• A NorCal Project – thequeenstage.com

    by  • July 13, 2016 • bio, womyn on weels

    Photo Credit: Ethan Glading

    Photo Credit: Ethan Glading

    In the last few years keeping NorCal Cycling News updated has taken a back seat to day jobs and new projects for most contributors. One project that I have been working on has a strong NorCal bent so I’m putting it up front and center. Plus it’s good to have something more timely at the top of the page.

    After the 2012 London Olympics I started following three athletes who grew out of the NorCal racing scene. When I started this in 2013 Megan Guarnier, Shelley Olds, and Beth Newell all looked like contenders for the US team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. I tried to catch up with them when our paths crossed and wrote about them for a handful of print and online publications. I’ve started to pull together the different stories, videos and audio clips into a single narrative at a new url – www.thequeenstage.com.

    Below is an excerpt from the “NorCal Connection” section of the story…

    California was a compromise that my spouse and I found mutually acceptable. I wanted out of Canada, and she could get a job at Stanford. I had quit riding when we moved to Toronto in 1998 and started up again after we moved to California. My involvement in the large Northern California racing scene is what eventually led me to Shelley Olds, Megan Guarnier, and Beth Newell.

    After the London Olympics I decided to try filming and interviewing these determined cyclists to gain insight into their drive and motivation. I made a leap that each woman would aim for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and was intrigued by their varied and idiosyncratic journeys.

    While each woman’s profile has similarities they could not be more different. Shelley Olds (35) played soccer for Roanoke College and showed early promise across several cycling disciplines including road, track and cyclocross. Olds is the most at home being a professional athlete and cycling exists more as a vocation than a job for her. Beth Newell (34) ran in college and started riding as a way to get to work. Newell rose to local notoriety as a key member of the Hellyer Velodrome community with a funny, self-effacing blog, and quickly growing list of results. Megan Guarnier (31) also competed as an athlete in college until sidelined by an injury. Guarnier showed early promise as a sprinter with success on both the track and in criteriums. Her intense, steady approach to racing is reminiscent of other Bay Area Olympians like Karen Brems and Christine Thorburn…

    To read more visit thequeenstage.com.

    PS. I totally hate everything there right now, which probably means it is time to get started on the next section. Message me directly with bugs or suggested edits.



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    Former NorCal resident now residing in Madison,Wisconsin. I race cross, but I'm named after a velodrome. Support your local bike shop, NorCal race promoters, and go learn to race on a track. Hellyer Velodrome - http://www.ridethetrack.com