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Your Feedback Wanted: What Makes a Great Women’s Cycling Team?

8 Team Cycleton

Over the years I have been lucky enough to be embraced, grow with and learn from some great women’s groups. The first that comes to mind is Artemis Racing out of the Mid-Atlantic and then there are the Dirt Diva’s in Charlotte, NC.

As I mentioned earlier this week, one of my goals over the next year is to help my Team Cycleton build and grow a women’s team. As I build the groundwork and before I put out a call for applicants for the team I want to hear from you.

What Makes a Great Women’s Cycling Team?

The specific word I want to point out in the above question is TEAM. While there will be some club aspect, social events and rides, it is also a large goal of mine to help develop female racing. This includes having like minded goals, training rides or events and education on all aspects of bike riding/racing.

So sound off, what have you seen work in making a successful women’s cycling team that helps develop women into strong riders and racers?

Race Report: Winter Short Track #4

0 Charlotte Short Track

A race report that was almost forgotten, as I’m typing this 6 days later in the Philadelphia airport during a layover.

My last race of the Charlotte Winter Short Track Series had a handful of ups and downs. As I was only able to race 4 out of 5 races my placing of this last race would be a wash. Going into a race lacking motivation is difficult for me, so 20 minutes to start time I did some soul searching and finding that mission. Mission: fun, hard pace and working to help a couple key friends on their short track virginity.

This is going to be kept short and sweet.

2nd lap I found myself sitting comfortable in 2nd place. Pushing it hard. Working with a friend Jordan on the road section. Around lap 4 or 5 I decided to slow the hell down. My morning routine was off, and my stomach was feeling questionable. Letting my heart rate drop a zone made me drop two places. Sitting in 4th behind Patty Smith. I coasted along, catching breath and finding comfort in my tempo zone. Two laps to go I knew I needed to either find peace with my 4th place finish or attack.


Of course, I attacked. Put room between Patty and myself, I had 3rd locked in place. Trying to bridge the gap between 2nd place (Jordan) and myself, I pushed hard but needed another lap to make up the time I had lost. Losing 2nd place by 10 seconds was bitter but I learned a bit about myself, comfort zones and the punch that my legs have in these early pre-season races.


One last bitter sadness is that I am currently tied for 1st overall with Patty. If I was to race this weekend and beat her, I would have first in the expert category. Unfortunately I am sitting in PA on the way to MN, far away from the race course. I can say I ended the series much better than I ever expected. My goals were to hang on and not get lapped, in the end I was the one doing the lapping.


Photo credits: Cheryl Anne & Jodi’s Wife.


Melissa’s Race Recap: 2011 6 Hours of Warrior Creek

0 Melissa Magann 6 Hours of Warrior Creek

April 6, 2011 – Now I remember why I don’t race any more – you have to get up too dang early. But I’m up and on my way to N. Wilkesboro, NC for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek to race in the female duo category with my awesome partner, Arleigh Jenkins (brainchild of em:pwr cycling) and my “pit crew” Shelley with me. It’s supposed to be a beautiful Saturday for racing, albeit a little windy, even though it rained earlier in the week things should have dried up nicely.

Melissa Magann 6 Hours of Warrior Creek

Little did we know an isolated storm sitting right on top of Warrior Creek dumped rain on the course Friday night. We arrive to a soupy, soggy, greasy 13 mile trail. It was agreed Arleigh would do the first lap since I did the first one last year – that’s only fair, right? After her pre-lap I think Arleigh was trying to come up with any way to get me to do the first lap but she sucked up and went out there with 300 other brave souls to sling some mud around. When the first of the racer boys started hitting the start/finish line we could tell it wasn’t pretty out there – their backs were slathered in mud as were their entire bikes – not good! Several people even stopped and turned in their timing chip after one lap – the mighty mud had worn them out and they couldn’t return for lap two (they really should have stuck it out, more on that later). Riders continue to cross the finish line while I’m trying to warm up and psyche myself up to have a very slow, safe lap – no need to kill myself out there.

6 Hours of Warrior Creek

Arleigh comes through and collapses on the ground – mind you she is riding a rigid SS over 13 miles of up and down soupy mess – covered in mud. I take off and hit the woods and the ground is dry, not a puddle in sight. I’m thinking – what were they talking about, it’s not nasty out here, the trail is in excellent shape.  I hear others on the trail who had already done one lap speak out loud in amazement at the difference in the trail from the first lap – unbelievable they say. I guess 300 riders on the trail will dry it up real quick. I continue my ride – enjoying the fact I don’t have mud hitting me in the face and I’m not sliding down the wet berms. I finish my lap and make it back to the pits to find Arleigh in street clothes – I had said before I went out that she didn’t need to do another lap since we were just out there to have fun – and she obviously didn’t have a problem with that.

That was the end of our day – we sat at the start/finish line, ate BBQ chicken and pork, gelato and watched our friends keep going round and round. We did two laps and came in 3rd – can’t beat that!