Beth Hadley’s Report from Stevens

TEAM. It’s a four-letter word that recently gained several new dimensions of meaning this past weekend at the Stevens Road Race. As this was my first road race, I enjoyed a very low-stress introduction to the various racing disciplines this weekend. The entire team supported me with discussions about strategy and positive encouragement throughout the weekend. My first race was a team time trial with Georgia and Becca, both experienced riders who coached me through the mechanics and shared their strategic wisdom. We finished strong to claim 2nd in our category.

As a new racer, I entered the “Intro Category” for both the Road Race on Saturday and the Circuit Race on Sunday. Thanks to all the support and coaching from my teammates during training this year, I found myself extremely well prepared. To my delight, I won both races. I was glad to be joined by Becca in both races, whose presence gave me great confidence and support. It was thrilling to race against women also new to racing but just as excited as I was to be competing. In recognition of my performance, our lovely captains Jen and Ben awarded me the “most aggressive racer” jersey for the week (along with Nick). I personally don’t perceive myself as aggressive nor competitive, but perhaps bike racing is changing that…

I conclude my race report with the somber reminder that bike racing comes with risk, and crashes will happen despite years of riding experience. Unfortunately one of our MIT racers suffered a crash on the course. I thank the entire team for their swift response and support for this rider, who is very brave and already on the path to a speedy recovery.

Although I’ve only just begun to learn what bike racing is all about, I’m certainly looking forward to my next races. Thanks so much for all the support from the MIT Cycling TEAM!