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