Every winter since I was 6, I’ve started my mountain bike season with TBF, a local, grassroots racing series based just 20 minutes from my driveway. The first few years, when I was little (I know, I still am little) these races were the biggest things I did. I looked forward to them all year; they were my own little World Cups. I raced 6 miles, and it kicked my little butt.
Over the years, I moved up through the ranks from the 6 mile juniors all the way to the 24 mile expert women. As I advanced, I started going farther away to bigger races. All my important races became travel races that are in cool places, on cool courses and with cooler venues. These big races became my A races, and the local ones became less and less important. Sometimes I’ve even considering skipping these races and going on training rides instead. But I never do; I race them every year. These races have taught me so much and somehow they always feel like home.
This year at TBF, I was confident for race #1. I raced 18 miles in High School Expert girls, and felt strong with a 2nd place. Race #2 added a lap, and I was a little more nervous for the longer distance. In the end I felt pretty good, my Grammo 29er was rolling perfectly, and came in 2nd again. For the first time ever in race #3, TBF is lengthening the course and my division will be racing 32 miles. I’m not so sure about this; I’ve ridden more than 32 miles in training but to race that long is a tall order. It would be my longest cross country race of the season, and in February. As of right now I’m pretty conflicted. I don’t know if I’ll be racing this one or not.
I’m so grateful for these local grassroots races, but I might just have to skip this one.

Grateful for Grassroots

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