Monday, December 8, 2008

One More Cranksgiving Reflection

As I sat at the registration table for Cranksgiving 2008, I was introduced to a bevy of folks, most of which whose names I cannot recall. There are two people however, whom I will not soon forget. Their names are Rick and Paige Gerjets. According to my elder teammates, Paige and her dad Rick have been following the PRC website for some time, and her father Rick is a frequent commenter. Yet neither he nor his 13 year old daughter Paige had never met the team, so for this year’s Cranksgiving, Rick braved the elements and drove Paige all the way to Des Moines from Cedar Rapids.

Paige’s early interest and enthusiasm for cycling pretty much sum up why I am thrilled to be a part of PRC. It is not the training rides, the racing, the parties, the bikes, the uniforms that excite me. It is the idea of spreading like a bad case of the flu, the sport of cycling, in particular to women.

The sort of passion that Paige already clearly exhibits took years and years to cultivate within me. I was at a complete loss for female mentors, and for many years it was largely fear that kept me from jumping in to cycling on a broader scale/level. The idea that this could be completely averted or fast tracked and that….gasp, and then be very, very afraid…that I might even be seen as some sort of mentor for another cyclist is just plain exciting.

I wish that when I was thirteen, that my parents had recognized in my riding (and crashing) that there could be something that could grow from my passion, and if they had, I wish that there could have been a team of like-minded women yelling words of encouragement, and better yet, riding along beside me.

To Rick: You should be commended for recognizing and then encouraging your daughter in her passion. I am sure there were other things you wished to be doing in the midst of that snowstorm, but there you were, with a big ole smile.

To Paige: You go girl, ride on! And I promise you this…we WILL ride together at some point this season. If only I can catch you!

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