Sunday, February 04, 2007

Exciting plans for WCA in 2007

I was invited on behalf of Kristin Wentworth, Wisconsin Cycling Association board member to this WCA meeting today. The letter I received stated the following.

In the past many WCA races offered only an Open Women's Category. However this year the intention is to have Women's Category 4 race offered at all WCA series races. In doing this they hope to encourage more women to participate in competitive cycling. We realize it can be intimidating for novice women to enter an all-category (i.e.,open) event and have to race against much more experienced racers. A Category 4 only race will provide an opportunity for beginners to experience racing in a less stressful and safer environment. We believe this change is critical to growing the sport for women and will help make racing accessible to a broader range of individuals.

There are also discussions surrounding the separate scoring of master's age categories (i.e. 30+, 40+) within Women's Cat 4 races and keeping track of this cumulatively throughout the season.

So today I headed out in this dreadful cold ass weather to Delafield Brewhaus for this meeting. We rallied up a posse of girls to demonstrate support for this movement. There were at least twenty girls that attended that were already familiar with road/cyclo-cross racing and a few of us beginners. Kristin led the group discussion about how can Wisconsin Cycling Association attract more Women to the interest of cycle racing. Many of us voiced our opinions about how uncomfortable it is to race in an "OPEN" race and get dropped and then discouraged from ever returning to race again. There was also discussion about advertising locally and state wide through our own cycling communities within to attract more interest. We also discussed how important it is, to have, perhaps a race clinic to learn specific race techniques and etiquette. And along with that, teaching others the basic "lingo" of road racing. Many girls are intimidated to enter a race when they have no clue of how the race is set up or some of the terminology that is used, it is like being in a foreign country for a race. Basically in a nut shell, mentoring new racers to the sport will only help grow future Cat 3 fields and up...thus helping support entry level racing will hopefully enhance growth the the field of racing.

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