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A few of us stood there, outside the Cycle Club NYC, remembering last year’s Women’s 100, a 100km ride from Brooklyn to Nyack, NY on a sweltering day in July, temperatures reaching above 100 degrees. At our first checkpoint just over the George Washington Bridge one woman, acting as domestique, found a massive bag of ice for us all to share; we swarmed her, grabbing handfuls for our bottles and the backs of our necks. As the day went on, everyone naturally assumed a role, one woman would count everyone was present as they rolled into the checkpoint, another would wave everyone down making sure they didn’t miss the stop. At the end of the day we all had new friends who we could call for long weekend rides and early morning park laps.
Now this year the journey begins again. Last Thursday we hosted a launch party for the Women’s 100 at the Rapha Cycle Club NYC. At the event I took a step back and realized how the Women’s 100 has grown into so much more since that one ride last year. Women that we met then have since started racing, are now leading their own rides, and are many kilometers past their first 100k. And this development of community, knowledge and inspiration to ride and become better cyclists is what the Women’s 100 is for.
To kick off the Women’s 100 2014 we invited coach Tara Parsons to talk to over 60 women on goal setting and training to achieve those goals. Coach Tara enthralled her audience, most of whom were taking notes and leaning in to hear more. Many of the NYC racing community was in attendance, as well as runners, triathletes, novice riders and their supportive significant others. Here are some key takeaways from Tara’s talk:
1. GOALS: “Set goals that are achievable through hard work.” A goal is something that’s not too hard to attain, but not something you’re already doing, it’s right in that sweet spot. Goals can be long term or short term. Short term goals like eating well and training regularly are the building blocks to major, long term goals.
2. THINK OF YOURSELF AS A WINNER: Visualize yourself achieving that goal, imagine the road you’ll be riding, the weather you’ll be feeling, and the way you’ll be pedaling your bike. While you’re training towards that goal use positive affirmations to keep your head in the right place.
3. ALWAYS KEEP LEARNING: Look for advice, be humble and ask more experienced riders. Remember that failure happens to all of us and you must push through to achieve your goals. Even pros continue learning throughout their career and have mentors in the peloton.
4. HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM: Surround yourself with like-minded people who share similar goals. Talk about your goals, vocalizing and sharing them with a friend will help make them a reality.
5. MAKE IT HAPPEN: Execute your goal. You’ve put in all the hard work, you’ve visualized it, you’ve made a plan, mentally and physically prepared to reach that goal, now make it happen.
Join us at the Rapha Cycle Club NYC every Sunday for our Women’s 100 Training Series. This is a social ride with a no-drop policy, however road bikes are required. Meet at 9am for coffee, roll out at 9:30am. Each ride will increase in length from 40-65 miles leading up to the Women’s 100 milestone on July 20.