About Sara

Sara Byers is a Elite Canadian Provincial and National Champion in road and track cycling. Based in Niagara and racing with
Kallisto-FCV p/b Toyo Tires (Forest City Velodrome) and Canada's National Sprint Team, upcoming goals include
2015 Pan Am Championships, Track World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympics.

Monday, 23 February 2015

A Sense of Community. Milton is the Place to Be

So, Canada has a world class velodrome, and it's an hour away from my home! Besides racing, I've been at the Cisco Milton Pan Am Velodrome for two sprint training sessions and a fast pace drop in, and it's been awesome!!

By far the joy that stands out for me is the new friendship that this hub of activity brings. Each time there I've thought, 'Who are all these people and where did they come from?'. It's dead middle of our harshest winter and here I am surrounded in riders, it's warm, I'm riding fast and I'm actually going somewhere.. with wind in my hair and everything! Traditionally, winter for cyclists means many solitary hours on a stationary trainer in a garage, or long lonely drives to FCV for training.

Thankfully the right people fell into place at the Milton track to foster a remarkably welcoming environment. It must be the nature of the sport.. we have a small field of athletes and we care for each other because group safety depends on everyone being responsible, predictable, aware and engaged with their surroundings. It doesn't hurt that up to now in Ontario we've had Rob Good and FCV as our lead and example for all things track. Steve Bauer was the perfect choice for Milton, sharing the same values.

It will take some patience to wait through the initial flood memberships and certifications (over 700 within the first month I've heard), and then the raison d'etre, the Pan Am Games. I'm looking forward to incorporating the track into my regular training as the schedule evolves. Seeing my friends and fellow riders take on their new roles working as coaches, mechanics and commissaires has been amazing. Rolling up to the start at Nationals felt like 'This is Your Life' with all of my mentors in sport right there! I had high hopes for Milton but never could have imagined what a centre for the cycling community it would turn out to be, and this is just the very beginning.