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Above Photo by Dennis Smith. Link to full Stoudt’s Cross Album here.

Hello, my name is Andrea, and I’m a CX addict.

I’ve been riding for about three years now.  I started on the road, soon fell in love with mountain biking, then even had the chance to do some road and crit racing with the wonderful pink ladies of the Action Wheels Women’s Cycling Team.  I thought I’d experienced all types of cycling…until last fall.  Photos of people with bikes jumping over barriers and running through the mud flooded my Facebook feed.  And then I saw a YouTube video of the Bilenky Junkyard Cross.  “Must. Do. Cross,” I thought.

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At the CX Clinic in August – by Bill White

So, fast forward one year later.  Sophia Lee holds a women’s CX clinic.  The flyer states “mountain bikes welcome,” so I roll in on my behemoth 29er.  I feel a little awkward at first being the only mountain bike among a sea of CX bikes, and in a group of women probably a good 10-15 years younger and 20 pounds lighter.  But that didn’t last long.  Everyone was so welcoming, encouraging and helpful.  It was a great day learning from the best, and meeting a ton of wonderful ladies!  As soon as I arrived home that day, I whipped the bike off the car and immediately started to practice dismounting and mounting in my front yard.  My neighbor asked if I was training for the X-Games.

Fortunately there are a group of CX addicts on the Action Wheels team, and I was able to fall in with that crew to practice and prepare for my first race.  A big thanks to TJ DiTulio, Sean Mooney, Angie Sokorai and Jayme Morris for your help and encouragement!

If I wasn’t already hooked just from the practice, the first race sealed the deal.  Then three races later I expressed an interest in trying a CX bike, instead of my tank of a 29er.  Sophia Lee graciously answered the call and provided me her famous loaner bike to try at the Stoudt’s race.  One word description…awesome!  It was a really tough course, but I loved every minute.  I ripped down the hills and powered over the flats.  The hills, well they were a little challenge and I did a lot of running, but that’s okay, because I had a blast…and I can’t wait to do it again.  And I can’t wait to get a CX bike of my own next season.

A big thanks to Sophia for giving me this opportunity.  Another big thanks to all of the new friends I’ve made… and those strangers who are on the sidelines cheering me on. I love to hear people yell out “Go mountain bike!” or “That’s a 29er, ride it!” when I go by.    It makes me smile, and sometimes that’s just the little push I need to dig a little deeper and keep going.

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