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BG Fit: Meredith Miller

by Meredith Miller in Cycling, Road Cycling, Train With Grain

This is a wonderful piece done by Specialized Bikes of Meredith Miller being fit for her bike. Most of us won’t ever get a custom fit like this, but it’s amazing to see all the different components that are measured and the adjustments that are made. If you want to watch more of these, check ‘em out here. (Also, more on BG fit here.)

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Meredith Miller Google: Meredith Miller
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Train with Grain Summer 2011

by Cassidy Stockton in Cycling, Featured Articles

Train with Grain is designed to help fuel the workouts and boost the training efforts of dedicated athletes everywhere. The idea: create a well-fueled community where athletes of every level can share and learn and grow together.

It kicked off last year with Cyclocross, and this year we’re eagerly expanding into road racing and triathlons, two other sports that demand great nutrition and long-lasting energy.

Participants receive an awesome training kit, packed with a delicious variety of whole grains – including Honey Oat Granola, 10 Grain Hot Cereal, Quinoa and 7 Grain Pancake Mix – as well as their choice of a sweet cycling cap or running hat (plus a few other goodies). We’re including recipes and photos for how to use these products, so anyone can easily start making training-friendly food at home.

This year we’re also bringing in a handful of contributors to share their training experiences and war stories on our blog along the way. This team of road warriors and triathletes comes with varying years of experience, and is well prepared to talk about everything from biomechanics and hydration to etiquette and training schedules. Count on video diaries, horrific injury stories, tips on how not to get divorced while training, and a short film on leg-shaving techniques for men. They come from all over the country, and can offer perspectives on what it’s like to train and race in a variety of climates.

This crew will also provide cooking demos, meal plans and “night before” recipes based on the grains in your kit.

It should be a lot of fun.

We’ve also created a slick and ultra-user-friendly dashboard where you can login, choose your races, upload photos, and interact with everyone else. It’s connected through Facebook, so you can post every victory directly to your wall and encourage friendly competition (read: taunt) everyone you know.

It’s going to be awesome.

If you want to find out more, join the Train with Grain community right now. We’d love to have you on the team.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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What is Train with Grain?

by Cassidy Stockton in Cyclocross, Road Cycling, Train With Grain, Triathlons

Train with Grain is designed to help fuel the workouts and boost the training efforts of dedicated athletes everywhere. The idea: create a well-fueled community where athletes of every level can share and learn and grow together.

It kicked off last year with Cyclocross, and this year we’re eagerly expanding into road racing and triathlons, two other sports that demand great nutrition and long-lasting energy.

Participants receive an awesome training kit, packed with a delicious variety of whole grains – including Honey Oat Granola, 10 Grain Hot Cereal, Quinoa and 7 Grain Pancake Mix – as well as their choice of a sweet cycling cap or running hat (plus a few other goodies). We’re including recipes and photos for how to use these products, so anyone can easily start making training-friendly food at home.

This year we’re also bringing in a handful of contributors to share their training experiences and war stories on our blog along the way. This team of road warriors and triathletes comes with varying years of experience, and is well prepared to talk about everything from biomechanics and hydration to etiquette and training schedules. Count on video diaries, horrific injury stories, tips on how not to get divorced while training, and a short film on leg-shaving techniques for men. They come from all over the country, and can offer perspectives on what it’s like to train and race in a variety of climates.

This crew will also provide cooking demos, meal plans and “night before” recipes based on the grains in your kit.

It should be a lot of fun.

We’ve also created a slick and ultra-user-friendly dashboard where you can login, choose your races, upload photos, and interact with everyone else. It’s connected through Facebook, so you can post every victory directly to your wall and encourage friendly competition (read: taunt) everyone you know.

It’s going to be awesome.

If you want to find out more, join the Train with Grain community right now. We’d love to have you on the team.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Train with Grain Bike Winner

by Cassidy Stockton in Cycling, Cyclocross, Train With Grain

Bob hands over possession of the Focus Mares Bike to Train with Grain winner, Harvey Visser. Harvey was very pleased to win the bike and promised to be back for Cross Crusade this fall.

 

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Race Report: Euro Racing Campaign & Season Wrap-up: Part two

by Maureen Bruno Roy in Cycling, Cyclocross, Featured Articles, Train With Grain

See part one for the first half of Mo’s European tour.

1.1 – GP Hotel Threeland Cyclocross

The race course was set up right through another small town and into the surrounding woods. It was hilly and very much like a mountain bike course with singletrack style climbs and slippery, muddy down hills.

I hadn’t done that much climbing in a race since the summer mountain bike races, but I gave it my best shot and kept trying to keep my effort steady rather than burn too many matches on the climbs. I spent most of the day on my own and finished ninth with my first European race top ten!

Coverage from Cyclingnews and Cyclocross Magazine can be found here and here.

We headed back to Belgium that night to prepare for the final race of the European campaign. The race was going to be on par with a World Cup course with a very stong field of competitors. I was hoping that my last race of the trip would be a strong one.

1.2 – Fidea Classic, Tervuren

After pre-riding the course, I could tell that we would all be off the bikes and running within the first two minutes of the race which was good news for me as I like running in the mud. The rest of the course was filled with twists and turns through the woods, some small climbs and several sections of getting on and off the bike in the mud. I had a decent start position and was surprised to find myself running in the top five at the top of the muddy hill.

After I hopped on my bike, the fight for the top ten ensued as each rider tried to use their strengths and move past one another. A few riders passed me but I was able to pass a few more heading into the last lap to grab another 9th place and a second top ten for the week of racing!

You can find more of Lyne’s great coverage on Podium Insight here and here. Cyclingnews and Cyclocross Magazine coverage can be found here and here.

That night we headed to the home of our friends Christine and Jonas along with our friend Lyne and enjoyed a home cooked meal and some local specialty aperitifs. It was a perfect way to wrap up the races and enjoy some socializing while watching the race coverage on TV too.

The following day we packed up all of our equipment and then Karlien and I spent some quality time scrubbing the mud out of my racing gear before putting it in her washing machine while Matt and Gijs went off to pick up some specialty beers to bring home. Later that day we headed to Turnhout, a town close to Arendonk.  We explored the busy shopping district on the first day of the annual winter sales and had an amazing lunch at a tea house. That night we joined friends Luc, Heidi and Jasmien for another fantastic homemade dinner and relaxing by their fireplace.

On our final day in Belgium, we headed back to Ghent to return the borrowed equipment to the BMC Service Course. We took one last trip through Antwerp for some coffee at Caffénation and another lunch and ginger tea at Lombardia before heading home the following day.

Upon returning home, we awaited news of the US World’s Team selection. We settled back into our work schedules and a well-earned rest week for me. Late Friday afternoon I read on Velonews that the team had been selected and that I was not selected as a discretionary pick. Having missed the selection, I was even more thrilled to have had the opportunity to do four races in Europe the week before. And now it’s time to say a HUGE thank you to all of my sponsors, fans, friends and family for your support this past season. I could not have done it without you!

But we’re not quite done yet!
Please join us for the annual MM Racing End of Cyclocross Season Party on Saturday January 30th at the Ride Studio Café in Lexington from 6:30-10:00 PM for snacks, beer and maybe, just maybe some cupcakes! Bring your friends and let’s celebrate our succesful season together. So we know how many cupcakes to make, please RSVP.

We have lots of new and exciting things to share with you in our next newsletter, including awesome custom computers from Cateye, more sponsor spotlights, a great new sponsor and much more. So, stay tuned!

Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support: Bob’s Red Mill, Seven Cycles, SRAM, Mavic, Pedro’s, TRP, Fizik, Mad Alchemy, Bonfire Health, Challenge Tires, Thule, New England Athletic, Ryders Eyewear, CatEye, ClifBar and Lazer Helmets.

If you just can’t get enough MM Racing, you can follow us on Twitter Matt: @mm_racing, Mo: @meaux_marie or find the MM Racing fan page on Facebook.

Thanks for reading!

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Maureen Bruno Roy Google: Maureen Bruno Roy
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Race Report: Euro Racing Campaign: Part 1

by Maureen Bruno Roy in Cycling, Cyclocross, Featured Articles, Train With Grain

Just 10 days after Nationals, we re-packed the bikes and bags and headed to Belgium for the biggest week of cross races in the World. I had made arrangements to compete in one World Cup and three UCI races and was excited to redeem myself after Nationals. It would be a busy week of racing but it also meant that we would have the chance to take a few recovery days and explore the cities around us.

We were happy to have very few problems with our travel to Brussels despite several airports in Europe being closed just days before due to record snowfalls (6-8 inches) that closed runways, caused de-icer shortages and massive baggage problems. We had a slight delay due to traffic leaving Newark and did not suspect any problems in Brussels until I overheard a flight attendant say “Brussels was closed this morning due to more snow, but the pilots didn’t seem concerned.” It appeared that Brussels got another 6-8 inches of snow that night that left one runway open for arrivals but no departures going out. We arrived on time and then sat on the runway because we did not have a gate available. Twenty minutes later we were sent to another gate and then had to wait another 30 minutes because the jet-way was stuck in ice and needed to be shoveled out. Coming from Boston where they move snow out of Logan in record time, we just kind of felt bad for these guys.

Baggage Claim. It was apparent that the airport closings from the week before had led to a huge mess, including Brussels being filled with luggage. We waited for about an hour while carousels were emptied and luggage was put into row after row after row. We felt very lucky when all of our luggage arrived trouble free.

After packing the rental car, Matt proceeded to slam the hatch back into his forehead causing a minor bloody mess but my last minute band-aid packing had him on the mend quickly. We hit the road en route to our rented cottage in Arendonk hoping that the road conditions were at least manageable.

We arrived about ninety minutes later to our little cottage in Arendonk and were welcomed back by Karlien and Peter.  We had no trouble with the drive despite concerns that the roads were in bad shape from the snow. Karlien had put a small Christmas tree in the cottage for us making it feel very festive with the snow outside and the wood stove inside. That night we spent Christmas Eve with the Gijsen family, played with the kids and learned about Saint Nicolas Day (Dec 6th) being their big holiday where the kids get gifts (historically left in their shoes) and Dec 25th Christmas keeping a more religious tradition.

On Christmas Day, we pre-rode the Zolder World Cup Course and met up with several of the other American racers. The snow was deep on the course and it was very technical because of the conditions. I was very much looking forward to some redemption after Nationals and excited to race on some European courses.

12.26 – Heusden-Zolder World Cup

The start of the race was a bit hectic as I was close to the back and the first turn was so snowy that most riders were off their bikes and running. I found myself able to move up close to the top ten and tried to stay relaxed to avoid mistakes.

The course had several steep ups and downs and I chose to run two of the downhill sections to avoid crashing like I had seen several other riders do in the warm up.

I was sitting in 16th place for much of the race. My legs felt good and I felt comfortable on the slippery course, letting my bike lead the way. However, each time I had to run up or down a hill, the bottoms of my shoes got so jammed with snow and ice that they would not go back into the pedals despite trying to kick all the snow out. I began losing time as I struggled with my shoes and pedals and finished 20th. It was still my best World Cup finish but I was hoping for top 15.

Race coverage from Cyclingnews, Velonews and Cyclocross Magazine can be found here, here and here.  Lyne from Podium Insight was on hand and provided words and pictures here and here.

We also found a pretty nice video compilation below.  I make a few cameos in it, so check it out here!

The following day we headed to the BMC Service Course in Ghent. After an all-to-brief tour of the city of Ghent, we headed to the home base for the BMC team. Matt had contacted some of the mechanics that work for the team and asked to borrow some equipment so that we would not have to fly with more baggage. Ian and Jürgen kindly offered whatever we needed as well as a tour of the warehouse when we arrived. We left with just the right equipment for the next race on Wednesday that was sure to be a muddy one! We finished off our “rest day” as spectators at the famous nighttime cyclocross race in Diegem. There were 15,000 spectators that came out on a chilly Monday night to watch ‘cross under the lights. It was a first to come to a race as a spectator, but with frites in hand, I didn’t feel out of place.

12.29 – GVA Trofee Azencross-Loenhout

We were surprised to see that 10,000 people showed up to a cross race in a small town on a Wednesday the week between Christmas and New Years, but that’s typical Belgium! There was a steady light rain that mixed with the remaining snow on the ground to make a muddy mess of the course. The race was fast and flat with a few short bumps and one set of bmx-style whoops. I felt strong on the technical section and dug deep on the long flat pavement to try to work my way up to the top ten. In the end, I held onto 13th hoping to crack the top ten in the next few races over the weekend.

Race coverage from Podium Insight, can be found here and here.  More pictures and coverage from Cyclocross Magazine can be found here.  Cyclingnews and Velonews coverage can be found here and here.

That evening after the race we headed into Antwerp to check out the festive lights, holiday markets, do some sightseeing and eat at Lombardia veg/vegan restaurant. They have a famous hot ginger drink that I could have three times a day if I could! The city was filled with decorations and lights, an ice skating rink and food vendors. We strolled the city taking photos and later stopped for some frites and gluhwein (hot spiced red wine). We joked that we felt a little like we were in a movie where the couple ‘jets off to Europe’ for the holidays. It was a glamorous welcome rest between the races.

On New Year’s Eve, I got in my training ride and we packed up the car for the drive to the next race in Luxembourg. We made a quick stop at the local car wash to give the bikes and wheels a proper scrubbing.  The car wash had many options to choose from but our Dutch is really up to par with car-wash talk… we settled on Zeep (soap) and Verwateren (water).

Our drive to Luxembourg took us through the Ardennes forest and through the towns of Liège and Bastogne, home to the oldest road race in Europe, the Liège -Bastogne- Liège, first run in 1892.  In Pétange, Luxembourg, along the French border, the race promoter had provided us with a hotel for the evening. We arrived early and headed north to Luxembourg City to walk around and find some New Year’s Eve dinner. The city was mostly quiet with restaurants setting up for meat-heavy prix fixe menus and late night revelers. There was one large party tent set up in the main square blasting pop music. We wandered around checking out the old walled sections of the city, taking photos and dinner. We headed back to the hotel for some rest which turned into watching fireworks at midnight from our window and watching a really bad werewolf movie dubbed in German.

Read about the rest of Mo’s European tour in part two.

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Maureen Bruno Roy Google: Maureen Bruno Roy
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Focus Mares CX2 Winner!

by Cassidy Stockton in Cycling, Cyclocross, Featured Articles

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Thank You!

A Holiday Thank You!

by in Featured Articles
Holiday Bike Drive 2010

Holiday Bike Drive 2010

It’s true that the best part of the Holiday Season is being able to share with those around you, and when it comes to our annual donation to the Community Cycling Center, we really couldn’t do it without you. By matching every dollar that you put in our donation bucket through the cyclocross season we are able to magnify your generosity to support getting kids on bikes.

Thank You!

Thank You!

Today we got this great note in the mail from Brenda, and we thought we’d post it so you could share in some of the happiness that you made possible. We’d like to thank you for generously donating at all of those rainy fall cyclocross events that you came out for, and we can’t wait to see you next year!

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Photo by Lyne Lamoureux, After crashing on 1st lap, Maureen Bruno-Roy clawed back to finish 21st

2010 Cyclo-cross National Championships

by in Featured Articles, Train With Grain
Serving oatmeal and bringing rainbows. It's just what we do.

Serving oatmeal and bringing rainbows. It's just what we do.

This past week some of us from the Mill headed out to Bend, Oregon to serve up some of our Steel Cut Oats at the 2010 Cyclo-cross National Championships. People from all around the country came out to both compete and cheer on their favorite riders as they raced through snow, mud and icy puddles. Over the 5 day scheduled races the course varied from icy and dangerous at the beginning of the event, to muddy and slow (and dangerous) for the final few elite races.

We couldn’t be prouder of all our Bob’s Red Mill riders as they battled the strong field of contenders in every race. But we were especially amazed by the tenacity and determination of Maureen Bruno Roy who made an amazing comeback from a brutal fall at the very beginning of the race.

After crashing onto her face during a massive pileup right off of the starting line, Mo was the very last rider to get up as the entire pack of racers passed over and around her. After the first lap she was in 98th place and 15 seconds behind the rider in front of her. But through pure determination and skill in the next few laps, she was able to pass 77 riders to finish in 21st place before heading off to the emergency room for stitches.

Photo by Lyne Lamoureux, After crashing on 1st lap, Maureen Bruno-Roy  clawed back to finish 21st

Photo by Lyne Lamoureux, After crashing on 1st lap, Maureen Bruno-Roy clawed back to finish 21st

Of course, not only was it inspirational to watch the races in person, it was also great to have the chance to introduce many new fans to our delicious oatmeal at this last big event of the 2010 cyclocross season. Biking fans and riders alike enjoyed trying out our porridge as there is something about being outdoors in the wintery high desert weather all day that makes a hot bowl of Steel Cut Oats really taste extra delicious.

Enthusiastic oatmeal fans.

Enthusiastic oatmeal fans.

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Race Report: Baystate Cyclocross & Stanley Portland Cup

by Maureen Bruno Roy in Cyclocross, Train With Grain

Hi everyone!  It’s hard to believe the Cyclocross Season is almost over!  This Sunday I will be lining up against the best in the nation to compete in the US Cyclocross National Championships in Bend, OR.  There will be live coverage provided by our friends at Cyclingdirt.  You can watch the coverage here. The race starts at 12:30 PST.  But first, let me recap the last two weekends of racing leading up to Nationals.

Thanksgiving morning started with a cold Waffle Cross ride with about 40 other Boston area cyclists through the woods and roads around Wellesley, MA. After the ride, the group gathered for fresh waffles made with Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Waffle Mix. Huge thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for donating product to the event! Matt and I jetted off to his lab for some work before picking up our little Russian pal Natasha and driving to Maine for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house. Although Matt had to return to the lab that night and spend the whole next day working, I got Friday off to prepare for the weekend racing locally at the Baystate Cross race.

Baystate Cyclocross – Day 1

The weather at Sterling is always cold and very windy and Saturday was no exception.  The course was mostly flat with a few minor obstacles leading to road race-like tactics as the race went on.  I moved to the front pulling the group in the headwind and burnt one too many matches and missed the move to keep on the wheels of the top three leaders.  I spent the remainder of the day dangling 5 to 20 seconds behind them with another racer on my wheel.  Tactics meant she would not help me catch the leaders because she has a teammate in the group, but she managed to sprint me at the line beating me by a hair.

Race reports and photos from Cyclingnews and Cyclocross Magazine here and here.

Baystate Cyclocross – Day 1

The wind was calmer on Sunday and the course had been changed to include two small sets of stairs, a hilly climb in the woods and more turns.  A group of six of us broke free and spent the majority of the race trying to attack one another and get ahead.

In the final lap I moved into second place and over a steep climb and got a small gap with one other rider.  The riders behind us had a crash on the descent and we took off.  I made a move to take the lead, attacking up the last steep hill and sprinting for the line where I was elbowed out at the line taking second.

Race reports and photos from Cyclingnews as well as Cyclocross Magazine can be found here and here. Dave McElwaine was on hand for interviews after the finish. Check out his interview with me here.

After an incredibly hectic week of late nights and early morning in the lab, a full schedule of clients at my massage practice, setting up the cat sitter for our extended absence and packing bikes, Matt and I headed to Portland late Thursday afternoon.  We arrived at Dan and Addie’s to a warm welcome back to Portland.  On Friday, Matt had booked a great massage for me with Colleen McClenahan while he headed to the race venue to work for the Cannondale Cyclocrossworld Team. After my massage and a leisurely food-shopping trip, I headed over to the venue to pre-ride the course.

Stanley Portland Cup – Day 1

Portland has been full of rain and mud all season long while I have been racing in completely dry and often hot conditions.  I was excited for a messy weekend but as luck would have it, the sun was brightly shining in Portland and the course was quickly drying out.  There would be very little mud this weekend.

After a great start, something slowly began to happen as I ran out of steam in the second lap of the race.  I was fatigued and sluggish and even felt a little shaky. Cyclists often describe this as “bonking”.  It’s the result of improper nutrition. After the long 6-hour flight and getting settled into Portland, I had failed to hydrate enough and the morning of the race did not eat enough to sustain my energy in the cold and windy conditions. I was out of energy and out of the competition.

I finished the race with the worst result since I began racing 6 years ago.  Oh boy, hit the restart button for tomorrow!

Race reports and photos from Cyclingnews as well as Cyclocross Magazine can be found here and here. Also, check out Lyne’s photo gallery at Podium Insight here.

Stanley Portland Cup – Day 2

After a good dinner the night before and better timing for my breakfast, I was still feeling a bit “off” as I arrived at the race venue.  I was determined to finish my 32 oz bottle of drink mix and to eat a second breakfast 2 hours before my race.  I also took 2 electrolyte capsules and within 20 minutes felt 100% better!

I warmed up on the course, which was now much faster than the day before and completely dry.  Matt added higher pressure to my Challenge Grifo tires… perfect for the fast but tacky conditions. After my warm up I had eaten and drank my fill and was ready to race.

I had another good start and hung on to the leaders through the first technical sections and quickly found myself in the fight for 5th through 10th place. Each lap I passed a few riders and then was passed back again until the last lap when I was able to hold onto eighth closing in on sixth and seventh place.

Through the last few turns it was a two-up fight for eighth and ninth, I took ninth for the day. I felt a lot better that the day before but not quite 100%. Nationals are next weekend and I’ll surely be taking the next several days to recover properly with lots of fluids and nutrition.

Race reports and photos from Cyclingnews as well as Cyclocross Magazine can be found here and here. Colt from Cyclingdirt caught up with me at the finish. Watch the interview here.

Happy Holidays from MM Racing!

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Maureen Bruno Roy Google: Maureen Bruno Roy
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