Heather Goss on Grattan Racing

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Photo: Aric Dershem

Photo: Aric Dershem

City Hub Cyclery rider Heather Goss zips around the Grattan Race Track, gliding through corners and shooting up climbs with determination, grit, and grace. There’s no prize money or roaring crowds, but the personal payout is more worthwhile to her than any of that.

Heather speaks on the benefits of putting her power to the pedals on this 2 mile track in Belding, Mi throughout her summer racing season.

Heather’s spent quite a few Wednesday nights throwing down in the ‘B’ race getting some full-throttle training and race-skill practice.

“Grattan is longer and faster than most of my sanctioned crits,” she says. “And I’m pretty much spent by the end when they tend to pick it up a notch.”

It’s a great setting for riders of to experiment and learn more about bike racing. Heather takes the opportunity to focus on conservation (an essential skill for fast-paced, long races) so she’s relatively fresh for the final surge to the finish.

The intensity and speed is what draws Heather to these races, but it also adds a little more risk to racers.
“Grattan is the best training you’ll get for the real race day but just like in a real race there’s a higher risk of getting caught in a crash,” she notes.

Her advice to someone looking to dip their cleats into some training crits?
“Make sure you are comfortable riding in a larger group and get ready to go fast!”

Look for Heather’s blond ponytail out on the track this week- as a season pass holder, she’ll be there shredding every Wednesday until end of August, weather permitting!

City Hub Fort Custer Stampede

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Top Step of the Clydesdales goes to Mike Troccko!

Top Step of the Clydesdales goes to Mike Troccko!

Jen jones 1st women’s sport
Michael Wear 2nd – men’s beginner
Chad Hutchison – 3rd men’s Sport
Robert Martin – 6th men’s Sport
Mike Troccko – 1st Clydesdale beginner
Bill (new guy) – 17th Sports

It was a weekend for shredding trail and kicking booty. City Hub Cyclery racers were all over the podium this weekend!

Jen Jones – 1st Women’s Sport

Michael Wear – 2nd  Men’s Beginner

Chad Hutchison – 3rd Men’s Sport

Robert Martin – 6th Men’s Sport

Mike Troccko – 1st Clydesdale Beginner

Bill Hoyer – 17th Men’s Sport

We'll drink to that.

We’ll drink to that.

King’s Day Criterium

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For some, it was the first criterium of the season, and for others the first of their lives. Kudos to both camps, because everyone finished with skin and bicycles intact. Daniel Shamburger took the top step on the men’s cat 5 podium with a decisive sprint out of a three-man break from the large field. Heather Goss, narrowly missed the podium with a solid ride for fourth in the women’s 1/2/3 field.

Men's Cat 5 field revving their engines on the start line.

Men’s Cat 5 field revving their engines on the start line.

Mike's pain face game is strong.

Mike’s pain face game is strong.

Daniel Shamburger sprinting for the win!

Daniel Shamburger sprinting for the win!

 

Confidence and control in the corners kept Heather at the front of the group and a fierce contender in the final sprint.

Confidence and control in the corners kept Heather at the front of the group and a fierce contender in the final sprint.

The day ended with tulips and smiles all around. City Hub showing some love for Jen a bouquet of purple tulips.

The day ended with tulips and smiles all around. City Hub showing some love for Jen a bouquet of purple tulips.

Photos: Mike Troccko

How to Prepare for Your Best Group Ride Ever:

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If you haven’t hit your first group ride of the season just yet, read these tips to be sure you’re ready to rock and roll.

Be punctual! If you’re riding there, map it out and leave the house with plenty of time for a mishap like a wrong turn or a flat tire. If you’re driving, plan to get there at least 10 minutes before the posted roll-out time.

Don’t forget your flat kit! It should include an extra tube of the right size, tire levers, and some sort of inflation device (pump or CO2 cartridge and adapter). Even if you’re running Gatorskins and you’re SURE you won’t flat, you will or somebody else might and you’ll be able to save the day.

Look up the route beforehand, if possible. Having a general idea of where you’re going and how far it’ll be will help you know how much water/food you’re going to need to bring, where possible pitstops might be, or how to find your way back to your car if you get dropped.

Put on a brave face- if you’re the new kid on the block, don’t be afraid to make friends! Practice your conversation starters on your cat before you show up. Things like “nice saddlebag” and “wow I get such a great draft behind you” are sure to break the ice.

Bring cash for that inevitable coffee stop.

Look at the weather for the start and the end of the ride. Adjust your tire pressure/attire/lenses accordingly.

When you feel ready to roll in a steady paceline and sprint for city limit signs, the City Hub Cyclery weekly group rides are your chance. Kit up and be at City Hub for a 40 mile cruise Sundays at 9am*!

We want YOU to ride with us!

We want YOU to ride with us!

*Or Monday at 6pm, as Sundays sometimes conflict with the local race schedule.

Am I a Cyclist?

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If you have to ask yourself this question, the answer is yes. Yes! If you ride a bicycle, you are a cyclist. Simple as that. You don’t need to wait for your tan lines to emerge or own a bike with outrageous components. You don’t even have to shave your legs.

You are a cyclist when you get on a bicycle. Mountain bike, cruiser bike, road bike, funky hybrid commuter bike with a wagon attached to the back…doesn’t matter. If you turn the pedals, you are part of a strange and wonderful crowd that gets a unique perspective of the world.

Yes Dad, even you.

Yes Sir, even you.

You see things in slower motion than in a car, and you have a relationship with the terrain that isn’t available forpeople in any other vehicle. You feel the difference between peanut butter mud and tacky trails. You feel the landscape roll and change grade (sometimes painfully). You smell the trees and exhaust and the neighbors’ barbeque.

You get chased by dogs, pushed by the wind, and stumble upon places you wouldn’t have if you’d been walking or driving. It’s a privilege to be a part of this healthy, good-vibe tribe. You create a connection between yourself and your city, and intimacy that can’t be known otherwise. So pedal proudly, my two-wheeled friend. You are a cyclist.

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