In 2012, we have the great pleasure of Olivia Dillon (NOW & Novartis for MS) and Tayler Wiles (Exergy) joining us for a ride around the Bay Area (including the Tour of California's '13 & '14 Mount Diablo Climb) and a wonderful discussion about the future of women's cycling, racing pro, and more.
The 2012 camp took place at the Anthony Chabot Regional Park in the Bay Area, just 20 miles east of San Francisco in the beautiful Oakland Hills. Anthony Chabot provided us with miles of mountain bike single track, hills to climb, and endless roads to ride. We camped at the Bort Meadow group camp site, which is a huge meadow with firepits, tables, and lots of room for us spread out.
We were honored with the presence of Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad Women), Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Highroad Women), Jessica Phillips (Volavita), and the amazing Sue "Flying" Fish(B4T9). Where The Dirt Club at Charlotte's Meadow (Santa Ynez Valley) played home to the first Collegiate Women's Cycling Conference. Despite the below freezing temperatures and constant threat of rain, we hit to the roads in fashion. As one participant put "Ina was hilarious!"
Nothing beats the wind in your face flying down a mountain road at top speeds as you hold onto your handlebars for dear life. Rather it's navigating down sandstone and single track or the concrete world dominated by "very important" drivers. As cliche as it sounds, if you have ever fallen in love with the sport of cycling you understand this feeling quite well. The pain and agony of taking on a challenging climb, all seems worth it as you fly down the other side. Trying to grow women's cycling...is much like a tough climb. And in the end it's going to be an incredible ride.
Master-mind behind the event was Eric Hartsuyker (UCSB '12), surprisingly not female. "It was suggested at a women's cycling summit after the Nationals Road Race [in 2011]. No one took initiative, so I started working on it." After realizing that a guy developing the first all women's conference was probably not the best idea, he passed the torch onto Erika (UCSB/CSUS) to turn this dream into a reality. With the strong support and guidance from local Santa Barbara Master's Team B4T9, the event became a reality and great success.
After the first conference came to a close, Erika was asked if she would be interesting in planning another one. And so it began, the start of something great! Now in 2014, direction is set to change again. Creating more of a resource for collegiate women cyclist across the nation. With general skills, gear reviews, and epic blogs all available at your finger tips, growing along side with the annual Training Camp.
In 2011, the local Santa Barbara Women's Cycling Team, B4T9, went above and beyond to help make the first ever WCC² such a success. They are an incredible group of women who really care about the development of female cycling. It has really been an honor to ride along side these women and look up to them for support and guidance. If you would like to find out more about the team check out their website: Team B4T9