Five years ago, after crashing into another triathlete-in-the-making and breaking my collarbone on one of my first bike rides, I thought I’d sign up for a clinic to brush up on my skills. So, I surfed the Internet and found out about one coming up in the city hosted by some group called Bay Area Women’s Cycling. And I e-mailed some person named Brooke Kuhn and I said, “Look, I don’t know squat about riding a bike, I’m probably very dangerous, are you sure this clinic is for me?”
And she said, “YES! My God, do not ride a bike again until you learn how to ride your bike properly, please.” I mean, more or less.
This is Brooke from five years ago (all photos are from the BAWCycling website), on the left.
In this next photo, that’s me in the green REI racing jersey and the black REI shorts. I left my bright yellow windbreaker at home. Notice all the reflectors on my beautiful black Cannondale. I named him Darth.
That’s Karen Bliss Livingston in the Stars and Stripes jersey. The woman far, far to the left in the lavender top is Lorri Lee Lown. She kept talking about some new club she was starting, I think it was called the Velo Girls. And she passed out buttons and showed us all a mock up of their soon to be released jerseys. They had daisies all over them. Please now notice the daisies plastered all over my racecar above. What a coincidence, I thought, but I did not tell her that I was autocrossing a car covered with daisies. But I thought of it first (1998!), I just want everyone to know that, before I ever knew what a wombat was or any of that tough-girlie stuff.
And in this next photo, you can see my very attractive swimmer’s butt. Well, I just call it a swimmer’s butt, but really, it’s just a butt. I’m just pointing it out to distract you from my not very muscular legs. For many years, they were used as floatation devices. Notice the plastic chain guard.
That’s my ex-roommate’s ex-roommate Coya to the right. That is, she was my ex-roommate’s roommate before I became my ex-roommates roommate. And then I became her ex-roommate, too. And then the girl who wrote terrible erotica moved in and I will never have another roommate again, but that is so another story. Anyway, it was just a coincidence that Coya was at this clinic, too. Now she rides a very fancy bicycle and does demanding triathlons and is an athletic goddess.
So after this, I went to a McGuire “recruiting retreat” and then I went on one of their rides. And some of the other fast gals kept staring at my bike and I knew it was because they were impressed with my state-of-the-art Shimano 105/Tiagra blend equipment. And obviously, my neon yellow windbreaker was quite intimidating.
And then one day, some friend of mine came over and said, “Dude, when are you going to take those reflectors off your bike. You look like a dork.”
And that, my friends, is why I decided to break into the wacky world of road racing bicycles. It was all about my developing my image.