Racing comes easy for some people, I am not one of those people. A few years ago I broke my pelvis badly as the result of a crash on a group ride. I was on bed rest for 2 weeks and crutches for 3 months. I missed the entire CX season that year and basically had to relearn to ride a bike.
Since then riding in a pack has been more of a mental challenge for me. I used to be fearless and now I’m cautious. Gaining the courage just to get back out there and go on large group rides was a struggle. I raced track last year, but my main goal was to not die. Most races I’d hang out on a wheel I trusted and just aim to survive. I came back this season to face my fear and become stronger both physically and mentally on the track.
For the first season ever our team had sponsorship and the funding to pay for 100% of racing and training thanks to Thomas Forsyth, Wabi Cycles, and team fundraisers. The whole team went to Encino’s race school in March and attended as many weekly training sessions and clinics as we could. Having the team out there training together kept the energy up. We improved together and learned to race with each other instead of against each other.
Monday night sessions with Stefan taught me so much about riding and racing the track safely as well as kicking my ass on a weekly basis. I started to feel noticeably stronger every week. By the time spring racing started at Encino in April I was more confident on the track than I had ever been. I was ready to race not just sit in. I started instigating attacks not just responding to them. For the first time I was actually having fun out there racing.
12 omniums later I’m a much smarter, stronger, and braver racer. I even surprised myself with a few individual race wins (wtf how did I win a Keirin?! ) and my first Omnium win. I honestly never thought I’d stand on that top step ever at the track. I still have a ton to learn, but this season was a great start.
Season highlights were winning the miss n out one night with all my friends screaming in the crowd
The womxns field at Encino
And these Skinsuits
But my absolute favorite part about track racing, is and always will be the camaraderie. The womxn that race track are so amazing. We rip rip each others legs off, scream at each other in the race, fight each other for wheels but in-between omnium races we chill hard in the in-field sharing snacks and laughs.
My true love is still Cyclocross but track has a special place in my heart now that I never thought it would.
This season of the SoCal Fixed Series, was the best season I have had racing the series. I was able to accomplish my race goals of placing in the top 3 overall of the series and Win the final race. I was also able to overcome mental blocks, work on improving my weaknesses, and learned how to communicate and work with my teammate.
Photo by @hugelandmass
Most of the season I was racing with self-doubt. I would see who I was racing against and automatically box myself into "I am not going to place well today because these other racers are stronger than me." I also would psych myself out by getting nervous about the things I knew I was not good at.
Photo by @Jonathan_1025
Towards the last few races I was sick of not doing as well as I wanted to. I started pushing myself harder mentally and physically in the races and started to see an improvement. Then I decided to practice on skills that I was not as strong in. We naturally want to stick with things we are good at. It is often scary to work on things we are not confident in. The only way to get better is to work on improving the things that make us uncomfortable.
Photo by @Jonathan_1025
Last but not least I want to thank my teammate Ana. In the last race Ana helped me get 1st place. I know if she did not race that day I could not have done it without her. #fuckyeahwomenracebikes