The Cycle Effect Teams started strength training in January. I am the one responsible for our girls’ sore legs & inability to lift their arms for the first few weeks of the year! Citlali rolled her eyes when I asked her to give a chin up a go… but when she did, she squealed with shock and gushed with a little embarrassment that she wrote herself off so quickly!

As our strength training sessions stocked up, so did the number of push-ups and squats each girl could perform. I love watching them being able to finally master a pull-up or socialize more as they open up and get comfortable with their team. The smiles of surprise and delight while having fun, is why I will continue to coach these ladies each year.

This year our Edwards program has grown by 40%. In order to “fit everyone in the room” we have had to split the groups into 2 and each does a 1-day training at the Athletic Club at the Westin and 1 day at the Field House in Edwards. Attendance has been incredibly consistent, despite the number of snow days and weather this year. We are grateful to our partners at The Westin and Mountain Recreation for allowing us to use their space. We could not do what we do without them!

Now that we are (hopefully) through the snowstorms and it’s melting, we are onto riding bikes! We are using every bike we have from our smallest 24-inch bike for Alondra (bright yellow bike in the videos) to having to order our first size Large bike from Liv for Karen! Karen is one of our incredible athletes who competed in the High School League last year in Durango for State Championships. She raced on a Medium last year and has grown too tall for it!

Today is the first mountain bike race for 80% of our Edwards team. We will have over 30 girls racing at Eagle Fairgrounds at 5:30 pm. Many of the girls have shared how excited and nervous they are about it. I can’t wait to cheer for them! We always want the girls’ first experience to be positive and we were skeptical about having Citlali race this week. After practicing with Coach Julie and Coach Tam this past Monday the improvement and confidence were like day and night. When I asked her if she wanted to race she said: “YESSS, let’s do it!”.

Of note today, we will have our first girl race in the expert category in the Short Track race. Harley Blevins has been crushing it, to say the least. Harley is an incredibly athletically talented sophomore at Battle Mountain High School. Her attendance is one of the highest of anyone in our Edwards team and she is one of 6 Cycle Effect girls also involved in early season conditioning with the High School team. This involves cycling workouts on a trainer and additional strength training sessions at Minturn Fitness Club. Harley just loves riding her bike and most recently demonstrated how thoughtful a leader she is when…

Alondra showed up for bike practice upset. Alondra goes to Avon Elementary School and had a rough day with her friends. I almost melted when I overheard Harley telling Alondra about what ‘real’ friends are and how they should act.

Alondra’s eye’s started to dry up as Harley’s wit, optimism and encouragement seeped in. What an amazing teammate and display of leadership. I couldn’t be more proud of Harley as she continues to step up to the plate as an amazing role model for our younger girls. I guess the Moab Leadership Camp is worth it 😉 although Harley already has the heart of gold!

Wish us luck tonight racing!

Tam Donelson, Edwards Coach