Tuesday, 23 October 2007

World Masters in Review: Sunday and Monday.

Sunday and Monday: hitting the boards to familiarise myself with the track saw a test of nerves, assertiveness and confidence just trying to get on to the track with so many riders rolling around. Once the men finally got off the boards, leaving the track for the women and men 70+, peak hour settled down and traffic was easier to navigate. Unfortunately there were still too many on the boards to do effective multi-lap efforts. HourofPowerWoman had a crack at it, weaving around riders, but wasn't able to get a true indication of times for her work, nor a decent run at pacing over several laps. Falls were commonplace over these two days, either from lack of speed on the boards, not looking!!! and running into people, poor tyre choice, or poor bike handling skills. I came close to well and truly getting cleaned up by some silly bugger who was hanging off the fence near the bend in the home straight. I started a half-lap effort out of the gate and had to rapidly bail before corner 1, and head for the hills, as this idiot decided to drop in on me and cut me off. Fortunately I was aware he was there and was half-expecting the idiot to do something. Impressed?? Not!!! Angry - pissed off to put it mildly. Mr Legs pulled him up once he was on the apron and told him to pack up and go home. I think I was not the only rider to be on the receiving end of sheer stupidity that day.

After training on Sunday, about 20 women from the States, NZ and Australia headed for the Handlebar Tavern for some food and an informal meeting on the state of women's masters racing courtesy of the UCI. There were many disillusioned, angry and disappointed voices, expressing concern of the UCI's lack of engagement with women's master's racing: the pointscore had been on the verge being cancelled and the team sprints were cancelled. The outcome was agreement on organising voices into a unified cohesive squeaky wheel, and gaining the ear of a women's friendly UCI member to champion women's masters racing. It's a numbers game, and the bottom line is that we need more women to enter and to race, to demonstrate a demand for competition.

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