3 posts from May 2010

May 3, 2010

Wait! There's one more thing you need to know!!!

I know I'm supposed to be done blogging, and I don't mean to take away from my fellow Women Who Ride and their fabulous posts, so please indulge me, BUT...

Do not walk, do not run...pedal furiously to the next Trek Sponsored Dirt Series for Women!!!!!!!!!  The wealth of skills, the incredible coaches, and the absolute fun that is to be had on a bike at this camp is not to be missed.  So do yourself a favor and sign up for one of these!

In one weekend, I learned front-end wheel lifts, manual jumps/drops, how to do switchbacks, straight-line riding, proper climbing technique, and tons more than I even imagined was possible.  And I got to do two very fun rides to show off all my new skills!  The coaches, a bunch that could be very intimidating, are just the right blend of tough and encouraging...and so confident in their coaching that they're confident in you - they know you'll get it!  

I'll be doing this series again; I want more!!  But in the meantime, I have lots of new skills to practice while I ride.  If you've ever had an inkling that you want more skills on your mountain bike, go sign up.  Don't wait!

A year in the life...

It was a year little over a year ago that the five of us met for the first time in a hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. Five random women, brought together by one common bond: we love to ride our bikes. And so we were to be the poster girls for TREK Bicycles Women Who Ride. What an honor and what an opportunity. All kinds of new bikes and gear were thrown at us. It was a lottery ticket that had all the numbers. We hit the bike jackpot, in our minds. 

So, what has been my take away from this experience, this lucky duck label? Well, I've seen first hand how TREK wants people, all people, to ride bikes, not just the ladies. No matter which one or for what reason. The goal is to get the masses on a bike and onto living a better, healthier life. But they really do support women. Flat out. When we went to the TREK headquarters, we met at least a dozen female employees, and most were in decision making roles. Very inspiring! And just the vibe around there was infectious. It seemed like a happy place.

On the home-front, this experience has been pretty cool, to say the least. My boss wrote an article about it and published it in a local women's magazine. I received a lot of feedback and support from the bike community, which felt great. I guess just knowing what I was doing on a bike could be influencing another to do the same was empowering. It gave me another new reason to ride.

Also, over the past year, I've been able to read about the amazing adventures the other women have done on their bikes which has reminded me to always reach beyond what I think I'm capable of doing. I was on the edge of my seat while reading about Rebecca's next stop on her ride across the US. Caitlin always had some interesting bike ride story. If she wasn't commuting, she was touring or taking part in some grand bike event. Mary, sixty-ish years young, was hopping around the US and abroad, with ceaseless energy that I can only hope to have in twenty years. And my favorite story has been witnessing Amy, a timid bike enthusiast, become a full on hard core racer after receiving her new TREK Madone and then soon after being asked to join a racing team. It gave her wings and a new, improved self image. I believe she can do anything she sets her mind to and surely she has inspired other ladies to try and take flight just like she did.She is really the success story of the WWR program. 

In closing, I'd like to thank TREK for choosing me as one of the Women Who Ride. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent all the ladies out there that swing a leg over every day. The bike is a magical instrument. It is an empowering tool. It brings us good health and is capable of taking us places where we may not have normally gone. The bike took us five to Waterloo and will continue to take us wherever we dream to go.

Ride on, ladies. Ride on.

May 1, 2010

My Year as a TREK-Y

A year ago I was pinching myself, asking “really? me?  One of 5 in the US to represent WSD Trek bikes?”  What a hot diggity dog honor - at my age!  And then I met the other 4 Women Who Ride at Trek Headquarters, they came from both coasts and one from the middle to be on the Trek “blog team” for a year.  Now THAT was the real honor! What spirit and encouragement AND talent!  After absorbing their biking lingo and vicariously living their experiences I knew I had a lot to learn about cycling styles, statisitcs and hardware!


My racing skills were limited to a dozen or so triathlons.  My long distance riding had taken me across a few states (one at a time) and a few 100+ mile riding days, plus a Trek Travel trip.  But, my mountain biking/off road experiences had been pitiful!  Once, I had an egg-size bruise and hematoma from a fall on rocks: by the way, it was in the saddle  area: you-know-where!  Then there was the time I read about the Red Rock Canyon ride out of Las Vegas: it was touted as one of THE best!  I HAD to try it!  For me?  It stunk!  After an hour of doing V’s down one gully and up the next, getting off my bike to accomplish the “up”,  I 'd had it.  I told myself that was one aspect of cycling that had passed me by and I didn’t need to do THAT again.  Well, here I am to tell you that my apirations have again changed and I feel challenged to "ride the wooded, hilly trails and ease myself into some good mountain biking, maybe rocks".  This, because of my year with the Women Who Ride.  Expanding my biking horizons has been just one of the alterations in my biking life with Trek!


I've met fabulous biking icons like Sally Edwards and Gary Fisher;  become interested in all aspects of bike racing; forced myself to sign up for rides because I was a WWR (and after the ride thinking "I'm glad I didn't miss this one");  I started to ride in cold weather (I used to put my bike away after  it dropped to 50 degrees); I do short errands by bike instead of the car.  I support bike legislation and advocacy and plan to participate in the Ride Of Silence on May 20.


I  fell in love with cyclocross racing after trying it just one tim.  Again, without Trek - I wouldn't have attempted it.  Now I have my sights on participating in a few more CX races, can't believe it!    Never thought I'd buy another new bike but I'm waiting for a great fit session with my bike gurus at Wheel and Sprocket Delafield when my carbon Top Fuel 9.8 WSD arrives.  Off-road, here I come!


Will I give up triathlons?  Not for a few years - there's an 85 year old woman who is going gangbusters around here  plus the 90 year old man I recently blogged about who started riding at 85!  So I have my set my sights on the future, Thank You Trek!  It's been one heck of a ride this last year.


These women shared their stories and captured our hearts, convincing us that they should represent Trek. Of course they ride for the love of it, but more importantly, they ride for opportunities cycling offers. Read about these opportunities. Their stories will put a smile on your face and inspire you to experience life by bike. They are Trek Women.
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