We here at Koochella are big fans of women’s racing. We’re not shy about this. We love racing ourselves. We love our competition.
We also appreciate the heck out of women who are racing at the upper levels of our sport. These women are the living, breathing manifestations of years of hard training and discipline. They are our best athletes. They are our champions. They are who we aspire to be. They humble us. We love everything about them.
As a Minneapolis-based team, we are fortunate to have women at the top of our sport competing in our local races. We have national (and world!) champions and contenders in our local scene. While we consider them our friends, there is still a lot of secret/not-so-secret fandom.
(I’m looking at you, Nicole Mertz. I still get stoked that you even talk to me.).
We also benefit from having some top notch, big deal local races, namely the Fixed Gear Classic (which wrapped up last weekend) and the North Star Grand Prix (which starts today!).
The North Star Grand Prix is a 15+ year tradition in Minnesota. It was at one point considered to be the most important race on the women’s pro road circuit. As it stands, it is still your best opportunity to see some of the fastest women around duking it out in our state.
For me, the women’s Uptown Criterium has been something I look forward to every year, usually with a marker in my pocket just in case I see one of my big name heroes and manage to talk her into autographing my bike (I’m 100% serious about this, you can ask to see the marker).
To celebrate and show support for the women’s pro field this year, Koochella will have pink bells available (for a suggested $10 minimum donation). Donations will go towards a “Koochella Super Prime,” awarded to a racer in the women’s pro field at the Stillwater stage on Sunday.
Here is the bell in question… again:
Why pink? It’s our team color. We also haven’t seen a lot of bells this color. We wanted to be sure that these bells were unusual so that women in the race would be able to see them. See, we made these bells especially for this race, especially to raise money for this prime. We want our heroes in the women’s field to know that when they see a spectator ringing a pink Koochella bell that they are ringing the bell in support of them.
HOW CAN I GET A BELL?! You’re asking yourself. Well, that’s pretty easy. Firstly, if you see me (Anna) wandering the crowd, hit me up. I’ll have a bunch in my bag.
For the Uptown Criterium, we will be posted up on the Boulevard on 31st street between Humboldt and Holmes. We’ll be there at 6pm. Join us. Do it.
For Sunday, we’ll be leading a ride out to Stillwater for the final stage. It will be an easy ride. We’ll bump some tunes, snack on some donuts, and post up on the hill at Stillwater to cheer on the women’s field. I bought a brand new megaphone for the occasion. It will be covered with dumb stickers by then. If you haven’t done the ride before, it’s a nice, flat, easy program, mostly on trails.
See you kids at the races! And don’t forget some dollar billz to spill in support of these fast and fabulous women.