Ride Like a Girl
We first met Emily Davey two seasons ago at the Spanish EWC. In the company of her friend Fionn Griffiths (also an enduro rider, but also a world class downhill mountain biker) she was scoping out the EWC scene. The following weekend they both rode the Portuguese EWC, only to DNF in what were some very severe conditions.
What we didn’t know then was Emily had only been riding enduro for two years. What Emily didn’t know then was inside of a year she’d be struck by breast cancer.
Meeting Emily again at Lee Walters’ training days was to find a woman the other side of a major life-changing year, but still living with the after-effects. Following surgery Emily had endured five months of chemotherapy, a month-and-a-half of daily radiotherapy, and now she’s in the early months of a FIVE-YEAR programme of hormone therapy. The doctors said they’d actually be happier if she made that a ten-year programme! As Emily explained, it doesn’t help that the hormone therapy messes with your system, causing stress and anxiety. And there’s that constant fear, she says, like when you’ve had three tyres puncture on your car - you can’t help but be paranoid about the fourth... But if anybody at Baskerville Hall was to be the happiest rider to be there, sharing two days with Knighter, it was Emily.
A mother of two, her eldest is 19 (yeah, we did a double take on that too), she’s now on a mission to ride the Romaniacs in 2014.
‘I’ve decided to do the Romaniacs because even after what I’ve been through you never know what might come. When I did the EWC I thought “why not”. I had the opportunity, I reasoned that you never know what’s around the corner, so do it while you can - never imagining that this is exactly what did happen. The doctors could do a mammogram next year and say to me they’re really sorry it’s back again. So I’m doing it now.
‘The ‘ride like a girl’ thing came about when, in the middle of chemotherapy, I was starting to lose the plot. I thought, “right I need to do something really silly” - so I decided on a lap of the Tough One. I phoned Steve Ireland and asked and he said yes, donating the entry fee to the Marie Curie fund for cancer care. And then people were asking if they could make donations too, thinking I was riding for charity. I wasn’t, I was just I doing it for myself, but I figured I couldn’t say no, so I set up ‘ride like a girl’ with a Just Giving webpage and we raised £500!’
And Emily actually completed two laps of the Tough One - she can certainly ride. She says she loves the buzz and freedom of riding, even when midway through a grueling chemo treatment.
‘And now LR Designs www.lr-designs.co.uk have got behind me with logos and merchandise like barpads - with part of the proceeds going to Marie Curie - and I’m doing my bit to raise awareness, not just for breast cancer but all cancers, and I’m raising what I can for the Marie Curie Cancer Care. It’s amazing the support I’ve received since this has happened, the personal messages from people who have also experienced cancer. And there’s the support of people like quad champion Paul Winrow who’s covered his bike with the ‘Ride Like a Girl’ graphics to raise money for the charity.’
Emily is now being trained by Lee Walters and with the best part of a year until the next Romaniacs - and seeing her determination - there’s every reason to believe she’ll be there.