Leaden skies held their rain on Saturday as Marymoor velodrome in Redmond, WA, held a women's 4 hour intro to track racing clinic. In sum: absolutely fantastic!
18 women attended with varying degrees of ages and experience, from casual bike rider to Cat 3 road racers, cyclocross, and mountain bikers (the Group Health women's team was there to represent). One lucky gent from Marymoor Velo Assoc acted as ring leader and coach as a few more experienced women acted as mentors and led us through the basics on the track. We did various drills such as getting comfortable riding above and below each other, holding a paceline, double paceline, bike handling going elbow-to-elbow and hand-to-back, and jumps off the top of the bank. The day ended with everyone in groups based on speed for our first Scratch race. It was a blast! Me, I hardly knew what I was doing, but it was so fun to race around with the other girls after only a few hours and feel that adrenaline on the bell lap and the surge across the finish line. It will not be the last time. MVA and the whole group made it such a fun, encouraging atmosphere for beginners that you can't help but want more of the camaraderie and challenge. With the clinic you get to race at the Monday night beginner races and also join the women's training on Tuesday nights. If anyone is remotely interested come on out! Track rental bikes are available for only $5!
Personal highlight: the revelation after the first 5 or 10 warm-up laps that the bike and I were not going to plummet down the side of the bank like a sheet of ice (although all the bird poo on the one bank from the osprey nest above still made me nervous).
fyi - Marymoor offers the same clinics and races for men this summer so no excuses!
For more info see the MVA.