My name is Carrie and I’ll be the first to tell you I am not the fastest racer out there. In fact, I’m down right slow. However, I am faster than the gal that is riding the couch. For the past three years, I have been racing enduro mountain bike races and having the time of my life! They challenge my mental and physical strengths and allow me to travel to beautiful places and meet new people.
Before racing my first enduro, my daughter and I signed up for our first VIDA clinic. We learned so much in such a short amount of time, such as having the correct body position, perfecting our corning techniques, and gaining more confidence in drops and jumps. We were really excited about putting our new skills to work not just only in racing, but everyday riding too. These are skills for life!
For those who have never raced enduro, here are some fun facts:
- The format is a time-trial— you race the clock after dropping in on your own, typically with 30-60 seconds on each side to chase and be chased.
- There are typically untimed climbing transitions during the race, where you have time toget to know your fellow ladyshredders.
- After each stage, you get to talk about the challenges with other racers.
- Post-race, there is usually tasty food and well-earned beers available.
- Since everyone completes the same course, you can compare your times with the pros.
Basically there is a bunch of camaraderie and high-fives circulating around!
During the year, I try to practice yoga at least once a week to maintain my flexibility. One of my teachers mentioned in class, you are stronger than you think which is so true! I kept those words close to me throughout the weekend of the Big Mountain Enduro at Crested Butte. My Stage 1 was incredibly challenging: for starters, it rained all evening which made the roots like ice and the trails were coated in mud. Secondly, my fitness was not up to par, since my workload increased and my ride time decreased the month prior to racing. Thirdly, I was by myself for the climb, which seems to wreak havoc on my mental stability.
There was an aid station at the bottom of Stage 1, and by then I was wiped out. Everything seemed to hurt, especially my pride. When I saw my friends, and fellow VIDA Ambassadors, Tricia and Mia happy and helping fellow racers, I was envious. I wanted that energy and positive attitude. I proceeded to take off my pack and rest for what felt like a long time. As I was recovering, I noticed other racers coming up to the aid station with actual issues: a junior boy crashed and broke his helmet, another racer was dehydrated.
As I pondered my current situation, I realized my pain is temporary and I can continue if I just change my attitude. By this point in the race, the junior girls started arriving and I just loved the smiles on their faces! After they hydrated, I geared up and rode with them for the two remaining stages of the day. The girls got me through that day, and I am forever grateful for that. I owned my ride and ended up winning my category for what was the hardest day on the bike!