17 12, 2015

The power of an invitation – Christina Gokey-Smith

By |December 17th, 2015|Featured Rider, News|Comments Off on The power of an invitation – Christina Gokey-Smith|

By: David Mable
Women’s Cycling Network

Christina Gokey-Smith of Denton, Tex., grew up sitting in the saddle of a horse, so an invitation to go for a mountain bike ride with a friend seemed only natural. Riding a Huffy and wearing an equestrian helmet, she and her friend hit the local trails, her horseback riding skills kicking in when needed. “I thought I’d better get a helmet after our ride,” she said of that first ride. “I came upon a dip in the trail. My girlfriend stopped, but my “I can do anything” attitude kicked in. I hit that dip, went over the handle bars, skinned up my palms and walked the rest of the way out.” A short time later, Gokey-Smith had a new Specialized Stumpjumper and a proper helmet, as well as a NORBA license. She started racing mountain bikes locally, but as her experience grew, she began to see some success, and also met her husband, who currently races both mountain and cross bikes. “I think it’s important to have the support of your spouse,” said Gokey-Smith. “This is a sport that takes up a bunch of time and isn’t cheap. It would be really difficult to do if you didn’t have the support of your spouse and family.” With her husbands support, she discovered a love for the road, especially criterium racing, and now rides professionally, in 2015 for the Pepper Palace/pb The Happy Tooth cycling team.

“I love criterium racing,” said Gokey-Smith. “I just love it. I love going fast. I love the competitive side. I got my first road bike in 2006 and in 2009, I decided road [...]

10 12, 2015

A Used Bike Changes Katie Hall’s Life

By |December 10th, 2015|Featured Rider, News|Comments Off on A Used Bike Changes Katie Hall’s Life|

You never know. You just never know where a 20-year-old used bike could lead you.

While living, working and going to graduate school in northern California, Katie Hall was looking to rid herself of a crowded commute and $4-per-gallon gas. A scan of Craigslist turned up a 1990 Cannondale road bike.

Eight years later, she’s still got that Cannondale, but it’s reserved for her days off because while at work, she’s riding a 2016 Wilier with her professional cycling team — UnitedHealthcare (UHC).

“I lived and worked a quarter mile off the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle. There was 25-miles of fantastic trail between my home and work,” said Hall. “I started commuting and I absolutely loved being outside and not being stressed about being stuck in traffic.”

While at the University of Northern California, she became involved with the cycling team and began racing. She did quite well and quickly moved up through the categories, now traveling around the world with the UHC squad.

Starting with a collegiate team was key to Halls early success.

“I think the collegiate system is an absolutely awesome way to get into racing bikes,” said Hall. “There’s a ton of structure, you already have a team, and all the teams are super supportive of people just getting started.

“I think women have a lot of different experiences as they’re getting into cycling,” she continued. “It can be pretty intimidating. It’s definitely a male-dominated sport. I got into it through collegiate racing, and that’s so great for women to start cycling. There are both men and women, and the whole team benefits from everyone riding together. The team really supports the women as much as the men because all the scores [...]

5 03, 2015

March Featured Rider – Marion Clignet

By |March 5th, 2015|Featured Rider, News|Comments Off on March Featured Rider – Marion Clignet|

The Women’s Cycling Association showcases inspiring riders from the women’s cycling community. This week we’re excited to feature 1996 Olympic Silver Medalist,World Champion and French Road and Track Champion, Marion Clignet.

WCA: How long have you been riding?
Marion: I raced for 5 years in the US-the last 2 years were 1989 and 1990 riding for the US team in the Tour of Molenike in Holland as well as the Post Giro in Norway. After winning several medals at US road nationals in 1990 I opted to race in France ( I have dual nationality) where I continued racing up until 2000 at the elite level and with the men locally until a few years ago.

WCA: What has been your most memorable experience in the sport?
Marion: One of my funnest road trips was with Inga Thompson-we set off to race the Chico stage race with the men and her ’57 Mercedes died on us and we hitched a ride with our gear and all to the race. We made up characters-Mavis and Weaser and played our parts all the way to Chico!

As per an actual race my fondest memory was an elite men’s race in Brittany. 150 of us on the start line, I got in a break of 6, we stayed away till mid race-were caught by a group of 7 and with a few laps to go I was away with 2 guys who duking it out for the gpm competition. I took off on the last lap and rode that bike like I stole it to win! I got yelled at by the guy who got seconds dad but his son stepped in and from that day on his father would always [...]

4 02, 2015

Featured Rider – Erin Alders

By |February 4th, 2015|Featured Rider, News|1 Comment|

The Women’s Cycling Association showcases inspiring riders from the women’s cycling community. This week we’re excited to feature U.S. Pro Mountain Bike Racer, Erin Alders.

WCA: How long have you been riding?

Erin: I have been riding in and out since 2000. Check out Erin riding in her YouTube video!

WCA: What has been your most memorable experience in the sport?

Erin: I would say some of my most memorable experiences are the days I’ve had the most fun on a bike. There is a group of guys I ride mountain bikes with from Truckee, and I call them my Truckee boyfriends. Riding with them is epic and hilarious. Being with them is like being in a magical bubble. (I’m a magical bubble). I’m either having a laughing attack, or wondering how I am going to make it back before dark, or watching some godlike way to ride a technical section…

The rides that I’ve been able to do with my coaches will be forever etched into my memory.

As far as racing, I remember the hardest days and the sweetest days. The days when it all comes together and you win. Also the days that break you down. I like to think those days helped toughen me up and build character.

WCA: Do you have a favorite race. If so, why?

Erin: So far I have two favorite races and one is the Nevada City Classic. My parent’s house is on the course, there’s climbing, my family and friends are there, and I can hear people cheering for me all over the course.

My other favorite race is the Downieville Classic. My house sits on the finishing stretch; the course consists of a long climb and a technical descent. My family is there to support, [...]

9 01, 2015

Featured Rider – Iris Slappendel

By |January 9th, 2015|Featured Rider, News, Road|Comments Off on Featured Rider – Iris Slappendel|

The Women’s Cycling Association showcases inspiring riders from the women’s cycling community. This week we’re excited to feature 2014 Dutch National Road Race Champion and new WCA Board of Director member, Iris Slappendel.

WCA: How long have you been riding?

Iris: Since I was 16. So that’s 13 years already.

WCA: What has been your most memorable experience in the sport?

Iris: Junior World Championships in Hamilton, Canada. It was my first encounter with professional cycling and the whole event made a big impression on me. It was also the moment I realized I was good at this sport, and winning the bronze medal was a big motivation to take it more seriously.

WCA: Do you have a favorite race. If so, why?

Iris: Tour of Flanders. Heroic race, beautiful course and great ambiance.

WCA: What challenges have you faced in cycling?

Iris: Lots of issues with teams and sponsors. Like sponsors pulling out halfway the season. Or teams quitting (without notice) just before the end of November (UCI deadline). Until 2010 I combined study and a part time job with my cycling career which was quite hard.

WCA: What do you enjoy most about the sport?

Iris: Cycling is freedom. Everyday in cycling you have to push and beat yourself. On the bike, you really fight against the elements and at the same time you are one with them.

I also enjoy the amount of time I spend outdoors riding. I get to experience each season to its fullest and I look forward to the variety of my training that comes with each season.

WCA: What are your goals in cycling?

Iris: Keep improving myself, and winning a monument like Flanders would also be great! Bring attention to women’s cycling and make exciting races together!

WCA: What [...]

19 09, 2014

WCA Cycling Blog

By |September 19th, 2014|Featured Rider, Gear, News|Comments Off on WCA Cycling Blog|

Taking It To The Next Level
By; Anna Grace Christiansen

Back on a rainy, gray day in February 2010, I lined up with two teammates for my first road race and we had a plan. I remember almost every moment of that bike race, sticking close to my teammate. It was almost like a choreographed dance, I was told exactly what to do when and how to do it. I was to attack and try to stay away for the finish. Before the race, we practiced this attacking maneuver and all of my questions were answered. I felt prepared and confident lining up with my teammates for the race. I knew what was expected of me and I wasn’t afraid to fail, because if I gave it everything and still got caught, I had two strong teammates back in the pack ready to jump into action. I will never forget this as my first feeling of going all-in in a bike race and feeling so powerful together with my team.

I stayed away to the finish and I truly felt that it was a team win. I was lucky enough to be the representative of our team to cross the line first, the symbol of all the smarts and hard work of my teammates that day, but we won the race. I knew this sport was special. It was one of the most powerful collaborations I had ever been a part of and I was completely hooked, this sport made sense to me and I was hungry to learn more.

And here I am now, wrapping up my first full season of racing at the NRC level. How did I make the jump [...]

12 05, 2014

Blood, Sweat and a Ton of Rain!

By |May 12th, 2014|Featured Rider, Gear, News, Road|Comments Off on Blood, Sweat and a Ton of Rain!|

The WCA is proud to promote the stories of people who are helping to get more women on bikes and elevate the sport of Women’s Cycling. Following is a great story by Kelly Samuelson on her experience at the first ever Women’s only Redhook Crit.

Blood, Sweat, and a Ton of Rain
by: Kelli Samuelson
Red Hook Brooklyn, NY
March 29th, 2014

Starting 7 years ago by David Trimble as a fun race on his birthday, it is now grown into an international series with amazing coverage and supporters. I’ve seen thousands of people come out in the cold to watch this event and support the racers.

There are no points awarded, no categories separating riders, no license required and the only rule is you must be on a proper brakeless track bike. Yes I said brakeless. For the past 6 years it was one race, men and women together. 100 riders lining up at the start line to put everything they have out on the course, to prove something, to make a name for themselves or just have a good time.

This year was the first year that Redhook has held a race for women only. I was lucky enough to be apart of something really amazing.

31 women rolled to the start line on Saturday March 29th It was just under 40 degrees and raining cats and dogs. It didn’t matter what category you were or if you were on a big team or if you had ever raced a bike before. We were out there to make history in this world of unsanctioned fixed gear crits. The comradery [...]

19 03, 2014

Featured Rider: Aliya Traficante

By |March 19th, 2014|Featured Rider, News, Road|Comments Off on Featured Rider: Aliya Traficante|

Twice a month, the Women’s Cycling Association showcases an inspiring rider from the women’s cycling community. This week we’re excited to introduce junior racer Aliya Traficante.

WCA: What has been your most memorable experience in the sport?

Aliya: Last year I raced my first international race, Tour of Rimouski, in Quebec, Canada. It was my first experience with host housing, guest riding for a team, being in a different country, and so much more. My team and I placed third in the in the team time trial and also won the overall team classification. Both were incredible to me being that I got to ride on a team with girls I had never met before and we all worked extremely hard together for the same goal. I felt accomplished, and it was even more rewarding to share that feeling with a team.

WCA: What challenges have you faced in cycling?

Aliya: One of my largest challenges was keeping my emotions in check when racing. Aggressive racing scared me a bit and I let it get in my head. I have learned to shut it out, focus on the positive, and concentrate on what I need to do. I have also learned to push back and that usually what happens on the course, stays on the course. People do what they can in order to win, and most people are so high on adrenaline during the race that anything can happen!

WCA: What do you enjoy most about the sport?

Aliya: Cycling has provided so many opportunities that I would not have had, had I decided not to race. I think what I enjoy most is the amount of traveling I am fortunate to do and the people I have met. [...]

12 02, 2014

Featured Rider: Jacqueline McClure

By |February 12th, 2014|Featured Rider, News, Road|1 Comment|

Twice a month, the Women’s Cycling Association showcases an inspiring rider from the women’s cycling community. This week we’re excited to introduce Jacqueline McClure.

WCA: What has been your most memorable experience in the sport?

Jacqueline: My director and team inviting me to race the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic. There is no greater honor in my hometown. I had my parents and sister cheering me on at Lemon Hill, friends shouting in East Falls and on the Manayunk Wall, and that really made it feel like everything I worked for came full circle. Being able to line up with the best in the world was incredibly humbling (and yes, I was star struck too). It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done and look forward to going back for more in 2014!

Also, I really enjoyed going out to Las Vegas this year to race USA Crit Series Finals at Interbike. A friend convinced me to go out with her and then only after I signed up told me that the race is like Thunderdome from Mad Max…and it was. I had never raced in the dark. Had too much air in my tires. Escaped multiple crashes. And walked away with a top 10 and all my skin intact. That was a pretty big win for me and a blast getting to meet so many amazing people in our industry.

WCA: What challenges have you faced in cycling?

Jacqueline: Moving from the east coast to the west coast. Trying to find new places to train in unfamiliar territories is tough when you have to do a 5 hr ride and you don’t know which way is up or down. Being put in a new area and [...]

22 01, 2014

Featured Rider: Ann Trombley

By |January 22nd, 2014|Cyclocross, Featured Rider, News|1 Comment|

Twice a month, the Women’s Cycling Association showcases an inspiring rider from the women’s cycling community. This week we’re excited to introduce Women’s 50-54 Cyclocross National Champion Ann Trombley.

WCA: What has been your most memorable experience in the sport?

Ann: Oh Jeez, there are so many it is hard to pick one. And the memories just keep coming. I think going to the Olympic’s would have to be one of the biggies. Being in the Olympic Village with all of the best athletes in the worlds. Then the opening ceremonies was huge. You felt like a rock star with everyone in the world being your audience. The “Breakthrough” races are always memorable. Those races where you realize you are faster, stronger and can push harder than you thought. I will never forget my race in Mammoth Mountain California. One of the National events. I was leading the point series at the time. Off the start someone hooked my bars and I went down. Then one of my competitors ran over me. After getting up, I realized my stem was twisted and I couldn’t get it to straighten out manually. I had to get my tool out, loosen bolts and re-tighten and then get going. After riding for a few minutes, I realized the visor on my helmet was hanging in my face and blocking my view. I had to rip it off and toss it. I was so fired up I just kept passing people. I ended up in 6th place! Yes, I was no longer the points leader, but I had the best race of my life and was thrilled with how fast I was going and I was having fun. Its not always [...]

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