Naked Women's Racing Blog

Race reports, training tips, and our ladies' lives on two wheels.

That Voice Inside Your Head

The last time Amanda had pre-race nerves she ended up crashing out of a TT.  At Turkey Cross the nerves were back but she was able to perform and obtain her best result of the season.   

Those who know me well know that it is extremely rare for me to get nervous about racing. The last time I was nervous, the race did not end well (crash in a TT). So why did I race when my intuition was directing me to avoid it at all costs? Because sometimes intuition is wrong and thankfully today was one of those days.

I was, in fact, so nervous that I refused to ride down one steep descent during preride. Normally these things would not cause a moment of hesitation but today was different. When I started pre-riding I came upon the aftermath of a crashed rider, his broken leg and him being med evacuated.  During the pre-ride, the first steep downhill I was talked into riding and it was not bad at all (thank you Shawn Curry and Paul McCarthy). The second downhill was another story, no one could convince me to preride it. So against my better judgement I lined up with 15 other ladies to race, without pre-riding much of this technical course.
So here we are in the story– I am scared, no warm up, half a preride and the race is about to begin on a gravel straight away. I knew that running the descents was much more dangerous than riding them and somehow I would need to ride them in the race. So my plan was to try to get the hole shot and see what happens, maybe I would just blindly follow a wheel down the hills. Whistle blew…wrong gear. Shifted quickly down to a harder gear, gritted my teeth and went for it as the start was gravel to a few off camber turns and then directly to the first steep downhill. As I came down the decline, I could not be more surprised that I was sitting second wheel and the leader and I broke off from the rest of the ladies. The rest of the lap consisted of steep run ups that had some racers sliding back down with no clear footholds, off camber turns, lots of tight turns, more ups and downs and then the second steep descent into slippery mud.
I held second place most of the race giving it my all and then on the last lap, Terri Smith caught me.  We played cat and mouse for the rest of the lap, passing each other four times. She opened  a small gap near the end and I gave everything I had to catch her. Then just before the last turn before the finish, she bunny hopped the logs sealing my fate to come in third behind her second place finish.
Finally I had a great start and the technical course favored my bike handling skills to help me reach my first podium of the season.  It was a great race with lots of fun spectators and I am glad that I did not listen to the pesky scared voice today.