There’s an old proverb  ‘It takes a village…’

An open letter of thanks to that village who have contributed love and support to this average age group athlete.

To my non-cycling friends:
Thank you for listening to the weekly workout rundown, planned rides and other adventures. Thank you for learning the difference between a road, cyclocross, and time trial bikes. Extra kudos for remembering the names I’ve given each of them. Thank you for not rolling your eyes when I showed up for coffee in spandex, checking in on me during race season, and giving me a reality check when I need it -you’re amazing.

To my cycling friends:
Thank you for celebrating numerous victories with me - our first race, our first upgrade points, our first podiums, a PR on a Strava segment, or new bike day. Thank you for friendly competition when a QOM was up for grabs. Thank you for a much needed draft and taking your share of the pulls. Thank you for swearing at the hills with me. Thank you for sharing your snack with me when I bonked, for sharing your chamois cream when I forgot mine and for buying me an iced latte when I left my wallet at home. Thank you for being real, laughing and learning from our mistakes together, you are all incredibly strong and inspiring.

To my Parents and Family:
Thank you for encouraging me to try new things, especially when they’re scary and hard. Thank you for taking the training wheels off my first bike and for making me wear a helmet always. Thank you for not complaining when I showed up (late) to family dinner because I biked from home and didn’t quite calculate how long it would take me. Thank you for donating to the cause and becoming one of my main ‘sponsors.’ Thank you for being understanding, loving, and supporting me no matter what.

To my Partner:
Thank you for not being jealous of the bike that I just spent 3 hours riding that I’ll now spend an hour cleaning. Thank you for being that extra set of hands to help me adjust my brakes. Thank you for standing out in the rain or hot sun for hours while my friends and I ride laps around a crit, or a road course where you’ll see me for exactly 5 seconds. Thank you for jumping in and taking care of me and my teammates (whom you barely knew) when it was freezing cold and we needed hot drinks fast. Thank you for being the best race sherpa ever, allowing my race goblin to make an appearance when I yelled at you for not pinning my race numbers on fast enough after I changed my layers again. Thank you for always having your phone at the ready, taking hundreds of photos and videos. Thank you for not being mad that time I called you from the bike shop asking you how upset you’d be if I bought another bike. Thank you for embracing my passion and being my biggest fan both on and off the bike.

To the others:
Thank you to the volunteers, the race organizers, and the commissaires, without you there would be no racing. Thank you to the pedestrians who stay left and allow a large group of bikes to go past. Thank you to the motorists who are respectful and give me space. Thank you to the Velofix mechanics and the staff at my local bike shop, you often go above and beyond to ensure my bikes are ready for anything or that I have the gear I need. Thank you to the servers at Rosso for bringing us pizza and beers after hills ever so promptly.

Thank you ALL for the awesome love and support.

~Written by Jessica Lacoursiere, and echo'd by others