Road Cat 4, Gravel Newbie
“If you get dropped, just pretend you’re off the front, then work harder!”
Amos Drakus • Grape Nuts • Disco Skittle. • Little Tomato • Purple Shoes • Pig Pen • Taco Girl • Bubble Wrap • Cheerleader •
On Tuesday evening, Spokes Cafe in Kansas City has taco night. Everyone knows that Free State women LOVE mexican food after a race or a good workout. So on one particular Tuesday night, while training at the downtown airport, Renae Weaver was encouraging Amy and convinced her to sprint “for a taco point”. Since then, WFSR Taco Points have come to represent team spirit, hard work, and putting in extra effort…
…Basically, Taco Points are the essence of Amy.
In 2016, My long time and dearest friend, Cindy Bracker, was in her first season of bike racing. I was excited to get to watch her race and=- cheer for her at the the Tour of Lawrence. Within a few minutes of watching, I was exhilarated. Afterwards I told Cindy “I can do that, I have big legs” Cindy laughed and responded “oh yeah, you can!” Cindy saw that spark and quickly fed those flames. Within a month she had me signed up to do the Velas ride in August 2016. I borrowed her daughter’s bike and off I went. It rained the whole time, I was soaking wet and met the nicest people I think I have ever met before. I was hooked. I started looking for a bike and asking Cindy a million questions. I think at one point Cindy just said… “just buy something and ride it”. So I did…My maiden voyage on my Trek Lexa was to Cindy’s office where she giggled, told me to come inside and took my reflectors off for me. Then she gave me a huge hug. I just started cycling around town and before I knew it within a few weeks I was cycling 60 miles a week and then upward from there. I casually mentioned that I might want to race someday. I think Cindy’s response was something like… “Careful what you say…you know if you put it out there I will run with that idea.” I guess I forgot she was a “runner” before she was a cyclist, because she sure SPRINTED with that idea. In less thant 2 months, I had joined this amazing team. I didn’t actually think I would start RACING until the following spring, but before I knew what happened, 2016 wasn’t even over and I had my first racing license and found myself on Kathy Johnson’s spare Cyclocross bike and warming up to race. I didn’t even really know WHAT “Cross” was, nor had I practiced for it at all, but off I went! While I survived my first cyclocross race I was quickly happy to get back on my road bike. I spent February and March figuring out how to do a crit at as many as of the Spring Flings as my work schedule would allow. This first season has quite literally felt like “well, it’s off to the races!” I’m looking forward to next road season as a newly minted Cat 4 racer, but first, there will be a bit more cross and maybe some gravel too!