Meet Lindsey Levin. A newcomer to the world of mountain biking and to participating in Pulse Racing's annual Women's 4 Hour Relay Challenge presented in partnership with Hardwood Ski and Bike. Lindsey generously shared with SeeWhatSheCanDo her backstory in being introduced to the sport of mountain biking. She also told us what she loves about it; her thoughts around her first experience competing in an organized mountain biking event; and gives great insights to help other women like herself experience the passion, competitiveness and community accessible through mountain biking.
Lots more cycling coverage to inspire you from SWSCD:
A Re-imagined 2020 Pulse Racing Fall Epic 8-Hour Relay
Pulse Racing's 2019 Women's 4-Hour MTB Relay: "It's like riding with 150 of your besties!"
Mountain bike racing: From the perspective of a newbie
Molly Hurford’s Tips : Have the Best Race Season Yet
SWSCD Athlete Gallery: 2018 Trek Store Canada Cup/Ontario Cup XC Mountain Bike Event
SWSCD Photo Blog: Joyride 150. Build her biking skills and watch her fly
Tell us a little bit about how you came to participate in the world of mountain biking? What peaked your interest and motivated you to give it a go?
Mountain biking started as a casual pastime with my husband. Two kids later and a lot more time for myself, I was able to truly dive into the sport and the passion grew rather quickly. I learned how enjoyable and intense it can be to push yourself, and your riding partners, and to be able to support one another while trying to achieve your own individual goals. Having a supportive husband and an incredible, likeminded group of friends who share the same passion, has really accelerated my confidence of becoming a better rider. I’ve always embraced the spirit of competition and I think it really emphasizes camaraderie and sportsmanship and brings out the positivity in people.
"What worked well for me was making sure to keep a positive mindset, before and especially during. It’s easy to give up in the process and your body will want to, but if you keep that positive mindset going, you will keep going."
How did you prepare for Pulse Racing's Women’s 4 Hour Relay Challenge? What did you feel worked well? What would you do differently for the next event you ride in?
Entering the Women’s 4 Hour MTB Relay for the very first time, the challenge was new and unfamiliar, so I truly didn’t know what to expect and how to prepare for a challenge like this. I rarely have rides at that length, especially on a mountain bike, so I tried to build my endurance by stretching my rides and planned my schedule so that I was able to get out there at least 4 times a week. I feel the more time you have on the bike, the more comfortable you will become, which will ultimately make you a better, stronger rider. What worked well for me was making sure to keep a positive mindset, before and especially during. It’s easy to give up in the process and your body will want to, but if you keep that positive mindset going, you will keep going. What didn’t work well was over thinking! We tend to overthink just about everything and it never works because everything is so unpredictable so whatever was expected, doesn’t always happen. So keeping a clear mind and focusing on the things you could control, as well as, thinking in the moment, for me, is probably the way to go.
Did you have any initial expectations of participating in Pulse Racing's Women’s 4 Hour Relay? Now that it’s over, how would you say your expectations changed with this event under your belt and your expectations for riding in a timed challenge?
The only expectation I had was simply to finish. Whether I came in first place or last, I was prepared to give it my all and surprisingly, coming in first place in my category and third overall, was unexpected and truly exciting! Now that it’s over, I know for myself that I am capable of completing a challenge like this and getting over that initial psychological barrier of just completing a timed race allows me to focus on things like improving my time, or managing my endurance, for the next challenge.
"Even if you don’t have 100% in you that day, give 100% of what you can give."
What specific advice would you have for someone who is thinking of riding in a mountain biking event for the first time? What preparation suggestions would you have for them and suggestions for building confidence and greater knowledge around mountain biking?
Consistency. Being consistent with riding often, getting familiar with the dirt and trail and really getting to know your bike. Have goals, stick to them and give it 100% every time. Even if you don’t have 100% in you that day, give 100% of what you can give. As for getting into mountain biking events, I say just do it and have fun with it. Everything is a learning experience and try not to take things too seriously. You’ll naturally just grow your fondness and appreciation for the sport, but it all starts with just simple enjoyment.
What would you say was your favourite part of Pulse Racing's Women’s 4 Hour Relay as a solo rider? Is there anything you would want to see done differently moving forward to next year's event?
I’m mostly just humbled to complete the challenge amongst such great company. The positive vibes are contagious and it’s just a wonderful experience to be part of. I hope that this event continues for next year and can’t wait to experience it in a different way once when we’ve gotten past the pandemic.
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Blog and photos (unless otherwise indicated) by Caroline Wiley. Caroline bridged her 20+ years of professional experience in the sport and recreation industry together with her passions for photography and supporting women in sport to create SeeWhatSheCanDo. Her vision is to create a welcoming space where active women find a sense of belonging within a local community, see themselves in authentic and awe-inspiring ways and find resources to help them be their best active selves.
SeeWhatSheCanDo would like to sincerely thank Lindsey Levin for sharing her mountain biking story and inspiring other women to give it a go too.
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