Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[Article] UC-Santa Barbara to host Women's Cycling Conference

featured article on The Daily Peloton

The Daily Peloton Cycling News interviewed Erikaceae Pearsons, a student at the University of California – Santa Barbara (UCSB) and event manager for the WCCWCC.
DP: Where did the idea for a WCCWCC conference evolve? Who is/are the brain child/children behind the WCCWCC?
A teammate of mine, Erik Hartsuyker (UCSB—Senior) attended the USA Cycling Collegiate National Road Championships in Madison, Wisconsin and while there he sat in the women’s collegiate cycling conference. Upon his return we were chatting and he was telling me about the event and thought that a collegiate women’s camp is something that could be executed in our region.
The conversation took various forms and I got excited about it and thought it would be awesome to gather a number of women in a camp setting.
Since I am a racer about to obtain a bachelor's degree in film and media studies with an education enterprise minor I thought that combining what I have learned evolved into a type of live collegiate women’s cycling case study would be a good way to spread the cycling love.
As I got thinking, I immediately reached out to my own women’s cycling network and the ball rolled-out pretty quickly after that.
I was very surprised of the support I was receiving and how the word was spreading rapidly too!
To agree on a suitable date, we worked with our conference – the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference (WCCC) to ensure that there were no collegiate regional conflicts and that is how the date was determined.
DP: How did you snag such a stellar line up of Pro Women racers?
Ha..ha! We are very excited about this event! But I would be remiss if I did not mention that the B4T9 women’s cycling team did not have a hand on this one. They were the one’s who influenced the Pro Women involvement. This team is very connected and once I reach out to them they asked -- how big do you want the event to be?
"I naturally replied that I wanted it to be big as possible."
Note: at press time, Amber Neben, Jessica Phillips, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (GER) and Sue Fish were confirmed professional riders who will take part in the WCCWCC.
DP: Who is the B4T9 foundation? How did they get involved?
The B4T9 is an area master’s women racing team located in California. Their name stand for B4…”as is previous to” T9…”as in title IX,” the federal law passed in 1972 requiring institutions who provide equitable opportunity for women and girls to participate in sports. (Source: USA Cycling)
Since they are visible in our region, it was a natural affiliation for us because the team provides encouragement, inspiration, education and resources to other women seeking competitive sports opportunities. Plus, they already host a women’s camp in the region and they fit in because of the “been there done that” logical connection.
DP: What process did you use to get the word out?
I contacted all the sitting collegiate team presidents in California and Nevada.
Once that was completed I also reached out to the region’s e-mail collegiate team lists, my friends, other regional teams and basically anyone interested in women’s collegiate cycling.
DP: Will this be a template that could be rolled out nationwide at the collegiate ranks?
After the event is over I hope to reach out to USA Cycling Collegiate to address success stories and pitfalls of the event with a desire for a national camp roll-out in the future.
DP: How many riders and/or teams are confirmed? Will there be on-site registration for the event?
Currently, we have 80 female riders signed up to attend and they range in ages from 18 to 35.
Additionally, the attendees bike skills range from beginner to experienced racers with mountain bike and road disciplines represented.
The following institutions will be represented:
♦ Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
♦ Chico State University
♦ Fresno State University
♦ Humboldt State University
♦ Stanford University
♦ UC Berkeley
♦ UC Davis
♦ UC Los Angeles
♦ UC San Diego
♦ UC Santa Barbara
♦ UC Santa Cruz
♦ University of Nevada, Reno
♦ University of Southern California (USC)
Due to the large turn-out, we will not have on-site registration for the event.
DP: I see that you have USA Cycling as a sponsor, what is their involvement?
They provided monetary support for the event.
DP: Will the Pro Women be pitching a tent right along with the collegiate riders or will they be staying in ‘push’ off-site accommodations?
Ha..ha! As far as I know, they will be elbow-to-elbow with us. However, some do have houses in the valley so they will be very close to our weekend tent site.

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