…’ you are capable of so much more than you think. And regardless of your life circumstances, if you want something enough, you really can do it.’
You’ll meet Kate Ross on Sparta Chicks Radio this week.
An age group mountain biker and mum of 3 in her 40s, Kate was scrolling through Instagram while breastfeeding her youngest daughter in 2017 when she saw a competition by Liv Cycling (an incredible women’s cycling brand) for a spot in their Trail Squad; the prize included a new bike and entry to a mountain bike stage race somewhere around the world.
Needing a goal or something for herself, she decided to enter the competition.
Then one Sunday, months later she opened her email to find out she had won and that she was off to the Cape Epic — one of the hardest mountain bikes races in the world.
Held in South Africa, the Cape Epic is considered the Tour de France of the mountain bike world.
It’s an 8 day stage race with 100km+ days in the saddle, in the heat, dust and dirt of South Africa with around 15,000m of climbing (that’s nearly 2x the height of Everest).
Kate’s first reaction was ‘I was honestly petrified. My first thought was: “there is no way I can do that”.’
Then she took a deep breath and said ‘yes’.
‘So what the opportunity with the Cape Epic did for me was that I said ‘yes’. And as soon as I said ‘yes’, all of my efforts went towards making sure I could complete the Cape Epic and do it well’
In this conversation we talk about:
* how she discovered mountain biking and when she fell in love with the sport,
* her first mountain bike race (which also happened to be her first ride with clip-in shoes)
* her advice to anyone contemplating riding or racing on a mountain bike,
* the difference in the sense of accomplishment you gain between training and racing,
* how the opportunity to ride the Cape Epic came about,
* how she wouldn’t have entered the competition run by Liv Cycling if she had known it was for a spot at the Cape Epic,
* how she came to recognise her self-doubt and how it had held her back,
* how the Cape Epic forced her to push her doubts aside and no longer choose the ‘safe option’,
* mother’s guilt and the systems she put in place to share the ‘mental load’ at home with her partner,
* how she found time to train in her busy life, especially given she lives in a very flat area (and the Cape Epic was far from flat),
* her standout memory from the Cape Epic as well as whether at any stage (including standing on the start line) she thought she had bitten off more than she could chew,
* what the experience taught her, and
*the brain aneurysm she experienced at 26.
Notes and resources:
To find out more about Kate or to say hello, you can find her on Instagram.