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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Another Way To The Podium

I can never get enough podium appearances, no matter how small the event or how few people are watching. I don't care if it's from beating some 11 year olds in the Shimano kids’ race or dominating the worst-dressed contest. I’ll bust a gut to get up on that podium and beam the gushingest smile I can conjure.

I even agree to give public speeches despite being terrified of public speaking. As long as they let me stand on some kind of little podium.

A couple weeks ago my team director Paul McKenzie called and asked me if I wanted to present the Clif Bar green sprinter’s jersey at the Tour of California. This was the highest profile road stage race ever to go through California, and boasted an international field.

“…and the stage finishes in your town, San Luis Obispo.” Paul explained. “The podium is going to be right near the…”

“Well, YEAH!”, I blurted out before he could finish his sentence. “I mean, yes, I’d be honored to present the ‘Green” Clif Bar jersey. As long as I can kiss the rider of course. I’ve never kissed a roadie before.”

On race day, the streets of San Luis Obispo were packed. I ran into a bunch of friends, but was a little distracted from checking to make sure my outfit was suitable and glancing over at the crowds surrounding the podium. Aren’t they supposed to give me some kind of lessons on this jersey presentation?

There I was, 7 months pregnant and standing on the top of the podium at a world class bike race. The crowd was roaring, photographers flashing, and ESPN recording. I felt a wave of emotion swell up from my already swollen belly, and I felt my arms rise up in unabashed triumph.

This could be a dream I thought.

But it’s not! It’s real!!

Then, I slapped my arms down where they belonged. I wasn’t the winner.

But, at least now I had some small clue how it must have felt for Haedo, the stage winner, and Floyd Landis, the overall Tour of California winner. And all my other roadie heroes...

marla streb
Marla on the podium with Haedo. Photo by Paul McKenzie

And I also got to finally kiss one.


Squirrel said...

Marla your so damn funny, kick'n the 11yr olds for podium time. LOL
I'm here to ask for some pics. of your kick ass SS championship tatt's, I've started a cycling tattoo fliker on my own blog and would love to have your tatt's there, or anybody elses cycling tatt's for that matter. Thanks


10:46 AM  
Eddie O said...

Congrats on kissing a roadie and the pregnancy.

Eddie O
...of Hellride fame ;)

12:31 PM  
Glibbidy said...

that's so badd-ass dude!

8:50 PM  
Anonymous said...

I wrote & copyrighted a screenplay about a female mtn bike racer. It was read last week by a producer in Hollywood. Do you want to read it?

11:14 AM  
marla streb said...

Hey Squirrel

Remind me and I'll send you a photo for your blog-

4:38 PM  
Anonymous said...

It was cool to see you up there on the podium in SLO. We were down on Monterey St. hooting and hollering! Hope you get to do it again next year! :)


1:09 PM  
abbie said...

Hey Marla!

I'm Pregnant and need some advice. Considering I haven't told any of my cycling crew yet, I am having a hard time getting ahold of you! You know me for sure, I have been racing Pro XC MTB for a couple of years now and I was in PA at the Single Speed Championship. Blah blah blah... Anyway... email me at I would love some advice!!

12:20 PM  

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