Quick Brown Foxes: Denise Dandridge | First Race

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I had the best cycling weekend ever 🚴🏽‍♀️🚴🏽‍♀️. Saturday started with serving as a course marshal for the Rondo Rush Criterium Race. The male and female cyclists were amazing and their bike handling skills at speeds above 30mph were unbelievable. Following the race, a couple of the club members and I got a 23 mile ride in to finish off the day.

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Sunday topped the cake as 3 of us actually competed in the Southside Sprints. Louis and Gerry rode in the Men's Citizen Race and I competed in the Women's Cat 4&5 Division. It was my first time ever racing and boy was it ever challenging. Once I got past the pre-race butterflies which felt more like bats, recovered from my gear changing blunder on the first hill, I had to remember all of the racing tips I was given. "Dont brake in the curve, hold your line, draft whenever possible and I couldn't forget outside-inside-outside and aim for the corner apex". I competed against 20-30yr olds and managed a consistent 18+mph pace. The lead pack however was averaging 23mph so needless to say I didn't make the podium but the experience was invaluable.

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One of the ladies that was also in her 50s had the best response ever and one that I could completely concur with. When asked how she did riding with all of those 20yr olds she responded, "I rode really fast, I didn't come in last, and I didn't throw up." Ditto! Spoken like a true champion. 🙂 Following the race, part of the group and I had breakfast followed by a nice recovery ride to the Open Streets Event.

My first race hands down left a memorable impression on me and uncovered some areas in my training that require a little more attention. I don't think I have the racing bug YET but I would like to ride with that lead pack just once. 🚴🏽‍♀️🚴🏽‍♀️


I met Denise while I was racing the North Star Grand Prix in Minneapolis. She was a part of the very supportive Major Taylor crew that helped me get through that race! I was THRILLED when she informed me she'd given racing a try. Y'all know this made my heart sing. I also appreciated her honesty in recounting her experience. She had fun, but decided she wasn't ready to fully commit yet. I can also totally relate to her race mates idea of success " I didn't come in last, and I didn't throw up." Yup... Sounds like a good race to me! Also, emojis. 

Ayesha McGowanComment