By Rachel Thody


I am lucky I get to use that word pretty frequently. I even apply that term to my people outside of the cycling community. ‘Teammate’ is a very valuable name for one to be referred as. It is a special bond that surpasses the cozy and safe features of a friendship, or a romance, or a family member. There can be affection and support, but there will also be prickly days and tough love. It is a voluntary relationship forged on the drive to reach a common goal for an individual and for their team, and doing so by a common activity. I know for many others and myself, that goal is success and that activity is cycling.
Teammates aren’t your best friends, but they can be. They might not be the people you hang out with, but they can be. They are the people you get through workouts with. They are the people that are also tired and cold and still holding out in a storm on a particularly rainy day in the saddle. They are the person that puts their hand on your back and pushes you up that hill. They are the people who stand next to you at the starting line of a race, thinking about roughly the same thing. Strategizing, planning re-fueling points, marking up riders to keep an eye on, and visualizing the last 200m of the race. They are the person you might be angry and jealous at as they effortlessly get through an interval or climb while you’ve drained yourself and yielded no progress.  They will definitely be the person provoking you to go harder when you’re tired and want to give up. You might even snap at them. I recommend you don’t. They are the people you collapse on the ground with after the race, either feeling elated or like there’s a vice clamping your guts. They understand when and why you’re upset or on top of the world. They are the only people that know what it’s like to hop on a bike, shoulder a barbell, start a timer, and go for it. A good day for me may be the worst day ever for my teammate, and we are able to understand each other in that same moment.
Collegiate racing is a whole other animal within competitive sports. Firstly, students already balance a mass of responsibilities. Classes (some can be terribly difficult), homework, jobs, studying abroad, taking advantage of internships, taking care of family, being a good friend, maintaining a relationship, taking care of our own selves, the list goes on. Cycling is one of the most time consuming sports, especially the further up you move in the ranks. Category C racers tackle about 25 miles, while Category A races about 60-80. Hence the time spent on training rides ranges from a single hour to over 4 hours. Not to mention the time it takes to stretch after a ride, clean the bike, and keep up with proper maintenance. What do you do in 4 hours? Some riders even supplement their cycling with gym workouts and cross training. Having people that live that similar lifestyle, who triage their lives on a daily basis and prioritize this sport is sometimes all you need as motivation to go on that long ride, or get the most out of an hour of homework time.

I guess what it comes down to is this: competitive cyclists are truly crazy, and it’s good to have people around that share that same type of crazy. Who else is willing to ride 100+ miles (for fun), throw down anaerobic sprint repeats, crank out a 6am weight lifting session, and bundle up when the weather is gnarly? Or satisfied with making personal sacrifices to attain sought out results in a race or goal? How about waking up in the morning with an itch to turn their cranks up a mountain and then listen to the mechanical purr of the hub spin on a decent?
The people that understand even when the gears on my bike stop turning, the gears in my mind continue to spin; thinking about training, upcoming races, and results. Seeing familiar faces, weary with sleep after being brutally awoken for a morning session, or bright-eyed and laughing because it’s a warm August day and the sun never felt so delicious, is a reminder that we want the same things. The days we sat on the floor of a homestay or in a rental van, glad we had someone to share that space with.

I can’t emphasize how grateful I am for this particular and weird relationship that I share with quite a few people in this incredible sport.  My teammates.

Thank you for pacing me during intervals that one Thursday.
Thank you for holding my helmet when I was blundering to zip my kit because I was nervous.
Thank you for agreeing to take the long way back home.
Thank you for riding with me.

Rachel Thody is a current member of the NWCCC and captain of the Western Washington University Cycling Team

Meet Cassie

​I got to talk to Cassie Cardoza (Dickerson) about how the women she races with inspire her, what its like to be a female bike mechanic in a male dominated industry, and why it is important to her that her husband also rides and races. Oh, and why Slim Jims are the best gas station ride food option.

It all started when Cassie’s mom asked Cassie to do a triathlon with her. Running and swimming? Nah. She was not into it. But bikes. Cassie was hooked on bikes. Cassie raced for two teams during her time at the NWCCC – CWU and MSU. Now living in Tulsa, Cassie teaches K-5 music, is a part time bike mechanic at City Cycles in Jenks, OK, is a full time dog mom to 2 Australian Shepherds, and races for Team Isocentric. Check out our entire conversation in the podcast below!

BTW, Cassie is an amazing cello player! Check out her Soundcloud here!

↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓ Podcast Episode ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓


​We are now on Itunes! Check us out, rate us, and give us a review!

We also have Instagram accounts!

Thanks for listening!



Mentioned In This Episode:

Vegan Cyclist – Managing Cycling and Relationships
​Team Isocentric
Ayla Aymond and Alexa McCorkle
Dillon Caldwell
Kimberly Martin Pettit
CWU Cycling
MSU Cycling

Meet Kimberley

​I got to talk with Kimberly Johnson – Seattle Pacific University Cycling/NWCCC Alumnus – about how she started the SPU Cycling Team and about her time racing on the Kowalski’s Collegiate All-Stars Team and as a domestic elite racer!

Many collegiate riders dream of someday racing at a domestic elite level. Some collegiate riders are lucky enough to get the break that takes them in that direction. Kimberley was one of those riders, racing 5 years as a domestic elite racer on various teams including Kowalski’s Collegiate All-Stars Team, Birchwood Cycling, Naked Women’s Racing, and Cloud Racing p/b Ride to Recover.

In my recent interview with Kimberley we talked about her experience getting into racing as a Junior on the team B.Y.R.D.S, racing as a domestic elite racer, recovering from a major injury, and the advice she would give her younger racer self.

​Podcast Note: After some research, it does not look like the Collegiate All Star Program still exists. Currently, USAC has a Academic All Star Program, that can be found here.

↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓ Podcast Episode ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓

We are now on Itunes! Check us out, rate us, and give us a review!

We also have Instagram accounts!

Thanks for listening!



​Mentioned In This Episode:

Meet Sophie

Sophie Andrews of U of O and I talk about collegiate racing, moving up to the 1/2s, the female athlete triad, and eating disorders. 

A few weeks ago I was on Instagram taking a look at those Insta stories, when I came across Sophie’s story. Over the course of a few posts, Sophie shared with the world her relationship with food and how disorder eating impacted her as an athlete. I immediately messaged her to thank her for sharing her story and ask if she would be willing to talk about it more in an interview. I am so happy she said yes! And that I can bring you this episode of Women of the NWCCC. There is a lot of stigma around disorder eating and the the relationship between female athletes and food. There are also a lot of misunderstandings out there about what it means to be healthy as an athlete. In this episode, Sophie, and myself, share our stories with disorder eating and how our relationship with food impacted us as athletes.

We both want to encourage others to keep this conversation going. We want other women to know that they are not alone. We want to be here for you if you want to talk with us because we both feel that stories like ours are not shared or talked about enough. And we want to let the world know that while eating disorders were a part of our lives, they do not define who we are women or who we are as athletes.

In the light of sharing experiences, I also wanted share the stories of two female athletes who experienced eating disorders that inspired me: Dotsie Bausch and Jessie Diggins. Dotsie Bausch is well known in the cycling world for winning silver at the 2012 London Olympics in the team pursuit. Jessie Diggins just won gold in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the cross country team sprint. You can hear Dotsie’s interview with Rich Roll here. You can read Jessie’s essay here.

Sophie and I wanted to let you all know that if any of you ever wanted to talk to either of us about your journey with disorder eating, we are here to listen and provide what we can. *Please remember we are not licensed medical professionals*

I hope you enjoy the episode!


Meet Anna, Kate, and Rachel!

I got to chat with the ladies of Western Washington University.
And what did we talk about? Well bikes of course! Mountain bikes, road bikes, women on bikes. We talked about it all. Take a listen!

Honorable Mentions (links):
NICA Oregon
NICA Washington
​OBRA 21 and Under License
​Inga Thompson Foundation

Bellingham Ride Groups (links):
Bellingham Women’s Road Cycling
Bellingham Women’s Mountain Biking​
Tuesday Night rides (hot laps/Chuckanut-Colony Throw Down/refinery)
WWU Cycling (public facebook page)

Meet Becca

Our podcast is back, kicking it off with Whitman Cycling alumnus Becca Mellema!
I met Becca for the first time this year as she made her way back to racing through the Pacific Northwest Women’s Series. In her interview we talked about how she got into racing bikes, the women that kept her going, collegiate nationals, and fish primes!

After the interview, Becca sent me the race report she wrote up after winning her first women’s A crit in 2015 (in her first crit as an A!). It’s a great read and a perfect insight into the thought processes we have during races. Check it out here. Side note: the UBC rider she mentions in her report – Margot Clyne, who now races for Twenty20! We all start somewhere. And great riders often start here in collegiate.

Post interview note from Becca: “Also, I think we went off topic before I could tell you, but I wanted to let you know that I raced with Dessie and Mackenzie Stanley as a women’s A (for both the team and at nationals.) I feel really bad that I wasn’t able to mention Mackenzie!
Mackenzie was a close friend who really shaped who I was on the bike, so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her!”

First Week Is Coming!

Bike racers (and bike teams):

I received the following in my email the other day:

The sender says that the OSU beavers are setting themselves up to scare away all of the local competition. I thought that was weird because OSU is like 100s of miles away from EWU. Maybe it is because OSU can basically swim to all of the events.

Either way, that picture is pretty convincing to me.

Logan sent out rosters last week so it is time to register. Please pre-register. It will save time at registration. Plus, all you have to do is pickup numbers, hand in waivers, go make new friends. Everyone likes that right?

Or, if you enjoy standing in the cold and rain negotiating how you are going to pay and get those waivers signed, that option is also available. We do not prefer that option. But it is there.

Head on over to here, submit your form, and let’s do some bike racing.

Ghost of Conference Director’s past

Meet the 2018 NWCCC Board

WWU getting lucky at 2017 Conference Champs. Win, and this could be you (or just ask nicely).

Ever wondered who keeps this here show going, year after year? (Hint: it’s Miles.) Besides the illustrious Mr. Crumley, we thought we’d help you get to know the folks who are making the NWCCC go this year. First up, the grownups:












Name: Logan Fox
Position: Conference Director
Residence: Portland, OR
Do you still race? For whom? The last time I raced a bike was in 2015, although I’ve watched quite a few since then.
Favorite hot beverage for a bike race? My favorite hot beverage in any scenario is coffee
Favorite bicycle? My favorite bike is my Chris Boardman track bike, although I haven’t ridden in a while. A close second favorite is my Surly cross-check I use for commuting–which is kind of like racing, but scarier and more competitive.









Name: Miles J. Crumley
Position: Chair of NWCCC Board
Residence: Portland, OR
Do you still race? For whom? No, but I used to race for Sellwood Cycle Repair.
Favorite hot beverage: Coffee, black
Favorite bicycle: Kona Paddy Wagon










Name: Zach Maino (ZachDad)
Position: Technical Manager/WSBA Liaison
Residence: Seattle, WA
Do you still race? I am a Cat 2 on the road, but I have not raced in a few years. My goal is to return to racing (at least a little bit) this season
Favorite hot beverage: If I am riding, I prefer hot chocolate for the calories. If I am officiating, I prefer coffee to stay awake.
Favorite bicycle: I own two road bikes, a time trial bike and a CX bike. My TT bike has been used by friends and teammates FAR more than it has by me (I hate time trials). My favorite bike is my Felt FC frame built with SRAM Red. I managed to destroy my first FC frame in a crash.


Next we have the “kids”, those of us who just graduated or are still finishing up but really wanted to make sure that our sport keeps on:












Name: Fiona Bennitt
Position: Webmaster, Assistant Women’s Coordinator
Residence: Walla Walla, WA
Do you still race? I couldn’t ride for a couple years due to injury, so now that I have put in my time rehabbing, I want to race all the time! I graduated from Whitman in 2017, and I ride for Razzle Dazzle NW. I am inspired by all the folks pushing for diversity/inclusion in the women’s peloton.
Favorite hot beverage: Coffee.
Favorite bicycle: Agnes, my blue cross bike: I have raced cross, chased QOMs, toured, commuted and explored new cities with her for nearly a decade. Not to be skipped are Helen, my rad road bike, and Eva, my steel, 27.5 hardtail who rides smooth and surprisingly fast on xc courses despite being an all-mountain gal. I sometimes flail down freeride trails, too; it builds character.












Name: James Bishop
Position: Team Liaison
Residence: Woodinville, WA
Do you still race? I used to race for the University of Washington. Now that I’ve graduated I plan to continue racing with my USAC team, Hedrick Racing.
Favorite hot beverage: Hot chocolate, I’m not much of a coffee drinker.
Favorite bicycle: My first road racing bike was a Cannondale Supersix, which is what I still race with now. I also have a Surly Crosscheck that I built up myself for cyclocross.












Name: Victoria Jansen
Position: Women’s Coordinator
Residence: Corvallis, OR
Do you still race? I am finishing my last year at OSU. I raced OBRA for the first-time last year, racing for Team O, but am currently looking for a new race team because I would like to race for an all-women’s team!
Favorite hot beverage: Any type of tea! Black, green, chai, ginger, rose….all the teas
Favorite bicycle: My Giant TCR! So blue! So pretty! And carbon! Did I mention it’s pretty? I also have a Raleigh Merit that I use as my rain bike. Oh! I cannot forget to mention my pink bike. My first ever adult bike, a pink steel frame Univega with the most comfortable seat. When I first got it, I put a basket that I wove fake flowers into, bought some bright pink panniers for it when I was in Holland visiting family, and rode around everywhere on it! Now it’s a little frustrating because its falling apart. It’s a love/hate relationship.







Name: Jim Labayen
Position: Event coordinator
Residence: Tacoma, WA
Do you still race? I work weekends a lot, so I usually am not in the racing scene anymore. When I do get the chance, I’m racing for the people and things who inspire me to rides bikes — the folks at Western Washington University, the NWCCC, Randall Fox, and The Major Taylor Project.
Favorite hot beverage: This might sound cliche, but it’s coffee. I drink coffee about once every two weeks, so it really gives me a kick for races. And if I lose the race, I typically always win the race to the bathroom.
Favorite bicycle? I’m fairly cross-discipline in cycling, whether it’s crushing my local KOMs on the road, tripping over barriers in cyclocross, mountain biking, or my true love, touring. One of my bikes that can “kind of” do all of these is my gravel bike. I don’t really like brand endorsements, so it’s a bright orange disc bike that I call King Louie because he’s a little thick, but has some oomph when it’s needed.









Name: Margaux McBirney
Position: Race Director
Residence: Seattle, WA
Do you still race? I don’t know right now. Looking at teams in Seattle! Formerly WSU.
Favorite hot beverage: Coffee
Favorite bicycle: I (only) own two, a road and a cross bike, both of which I love!









Name: Scott Sturges
Position: Race Director and Official
Residence: Seattle, WA
Do you still race? Currently race road and cyclocross for Palouse Bicycle Racing.
Favorite hot beverage: Black coffee before rides & Earl Grey tea after.
Favorite bicycle: Anything with two wheels.


Conference 2017, Logan, and Miles photos by Ozzy Duran. Margaux and Scott photos by Bryan MacDonald.