Starting this week, I will be competing in Master’s Track National Championships at the 7-11 Olympic Velodrome in Colorado Springs. For those not familiar, Master’s categories are age grouped starting at 30 years and older. I’ll be competing in the women’s 35-39 group.
I never intended to race again, let alone compete in a nationals event. I was a former US National Cycling Team member when I was young and gave up the sport in 1993. In those days it was very difficult to make a living as woman cyclist and they didn’t even yet have a pro category for women yet. Not to mention the amount of time involved to properly train to that caliber. I opted for the college/grad school/work route instead.
After moving back to Boulder a few years ago to work at OneRiot (formerly Me.dium), I started to get interested in my bike again. My very first blog post was inspired by one of those first rides I did last summer. Then, they opened the indoor velodrome in Boulder this winter and I got a chance to ride the fixed gear again, which is great for folks that work during the day as you can ride it at night and in the cold winter weather.
Competing again after 15 years has been an interesting experience for me. There’s the excitement, the goals, the pressure, the bad days. All of the emotional aspects of preparing for a race are completely different from just simply riding and being in shape, and all the memories, insecurities, and self identity based on results stuff from when I was competing before have come out of the woodwork. But, during this year, I’ve been able to redefine my relationship with cycling and competition.
This redefinition has been the most fun and eye opening experience out of all of this, and I feel lucky that I’ve gotten a chance to revisit something I love and remember why I love it. So, of course I want to do well this week, but I also know that it doesn’t matter. I’ve already gotten what I need.
Here’s my schedule:
Wednesday, August 19th, 9:00am: 2k TT (pursuit)
Thursday, August 20th, all day: Match Sprints
Saturday, August 22, 9:00am: Points Race
Sunday, August 23, 9:00am: Team Sprint (with Carol Kauder)