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24 HOURS of BRAAP!

TEAM 400

 

2017 NORTHEAST 24 HOUR CHALLENGE RACE REPORT

MY GUY AND I ARRIVED ON THURSDAY TO TRY AND LOCATE A DECENT CAMPING SPOT FOR US AND

Ca$h and Check Only...
Ca$h and Check Only…

BOTH OUR TEAMS. LET’S BE HONEST – TALL PINES IS NOT EASILY NAVIGATED IN A BIG RIG OR BASICALLY ANY TYPE OF CAMPER/TRAILER… THIS ALONG WITH THE PRIOR 6 HOUR DRIVE WOULD START OUR CHALLENGE RACE. A NICE CAPER TO OUR EVENING WAS A RIDE TO DINNER TO A LOCAL OLD SCHOOL DINER CALLED TEXAS HOT ON OUR DUAL SPORTS…TEXAS HOT INDEED.

FRIDAY MY TEAMMATES STARTED TO ARRIVE AND WITH IT MY EXCITEMENT!  HEIDI, AMANDA & SAMANTHA WERE FIRST – WE JOINED OUR GUYS AND WENT ON A TRACK WALK – WE KNEW WE’D HAVE SOME SLICK HILLS TO TRAVERSE AND WE NEEDED A QUICK LOOK AND STUDY. ALL WAS GOING WELL THE SUN WAS SHINING AND WE WERE EVEN TALKING ABOUT HOW THE TRACK WOULD PROBABLY DRY OUT. THEN OUT OF NOWHERE THE CLOUDS GATHERED AND IT HAPPENED… A GOOD OL’ DOWNPOUR ON US RELENTLESSLY FOR ABOUT AN HOUR. WE WERE ALL SOAKED TO THE BONE AND THEN SOMEONE REALIZED SHE HAD LEFT THE VENT ABOVE HER BED OPEN ON HER CAMPER… OOPS!

Splish Splashin!
Splish Splashin!

ONCE WE MADE IT BACK TO OUR CAMPERS WE DECIDED WE WOULD WRING OURSELVES OUT AND MEET AT OUR PIT TO START PLANNING OUR SETUP. DURING THAT TIME OUR TEAMMATE MARINA SHOWED UP – SHE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO RACE BUT SHE PLANNED TO JOIN US FOR SUPPORT AND JUST BASICALLY ANYTHING SHE COULD HELP WITH, SUCH A BLESSING! – A COUPLE WEEKS PRIOR SHE HAD CRASHED HARD ON HER BIKE AND SUFFERED A BROKEN COLLARBONE AND COULDN’T RACE. WE ALSO TOOK THIS TIME TO TEST OUR TRANSPONDER IN THE DIFFERENT RACE CONDITIONS… THIS WAS JUST PLAIN FUN – THEN THE TYPICAL SELFIE BREAK FOLLOWED BY A PROPER TEAM MEETING UNDER THE COVER OF OUR FLY

Private Meeting
Private Meeting

TENT… UNFORTUNATELY OUR ACE, VALERIE WAS STILL IN ROUTE AND IT WAS NEARLY DARK… SHE WAS OUR STARTER, OUR HOLESHOT DEVICE! ONCE SHE ARRIVED OUR TEAM WAS COMPLETE AND NOW JUST REQUIRED SLEEP… TOMORROW OUR EPIC ADVENTURE WOULD BEGIN!

AS I WALKED DOWN TOWARD OUR PIT I NOTICED THE MOST AMAZING SIGHT – OUR AWESOME BLUE FLY RACING TENT WAS DECORATED FROM TOP TO BOTTOM WITH ALL THE GOODIES AMANDA, HEIDI AND I HAD BROUGHT! HEIDI – WHO WAKES BEFORE THE BIRDS START CHIRPING SNUCK TO OUR PIT AND KILLED IT WITH THE PIT DECORATIONS – WE HAD DISCUSSED DOING IT IN THE MORNING – BUT SHE KNEW HOW HECTIC THINGS GET AND SPRINKLED HER FAIRY-DUST  MAKING IT BEAUTIFUL! WE HAD OUR EYE ON THE PRIZE FOR THE *BEST PIT DECORATION CONTEST… AND SHE IS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE!

FLY RACING HOOKED UP THE TEAM IN KINETIC TEAL/YELLOW WOMENS RACE GEAR AND LIMITED DECAL TOOK IT A STEP FURTHER BY ADDING OUR SPONSORS, NUMBER AND NAMES ON OUR RACE

Before we get this beautiful Fly Kinetic Womens Gear Muddy... Lets Take a Team Pic!
Before we get this beautiful Fly Kinetic Womens Gear Muddy… Lets Take a Team Pic!

JERSEYS! WE LOOKED RACE READY FOR SURE! IT WAS TIME TO TAKE SOME PICTURES WHILE WE WERE ALL STILL CLEAN, THEN HEAD TO THE RIDERS MEETING AND THE STARTING LINE FOR THE 10AM START.

THIS YEARS TEAM OF DIRT BIKE LOVING LADIES HAD TO TACKLE SOME OF THE MOST EXTREME MUD THEY’D YET EXPERIENCED ON AN 11 MILE, 24HOUR RACE COURSE.  LOCALS REPORTED THAT IT HAD BEEN RAINING FOR WEEKS PRIOR TO THE RACE.  AT A TYPICAL XC RACE YOU ARE PREPARED TO DEAL WITH THE ELEMENTS THE DIFFERENCE HERE IS THAT THIS IS A 24 HOUR EVENT WHICH MEANS THE COURSE WILL NEED TO BE TRAVERSED FOR…DRUM-ROLL…24 HOURS BY… IN THIS CASE 143 TEAMS! THAT SAID IT’S A SHAME THE COURSE WASN’T DESIGNED WITH THAT IN MIND… THE ELEVATION CHANGES THAT WOULD TYPICALLY BE FINE WERE NOW ROCK WITH A THIN LAYER OF ICING… AKA SLICK MUD… THIS MADE FOR A SLALOM COURSE OF FATIGUED RIDERS OVERNIGHT. THE TRACK CREW HAD TO MAKE MANY CHANGES THROUGHT THE RACE… I’M THANKFUL THAT THEY DID BECAUSE BY ALL ACCOUNTS IT GOT PRETTY NUTTY OVERNIGHT!

 

Valerie ripped the Holeshot!
Valerie ripped the Holeshot!

VALERIE WAS OUR STARTER – SHE WAS SO EXCITED TO GET GOING… THE MUD DIDN’T DISCOURAGE HER EITHER – THAT GIRL LIVES TO RIDE! WE MET HER ON THE LINE – HEIDI HELD HER BIKE WHILE SHE STOOD FACING IT – OUR COMPETITION THE SPUNKYDUNK DAMSELS WERE READY AS WELL… WHEN THE 10 SECOND COUNTDOWN BEGAN CHEERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WERE HEARD FOR BOTH TEAMS – THE GREEN FLAG WAVED AND BOTH GIRLS SPRINTED TO THEIR BIKES – VALERIE KICKED HER 200 KTM FIRST AND WAS GONE… THE RACE WAS ON!

OUR PLAN WAS FOR EACH RACER TO DO 2 LAPS AND SWITCH… VALERIE WAS DOING SOME AWESOME TIMES – ABOUT 37 MINUTES PER LAP! WHEN SHE CAME IN FOR AMANDA TO TAKE OVER SHE WAS BEAMING, SHE LET US KNOW HOW SLICK IT WAS BUT – I THINK SHE COULD HAVE EASILY HANDLED

Valerie powering through the pines!
Valerie powering through the pines!

ANOTHER 2 LAPS. AMANDA TOOK OVER AND BOOGIED DOWN PIT ROAD ON HER KTM 300 AND THEN OFF INTO THE SLICKNESS SHE HANDLED 2 LAPS AND ONCE SHE RETURNED SHE TOLD US ABOUT HOW SHE HAD BEEN SO TEMPTED TO COME IN AFTER THE FIRST LAP…BUT SHE WANTED NO REGRETS

Amanda hammering the course!
Amanda hammering the course!

AND SHE WORKED THROUGH THE DEMONS AND DID THAT SECOND LAP! NEXT UP WAS HEIDI – SHE WAS A BIT NERVOUS BUT STAYED TO PLAN AND WENT OUT ON THE COURSE… SHE HAD AN EVENTFUL FIRST LAP AND DECIDED IT WOULD BE BEST TO BRING IT IN AND SAVE HER SELF BEFORE SHE WRECKED HERSELF… THE TRACK WAS GETTING PRETTY

Heidi with her husband and racer Kenny
Heidi with her husband and racer Kenny

ROUGH. SAMANTHA WAS ON DECK AND READY TO TAKE HER NEW HUQUVARNA 250EXCF TO THE RACE COURSE. THIS WOULD BE HER FIRST RACE ON THE FOUR STROKE AND SHE WAS VERY EAGER TO SEE HOW IT WOULD PREFORM. AFTER 1 LAP SHE ALSO CAME IN AND TOLD ME TO PREPARE MYSELF FOR THE TECHNICAL COURSE AND DON’T TRUST ANY OF THE ROOTS – THEY WOULD SURLY TAKE ME DOWN…  I WAS NERVOUS YET EAGER TO HAVE MY TIME. AS SOON AS I DROPPED INTO THE WOODS I WAS FEELING

Samantha letting me know - The roots will take you down!
Samantha letting me know – The roots will take you down!

GOOD AND GASSED IT BUT JUST AS SOON AS I DID THAT MY FRONT WHEEL PLOWED INTO A BREAKING BUMP AND I THOUGHT I’D BETTER CHILL OUT. THEN THE GRASSY FIELD SECTION THAT FOLLOWED WAS INSANE SLICK WITH TOPSOIL… OFF TO THE ROADS THAT AMANDA MENTIONED BEING SO SLICK HER BACK END KEPT TRYING TO COME AROUND ON HER. I MANAGED OKAY WITH THAT AND WAS ACTUALLY HAVING FUN EVEN ON THE TECHNICAL ROOTY SECTIONS AND LOVED THE INFAMOUS “MATRIX” – OF COURSE I HAD A COUPLE CLOSE CALLS BUT IT WASN’T UNTIL I CAME UPON A STEEP DOWNHILL THAT LEAD TO A RIGHTHAND TURN INTO THE CREEK THAT I REALLY STARTED

Marina stuck by her team and helped us with scoring and pictures.. simply whatever! She was awesome!
Marina stuck by her team and helped us with scoring and pictures.. simply whatever! She was awesome!

TO FOCUS ON THOUGHTS OF DOING THIS AT NIGHT. I WATCHED OTHER RACERS MAKE THEIR WAY DOWN THE HILL EVEN GOT TO WATCH LISSA ALDAKIMOV AS SHE SO SMOOTHLY MADE THE DECENT BUT I HAD JUST COME FROM A ROUGH SECTION OF INSANLY SLICK ROOTS, DEEP HOLES AND RUTS THAT WERE EXTREMELY CHALLENGING FOR ME AND HAD THIS EXCHANGE WITH A COURSE

Amanda's husband and pit-tootsie Ryan hooked up her Task lights for the upcoming night portion of the race.
Amanda’s husband and pit-tootsie Ryan hooked up her Task lights for the upcoming night portion of the race.

MARSHALL ON A 4 WHEELER… I RODE UP TO HIM PRIOR TO SETTING OFF TOWARDS A MUD HOLE AND SAID “MAN – THIS COURSE IS REALLY CRAZY FOR A 24 HOUR – I MEAN ITS REALLY SOMETHING NOW, I CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE AT 3AM!” HIS RESPONSE “WELL THIS ISN’T FOR EVERYONE” MY RESPONSE “WELL YOU HAVE CLASSES FOR EVERYONE – SO IT SHOULD BE” OFF I WENT TO COMPLETE MY LAP WHICH TOOK 1:17…YIKES! I THOUGHT ABOUT TAKING ANOTHER LAP ESPECIALLY SINCE IT WAS STILL LIGHT OUT BUT I THOUGHT IT MADE MORE SENSE TO LET VALERIE GET BACK AT IT WITH HER SPEED AND ENTHUSIASM!… OUR ROTATION HAD SOME ADJUSTMENTS AS WE WENT TO ADAPT TO THE CONDITIONS – THINGS WERE MOVING ALONG PRETTY WELL.

Samantha after her night lap...
Samantha after her night lap…

ONCE THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF NIGHT TIME HIT THINGS GOT SKETCHY. AMANDA WENT OUT AFTER VALERIE AND SAID IT WAS SLICK BUT SHE HAD A GREAT EXPERIENCE – SHE HAD THOUGHT OF CONTINUING TO RIDE ANOTHER LAP… HEIDI WENT OUT AND UNFORTUNATELY ON AN UPHILL HAD TO DEAL WITH TWO GUYS TAKING HER LINE AND KILLED HER DRIVE – SHE WAS IN AN AWKWARD POSITION AND THEN HURT HERSELF. AFTER THIS – HER THIRD LAP OF THE RACE SHE WAS UNABLE TO RETURN TO THE COURSE. SAMANTHA WENT OUT AND HAD QUITE AN EPIC EXPERIENCE – HER THROTTLE STUCK AND HER BIKE ENDED UPSIDE DOWN AFTER A FEW CRASHES AT AROUND MILE 6… IT WAS TREACHEROUS – SHE EVENTUALLY HAD TO GET ESCORTED OUT BY A MARSHALL. WE WERE ALL WORRIED AS SHE WAS OUT FOR NEARLY 3 HOURS! CRAZY… IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT AT THAT SAME TIME ANOTHER SAMANTHA FROM THE PREMIERE TEAM WAS ALSO HAVING ISSUES AT MILE 9. WHILE SAMANTHA WAS OUT MY GUY HAD SEEN HER TWICE (ASKED IF SHE WAS OKAY AND WAS) AND WHEN HE MADE HIS WAY BACK KNOWING IT WAS MY TURN IN ROTATION HE LET SOMEONE KNOW NOT TO LET ME OUT ON THE COURSE.  I TOOK HIS ADVISE AND STAYED IN THE PITS. I BELIEVE VALERIE WENT FOR 2 LAPS FOLLOWED BY AMANDA THEN WE HAD A LAG – I WENT OUT IN THE AM AND HAD ABOUT A 2 HOUR LAP…JUST TRAIL RIDING – IT ACTUALLY GOT SLICKER AND WETTER AS THE MORNING WENT ON! WE THEN HAD VALERIE GO OUT FOR HER FINAL LAP AND TAKE THE CHECKERS FOR THE TEAM!

 

 

Valerie... If I had a $ for everytime she said "IT'S SOOO FUN!"
Valerie… If I had a $ for everytime she said “IT’S SOOO FUN!”FINAL LAP TAKING THE CHECKERS FOR THE TEAM!

WE ENDED UP 97TH OVERALL AND 1ST IN CLASS WITH 18 LAPS THAT WAS 11 LAPS AHEAD OF OUR COMPETITORS. LAST YEAR WE DID 26 LAPS… AND I COMPLAINED ABOUT THE DUST – BUT I HAVE TO SAY AFTER DEALING WITH THIS MUD AND TECHNICAL SECTIONS ON THIS YEARS COURSE – I’D TAKE THE DUST ANY DAY!

Silly String and the Checkers for Valerie!
Silly String and the Checkers for Valerie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON A PERSONAL NOTE…I MYSELF AM PRETTY BUMMED THAT I WAS UNABLE TO GET MORE QUALITY LAPS IN AND RIDE AT NIGHT…BUT ALL IN ALL OF COURSE IT WAS AN EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE AND I ENJOYED BEING ABLE TO SHARE IT WITH MY RIDING BUDDIES!

I MUST ADD HOW AWESOME IT WAS TO HAVE MARINA THERE IN THE PITS – KEEPING TRACK OF LAP TIMES AND TAKING PICTURES – SHE EVEN BROUGHT CHAMPAGNE FOR POST RACE CELEBRATION!

A BIG BONUS WAS OUR TEAM WON THE PIT DECORATION CONTEST – WE SCORED SOME SWEET FLY BACKPACKS!!!

Award Presentation! Team DBGA gets 1st in class!!!
Award Presentation!
Team DBGA gets 1st in class!!!

NANCY SABATER

 

 

SPECIAL THANKs TO OUR SPONSORS! fly racingRynoPower_NewLogo_Stacked-102INDUSTRY 13natures-bakery-logo

Task-RacingTrail Proslimited decal

 

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Samantha Kilgore’s Hangover Hare Scramble Race Report

Samantha Kilgore 2nd placeHangover Harescramble Adventures – The Longest Race of My Life

Written By: Samantha Kilgore

It’s the first race of my 3rd racing season, and the first time where my moto girls are going to be competing against one another, instead of on the same team.  Nervous doesn’t really describe the range of emotions I felt in the days and weeks leading up to this race, but it was definitely the most prominent.  First, it was snowed out.  Weather was unbearably cold, and conditions would have made even the toughest of tough cringe.  Postponing 1 week in Maryland is the difference of literally 40 degrees.  Crazy Maryland weather.  I found myself checking the weather obsessively, and even with the rain leading up to the event, the temperatures were staying in the “unseasonably nice” category, and for that, I am extremely grateful.

Now, this location is known for its epic mud.  I had raced there twice before, once in the extreme mud, and once in the extreme dry dust.  Neither of which I would consider “fun”.

Fast forward to the night before- I felt myself getting race day jitters starting around 8pm.  By mid-night, sleep was not really an option.  My wheels were turning, my mind was in race mode, and nothing seemed to ease it.  I got about 3.5 hours of sleep that night; coincidentally around the same amount that I would spend racing, ha!

The day of, I was tired.  Really tired.  We arrived at the track early to help Nancy and Billy with whatever they needed.  I think Nancy and I both needed a NAP!  The parking lot was a small glimpse in to the conditions for the day; a soupy, nasty, muddy mess.  I saw full size dually trucks getting stuck!

Womens Amateur LineDrop of the flag seemed to sneak up on me as I was one of the last riders to arrive at the line; funny because I was probably one of the last ones to take the checkered, too.  And the weather, OMG!  It was like someone hit a light switch and the temperature was perfectly comfortable.  No cold fingers or toes, not too hot, not too cold.  Just right!  Against my better judgment and past experiences, I popped my bike into gear, and turned it off waiting for the start.  Big mistake.  This bike is only temperamental with one thing: starting in gear when it’s not fully warm.  Flag drops, bike won’t start. Fabulous.  I know better.  Ugh.  Get it started after my girls have left and forgotten me behind.  The motocross track is a thick, muddy mess with bodies and bikes everywhere.  People are stopped waiting for others to pick up their yard sales on the track, and I think to myself “there’s no WAITING in racing!” Bye, Felicia!  I motor on by all these yahoos who are standing around like a bunch of patient little lambs waiting their turn.  Not today, suckers!  I must have passed nearly 30 people who were stopped, contemplating their life as racers.  I get up to the over under bridge and again, people are stopped waiting in line.  Ha! I’ll just go around these weirdos, too!  In the first few miles, I saw many crushed souls.  Bodies, bikes, helmets off, defeat in their eyes.  Whatever.  I’m a bad ass dirt bike chick. Can’t scare me away with a little mud and ruts!  I continue on, doing surprisingly well through some treacherous conditions that literally have grown men giving up.

I complete the first lap pretty much unscathed.  It was tough, no doubt, but nothing I couldn’t handle so long as I continued to pick smart, smooth lines.  I avoided the mud puddles that were swallowing riders and blowing up bikes.  If you look around, you’ll see a better line.  Take it!  Given my short stature, in sketchy situations I sometimes teeter on the bike, and it falls over.  Whatever.  Pick it up and soldier on.  I complete the second lap, and I’m a bit more tired, but I know that there are now less riders out on the track.  I’ll just ride my own ride and take that last lap at my leisurely pace.  The tiredness didn’t hit me til about mile 2 or 3.  I started noticing myself getting lazy, Final Lapdropping the bike more, and riding slower.  I was starting to have to dig deep for the endurance to commit to the final lap.  I was coming up a hill when I saw a rider who had given up, and was standing around, waiting for sweep riders.  In that moment of distraction, I dropped the bike on top of myself.  The guy starts chatting with me about his experience.  Hmm, not the best moment to strike up random conversation.  Do you NOT see the bike that outweighs me by double laying on top of me, and you want to chat about your race defeat??  I replied “I’m sorry you’re having a tough time.  Would you mind helping me get my bike off of me, now?”  LOL!  Poor guy was so delusional and tired, he didn’t notice my situation.  He helps me, I give him some words of encouragement, and off I go.  I get to about mile 5 and I’m starting to give up.  Will this lap EVER be done?  I come up on the sweep rider, who happens to be one of my moto girl’s hubby.  He gives me some encouraging words, and follows behind me, despite my tired whining.  Eventually, after a few more drops, and some rest stops, I take the checkered.  3 hours and 4 minutes.  What the hell?  3 hours?

I ended up with a hard earned 2nd place that day.  I can honestly say I gave it my everything.  Ultimately, I am most proud of how I performed emotionally.  In every race to date, I was fighting some major demons.  This race was different.   I went into it and completed it in a positive state of mind.  It was a major turning point in my riding adventures where I have become comfortable in my abilities, and can kick those demons in the throat, and actually enjoy my ride.  Looking forward to this year and the adventures it holds.

Adventurous Bunch!
Dirt Bike Girl Adventures Nancy Sabater, Heidi Hawkins, Amanda Knapp and Samantha Kilgore
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Heidi Hawkins – NE24 Race Report

Awards

Dirt Bike Girl Adventures Northeast 24hr Team Member

HEIDI HAWKINS… (in her own words)

Heidi Hawkins
Heidi Hawkins

My experience at the 24 hour Northeast race…… In one word…. Epic!

I was excited and anxious when I became a member of the Dirt Bike Girl Adventures Team! I had only ridden a few times during 2016.   When I arrived at the track and started meeting my teammates one by one, my anxious feelings turned into determination!

My first lap was getting use to riding again and during my second I said to myself,

“Lets do this”.   When I went out for my night laps I made a mistake.  I did not check my battery for my headlight.  So I did one lap and was forced to pit.  My 3:00 am-ish lap was crazy and my slowest…The dust was unbelievable.   I am not sure if the dew mixed with the dust and made things worse, but I felt like I was in a volcanic ash cloud.

Night Fun
Night Fun

I stayed up for my teammates the entire time and also served as my hubby’s duo pit crew.  We came in second and ended up losing to a pro team by two laps.  We also beat many guy teams…

I am so proud of every teammate!! I am blessed to have met some lifetime friends.   It is great to meet girls who ride.

One of the funniest moments was when we tried to figure out how many laps we did on our fingers after many hours of no sleep.

Counting on our fingers...
Counting on our fingers…

If I get to do this again I want to ride more laps, check my battery at least four times before I head out on the track and ride more before the race… I hope to be on the #DBGA team again.

#girlswhoride

Heidi

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2016 Northeast 24hr Race Report

13690723_10100480949130947_7478879000965284039_n

Team DBGA put in a full 24hrs of racing and we Rocked It!

26 Laps = 312 Miles

Lap Count:

  • Kristina Zmuda    11
  • Heidi Hawkins       4
  • Nancy Sabater        4
  • Samantha Kilgore  3
  • Marina Grubb         4
Team Dirt Bike Girl Adventures secured second place at the 2016 Northeast 24hr Challenge Race
From left to right: Samantha Kilgore, Heidi Hawkins, Nancy Sabater, Marina Grubb and Kristina Zmuda ….Team Dirt Bike Girl Adventures secured second place at the 2016 Northeast 24hr Challenge Race!

It was definitely an amazing Adventure – the anticipation had been building for quite some time. It simply isn’t easy to find people to join a team for 24hrs of racing – its especially difficult to find women to do it.

While more and more women and girls are getting into motorcycling, it still isn’t the norm and in some cases if the other half isn’t on a team they may not be to amped up to spend the time and money… Luckily there are exceptions to this – as it was with our team of five ladies. Those better half’s that weren’t on their own team were more than helpful and supportive for ours. A breath of fresh air in a world saturated in testosterone.

Our team actually grew to six but unfortunately one of our teammates JJ, was unable to attend as the cards kept stacking up against her – making it more and more difficult for her to make it. Next year I am hopeful that the stars will align and she will be able to join the team – because I’ll tell you what – it truly was a blast!

13697062_10100480949220767_974082865520741227_nTeam DBGA went forward with us five… I have known my friend Heidi for a while now and was excited to finally have her on the team – yet I had only briefly met Samantha at a Full Gas Sprint Enduro and had never met Kristina or Marina. Samantha and I had been reaching out to countless ladies online and she hit the jackpot when she spoke to Kristina – Kristina is full bore – she is a lover of competition and an impressive ice racer as well as off-roader. I was worried she would be uber-competitive and get impatient with our team of novice riders however she seemed to enjoy us all as we did our very best to support our team. Marina was the wildcard – we had never met – only a few days before she had seen a post that I had put up about having a spot open on the team for another lady. Samantha’s husband Roman passed her info along and somehow we made the connection. Marina’s husband was on a team and she was planning to be at the race to support him however she really wanted to participate – They told her “You can’t – there aren’t any more spots open”… she didn’t let their words stop her and did her own searching and that’s how she found my post!  It was all fate – we all came together because of a love of riding dirt bikes and the excitement of being part of a team – getting to know one another and forming friendships…

The day of the race we set up our pits – Heidi’s husband Kenny was part of a duo team and was pitted to one side of 20160716_095542us and my mans 6 man sportsman team was on the other side – Kristina’s man joined my guys team so we had plenty of support around us which was perfect. Once we were set up we took plenty of pics – but we got down to business for the 10am start of the race. I asked Kristina to start for the team and wow she sure put it on! She nailed the hole-shot and disappeared in the dusty straightaway. We were going up against two teams the Frizzeltown Damsels and Sarah Baldwin’s team of experts (Ashley Copeland, Linzie Dente and Leeann Bange) So we knew this would be tough – but we never gave up and had the mindset of the Tortoise & the Hare. 

We concentrated on doing two laps a piece so we could try to stay fresh – Heidi was up second and had a great ride – myself up third – it was super dusty but a fun course then Samantha and Marina. We all did as much as we could and everything was clicking pretty well. Samantha happened to go down in the only mud section – we all were happy she was okay and joked with her as she had previously mentioned that she is a magnet for mud! Marina went out with her throaty 450 honda and also had pretty fast times even with a couple bobbles. When night came it was super difficult to see – the dust was insane in the day but at night it was almost unbearable – We all did our laps and just tried to get through as safe as possible. Heidi had her night ride as well as Samantha and Marina – I went out as well and nearly went over the bars when at mile 9 my bike was swallowed in a silt covered hole!… The NE24 crew rerouted the course when the heard how it was causing havoc out there.

13775453_933286716781708_4595768540808633212_nAs the early morning hours passed Heidi and I stayed up to make sure everything was going off without issue – at 4 am Kristina wanted to keep riding – she was having a blast so she did her laps then Heidi did one then Kristina did more then I went out – we switched around our lineup to where everyone was comfortable. You wouldn’t know it by the times – but my best lap was my last lap at 6am – I just had an absolute blast! Looking at my GoPro I was still being a typical slowpoke but its about how you feel and I felt great! Marina finished us out in the end – It would be her very first race and it just felt right to have her take the checkers for the team!

I tell you – this team just clicked! We had an amazing adventure – got along beautifully and took home 2nd place – 13775852_10100480947913387_1279140797520009777_nSarah’s team only edged us out by 2 laps!

So we’ll see what happens next year – there is talk from Kristina that she would like to Ironwoman next year and same with her guy Tim…whatever she decides this team will always support its past members and in the end its about building the ranks of female ridership and we are definitely doing it!

Our sport has some amazing women – I’m lucky that some of them were part of this years team!

*On a side note Heidi’s husbands team “Twist It” got 2nd in the Duo Sportsman class and My guys team “Trail Pros” finished 1st in Sportsman!13775430_10206002685898491_2254729035292338684_n

Thanks to KNC for the awesome work on this years t-shirts and Natures Bakery for hooking the team up with an amazing assortment of snack bars!… The Lemon is soooooo yummy!

Also – thanks to all those on the trail that played nice!

Nancy

Stay Tuned: More pictures to come!