Tuesday, May 05, 2009

women's beginner clinic re-cap

i started riding at the track in 2007. i remember my first beginner session vividly....

my old man neighbor friend, mr. miyagi.... errrrr, fred, convinced me to go to the track.

we met the summer before in 2006 and he was convinced i should start racing track bikes... because, apparently my skill of riding a 1972 motobecane 10-speed with flat pedals, a t-shirt, and running shorts said "track racer" to him!

we drove down one morning and fred was scared shitless. me, i didn't really know what to expect, as i don't think i even knew how to pronouce " vē'lə-drōm' " correctly, but fred was definitely scared shitless. terry shaw was the instructor, after not winning the saturday morning beginner session warm-up, i rolled off the track and had the "OH SHIT!!!!!" moment. i am rolling down toward the infield, wondering how the hell i am going to stop this thing. so i do the only thing i know how to do. i make a soft plea, which quickly turned into an outright holler...

fred. fred! FREEEEEEED!

and he grabbed my handlebars so i could jump off.

and that is my most vivid memory about my first saturday morning beginner session....that, and getting out first in the australian pursuit.....and having so incredibly much fun, i couldn't wait to go back.....

so when annabell and i decided to put on this women's beginner clinic-- to get a bunch of new women ready for track racing-- that is what i remembered we'd have to tell people how to do first.... how to get off your bike. that, or riding up to the rail and grabbing on. it was really a toss up.

we spent two days at the track, and somehow all my prayers for the rain to hold off mostly worked out. saturday, we had 2 hours of rain in the morning, but it cleared up and we got in some riding before lunch, and a lot of riding in the afternoon. sunday i woke up to steady rain in my window, and driving down to the track it was raining a ton. and somehow when i got to milpitas, the rain clouds were still looming, but no rain. and i got to hellyer, and one of the women there told me it was raining in santa cruz....and all i could think is how we were boxed in with rain clouds... but somehow the weather gods cooperated and we got no rain in our little track bubble all day.

and the women were total rock stars riding all up and down the banking, in packs, and it was so cool to see! we did about a bizillion drills. and annabell is pretty much the coolest woman i know and such a good coach and ran the weekend perfectly. and shelley olds! came out on sunday afternoon and gave an awesome talk about racing internationally and her experiences of how she got into track racing, and then we did some mock races and the girls were awesome racers. and everyone seemed totally stoked about track racing by the end -- because, how can't you be?!?! and i hope we get a lot of new women who will start racing this summer!

i don't think i've ever seen so many women at the rail or on the track at once....so it was definitely an exciting weekend. thanks to all the volunteers-- annabell, donna, cathy, stephanie, julie, and shelley -- you guys rock! and thanks mostly to all the women who signed up for the clinic and gave it a go!

and i am happy to report they are all rock stars at getting off their bikes.

hi mom!


Gilby said...

How did we not make you introduce us to Fred when we were in CA?

velogirl said...

dude! you're the biggest rockstar of them all. congratulations on a successful weekend and thank you for giving so much back to the cycling community.

Sake said...

"You can't fail if you don't try!"

MoMoneyHoney said...

beth you rock!! best weekend eva!