Tina Weis - Demonstrating that Snow Bike Racing is Inviting to Women
Interviewing women racing in the NASBA Snow Bike Series has been a surprising experience. All of the women are driven; they want to go fast on a snow bike and they want to win. But at the same time they are all kind, considerate and big-hearted and will bend over backwards to help their fellow female racer. In West Yellowstone, Montana I had the privilege of speaking with Tina Weis who has been racing this season’s snow bike series for the first time this year. Tina was really looking forward to this particular event, too much so, because she strained her back in the gym just a few days before the race, pushing herself as hard as she could. So she showed up, unable to race, but with a smile on her face nevertheless, and allowed another woman, Jackie Steinmann, to race for the first time in a full-on NASBA format on a pretty technical course.
I watched as Tina was there at the starting line, supporting and coaching Jackie, clearly helping make her comfortable and convincing her that she could race. Tina was clearly disappointed that she was not out there, but she also knew that the sport isn’t just about her. She is a selfless woman who puts her heart out there for others. Tina and her husband Jason work with kids back home in Montana, through a team building, motorcycle racing program that they started. She said, “This program is for kids who don’t fit into the mold of playing football, basketball or baseball. They are required to have at least a 3.0 grade point average and be involved in other school and non-school related events that help others in their community. Our program helps kids feel connected to part of a team and at the same time grow their own abilities and confidence.” You can see that she is committed to helping kids and other women experience the “can-do” attitude that she carries with her.
Tina does not have a long history of racing as some of the riders do. She just started to learn to ride last year on her Timbersled KTM when she was inspired by her own program. She said, “If I was going to ask the kids to ride, then I needed to ask the same of myself.” Tina has become a true champion for her program and resonates the nature of what she is teaching.
Of course, much of what keeps Tina going is the amazing support that she gets from her husband Jason. He is always there, helping her get her machine race-ready and then getting her set on the starting-line. Jason is well over six feet tall while Tina is very petite, and sometimes her snow bike makes her look even tinier. But when the green start-flag drops, Tina is off and racing, with a big smile on her face. She is pushing hard out of love for the sport and her desire to attract more women racers, and her bubbly spirit is evident. I watch as the women racers hug each other and support each other at every race and I find this to be an important element in why we say “We’re all racers.”
Thank you Tina, we believe that you will help grow this sport one woman at time, as you pass it forward from the other women who took the time to bring you in, Shayla Fulfer, Sarah Whipple, and Shayna Lier, who are both talented and inviting to all women who wish to race.