Monday, January 25, 2010

So you wanna be a bike racer -- Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown
Category 4, Masters 65-70
Years racing: 3

It was never my intention to race a bicycle when I asked for a bike for my 65th birthday 3 winters ago.  I just wanted something pretty nice to ride to Wal-Mart 8 miles away and use my basket to carry home a few purchases.  Riding to see some of my farm wife friends with-in a 10 mile radius and just enjoy the nice summer days.  Yes, that was my intention.

It was my daughter, Sydney, who first suggested that I  should try racing in a couple of CX races that first fall.  At first I thought she was really out of her mind. An old lady racing?  How could that be? And when I mentioned racing to my friends there was not a single one that didn’t roll her eyes heaven ward and ask me if I really wanted to do that sort of thing. Well, I did half-heartedly train and won a National Championship Jersey in CX at Kansas City that December. I was the only one in my class, but I still had to ride/walk the course.

With renewed interest and my competitive spirit fired up I started 2008 with more determination. Since then I have raced enough to get a large handful of medals and now have 3 bikes.  A personal trainer, two new pairs of shoes, new saddle, Power tap, etc, etc have now invaded my chef cook and bottle washer/housekeeper/babysitter/
play the organ for church/gardening life. Doing my workout is one of the top 3 things I try to do each day.

There is something magical about riding a bike.  I no longer get speeding tickets, because I can get the same thrill by screaming down hill on my bike. I really enjoy the sweat running off during a good hard work out.   The satisfaction you get when you finish a race or a work out  knowing that you gave it everything you had in the tank is completely unexplainable.  
I do not necessarily race to beat anyone except myself. Can I focus the whole time?  Will I remember the game plan? When it begins to hurt will I have the “quitzies” or will I fight through to the finish?  Will I finish well? 
I want to finish well.  Not just in a bike race, but in this race of life. I helped bury my dear brother, Glenn in December of 09. Cancer took his life, but through it all he finished well. When he was young and wrestling with his brothers he would never say “give”.  He was a fighter to the finish.  This is my goal when I race.  Fight to the finish, never say “I give“.  And oh, the exhilaration when the race is over! The satisfaction. It is all worth it.  Give it a try!


MG said...

Right on, Nancy. You rock! I've always loved your attitude, and reading your post really brought it home for me. I've been racing bicycles for 20 years now and have been through the entire gamut of emotions, from the "racing defines me" stage, to now, where I simply race because I love to ride my bike fast and push myself hard with my friends on a Saturday afternoon. Good stuff...

Thanks again Nancy,

ricksanders said...

Great post, Nancy. The perspective you express so well is why you are racing bikes. To paraphrase: "Never give up, enjoy the ride and finish well" Glenn would be proud.

elisabeth said...