My daughter, Emma, decided that she wanted to do a “real” race the next time we went to one of my races. The last race I entered she raced the kids race for 12 years old and under. She won that one without much effort. It wasn’t really fair to the other kids, so I told her that it would be her last “kids” race anyway. She was actually quite excited about entering as a Junior-Novice in the Treasure Valley Rally race.
Emma’s race started about 15 minutes after mine. The Novice races ran the same course as the other classes except that they cut out the ultra-rocky technical loop that the rest of us did. This still left the course about 7.5 miles which is a pretty good distance for a first time race. This was a good thing considering she was riding on 24×1.7″ tires – not the best match for a very rocky trail. Somehow, she managed to get across all of the stream crossings without getting her feet wet. I don’t get it, but I think she was motivated by keeping her pink bike socks clean.
With her focus on the race, she rode the first several miles without shifting out of third gear. Very impressive considering the long climbs that make up the first few miles of the race. She has the potential to be a good single-speed rider if I can talk her into it some day.
Unfortunately, she flatted about two or three miles from the finish. She knows how to change a flat tire but but had difficulty with getting the tire bead to set on the rim properly. She probably lost about 20 minutes messing around with the tube before she was able to ride again. Still, she persisted and finished the race which I think is very admirable. She came in second at 2:40, but there may have only been two Junior Novice females in this race. We’ll have to see once the official results are posted.