10 years since my first DH race!
Way back in May 2004 I randomly decided to have a go at Downhill MTB racing. I had done a bit of DH riding, and wanted to meet more girls who rode. I had only ridden with one other female.
So, I packed up my Norco A-line DH bike in the back of my Pulsar hatch back and went out to Bennetts Forest for the Inside Line MTB Club event.
I don’t remember if I had ridden the track before. I remember pushing the bike to the start line thinking that I just wanted to get down the hill in one piece and enjoy the experience. The track was not very steep and a perfect beginners track. It was a pine forest and there was nothing too frightening on the track. I think I came in last place, but it didn’t matter because I was hooked.
I met some great girls who taught me a lot about riding and keeping race nerves under control. We kept racing together/against each other for years.
Photo: 2004. My bike and I when I first got it. I’m in my work clothes and just wanted to pose for a photo.
May 2004. First race!
My second race was at Fox Creek Long Track. I found some photos while reminiscing. This race was a challenge!
I think there were five of us racing in Elite Women. Myself, Sarah Booth, Julie Harris and Gemma Mayfield. Carol may have had more sense and decided not to race (and get the white socks muddy). The conditions were muddy and a bit more muddy…. It has been raining for days. The race still went ahead. I remember the top part of the track wasn’t too bad, but the bottom section was almost unrideable.
These photos showed how bad it was getting through a section. Once you stopped it was impossible to get momentum again to keep rolling. Your wheels got all clagged up and wouldn’t spin.
I found the results too. Boothy had the skills to keep it rolling, but Julie, Gemma and I really struggled. It took Gemma 21 mins to get down the track! I think she actually went off the course and physically couldn’t lift her bike back onto the track.
Photo: I needed to push my bike up over a kicker… it was exhausting…