Progression of Self and Second Race Jitters

Time is ticking and we are waiting for when we can go register for the Decorah Time Trials.

My riding outfit is chosen, thankfully the weather seems to be cooperating and I will not have to don multiple layers to keep myself semi-warm or a sad attempt at staying dry. The trails might even be pretty alright, but just in case we have "digger" tires on my bike to aid with traction.

The ONLY expectation I have with today is to go out, have fun, and do my best. I have no idea what I will accomplish in terms of climbs. I might be one of two people using flats as well (Josie don't care!...said in same context of that Honeybadger hooplah.)

One question that a friend asked me yesterday is something I feel is good to talk about
 "What made you feel like you could and should give it a shot even though you're not a super-fast, hardcore mountain biker"

You know, I'm not entirely sure.

This was supposed to be my FIRST ever race. However, back in January or February some guy had come into the shop (super nice, by the way) and inadvertently peer pressured me into joining the PWC. As a "new generation woman mountain biker" I feel it's almost my local duty to attend mountain bike events. Competitive streak or not. (Which, my competitive streak is pretty damn small.) I can get riled up, but ultimately I'm not there to "win" I'm there to bring more women into the equation. Something that I know I can do.

PWC was a wonderful event and I experienced the kindness of our local friends who helped me out during some struggles. I met new people, who at first I wasn't sure what I thought of- but ultimately I found them to be rad people and my worries went away.

I'm still very new to the whole "race culture" and I'm sure that there are those who would see me and think I should just stay home. I look at it like mountain biking- I was not a natural. It took me months of hard work and practice to get remotely competent at it. Racing is something I'm not a "natural" with, either. I shouldn't even judge; can I say much of anything when my first race was on half-melted snow?

I'm nervous. I'm excited. I think part of it is a. I have not ridden an event when it's not had snow and b. I have a fascination with the (I guess you could call it) culture.

 There are going to be people that I will see maybe 1-2 more times this year, then it'll be seeing them again EXPERIENCE.
next year with the races. It's almost like a holiday when you get to see the "cool" relatives; even tho there are individuals out there literally racing, there are others who are out to simply experience the

Did I ever think I'd fit in with a sub-culture of biking? Ha! I didn't think I could really ever learn how to mountain bike.
So I guess it shows how much some boundless determination and bullheadedness can get you.

I don't know how I managed to get accepted into a circle of uniquely eclectic people, but you know what? I'm not going to argue. I've been waiting for them probably most of my life and I just didn't quite realize it until now.

Ride on!