|My to do list of meeting Tory Nyhaug, completed!|
One of the biggest moments in my racing career so far, was being able to compete in the Pan Am Test event. It was one of the most fun, exciting, challenging and stressful weekends to date, and as much as it was around riding a new track, it also had to do with scrambling for proper race pants last minute. When comparing BMX Canada and UCI rules, they are pretty much the same, except the UCI is a little more specific and strict. On a regular basis, I choose to ride in yoga tights, it's comfortable, moveable and unfortunately the race pants that I've tried are not.
So on the day of the event I took a chance and came as is, and as soon as the commissioner saw my tights, I got an instant "no". I scrambled, asking everyone if they had a pair of pants I could borrow for the two day event. From coaches, to strangers, it wasn't until my savour Andy showed up -he had a pair which fitted just good enough for me to compete. Another rule that is a little more lenient with BMX Canada are gloves, but luckily I had a random pair laying around that I brought with me. Between the two organizations, there were a few differences. The one that stood out the most was how on point they were with the schedule, everything ran on time, down to the minute.
Day 1: The weather was calling for rain, but we were advised that as long as it wasn't storming we would be able to run the Super Clinic. I arrived on the scene a few hours too early, purposely done so that I could watch the pro's practice - which I missed out because practice was moved up a lot earlier that day. So I arrived at Centennial Park, just in complete awe of how big and overwhelming it was - little did I know it was considered to be "mellow", compared to the other UCI sanctioned tracks in the world. I'm at the track, and it started to rain, light at first, then hard for about about 10 minutes. By that point the Super Clinic was called off. My chance of getting used to the track had to wait until the actual day of the event.
Day 2: Aside from worrying about my pants, I was super nervous about my performance. It's one thing to race, but to do it on a brand new track was another. I decided the night before to stay in a hotel, so I could be at Centennial super early the next day. I practiced as much as I could, the amount of adrenalin I had prevented me from getting tired. When it was time to race, I was in the challengers class, which meant that any girl over 15 would be in my class. I had a full gate, also a new experience for me. I finished with 4th, being beat by a 15, 16 and 41 year old. I felt pretty good actually. The exciting part was walking up to the podeium and being cheered by peers. It was, a very exciting day - worth all the stress I went through.
Day 3: The last day wasn't as eventful, it was just me and another racer - I finished second. The real highlight of that day was meeting Tory Nyhaug, where I had him sign my helmet and even had him pose in a photo with me.
It was an experience that I'll never forget. I'm looking forward to seeing the pro's ride in the Pan AM games, and hopefully I'll get to ride the track again in the near future too.
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