Gates is celebrating women's achievements in sports this month by sponsoring the 2019 Colorado Classic bike race, the only stand-alone women's race on the USA pro tour. To highlight the accomplishments of female athletes, Carbon Drive is proud to present the story of BMX racer Laurie Harding.
“BMX is my hobby, my social life and my fun,” says Laurie Harding, a 48-year-old high school math teacher, mother and BMX racer. Harding, who lives in British Columbia, Canada, has won many of the biggest events in North American BMX racing including the Race of Champions at USA Grands, and Canadian and North American age group titles.
Competing while teaching full-time makes for a grueling schedule. Last season she did more than 160 races, driving about 10,000 kilometers (more than 6,000 miles) on her motorcycle equipped with a rack for carrying her two BMX bikes. Harding trains hard to stay fit, with a goal of “riding smarter and avoiding injuries.”
Harding races for Yess BMX on two bikes equipped with Gates Carbon Drive, which she says provide an advantage when powering out of the start gate at full torque–a critical moment when races can be won or lost–and when chains can stretch or sometimes snap. Having achieved many of her racing goals, Harding is now embracing her next challenge: inspiring women and girls. She plans to do more public speaking to encourage females to chase their athletic dreams.
“I like traveling to new tracks and communities and encouraging more women and girls to ride BMX. My favorite part of the sport is meeting other female competitors from varied walks of life–physicians, teachers, tattoo artists, moms, musicians, nurses, social workers, students, first responders, military personnel, and more. Riding a bike provides a sense of power and pride that is so important. If I can inspire other women and girls to get active and achieve their goals, then I have accomplished my mission.”
Harding has a request for girls and women who see her at the track: “If you see me roll up on my motorcycle with my BMX bikes on the back, please come say hello.”