Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ladies day at the track

Without a doubt, this was the biggest adrenaline jolt I've had in a long while.

This past Saturday, I went to a free womens clinic at the LA Velodrome, thanks to a random last minute invite by my adventurous cycling buddy Dora. Neither of us had the faintest clue what we were in for, but were intrigued to find that the Velodrome, one of the finest facilities of its kind, was offering free training sessions for women, part of a larger effort to promote women's cycling.

I had a look at the website the day before, saw photos of cyclists riding what seemed to me like impossibly steep walls.... and had crazy, anticipatory dreams that night.

We arrived with stomachs aflutter, to find about 50 other women all geared up, munching on snacks provided by the center. We were then greeted by Bonnie Bourque and Julia Cross from the Womens Cycling Challenge, who both assured us this would be a safe, rewarding experience.

This was the third in a 4 part clinic series (all free!) so about half the lasses had already been certified to ride, and headed straight off to the track. The rest of us had an hour Certification Class from Roger Young, who explained the basics of how to ride safely, proper etiquette on passing, and how to not slide off the track.


We were then fitted with a bike, and let loose to give it a whirl. Bonnie kindly let me use her custom built styley track bike, adding with a wink "just don't crash, I'll be keeping my eye on you!"

I must've spun around that track a good 20 times before I could muster up the courage to climb up the wall a bit. Kept chickening out. And then a clearly experienced woman rode up alongside and asked "how ya doin'?" with a friendly smile before zipping up the wall. This simple gesture was all I needed to force my body to just give it a try.

WHAT A RUSH!!!!! Thank you rider-chick, whoever you are.....its the little things - a kind word, a friendly wave, that make a world of difference.

I'm normally not much of a high speed, thrill seeker, and enjoy the outdoor aspect of cycling more than anything, but this was an insane, super fun sensation, had a blast.

The next clinic is January 6th, I definitely plan to be there, and so will Dora, judging by the huge smile on here face here......

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