I have a different love affair with each of the three disciplines in triathlon. I’m a swimmer – and have been since I was young. I benefit from years of practice and coaching and am lucky enough to now be able to pass that information along to other new and experienced swimmers alike.
Running is my discipline. I have only come to love running in my adult life and really began as a way to push myself past my comfort zone. While I love running now, it has been a long, arduous journey and it is by no means my most natural sport.
And then there is cycling. My love for cycling is more basic than either of the two others. There is something instinctively satisfying and fun. And as many people have said, there is a freedom that comes along with cycling.
What I also realized early on, is that because I loved to cycle, I would go further, go alone, and try new routes willingly. While that is one of the things I love most about cycling, it also made me realize that there is a level of self-sufficiency that I needed to have. I needed to know what to bring with me on these rides and more importantly, I needed to know how to help myself in case of a mechanical problem.
This weekend I got a chance to team with Philadelphia Bikesmith to help 20 women gain some of those same skills to become self sufficient with their bikes. I can’t tell you what it means to me as a woman, a cyclist and an advocate for woman athletes everywhere, to be able to partner with a shop and people I think are amazing at their craft and offer this kind of service for free. It increases my joy to see other women out cycling and in the world of triathlon. It increases my joy to see other women roadside, changing a flat or helping another cyclist. It increases my joy to know that I might help someone ride further, on a new path, all alone because they feel prepared.
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