A Good Start By Jennifer Brown


Hagerty Cycling superstar, supermom and super-lady Jenn Brown offers up her tips on how to make 2015 the best year of amateur cycling you’ve ever had, ever. As a part of the kolo ‘Get Women To Race Bikes And Ride Them And Maybe Just Try It Out And See What They Think Initiative’, or GWTRBARTAMJTIOASWTHI, this article is written for women, by a woman, on a site that thinks women are pretty neat. Read on and do what JB says, because if you don’t, she’ll get you. 

As spring slowly enters in wheezes and fits, may of us are turning our thoughts to the road.
And perhaps even more strongly, feeling that urge to line up at the start, awaiting the count. In the spirit of starting the season off right (and every race for that matter), a few thoughts come to mind.

1. Very few women race, so let’s support those who do. Lining up for my first Cat 4 race (I’d done time trials but this was the first race), I heard one of the girls remark about someone else “Can you believe it’s her very first race and she’s doing a crit!” Unfortunately her tone was not one of awe. In Cat 4, everyone is new or newer to racing, and especially in women’s racing, we need to keep everyone in the game that we can. We all have to start some place, and doing a crit as your first race should be admired rather than scoffed at. She was a champion just for lining up!

2. Congratulate the winners, no matter what. There’s nothing more unattractive than a sore

loser. The girls who won worked hard for it and made the right decisions during the race. Let’s celebrate each other. If you need to take a moment away to kick yourself, and then come back for the high fives, do it, but don’t leave in a huff.

3. Skills and drills, skills and drills. Working on your cycling skills will not only make you a better racer, it also makes the race safer for all involved. Braking hard into corners or not holding your line can be a recipe for disaster. If there’s something in particular that scares you, get some instruction and practice it a lot. It’ll elevate your racing technique, and your experience of the race.

4. Just do it. No, not the Nike slogan. If you’ve been toying with the idea of racing, take the plunge and sign up. The biggest hurdle is getting started. So instead of thinking about it, find a race that looks fun and get registered. You don’t have to have a team, and you’ll never know what you’re missing until you get out there!

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