BASE Camp March 2012

Most of you will know by now that I am a big fan of pilates. I go to Marcus Speed's classes at Perfect Pilates in Brunswick as often as I can (which is never as often as I'd like!) Marcus is a cycling guru and his classes are nice and specific for me... none of that 'saluting the sun' malarkey; it's straight into the hard ab-crackers. This is an unashamed plug for a training camp that Marcus is running in Beechworth, VIC on the March long weekend (10-12 March 2012). Why? Because I like to support the people who support me. And also because I think he would run a kick-ass camp.

Here's the lowdown on BASE Camp: For 3 days you get all the cycling and multisport training you can handle, including... wait for it... a follow vehicle for all your rides! So PRO! More details are below, or you can go to his website.

Want to take your riding to the next level?
Or just feel like a weekend getaway?
Then BASE Camp is for you! 3 days of cycling and multisport training in beautiful Beechworth in north-east Victoria.
All rides have full vehicle and mechanical support, as well as feed stations and hydration.
No traffic lights, no traffic, no hassles!
Your investment is only $275, including breakfast and evening meals!
Accommodation is available from $43 per night, or you can organize your own if you’d prefer.
For more information contact Marcus from Speed Cycling Systems on 0413 579867 or by emailing info@speedcyclingsystems.com.au

And, just so you know, Marcus is a really cool guy. His expertise, energy and optimism has helped me through more than one bad injury patch over the years. If his classes are anything to go by, the camp will be awesome.

Tell him Lisa's Mum sent you...

The roadie project #2: Getting some skills

20111005-040303.jpgThe Roadie Project has begun in earnest. For those not familiar to TRP, it involves taking a road rider, giving them a sh*t-hot mountain bike, and entering them in a 5 day UCI stage race in Malaysia. It's like an extremely inefficient form of Darwinism. If I'm tough enough, I'll survive. So I've got the bike sorted: an Apollo Terra 30, Apollo's top carbon dually for 2012. Unfortunately I now have no excuse for not riding properly. SCODY has very kindly made me some awesome Ride Happy kit (I'll put a pic up here soon). It looks unreal.

And now for some skills. Last week Jess Douglas took me out to the You Yangs for a 1-on-1 skills session. It was awesome. It made me wonder why it had taken me so long to do it. If you want to improve your mtb-ing, particularly if you are a girl, get hold of Jess at www.mtbskills.com.au.

I feel like an underprepared uni student about to sit their exams. I've crammed. I've drunk a lot of coffee. Now I've just got to give it a crack.

Tour of Langkawi mtb stage race: Oct 18-22. Watch this space.


Because we're worth it

Today I raced the Damian McDonald Memorial Road Race in Eildon, in memory of a champion cyclist who lost his life in the Burnley Tunnel Disaster in 2007. Blackburn Cycling Club put on a great event. The weather was brilliant, the marshalls were plentiful and helpful, the Skyline course made me suffer...  it was a fantastic day.

Presentations. Blackburn CC did a fantastic job - all by volunteers. Chapeau!

I have a lot of time for club-run events. They are the product of a lot of time and effort by volunteers who give up their weekends so people like me can race. And I want to make it clear that Blackburn did a superb job.

However, I left the race feeling a little disappointed. While the top 3 elite men each received a trophy, prize goodies/money and were made to pose for a podium photo, the race organisers didn't even announce the names of the top 3 women. As the winner, I received $30 (race entry was $20). Given that the race course was 2 hours' drive away, I think I blew my net profit in petrol before I'd even left Melbourne.
I don't race for money. Anyone who says they do is either lying, a pro cyclist, or needs a real job. But I race my guts out, just like the men do. I give up other things in life to train and race. And I feel women's racing needs more respect.
Today, the top 3 place-getters in the women's RR world championships - Giorgia Bronzini, Marianne Vos and Ina Teutenberg - collectively called for the UCI to impose a minimum wage for female pro cyclists.
Here's a newsflash: Most PRO women do not get paid. Of the 15 or so Australian women who race overseas on professional teams, approximately 5 are on some kind of salary. As in maybe €5,000 per annum. Compare this with the men's equivalent (min wage ~ €5ok). Yes, it's a function of the sponsorship money that men's racing can generate, but once upon a time men didn't get paid either. And we called it the Dark Ages.
Clubs are always saying how they would like women's fields to be bigger. I would love more women to race against. But I can't see how women are going to be incentivised to race when they are treated as participants in a support race.
There is a huge opportunity for clubs to take the lead on this. Some I know of are great at devoting resources to women's racing and giving us a chance to take ourselves seriously. It doesn't take much - a couple of minutes at presentations, an extra line in the race report - but it means a lot to us.
Ride happy.