I learned to ride in 6th grade when my mom helped me because my dad lived 1,000 miles away. In 8th grade, I outgrew my YZ80—then started again when I turned 40. My riding friends consider me risk-averse, and my non-riding friends consider me super risky.
My favorite type of riding is dirt bikes on XC courses. I like to learn the 4-10 mile loop, get faster, then race. The TORN races make that easy since a loop is around 12-15 minutes long. I like the challenge while being able to stay within a small area in case of injury or a mechanical issue.
For my first XC race, I showed up alone—no clue. A group of guys I had never met helped put numbers on my bike, showed me where to line up, gave me hundreds of tips, and rooted for me during the race. I would have given up halfway through the first loop without their help.
For me, any marked, one-way XC trail that I’ve never ridden before is a favorite place to ride. I like not having to stop every 30 seconds so that a group can stay together and going out on my own at my own pace then meeting up at camp. More than anything, I like the sensation of going fast on a flowing trail.