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Sea Otter 2008
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Tara Llanes:
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Cross Nationals
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Win or Lose
Gale Force Cross
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Got Pink?
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Magnus Bäckstedt
Wounded Warrior Project:
Phoenix to Vegas
Grow Your Own Bike?
Young Mechanics
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Stories From the Road:
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Junior Development
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Green Choices
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Pedros
Faces of Pedros
Lea Davison Teaches
Kids to MTB

Women's Skills by
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Coming alive
Going Green



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Voices: Reginald Harkema
Bike The World: New York
Team Trips For Kids
The Ironclad Triathlon
The Ride of Silence
Ladies Night at R-A-B
Bike the World
Bike Polo
Get Your Friends to Ride!



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Sea Otter
Grand Theft Velo
In the Heart and Mind
of the Beast

It's All About the Wheels
A sense of Paradox
Sea Otter: Super D
What is Sea Otter?



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Which Holiday Treat
Are You?

Raisin a Comeback
Marilyn Price:
Making Trips for Kids




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2006 CX Nationals Sidelines
2006 CX Nationals Day 2
2006 CX Nationals Day I
2006 CX Nationals Intro



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Warmth Recaptured
The Road Ahead
On The Well Worn Path
Fireflies in the
Garden of Gray

A Ride With the Cannibal
Hoop Talk



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Interbike '06
Grande Finale
Innocence Lost
Outdoor Demo
and Hangover Ride

Interbike 2006 Intro



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24 Hours of Willamette
Twilight at the Velodrome



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Pedros Fest '06
The Faces of Pedros
Not-so Still of the Night
The Bold and The Vulgar
Trailing Off
Stickers, Glue, Ribbons,
Markers

Good Times in the Sky
Downhiller Hunting at Jiminy
Pedros Fest Intro 2006



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Heart Rate Monitor
Mt. Hamilton
Critical Mass
The Mountain of the Devil
Fighting for the Finish
Hey Watch Your Feet!
Special Film Pull-out
Bicycle Film Festival
Tour du Parc
The Five Boro Bike Tour
VOICES: Peter Sutherland
VOICES: Brendt Barbur
VOICES: Jacob Septimus
Stillwell Interpretive Trail
Resurrecting the Vanderbilt
Motor Parkway

Kicking it up a Notch
Bicycle Film Festival Intro
The Fat Tire Classic
The Road to Zamora
Edison, NJ Show
Carlisle, PA Show
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SLIME Torture Test
Step Away from the Lube
Energy Crisis
CX Camp for Juniors
Gear Guide: 2006
Inside the CX Nationals
Road to Nowhere
Take it Hard, Take it Easy
Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day Three

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
Nationals Day Two

Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
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Liberty Mutual Cyclocross
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Holiday GIFT GUIDE
The Unbearable Art
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Tasting the Brew
A Crewman's journey
275 Miles for Youth
Letters from the Road
Patterson Pass Insurgence
The Power of Critical Mass



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Travel:



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Interbike '05/ Las Vegas
IB '05: Red Rocks Canyon
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IB '05: Lake Mead
IB '05: Outdoor Demo II
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IB '05: Intro



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Pedros Fest '05
Night Moves
Roughin' It!
Words With Tinker Juarez
Pedros' Faces
Jiminy Peak Free Ride
Womens' Skills Clinic
Pedros: Day One
Pedros Intro



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Chicago
Bicyclist Haven?
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Cali Travel Intro
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Roaring Mouse Race Series
(Spring 2005)

The Agony and Ecstacy
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Visions in Saffron
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26 Degrees of Separation
The Abondoned Bike
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Death Valley:
Two Cyclists Enter

Car-Free: Kara
Car-Free: Max
And the Winner is...
Halloween in Gotham
Battling El Diablo
Interbike: The Event
Interbike: Intro
Cape May,
A Cyclist's Dream

A d'Liteful Adventure
Catching up with
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BTC Daily 2004
Crashpads:
Crash and Burn?

IBEX MTB Trail [Series]
Prelude to a Champion
Rudy Project: Part Deux
Take Time to Appreciate
Stretching for a Fit Body
A Soggy 5 Island Tour
Incident Report
The Pump Showdown
Manhattan Greenway
Burley D'Lite Pre-Review
Bike Rodeo
When Polar Bears Attack
Almighty Leap Ride
Essential Cycling Toolkit
Training up! [The Series]
Selle Italia/Cannondale Ride
Wanna do a charity ride?
PBBC 2003 Season Opener
Rudy Project Eval Ride
Fixing Flats On the Go!
The Ride Dine 9.13.03
Road Riding Safety
Winter Riding Safety
Cycles Le Femme Jerseys
Helmets and Safety
North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

I admit it. I am a racer-wannabe. Every June I watch the U.S. Pro Cycling Championships in Philadelphia and stand in awe of the cyclists climbing the infamous Manayunk Wall and of the pacelines that remind me of an unstoppable locomotive. Of course, I follow the Tour in July. My partner Jen competes in many local and regional races each year, including the XTerra off-road triathlon series. Let's face it: the excitement of racing and the thrill and risk of the final sprint can bring out the racer-wannabe in any recreational cyclist. It did in me.

While shoveling the snow of a New England winter storm last year, I was thinking about the warm weather to come and an early summer vacation. For 2005, a bicycling vacation was the front-runner because the previous July, as Lance donned the yellow jersey for the sixth time, I pledged to improve my cycling enough to keep up with Jen on her training rides. I wanted to find the right bicycling experience to take myself to a new level of cycling.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

I fired up a web browser, opened Google, and typed "women bicycle camp." Thousands of results filled the search page with many of the sites geared toward women mountain bicyclists. "Hmm, Jen's specialty, but not mine," I thought. On my second try, using the terms "women road bicycle camp," I spotted a listing for "Ride Noho," a bicycle touring company in Northampton, Massachusetts. A quick link to their website revealed several camps for recreational and experienced racers. It did not take long before Jen and I registered for the Women's Training Camp and began counting the days until our summer vacation. My training began.

Four months and countless trainer-in-the-garage rides later, Elaine Formica, one of the two principals of Ride Noho, Inc., greeted me in the lobby of the Hotel Northampton. Her enthusiasm for the days ahead beamed brightly as she outlined the camp schedule and answered my first-timer questions. "Will I be able to keep up?" "Where is the breakfast meeting place?" Elaine's welcome included reassuring answers to questions she must have heard hundreds of times, a packet of materials, a bicycle water bottle, a high quality Ride Noho bicycle jersey and a cool t-shirt.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

The camp started in earnest Monday morning with a hearty breakfast at Sylvester's Restaurant, located just a short walk from our accommodations. Sylvester's is named in honor of Sylvester Graham, the inventor of the graham cracker and very early proponent of a diet based on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Elaine told us this place was Ride Noho's favorite breakfast spot for its guests, and for good reason: the food - and coffee for those who start their training off with a bit of java - lived up to its namesake's high standards. Our plates were chock full of thick-sliced whole grain French toast, pancakes, vegetarian sausage, fresh strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. Our coach for the four-day camp joined us at Sylvester's and the camp was officially underway. Sarah was fit and good-humored and a seasoned New England racer. As she gulped her coffee, she asked about our biking experience, what our goals for the training camp were, and detailed the training plan the camp would be using.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

Before the camp, I thought to be a better cyclist I just needed to ride more miles and ride harder. Beginning with the first riding session (bike handling and cornering skills), I began a four-day course designed to teach me what I needed to learn about improving my cycling. Techniques, drills, warm-ups, tempo rides, sprints, and hill climbs were woven together with lessons on changing a flat tire, bicycle design and geometry, nutrition, and heart rate zones. We experienced an actual four-day training cycle.



North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

I learned there are five types of rides one can do based on heart rate or perceived exertion (or power meter for those who have added that tool): recovery ("this is really easy"), easy ("I'm still feeling good, but working a little now"), light ("I can have a conversation, but I can feel my effort and I am aware of my breathing"), middle ("My breathing is labored; I have to breathe every few words"), and high ("I am breathing so hard I can't talk"). "Light" is often called "tempo," and "middle" can also be called "lactate threshold." I learned the importance of recovery and came home with a training framework as a starting point for what to do next.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

Ride Noho's Women's Training Camp was more than just riding. We met Aldo Tiboni, Ride Noho's second host and principal. Aldo provided plenty of good cheer and piloted the camp's van as we ventured out away from Northampton each morning. Aldo's recovery smoothies after a long ride, ample supplies of energy bars, bananas, and honey wheat braided pretzels, delicious lunches at Ride Noho's select restaurants, and the wonderful charm of Northampton helped me to understand that training is more than just riding hard. Training is about pacing, and nutrition and bike fit and recovery. Training is about going hard when your ride includes intervals or hill-work, not just to stay up with everyone else. Elaine, Aldo, and Sarah connected with each of the participants as if we all had been destined to meet. They pushed us when the day's work was supposed to be intense, and encouraged us to keep our efforts in "easy" when we needed to rest. Sarah said more times that I could count, "Holding back is harder than mashing, and it is more valuable to your training."

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

What was it about Ride Noho's offering that grabbed my attention? There are many bicycle touring companies from which to choose and many with fine reputations, so how did we end up selecting Ride Noho? For this vacation, we wanted a nearby location, a weeklong tour, and an experience that could meet both a recreational rider's and a competitive rider's expectations. A camp designed mainly for a beginner or mainly for a racer would likely have frustrated one of us. The Ride Noho Women's Training Camp allowed both a novice and a more accomplished rider to have a tailored experience. The four-day camp located just three and a half hours away from home fit nicely into a week. Plus, the beautiful countryside made for great recovery touring opportunities after the days of training.

Within weeks after the Women's Training Camp, I am happy to report I kicked my cycling power up a notch. I don't have the power meter to prove it, but during my training rides with Jen I've held the paceline more comfortably, and although I do not start any breakaways, I stay with the group. Now, when someone says, "We're cranking on the hills tonight - want to come?" I know if I should say yes or no based on my training schedule. The difference is that I now know when I need to rest, and when I need to crank. With my training-camp schedule, my body can absorb the effort from the hard days, and be ready for the next hard effort.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

Postscript: Ride Noho won us over last June. Jen and I returned to Ride Noho in October 2005 to take on the challenge of climbing the famous Mount Greylock. Elaine smiled as I asked my second timer questions. "Do you think I'll keep up?" "Breakfast at Sylvester's, right?" As I approach the 2006 season I feel more fit than ever and ready for the winter weather to turn to spring. Who knows, perhaps we'll meet on the road or at Ride Noho.


With photographs by: Elaine Formica, Donna Tatro, Aldo Tiboni and Jen Whiting

For More Information about Ride Noho training camps, visit: www.ridenoho.com
North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

I admit it. I am a racer-wannabe. Every June I watch the U.S. Pro Cycling Championships in Philadelphia and stand in awe of the cyclists climbing the infamous Manayunk Wall and of the pacelines that remind me of an unstoppable locomotive. Of course, I follow the Tour in July. My partner Jen competes in many local and regional races each year, including the XTerra off-road triathlon series. Let's face it: the excitement of racing and the thrill and risk of the final sprint can bring out the racer-wannabe in any recreational cyclist. It did in me.

While shoveling the snow of a New England winter storm last year, I was thinking about the warm weather to come and an early summer vacation. For 2005, a bicycling vacation was the front-runner because the previous July, as Lance donned the yellow jersey for the sixth time, I pledged to improve my cycling enough to keep up with Jen on her training rides. I wanted to find the right bicycling experience to take myself to a new level of cycling.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

I fired up a web browser, opened Google, and typed "women bicycle camp." Thousands of results filled the search page with many of the sites geared toward women mountain bicyclists. "Hmm, Jen's specialty, but not mine," I thought. On my second try, using the terms "women road bicycle camp," I spotted a listing for "Ride Noho," a bicycle touring company in Northampton, Massachusetts. A quick link to their website revealed several camps for recreational and experienced racers. It did not take long before Jen and I registered for the Women's Training Camp and began counting the days until our summer vacation. My training began.

Four months and countless trainer-in-the-garage rides later, Elaine Formica, one of the two principals of Ride Noho, Inc., greeted me in the lobby of the Hotel Northampton. Her enthusiasm for the days ahead beamed brightly as she outlined the camp schedule and answered my first-timer questions. "Will I be able to keep up?" "Where is the breakfast meeting place?" Elaine's welcome included reassuring answers to questions she must have heard hundreds of times, a packet of materials, a bicycle water bottle, a high quality Ride Noho bicycle jersey and a cool t-shirt.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

The camp started in earnest Monday morning with a hearty breakfast at Sylvester's Restaurant, located just a short walk from our accommodations. Sylvester's is named in honor of Sylvester Graham, the inventor of the graham cracker and very early proponent of a diet based on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Elaine told us this place was Ride Noho's favorite breakfast spot for its guests, and for good reason: the food - and coffee for those who start their training off with a bit of java - lived up to its namesake's high standards. Our plates were chock full of thick-sliced whole grain French toast, pancakes, vegetarian sausage, fresh strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. Our coach for the four-day camp joined us at Sylvester's and the camp was officially underway. Sarah was fit and good-humored and a seasoned New England racer. As she gulped her coffee, she asked about our biking experience, what our goals for the training camp were, and detailed the training plan the camp would be using.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

Before the camp, I thought to be a better cyclist I just needed to ride more miles and ride harder. Beginning with the first riding session (bike handling and cornering skills), I began a four-day course designed to teach me what I needed to learn about improving my cycling. Techniques, drills, warm-ups, tempo rides, sprints, and hill climbs were woven together with lessons on changing a flat tire, bicycle design and geometry, nutrition, and heart rate zones. We experienced an actual four-day training cycle.



North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

I learned there are five types of rides one can do based on heart rate or perceived exertion (or power meter for those who have added that tool): recovery ("this is really easy"), easy ("I'm still feeling good, but working a little now"), light ("I can have a conversation, but I can feel my effort and I am aware of my breathing"), middle ("My breathing is labored; I have to breathe every few words"), and high ("I am breathing so hard I can't talk"). "Light" is often called "tempo," and "middle" can also be called "lactate threshold." I learned the importance of recovery and came home with a training framework as a starting point for what to do next.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

Ride Noho's Women's Training Camp was more than just riding. We met Aldo Tiboni, Ride Noho's second host and principal. Aldo provided plenty of good cheer and piloted the camp's van as we ventured out away from Northampton each morning. Aldo's recovery smoothies after a long ride, ample supplies of energy bars, bananas, and honey wheat braided pretzels, delicious lunches at Ride Noho's select restaurants, and the wonderful charm of Northampton helped me to understand that training is more than just riding hard. Training is about pacing, and nutrition and bike fit and recovery. Training is about going hard when your ride includes intervals or hill-work, not just to stay up with everyone else. Elaine, Aldo, and Sarah connected with each of the participants as if we all had been destined to meet. They pushed us when the day's work was supposed to be intense, and encouraged us to keep our efforts in "easy" when we needed to rest. Sarah said more times that I could count, "Holding back is harder than mashing, and it is more valuable to your training."

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

What was it about Ride Noho's offering that grabbed my attention? There are many bicycle touring companies from which to choose and many with fine reputations, so how did we end up selecting Ride Noho? For this vacation, we wanted a nearby location, a weeklong tour, and an experience that could meet both a recreational rider's and a competitive rider's expectations. A camp designed mainly for a beginner or mainly for a racer would likely have frustrated one of us. The Ride Noho Women's Training Camp allowed both a novice and a more accomplished rider to have a tailored experience. The four-day camp located just three and a half hours away from home fit nicely into a week. Plus, the beautiful countryside made for great recovery touring opportunities after the days of training.

Within weeks after the Women's Training Camp, I am happy to report I kicked my cycling power up a notch. I don't have the power meter to prove it, but during my training rides with Jen I've held the paceline more comfortably, and although I do not start any breakaways, I stay with the group. Now, when someone says, "We're cranking on the hills tonight - want to come?" I know if I should say yes or no based on my training schedule. The difference is that I now know when I need to rest, and when I need to crank. With my training-camp schedule, my body can absorb the effort from the hard days, and be ready for the next hard effort.

North Hampton (Noho) race camp for women gets women up to speed

Postscript: Ride Noho won us over last June. Jen and I returned to Ride Noho in October 2005 to take on the challenge of climbing the famous Mount Greylock. Elaine smiled as I asked my second timer questions. "Do you think I'll keep up?" "Breakfast at Sylvester's, right?" As I approach the 2006 season I feel more fit than ever and ready for the winter weather to turn to spring. Who knows, perhaps we'll meet on the road or at Ride Noho.


With photographs by: Elaine Formica, Donna Tatro, Aldo Tiboni and Jen Whiting

For More Information about Ride Noho training camps, visit: www.ridenoho.com
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