Monday 18 June 2012


Kate leading out Sophie

Do you want to know what Velojam is, was or was like? Well I’ll tell you -  it IS a female track race day at Herne Hill Velodrome, it WAS stupendously fun and WAS excellently run by Mule Bar girls, Wiesia Kuczaj at the helm, and proudly sponsored by Ana Nichoola among others. In short, some motivated people got off their royally trained behinds and said STOP there IS a need for a dedicated female track race day and got it sorted - massive kudos from so many cyclists, cycle industry and beyond for this. Watch the event grow and grow.
Now onto the main event itself. After a Friday Metro Headline:
3 Months Worth of Rain Over The Weekend
I was worried about the conditions, especially after so much work had been put in. But the sun shone - HA! I hate the Metro anyway - and 50-70 girls and women turned up to pedal hard and either blast the competition or see how they faired in their first track race experience. There were 3 categories, A, B and Go Ride! (Novice). I entered as part of the latter category with other ladies who had mostly attended some of the Mule Bar Girl training sessions. Again, brilliant initiative which is actively growing the women entering the sport and with confidence. You can still come along for £6, including hire of a track bike on Sunday’s - check updates here. See the same link for chaingang training which takes place Monday’s in Regent’s park. Both are dedicated women sessions). 
Most of us had not raced on the track before and so were a little nervous. The grouping was done excellently though and so the competition was fierce, and after an unexpected ‘lively’ night previous seeing my friends band over from Berlin I had to adopt my best race face to get through the day! There were a series of races (scratch, points, 2-lap dash) in the omnium and then an extra scratch just to ensure your legs were totally reduced to jelly by the end of the day! Kate and I represented for Cycling Club Hackney (sign up now ladies its awesome!) and came 3rd and 7th out of 17 respectively. Not bad for a first attempt; we’re coming back for more next time! 
Sophie's charge for the line
Well done to everyone who competed, came and watched and were involved - an important event which was EXCELLENT fun! 
Words and pics - Sophie

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