“80% of success is showing up.” ~Woody Allen
This past weekend we travelled to Kicking Horse BC for our fourth and final race this month, the Western Open/BC Provincial Champs. This is one of those tracks that isn’t easy – it’s steep with long smooth rock faces, lots of exposed roots and a massive pedal to the finish line. It usually takes me a few runs to “feel it” but once I get there it turns into a whole lot of fun! We lucked out this year in terms of conditions – 2 days of rain prior to practice meant some tacky dirt that almost held up all the way till race day. And although a bit chilly on Friday and Saturday, the sun showed up for race day and brought the heat.
So there was something a bit different about this race. I don’t know why, but there was a noticeable shortage of female competitors, not only in the Pro/Elite category, but in every other category as well. Altogether there were four brave women who came out to race the gnar, each in their own category. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been the only competitor in my category at a race, but it was the first time it’s happened at a race of this level of significance. I know there are lots of other female rippers out there, some who race and couldn’t be there and some who don’t race. I understand that racing isn’t for everyone and I wouldn’t ever want to push someone to race if they’re not comfortable with it, but if there are girls out there who have hummed and hawed about it – I say GO FOR IT! Racing will challenge you, push you to be a better rider, give you the opportunity to ride in new places and meet some incredible people. There is nothing more exhilarating than conquering that section you didn’t think you could… except maybe crossing the finish line at the end of it all! And the best part of all is that you don’t have to win the race to accomplish goals and have a blast. I have learned something from every single race I’ve gone to, whether it be about biking or about myself, and in that respect I consider every race a success. Woody Allen is onto something… but I digress.
Practice went well and before I knew it it was time for seeding. A flat tire half way down made for a very slow run but gave me a good excuse not to have to sprint the long pedal to the finish line. ;) Thankfully things went much better in my race run and other than some minor mistakes made it down with a decent time. I surprised myself in the start gate before my race run – I didn’t think I’d be nervous but those pre-race jitters still snuck up on me. A race is still a race, and even if you’re not competing against anyone else the clock is still ticking.
When all was said and done Stephen Exley, the mastermind behind the Dunbar Summer Series events, did an excellent job of recognizing each of the women who raced and even awarded me with a sweet new Momentum watch for being the fastest female! I still got my champagne podium and a giant cheque and now have the official title of Provincial Champ and the jersey to match. To honour the reason these races began in the first place I donated half of my winnings to Stephen’s daughter Lola – check out his website Love for Lola.
Thanks to Danielle Baker for taking so many amazing photos! She also did a great write up on pinkbike covering the race weekend. And as always, big thanks to all my supporters who make all these wonderful things possible: OGC, Intense, TLD, Fox Racing Shox, Suspensionwerx, ODI, MRP, Thomson.