I need to read books, but I want to ride my bike!
In order to counteract lost riding time, and potential lack of confidence on the bike, I’m considering joining a cycling team. The one I’m really interested in is geared toward women who are just starting racing, and they cap the team at 25 so everyone gets support and training. They also are sponsored by my current bike shop, so that’s already a mark in their favor! And it’s not a “club”, but an actual team, with jerseys, and training, and commitment.
I am definitely not interested in mountain biking, because while falling on concrete is hard, falling on rocks and off the trail seems harder. If you get hurt, you might need to hike your way back to civilization. Not my bag. Track racing could be fun. Road is what I’m used to riding though, and I like the distance aspect of it, with climbs, the negotiation of the pack positions, and the ability to ride on different surfaces.
Racing involves all sorts of new skills and gear though, so it’s a commitment. I’d have to pay for team membership (which includes a lot of great stuff, like a jersey, and access to the training and discounts and the like), buy a transponder (that’s how your time is tracked in races), membership in the ACA/BRAC, and so on. Not only that, I have to commit the time to training, health, and actual racing, including racing fees. My bike is a road bike, but not necessarily the fastest out there, though it is comfortable. If I do the racing thing more seriously, I might end up shelling out the $$ for an upgrade to something faster. In the short term though, speed upgrades on my bike are possible with a new wheelset and tires.
But all the same – I would be riding anyway. And training for a better skill set is not money wasted. While I probably missed the window to be an olympic athlete, or a pro racer, competition is fun, and maybe, just maybe, I can win something. Maybe I can be a podium girl of the winning sort, rather than the decorative sort.