Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tri-Flow Continues Sponsorship of Racing Development Program!

In 2006, I started a new racing development program.  My concept was to provide women with a team-oriented program that would teach them skills + tactics to begin road racing.  This would offer women the opportunity to really experience what it's like to race as part of a team without making the full-year commitment that most racing teams (including Velo Girls) required.

For a woman who has never raced, committing to a full season of racing could lead to failure.  If she hasn't raced, how would she know that she liked it?  And if she didn't like it, what's the motivation to fulfill her commitment to a team?  See what I mean?  

We'd been there.  In the first year of the Velo Girls Racing Team (2003), I recruited 40 new women to the sport of road racing.  I was like the Pied Piper and they were the children of Hamlin, following me out of town.  These were fast women.  If they were fast, they must be racers, right?  Of the 40, approximately half of the women realized after a race or two that it just wasn't the sport for them.  They failed.  But really, I failed them.  

This cycle continued for a couple of years until I had the brilliant idea in 2006 to start a six-week learn-to-race program.  At the end of the six weeks, if the women enjoyed racing and wanted to continue, they could potentially join the Velo Girls team (or another team).  Some of the women did just that and have continued to race for many years.  And some of the women who have participated in our development program raced one race, checked it off their bucket list (as a success) and have continued to ride their bikes for pleasure.

When I first thought of the concept, I realized that I needed to underwrite program costs in order to make it affordable to participants.  I wanted to have a team kit that was similar to the Velo Girls team kit but somehow different.  I wanted to provide the women with coaching (in-person and also a training plan).  I wanted to provide a realistic team environment with support on race-day.  

So, I contacted one of my sponsors at the time, Marguerite Loomis at Tri-Flow Superior Lubricants, to see if she was interested in sponsoring the program.  Tri-Flow was our first bike industry sponsor.  They loved Velo Girls and women's cycling.  Marguerite jumped at the idea and the Tri-Flow Women's Development Racing Program was born.  

Now in our 7th year, close to 100 women have participated in the program.  Many of those women have continued to race and compete locally, nationally, and internationally as Elite and Masters category 1, 2, 3, and 4 racers.  And for 2012, Tri-Flow has once again stepped up to sponsor the program.  

So, THANK YOU, Tri-Flow, for your commitment to women's racing.

The next Tri-Flow program runs from March 20th to May 6th, culminating in the Turlock Lake Road Race.  Registration is now open at http://savvybike.eventbrite.com

Team Velo Girls + the Tri-Flow racers @ Henleyville Road Race -- Sept 2011.

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