My First Mountain Bike Race by Coreen Wright, Tough Girl Cycling
I think for me, my first mountain bike race was the most memorable. I had a positive experience that kept me coming back for more. Unlike running races, which I was more accustom to, mountain bike racing has some variety to the race, you get to go fast! Like faster than running. When I first arrived at the race, I was a little nervous. I
just didn’t want to be last. I signed up as beginner in the 40-49 year old group. Yeah, my first race was when I was 40. My concerns, as you can imagine were crashing, and of course hitting a tree or something crazy like that. I didn’t have the easiest time when I first started riding…I crashed a lot. Thankfully, with patience and perseverance, my husband didn’t give up on me and so I kept on riding.
I remember the announcer yelling “GOOOOOOO” in the loud speaker and racers taking off. That was kind of scary. I wasn’t sure what to expect after that but I was about to find out. So we were off and my heart was pounding out of my chest. I tried to relax and calm down but the rest of the start was a blur. I finally recovered on the downhill and from then on it was a blast. What was so fun about the race, were the other racers. We had conversations along the way and through the struggles together of pushing up a climb or going over a scary edge we encouraged each other along and I felt like we knew one another. Passing on the trails was easier than I expected and if you communicated well it made it safer for all. We were all in it together.
I liked the feeling of being in the forest and surrounded by trees and fresh air with single track beneath my tires. I had a hunch I would be doing this again. Mountain biking quickly became a lot more fun. Racing brought a whole new aspect to my riding. It’s the one thing that makes me feel like a kid again.