I've had three major realizations over my very short time as a "bike racer".
- I'm not very motivated by "winning". I like to race for fun (this came as no surprise).
- There aren't enough women out there who race (for fun or otherwise).
- When I find such a women, I immediately try and befriend her simply because we have at least one thing in common: we get joy out of riding our bikes fast(ish) around others.
You can imagine then, my insane, bike geekish, joy when I got to meet two of the finest female bike racers--Katie Compton and Georgia Gould.
I met Katie at a cx clinic she put on in Boulder last summer. She heckled me for being in a "wussy gear" when I rode through the sand pit in front of her. She was right. I WAS in a wussy-gear. She also didn't mind when Amanda Cyr and I created an animated gif of her hitting the deck at last year's Boulder Cup and posted it to Twitter. It was then that I knew she was a great person, not just a fast racer.
I had the pleasure of riding with Georgia (and a small band of happy kids) on North Table Mtn last Spring for a Colorado High School Mountain Biking League event. I knew she was amazing when she insisted on carrying a 9 year old's insanely heavy back-pack saying, "No really. I need to! I'm in training!" and then encouraged him all the way up to the top. Switch-back, by s-l-o-o-w switchback. She also heckled me from about 500 yards away through a walkie-talkie when I later got a flat. Yep. Keeper.
Over the summer what began as harmless social media heckling, soon evolved to a silly competition. Katie Compton and a crew of pro-cyclists vs. myself and a crew of...non-pro's. We had a cookie bake-off, followed by a Dodgeball tournament. My face is still stinging from Cari Higgins' over-hand and my soul is still stinging from being defeated by Katie's GLUTEN-FREE COOKIES. Mary Topping documented the entire hilarious affair. If you want to read more, click here.
No sooner than we were sweeping up cookie crumbs, I immediately challenged Katie to a re-match in the Fall. Fall Breads for the bake-off and then the rest was to be determined. A "Just Dance-off"? Perhaps a "Karaoke-off"? I needed to find a physical competition that Katie might not have as much experience with and where athletic talent wouldn't necessarily get you a win. Finally it came to me. I would have to pull out a mom-skill. Even more mom-ish than baking--getting your child to school.
So I devised a Pro's vs. Industry Mo's (short for moms) competition. Four women: Katie Compton (Pro), Georgia Gould (Pro), Cheri Felix (Free-lance writer, CO High School MTB coach and new to cx) and myself. And everyone agreed to my plan. You guys. Did you read that? Stop for a second. Everyone. Agreed. The race will take place after the Men's Elite race at the Boulder Cup (around 5:30 pm) in the start/finish alley. Larry G will be announcing (of course).
Here's how it's going down:
- We'll line up with our cx bikes at the start line.
- Katie and Georgia are not allowed to shift out of their small chain-rings.
- At mid-point we have to dismount to where a partner* awaits with two items: a backpack and a bandaid. Partner also has one shoe untied.
- We must open the backpack, take an item out, and place backpack properly on partner.
- We must put the bandaid on our partner and kiss their ouchie.
- We must tie the untied shoe.
- We must mount up (grabbing the item we removed from the backpack) and cross the finish line with our respective Pro/Mo team-mate.
*Partner can be a child, friend or spouse. Item in backpack will be something like a Trapper Keeper, a sack lunch or a musical instrument. The Bake-off will follow on the announcer's stage.
You might be asking, "Wait. What does this have to do with Cyclocross?" It doesn't. Or my favorite response to my articles, "HOW is this NEWS?" It's not. It's simply four women having a good time together who like to ride their bikes.
We all have our strengths. Georgia has a very intense race face and rides over...lots of stuff, all speedy-like and with ease. Katie runs up steps fast, rides through mud effortlessly and bakes gluten free. Cheri races short-track, has ridden a camel and she trains her kids in the art of whittling with knives. I often ride with children's backpacks in panniers, bleed really well and always save enough in the tank to sing to my competition during races.
If you want to witness this battle of battles, The Pro's against the Mo's, we invite you. It should be a blast. But bring a Trapper Keeper just in case. You never know.