NEXT Wyman's Amira Mellor and Kona Cycling's Helen Wyman enjoy the sunshine and warmth of early-season training. (Photo: NEXT Wyman)

NEXT Wyman’s Amira Mellor and Kona Cycling’s Helen Wyman enjoy the sunshine and warmth of early-season training. (Photo: NEXT Wyman)

I like words. They mean things.

Sometimes a word pops into your head. It lingers there. It becomes the lens through which you view an experience.

The word for this episode is: “sympatico”.

sym·pa·tico. adjective. The definition of sympatico is getting along and having mutual understanding with another. Also spelled simpatico. An example of sympatico is a policeman easily knowing how to work with his patrol partner of many years.

Listen, and see if you agree.


NEXT Wyman's Steph Wyman, Amira Mellor, Helen Wyman, and Charm City Cross Race Director Kris Auer help a Baltimore Youth Cycling rider triumph over the Charm City Cross flyover. (Credit: Carmita Vogel)

In twilight, NEXT Wyman’s Stef Wyman, Amira Mellor, Helen Wyman, and Charm City Cross Race Director Kris Auer help a Baltimore Youth Cycling rider negotiate the flyover at a NEXT Wyman / Charm City Cross junior clinic. (Photo: Carmita Vogel)


In This Episode

Credit: Ray Whitney Prisma app using "Dreams"

Kris Auer has a lot on his mind on the evening before Charm City Cross.

Helen Wyman, Amira Mellor, and Kris Auer made time to chat with us about NEXT Wyman, Charm City Cross, coming to America, the UCI Cyclocross Commission, and much more. It’s a long episode, yet the last few minutes are worth the wait. Honestly, If you have limited time, make sure you tune in to the last ten minutes. I appreciate Helen’s perspective. I think you will, too.

At the end of these notes are extensive links to online resources related to our guests, including some of the articles and podcasts that provided background research for this episode.


Special Notes

Open Doors, Open Ears

We recorded in an open room on a glorious afternoon. We were spread about with windows and doors open.


When you listen, please be aware that we captured a lot of ambient noise. That’s not a cricket…it’s a bird!

…and a lawnmower…
…and a leaf blower…
…and more birds…

So, if you’re using headphones, it’ll feel like you’re right there with us!


Rip-Roaring Note

As a long-time Liverpool FC fan, I delighted in the way Helen kept contextualizing the conversation using the Reds. In return, I promise to Easter-egg a “Come on you rip-roaring ’atters!”.


About Helen, Amira, and Kris

Helen Wyman is a cyclocross veteran with remarkable credentials.

  • She’s a nine-time British National Cyclo-cross Champion.
  • She’s a two-time European Cyclo-cross Champion.
  • She’s been on the UCI World Championship Podium.
  • She’s possesses three pavé trophies from Koppenberg.

Palmarès are one way to measure accomplishment. Wins are wonderful, yet they are temporal–limited to a particular event, a particular time.

While trophies bring smiles, even as they collect dust, influence lingers. It grows.

The most significant change in Europe was bringing about the rule where the women’s race has to precede the men’s. TV viewership increased so much that they went on to show 24 women’s races live on TV in Belgium and organizers got an additional sponsor just for the women. I have always believed that women’s cross is the untapped potential for greater investment in the sport, in general, and finally we can see it is.

Amira Mellor preparing for her start at Charm City Cross's sunny UCI C1 race. (Courtesy: NEXT Cycling)

Amira Mellor preparing for her start at Charm City Cross’s sunny UCI C1 race. (Photo: NEXT Wyman)

Helen’s influence on cyclocross extends far beyond her racing. Her work on the UCI Cyclocross Commission has significantly expanded opportunities for women. Closing the equality gap in cycling was never going to be easy.

It still isn’t easy. Yet, Helen’s influence continues to expand through her ongoing Commission mission and NEXT Wyman.

Amira Mellor is a talented young rider from Yorkshire, UK. She is NEXT Wyman’s first rider, with a two-year commitment to the program. This season she is focusing on learning from Helen and Stefan and developing as a professional (Listen for more on that!). At just 19 years of age she’ll have several opportunities to target the U-23 World Championships .

Kristopher Auer is known internationally for his sponsorship of equal payout for elite women at Koppenbergcross. He’s well-known in the Mid-Atlantic for his years as promoter of Charm City Cross, ownership (formerly) of Twenty20 Bike Shops in Baltimore and Savage, MD, and his directorship of the C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co. team.


Show Notes


0:01:30 – Being nervous, breaking ice
0:03:40 – Come on you rip-roaring ’atters!
0:04:30 – Vega$
0:07:10 – NEXT Wyman – Choosing Amira, British legacy, carving a path for the next generation
0:11:00 – British Cycling and its support (or lack thereof) for cyclocross and women
0:15:25 – European and American choices: road to cross to Kona and finding a path that made sense
0:19:40 – Charm City Cross is a teenager! Growing cyclocross, specifically within the Mid-Atlantic
0:25:20 – “What can you take from Iowa?”
0:27:00 – “It’s mega that everyone cheers for everybody”
0:29:15 – “I think he just called you ‘anonymous’”
0:30:10 – “I’ve definitely extended my career by coming to America…”
0:32:50 – Paying it back, social media savvy, female role models, and cultural differences
0:38:00 – Amira and Helen…mentorship, apprenticeship, and simpatico
0:42:55 – A responsibility to pay it forward (and everyone should have a Stef!)
0:45:45 – Equality, UCI, change, and taking steps large (Twenty20 Koppenberg) and small (Buy local!)
0:57:40 – Is the Twenty20 Koppenberg legacy being realized?
0:58:25 – U-23 Women’s World Cup…why it matters (and it matters…)
1:02:40 – Amira’s U-23 opportunities (no pressure…)
1:06:10 – Legacy
1:07:35 – What constitutes success for Helen?
1:12:20 – How does Chris define success?
1:15:00 – Amira’s turn!
1:17:40 – Learning focus, working hard, committing to dedication
1:19:35 – It’s not about the journey…it’s about seeing things along the way.


Everything Helen, Amira, and Kris!


Helen Wyman


NEXT Wyman


Amira Mellor


Kris Auer


Charm City Cross


Twenty20 Cycling


Media Referenced or Researched


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Shot in 2016, this is a three-quarter profile headshot photo of a smiling Jeremy Powers, post-ride with a dirty face. (Photo Credit: Wil Matthews, courtesy of Aspire Racing)

Jeremy Powers, the thoughtful, driven, ebullient, four-time and current U.S. National Cyclocross Champion talks with us about rider development, paving a path, and what constitutes success.
(Photo Credit: Wil Matthews, courtesy of Aspire Racing)


When I contacted Jeremy about sitting down with me for the podcast, I thought deeply about our potential conversation. I wanted not to focus on his upcoming season. I’m not big cycling media. Let Velonews handle that.


Aspire Racing Logo (Courtesy Aspire Racing)

Jeremy’s Aspire Racing aims to be the first U.S.-registered cyclocross team. In 2016 Aspire added Ellen Noble–current U.S. Women’s U23 National Champion and JAM Fund Cycling alumna–to the squad.

Rather, I wanted to talk with him about rider development…clinics, camps…Jam Fund Cycling and his pivot into Aspire Racing.

And that’s what we did.


I caught up with Jeremy during a small time window just before his August Cross Camp in Washington, DC. (For some great photos, an entertaining video, and solid commentary, visit our friends at In The Crosshairs.)

Fulcrum Coaching‘s Dan Tille hosted us in his basement office (thanks, Dan!). We were visited upon by a few rug rats, who sought shenanigan permission. Jeremy and I dutifully displayed our parenting skills. Mercifully, no one got hurt while recording this podcast!


There’s more backstory to our conversation. To keep these show notes manageable, I’ll save that material for a supplementary blog post.


About Jeremy

What can I add to the column-inches already written about Jeremy Powers?

  • You already know that he’s a four-time and current U.S. National Cyclocross Champion.
  • You already know him as a new-media cyclocross ambassador.
    (Watch Behind the Barriers, Study The Book of Cross. Go! Now! We’ll wait!)
  • You already know that he is committed to developing young riders through Jam Fund Cycling and other initiatives.
  • You already know that his ebullient personality wins fans on both side of the Atlantic and the Pacific.

So, what is it that you may not know about Jeremy Powers?

That he’s a mensch.

Mensch (Yiddish: מענטשmentsh, cognate with the German word Mensch meaning a “human being”) means “a person of integrity and honor”.



As you listen to this podcast, I invite you to consider those words.


Show Notes

2:08 – The Pina Colada Song
3:30 – DC Cross Camp
5:00 – 2012 Tacchino CX
8:15 – Helping people…it’s a part of who he is
10:10 – That ADD moment
11:00 – JAM Fund Cycling (Part I)
12:55 – Killer with empathy…zen warrior…no pedestal…mensch…
15:50 – JAM Fun Cycling (Part II)
20:55 – Invaded!
22:00 – Nourish, Balance, Thrive shout-out “insanely hard to make it”
25:00 – BYC shout-out!
26:00 – JAM Fund wants enthusiasm
27:40 – Grand FUNdo…adding value
31:10 – DC heat index!
32:20 – Regional/International development differences
33:10 – Jim Brown shout-out! RAD Racing
36:40 – Mental strength (building on foundation of Mom and Dad)
41:00 – Power of visualization
42:00 – “Were you always at 110%?”
44:00 – Aspire Racing
46:25 – JAM Fun alumni and defining success?
47:20 – Stephen Hyde
49:00 – Ellen Noble
52:00 – Success
53:30 – Legacy


Everything JPow!


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Stylized portrait of Ian Kennedy. Stylization through Prisma app for iPhone

Ian Kennedy–Executive Director at the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission–joined us to talk the Crossland Festival and MPPCX a new cyclocross race being held at Merriweather Post Pavilion. (Credit: Ray Whitney)

Ian Kennedy joins us for our second Crosscast to talk about MPPCX and the Crossland Festival!

Ian is Executive Director at the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission. He’s a recovering revolutionary, an evergreen cyclist, and a man woven into the fabric of Howard County cycling.

MPPCX is a new cyclocross race being held at Merriweather Post Pavillion during the Crossland Festival.

Crossland Festival is “a celebration bikes and the people who ride them”. It’s a new event that combines a variety of cycling activities with bands and beer in a family-focused atmosphere.

The inaugural MPPCX and Crossland Festivals are October 1st, 2016. You can find more information in the links throughout this post!

Show Notes

2:10 – Spooky Podcasts
6:00 – Introducing Ian
8:00 – Grizzly Adams Beard
8:30 – Ian comes to Columbia
11:50 – Columbia’s #1!
12:45 – Merriweather Advocacy
19:20 – From revolutionary to assimilation
22:00 – Crossland Festival…not just a ‘cross race
23:00 – Bands, breweries, food, and MORE (see what I did there?)
24:40 – Bicycling Advocates of Howard County, 9th Annual Ride
25:30 – Beer as recovery
26:40 – Police Bike Patrol Unit and bike safety for the kids
27:00 – Open Streets Howard County
33:30 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, cyclocross, and AN EVENT
38:00 – More than a race (redux)
39:30 – Bike advocacy
44:50 – The race, and how it fits within the broader cyclocross calendar
46:00 – More about the race!
55:00 – It takes an army
58:30 – Goals
1:01:00 – Success?
1:05:00 – Have fun!


The Events


The Organizations


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Joe Nalley stands and presents to a group of Baltimore Youth Cycling participants at the Out of Bounds Cross race site.

Joe Nalley coaching The Swarm at a Baltimore Youth Cycling reconnaissance of Out of Bounds Cross, a new race to be held on September 24th at Mt. Vista Park in Kingsville, MD.

We’re kicking off DMV Cycling with Joe Nalley, of Baltimore Youth Cycling!

Over the course of our conversation we talk about BYC, its origins, what’s going on today, and its future.

We also talk about Out of Bounds Cross, a new cyclocross race in Baltimore County that incorporates a new race day concept, focusing on Junior and Beginner racers.

The inaugural Out of Bounds Cross is September 24th, 2016. You can register on BikeReg through September 21st, 2016.


Show Notes

2:00 – Origins of BYC
7:15 – Joe’s Background
14:10 – “I’m a road rider, but I’m a cyclocross racer.”
16:20 – “Cross is perfect” (Cyclocross’s appeal to juniors)
23:40 – The kids lead
24:40 – First year, first practice
28:30 – Overcoming barriers to entry, and credit to the seven shop partners
30:00 – Practices and curriculum
34:00 – Race day experience
35:45 – Teamwork…to “Swarm”…and beyond
40:00 – Rookie camp
41:45 – “Success”
45:00 – Out of Bounds Cross
53:45 – How does Out of Bounds fit into the scene?
57:00 – Dedicated cyclocross facilities and partnership with Baltimore County Recreation and Parks
58:30 – Future of BYC and impacts to the region


BYC Contact Information


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