Dirt Bike Girl Adventures Northeast 24hr Team Member
KRISTINA ZMUDA…(in her own words)
Dirt Bike Girl Adventures CEO, Crew Chief, Team Rider, Ms. Nancy Sabater went
above and beyond to bring together a group of women to share this 24HR adventure and create some amazing memories that will last a lifetime. Our crew chief Sabater, had iced water, tons of Nature’s Bakery 100% Natural Fig Bars, fresh fruit, cupcakes (totally a pick‐me‐up a few hours in!), set‐up our pits, and had all the corners covered for the team to just show up and be ready to ride! She even made these crazy foam fingers with painted finger nails with motivational sayings that I think all the racers enjoyed, specially my favorite man Tim Nienow racing on our neighbors team.
Most of us women had no idea who we’d be meeting up with. But that is half the fun. My theory is if there is a girl who wants to ride a dirt bike, I am 110% sure I will totally get along and have a good time with her! Saturday morning before the race we all had a chance to meet, check out each other’s awesome rides/setups, and discuss our plan and how awesome the next 24HRs together was going to be!
FOUR UMBRELLA GIRLS‐ I was the lucky rider who had the pleasure of having 4 umbrella girls on the line before the race….now that is a new one for me! It was awesome to have the support, smiles, and encouragement at the start of the race. The team got lucky and got the hole shot…which meant NO DUST! The first lap was really feeling out the course and terrain how the bike moved around and underneath you. I found out fairly fast it was some silky silky dirt and I took a dirt sample a few miles in and took the bars to my stomach. The second lap went a little better and I was super excited to come into the pits and hand off the baton (Velcro strap) to Heidi. Each girl did awesome going out and doing their 2 laps. It’s always tricky jumping in the middle of the race not knowing if a ton of fast guys are about to pass you or who you will be riding by leaving the pits. I was super proud of each teammate doing 2 laps a piece in the dusty conditions!!
The race started like any other race…..just….it kept going…and going…and never stopped. So at first it was just like any other race….and not until 6‐8 hours in did it really start to feel like a 24HR race. The hardest 2 laps I had to ride were the transition between daylight and nighttime. It was very hard for your eyes to adjust from light in the field sections to dark in the woods. The night got really tough, really fast. I am sure all riders out there would agree. Although the conditions absolutely sucked, black dusty cloud with barely any visibility at times. I did my best to say to myself, “Just try to find ANYTHING to focus on a tree, corner, rut whatever is coming up next instead of the dust or negative thoughts.” This really helped to keep me and the bike moving forward and mentally moving forward as well. On top of that I would remind myself “When else are you going have this awesome opportunity with these ladies? These bad conditions and race will be over before you know it so push through! “ By far my favorite thought was “Hey, it’s 3AM and I’m riding my dirtbike!!!…lol” and I was so tired I did literally laugh out loud!
The awesome part of the night riding was the moon. There was a huge glowing moon at certain parts of the course if you weren’t getting blown by left in dust. It was quite spectacular to see the moon while out there.
In the pits it was great waiting for your turn to go back out because we were all “funny‐tired”. No matter what we said or did we pretty much just laughed way to much over it. (Except the foam fingers… For the record I never laughed once at those fingers or made fun of them.) When it was time to go back out some Monster & Midol is pretty much what kept me going. Yes, I am being honest it’s the M&M special that can get you through any tough race (of course after eating all the right macro nutrients and electrolyte drinks)! You laugh now until you try it next time…..
Soon the sun was rising and I would say this was my FAVORITE part of riding throughout the 24 Hrs. It was awesome to see it getting more and more light out. What was even cooler was the lighter out it got, the more and more fast you started to ride and it felt like you were flying compared to night riding! I did a few laps in the early morning and the team then carried us from there to the finish line.
All the ladies did an amazing job of figuring out where they could contribute on and off the bikes to get through the 24HR and that is what is the most important on a team. Just as the conditions of the course changed and lighting changed, we had to adjust as a team and come up with a plan. This is my favorite part of team events; you have to do what works best for your teammates and team. I was honored to start the race out and ride a few extra laps at night. And I truly enjoyed watching each teammate go out to ride and then they’d come back to the pits super excited about riding and talking away about the course and how they did.
If you ever have the chance…GO RACE A 24HR RACE….you won’t regret it!!!!
FULL DISCLOSURE: Yummy – Cupcakes were provided by Samantha and Roman Kilgore – they were Husqvarna blue and yellow! 🙂