Before my first Babes in Bikeland (2014), this was my internal dialogue:
You have never been to a bike race. You don't like going fast. How far are we biking (Answer: too far)? You have no idea what "alley cat" means. You don't know anyone else going. Your bike, all together, probably needs some TLC and you don't even have 5 minutes to get to that unraveling handlebar tape. Do I need spandex pants? You partied too hard, too late last night.
Even though I am typically an ambitious extroverted optimist, I have that weekend habit of talking myself out of doing new and challenging things in lieu of Netflix+couch. Last winter, I struggled with biking to work on the coldest of days, further talking myself into driving with each hit of the snooze button. The morning of last year's Babes in Bikeland, I was laying on the couch weighing the guilt I'd feel from not going against the hangover pounding my brain. It's a terrible habit.
So, how did I end up getting my hungover self to Babes in Bikeland(http://babesinbikeland.com/)? I deployed my most powerful motivation technique: PREPARATION. Packing, planning, and pumping myself up... high fives and up-tempo jams. This year I created a list that I like to call "Pedal Power!" (this also works as a rally cry during the Babes race). Top song: Date with the Night, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Pre-register! $10 gets you a T-shirt and $5 registers you for the race. Registered racers who complete the course will be entered into drawings for sweet sweet door prizes!
Pick the bike you wanna ride, tune it up at a Grease Rag Open Shop.
Invite a friend to join you or find folks to ride with (...see the following step).
Friday before Babes
Go to the PreBabes Wander About! This is a social (slow, fun) ride on the Friday before the Babes race. It's a good time to meet other riders and familiarize yourself with the event.
Don't party too hard.
The day of Babes
Wear pants! Or shorts... or a skirt... or some spandexy stuff... whatever I want! There's even a costume contest! Remember to pack warmer clothing for later in the night, after the ride. Check the weather and consider a rain jacket.
Self love! Hydrate. Eat. Fist pump!
Pack the essentials: Helmet/Bike, lights, lock (chain might be helpful), a Twin Cities .
bike map and sharpie (unless you wanna do it all via digital device), cash, ID (there will be beer!), water bottle, snacks (Salted Nut Rolls!), a light/rain jacket.
Charge my phone, replace batteries in bike lights. This race is followed up by an awards ceremony of sorts and celebration. You will be biking after dark!
Get to the registration/starting point with some extra time for stretching and high fives!
A few more encouraging thoughts
This event is like a giant, soft, reassuring hug from 500 women/trans/femmes on bikes. It might be exactly what you didn't know you needed!