9.03.2008

DCMTB-City Bikes: Clinic One DC-ChiX

DCMTB-City Bikes: Clinic One DC-ChiX


DCMTB-City Bikes: Clinic One DC-ChiX
Last night DCMTB-City Bikes hosted Clinic One in a four part clinic series at Fort Reno Park in Northwest Washington DC. This clinic was women specific and was lead by local racer Melanie Swartz of Velo Bella.
Lots of woman signed up for this event. In fact so many people signed up via email that I ended up turning people away in an effort not to have the first session become the last session. As it turns out, not everyone showed up and it was not the massive cluster of lycra that I feared would offend the usual park users at Fort Reno. In fact, it seemed that our athletic presence fit in just fine with the other athletes on the various fields in the park as well as not offending the people passing through or picnicing on the grounds. There did not seem to be any conflict with any of the other park users. Sure a leashless dog chased a rider or two and I would not be shocked if a headphone wearing runner was spooked by the approaching cyclists, but there appeared to be no real conflicts.
Melanie Swartz came prepare!
The clinic started off a few minutes later than expected as many of these cycling events do. Raul handled the registration of the riders while Marc Gwadz and Mark Drajem aided Melanie in course set up. One by one women started showing up with their bicycles. Once a good number of woman showed up the DCMTB men stepped back and the women stepped forward. Melanie lead this clinic as if she had done this sort of things before. She gave a good verbal introduction to the objectives of the evening then immediately flowed into a number of drills. It was not the adrenalin based cross practice that I had anticipated. It was Melanie's intention to slow things down and get down to the basic comfort on the bike. In watching the riders I understood that Melanie's approach made good sense as there is so much that veteran cyclists take for granted. Many of these women were comfortable on the bike but completely new to cyclocross. There was such a wide variety of cyclists that it made sense to start at the ground and build things up... even the seasoned veterans can use some review on the basic skills.
After the initial drills on cornering, balance, track stands, and sight lines the group moved to faster paced activities. There were laps around the grounds at Fort Reno Park that took advantage of the variables that the park presents. A set of barriers was set up to compliment the natural obstacles in the park. There was a wide variety of skill levels and fitness, everyone meshed together quite well. At the end of the evening as the sun set in the distance everyone was smiling and it appeared as if everyone left looking for more.
The DCMTB-City Bikes Cross Clinic Session Number One was a success!

I was pleased with the turn out... I regretted turning people away.
Things went so well that I expect a good number of the women from this Clinic to attend some of the clinics at this same park on Wednesdays in September.

special thanks to Melanie Swartz for leading this clinic
and thanks to everyone who showed up

this sort of gathering is exactly what the DC cycling scene needs to introduce more people to the sport of cyclocross

1 comment:

K-country said...

I see Marni and i see JMax...I'm hearing good things.