When I heard about the Seat Time Adventures ride a few months back, a weeklong vacation 8,475 feet high in remote Colorado Rockies that this year would be catered toward a technical singletrack rider, I immediately applied via Instagram and an online form to describe my riding experience, comfort level and reasons for wanting to attend.
Impressed by the seriousness of the overall event summary, including a warning note to discourage beginners, I vowed that if I was selected to attend, I would scratch all of my previous plans for the summer and blow all my savings if I had to in order to join the group on its third-annual trip.
Plus, once I educated myself on Seat Time and its mission to have more fun riding dirt bikes, I wanted to help spread the stoke and, who knows, hopefully encourage more females to ride (and buy) off-road.
Over the course of the next few months I was accepted on the ride – thanks, Brian! – and learned I would be the only Florida rider and the only female to boot, along with what ended up to be 5 other riders, including a former professional BMX racer who has been coming to this spot for longer than I’ve been alive, a handful of locally-ranked A riders, a film crew and chase vehicles, all of whom hail from Texas, except for my new friend and travel buddy Clay Stuckey of Sherco Offroad.
In the midst of all of this planning, Nicky Hayden, the Kentucky Kid I always looked up to, passed away unexpectedly while bicycling in Italy, which sent a shock through the industry. People talked about hanging it up and quitting racing altogether; this loss was too tough to stomach for some, but Nicky wouldn’t have wanted his death to stop anyone. He would just say, “Let’s get it.”
When I left Florida last Friday after work, I wondered what this trip would bring. I arrived in Tennessee to Clay’s house on Sunday night, after a layover at my dad’s house in Western North Carolina for a last-minute lesson in rock riding at the Brown Mountain OHV Area. Clay and I hit the road Monday and completed the nonstop 19-hour drive (mostly he did – I logged about 600 of the near 2,000 miles.) We pulled up to the Tomichi Creek Trading Post in Sargents, Colorado around 5 a.m. my time Tuesday morning feeling ripe for a nap.
After an afternoon of naps and unpacking, everyone joined at the Post for dinner to share a meal and go over key time and the menu for the morning. One thing’s for sure: a lot, if not all, eyes are on me heading into Day 1 of our 4-day adventure. So much so that, once a few of the other guys heard I was attending, they followed me on social, trying to gauge my expertise from my extremely old and outdated YouTube videos that need to be updated or deleted immediately. They even mapped out how far I lived from here, and questioned if I’ve “ever rode anything like this,” making fun of the last guy, a “full moto dude who said he was an OK B rider,” but they were riding his bike for him and avoiding some tough technical sections because of him. They did not want that this year.
Coming in to the trip, I wasn’t feeling much, if any, pressure to perform. I was excited, sure, and I still am. Full disclosure: once I realized that no one in the group could vouch for my skills, I switched to water.