Sunday, May 20, 2007

Jacquie Phelan

Today I got to spend time with mountain bike racing legend Jacquie Phelan ("Alice B. Toeclips"), who also founded the Wombats (Women's Mountain Biking and Tea Society). I drove her to a bike swap meet which turned out to be less than expected unfortunately, but I didn't care as I got to talk with her more.

She struggling with trying to figure out what to do these days as it's tough to follow up on a sucessful 25 year racing career especially in a much more "mature" (for lack of a better term) mountain biking industry that's less tolerant of her special kind of eccentricity. Mountain biking used to be revolutionary compared to traditional road biking, but these days is getting just as mired (and still very much a boyz club in a sense.)

I told she should ski as skiing and snowboarding very much embraces eccentricity, especially talented eccentricity (just watch a Warren Miller film to verify this) and there really seems to be a place for everyone. Unlike my brief experience of mountain bike racing where there didn't seem to be much room for someone just starting out and not already in a club.