I’ve had this on my mind. If I don’t express it now, I really wont do any work all day. Mind my language. It is atrocious, I know. So’s my spelling.
So last night I raced the last race of the Hawthorn Cycling Club’s Women’s Crit Series, on what is known as “the Teardrop”: the hardest crit course in Melbourne and I did more than survive the race, I hung on! Months ago I set a goal in my mind that I would race the last race of the series. I had gone down and watched, every race of the series, but didn’t think I was fit enough or race smart enough to ever do it for myself.
Before the race I was nervous and worried and nervous and full of self-doubt, as usual. It was the unknown, I guess that scared me most.
But, there is one amazing thing about women’s cycling, and that is the sense of comradery and community. As we stood around, the 35 or so of us, I could feel the comradery in the air. Despite the competitive nature of the last three laps, there is a huge sense that we’re all in it together, we had all gathered at Hawthorn for one reason, to participate, and to race, all on a level playing field and all in good fun. That is what I love most about women’s cycling.
There I was, lined up with the all the women and before I knew it I had rubbed my bike all over myself, and bam! we were rolling.
The race was was hard, and fast, and I was I keeping up and it was fucking exhilarating. I kept hearing Liz’s voice in my head saying “you can do it”, and… I could! I have never felt such satisfaction. By the last three laps, my lungs were screaming and I just could not believe it, I bloody made it! I was not first, nor close to it. I could have raced smarter, spun faster and cornered better. But what the hell, I made it and there is always next time.
The atmosphere after the race was electric. As we all hung around for the presentations, talking and silhouetted by beautiful evening twilight, an incredible sense of achievement came over me. I realised that I had just raced with some of the strongest women cyclists in Melbourne, they had offered me advice and encouragement, and here we were, enjoying being cyclists. Kudos to Hawthorn CC for putting together such a great series and giving women the opportunity to race, and win great prizes!
So don’t dilly dally get amongst it ladies.