Nancy Waddell is the Delaware Senior Olympics Cycling Coordinator. She's totally into cycling and competed in 2016 USAC’s Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals (60 miles) in Augusta, GA. She finished in 1st place!
Here's her story in her own words:
In 2012 I decided to get back into mountain biking with a goal to compete in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. I have 30 years of road riding experience and did a little off-road riding and racing in the early 2000s – how hard could it be? It’s like riding a bike, right? Not! Not only had the equipment changed but the trails were much more technical. I attended a weekend skills clinics and realized I needed to hire a coach just to learn how to ride. I also recognized that if I wanted to improve I would have to forego the road bike for a while and concentrate solely on riding off-road.
Competing at the local level is not easy since it’s only broken down into 2 women's categories: under 39 and 40 and over. In 2014 I competed at USAC’s nationals held in Macungie, PA, and placed 2nd in the women 60-64 category. I switched gears a little for 2015 and decided to go for more distance riding – I had many years of long-distance riding on the road and figured it would be an easier transition (it wasn’t!). I competed in USAC’s Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals (60 miles) in Augusta, GA, and finished in 3rd place in the women's 60-64 category. This year, 2016, I returned to Augusta, moving up to the women 65-69 category, and finished in 1st place!
Looking ahead to 2017, I’m hoping to compete at USAC’s Mountain Bike Nationals to be held in Davis, WV. I’m far from being an expert – I still have a lot to learn – but if anyone is interested in mountain biking I’d be happy to chat with them on what they need to get started.