Anyone who’s ever met me knows I’m irritatingly awkward at introductions, so I’m just going to dive right in. Hello, fellow enthusiasts and gear ratio nerds! I’m Clara and I’ll be your source for all things bike racing on Girl Bike Love.

My goal is to supply all of you lovely readers with a weekly – or bi-weekly depending on when dates fall – previews and summaries of professional women’s races. I’ll be scouring the interwebs for pertinent websites, Twitter handles to follow for live updates and, with any luck, instructions on how to watch the race as it happens.

Perhaps you ask, why am I qualified? Well, let me tell you a little about myself. I was attracted to the glitter of mountain biking when I was just 13-years-old. After watching a Grundig World Cup race in Houffalize, Belgium, it was love. It was 1997. Everything about the experience, from the shameless amount of neon to the accessible racers with magnetic personalities, hooked me. I wanted to be the next pigtailed Susan DeMattei or golden-clad Paola Pezzo who so effortlessly charged through creeks and up mountains. The cool factor was off the charts.

Mountain bike racing eventually lead me into skinny-tired world of road racing. (I mean, you gotta train on the road to get better at mountain biking, right?) Long story short, for the next 11 years, I competed in every cycling discipline short of grass track racing. I raced collegiately, professionally, in Europe and the US. Two stars and stripes jerseys later, I walked away from it all at 24-years-old.

I’m excited to dive into this new project with Girl Bike Love. Not only because I’m a passionate supporter of women’s cycling, I consider it my responsibility to help the current and future generation of cyclists get the recognition they deserve. And one of the ways I can do that is through writing. Advancing our sport is an ongoing struggle, and one for which I hope I can make a difference.

Until next time!