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Alexa Interviews our CX Team!

Words by Alexa Daugherty about Jonathan Richman, CX and an expanded view of development. Photos by Patrick Kenny, Luke, Sam and Alex

Before you read this post please play the song Roadrunner by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers. It is available here!

Now, while listening to this song, please pay attention to its throbbing rhythm, the way (we hope) it makes your body move, the intonation of Jonathan Richman’s voice, and that great guitar line. Maybe, if you like Linklater’s School of Rock, think about how it was used in that movie too. While this song is lyrically focused on driving late at night in Massachusetts, something about it, maybe Richman’s passion for moving quickly on slick pavement through cold air, reminds us of cycling. From a constantly vibrant rhythm to Richman’s vocals that focus on nature and movement, this song has the chops to resonate with any cycler whose gotten up before sunrise in order to cycle past suburban trees or city streets at a sublime speed. Essentially, Roadrunner is about the development of physical and spiritual energy by way of movement and awareness. It wants we the listeners to focus on the act of moving forward regardless of our final location.

From this, we want to take concepts like energy and development (but not green energy which is a good thing, but not apt for this post) and relate them to the awareness one has as a cycler. In the USA cycling world, development generally denotes a connection to y/Youth. This is not a bad thing; youths have a lot of energy, which needs to be developed into strength, precision, and fluidity… And yet, how vibrant does listening to a song like Roadrunner make you feel? Hint: Now is an especially good time to think of it in the context of School of Rock.

For TSH, the visceral, blood-rushing-through-your-veins feeling that cycling and Roadrunner provide is one of infinite possibilities. And possibilities relate to constant progression. Thus, we ask, can’t ‘development’ be used in reference to adults? Or are we done changing, growing, and pushing forward after a certain age? When is that age???

In answer to these difficult questions we at TSH have come up with the following guidelines (to be added to overtime per new developments): 1) Development is a broad, ageless term. 2) Development can be a feeling, the type of feeling where you’re inspired to ride those extra ten miles or train on your day off or reward a completed race with a well-earned trip to your local deli. 3) Development is about mindfulness and realizing nothing will ever be completely finished (not even your last race).

Thankfully, these somewhat philosophical guidelines find real-world context via our TSH Women’s Team! Made up of Sophia + Dani + Cady, this team embodies TSH’s broadened idea of development and moves it ever forward. In addition to being professionals and students, these women constantly participate in races, clinics, and daily rides in what TSH sees as a constant progression of themselves as cyclists, women, and human beings. Please note that falters, bruises, and missteps are necessary trials along the sometimes off-kilter road of development. From this, development can be seen as asymmetrical – a conjoining of the quotidian and the professional along an infinite plane. Now, we look to our Women’s Team to help share our new considerations on development with all those who race near them or read about them in this and upcoming posts.

Dani Arman

TSH

How long have you been racing?

Dani 

I began racing when I was 8! Running was a huge part of my life, and I competed competitively through college, but constantly dealing with injuries. After I graduated I started competing in triathlon, noticing a serious progression in my cycling performance as the months went by. After two years, I realized the bike was where I was most happy. Last week marks the one-year anniversary of my cycling-focused (racing) career.

TSH

Why did you choose cycling?

Dani

Honestly, I only did it for the sake of triathlon, until I realized this [cycling] was something I really wanted to get into. Running was such a huge part of my life, and here came this sport where I found myself pushing harder than I ever had before. Every time I got on a bike I found myself trying to determine my limits, weaknesses, strategies. I never had any equipment in running- this was a whole new science! It is amazing how much you can break down the tiniest of details that make such a vast difference.

TSH

What do you do when you’re not on the bike?

Dani 

I work as a project manager for an IT company, about 40-50 hours a week. I was also knee-deep in wedding planning all autumn!

TSH

What’s an abnormal day for you?

Dani 

Boredom

TSH

Favorite meal pre/post race?

Dani 

Pizza!! Or Portillos.

TSH

Favorite song to get pumped up to?

Dani

“All the Above” by Maino ft T-Pain. (It’s funny because I’m usually not a rap fan). But music is a huge part to my training, Always listen to it during hard workouts for visualization techniques and before races.

Sophia Robinson

TSH

How long have you been racing?

Sophia

I just completed my first year of racing. I started with cyclocross last season and fell in love with the sport.

TSH

Why did you choose cycling?

Sophia

I was a big tomboy growing up in Kentucky and played a lot of sports (soccer, softball and basketball) until finishing high school. I was rather burnt out on competitive sports after that stint. When I moved to Chicago for college I decided to make cycling my preferred mode of transportation. I love the freedom I feel on a bike and the independence cycling grants me. After watching my boyfriend do a few cyclocross races, I decided I would try cyclocross out and loved everything – the mud, the obstacles, the heckles, the challenge – about the sport. After cyclocross I did some crits, track and XC mtb races and realized I’m happiest and most relaxed when in the saddle. Cycling is an outlet in my life to relieve stress, so I am just looking to have fun and challenge myself to do my personal best when on a bike. There are also so many wonderful and supportive people in the cycling community, it’s a truly welcoming and encouraging place.

TSH

What do you do when you’re not on the bike?

Sophia

I’m working on finishing my M.S. in chemistry so I’m usually in the lab, studying, writing my thesis or teaching. When I’m not in the lab or the saddle, I’m watching a film, at a concert or theater, or reading.

TSH

What’s an abnormal day for you?

Sophia

An abnormal day for me is being in my apartment for any extended period of time. My weekends often involve racing, but I also spend a lot of weekends traveling and mountain biking with my boyfriend.

TSH

Your favorite meal pre/post race?

Sophia

Favorite post race meal is a large order of Indian food – malai kofta, mutter paneer, and chana masala – followed by a pint of ice cream from George’s Ice Cream and Sweets.

TSH

What is your favorite pre workout or race song?

Sophia

I don’t listen to music to get pumped up or anything, that’s not the role music plays in my life. I’m typically rather mellow before the race and just looking to have fun. As odd as this may be, my favorite thing to listen to on the drive to a race is the new podcast, Serial, but I also enjoy Radiolab, Freakonomics, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, and This American Life.

Cady Chintis

TSH

How long have you been racing?

Cady

2014 will be my third season racing cyclocross year and was my fifth season of road racing.

TSH

Why did you choose cycling?

Cady

Initially, I chose cycling for convenience. It was an easy and practical way to get around Chicago. As I began to ride more and more, I learned about bike racing. It seemed like such a challenging, scary thing–naturally, I had to try it.

TSH

What do you do when you’re not on the bike?

Cady

I’m usually at WC STUDIO headquarters, our live/work space in Seattle that is part home, part architecture office. In the works, a house with a kick-ass view over Bellingham Bay, an adventure cycling retreat, and a building that will be a hub for artists and makers in up-and-coming Tacoma.

TSH

What’s an abnormal day for you?

Cady

When I put on “real” shoes. It’s slippers all day at WC STUDIO headquarters, then cycling shoes when I go out to ride. (I think I should get out more.)

TSH

Your favorite meal pre/post race?

Cady

Breakfast is my favorite meal. Early races are great because I can eat one breakfast before and another breakfast after! 

TSH

What is your favorite pre workout or race song?

Cady

Right now, Lorde’s Royals. It gets me feeling scrappy, confident and ready for racing.

……..

Over the course of just one season in the racing world, Cady, Dani, and Sophia continually perform at an increasingly high caliber without forgetting their initial joy for the sport. To place athletic progression in continuity with one’s other projects – whether they be professional, academic, or personal – is to find the TSH ideal of development. This may sound like a reworking of Aristotle’s Golden Mean, but it is not. Development is far more concrete than that. It is to find relief in cycling at night so you can teach a class in the morning. It is to accept the limitations of an injury and explore another sport. It is eating granola bars from backpacks all day while you mountain bike. And it is also having a tub of ice-cream ready in your freezer for the day you finish that 100-mile ride. Development is, to put it in Jonathan Richman’s words, “moving faster miles an hour.” For Cady, Dani, and Sophia, there seems to be no speed limit in sight. We look forward to following our team along their cyclocross journey!