Monday, December 14, 2015

The Last Aid Station Interview on Mountain Bike Radio

Here is the link:

On that blistering hot day back in August, when I was racing the Maah Daah Hey 100, a gentleman racer held up a cattle gate, allowing me to ride through first.  I would never have thought crossing paths with Steve Hamlin during a race in North Dakota would lead to an interview on Mountain Bike Radio.  I don't remember Steve as he remembers me, but I DEFINITELY remember his wife, Lynn. With temperatures hitting 100 degrees, no shade, and just shy of becoming a heat casualty, she filled my Camelbak with ice out of her cooler.  I could have cried, if I wasn't so dehydrated.

And so I got a FB message last week, asking if I would care to give an interview.  Well hells yeah, I would.  I have enjoyed listening to Mountain Bike Radio (MBR) over the past year or so, in particular The Last Aid Station and JRA.  Never having had an opportunity like this, and being the "A" type personality, I had Steve send me a list of questions we would cover.  Despite doing some homework, when the interview started, my mind was in "Speedy Gonzalez" mode, but what came out of my mouth seemed more like "Porky Pig" speech.  (At least that is what it seemed upon reflection afterwards.)

So, being "Mrs. Perfect", I feel inclined to clarify a few things.

On the topic of the pushing more women to get involved in the sport, I feel that if anyone one group is particulary responsible, it is we (other women) who need to encourage and support women's growth.  And not necessarily pushing them into racing.  If we can show our ladies a great time on the trail through local bike shop group rides and industry-backed women's programs like Bell Joy Ride and Rebecca Rusch's SRAM Gold Rush Tour, then there is going to be a gradual and ever increasing trickle over to the racing aspect of mountain biking.  If we can create more women's cycling groups like Sorella and Velo Vixens, then the camaraderie will grow and with it more entries into races as we like to have the friendship and support of others when tackling a course, be it a 9 mile XC loop or an all day epic adventure into the wilderness.

On the subject of field size, since I haven't participated in alot of "mainstream" races such as the NUE series or the regional XC series, I have not seen any significant growth.  More often that not, I am lining up with only 3-5 other women.  Having said that, in the races that fall under NUE's umbrella or those that have a festival like weekend associated with it, I do believe the numbers have increased since I entered the sport more than a decade ago.

What would I have done differently 10 years ago?  Better nutrition, listening to my body ... and taken a skills camp or two.  Anyone can "ride" a bike, but to "handle" the bike and make you a better rider, there are a lot of skills than need to be learned the correct way.  Having taken two skills camps this year, I have learned so much and had to retrain my way of riding and handling my steed.  The result is that I have become faster and more confident.

Thanks for listening!