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Tracy Thelen's Blog (46)


Are we ready?

The first Ascent Cycling race is already looming in just a few days times. Time to strap on numbers and line up with friends who will be fierce rivals for the next 60 minutes. An hour of fun - an hour of suffering. Pinning it from the start and hoping to hold on for as long as possible - or until that sweet sound. A ringing bell signalling one to go.

It starts friendly enough. Collect number from Registration - get out and do a warm up and pre-ride on the course.…


Added by Tracy Thelen on June 2, 2014 at 6:27pm — No Comments

Summer time fun time

It might still be spring and the snow might still be flying - or at least the weatherman is calling for snow and rain in Sunday - but it's never too early to start planning for a summer of fun. Our local racing series will be back again and it's looking like an awesome way to spend Wednesday nights. There's five races in the series again and there sill be something for everyone. We kick off the summer on June 4 in Palmer Park (race #92!) This is different from prior years, where the first race… Continue

Added by Tracy Thelen on April 25, 2014 at 10:17am — No Comments

This is only the beginning

This is not a race report. There is nothing about my race, my tactics or how I felt riding my bike. This is a reflection of the series and how having something as simple seeming as the Ascent Cycling Series can become the focus of the summer. It's also about development as a rider - both in skills and confidence.

There's something fun about racing a series. It's more then just go out and suffer one time, then done. There are second chances to make up for a bad race and the…


Added by Tracy Thelen on August 2, 2013 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Saying Thanks

The Ascent Cycling Series will conclude tomorrow night with one last trip around the single track of Bear Creek Terrace. The series finale is always bittersweet. On one hand, the racing is over and we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief. Done. Time to relax and chill out. No more planning schedules, leaving work early or skipping fun rides to be "fresh" for the midweek race. On the other hand, the racing is done. No more gathering on the start line with friends, ready to tear legs apart. The… Continue

Added by Tracy Thelen on July 30, 2013 at 11:39am — 1 Comment

Talking to myself

Anyone who has ever followed me through a technical section has had the privilege of overhearing my method for cleaning the tricky lines. Even now, I still talk myself through everything - simple reminders to look where I want to go, breath, relax and flow. Might be annoying to everyone else, but it serves me well, especially on a course like yesterday! It doesn't matter how many times I've ridden something - I'm always repeating those phrase.  I know what I was getting into - four laps of…


Added by Tracy Thelen on July 22, 2013 at 5:32pm — No Comments

Chyenne Mountain State Park

(This is a little later then I wanted and may not be as much use now. I was hoping to get it written and posted Tuesday night but had something come up.)

I am gonna do something a little different for this post. Instead of tips on racing and riding, I want to look over the course. I've heard a lot of people talking about the course and how happy they are that there is no Medicine Wheel in the race. Well, it is true that Medicine Wheel is one of the hardest trails in the park. But we…


Added by Tracy Thelen on July 18, 2013 at 1:13pm — No Comments

Trail Makeup and Staying Focused

It's bound to happen to every rider at some point in time. The mid race crash that throws you mentally. I know I've had my fair share of them - frequently crossing the line covered in dirt and dust with some blood mixed in for good measure. It doesn't happen as much as it used to, but sometimes I need the wakeup call to ride my bike smart and focus on what I'm doing.

Well, this was the wake-up call race at Palmer Park. With just me and Kelly N on the starting line for the…


Added by Tracy Thelen on July 12, 2013 at 4:13pm — No Comments

In the Passing Lane

After two races, we've all had to deal with it - passing. Whether doing the passing or being passed, there's a few things to think about while out on the trail. Any time we're out on the trails, we need to remember there are other users. The interaction you have with that hiker, trail runner or fellow rider can color perspectives. We need all the good publicity we can get, especially on the busy and popular trails all along the front range. So here's some good tips to follow when out on the…


Added by Tracy Thelen on July 8, 2013 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

If you're gonna be dumb

You better be tough! At least that's what Nick says all the time. Well, racing yesterday wasn't smart - but the way I raced was certainty dumb! Note to self. Despite what the mind thinks, the legs really dictate how well recovery is going. Yep. And when a seasoned and multi time national champion in 24 hour racing laughs at you while asking if the legs have bounced back…


Added by Tracy Thelen on June 27, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments


It's been the typical Colorado this year. Winter hung around until one day, it was time for heat. Since then, the sun has been blazing and it's been plenty warm.

Up into the 90's warm.

I think the last chilly day was the June 5th Ascent Cycling race at Bear Creek. Looking at the forecast for this week, it's gonna be a hot one for the second race of the series at…


Added by Tracy Thelen on June 23, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Starting the Series with a Schooling

Despite the cold weather and looming clouds, the start of the 2013 Ascent Cycling Series proved to be yet another success. There were solid fields in every class, ranging from the youngest of juniors to a spunky 65 year old. Smiles abounded as riders turned racers maneuvered around rocks, up steep hills and down tricky switchbacks. Number plates adorned bikes of all kinds,…


Added by Tracy Thelen on June 6, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Rider or Racer?

George Sheehan once said that the only difference between a jogger and a runner was a bib number. I loved that quote when I was running. I always took that iconic statement as a reflection on the commitment it takes to sign up for a race. It didn't matter if you were fast or slow, there to win or simply to finish. If you were willing to take a risk an toe the starting line, you earned the title of runner. That step is scary for many people as all the standard worries are voiced. "I'm not…


Added by Tracy Thelen on May 31, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Racing season is almost here!

It's getting close - the opening race of the 2013 Ascent Cycling Series. Only 20 short days until we get to line up and hear Andy blow his whistle to release us onto the single track. This year might be the best yet with two dates at Palmer Park, two at Bear Creek Terrace and a return to Cheyenne Mountain State Park. I'm looking forward to all of the races, but the one at CMPS is going to be awesome. I don't know what the course is going to be, but everything at CMSP is fun. With five races…


Added by Tracy Thelen on May 15, 2013 at 2:45pm — No Comments

Two Wheels, All Kinds of Racers

It has been so much fun racing in the Sand Creek Sports Jersey and sharing my stories about preparing for and racing the Ascent Cycling Series. It was also a honor to be chosen as a member of the Sand Creek - Pikes Peak Sports team. Cameron and I both took the series and he pretty much demolished every race he entered, including the finale at Palmer Park. I had to skip that last Sand Creek race - the ProCycling challenge. The mind was willing but I needed the day off.

Cameron has…


Added by Tracy Thelen on October 4, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments

What a year!

While my Pikes Peak Sports team mate Cameron has been on a roll, winning almost everything in sight, it was different end to season for me. I also raced at 24 Colorado Springs this year - my first time for this race. Last year, Nick raced solo single speed and I ran his pit. This year, we stuck together for our Duo Mixed attempt at a Stars and Stripes Jersey. We knew it was…


Added by Tracy Thelen on October 2, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

Racing for Chocolate milk

It's always bittersweet to end a series as fun as the Ascent Cycling series. Throughout the summer, I've been looking forward to 6:15 on Wednesday nights. No matter how crazy the weekend before has been or how hectic the upcoming weekend will be, on Wednesday nights it's been time to race my mountain bike. I've known there will some fast women on the line, plenty of speedy juniors to chase and the possibility that Russel, Cam and the rest of the really speedy local (and national) pros will…


Added by Tracy Thelen on August 9, 2012 at 12:14pm — No Comments

Short Track on Steroids!


Okay, so technically these are crit races, but it still feels like a short track race on steroids. That's what I've jokingly called the Ascent Cycling Series in the past. A 2.5 mile lap, repeated for an hour, then the sprint to the line. All out from the gun until the finish. So much different then the cross country races of two to two and a half hours where its a hard start, then settle into a strong…


Added by Tracy Thelen on August 4, 2012 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Can't help Smiling....

Lesson #1 from race four in the Ascent Cycling Series - ignore the crazy guy hollering at you to do wheelies and other crazy stunts during your pre-ride... Oh yeah, can't! Enthusiastic spectator turned course tear down volunteer was my husband and I wouldn't want to disappoint him - so I did the wheelie at the top of the hill and promptly fell off my bike. Oh well - that's what I get for trying to show off! And at least it was during the pre-ride.... A great start to the evening! Anyways...…


Added by Tracy Thelen on July 26, 2012 at 8:57pm — 1 Comment

What makes the race

Quick! Name the one thing that really makes a race stand out. Okay, a swag bag filled with goodies is nice. It's always fun to dig through a bag, drooling over the race fkyers and nibbling on the samples. I'll freely admit to having a warerbottle covered in race stickers and I really love all the waterbottles. But I have a cupboard full of waterbottles now and can only use so many at a time. Fancy t-shirts or socks? Always good to replace shirts that have gotten all stained up and socks get…


Added by Tracy Thelen on July 24, 2012 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Dusting off the Cobwebs!

I wasn't sure how the legs were going to feel when I pedaled over to Bear Creek Terrace on Wednesday for the third race in the Ascent Cycling Series. A long weekend with some hard miles (Breck 100) had left me feeling more than a little beat up. Even though I was tired, I still wanted to race - something about throwing down hot laps on the fun trails! I got on the course and did two laps easy after the 5:00 race started. It was definitely an easier course with fewer rock gardens and…


Added by Tracy Thelen on July 20, 2012 at 2:49pm — No Comments

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