We are a mis-understood bunch. We have a reputation for eating and being lazy. If you blink, the effort is over and we are back, half cooked, changing gears for the third time, when the enduros have hardly warmed up.
Sprinters, especially track sprinters are seen as the boofheads of the sport. Fast on the bike, slow off of it. With this reputation, female track sprinting is a very small community.
At my Track, I am the only female sprinter. And this is a new thing; I had to be converted. I started my cycling life as a speed skater and fixie hipster. I trained for swimming, skating, road, and dabbled in track sprinting. Then one day there was sign, the rink had a fire, I injured my shoulder, and sprinting was fun. I walked towards the light and started down the slippery slope into Track Sprinting.
It started with buying a new flash Carbon bike, then I started lifting weights, and then I stopped riding my road bike. That was the hardest thing to give up. It wasn’t until after I came home from Canadian nationals I decided i would listen to my coach and completely give up road cycling. I felt like I was leaving all my friends; I was. An entire social circle, cut from my life. It was a hard few months, I’ve had a few crys about it, and still do.
But after a chat (cry over the phone) to my coach, he told me i had to become an evangelical sprinter and convert everyone. I now have 3 converts and a few ‘dabblers’. We sit around the track, talk smack, change gears, discuss all the food we’re going to eat. The Big Gear chart of Big Gears is the Bible, it is referred to before each effort. And one day i will be enlightened enough to own a 60T chain ring. in the meantime i’ll just have to deal with my 56/12.