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Fixed gear fever

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 27, 2010, 18:13 BST,
Updated:
July 27, 2010, 19:22 BST

Missy Erickson catches the bug in Minnesota

Training at Colorado Sprints 7-Eleven Velodrome

Training at Colorado Sprints 7-Eleven Velodrome

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I think I've spent as much time in Wisconsin as I have in Colorado Springs. I'm not sure which to call my home. And in about a week, I'm about to head to Wisconsin, once again.

My journey this summer began with the Minnesota fixed gear classic. This is one of the few events that offers equal prize money for both men and women. We left Colorado Springs at 3:30am on Wednesday morning, driving from Colorado Springs to Denver to pick up Maddie Godby and her mother, and then heading on to Blaine. Thursday morning we woke up and went to the track for some early morning training and to spin our legs out.

This was the first wood velodrome that I had ever ridden. And I'll admit, I was intimidated at first. It was wet that morning, and we all know that wet+track = no good. But, we sent Ryan Belew up the track to see if he would fall off, and when he didn't, we decided to jump on and see what it was all about. It was so smooth. The wood was amazing to ride on. For an outdoor track, we were all pleasantly surprised! Growing up in Minnesota, I did not know this velodrome existed. The first I learned of it was when I first got on the Colorado Springs Velodrome in September, 2008.

Racing started Friday evening. This weekend I was racing in the Miss and Out, Keirin, Team Sprint, Madison Kilo, Scratch Race, Points Race, Tempo, and the Madison. Saturday, it rained, and rained, and rained. So races were canceled. And so racing continued on Sunday.

The crew that went out from the 7-eleven velodrome was incredible. Mark, Maddie, Julia, Belew, Luttrell, Sabga, Vera, Cari, Megan…so many of us! It was awesome to have support and people I knew there.

Racing was so much fun. The event was run wonderfully, and the crowd was actually existent! There were a lot of strong women out and about riding around, and with so many people on the track at once, it was intimidating for a while.

2nd Team Sprint (w/Maddie Godby)
3rd Madison Kilo (w/Julia Manley)
3rd Keirin
5th Miss and Out
5th Scratch

And with these results, I ended up 4th overall in the sprint omnium, and 5th overall in the endurance omnium. It was a great weekend. I was very proud of how I did. And with a special thanks to everyone who worked to put on the Fixed Gear Classic, thank you very much. It was a great event, and I will be back next year!

Here's a link to a video I made of racing:

My adventures then continued on. I ventured up to my hometown of Alexandria, Minnesota for a few days. It was great to see my family and spend time with my little brother, and everyone that I was able to see in such a short time. After a few days at home though, I was ready to venture on and keep racing.

So I then embarked from Alexandria to Minneapolis, picking up Cari Higgins on the way, and continued on to Tour of America's Dairyland. Cari had called me about a week or two prior to Fixed Gear and asked, "Would you wanna do dairyland while we are out there?", and I said, "Why not!? I've got nothing better to do."

And so the Cari and Missy adventure began. We raced everyday of T.O.A.D. and it was great! I gained a lot of fitness in the process and a lot of racing experience as well. I had a few top 15 finishes, which I was very happy about, and by the end of the series, I had been all of Wisconsin, ate some cheese, and taken 2nd place in the top amateur GC.

Traveling with Cari was a blast. It's great to have someone you look up to be so down to earth and easygoing. Who knew "billionaire" would be the theme song of the week.

So now I have traveled back to Csprings, just in time to unpack, wash clothes, wash the bike, pack again, and take off for this time, 17 days of racing at Superweek. I'm very excited to be getting so much racing in this summer. As far as hanging in Wisconsin with the cows and mosquitoes, well, that's another story. But it's nice to visit the good old Midwest every once and a while.

Author
US Women's Development Program

Follow the program's young female cyclists as they embark on their journey to the top of the pro ranks 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 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 program, visit the USWCDP website.

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