Check out TWR in the news again, this time it is an article in Tidewater Women. The story talks about different local cyclists and features Emily Joyner for the competitive cycling section (excerpt below).
THE THRILL OF COMPETITION
Some cyclists love the thrill of competition and the satisfaction of winning. One of racing cyclist Emily Joyner’s favorite moments on a bike happened on a steep hill not far from her family’s home in Gettysburg, Pa. Her two sisters got in the habit of stopping halfway up, but Emily had a plan.
“I would always ride as far as I could,” she explained. “It was this incredible goal for me to get to the top. And I remember the time I got there. I never wanted to get off my bike.”
In her college days, Emily says she was “one of the only girls on a bike at Radford,” where she challenged herself, timing her routes to and from classes. She enjoyed seeing how fast she could get around.
These days, 29-year old Emily—married, the mother of a 3-year-old boy, and a full-time math teacher in Northampton County—pushes herself in a different way with a brand new team of racing women cyclists, sponsored by Virginia Asset Group. The weekend after Easter, she came in first in a 350-meter street sprint in a race known as “The Rock Hill Omnium” in Rock Hill, South Carolina. On April 3, Emily came in 2nd in her group in the Downtown Smithfield Hammer Fest, and she’s gaining speed and confidence with every race.
“I started riding with [bicycle] shop groups after college, and I’d ride a little further and faster each time,” she said. “Then one Tuesday night, I went to watch a women’s race, and I thought, ‘I could do that.’”
At the time she started racing, there were very few women in Tidewater to mentor her, so Emily joined an elite club in Richmond led by Emily Helmboldt, a strong cyclist who helped her discover what she could do on a bike.
“I would have never thought to push myself as hard as I did without seeing where she was and having her show me the ropes,” she said.
Last fall, Emily decided to create a team here in Virginia Beach, supported by Bike Beat, a bike shop with locations at Hilltop and Kempsville in Va. Beach.
“My goal is to do that for women in this area—to set goals, promote cycling, and meet those goals with other women,” she said. “Eventually, I want to have at least six riders in the developmental program and six in the elite program.”
Emily mentioned the importance of eye protection for racers, along with essential gear. “One time when I was riding without sun glasses, I was hit in the eye, and I couldn’t see out of it for the next ten miles,” Emily said. “And the gloves are important, not only for your grip, but if you do take a spill, they protect your hands from road rash.”
Emily has great support from her husband, Steven, who’s a U.S.A. Cycling Certified coach for her team. Their 3-year-old son, Bruce Joyner, newly empowered by his ability to manage a bicycle with training wheels, says proudly, “I’m a racer, Mama!”
Emily’s forward motion as a racing cyclist draws her family and fans to races and brings more attention to professional women’s cycling in Tidewater.
At the turn of the last century, when women were seeking the right to vote, riding a bicycle was synonymous with being daring and bold, like bobbing your hair. Maybe as this new century rolls on, getting back on a bike could be the best new habit to add to your life. n
For more info:
• Bike and Build - bikeandbuild.org
• Bike Virginia - bikevirginia.org
• Tidewater Bicycle Association - tbarides.org
• To see Jacki and Ashley’s film, go to vimeo.com and search for Bike and Build: Be the Change.
• To follow Emily Joyner’s team, visit tradewindsracing.blogspot.com
Kathleen Fogarty is a frequent contributor to Tidewater Women. She lives on a farm in Virginia Beach.