the clinic with the methods of riding on dirt and this was when I quickly realized the strong level of women I would be trying to share words of wisdom with. I contemplated handing the session over to Kristal and blending behind everyone else there to learn...but then I realized I'd have to pay the $30 registration fee.

From there we progressed into cyclocross specific methods- the mounts & remounts, carries, hurdles etc. This aspect I believe is where it is beneficial to have a ladies-only smaller group. There is not a right and wrong way to these skills. It is all about finding what works for the rider in relation to their body size, bike size, equipment and comfort level. I cannot pick my bike up the same way a 6' tall guy can. And there are even people smaller than I (!) who need other options. With a smaller group I can zoom in a bit more, but even with 18, I know for sure there were some who I wasn't able to spend enough time with.  Then, with it ladies-only I can use terms like "use your birthin' hips" and "place your inner thigh like a slab of meat on the butcher block" more freely.

It was a delightful 3 hour session for me and at the end of it I wished I could have spent more time with each individual person. The raffle capped it all off, which in implementing I was hoping I'd garner more registrants. Suffer through 3 hours of amy's mumbling nonsense, but then, with a little luck, maybe get the bike fit gift certificate from Pro Peloton or the acupuncture treatment from Peak Sports or the massage from KneadEd! So thank you to the sponsors who lured some ladies in, also including Mosaic Cycles who brought classy etched pint glasses & T's as well as spare bikes (which were all snatched up!), toCrossPropz and Rapid Racing for making me commit to this, toChamois Butt'r for providing samples and raffle product, toSkratch Labs for keeping us hydrated, to Breeze Bars for victuals and to SRM training and Lazer for chic attire for the raffle. I am also very appreciative of Sandy North who was snapping photos all session long, for a grand total of 700 photos! All photos credit to Sandy. Please stay connected for an announcement of the next 'cross SESSIONS date, girls and boys this go 'round.

Copyright © 2012 Amy Dombroski. All Rights Reserved.