Okay, right off the bat I know what a few of you may be thinking. Race, me? You've got to be kidding! I'm not though, that is if you want to improve your mountain bike skills. Say you've worked on some tips, maybe even taken a clinic but you are looking for more. It may be to progress your skills or even just to be in better shape. Signing up for a race can help you with both!
I'll start with my experience. For some it may be on a different level but the end result is similar. This past winter I made the decision to enter a few races in the Enduro World Series. Instead of just going with the first ones on the schedule I made sure to give myself some time to train. I knew they were going to be a lot of work and not something that I should just dive right into. I figured I could start getting on my bike by the end of May which would give me a good chunk of time to train for races in October.
So, I signed up and set my goal to race the EWS this year! Having that commitment on my calendar made it easier for me to focus on what I needed to accomplish to have a successful race. It's also important to remember that one's definition of a successful race can vary. For some it's to win, to be in the top twenty and for others just to finish. Either idea works and it's important to be realistic yet push yourself at the same time. For me my goal for the EWS is to make it into the top twenty. This is a new thing for me because when it comes to skiing my goal is always to win. Enduro racing is a new type of bike racing for me and it comes with lots of learning curves that challenge me. So top twenty is the goal I have set all summer. Since this is a big race I've entered national races in Sweden and Norway to train for my main event. For some those National or even regional races can be your big event that you work towards all summer.
Find a level you feel will challenge you all while having a good time! Remember the most important thing is to have fun and that usually works best when you have trained, no matter what level. While your on the fence about whether or not to sign up for a race here's one more plus- you'll meet other ladies to ride with too! So find a local race today and start training!