Friday, June 12, 2009

Two Chicks Racing In Some Very Big Mountains

Hi, Marilyn here. I am writing a little bit about my cycling racing I am going on. Tour Transalp. Before I start, I am looking for someone to ride with tomorrow that will make me work hard and go for a long time. Any takers? Back to Transalps. A seven day stage race through the Alps. A very lofty goal for two girls with little to no cycling racing experience. Riding in teams of two, the 882km race starts in Germany and winds through Austria finishing in northern Italy. There are 18,366 altitude meters to be climbed. As I write out those stats and think about the type of climbs we are going to be doing (like Passo Gavia) I start to think…gulp…yeah…bring it on!

About two months ago I did what every Calgary girl should do if they want to kick some ass in cycling, I joined Speed Theory. Great move! Thanks Cyrus for the direction. As one of the few women in the sport of cycling I have to commend the support I have received from ST. My experience has been full of cheers during races, racing tips, warm up rides, the most amazing training camp in Penticton and fashion advice. Everyone I have met has been amazing. Trev is the heart and soul of ST and has provided me with continuous support. Mostly he is contagious and makes everyone laugh and enjoy riding.

Tour Transalp is a team race and lucky for me I have a ringer of a partner. Tracy Cameron is a bronze medalist from the summer Olympics in Beijing in the Light Weight Womens Double (rowing) for Canada. We have only been training together since the end of May because she has been in New York at cooking school. Together, we have been on 4 rides, one of which was Race the Ring ITT last weekend. You would think that eating food for six months in New York and riding around Central Park would slow a girl down but nope, Tracy was the second fastest girl on the course that day. She has a fifth gear that I can’t help but admire. As for me, my base training was cross country skiing in the winter and riding as much as I could in between snow falls in April, May and June. You are probably gasping at how little we have trained for this type of a race. Trust me, I am shaking my head too. It was kind of a last minute decision in March to do it.

Team dynamics. Well… we have different personalities. I like to be organized well in advance, some might say anally retentive and Tracy is easy going and, things will get done when they get done, kinda gal. I like to communicate (is 10 e-mails in a day too much?) and she likes to hang back and pretty much disappear. I like to know, through talking, that my partner is training even if she is a freaking bronze medalist and she likes to show up to a time trial and kick my ass and show me that she has been. Interestingly enough we refer to ourselves as a finely tuned machine because we have come together with very little communication and hit the ground running. One thing we do have in common is drive so when we are out there riding we trust that we are both working as hard as we can. So there is a mutual respect.

Why are we doing this race? Well…I love a challenge, riding and I LOVE FOOD (if I cycle more then I can eat more). Tracy wants to get in shape for rowing again. This was a rare opportunity where we both had time, fitness and the means to do a race like this. For me, this is the perfect vacation. Exercise, beautiful country and awesome FOOD! Why wouldn’t we do it!

We leave June 24th for Germany and start racing on the 28th. Banff Fest will be our last chance to race (Tracy’s first road race). We are cramming for sure. I think we are both praying that our fitness from rowing and cross country skiing will kick in. You can follow us online if you want. Our team name is called NordicRowers. http://www.tourtransalp.de/englisch/ Cheers. Marilyn

9 comments:

Kailee said...

Good luck with the race! It seems like an amazing opportunity to see Europe and get in some great cycling!

I would love to ride tomorrow, but unfortunately am working. If you want to do any training rides during the week, send me an e-mail... kaileeboyle@gmail.com.

Hope you have a great ride!

Kailee

alejandro H said...

Good luck in the race, I am sooo jealous, I love to eat too! haha

I may be interested in riding tomorrow but wont be able to push the group as much as be pulled!!when and where?

Marilyn said...

Well I checked the forcast and they are calling for thunder showers pretty much everywhere. Calgary is sunny in the morning so I think we should ride early in the Calgary area. What about meeting at 22x and 37th for 7am? I cringed when I wrote that. I just don't want to get caught in a thunder storm and I really would love a long ride. 150km+. You still game? Anyone else? Ale, you could meet at my house and we could drive there together. Call for negotiations. 589-2901

Ryan said...

Hey,

I'm leaving from the Esso on Old Banff Coach Road, heading out of town (89th Street S.W.) - Elbow Falls - back Cochrane and 1A. I'll be there at 9:30 a.m. for anyone checking the blog later than usual.

Marilyn said...

Hey Ryan, that sounds like a solid ride. I'd be into that. I googled Esso stations in Calgary and I don't see one on Old Banff Coach Road and can't imagine one. Can you give me a few more directions? I am going to ride there in the morning so I don't want to waste time riding around.

Mark said...

Enjoy the ride ... would love to be there but I already committed to a work bee at the Calgary Corn Maze ... such a farm boy.

Joel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marilyn said...

O.k, it is Saturday 8am and I off to start my ride. I will meet you Ryan at the mystery Esso station on Old Banff Coach Rd. If I am not there at 9:30am that means I am riding aimlessly looking for it. Could you call me on my cell. 589-2901. Ale, I hope to see you there too.

alejandro H said...

sorry marilyn I had a previous engagement that went late last night. Hope you got in a good ride.!

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