Wow, before my head injury I wanted to go to the Olympics and take care of athletes injuries as a physiotherapist. Due to my injury I can no longer work or volunteer as a physiotherapist. My goals have since changed. I now want to be the first female triker from Canada to go to the Paralympics.
By being in the Paralympic Torch relay shows that I have a goal of being part of the Olympics and Paralympics in my home country. By doing my part, I hope to help make it a great experience for everyone. Bringing my trike along shows my goal to bring the torch forward. I don’t have a hand to carry it but I have knowledge of the excellent athletic pursuits that bringing the torch forward will help to display in the games.
Excitement has been within me since I found out that I was a torch bearer. I have physical education and physiotherapy degrees. And a new goal of making the Canadian Paracycling team. Being Paraolympic torch bearer is a dream come true.
Training independently for 16 weeks. Shelley is feeling a lot more comfortable on her trike. Her rpm in smaller gears is becoming higher. She is now able to pedal with out a dead spot in her peddling stroke.
It has been 5 weeks of training indepently. Working hard getting ready for Ontario Provincials. The OCA has been made aware of the distance for paracyclist trike riders. A distance of 10 km will be set up for Shelley to ride her trike. As part of her time trial a stick will be at the side of the road to mark the 5km turn arounnd point. It is great that the OCA is including proper distance for her race.
Shelley has a team of three people to help her complete the race. Derek Baker will make sure her trike is tuned correctly. Together with Brendan Morrisey they will make sure Shelley can turn safely at the 5 km mark. Alan Greer will accompany her and be available on the ride to fix anything.
|Provincial Time Trial Championships|
IPC-CP2 Results – 10 km – Average Speed 18.9 km/h
|1||144||47288||GAUTIER, Shelley||LAPDOGS CYCLING CLUB||IPC||0h 31′ 49″|
This is how Shelley did at the Ontario Championships on her trike. Yes Shelley is happy. Her max speed was 33.4 km/hr.
Week 7 now of training. Shelley will go investigate the new ISM Cycling Centre. She will be able to work toward her goals and train there this winter.
Shelley got to try her trike with a new handlebar and new pedal cleats and shoes on two trainers. She has a new stool and was able to get on and train and then came off her trike today.
Went to the National Cycling Championships in Quebec to get classified. Before a rating is given one must race twice. Until this happens Shelley is given a temporary rating. The Raters gave her a Cerebral Palsy division 2 classification. Next year the UCI will change the wording of classification categories. Using the words Brain Inujured it will be more appropriate for Shelley.
We have set up getting riders for Shelley to train. June will be a training month. National Championships will be in the first week of July. Shelley will be categorized there.There is a pre-national championship training camp. Shelley will go there for the last three days at Bromont Quebec. It was neat to see the Velodome but for trike riders it was not possible. The National coach was able to spend a lot of time with Shelley. He made Shelley realize she does lots of touring on her trike. Now it is time to train. He set her up at a training station indoors. It was good because of her head injury. Having fewer things to worry about, like traffic, is good for her. The coach placed her back trike wheels on two flat trainers. The front wheel was stabilized.
Now able to watch Shelley. The coach sat and watched Shelley. He noticed because of her brace that one leg is longer than the other. A dead spot is present when she is pedaling with her right leg. The orthotist and mechanical team are currently trying to figure out what to do. A new brace may not be an option. Perhaps a different length crank arm or a block placed on the pedal to make her leg longer.This will be done after Shelley returns from Canadian Cycling Championships.
The Canadian cycling road championships begin July 1. Shelley will go there for Categorization. To find out of she is a CP1 or CP2 athlete. Shelley needs to train so she wont be racing at Nationals this year.
Went to Defi Sportif and Trike raced. I came in first for the first Road Race . Second for the Time Trial and Second for the second Road Race. No categorization to find out what group of riders I should be in was done. There was no time given to me being a female competing against males. No credit was given to me for having a UCI legal trike.
The Quebec Cup race was a learning experience. I was able to do all of the hills except the last one. My right leg gave out and could not pedal at such a steep angle. I have learned that I need more hours on my race trike. My goal is to do lots of riding in June to prepare for the Canadian Championships in the beginning of July.
The next event I will be in will be the opening parade at the Toronto Bike Criterium. We hopefully will feature all the good things about UCI Trike Riding. Show everyone the first UCI Trike built in Ontario and the first rider from Ontario.
The Criterium was a great experience. Refer to the page about it. The Toronto Star also helped people learn about Trike Racing. We made many people in Ontario aware of triking.
Jamie Meikle, President George A. Wright & Son Ltd has done a fabulous job. He has coordinated the production of the first UCI Regulated Trike in Ontario. His production centre malted the frame and trike conversion kit together. Derek Baker coordinated getting parts from various stores and sources. Jamie is busy installing the parts and is busy measuring the bike to make sure it conforms to UCI 2009 Standards.
The Race Trike will be ready to take to Race in Montreal May 1,2,3 at Defi Sportif. Shelley has been working hard on her fitness. Feeling stronger and happier she is ready to race. It will be the first time in eight years she has entered a race outside of Ontario. Shelley has the per-race jitters.
This month we had a trike conversion kit freshly imported from Longstaff in the UK . We had help to secure a new Cervelo Team Soloist Frame. The two pieces will be malted together. We still need parts to finish this project. Hopefully the bike stores we have approached and the LapDogs will be able to help us out.
Shelley now has a new triking coach from Milton, Ian McLean. He runs the company IMFit www.IMFIT.ca
February 5, 2009 a Trike conversion kit was ordered from Longstaff Cycle in London England. We are waiting for its delivery on February 27. In the meantime I went to Dukes Cycle shop and the fitted me on a Cervelo bike frame. Time to set up a meeting to figure out what happens next in Trike building. The Mechanical team is more familiar with those items than I am.
After a month long beurocratic battle Shelley with the fantastic help of many different team members she now has the UCI racing license. It was not easy but Shelley used her creativity to make what she never ever thought would ever happen again truly happen. Shelley is a trike rider and is part of the cycling community. She can now race and be a respected competor.
Shelley is now a respected competor with a UCI race liscence. Now all that is needed is a race trike. Next months project!
Echoed across my mind was the question where am I going to get a race trike.. Together with the mechanical team we started investigating. Trying to figure out where we could buy a light weight trike was a challenge. Was there a full trike or a conversion kit available? It was a time of research. Our goal is to have a trike by April 1, 2009.
We took the tandem bike to Key West Florida for a week and a half. Rode the bike all over town. It was a nice way to see everything and still be exercising. We toured places where cars were not allowed. Magnificent views I was able to see with a bike.
November and December 2008
Was riding outdoors until November 20. On November 20 I rode home from University of Toronto in the snow. For the rest of November and December I followed my offseason fitness program. I still rode a bike on an indoor trainer. I got to watch reruns of ER.
Reviewed off season fitness program and still tried to ride. Riding in the warmest part of the day I seemed to run into Lapdogs. That was nice, seeing people that I knew on the bike trail.
We took the tandem bicycle to the Prince Edward County Marathon. I was permitted to enter as a wheeled athlete. I never thought I would be permitted in a marathon so winning my category was really nice.
The provincial time trials were next on my list. The OCA allowed me to enter. The race was in the community of Platteville which is not far off from Kitchener. I was permitted to have a safety rider. I was permitted to pre-ride the race on Saturday. That really made me feel like a racer once again. Then I registered for the race and bought a one day race license.
The curve in the road was steep. It went to the left and was steep down to the middle of the road. I had to ride on the high side of the pavement and had to steer right. If I went left I would have gotten into the incline, perhaps on one wheel. It would have been dangerous.
The race course setters are not aware of how to make the race course for trike riders. They are not aware of how trikes are set up and how they ride. Oh well…
On Sunday September 14, I was the first rider to start. The younger kids were next and they just flew by me. I had a rider for safety purposes so we rode as a team. Having pre-rode the course yesterday I had an idea of what was to come.
The wind was in my face going to the turn around mark. I had the wind on my back when I returned. It made going up hills easy. I rode an average of 15.1 km/hr. At 10 km the normal time trial distance – 44 min. At 15 km the time trial distance for all other categories I completed it in 59 min,
It was tricky riding around on the twisty road near the end. We decided that I would stay up near the white line painted on the road and follow it. That made riding around the curve much easier.
It felt good to finish the race. I was given a medal. Great to be included in a race sanctioned by the OCA
With the untiring help of the Duke’s Cycle team the trike was finally ready. On a cold windy, rainy afternoon I reached a top speed of 22 km/hr. I was able to ride faster than previously and was able to do sprints. I returned to hopes of true bike racing.
The bike was taken to Toronto Island and I rode it around. It was difficult to ride it up a hill. I am still learning how to ride a non recumbent trike. Then I started riding the race trike at Leslie Street spit.
Chico, who I know from Mountain biking, lent me a tandem bicycle. It allowed me to keep up on rides with the Lapdogs Cycling club. It really helped me feel a member of the cycling club I now belonged to.
Calgary was the next place I went for a trike training camp. It was really beneficial in a number of ways. I was able to learn quite allot about riding my trike. Learned how to race effectively in a time trial I also learned what to do and what I can not do. For 10 km I rode 17.1 km/hr. in 35.27 min. Excellent for only having ridden the race trike for two weeks. I will need to get fitter and faster. The Ex-Paraolympic coach felt that I had the determination and capability to go to the London Paraolympic games.
The loaner racing trike needed a lot of work before I was able to ride it. The first time I rode it the rear wheels shook so much I almost fell off. The rear axel had to be removed and machined, the brakes adjusted, the gears repaired, the seat and handlebar height adjusted to suit my body frame and height.
May and June 2008
Wanting to participate in official Canadian trike racing I called the Ontario Cycling Association to ask about trike racing. They knew nothing. Had the name and number of the Paralympic Cycling Coach for the Athens games. He was no longer the coach but was very helpful.
I learned of Road Nationals in St. Georges de Beauce Qc. It was on June 27-29, 2008. There I met a trike athlete. We switched shoes and trikes to ride around. I was comfortable on an UCI Trike.
It was great to be in a bike racing environment once again. After having a head injury I never thought that would ever be possible again. After asking the Quebec Federation for the loan of an UCI trike, they said yes come pick it up at Olympic Stadium.
After picking the trike up I brought it home to Toronto. Took time to think about triking and what races I wanted to go in realizing that I need help. Talked to my cycling friends and began to build a team. One that could help me realize all my hopes and dreams.
Shelley went and was able to learn allot. Both the National Team Paracycling Coach and his assistant spent quite a bit of time with her. From trycycle set up to training routines it was learned. It seemed that trike racing is new to everyone.
For Canada’s paracycling Coach who has delt with the differences of able-bodied and disabled cyclists. Shelley a triker presented interesting challenges.
The coach was able to problem solve and take Shelley from touring on her trike to training on her trike. He also made sitting on her trike much more comfortable. Her reaised her seat and handlebar 4 inches.
The Coach watched Shelley pedalling. He noticed that with Shelley’s current leg brace one leg is longer than the other. While pedalling, there is a dead zone where she has to stop pedalling not to fall off the seat. Hopefully something can be done. There is now alot for the medical and mechanical teams to do.
Defi Sportif 2009 -Road Race: 3 laps, 13.2 km – 49:36 min.
Last weekend’s – Circuit: 1 hr 30 min;18.65 km/hr, HR 125-158 6 laps
Shelley feels good to be able to achieve such numbers. Hard work is rewarded! Thanx Everyone!