Kate Callaghan – a member of the Motorcycling Ireland’s Women’s Trial Des Nations Team 2014, takes time to write about her years preparation and performance at the Trial Des Nations.
From October 2013:
With the season getting ready to start in January 2014, practice and bike fitness starts. With only 3 months to prepare the time is short but possible. Funds are also taken into consideration, with helping raise money for the Trials Committee.
In doing this I take on our Annual Awards Presentation with the organisation of Venue and ticket sales. Also the organisation on the night. I have also helped with course marking for the club MEC. With the Trials Committee’s Training day’s I’ve helped with course marking observing and sign on.
As the season starts in January it is for sure very hard to find the time to help at Championship events but among these championship events there are club trials that I try get out to and help as much as possible.
Throughout the season between competing in Irish Championship and Southern Centre and along with club trials. To keep on top of my riding it involved fitness as trying to find the time to get out practicing during the school months is hard. I took into account that swimming, running and weight training was the best for fitting into the short evenings. With the dedication of swimming up and down a swimming pool for two nights a week this worked wonders for me. Last year I suffered from arm pump; I knew I had to do something. I haven’t had problems since I increased my fitness.
Summer 2014 (June,July,August) :
With more time on my hands without school and just working a few nights a week. I found it a lot easier to fit bike time and fitness into my seclude.
With eating a healthy breakfast every morning and starting the day with fitness. Swimming for an hour & half or running, then following weights and workouts. The evenings during the week I was off work (2nights). I would spend between 2.5 hours to 3hours bike time. I also had training days with the TDN (Trial Des Nations) team. These days were great for bonding with the team and being encouraged to try more hard sections. I would also at the weekend be competing in a trial either North or South. I found this hard to attach to as my friends were going out during the week and I had to miss due to my dedication of wanting to compete well in Andorra.
September 2014: (Andorra time)
Wednesday 10th September:
- I flew from Dublin to Girona, Barcelona.
- With a 3 hour drive from the airport to Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra.
Thursday 11th September:
We unpacked the van and set up in the paddock
10:30am I signed on for the World Trial Championship, with receiving my riding bib.
11:00-1:30pm I went to practice at the practice area on the lovely mountain in 30 degrees heat.
2:00-5:00pm I went to walk the section for Friday ( World Trial Championship) and also for Saturday (Women’s Trial Des Nations).
5:00pm was the scrutiny of my bike.
Then it was dinner and an early night.
Friday 12th September
7:00am The alarm went off
8:00am To the paddock for the final checks of the bike and ‘to check the makeup’.
8:30am FIM Women’s team photo
2:50pm Washed the bike
3:00pm Bike preparation for Saturday (I didn’t participate)
3:30pm off to shower and look good
4:45pm Team meeting in hotel
5:00pm Trial Des Nations Team Parade
5:30pm Trial Des Nations Ceremony
7:00pm Dinner and Off to bed early
Saturday 13th September
7:30am the alarm went off
9:00am to the paddock
9:30am To the start
9:50am Ladies team pictures
10:10am Start (Team Ireland’s Ladies)
Friday World Trial Championship 12th September.
I completely enjoyed my 2nd World Trial. The experience I gain and confidence no words can explain. I was on top form with putting my all into it. Every section I pushed and pushed trying to avoid 5’s. As 3’s are far better than getting a 5 punched on your card. With finishing 33rd position out of 48 riders. I was happy even knowing losing 5 less marks I could have achieved top 30.
Saturday Trial Des Nations 14th September.
Flying the Irish Flag today with Michelle Hanlon.
Porridge on board and eager to go for day two. Full confidence going out after a successful day one. Section one on lap one. The section got the better of me I banged my left baby toe off a rock, as I took the risk of a clean over a broken toe. Fortunately the clean won and the toe suffered. As I carried on with just a little pain.
Then on the 2nd lap the toe became victim again, clean again. But this time my toe became very painful knocking me completely. It unsteadied me and took away my concentration. Continuing the lap bad luck hit me, with my knee got caught and melting to the exhaust pipe, I had lovely pink dye on the exhaust pipe. Shelly and I had finished with a great days laugh and experience with loads of war wounds. The team was truly amazing to work with and I personally had an awesome time.
I would like to thank Motorcycling Ireland with their support and funds for giving me the opportunity to compete at international level and gain such great experience. I would also like the thank the team itself for their encouragement, minding and mechanics.
I look forward to in the future to progress more and hopefully compete at full international level and live my dream.
Yours in Sport,