I wish I could say that I got into racing for some noble cause or because a coach noticed how fast I was and recruited me. But I can’t. In all honesty, my motives were much more simple and common than most women probably think. I had just gotten out of an unproductive relationship and needed something else to occupy my mind and keep me active. I knew of a triathlon that was a couple months away and decided to sign up. I had no idea that that one small decision would open up a whole new world to me.
That decision to sign up for my first triathlon led to me opting to sign up for duathlons, another triathlon, and a couple criterium races. While I haven’t been on the podium in a single race, the lessons I’ve learned and people I’ve met keep me coming back for more. In my experience, the female cycling community is absolutely one of the most supportive, friendly, and encouraging groups around. Don’t get me wrong- we’re all competitors once we cross the start line, but before and after races, no one is hesitant to ask you how your weekend was or give you some race tips.
While my decision to start racing wasn’t exactly inspiring or even notable, I’ve come to realize that my initial intent doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I put myself out there, and started racing because I wanted to. I not only gained self-confidence, but also a sense of independence and achievement that I never could have anticipated. I truly do encourage all female cyclists to try out racing. Whether you’re doing it to lose weight, make new friends, or just to face a new challenge, do it for you.
Interested in racing?
If you’re a woman interested in racing (whether that be road, mountain bike, or cyclocross), consider our Women’s Racing Program. In support of women racers, Erik’s will be at select races to provide mechanical assistance, a warm up/cool down area, and other race essentials. For information on this program, check out the link above or join the Facebook group.
Renee is a “roadie”, sales associate at Erik’s Bike and Board, Erik’s Women’s Racing Program Representative, yoga instructor, and outdoor enthusiast. She loves racing her bike and is probably trying to figure out how to adjust her derailleurs right now.