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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At ECHSMTB Club we're a little jammed right now getting 10 bikes and gear for needy riders but I wanted to keep you informed:
1) We've had some encouraging offers of support from gals in this Forum of clothes and parts.
2) Had some wonderful suggestions about supporting the Girls with building identity through visiting Women Racers to talk with us at lunch and possibly ride with us. I have found a few women to help.
3) I have laid some groundwork for supporting/sponsoring a needy girl racer; testing commitment out of respect for such a gracious offer.
4) It was suggested that we open a Paypal account and I was finally able to manage that.
Having said that, I would like to ask the particiants of this Forum for their financial support, which will be dedicated to our Girls, by making a donation to our cause. We can recieve your contribution through your PayPal account at:
[email protected]

You may also contact me directly by using this email address as mail will forward to my personal email bucket. Thank you for all you have done so far.
Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Sharing your input

We have had a lot of input from this Forum though much of it comes through Personal Messages and my email. I thought it would be nice to share some of it with you all.

Michael,
I work in a bike shop. Sometimes we have close-outs on hard to sell items. Right now we have a number of 2005 Specialized women's shoes in small sizes on closeout. Here are the shoes:
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=10696
and
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=12768

If your girls need mtn bike shoes, these are on closeout. Seems like the Motodiva shoe is $55, but I can't remember exactly. Likely sizes are from 36 - 40. I can tell you for sure if you're interested. You can reach me at the shop most days from 9:30-18:30. 619-498-4900. Bicycle Warehouse in Chula Vista.

I'm sure there are other connections that have items that you need on closeout. I don't know if it would be a good option or not, but while I don't have the power to give you shoes or donate items, I could sell you shoes you need at closeout prices and ship them to you.

Please be sure to keep us posted on the need. Most of us have the money that would sometimes -oftentimes- be better spent elsewhere (the latte-with-muffin I get 2-3 times a week could go instead to a new camelbak, for example). Do not sit wishing there were just another $100 just because you already asked once. Ask again.

: )

Here's my Moab team from last year (2004). In the tradition of those who go from place to place singing, we were the team Minstral Cycles. Team motto: On your freakin' left, moron!! Oh! Have a nice day!

From left to right:
Lisa Reinhard - US Downhill National Champion (Expert Women)
Chrissy Bono - California Cross Country Am Cup Champion (Beginner Women)
Nadine D'alesandro - my NJ buddy and East Coast Cohort
Laura Drexler - US Downhill National Champion (Sport Women)

Riding introduced me to these friends. Racing taught me I can be more than a spectator if I just grit my teeth and apply myself.

Regards,
L

L,
Thanks for inside info on the Shoe Sale Stuff. Your thoughts have pressed me to consider the whole Pedal/Shoe issue. It has provided an opportunity to concretize a process which we have managed off the cuff inour previous seasons.
Right now we are getting a lot of riders started on flat pedals. In December we will start Spinning at the Y and Flat Rides on Wednesday. We are starting 18 riders of varied skills and motivations. The first "Sessions" are tough as they require enormous amounts of time just to make sure everything is fitting/working in spite of all we do to insure that in advance. Our riding won't be very power oriented but will focus on determining individual skills, communicating group riding skills and developing both. We will be working hard to establish timeliness, good preparation, and co-operation; in general, flow. Then we will break for the Holiday vacation. I will encourage riding during that time but......
More power oriented riding will start in January and each of the new riders are required to attend The Tamrancho Winter Camp in early February. It is great spot for focusing on specific skills in a very supportive environment. Our Girls will have Women coaches and watching them all learn together is precious and hilarious. Spirits are always high and comeraderie is rampant.
Conversion to SPD pedals may happen about this time. It is an informal cut-off time for people to express their commitment to our Club and we expect a 10-20% drop-out rate. We pick this time for conversion as muscle and brain have come to terms with the bike, our program, and the little community we have built. As such it is a natural time for the commitment of further resources.
In the meantime, we continue to collect donations of all kinds. I just got one pair of 9.5 Men's shoes in great shape and have a pair of 5.5 Women's shoes on the way. I am hoping that this collection may continue to grow. When push comes to shove, when shoes are needed for kids without resources, we will buy them new.
Thanks for the inspiration to focus on this issue; contributions take many forms.
Michael
Echsmtb.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just got some shoes!

One of the gals here sent me two pairs of mtb shoes and they look like new. Also there has been no little action on our Paypal account. I think that this will work out great; small donations add up to Race Fees! Thanks.
 

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let's keep helping

It looks like they're getting a lot of cool items donated. In addition, I still think we can sponsor a rider as a forum, but we need to send the club more monetary donations. If you have anything to spare, even $5 , please go ahead and paypal it to the address at the top of the page. I'm pretty sure it is tax deductible. I sent a donation already and got a very kind thank you email that brightened my day at work. Mike is too polite to ask for monetary donations......luckily I'm rude! Forum members have made 4 donations as of Monday 11/28 let's get a bunch more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wheels, Lycra and goodies.

A certain Sweetheart of Venice Beach just sent our girls a beautiful set of Mavic wheels with Michelin tires and tubes, pedals, v-brakes and a couple of seatpost clamps. This stuff was hardly used. I am setting these aside for our Girls. I know that as donations come in these will become part of a very nice ride.Included were some Glad Rags; a full Desani kit and 3 San Vincente jerseys all in beautiful shape and high quality. These will go directly to the Girls to start building their workout wear and they will always look great.
I know that this is about the Girls on our Club but it means a great deal to me. I am blown away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The Ball is Rolling

Our effort to drum up resources within this Forum for Girl Riders is slowly gaining momentum. I had a message in my email this morning that one of my cash donors was kicking in another donation which put us up to over $130.
I talked to the mother of the Girl we hope to sponsor and she was pleased and grateful for this opportunity. L is out with a cold and still doesn't have a bike but this is a great start and I know this will cheer her up!
As a reminder, all donations of gear from this Lounge will go exclusively to our new Girls. Donations of clothing are especially needed as, thank god, girls are shaped differently than boys and we have a lot of large stuff.
Cash donations, which can be made through PayPal at [email protected], will be earmarked for sponsorship of our aformentioned Girl, L.
Please take a moment to send us a couple of bucks; it all adds up and will really make a difference. Support the young women entering this sport today! Remember, we are a not-for-profit so this donation is tax deductible.
Thanks, everyone, for your support.
Michael Mejia
Director
ECHSMTB.com

http://www.paypal.com/
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kenda Kicks in!

Today, through the pounding rain the mailman brought me a box of goodies for our Girls. Team Kenda sent us 3 gorgeous Team Skinsuits and a Jersey/shorts combo along with Team towels, some really cute Team t-shirts, Defeet sox and about 8 assorted bib shorts, small jackets, and a couple of CD about Women Racers which will be great lunch meeting marketing.
The girls are going to go nuts. They are going to look so great! This is all happening because of you guys and they are going to hear about it, believe me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One down, three to go...

Well it looks like we lost one of our girls applicants. She was the last aboard, so to speak, and I never met her but was a "project" of my partner in crime, Jeremiah, the Photo Teacher at El Cerrito High School. It turns out that her parents said that she could only participate if her girlfriend was in the Club, too. Neither has any cycling experience or resources. Good kids, though.
The girlfriend clause is something we have run into before but we have been able, so far (knock on wood) to provide a current member as "the girlfriend figure" to satisfy the parents. In this case, though, even if we provided everything (bike, clothes, gear, fees, training) the girlfriend would only do it to support the applicant and had no interest in riding a bike. The ax has not fallen but I think we will let this young lady go.
My goal is to get two solid additional girls on our club this year. At this point we have 2 girls actually on bikes and one who is working through administrative hoop but enjoys a lot of support from us and her Mom. The former are on Club Bikes with Club gear and, I think, are keepers, the latter is a girl we hope to have this Lounge sponsor and I am optimistic.
This weekend at our Norcal Coaches Conference we will have a special seminar on Recruiting and Coaching Girls. It should be interesting.
Everyone keep your fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Recruiting and Retaining Girls

One of the Berkeley Coaches, Nadine, gave a talk about the above topic. She was able to provide a useful perspective to what I had experienced both as a counselor to teens in my previous life and my last three years working with High School mountain biking girls.
In addition she was able to fill in some holes and provide a bit more continuity in the way I understood the experience of working with girls. I tend to be empirical in my learning method and require hands on experience first for anything to have any meaning. I will often take simple cues for instruction from directions or programs and then just wade in. After the experience a program means something and the two modes, information and experience work edjunctively to form a whole. I rely and trust my inate abilities and require process at a sub conscious level for real, meaningful understanding, especailly where it involves people, relationships, and my creative work. Sleeping on things or setting them aside is a useful tool.
So it was with much excitement and a sense of charm that I could share in what Nadine had to say. She focused principally special needs for support around body issues and risk taking which respond to girls-only circumstances and the careful managment of realtionships amongst girls in such a setting to avoid cliques.
She discussed downplaying compitition but encouraging success, a cautious intervention with crashes with an emphisis on celebration rather than coddling. These issues also respond better ina girls-only situation for many girls as such events, under the gaze of boys is excruciating.
For men as coaches she encouraged us to be allies, to look out for the girls and mediate that teen maleness which can be so thoughtless so girls will feeel safe to step up. Patience and only the most gradual attitudes were encouraged.
In all settings preserve diginity of body image; focus on strength and character. It really doesn't matter how adorable I think they look in their new kits, the internal dialogue is much more powerful and, combined with the presence of teen males, it is loaded. Focus on nutrition as fuel; keep it practical to the task at hand.
There was considerable discussion, though, of the value of girls as demonstrating grace, power, courage, their special comraderie in compitition, and simply that special human quality that girls are, from male and female coaches. As these are all qualities boys need to understand, removing girls from the group has its costs. In addition we are talking about one team, not two seperate teams and girls, after they are integrated to the sport, very often want to be riding with the boys. Boys have much to teach girls about exertion at high levels of aggression, risk taking, and the bond that they can share with each other as courageous athletes. It is a point of pride for we coaches that our boys are pretty decent human beings and that is a wonderful thing for a girls to learn about, too. Thoughtless and demeaning comments of any kind are punishable by death in our Club. Kidding. Kidding.
Great conference. Nice job by Nadine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's Official. Our Girls High School Candidate for Sponsorship

We've gone through all the Adminstrative and medical hoops and found a great candidate for the Women's Lounge Sponsorship. I am pleased to introduce Liana, a first year rider on our MTB Club. I'll let her speak for herself.

Hey all! My name‚s Liana and I‚m a 14 year old freshman at El Cerrito High School. I‚m rather new to biking. From what I‚ve done so far, I know I have a long way to go and I need to strengthen quite a bit, but I‚ve had more fun doing it than I could possibly imagine. I‚m very motivated to work at this as much as I can, because biking is one of those things for me that I really just don‚t want to quit at. This sponsorship is really important to me because I come from a low income family. I think it‚s great that I‚m being sponsored, especially by a women‚s team. Most sports are male dominated, and females shouldn‚t be scared of being athletic! Those prissy girl stereotypes are nothing, there are plenty of strong women who could outride any guy any day. So even though I need to work my butt off to get to peak condition, I‚m determined to become the best rider I can be, and this sponsorship is the key thing to help me get there. Thank you!
Liana

I have attached a picture of our 3 new girls and Liana is on the far left. You will note the matching Kenda Kits donated through Chuky and Paul with Kenda. Liana is riding a full LX GT donated by Gilligan which we redeveloped. Cassera is on a bike put together from parts from Dr. Law, Lemonhead, VTT, and David, and Lindsay is riding a bike donated by Nicky, shoes from BRG and a Zoic first layer from our clothing drive (brand new.)

At our coaches Conference we were offered Camebacks at $20 each. I bought a womens specific version and gave it to Liana. When we needed to bring Liana's GT "back" we took it to Solano Cyclery. They delivered it up and running (pads, cables, tubes, seatpost collar, tune-up) and a womens specific Helmet for ....$57... in 3 hours!
We were able to fully outfit Liana today and the rain even held up for our ride. Somebody up, out there, likes us!

I hope you can tell through all my raving, that we have really made a difference here and your support is gelling into something very real. I hope we can contnue to enjoy your financial support, too. Donations of any amount can be received into our PayPal account: [email protected]

Thank you so much! Michael
 

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This is so great! Thank you, Paul!

Just got back from 2 weeks of travel, and it is amazing to see how much this has progressed. I know that the Kenda team is on a strict budget, and I really appreciate Paul's doing this for the girls. Kenda is a really supportive company - they take great care of their grassroots women's riders.

Thanks to Paul and Kenda!

Cheers,
C
 
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