Women’s Wednesday: Pros v. Amos, Tri-Style – featuring Gwen Jorgensen, Alicia Kaye, aaaaaaaand Katie Macarelli!

Photo: Pro Velo Passion

By Dana Willett

A little back-history of Pro’s vs Amo’s:

These events go back to the summer of 2014 when we had the 1st “Pro’s vs “Amos” contest (“amos” is just a rhyming abbreviation for “amateurs”). There was a chocolate chip cookie bake-off followed by a dodge ball tournament. There was laughter and tears. *It was mostly the laughing and the cookies that inspired us to keep this “challenge” going.

Since then we’ve invited many strong, fun women to join in on the shenanigans. While the cast of women is ever changing (life happens), the spirit of this event never will. This will always be a somewhat silly celebration of the pure joy we all have for our sport.

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Pros & Amos: Tri-Style

In a digital-cyber-y version of 303’s famous Pros v. Amos challenges, we pit famous local “Amo” Katie Macarelli opposite a couple “Pro” athletes you may have heard of… Olympic World Champion Gwen Jorgensen & Professional Triathlete Alicia Kaye! And we’re talking about how Pros live their athletic lives and learn their lessons, compared to Amos… What it’s like as a female role model, mistakes they’ve made, and how they’ve overcome obstacles along the path to stardom… Read on to find out who’s a brainiac with multiple degrees… who hurdles barbed wire fences with ease… and who’s favorite prize ever was 20 pounds of steak.

Here’s some background:

GWEN JORGENSEN
Gwen Jorgensen is a professional triathlete from St Paul, MN. Gwen is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion (2014, 2015), and 17x ITU World Triathlon Series race winner. She also likes to read, try new foods, and hang out with friends and family.

Career Highlights:

    • 2016 Olympic Champion
      2015 World Champion
      2014 World Champion
      2012 U.S. Olympic Team Member
      2013 USA Triathlon’s Triathlete of the Year
      2014 USA Triathlon’s Triathlete of the Year
      2015 USA Elite National Champion
      2014 USA Elite National Champion
      2013 USAT Elite National Champion (Sprint and Olympic Distance)
      First USA Woman to win a World Triathlon Series race
      15-time ITU World Triathlon Series Winner
      2010 USAT Rookie of the Year
      2010 USAT Elite Duathlete of the Year

ALICIA KAYE
Alicia grew up in Canada and began participating in triathlon when she was 11 years old; she became a professional triathlete at the age of 14. Alicia spent her teen years racing triathlon while juggling her academic studies. While completing her undergraduate degree in Sport Psychology she met fellow triathlete and now husband, Jarrod Shoemaker. Since meeting Jarrod she has began racing for the United States and also completed her masters degree in Athletic Counseling. Some of Alicia’s proudest moments include winning Canadian Junior National Championships in 2001, and winning the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in 2013. In her spare time Alicia works as a mental trainer and runs a skincare company with her husband Jarrod, called Endurance Shield.

 

And our “Amo,” KATIE MACARELLI
Katie is a Colorado native who grew up on a dairy farm on the Eastern Plains. She got her start in the Colorado cycling scene competing in triathlons for about five years until she realized that running is the worst. She’s a mom of two teenage girls, a year-round bike commuter who hates driving but loves cyclocross. She is currently the marketing manager for Feedback Sports.

 

 

Here we go!
1. Have you ever googled yourself? Any oft-repeated MISconceptions out there that you’d like to clear up? Any rumor or tall tale that just keeps popping up on Wikipedia? Here’s your chance to set the record straight. And if not, give us your best pretend fake fact.

GJ:  I’ve googled my husband, Patrick Lemieux, but don’t google myself. I think one thing people may assume is that I come from a running background, however I actually come from a swimming background and didn’t start running until I was a junior in college.

AK: Yes, I’ve googled myself. It almost always just to find an image or to find articles written about a recent race. Maybe once every few years I’ll look to see if anyone is saying something mean or false, but I’ve never found anything truly negative.

KM: ​I work in the digital marketing realm, so of COURSE I have. The only misconception I’ve ever found was an article that listed me as living in Portland. I’ve never actually been to Portland, but it sounds lovely. *I generally disregard everything past page 5 on google, because it’s like reading the comments on Pinkbike. It will just make you mad and/or confused.

2. How has your rise to fame affected your performances? Has there ever been a time when the spotlight really helped you? Or worked against you?

GJ: I am an introvert, so it took some time to get used to the media attention and fans walking up to me. I now enjoy being able to share my experiences, but still need my alone time to recharge.
In 2012, after I qualified for the Olympics I had a bunch of media engagements lined up for the week of a WTS race in San Diego. I did an all day photo shoot along with other media the week leading into the race and I believe this contributed to my poor performance. I think I almost finished dead last.

Photo: Finisher Pix

AK: I had my breakout year in 2013 winning the Lifetime Series and Toyota Triple Crown. I thought it would be this ultra grand moment where everything would change. But life went on as normal, the money and/ or result didn’t change any of my relationships- we were just able to make a big fat mortgage payment instead;) What was interesting was in 2014 I really struggled to find purpose and meaning after achieving all my goals in 2013, trying to replicate them again in 2014 was an entirely different experience.

KM: I’m not famous, but I do find it hard to get to the start line to any race because I often stop to hug, heckle and/or say hello to friends. As it turns out, missing the start of a race directly impacts your performance.

 

3. Please provide five single-word adjectives that best describe you and what makes you tick.

GJ: Stubborn. Disciplined. Focused. Driven. Foodie.

AK: Even-tempered. Leader. Brave. Disciplined. Joyful.

KM: Enthusiastic. Loud. Empathetic. Droll. Indefatigable. (You said single-word, so I didn’t think I could use “over-caffeinated”)

4. Have you experienced being asked media questions different from your male counterparts that you attribute to gender? What’s your best example?

GJ: Can’t think of one off the top of my head, but I also try not to read into questions too much. I also have a poor memory so may have been asked something but have forgotten. I do believe there should be equal prize money for men and women (which there is in ITU which I love).

AK: This is a great question, I think our sport is pretty good about equality but the biggest gender difference I notice is that it’s ALWAYS the male winners picture in a newspaper article. Media outlets within our sport tend to include pictures of the women’s winner and why is the men’s race always written about first?

KM: No, because the media isn’t interested in me. However, I’ve been in many eye-rolling situations as a female working in a male dominated industry. I feel our industry (and society in general)​ is getting better about this but I still got called “Hon” only a few months ago by a guy my age who was visiting our office. I can assure you that I’m not his “Hon.”

5. What is the best PRIZE you’ve ever won, in your entire life of racing (maybe it was that 2nd grade field day ribbon…)?

GJ: Any prize that involves food! In 2015 I won a gravel road race and won 20lbs of steak.

AK: I won a race down in Tobago a LONG time ago, back in 2005 I think. The trophy was a beautiful wooden carved sea turtle, it’s still hanging on my wall at home.

KM: I won a pair of Tough Girl socks and a pint glass for 3rd place in my first ever Cx race (I raced it on my full suspension Yeti 575). I was instantly in love with cyclocross and bought a Cx bike about 4 months later

6. Race Day prep – name three best practices you always adhere to the night before a race… and three things you always avoid. What is your best example of a time you didn’t follow your own rules, and things fell apart?

GJ: Don’t try anything new (once I ate out in Japan and tried a dish I’d never had before and got food poisoning)
-Relax/put my feet up
-Do openers
-Avoid: unnecessary stress, being on your feet all day, and new foods.

AK: I don’t go to bed until I feel sleepy, I eat the same thing (chicken and rice) and I prepare everything the night before leaving race morning to be fairly stress free. Three things I always avoid the night before a race are any foods that contain caffeine, any foods high in fiber, anything my body isn’t used to.

KM: Hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Race prep. That’s funny. Here are my “3 best practices”:

-Start looking for my wetsuit​ at about 10 pm​. and run a load of laundry.
-Eat a bowl of Peanut Butter Panda Puffs and pack my bag in the dark so I don’t wake my family.
-Get a good, solid 4 hours of sleep.

Three things I avoid ​(d​ue to life in general plus an incessant desire to self-sabotage):
-Dialed logistics. ​
-Consistent, focused athletic ​training.
-Having enough ______________ to make success an option (fill in the blank with any of the following: sleep, water, food, peace of mind, clean clothes, gas in the car etc)

Best example of things falling apart:
An example where things went wrong: Pretty much every race I’ve done since I turned 35. ​Recently, I had to hop a barbed-wire fence and run through a ditch to find the start-line. Good thing I grew up on a farm.

7. If you’re a Pro, do you ever find yourself wishing you were an Amateur? And if you’re an Amateur, every wish you were a Pro? Why?

GJ: I love what I do and am thrilled to be able to also make it my living. I do hate training when the body is tired and it is pouring rain outside.

AK: I went pro at such an early age that I almost can’t remember what it’s like to race as an amateur. Triathlon has been my life since I was 14 years old, and I began participating in them at 11. I think what I’ll miss when I don’t race as a pro someday is a clear course!

KM: Nope. Waaaaay too much pressure. I race because it helps me conquer my fears, which is a good example for my daughters and other women. Oh, and also: its good preparation should things go south and we find ourselves in a post-Apocalyptic scenario.  If I had to do that as a job, I’d undoubtedly get fired.

Want to know more about Alicia, Gwen and Katie?

Follow their careers:

Alicia Kaye

Gwen Jorgensen

Katie Macarelli – Feedback Sports

The Sprint Work Stand by Feedback Sports : No More Grease Stains on My Carpet When I Change a Tire?

By Alison Freeman

You know when you’ve been struggling with something over and over and over again, and you get so used to clunky and difficult and annoying that you never pick your head up to think about alternative solutions? That pretty much describes me, in my basement, swapping out trainer tire for outdoor tire for trainer tire for outdoor tire, getting chain grease all over the carpet, and just assuming that this is how it’s done. And then I learned about the Sprint Work Stand by Feedback Sports.
TAAAHHH-DAAAHHH!!! Light bulb does not even begin to describe it.

WHAT IS IT?
The Sprint Work Stand by Feedback Sports  is a bike work and wash stand. Unlike the work stands that you often see at your local bike shop that use a seat post or top tube clamp to hold your bike, the Sprint Work Stand uses a fork mount to secure and stabilize your baby. I mean bike.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
For starters, I am now convinced that anyone who does any work on their own bike – tire changes included – should own a work stand. If my grease-on-the-carpet story didn’t resonate with you, how about the fact that my race wheels stayed on my bike for 8 weeks because there wasn’t a day warm enough to pop my bike on my car’s bike rack and swap out wheels. Does that sound familiar? Now just imagine changing wheels and mounting rear bottle cages, all in the comfort and warmth of your house – without getting grease everywhere. SOLD, right?

Glad that we’re on the same page. So, then, the reason that you want the Sprint Stand specifically is because, since it uses a fork mount, you don’t have to stress about the top tube shape of this bike and the seat post shape of that bike and is there any one stand that will work with all of my bikes? Yes! The Sprint Work Stand. DOUBLE SOLD!

HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Sprint Stand is a cinch to use. Even though I only glanced at the directions the first time I whipped it out to change my daughter’s tire, I had it set up in just a minute or two. The stand uses four clamps similar to the clamps on your bike’s seat post to manage the entire setup and breakdown process, which makes everything quick and easy.

You open one clamp to expand the tripod base, a few others to adjust the height of the stand, and then there’s a nifty clamp to lock the horizontal mounting bar in place. Just like that, the stand is set up. To mount your bike, you simply remove the front wheel and throw it on the fork mount using one of the three provided skewers and their accompanying spacers. The fork mount has a slide adjustment, so once your bike is mounted you can easily slip the fork mount forward or backward so that your bottom bracket rests on the rubber base.

Once you’ve got your bike mounted, you can rotate it 360 degrees to provide easy access to whichever part of your bike you’re working on. In just a few weeks, I’ve used it to change tires, swap out wheels, wash my bike and un-attach my rear bottle system. Previously I would’ve attempted this with my bike either on the car’s bike rack or leaning against the wall in my basement, neither of which provides the same access or stability as the Sprint Work Stand. My bike was super sturdy once cinched into the fork mount and, with the rotation and adjustable height, I could easily get to anything I wanted to work on. The only two drawbacks were that my hands still got greasy dealing with my chain (granted, that’s totally a user error thing) and that you can’t adjust the front brakes on the stand since the front wheel isn’t on your bike. It’s easy enough to adjust those brakes once you pop the wheel back on, though, so it’s really not a big deal.

Once you’re done working on your bike, the stand folds down more easily and quickly than it sets up, and collapses into a compact unit that you can easily tuck away in your garage or the corner of your pain cave. It’s only been a couple of weeks, I’ve already used it several times, and I really don’t know how or why I managed to go this long without scooping one up.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?
The Sprint Work Stand is available direct through Feedback Sports for $269.99 plus tax and shipping.

Feedback Omnium featured in Tiny House

From USA Triathlon

Olympian Katie Zaferes and husband and fellow elite triathlete Tommy built a custom tiny home in Santa Cruz, Calif., this offseason and were featured on the FYI reality show Tiny House Nation on March 25.

Golden, Colorado’s Feedback Sports was featured as the ultra-compact Omnium trainer and folding work stand fit well in small spaces…

When recently-married pro triathletes Katie and Tommy Zaferes daydreamed about their first home together, they didn’t envision a sprawling estate or even a tidy colonial. There were no plans for a tricked-out home gym, an indoor lap pool or soaring walls where they could display their impressive collection of awards from racing around the world. In fact, the couple wanted just the opposite. They wanted a tiny home.

Enter Tiny House Nation, the popular FYI reality show that hooks people up with their very own, custom-designed mini-home. On March 25, the Zaferes’ and their brand-new Santa, Cruz, Calif., house — all 370 square feet of it — were featured on an episode. Here, we caught up with the couple about their stint on reality TV and details about their dainty dwelling.

Read the full article

Watch the full episode: http://www.fyi.tv/shows/tiny-house-nation/season-4/episode-12

Primal Colorado Bike Expo

The Primal Colorado Bike Expo is the annual kickoff event for cycling in the state of Colorado! In its third year the expo will bring together all things cycling and Colorado; pairing industry professionals, recreational riders, biking enthusiasts and utilitarian’s with the latest products, consumer trends, screaming deals, organized rides, clubs & teams, advocacy groups and cycling destinations.

The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a kid zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, antique bicycle display, a fashion show, incredible programming, live entertainment, beer garden, food trucks and more!

A portion of the event proceeds will go to support the Colorado High School Cycling League, Trips for Kids Denver Metro and Wish for Wheels.

 

Friday Events Include:

2:00 P.M.

SHOW OPENS *Early Bird BONUS – Prizes for first 50 visitors; Colorado Classic Community Tent

2 – 8:30 P.M.

Kid Zone
Demos & Test Rides
Adult Big Wheel Races
Spin-Off Competitions hosted by Inspired Training Center
Beer Garden & Food Trucks brought to you by Planet Cyclery
Bicycles for Humanity Bike Drive (donate your gently used bike)

  • Feedback Omnium Warm-Up / Cool-Down Tent; Lot G
  • Nowear BMX Flatland & Aerial Stunts; Demo Area
  • Bikepacking & Bike Touring by Bob Williams of Beer & Bike Tours; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Basics of Bike Care by Bikes Together; Colorado Classic
    Community Tent
  • White Line Cycling Events presents Friday Night Lights at Mile High Stadium – Criterium Race & Street Sprints (racing begins on both courses simultaneously at 3:00 PM)
  • How to Fix a Flat Tire by Katie Macarelli of Feedback Sports and Shelley Hartman of Liv Bikes; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Nowear BMX Flatland & Aerial Stunts; Demo Area
  • The Wheelmen – High Roller Engagement; Demo & Exhibitor Area

Feedback Sports App for Bike Maintenance

Inspiration for new products/services can often come from frustration. How many of us have sticky notes and random receipts stuffed in drawers to help us keep track of when we last did what to which bike? It was exactly this sort of thing that prompted Feedback Sports to develop their bicycle maintenance app. #nomorestickynotes #yourbikedeservesbetter #releaseyourinnergeek 

By John Marsh, Editor & Publisher, RoadBikeRider

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new work stand from Feedback Sports. While I was looking around the site, I noticed that Feedback offers a free maintenance tracking app.

Upon a closer look at the app, I quickly realized it is exactly what I’ve been looking for to keep track of my bike’s components and maintenance schedule. (In fact, I wrote a sticky note to myself about two years ago with an idea for this very same app. I’m glad they read my mind and built it!)

It comes in both iOS (Apple) and Android versions. You can find them on the App Store and at Google Play. Here are links for info:

iOS

Android

Here’s How the App Works

For each of your bikes (you can also take a photo of each bike for reference), you can easily input all of your various components (and fit specs like saddle height and reach) across categories including:

- Frame, Fork, Headset
- Handlebar, Saddle, Seatpost
- Accessories (computers and such)
- Drivetrain
- Brakes
- Wheels, Tires

For the components, you can add detail including the date added to your bike, the weight, cost, description, etc. What you’re left with is a front-to-back, top-to-bottom snapshot of every single jot and tittle about your bike, including the serial number, which could come in handy in case of theft, for warranty purposes, etc.

Then you can set a maintenance schedule and keep records of your maintenance using the app.

Zen-Like Experience Recording It All

I sat down in front of a fire on a recent weekend day when it was too nasty out to ride and worked through the details, hunting down any stray receipts I had, jogging my memory of when I put on those shifters, when I rebuilt my custom wheels, and so on.

I found it a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. And while I know I was likely not exact in the dates for everything, I now have a consolidated, easily referenced and pretty accurate record of every single aspect of my main bike. (One bike at a time!)

So now I can quickly see exactly when I installed my last chain, rings, cassette, tires, shift and brake cables, etc. (You can even catalog your tubes, but I drew the line there). And I can set up a maintenance schedule for any component. For instance, I’ve set up a reminder to check my chain near a date at which I think it might be worn enough to change.

I suspect I’ll be checking on various components more by feel than by set reminders, but the main thing is that I’ll be able to know exactly when they were installed. To me, that’s half the battle and will totally remove any future guesswork.

I’m glad I stumbled upon this app. I know it’s going to be super-useful over time.

Conclusion: 
Annnnnnd it’s free. Has anyone mentioned this? Get your bikes dialed. Your bike shop will thank you when you actually have an answer for “When was the last time you____?” instead of standing there, mouth agape with a blank look on your face. 

Feedback’s tiny trainer a favorite among pro triathletes

Helle Fredericksen uses the trainer in a hotel room at the Island House Invitational.

From Triathlete Magazine

Feedback Sports’ Omnium portable resistance trainer makes traveling easier.

Golden, Colo.-based Feedback Sports built its reputation on making the very best in bicycle repair equipment. Work stands, tool kits and bike racks are its bread and butter. But when company founder Doug Hudson met a machine shop owner with an engineering background who showed him a two-drum, fork mount, foldable trainer, Hudson couldn’t resist getting into stationary trainers. He loved the smooth rolling drums and the progressive resistance magnets hidden inside the cylinders. He kept and patented those features on the Omnium, this little marvel of flight-friendly gear.

The front half was re-engineered to make it fold to stow like Feedback work stands. It’s just over two feet long folded up and weighs under 14 pounds. Feedback says in its tote bag, the Omnium is an easy carry-on. In fact, Feedback staffers have field-tested this claim by flying with the Omnium, successfully clearing TSA checks and slipping it into overhead compartments. It’s an ideal piece of equipment for triathletes traveling with their bikes; Gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen set one up on her balcony in Rio, and Helle Frederiksen stayed loose on an Omnium in her hotel room while prepping to race the Island House Tri in the Bahamas.

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