Local cyclists join the club for fitness, training | AspenTimes.com

Local cyclists join the club for fitness, training

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

When the women of the Aspen Cycling Club line up for today’s race on the Frying Pan Road, there will be touring professionals alongside Aspen moms.

There will be working women, triathletes, mountain bikers and more.

Side by side; ready to ride.

“I’m more of the every-woman cyclist,” said Aspen’s Rachel Beck. “I started at the Aspen Cycling Club after my third child was born. I’ve been doing this for the last three years.”

Beck said she uses the weekly Aspen Cycling Club races for fitness and to train for the Leadville 100, a race she did last year. She’ll also ride the Leadville endurance mountain bike race this year as part of the Chris Klug Foundation team.

“I’ve met such cool people. I got to ride with Erica (Allar) and Jessi (Prinner) this week,” she said of the visiting professional criterium racers in Aspen. “We rode up Ashcroft twice. It was great.”

She said the cycling club has provided motivation for her.

“There are such inspirational women in the cycling club,” Beck said. “Like Annie Gonzales. I’m sure you know her. She’s just amazing. And she is so welcoming and so friendly.’

Beck said the Aspen Cycling Club is set up so cyclists at any level can join the fun.

“You can see yourself improving,” she said.

“For a lot of people, races are intimidating. But with the cycling club, it’s not like that,” Beck said. “There’s a sense of camaraderie. It’s not a pressure competition.”

Aspen’s Katie Elliott agreed.

“The people (in the cycling club) are very accommodating,” said Elliott, an active trithlete who uses the club races for fitness and to improve technique.

She said she learned to ride in a peloton with the club.

“If you don’t want to ride in the pack (and draft), you can still ride the course,” she said, adding that there are different divisions for differing levels of experience.

“I’ve been doing (club races) since about 2007,” said Elliott, who also coaches junior triathletes in Aspen.

“I really think going to the cycling club races made a difference for me (in triathlons), she said. “I push myself harder when I’m with other people. You have this extra energy.”

She and Beck both said they would like to get more women to join the races of the Aspen Cycling Club.

“We’d love to get more women out,” Beck said. “I’d like to get more moms out.”

“There are all these great people that you meet. Friends to ride with and friends to train with,” said Elliott, who has lived in Aspen 12 years. She moved here right out of college.

Tonight’s Aspen Cycling Club race will be the longest road race of the season.

The Basalt-Norrie Road Race will start approximately 2.5 miles east of Basalt.

Registration is at the start. Racing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Turnarounds at different locations will produce different length races for the varying divisions.

The post-race party will be at Cuvee Bistro, 305 Gold Rivers Court in Basalt.

Course marshals and race volunteers are needed for today’s race. To volunteer, please email Mouse at mousesmv@hotmail.com or call her at 970-618-4626.

For registration information, visit aspencyclingclub.org.