W o m e n ' s C y c l i n g
The WSBA is committed to developing and supporting new bike racers and improving the quality of women's bike racing in the Pacific Northwest. Many activities throughout the year focus on helping women to build their racing skills and find a team for training and racing.
Beginner Women's Race Series
Races for truly beginner women (self-selected) are planned again for the early 2014 racing season. This series is part of a larger initiative at USA Cycling to expand categories for women's racing. There are no prizes or upgrade points from these events, but they offer a chance for beginning racers to race with their peers.
Beginner women's races will be held at all three Mason Lake road races:
March 9: Mason Lake Road Race #1
March 16: Mason Lake Road Race #2
March 23: Mason Lake Road Race #3
At these events, category 1/2 women will ride in the beginner women's race to coach and mentor "real time" during the race and to give tips and feedback on effective racing tactics and safe riding skills.
In order to run the beginner women's races, a minimum of 20 riders must preregister for both the beginner AND cat 4 women's races.
New racers should consult the race flyer (linked above) for complete information about license requirements (one-day licenses may be purchased at each event), race number rental or purchase, and links to online preregistration.
POST-RACE COACHING/MENTORING CLINICS
Coaching clinics are sponsored by the WSBA at early season races specifically to help cat 4 women build their racing skills and understanding. Local coaches and expert riders will carefully watch the race (from the lead car in road races) and then offer post-race feedback on the elements of the race, including team tactics, bike handling, and other components that make up the race. The 2014 schedule of clinic dates and leaders (who will enlist help from their teammates so racers hear multiple viewpoints) is under development.
Once the clinics are scheduled, plan to come hear the advice and insights these experienced local racers and their teammates offer about the action in the cat 4 races on these three different courses. Cat 4 women should watch for information posted at these races and/or announced on the start line for the exact location and time for these free clinics, which will be held immediately after the races finish.
CycleU (Seattle) and Emde Sports (Spokane) (among other resources in Washington) offer classes that teach everything from the basics of bike handling to advanced racing skills and time trialing. The registration fee at these two facilities for the Women's Racing Fundamentals and Upgrade Class is partly subsidized by the WSBA, and clinic participants receive FOUR (4) cat 3 upgrade points. Classes will be offered several times in the late winter and spring at each facility. Please check their websites for more info on these classes and when they are scheduled.
Limit: one subsidy and one set of upgrade points per rider; you may take the clinic as many times as you wish, but the WSBA will not subsidize more than one clinic per rider, and you may not earn more than 3 points for the upgrade to cat 3 no matter how many clinics you take.
Finding a Team
Meet the Team Rides: Local teams organize rides each autumn to help new riders find teammates with compatible goals and interests. Rides are scheduled from September through November in Seattle and other locations. Watch this page in late summer for complete information on ride schedules and locations.
Intro to Women's Cycling and Racing Teams: In late summer and early fall, a combination of women from many of the local racing teams will host rides similar to the Meet the Teams rides, with the exception that this ride is for women only, and each ride is hosted by women representatives from multiple teams. If you are new to the racing community, looking to strengthen your riding skills, thinking about racing, or looking to speak with other women about local racing teams or riding opportunities, this ride's for you! Please help us out and spread the word to any women you may know who are curious about cycling and/or racing.
Dates for 2014: TBA (late summer/early fall)
Time: 8:45 AM at Pert's in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood (120 Lakeside Ave, Seattle WA 98122). Please don't be late! The rides are not weather-dependent--rain or shine, we ride!
Route: south end of Lake Washington
Skills: pacelines, riding a straight line, and racing tactics/techniques. Depending on turnout, we'll break into groups no greater than 10 to keep it manageable and go over the basics, making sure to keep things fun and not stressful.
2014 Women's BARR
The WSBA sponsors Best All-around Road Rider races for the following women's categories:
Women's Category 1-2
Women's Category 3
Women's Category 4
Master Women age 35+ cat 1-3
Master Women age 35+ cat 4
More information about BARR categories and the schedule of BARR events is found on the BARR webpage.
Other Women's Racing Opportunities
The Marymoor Velodrome is another great place to develop racing skills. Please see velodrome.org for a list of classes and the calendar of events at the track. Bike rentals are available, but you must take the introductory track class prior to participating in any other sessions on the track.
Women interested in cyclocross can find Washington Women of Cyclocross on Facebook for the latest news in the 'cross community.
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