etnies Girl moto team rider Sarah Whitmore has been in Georgia since the end of December, getting ready for the upcoming May Nationals. She wrote her first team journal about her training and about her recent trip to Texas to race at Lake Whitney.
Two days after Christmas I loaded up my pickup and made the 22 hour journey from northern Michigan to southern Georgia. I left at 6 a.m. and arrived here at 4 a.m. the next day, driving straight through all by myself. I guess you could say I was trying to get away from the snow as fast as possible. Except for a couple of trips to California and Florida for races and media coverage, I have been right here in Cairo, Ga., riding and training every day.
The facility I’m staying at is set up like a campground, so my parents leave their motor home down here all winter for me to stay in. They have a supercross and a motocross track, though I mostly just ride motocross. They also have a track just for pit bikes, and I think that track gets almost as much use as the others. Besides a couple of mothers who stay here, I’m the only girl. Sure, it may sound fun at first being the only female with tons of hot motocross boys, but it gets old fast and my phone bill racks up from calling all of my girlfriends every night.
Before I tell you about my trip to Texas, I guess I should mention that for most of last year I had the Epstein-Bar virus, which is a form of mono. After passing out on the podium last year and then doing the same thing for the next couple of months, I called it a season and took six months off. So these past two months here at GPF (Georgia Practice Facility) have been my only preparation for this upcoming season. So my trip to Texas was merely a test to see if I was ready or not.
At Lake Whitney, my first moto of the women’s 99cc, 125cc and up class started off great. I had a good start, but while passing for second my bike seized. There I was pushing my bike down the hill and off the track, and along with it went my hopes of doing well that week. The rest of the week was spent trying to get the bugs worked out. I went a disappointing 5-4 in the pro class for fifth over all, and placed third in the second moto of my 99cc, 125cc and up race.
Sunday, after my last moto, we loaded up my motor home and headed 90 miles north to Oak Hill. I had never ridden this track before, but after walking it I decided I liked it much better. By the end of practice, and after two crashes (the first of five for the whole week), I finally had the track down and was ready to race. My first moto, I crashed right off the start and had to work my way up, and was doing a good job of it. I caught all the way up to third place and was gaining on second when I crashed again. After my women’s moto, I raced against the guys in the 125 amateur class just for practice. There I learned some new lines and my lap times improved tremendously. If I could get a good start, I would have a good shot at a moto win. Unfortunately, when it came down to it I rode terribly and got third. I put way too much pressure on myself to do well and I’m just not quite where I need to be yet. But the way I look at it is that I have two more months to get there. I learned a lot about what my weak points are on the track and now I’m back in Georgia working on them. So they better watch out in May.