Esther Meisels

A Phenomenal Week at JMSR with The Amy D. Foundation

When I first came across the Amy D. Foundation (seeing the team name on race results from previous years and then heading to their website), I couldn’t believe such an organization exists. The foundation provides opportunity to driven women in the sport of cycling who lack the sufficient support to race at the highest level. And that’s exactly what it provided me- a chance to race Joe Martin Stage Race, a UCI race, which I would not have been able to otherwise.

Having said that, the Amy D. does so much more than just get us an “entry ticket” to the big races. We were a team. A team that supports each other. A team that cares about each other. Everyone brought something to the table, whether it was racing experience, moral support, positive energy, or cooking skills. Camaraderie was great.

The riders all get credit for creating such a fantastic atmosphere, but our wonderful staff had a lot to do with it. Executive director, Des Simon, kept everything rolling smooth, and with so much care. Running from the airport to the supermarket to the airport to walmart to the laundry room to… we called her “mom” for a reason. Our other “mom” was Katheryn Curi, Director Sportif. Without knowing us, Kathryn managed to coach us all. Her debriefs and racing tips seemed to speak to everyone. I personally learned a lot from Kathryn, and I appreciate the short time I had with her. While our personal well-being was taken care of by Des and Kathryn, our bikes, which are just as important, were being cared for by mechanic Katie. Having a mechanic with us was a luxury I am not used to. It definitely gave me peace-of-mind and allowed me to focus on what I was there for- racing.

 

The foundation has generous sponsors that supported us throughout the week. Beginning with GiddyUp Film Tours who help cover operational costs such as registration and travel. BikeFlights.com transported our bikes from wherever we lived to Arkansas for the race. Pearl Izumi provided all our kits- a training kit, a racing kit, vest and jacket. Besides for standing out, they were comfortable and functional in all weather conditions (we experienced them all, from heat to rain, tornado, and snow). Lazer Helmets completed the pro look with Z1 helmets and the new aero Bullet helmets, as well as matching glasses for all of us. Our bright orange socks and casual t-shirts were courtesy of Handlebar Mustache Apparel, and we each got to keep them. Feedback Sports supplied us all with trainers to warm up on before the time trial stage, as well as bike stands for Katie to work with.

From a racing perspective, I had some good results and some bad, but all stages were worthwhile learning experiences. This kind of race- UCI standards, multi-stage and a large field, is exactly the racing experience that I, and many other women, require in order to make the leap to the next level. Unfortunately many of us don’t have the opportunity either because our amateur teams don’t do those races and there is a team requirement to participate, or because of financial limitations. The Amy D. bridges that gap.

Thank You Amy D. Foundation!

 

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