Jacquie Phelan is the Cino Heroica 2013 official Guest Rider.
Over the decades, there have been bicycle riders that helped define the sport and perhaps drew us to it. Some riders can remember what happened when Greg Lemond won the Tour. A decade later, Lance Armstrong made bicycling cool and motivated many to get serious about the sport. John Howard was the guy I read about in pulp cycling mags in the early 70’s, and motivated me to do something my peers shook their heads at.
For women, the list of important riders is perhaps different. There have been some great women riders over the years, but few have had made such an indelible impact on the sport as Jacquie Phelan. If you are very young, or have been living under a rock, the name may be unfamiliar. But most will make a connection: the female rider who dominated mountain biking in the 80’s. The Rock Shox ad. Meeting her at a group ride (she gets around).
I first “encountered” Jacquie at a mountain bike race called “The Rockhopper”, in Santa Rosa, CA, early 80’s. I had a girlfriend for a time named Julie Moss, who Jacquie knew. At the race, Jacquie asked me how Julie was. I said we’d broken up. I asked Jacquie (who was famous even then) if she would sign my water bottle. Jacquie wrote on it, “Rolling stones gather no Moss”.
Here’s Jacquie’s self described bio:
b. 1955. Inductee of US Bicycling Hall of Fame and The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Writer, illustrator, and founder of WOMBATS, Phelan’s “Fat Tire Finishing School” was the world’s first mountain bike camp (1984). It was for women. Men were “schooled” by Phelan at the races.
The simple, whimsical “Instant Finesse” (just add beer) drills have inspired women everywhere. Well, not in Africa, China or Japan, actually. More sorta Europe.
Websites: http://jacquiephelan.org/about/ and the limping-along wombats website: http://www.wombats.org/
Jacquie is most known for her mountain biking history. But she started out as a road rider. And yes, Jacquie will be riding a Cino road bike with you. I asked Jacquie about her road riding career:
Road career: “Short lived”
Training fueled by Rumor of Women being at last Permitted to CYCLERACE in LA olympix (and having seenBreaking away)
Twas a last-ditch effort to impress my disappointed parents (they expected a doctor by then to brag about)
I was “veto’d off the island” due to chronic crashing behavior, but reached top echelon of US road racing in that daring first six months of 1981. Gave up almost completely by 1984, then did put together a WOMBATS team for the prestigious Ore-Ida stage race with Susan DeMattei. This led to being INVITED to creat a team (and race in it) for Celestial Seasonings at a race that same year–1992. That was my high point.
IT had taken me about a decade to figure out how not to endanger my sisterracers, and pro mtn bike racing was how I got good at bike handling.
THANKS FOR ASKING.
Here are some great website links on Jacquie. (Try Googling her name, and you’ll get an endless list of links):
Wombats, Womens Mountain Bike and Tea Society: www.wombats.org
Cool YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrL7U0IXIWY
Famous Rock Shox ad: http://mombat.org/JacquieRS.jpg
Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquie_Phelan
US Bicycling Hall of Fame: http://www.usbhof.org/inductee-by-year/75-jacquie-phelan
Mountain Bike Hall of Fame: http://www.mtnbikehalloffame.com/page.cfm?pageid=6&memberid=21