This week we talk to Traharn Chidley, all round radster who puts her heart and soul in to MTB. We talk about the transition between regional and World Cup racing and what riding means to her.
1.Who are you?
I’m a country girl from a small village in Shropshire, and simply love riding my bike. So long as I have my bike, friends, family, boyfriend and little dogs life’s pretty sweet. I’m currently sick with the travelling bug, exploring the world and loving life more and more each day.
2. What do you ride bike (s) & discipline (s)
I compete in the elite category for Downhill Mountain biking. I ride DH on my beautiful GT Fury. For cross country, road riding, commuting, pump tracks, it’s all done on my trusty ‘hard tail’ steed .. Cannondale Optimo! Going strong, first bike I had (since I was a kid) and I’ve jazzed her up pretty good.
3. What has been your greatest achievement in riding so far?
hmmm, I see it all as an achievement. The fact that every time I get on a bike I have the goofiest grin.. Sometimes my face hurts after riding from smiling so much. Results wise, 2012 was the first year I competed and I won the series title for both BDS Nationals and Pearce Cycles. I got Midlands Champ title with my bro, and ranked number 1 in the UK, moving in to elite for 2013.. So pretty stoked with that.
4. What do you have planned for the 2014 season?
I’m planning to go back to New Zealand in February to continue training, and compete in a few races they have there. I would like to compete in more World cups and qualify at Fort William, I was so close last year and I know I can do it. I also plan to go back to Canada. I don’t want to just be a racer, as an athlete my focus is to progress with racing and to expand the female presence through biking edits and online media.
5. What is your opinion on equal prizes for men and women in racing?
It would be nice to have equal prizes.. But I also get why we don’t. There are much more men competing, a lot of them within the same second. It’s real hard for guys to get on the podium. For girls, we’re also tough, motivated and try hard, but purely because there’s much less of us competing it’s a lot easier to get podium. At some races you’re guaranteed first spot.
6. Is there anything you’d like to see change or improve for women in MTB?
This fits with the question above.. We need More girls racing! It’s getting better and there are so many girls giving it ago. A lot of girls are embarrassed and don’t think they’re good enough .. But you’ll never know until you try. When you have more people at your level to battle against, it makes it far more exciting.
7. What is riding to you?
Life! It has become a part of me, and made me who I am. My lifestyle has adapted around biking, I now travel all over the world with my bike, I couldn’t be happier. I have met the most amazing people, and got some incredible friends through biking. Anyone who rides doesn’t seem to age.. I know 60 & 70 year olds kicking ass, riding everyday and they act and look so young. It’s something everyone’s done as a child, and that side of you is always there, biking holds on to those child hood memories, and reminds you that life is what you make of it. You don’t have to stress and worry about something, what does that do anyway .. Grab your bike, do some skids and life is good. I love how it brings people together!
8. How did you find the transition from racing regional events to taking on your first World Cup?
Surprisingly it wasn’t too bad. The build up to it was horrible, I couldn’t sleep properly for weeks but as soon as I got there, I saw my NZ buddies and started laughing straight away. I also put less pressure on myself, I had no idea how I’d do, competing against people that do it professionally. It was well organised and I loved the track. Every time I got to the bottom I wanted to go back up again. Pressure wise, regional races are so much easier now, it feels like a day of riding with fun people.
9. Do you have any advice for women who want to take racing to the next level?
Go for it. If you don’t like it, then stop.. And go back to what you do like. Just remember why you’re doing this. Riding should be fun and make you happy, I feel some people get sucked into results, you could be an amazing rider, racing might just not be your thing. Racing shouldn’t define you. Do what makes you happy!
10. Is there anything you’d like to accomplish with riding that you haven’t yet?
I would like to do more world cups, and qualify. I really want to do a variety of races, including the Mega Avalanche. Continue with making fun videos that inspire people. I’m looking for sponsors, to help with support and gear throughout the year, as I could commit more time into riding and training getting better results.
It’s been a fantastic week for women’s mountain biking, Tracy Moseley was crowned the first ever Enduro World Series winner in the women’s category. There was also a fantastic number of women competing in the first ever Enduro World Series. Full results below.
Help Rachel Atherton achieve recognition for her success in mountain biking.
Vote for Rachel in the Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards by clicking here by November 4th and by tweeting #SPOTY about Rachel to help convince the judges to put her in the shortlist for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year!
Northern Downhill #3 Women’s Results – Kidland
1. Rachel Simpson
2. Janine Wolstenholme
3. Gill Dando
This video features the awesome Katy Curd a few weeks back in the 4x World Championships. It gives us insight into the tough competition at the event, and shows us that even the pros take time to ride certain things. Some spectacular riding from Katy, seeing her take home the silver medal.