1. Acquire a bike.
As a broke graduate student and owner of short legs, compared to fellow West Pennsylginia members, proved to be a roadblock to find a bike that works. Therefore, I am going to start this off for thanking both Justine Pagenhardt and Erin Setzler for setting me up for my new addition.
The next step is to visit Pathfinder to stock up on all cross essentials including Honey Stinger waffles and LOTS of tubes. Also, be sure to stock up on plenty of items to keep you warm when the weather starts to drop! You can also get any upgrades and/or repairs to your bike from their friendly mechanics. You will see me there soon getting my shifting cables replaced.
2. Find a coach (aka Rob)
I will make your search for a coach very easy. Go to performance-coaching-services.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with cycling extraordinaire Rob Acciavatti. Rob has his Masters in Physical Therapy and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. If that isn’t enough he also has experience riding professionally in Europe as well as winning two national titles as a collegiate rider. Rob has been a perfect match for me because he adapts my riding schedule around graduate school and my job. Rob also was my physical therapist, at Dynamic Physical Therapy Westover, which gave him a unique perspective to monitor my rehabilitation both in the clinic and on the bike. To this day he continues to help me with any post-injury related pain that may come about during my training cycles.
3. Surround yourself with friends
I am so lucky to have the support a great team to motivate, teach, and most importantly keep cycling fun. I need to make another huge thank you to both EJ Hubstenberger and Shawn Geiger for giving me a daily kick to the butt and answering all of life's questions. Last weekend, a few members of the team all met in North Park to practice cornering, mounts/dismounts, and overcoming obstacles. Being apart of this team is like having a second family at my home away from home. I cannot wait to be able to see them more frequently as cross season approaches.
This weekend I will head off to my first cross race in Cleveland, OH and plan on traveling to a couple up that way during the next few months. However, the best races will be right in that greater Morgantown area in the Appalachian Bicycle Racing Association (ABRA) series. There will be six ABRA cross races to choose from including Kickoff Cross (10/3), Mason Dixon Cross (10/17), Franklin (10/31), White Park (11/14), Pro Bikes CX Fest (11/21-22), and West Pennsylginia (12/5). You can visit abraracing.com for full details including registration.
See you all soon!
Cara J. Bacher