This is my FIRST official Single Track World blog, and I must say I feel rather honoured to be asked to include snippets of my bike time life and thoughts on this website. I know Matt Letch has been watching the clock for a long time now waiting patiently to read my FIRST blog….well here it is the FIRST of the FIRST!
I have read this opening paragraph 100 times now and do believe I have a double dose of writer’s block….this definitely is a FIRST!
So I’m just going to type away aimlessly until I can unblock all the biking thoughts and memories that are competing for front line blogging attention. The problem is that every day since I FIRST laid eyes on a mountain bike my life has revolved around bikes. Biking has brought more chaos and adventure to my life than I ever thought possible….and even when I think my biking life is starting to settle down, then I get enticed by a new cycling adventure that adds even more crazy moments to the KPotter house hold or perhaps I should say bike hold. I like to call these biking adventures ‘the FIRST of the FIRST’, because I have always found huge satisfaction in attempting a biking moment for the FIRST time.
It all started when I accidently booked myself on a mountain bike holiday in Portugal for the FIRST time….it was also the FIRST time I had seen and touched a mountain bike. Then I fell in love (you guessed….for the FIRST time)….Yes it only took one day and I had fallen head over heels (on more than one occasion) and madly in love with a new sport called mountain biking…oh and I also met this guy (Ian Potter) who knew how to fix bikes, so marriage was inevitable really.
I had no choice but to learn how to ride a bike properly if I was ever going to spend quality time with my future husband, but more importantly I had no choice but to study all the biking magazines I could lay my hands on (Single track on top of the list of course…it was my FIRST introduction to ‘how to become a mountain biker’) It also helped me learn some proper mountain biking jargon so I could make sense of Ian and my biking pal’s FIRST language….I call it ‘MTBish’
This FIRST year of mountain biking was full of FIRST time adventures such as night riding with the boys, UK weekend adventures away that included the FIRST bike trip up Snowden, plus the FIRST time at a Wales and Scotland trail centre, and I have fond memories of my FIRST drop off, followed by my FIRST face plant, and then my FIRST mountain bike race.
That FIRST race…I finished LAST, but I was seriously hooked….I had discovered the ultimate KP adventure…and of course the best sport to check out fit blokes in tights, just don’t tell Ian
You are probably wondering what on earth is a mountain bike cross country racer got to do with single track adventures, which I’m guessing is what most of you live your biking life for, and what you would rather read about. But I have discovered amazing single track all over the world, simply by entering MTB races in different parts of the world and in the UK for the FIRST time.
I have more mountain biking buddies outside the world of cross country racing than I do inside it. My closest biking buddies just don’t get why I race, especially XC, and how on earth I could be addicted to the lung busting, heart thumping and leg killing effort it involves, when I could be playing on the mountain tops of Luchon, without a pedal stroke to my name if I fancy it.
They never understood my 24hr solo addiction, nor those muddy marathon efforts, and as for XC racing, well don’t even go there, they just shake their heads in bewilderment….but racing, any type of racing I see as one big single track adventure. But the FIRST of the FIRST is always the most exciting….
….Which is why in 2009 I travelled all over the UK, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Canada, Australia, Austria….and then back to the UK again testing myself on single track that I would see for the FIRST time. It was amazing!
But I’m now addicted and continue to crave FIRST time biking experiences. That was when the >X< Factor came along….not just the show…yep I got hooked when Lucy got voted off, and as for Jedward…let’s not get me started….I’m referring to the ‘Cotic >X<’….now this is the start of alot more FIRST of the FIRST time experiences for me….as I venture into the unknown world of cyclo cross.
So here I am in Koksijde, Belgium and after only 6 weeks learning what not to do in a cyclo cross race I have entered a cyclo cross World Cup for the FIRST time (gulp). Well as I said before I like a challenge :)
Now I am prepared for a roasting out there on Saturday, but I’m really excited because in my own little way I’m making cycling history. I have been told that I am the FIRST Australian woman to represent Australia at a UCI cyclo cross world cup. I have no idea what to expect and apparently there could be close to 20,000 spectators (double gulp). I may be last on the grid of 44 much more experienced CX racers, but as far as I’m concerned this is the ultimate FIRST time feeling that I have been going on about in all these paragraphs. There is something quite magical (I think) about your FIRST OF THE FIRST time experience. That doesn’t mean winning. It might mean the FIRST time you attempt a drop off, your FIRST wheelie or your FIRST time down a descent that you never believed you could ride…it might even mean the FIRST time you out climb your husband on a tarmac climb…now that is a great feeling girls
So don’t worry about the end result of any biking adventure you take yourself on, just remember that the FIRST time you try something new is the most memorable one of them all. I like to think that being fantastic at one or two trails isn’t as exciting as being average or even really bad on hundreds of new biking trails that you can cram into your biking life time for the FIRST time.
Posted on: December 3, 2009 by kpxo