As a new member of the Colorado Women’s Cycling Project (aka Naked Womens’ Racing), I set out to determine the team’s culture. I have found that the elements that led me to join the team hold true. Naked women are serious racers focused on community outreach and encouraging other women to join the sport, who despite being fast do not take themselves seriously and have a lot of fun. That fun can take the form of hilariously merciless teasing of fellow teammates.
At first, I joined in. Poking fun at a racer as strong as Sharon Madison is immensely gratifying. If I can’t beat her on the bike, at least I can win the war of words. But I then began noticing a disturbing trend in certain team emails, involving said Sharon Madison’s age. This nagging feeling solidified when I recently received an invitation to my 25th (gasp!) high school reunion. I then thought about how very much I love reviewing race results and noting how many racers finished after me who could legally, and not just biologically, be my children.
So as fair warning to my younger compatriots, I am squarely in Sharon Madison’s camp. From now on, I will give her leadouts up those hill sprints during team rides. I will thank her when she gives me her “tough love” look that means I need to increase my average wattage in Computrainer class. And know that when you give me those blank looks at my music and movie references followed by a cute little comment about not being born yet, that you are just strengthening my resolve to beat you up that next hill.