Osmo athlete and pro cyclocross racer, Emily Kachorek, shares her thoughts on the 2014-2015 cyclocross season. Emily is no stranger to the pro ranks, having raced on the road for many seasons with Vanderkitten and then branching out and starting her new company, Squid Bikes. She’s quite the creative genius, helping to design the bikes and the wild graphics that go along with it!
Now that I have had a few weeks to decompress after Cyclocross Nationals I am able to look
back on the whirlwind that is cyclocross season. Especially for me this year, September to
January felt like a speeding roller coaster. But now that the coaster has pulled into the station, I can’t wait to do it again… after I hit up the concession stands and chill out in line for a bit! The headliner for me this season was launching Squid Bikes, our small upstart bike company and brand selling graphic heavy, colorful California handmade aluminium cyclocross bikes. Having a creative outlet to pour myself into has been amazing!
It was a busy summer and along with starting Squid, I helped organize and promote the inaugural West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix. With the biggest women’s prize purse in California, live music, a huge beer garden and perfect downtown venue, the race was a huge success! I was stoked with my ride and having my local community cheering me on was amazing! It was a great way to kick off the season.
We had an all-star line-up for the Pro Women’s race. Photo: Jeff Namba
My fellow Squid athlete Anthony Clark took home the win in the Pro Men’s race and I took home 2nd. Photo: Edwin Kubota
After officially launching Squid Bikes the day following the WSCSGP at our favorite local brewery, we piled into the Sprinter and headed to Vegas for arguably the biggest Cross Race in the US. The season had definitely started with a bang!
Squid Bikes Launch party at Bike Dog Brewing. Photo: Edwin Kubota
Cross Vegas is always a blast and this year was no different! Huge crowds, party atmosphere, the highest quality field in North America – multiple Olympians, World mountain bike and cyclocross Champions, and National Champions.
You won’t see many people cross racing with a bottle but I’m all about it when I think it will help my performance. I am loving that Cross Vegas heat, especially with my Preload and Active Hydration.
Photo: Jeff Namba
Since I can only handle a few days of Vegas we piled back into the Sprinter and took off to Colorado for a full weekend of UCI racing.
Taking break for a sunset gravel road spin on our way to Colorado.
I won’t bore you with the details of each race weekend, so I’ll just recap by telling you that my season put me on the start line of UCI races in ten different States and was filled with ups and down, just like in any race season. Highlights included my first UCI podium (even though it was 5th place) at CXLA. This was especially memorable since my parents were both there.
One of my favorite race and the only UCI cross race in California, CXLA was a blast. Photos: Jeff Namba
Another highlight of the season was winning the NCNCA State Championship. The race was in Sacramento this year and I am convinced that having my local cyclocross community there cheering my on was what ultimately landed the Bear Jersey on my shoulders.
The mud was thick and soul sucking but was no match for the cheers and support I got from the sidelines! Photos: Jeff Namba
While my successes on the bike were rewarding, but I would have to say that what I am most proud of is running my own program. While it is no doubt a lot of work, proposals, scheduling and administrative tasks that can take time away from training, there is something very special about building relationships with companies you truly believe in. I feel very luck to get to travel the US (and hopefully overseas this year!) doing what I love. My successes are not mine alone. My community, family, friends and partners provide me with everything I need to be competitive at the top level. And for that I am so grateful.