Our Athletes

Here we share stories of Cycle U athletes as well as testimonials, enjoy!

Cycle U in the Press: Seattle Times
PI Blog: Article with pictures

For video testimonials, check out our Gallery.

Athlete Spotlight – Adrian Hegyvary by Coach Dan

Normally this space is reserved for our coached clients. But, this time around Adrian Hegyvary, the original employee of CycleU, deserves a moment of spot light to celebrate his hardest and most rewarding season, yet. Plus, we just can’t help but brag a big and show him off: CycleU does has Seattle’s fastest coaches!

On a more serious note, Adrian’s commitment and dedication to the sport despite numerous disappointing moments in hi racing career, has been an inspiration to his clients, his friends, and even the other coaches here at CycleU. He is a true diplomat of the sport, and uses his biggest talent–hard work–to determinedly bring him to the competitive level he desires.

Here is a play by play of the action from Adrian:

The synopsis: silver medal! The long story is below.

So there we were in Bend racing the Cascade Classic, which went about as well as pushing shit up a hill with a sharp stick. The first two days I felt stellar, so stellar in fact that I decided to not do anything and save it all for the TT, which I then COMPLETELY butchered like I have butchered no TT ever before. It took me the next two days to recover from that, then I actually felt pretty good on the final day and finished in the front group of about 30.

That left me pretty confident in my fitness going into the nats time trial. I spent the four days between doing lots of important things like floating the Deschutes on inner tubes with chicks, having potlucks, and playing with our host puppy. I also pulled it together for a few days and motor-paced the bottom lollipop of the course to learn all the turns, figured out the numerous punchy climbs, and in general, schemed. Much of that was for naught as they roped off some of my super secret lines the day of the race, but whatever, it made me feel like a champ. I also ate a prophetic fortune cookie just two days before the race which read “success is in the details,” and it had some lucky numbers on the back which I could add up to make my race number, both of which of course boosted my confidence (I would later tape that fortune to my stem to remind myself during the race of the cosmic importance of my inevitable success).

My only strategy during the race was to keep my body temp low and go into the final 10km lollipop pretty fresh. It was really effing hot since I started just before 3pm, and I raced with a few pounds of ice in my skinsuit, enough that I still had solid ice cubes at the end of the ~45min race. I still don’t know how my pacing turned out, I felt like I could have ridden the climb a little faster but at the same time I was already dragging by the bottom circuit and was totally wrecked at the finish. I could maybe have gone 10-15 seconds faster, but definitely not the 40+ seconds faster I would have needed to win.

At the end of the day, it was far from my best TT ever. But, I think it was the best I could do that day, on that course. I definitely don’t feel like I’m riding as well as I was a little earlier in the season; but the nice thing about a longer time trial is you can still get by with the kind of diesel power that never really fades unless you’re totally cracked.

Read more about Adrian’s pursuits of going Pro at his blog.

Athlete Spotlight – Kevin Raymond

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Kevin Raymond has been riding competitively for just the past two years. Riding for Union Bay Cycling/Bikesale.com, he upgraded to Cat 4 on the road this past season. So far, his favorite discipline is cyclocross. A major challenge for Kevin has been to figure out how to train effectively while also working full-time, and especially how to keep the wheels from falling off his 52-year-old body.

“My first cyclocross season in 2008 was short,” Kevin says. “It was ‘one and done,’ with a chronically sore lower back. This year, I took more seriously the things I’d learned in CycleU Boot Camp and from my coach, Toby Swanson – things like core work and stretching, and cross-training and nutrition. And it all clicked for me.”

Kevin’s goals coming out of Boot Camp were to stay healthy, place in the top five in a cyclocross series, and race in the Cyclocross National Championships in Bend this past December. Kevin had good luck with his goals, winning the Cat 4 45+ championship in the MFG Series and upgrading to Cat 3. He also won his category in the Cascade Cross Series and raced several times as a Cat 3 in the Seattle Cyclocross Series, placing as high as fifth. And Kevin raced in the ice and snow of the cyclocross championships in Bend. It was an “awesome experience. I had my hat handed to me but learned a lot and had a blast being around hundreds of really good racers from all over the country. Other racers, including racers who are becoming some of my closest friends, taught me what ‘taking it to the next level’ would look like. Now, it’s up to me to see if I can keep moving in that direction.”

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The best thing about this past year was staying healthy, Kevin says. “And I attribute that in part to increased fitness and experience as a rider, but especially to Toby’s coaching and friendship and the amazing experience gained in Boot Camp.

Now, Kevin is looking ahead to 2010. “Toby will give me the chance to have a good year on the bike, and I will never, ever miss Boot Camp. CycleU asks riders to dream big, and then gives you the tools to get there – regardless of your starting point.”

Athlete Spotlight – Gabriel Grant

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Craig,
Just a quick note to say thanks for a terrific cyclocross boot camp this summer. The skills, fitness and confidence I gained during the camp were invaluable and proved to be the key to a great cyclocross season for me. I started the Cycle U bootcamp as a new Cat 3 and despite some good base fitness was a bit unsure of myself. After the six week bootcamp, I had strong fitness, improved skills and confidence and, most importantly, a clear set of goals and a strategy to accomplish them. Over the course of the season, I ended up getting a number of top three finishes, and even won a Seattle Series races (Marris Farms). Even better, in an unexpectedly strong (and probably a bit lucky) last race of the season, I edged out my series competition for first place in the Cat 3 series and won a Golden Cowbell. Now I’m on to the Cat 2 ranks for next season!

All the best and thanks again!
Gabe Grant

Athlete Spotlight – Lee Smith

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Lee Smith began cycling many years ago as a way to cross-train for competitive rowing. After reading an article about cyclocross in a Seattle newspaper, she became intrigued and showed up on her mountain bike for one of the newly-formed CycleU’s very first cyclocross clinics. After two years of following Coach Craig all over the city for Wednesday night practices – just for the workout – Lee decided to give racing a try and joined Team Group Health three years ago.

In her first season as a new road and cyclocross racer, Lee realized that it would be important to prepare properly for this new and somewhat frightening endeavor. “I signed up for monthly coaching with Kristi Berg through CycleU. I figured that I could devise an adequate training plan myself, based on the knowledge of training principles I had garnered through my competitive rowing and coaching career, but I was feeling a bit lazy, and I wanted to take advantage of Kristi’s expertise. Plus, I really liked her energy and positive attitude.”

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Lee is pleased with the progress she has made over the ensuing 3 years of bike racing. She began winning cyclocross races in her first year and road races in her second year, when she won the Washington State Best All-Around Rider in her category. She is currently a category 3 racer in both road and cyclocross. Lee attributes her fast start this cyclocross season to her participation in CycleU’s Cyclocross Bootcamp this summer. She started the cyclocross season with a number of first place and podium finishes, and hopes to carry that momentum through the entire Seattle Cyclocross Series, the USA Cycling National Championships, and finally the World Masters Championships in Belgium.

Athlete Spotlight – Jadine Riley

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Jadine Riley, part of Team Group Health, is now in her seventh season of racing. She races road and cyclocross but has also been known to dabble in mountain bike and track racing. “I love cycling so much that usually I try to do a little bit of everything! My goal is to keep cycling fun, and the variety has always worked for me – each discipline is like a different sport as they all require different skills and types of fitness”, she says. However, this year, things have changed….

“Every year I set goals that allow me to focus on making incremental improvements in a new area – improving in time trials, improving my performance at hillier races, being able to be competitive at National level races. I had a great season in 2007 and was close to achieving some major goals, but after talking with my coach, Kristi Berg, we decided to something a little different to help me achieve a new breakthrough and so this year I have focused on just road. We adjusted my training program so that I built a strong base this winter, where in past years I would take a break after the cyclocross season ended. And it has proven to be a great approach – I am having a lot of fun out there!”. Indeed, she is having a breakthrough year, currently leading the Washington State Best All-Around Rider competition after winning the State Stage and Circuit Race championships, finishing 8th in the Tour of California’s Women’s Criterium and in the top third of the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota, both races being part of the National Racing Calendar.

Jadine attributes much of the success to the growing strength of the women’s peloton and her team, as well as to the structured training approach put in place by CycleU. “Over the last few years the local women’s field has grown a lot in terms of both strength and depth – fitness and teamwork are both critical to be successful. I am fortunate enough to ride with a strong team locally that works really well together – both in terms of our race performances and in terms of developing new riders and continuing to grow the local peloton. Racing successfully in the Cat 1-2 field is also highly dependent on taking a very deliberate & focused approach to training throughout the year: CycleU has been instrumental in helping me balance that with my busy work schedule”.

Athlete Spotlight – Dave Salo

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Hi Craig,

This cross season has been unbelievably good for me! Looking back I have to say that the boot camp in August made all the difference.

I signed up because I wanted a change of pace from the road and a focus for the fall. In the end, what I got from that was six weeks of working the kinks out: a focused training plan, relevant workouts, instruction on how to efficiently transition on and off the bike, and an environment to stress my body, mind, and equipment to the breaking point before it happened in a race.

I remember very clearly how disappointed I was to show up to camp one night feeling good and ready for a hard workout only to have my crank arm fall off during the warm-up! I got some good one legged work in that night and learned that you have to double check that everything is tight on the cross bike. Needless to say I now carry a variety of spare bolts in my race bag. After the first couple of races in the season I saw a lot of people sidelined for the same reason. I’m glad it happened to me in practice and not on race day!!

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Same goes for the aches and pains that come along with running and carrying your bike. My back was sore during the training season not the racing season. My achilles was irritated before it mattered and while it still had a chance to heal and get strong. I was mentally prepared to give it my all when I rolled up to the line for the first race.

I came into the season with a few goals: have fun racing cross–which is more of a given than a goal considering the pain and agony that go with it, get on the podium at some point, remain injury free, and do as well as possible in the series. At this point in the season I’m happy to say that I’ve been free of injury, been on the podium a couple of times—I even picked up the silver medal at the CX State Championships in Bremerton!!–am sitting sixth overall in the series and already looking forward to next year.

Throughout the season I’ve noticed all the other boot campers continue to rock it out there every weekend. The cross community is great and this program really underscored that. There were lots of us from many different teams, or no team at all, riding together and having fun. It’s been great to develop those connections with everyone this season and see so many friendly faces out at the races. If you have a pre-registration list for Boot Camp ’08 make sure you mark me down for a spot!

The thing I love the most about racing bikes, and particularly racing cross, is that it’s one of the few things in life that you can train for, practice, do everyday, and then test your preperation every weekend. It’s healthy, positive, grounding, and very rewarding.

Thanks for doing what you do….there are lots of us out there who appreciate it.

Dave.

Post Script: David had a phenomenal second cross season with regularly being in the top 5 in the races and finishing 5th overall in the Seattle Cyclocross series besting over 200 guys in his racing category. David has upgraded and next season will challenge the Category 3’s in the upper levels.

 

Athlete Spotlight – Eric Buckmaster

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Eric Buckmaster came to Cycle University for coaching in March 2007.  He was working out on his own, had lost a lot of weight, and wanted some guidance in reaching his goal of the one-day STP, while maintaining a running and weight-lifting plan.  It didn’t take Coach Tammy long to realize that Eric Buckmaster had a lot more in him than a one-day STP.

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Tammy says that her biggest challenge with Eric has been finding his fatigue threshold,   “This guy absorbed all the work I prescribed, and then some!  Not many people put in 14-hour training weeks for the goal of completing an organized endurance ride”. Since signing on with Cycle U, Eric has completed 13 endurance events; from century rides, to a solo one-day STP, to running races, to triathlons.   While Eric’s last comment to his coach was “You’ve created a monster! My goal was STP”, Tammy says all credit goes back to Eric, “He follows the plan (well, for the most part), when he deviates from the plan he communicates it to me so I can make appropriate adjustments, and he gives me the feedback I need to dial his training in for optimal performance in the events that are most important to him.  He is, in a nutshell, the ideal client: open, communicative, motivated, driven, and always keeps me smiling with his honest and sarcastic observations about life as an amateur athlete”.

Eric has this to say about his lifestyle change, “I am down from 287 lbs to about 220. I still have a ways to go but the weight loss is now a result of a very active lifestyle. I try to eat healthy but enjoy a good burger now and then. I find that my energy level during the day is really high compared to people I work with. My moods are pretty stable, Yea I get angry but it passes. I really enjoy looking for the next challenge and training for it. It’s a great feeling being this strong.”

Thank you Eric for doing Cycle U proud!!

 

Testimonials

 

Video testimonials are in the Gallery.

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Bikefitting customer review with pictures on Seattle PI Seattle PI review

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Sample Bootcamp Testimonial:

Craig,

I have to tell you I loved the Hill Climbing Boot Camp! The things I learned have made me a better rider, and maybe even saved my life during a ride I did last Sunday.

The ride was the Daffodil Classic – 104 miles around Orting, Eatonville, Buckley and Lake Tapps. At one point I was zooming down a steep hill and misjudged the exact nature of a dark shadow on the road’s surface. I thought it was simply an asphalt patch, but it turned out to be one of those deep, snow-damage holes that have appeared on roads everywhere after last winter. I hit it full-on with a massive jolt and was thankful for all the core work I’ve been doing. Also, if I hadn’t been down in the drops with my pedals level for stability and my weight way back over the saddle, I could easily have lost my grip on the handlebars or even come off altogether! As it was, I just grunted, cursed and continued on without even a wobble!

The tip I learned in class about looking “through” corners at what’s coming up next really helped me in another tricky spot during that ride. There was another steep downhill – not a very long one this time – followed by a corner and a very steep uphill. I saw the terrain and was able to gear way down while I was descending in the drops. I got up the hill without a problem. Later I heard from friends who were also doing the ride that they’d had to pull into a driveway part of the way up the hill in order to properly gear down. They said the homeowner told them lots of riders had been doing that all day.

Near the end of that ride my friends gave up and got a ride in a SAG truck after they found out from the SAG driver that there was a really challenging hill coming up at about mile 99 of that ride. They tried to warn me by yelling out the truck windows as they drove past, but I decided to continue on anyway. The hill was nothing to sneeze at, but I made it up just fine by repeating the Climbing Mantra in time with my pedaling and breathing cadence. However, I could not have made it up that hill without the full-circle pedal stroke stressed in class and I was very happy to discover while using it that I still had plenty of power left in my hamstrings and glutes even after 99 miles!

Last night I went on a recovery ride and after such a great experience on Sunday, I chose to take on 2 of the 3 hills I’d listed as goals on the first night of class. Success! Now that I feel confident that most hills are within my reach, my next goal is to work on going up inclines faster.

Thanks so much for all the effort that went into organizing that class, and for all of your willingness to pass on your experience and knowledge! The class was well worth the long drive after work and the rainy rides!

Cheers,
Diana

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Dan here,

I believe the adjustments you made to my bike fit are working out.

I’ve put in about 250 miles. A couple of 40+ mile rides with hills and the rest of the rides about 20 miles.

I sense that I’m getting a little more power when climbing—it just feels better when I’m turning the pedals.

I like the new foot beds and the shimming in my shoes because adding them improved the fit if nothing else.

I believe it was worth it to work with you to fine tune my fit. Thank you!

Dan J

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Hi Craig,

I’ve been meaning to shoot you a note to let you know that I WON the Master B (combined A/B field, scored separately) crit at Wenatchee last month. I figured I was just there for a workout and to help the team, so why not?!?!? Well, one other guy went with me. He happened to be the Master A race leader and had won the TT by nearly a minute. Needless to say it was ON! We built a bigger and bigger gap on the field ahead of a single chaser who eventually caught us. Then it was really on! Those two were killing me so I only took a pull about every 5th rotation. They didn’t realize I was a B and started getting pissed, but I just did what I had to do to stay with them. We finished about 40 seconds ahead of the pack. I crossed the line 3rd for the Master B win!

Clearly that achievement had a lot to do with the work we had done together over the past weeks, months and years, so I wanted to be sure you got to celebrate it as well!!!

Since I was slow in sending this message I can also report a 5th place finish at Ballard, 3rd at Boat Street and 8th at Tacoma for 5th overall in the Cascadia Crit Series!!! Everything is really coming together for me and I owe a lot of that to you. Thanks for being such a great coach and friend over the years!

Jeff

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Craig,

Thank you again so much for the great session of education and bike fitting today. You were very informative and helpful. It was just the kind of information I have been seeking and needing, like the better way to pedal and the proper adjustments for the bike, and the reasons why. I am very much looking forward to working into the new adjustments and practicing the better pedaling methods, and I will let you know in several weeks how things progress.

Your service and help is so invaluable to us regular cyclists out here, and I do want you to know how much I appreciate your work and efforts.

Please put me on Cycle U.’s email list for announcements and such, and especially the details regarding the cyclocross boot camp in August.

Take care, and I’ll talk with you soon.

Thom De Buys

Law Office of Thomas H. De Buys

P.S. I ve gotta tell you, the fit you did and the new pedaling style has already made a great improvement in my riding. The difference really is amazing. I rode my bike yesterday and today for a short while, and I also rode potential new road bikes both days for several hours comparing the differences in them, and I had the bike shop put your settings on the bikes I tried out to the extent possible, and it made a huge difference! I’ve got a lot of practice ahead of me as far as the pedaling goes, but I now have something to work on, which makes riding more fun for me. And the shims for my cleats are truly working very well. It’s amazing what a difference they have made with the alignment of my legs, knees, ankles and feet. It makes pedaling so much easier.

Thanks again for your help.

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Craig and Adrian,

Just in case you look for catchy examples to describe the benefits of training at CycleU, here’s one for you. You know that I have consistently done the indoor TTs all winter long this year, doing most of them twice. I figured it was just a good way to get my heart rate up every once in a while during the winter. Well, yesterday was the first real TT of the year (Jack Frost, down in Vancouver, WA) I set a PR on the course by one minute and nine seconds, beating my time from 2003. I went out hard and was able to keep it there.

I’m not sure this ALL derived from efforts on the computrainer, or at least not from MY efforts (Martin’s big gear selection on the tandem helped too, I think). But a winter of practice of starting hard and keeping the effort high and consistent could not have hurt. So thanks for being there on those dark nights with a great training opportunity–and see you on Thursday for more!

-Martha

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Hi Craig,

This is Scott from the ’99 & ’00 TNT Tour de Tucson group. I just wanted to send a thank you to say how grateful I am to have had the chance to ride with you for those two years. You are definitely an inspiration and positive influence for people both on and off the bike. I’m still riding a pretty good amount and some of my close friends from growing up have even picked up the sport. But most of all, my wife and I had a great year on our tandem. We picked one up for our 1 year anniversary, a couple of years ago, and this year we did the STP on our tandem and also the MS150. Having never done endurance sports like these, my wife surprised me. She had a blast and the only complaint and problem she had the whole weekend of the STP is when she got to the finish line and they were all out of hamburgers. Your training and tips from back in the day helped me to get us there, both safely and happily.

Well, I just wanted to pass on this note to say thanks for getting me hooked on such a great sport . I’m still stuck in it and my wife and I are very happy and healthy from it.

Hope all is well.

Scott

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Craig, it’s high time I told you what I’ve been telling my friends, including experienced riders,: Your Bike Skills classes and Training Zones Tests have been a tremendous value and comprised a BIG step in my enjoyment and progression in cycling. Not only did they prepare me for linking up with some high performance group rides, and riding safely in them, but gave me insight as to how to use my solo time and group rides to prepare for my 2006 goals. Many thanks to you and Karen…great climbing drills!…I look forward to working with and Cycle U in 2006.

Dutch S

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Craig, Thanks for your email. I really appreciated the time you spent with me. You asked good questions, tried to figure out where my head was at and also zoned in on some very appropriate skills that I do need to have in my “automatic” repertoire. I think that you also did a great job of being pretty clear about why the turning and emergency stop techniques you showed me were important. You explained and modeled what you expected, and you gave me immediate feedback. The practice time was helpful, and the fact you cycled alongside me, watching what I was doing was really great.

Tracy M.

Principal Eastgate Elementary School

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Craig –

I just wanted to thank you for the excellent clinic last night. I was still pretty much in the dark about cornering after Road 101, but like you said last week, I would pick it up by the end of the 201 class. You were right! By the end of class I finally started to feel like I was getting it, and then I just wanted to keep riding lap after lap after lap! Now I can’t WAIT to go out and practice in the drops, which really made me uneasy before. Cornering on descents has been a big issue for me ever since I crashed on a downhill several years ago. Thanks to you and Adrian’s help, I think I’m going to have a lot more confidence!

Thanks again.

Ann D

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Perfect. Thanks. Your coaching in regards to doing RAMROD worked perfectly. I did the 70 mile approach at 75% of usual pace then moved up the heart rate for the climbs. Finished the climbs in fine shape. Ran into a dear friend at the last rest stop in real trouble and carried her until the Mud Lake turn-off and then absolutely hammered the last miles, as fresh as if just finishing a 30 mile warm-up. Finished w/a huge grin! Left some juice on the table but perfect when considering the intent was a conservative first attempt at the event.

Jeff

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Craig, I had an unbelievable race last night! It was the Moose Run TT (10 miles) that we do every month. I came in 2nd place in Sport Division, just missed 1st by 12 seconds and placed 3rd overall out of 10. I have always been at the back of the pack until now. My time was 30′ 32″ which is 3″ 10′ faster than last May and 1′ 40″ faster than my personal best at the end of the season last year. My Avg. HR = 163 and max = 171! I am still amazed at all of this. The new bike and training is really paying off.

Jane

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Craig, We met at a skills clinic a few years ago when I was riding with the huskies. You taught us many valuable lessons that I have had the privilege to pass on to others and I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time with all of us. Since then, I have improved and upgraded from a Cat 5 newbie to a Cat 2 in just a few seasons and I have you to thank for your encouraging words and training techniques. I currently race for WellsFargo.Com in the L.A. Area, so keep an eye out for me! Thank you again.

Jordan E.

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Dear Coach Craig, I want to express my gratitude & appreciation for your unwavering commitment in helping me in my quest to be a better cyclist. From our first meeting in 1998, you have been there to help me through good times and bad. With your expert training programs, I was able to complete my first one-day double century and to this day continue to cycle confidently in many other challenging events. Your patience and guidance have been instrumental in helping me overcome frustrations and fears, as well as aiding me in my recovery from injuries. Your ability to communicate your acquired knowledge continually encourages me to pursue my love of cycling. To me, you are the best. As I look down the road, I look forward to experiencing many more years of your expertise, coaching, and, of course, friendship!

DiAnn B.