Checkers!

I’ve wondered how my story with motorcycle racing would end. I really didn’t know where racing would take me, or even where I wanted to go. I just kept loving it, getting faster, and winning more. AMA, the national pro circuit, seemed like a natural next step.

Despite recent threats to put together an AMA program for this year, I never had a big dream of racing with the pros. Scrape and fight and spend only to count how many places I am from last, just to say I’m racing pro, against the boys? Even though I’ve already beaten so-called “pro” racers at the regional level?

If that’s your dream, I’m not knocking it. I’m just saying it’s not mine. Even at my pace, when I could solidly qualify for pro races, I don’t dream of being there.

If there were a national AMA women’s road racing series, one that raced the same weekends as the AMA events, I might reconsider. But really, I’m just ready to move on. I won a trio of championships, I crushed my enemies, I had fun racing with great friends, I crashed big and came back again and again, all while fantasizing about bicycles. I just don’t love it enough anymore; not enough to spend my own money on it, and definitely not enough to sell my soul, or other things, for a sponsored ride.

I still love it. But when I love something, I’m all in, I want to compete, kick ass, be the best I can be. I don’t even think I can just do track days. Perhaps I’ll pick up a fast street-legal bike to rip around on, but I get enough of that in my peppy little car. And, well, it’s safer (but the tickets are just as expensive).

And about that danger. For everything we tell ourselves about mitigating the risks, it’s risky. About two people a year have been killed at the races or track days I’ve been to in the past four years. I wish I could be tough, but these accidents affect me. Now that the love has waned and I’ve got my own little piece of glory (and a bunch of plastic trophies), the odds are no longer acceptable and I’m quitting while I’m ahead.

Onward and upward. Did I mention I love bicycles? I’ve wanted to quit motorcycle racing for a whole year so I could ride my pedal bike more.

Unfortunately, they’re kind of dangerous too.

No leathers on bicycles.

But the rewards of cycling outweigh the risks, at least for now.

CCCX Circuit Race

I have to mention what a friend and supporter Alex Torres of Fastline Cycles has been. Thank you so much for your incredible support this past year, not to mention your bad ass motors and great trackside help. And, to Jason Hauns of JPH Suspension, for believing in me and stepping up to sponsor me for the season that never happened.

I’ve met my fiancé, James Randolph, through racing, and my best friend Nikki. I’ve met, raced with and been inspired by so many fast, determined, remarkable chicks, many of whom I’ll be friends with for life.

Thanks racing, it’s been fun.

The Ladies of AFM Roadracing 2009

2010 - 2nd Place AFM Women's Championship

On our way to the 2011 AFM Women's Championship


Sold, to a nice young racer on the east coast.

This entry was posted in Blather. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Checkers!

  1. Mike Solis says:

    As you get faster on the on the mountain bike, descents will have all the thrill and excitement of your first trackday. It’s good stuff :)

    Congrats on having done so well with motorcycles! The pre-racing, central coast adventure rides seem like they were a lifetime ago, don’t they…

  2. russ says:

    dang christie ~ we were rookies together in ’08 and i still see your results as a measuring stick of our combined progress.

    sad to hear you’re getting out, but getting out with most of your parts intact is good getting. hope cycling feeds the need!

    -russ granger #24 (russ stranger #650)

  3. George F says:

    You did well, congrats, now take it a little slower, that’s all. Now is the time to enjoy real adventures on a bike. Good luck for the future :-)

  4. AJ says:

    Wow girl, you’ve been an inspiration to me while I start heading in that direction…sad to see you go, but glad that you’re following your passion. You’re getting out of motos for bikes, I’m getting out of horses for motos. Best of luck in your future 2-wheeled, albeit non-motorized, endeavors. Hopefully we can talk you into swinging in for another CU ride sometime!

  5. Robert Swafford says:

    I won’t lie and tell you I won’t miss following your progress throughout the year. I guess I will just have to learn more about bicycles and follow you there.
    I was really looking forward to seeing you (from afar) on the AMA circuit.
    Sharing a synopsis of what was exchanged between Jason Pridmore and I a month ago:
    Although I am bummed that you won’t be returning to the track, it is nice knowing that I won’t have to worry about you while you are out there.
    Just be the pro on bicycles the way you were at the track and you will do great things!
    Lotsa love Christie! Great memories!!

  6. 4theriders says:

    Well..I didn’t see this coming…good luck to ya in everything you do! You’ll be missedby many. :)

  7. Krystyna says:

    You’ll be very missed, and never forgotten on track! I’m glad we’ve become friends through racing, and I think we’ll be friends for a long time =)
    Best of luck with the bicycles! I’ll be cheering for you!

  8. Ed Berland says:

    Christie,

    I’ve followed your racing exploits via computer while sitting in a nice comfy chair. You’ve done more than most us us guys…and congrats to you for that. However, if the passion is not there then it’s time to move on.

    I hope you do get that street bike, sorry…motorcycle and come ride with an old man some time. See the Ride Calendar on the website. You can bring James and his dad.

    All the best,

    Ed Berland

  9. Roxy says:

    Looking forward to taking you on some RAD mountain bike trips this summer =)

  10. Taj McNamara says:

    C~
    I’m from Durango, Colorado. I’ve been in mtn biking and cycling circles since childhood having grown up around them. Ned Overend was my next door neighbor. Kris Cannon is a friend as well. If I can connect you with anybody to further this passion or pursuit, say the word. I’m 110% behind you- and love that you are strong enough to follow your dreams and choices.
    ~ Taj

  11. I have been hoping that you would change your mind about this… You have been an inspiration to me on and off the track. I enjoyed our battles in the early years on the SV’s and I have been working hard to catch up to you on the 600′s. At the end of last year I finally got to the pace to battle with you and I am a little angry (selfishly, but in the good way) at you for taking that away from me… because I knew that as soon as I started to put the pressure on you, you would step it up another notch and push me to try even harder. More importantly though I wish you weren’t quitting, because you are an amazing person and a shining example of good sportsmanship, always encouraging and always kind. You have done so much to promote women racing and I am thankful that you got the AFemme class going. I will certainly miss having you at the races. :(
    BUT…. I am so happy for you that you have found another passion, sounds like a bigger passion, for cycling and I know you will do great things in that sport. I can’t wait to read your race reports hear about all the trophies you win. I wish you the Best of Luck in following your dreams Christie! Keep inspiring! <3 Jenn

  12. Christie says:

    Even racing feels like a lifetime ago already, like I’m waking up from a dream and having trouble remembering the details of it. Sometimes I think I’m a little too “in the moment” and forget to make mental notes of the memories I’m making so I can enjoy them later. At least there are the pictures – pics, or it didn’t happen!

  13. Christie says:

    Thanks Russ! I remember that year for sure. Good luck this season, it was fun racing with you!

  14. Christie says:

    Real adventures indeed. Thank you!

  15. Christie says:

    Thanks AJ! Have to follow your passions and see where they lead. I’ve had my own inspirational women and have been sad when they’ve moved on to other things. Just keep the cycle going, you’re inspiring other women yourself, you know!

  16. Christie says:

    Thanks so much for the kind words, Robert! How’s the healing, how’s Mexico?

  17. Christie says:

    Thanks Joe, thanks for all the great photos too. Without them I might not believe I was actually once a motorcycle racer. :P

  18. Christie says:

    Thanks Krystyna. Not having forward facing video of our race at Willow Springs might be one of my life’s greatest regrets! Nikki and I forgot to mount the camera, then fiddled with it after third call, I started freaking out and said to forget it. So glad I got to share that exciting race with you though!

  19. Christie says:

    Thanks Ed! We’ll for sure let you know if we get street bikes. That’d be fun!

  20. Christie says:

    Can’t wait!

  21. Christie says:

    Thanks Taj, I appreciate the offer! I have an especially difficult time doing things I do not want to do – a blessing and a curse I guess. And you couldn’t pay me enough money to do something as dangerous as motorcycle racing unless I wasn’t 100% passionate about it…

  22. Christie says:

    Thanks Jenn. I was angry with Joy in the same way too, I know exactly how you feel. I was lucky enough to beat her once or twice, and I really wanted to beat her some more, so when she quit I was pissed. An inspiring, rad girl that I admired (still do), and yet wanted to dominate at the same time. I totally get it. And I’m sorry.

    Thanks for being one of my inspirations to race. Thanks for the kind words.

    You’ll probably have to race against an invisible fast girl this year. Keep racing her as hard as you can. I know you can beat her!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>