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US Women's Cycling Development Program diary
The US Women's Cycling Development program was founded by former pro rider, Michael Engleman, as a way to help promising young women cyclists reach their full potential as athletes. The USWCDP networks current and former women pro riders with up and coming athletes through mentoring and coaching.
With experienced mentors like Olympians Dede Barry and Mari Holden, along with current pros Amber Neben, Tina Pic, Kim Anderson and others, the USWCDP helps young riders like Mara Abbott, Katharine Carroll and many more to race better, find teams and become professional bike racers. The dedicated and well spoken women of this program provide thoughtful, compelling and sometimes hilarious anecdotes of their experiences in this diary.
For further reading about the programme, visit the USWCDP website
February 20, 2008
The good life
By Rebecca Much
While Amy Winehouse is probably in Rehab right now for drugs, I'm currently in rehab singing along to The Good Life with Kanye. What I'm dealing with is the remnants of my nasty cyclo-cross crash this fall, working out the last twists, tweaks and nuisances in my body that don't let me ride my bike the way I want to. The bummer part of this is that it means I have to miss the first races of 2008 with my new team, Webcor Builders, who is at the Tour of New Zealand and Geelong World Cup in Australia; however, I figure I have plenty more years to race in cool places like that and its way more of a priority for me to get fixed now so I can be strong for the rest of the season. All is good that ends well... and its definitely heading in the good direction.
Why is it heading in the good direction? Here is why:
The USWCDP hooked me up with Diana Palmer to get some work done on my body, and now that I've known her for a month, I cannot imagine life with out her backing. Its pretty phenomenal what can happen when you get a really stellar team of professionals together that are all working on your side and working together to resolve problems. We have been completely restructuring my body, and everything is falling into place and getting stronger faster than I ever hoped possible. My power is still not at 100 percent but I'm finally good enough to have put in my first really solid week of training and I am looking forward to starting up tomorrow all over again.
Here is how it worked: Three members of the new Team Type 1 Pro Cycling Team, Jesse Anthony, Shawn Milne and Phil Southerland (along with Pete) are currently seeing Diana and/or Maury as well and they are renting a place in Carpinteria, California, to train this winter. Since I am actually living up in San Luis Obispo, California, the Type 1 where nice enough to let me stay at their place while I work with Diana and Maury too. The accommodations are spectacular and Phil is nice enough to share one of the two bunk beds in his room with me – we each get an entire bunk bed to ourselves, freaking awesome.
Diana recommended I get glow in the dark stars to put on the underside of the top bunk since I said I always hated the bottom (I always take top) but I decided to just stick with the top bunk since it has a nice view of some toy ocean scene with a boat and a fisherman that I wake up to every morning that I stay in Carpinteria. The only bummer part about bunking with Phil is that the other morning I got to wake up to the loudest fart of all time – funny stuff. Its always a riot living with boys and we've had quite a few particularly funny incidents in the house that keep you laughing – good life.
Staying in Santa Barbara is so essential in getting me back together at full strength right now that I wouldn't know what to do with out it. Time (out of Santa Barbara) hooked me up with a sweet new pair of RXL Carbon shoes to set up and dial in as my old shoes where on their way south.
Maury and Diana have been helping me in combination to get to the point where I really feel solid again. Maury twist the joints in my spine back into place and has been doing a lot of awesome manual therapy on me, which Diana teaches and runs me through exercises to keep everything in place and get me harder, better, faster and stronger. Solomon, Diana's nine-year-old black lab/border collie mix, is the life of the training room at Westmont and makes doing pretty tedious exercises easy to swallow. While myself and pretty much everyone else at the Team Type 1 house does our various rehab, Solomon runs around licking faces and begging for attention. Good dog.
Then, while I am home in San Luis Obispo I've been getting some awesome massages from Maria and, today, we were both just in awe of how much progress I've been making. It just comes down to the fact that I'm getting fixed and pretty soon they're not going make me go to rehab anymore... Yeah!
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Rebecca Much / USWCDP