Learn to race if you want. We don’t require you to race to join our club; but the club was founded by two girls who are sadly addicted to racing. But I’ll tell you that racing is the hardest fun you’ll ever have.
Have you ever ridden so fast for so long you collapsed at the end? So hard that when you finished you thought you’d never want to ride a bike that hard again (and, yet, are constantly amazed that you do, somehow, feel the urge to ride that hard again–because next time you’ll go harder)? That you lost your lunch or power-ade or whatever the contents of your stomach? Pushed so hard you wondered how your heart stayed in your chest while it frantically pounded? That all you could hear in your head was blood pumping so loud it sounds like a tornado? And your lungs couldn’t get enough air for the burning?
Have you ever?
Have you ever ridden down a hill so fast that you had to completely turn off the logic of what might happen if you crashed? So fast your skinny wheels vibrated? So fast you were afraid to look at your speedometer? So fast you knew there was no stopping with brakes. Your eyes water as you strain to focus on what will keep you upright. Have you ever done that six inches behind another rider? With riders on both sides and behind you?
We have. We love it. We do it as much as we can.
It’s ridiculous and illogical. It’s breath-taking and admirable. It’s going beyond what you think your body is incapable of. And doing it over and over and over again. A constant game of chicken against your own will and your competitors. You say, “I will go faster, harder, longer in the wind, downhill and around corners. I will leave you if you can’t keep up. I will win this battle of wills over muscles and heart and lungs. I will win not just because I train my body, but because I train my mind and my mind tells me I can beat you.”
We have done this. We are the masochists. We will train; in rain, in traffic, in snow and cold and wind, on hills, in basements, gyms for hours that add up to days and weeks. We will train early in the morning or late into the night on top of running households, raising children, studying, working, living.
There is a community forming a sisterhood of crazy women masochistically, relentlessly pursuing dreams of glory and personal satisfaction beyond payouts, fortune and fame. We race because it’s an addiction to competition.
OK, so we’re laying it on pretty thick there. We’re women, and there are some stereotypes we like to perpetuate—like the one that lets us be more dramatic. But, here’s the deal. We’re not robots. And even though I’ve used the word masochist twice, I can’t leave you with the impression that we’re adrenalin-loaded robots. We leave that on the road. Off the bike we lead surprisingly well-rounded lives considering the coordination that takes. We’re sincere, fun, talented mentors, moms, teachers, lawyers, doctors, students, daughters, friends, advocates. While we don’t typify your average American woman, (insert bad stat here), we aim to change what it means to be a typical American woman. To meet somewhere in the middle. Because you have to start somewhere.
Racing is not for everyone. This I know. It’s like a virus, though, if you’re infected you know it–but sometimes you don’t unless you try it. And Team Rev is here to teach you. A weekly Racing 101 series starting on Monday, March 30 through April 20. At Tilles Park from 5:45pm until sundown. $30 first day, $5 each additional class, no license is required. There are also a few bikes for demos, if you’re bikeless (or have a friend who is in that sad disposition), email Carrie to inquire about loaner bikes.
Traditionally this is a very popular clinic giving hands-on demo instruction of various race tactics, etiquette and strategies: riding in packs, sprinting, etc. on the bike, on the road in group(s)–for women only (yes!).
Registration will be set up online soon. Check back for info.