What is HWTPP? What’s all this hype about it? What, where, when and who are involved in this thing called HWTPP? Huh?
HWTPP stands for Hellyer Womens Track Pursuit Program. It is held every Monday at Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose, California. The program’s got a lot of heart. If you don’t have a heart in bike racing, it’s a mood point to even think about racing. Bike racing is deep passion and a lot of heart. True Flandrian character.
Before we get into the technical aspects of the program, let’s drill into the reason how this program came about. A gutsy move and it’s about making a difference. It’s about sharing the passion to those who want to pursue a dream. It is about sharing the experience.
Beth Newell, National Champion and me, Flandria share something in common from years ago. We both successfully completed the brutal 40 sprints led by Larry Nolan who is another World and National Champion or in short “superman” in the bike racing community. So there, my 5 secs of fame. It is an honor to know these champs because they motivate and inspire many people and absolutely including myself.
Beth’s always been an advocate for women’s bike racing because she’s been through the challenges in her journey to be a pro woman bike racer. Last year, Beth signed her first pro contract with Now Novartis womens cycling team for 2012. She never gave up bike racing even after a nasty crash in her first bike race at the Early Bird training races that made her look like her face have been gnawed by Hannibal Lecter. Tenacious. Everyone starts out somewhere and Beth knows all about starting out as a beginner.
Beth Newell is racing her bike not just to win but to make a difference. Track racing is her passion, that’s how she started out and she wants to make a difference!
Beth didn’t get a “Most Aggressive Rider” award at Exergy Tour 2012 for not being aggressive, eh?
There was a pretty pathetic showing of teams in the Team Pursuit last year at Elite Nationals. It was a real disappointment, especially considering it is one of the two endurance track events left in the Olympics. However, I understand why there was a lack of participation: It is rare for three women endurance riders of any one track to come to nationals; so, teams form at the last minute with no practice, and after the race, the same thing is always said: “we could’ve gone so much faster [had we an opportunity to practice].” With no real opportunities to train for such a specific event, I can see why few people registered.
A voice for change. No fear.
What is being done about it?
Beth Newell, together with a tireless group of contributors, volunteers, sponsors and fans are taking action.
Our goal at the Hellyer program is simple: introduce as many women to the team pursuit, give people some structure for practicing and forming teams, and provide the necessary support and mentoring for teams to ride to their potential. We would love to get 3-6 teams down to LA this year for Elite Nationals. NorCal is such a strong region for cycling, and I think we can put together some teams that will have some great performances, and give riders the opportunity to experience racing on the indoor velodrome.
We are taking athletes of all skill levels – beginners to advanced. If people just want to come out and see what track riding is like, and get some practice riding around in small groups in an all female environment, we can do that. And if people want to train really hard and set a goal for performance at nationals, we can provide the best coaching, workouts, and mentoring for teams to achieve their goals.
Okay, basically NorCal have to dominated at Elite Nationals this year! Let’s do it!
Seriously, this is an awesome program.
Learn more about HWTPP:
Hellyer Velodrome HWTPP Information Page (includes Schedules, Contacts, Sponsors, Staff etc)
HWTPP New Website (Coming Very Soon!)
What is it like to attend an HWTPP session?
Sign in. Sign waiver. This is a FREE drop-in program. Pay $5 to use the track to support the park. Additional $5 to rent a track bike if you don’t have a track bike. Track bike sizes are color coded for ease of finding what you need. Arrive early to test out the track bikes if possible.
Warm-up. Once track is open for warm-up, warm-up! There will be several groups so pick your pace. Jump in and out as long as you let the group know. Communication is key when using the track. Once everyone is warmed-up, everyone breaks up in groups of 3’s, i.e. like a 3-ladies pursuit team. Warm-up some more. Fun!
There will be a 20 minute talk and instructions plus recognizing sponsors for their hard work to make the program a success.
Last night, we did a 50 and a kilo. Sounds like heavy pounders eh? No, we didn’t weigh ourselves. Come and find out what those mean!
Find out how fun it is to heckle Hernando!
Session ends with everyone smiling up the ying-yang. Another successful session with a good showing.
Who were the women there last night?
Who was the star sponsor last night?
Who were the superstars who helped the ladies last night?
More power to HWTPP and the future of womens involvement in bike racing!
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