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Women's 100: North America
Outside the Rapha North America office.
Around the world, the Rapha Women's 100 rides kicked off this Sunday past and North America was no exception. Before heading out early Sunday morning we had the chance to peruse the hashtag and see all the #Womens100 entries that had come in through the night from Japan, Australia and of course the whole of Europe. They were an inspiration to say the least. Below are a few stories from around North America that we've collected.
Cynthia Young – Vancouver, BC
There really is something magical about feeling like you're part of a global community of cycling sisters.
Throughout our ride, we talked about our experiences of riding with women. Sometimes it's amazing but sometimes not. Sometimes ride expectations don't line up when more experienced riders aren't willing to sacrifice their pace in the name of mentorship, and slower riders get frustrated if they think they are holding the group up. But the Women's 100 ride was perfection. We were all there for the same reason: to celebrate women and cycling; to be in awe of the world's greatest race, this year celebrating its 100th edition; to feel the empowerment of our fellow 100 ladies riding the Etape; and to enjoy the connection with the road and wheels and what it means to be female and ride a bicycle.
One of the women in our group was tackling her first ever 100km ride. She seemed surprisingly at ease about aiming for that 'longest ride ever'. I think she just knew that we had her back – that there weren't any expectations and that we would all rally to make sure she enjoyed her day in the saddle. Solidarity. And we celebrated with her at the end of the day, her accomplishment was our accomplishment. We felt inspired.
Another of the riders, adjusting to life as a new mom, is a former ultra-endurance athlete, she is finding her new 'normal' with 'shorter' rides. Finding the enjoyment in a ride that doesn't take all day but still leaves you satisfied. The satisfaction that comes from connecting with those with a similar passion.
We looked good and we felt good. We savored the tailwinds and the headwinds. We rode 100 kilometers. Together.
Abby Watson– Portland, Oregon
My Women’s 100 experience was centered around a special guest - my mom. It was my parents who got me into cycling in 2006 and helped me ride what (at the time) seemed like the impossible distance of 50 miles. Fast forward seven years and here we are in Portland in a group of 50-plus cyclists about to depart on a 100km ride that I’d done my best to organize. I was nervous not only about how the event would go but also for my mom, who had somewhat timidly agreed to participate with me during her visit to Portland. My parents live in Ohio and I hadn’t ridden with them in years. I knew my mother was stubbornly committed to riding alone and at her own pace. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is exceptionally strong (and strong willed).
Right from the start I said to her, “Do not coast, just keep pedaling!”, but I kept hearing the unmistakable buzz of her Chris King hubs behind me. I watched the group begin to ride away from us within the first few miles . "Okay, just keep pedaling, we’re going at our own pace, this is going to be fine, we’re having fun, we can do this, right?"
Right. I relaxed about keeping up, set a course for having fun, and my mom rode strong. We soon caught a group up the road and, over the course of the day, her consistent, steady speed overtook tiring riders who'd gone out fast and early. She climbed strongly, rode smoothly, descended cautiously (as always) and we finished together. I’m impressed by everyone who participated in the Women’s 100 on Sunday but I’m most proud of my mom.
Jen Nordham – New York City, New York
We rolled out with 23 riders and acquired a few more along the way - the perfect sized group. No flat tires. No lost or dropped riders. The rider who traveled furthest to take part came all the way from Sweden and she was so happy to complete 100k that she cried. My friend, Cait Dooley, surprised me by driving down from Boston that morning just for the ride, too. It was fun to talk with new friends and old as we ticked off the kilometers toward 100. I can't give away any of the juicy gossip, but I assure you of one thing… the ride was rad.
Lauren Kling & Joy Stark – Boston, Massachusetts
I have never seen so many women together for a group ride before! Our local ride had two waves for the 100-mile ride and, I believe, five waves for the 100k ride. It was out of the Ride.Studio.Cafe in Lexington, MA and organized in collaboration with us, RSC, and the ladies of RAWRbikes.com. Joy made a group flickr for people to upload photos to and already uploaded her own pictures from the ride. The link is here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/rsc-raphawomens100/pool/.
Thanks for giving so many women out there a great excuse to ride and put down some miles together!
- @CanyonUK Everyone loves a hug, thanks.
- @CanyonUK Do we win a prize?
- @c4shr Hello Kash, we're very sorry about that. We'll be in touch shortly to sort things out.
- RT @Strava: Are you ready for the @rapharacing #Festive500? we're challenging riders to clock 500 km between Christmas and NYE. http://t.co…
- RT @JeanzTweet: Yay! Won a nice wash bag & skincare kit at the @rapharacing #alpedquiz. First time ever i won a prize. You rock #teamrapha …
- @JeanzTweet You’re welcome Jens.
- Congrats to yesterday’s Alpe d'Quiz winner Ben Wooliscroft who won a pair of Rapha GT Shoes. Today's prize draw → http://t.co/h4frOXDYma
- RT @michaeltabtabai: @rapharacing #oneoftheseplease Custom Carter handmade chefs knife made here in Oregon by Mastersmith Murray Carter htt…
- @Johnlovesbikes they are in transit and should be here later this week. Thanks for checking in, sorry for the delay.
- RT @tubbytrotter: Yay! I've just won the stunning @rapharacing Womens softshell in the brilliant #AlpedQuiz bring on the winter weather htt…