At last weekend’s Minuteman CX race our daughter Sophie, age 13, decided to push herself by racing with the Cat 4/5 and Junior Women, rather than the Cub race she was signed up for. Jumping from two laps to a forty minute race with older girls and women (including her mom), she understood she was taking a big leap.
Starting our fifth and last laps, she faced an additional challenge – a mechanical issue that forced her to carry her bike to the pit. As I tried (unsuccessfully) to help her, I could see she was exhausted, but also determined to get through the race.
Riding away from her to finish my last lap, it was with great relief that I heard cheers of encouragement when Sophie, clearly having made it to the pit, got back on her bike to finish her race.
What I didn’t realize until after was that as one of the last racers to avoid getting lapped, she had inadvertently created an issue for racers looking to pre-ride before the next race because they aren’t allowed to pass her.
As she stood on the podium, amazed that she came in second even though it took her over an hour, I was filled with gratitude to the officials, organizers, and racers who respected her race by giving her time, space and encouragement to cross the finish line.
Photo credit: Jeff Dieffenbach