Women's Wednesday: A Racer's Mom with Amy Collier
The Grand National Cross Country Racing Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, is full of amazing women, on the track and off. The racers sure don't do it all alone, and for many there's a behind the scenes unsung hero, their mom.
From the home to the track, they seem to always go above and beyond to make our racing world go 'round. Amy Collier, a friendly face to all, is no different. The Collier family has become an integral part of the GNCC community, and we had the pleasure of chatting with Amy as she shared the ins and outs of her world at the race track.
The Collier family today is an integral part of the GNCC community today, but let's kick things off with how you started in the first place, what brought the Collier family to GNCC?!
We have been around GNCC FOREVER!! Cody is 24. We've been doing this since he was 7!! I remember the first GNCC race I went to, Cody and my husband, Mark, had already been to a few previously. Cody wore an old pair of barn boots, jeans, a jersey with no lettering and rode a Honda stock 90!! I looked around at all of the graphics and blingy gear and thought, "What in the hell is going on here??!!" We had no idea what we just signed up for! Our family has always been quad riders. Cody's older brother, Ryan, raced local races as did Mark and a few of our friends, but GNCC is like the Hollywood of race series! We were definitely out of our league! But here we are 17 years later and Cody has only missed one race in all of these years!!
We all know results aren't made on the weekend but in the weeks before, what else is piled on the mom plate getting everyone to the track on the weekends?
Between races for me it's all about cleaning, restocking, food and prep. I make sure the RV and toy hauler are clean and restocked for the following race weekend. I do all of the food and drinks. My breakfast sandwiches have quite the following, just ask Big John!! Friday's I make sure Cody has a great meal, usually steak on the grill or pasta, as he doesn't eat much the morning of his race. So Friday dinner is essential to give Cody the fuel for Saturday's 2 hour race! I am also Cody's pit crew!! Our mechanic Mike Segers (thee best!!) and myself pit Cody every race! I am the fuel master! We have got to be the fastest pit crew out there!! LOL Just ask me!
The tasks are one thing, emotions are another, what's it like to manage being a mom and watching your crazy kid out there racing?
It's awful (LOL) and wonderful at the same time!! The worry! the fear of injury! I have seen a few of his worst wrecks first hand!! Because wrecks do and will happen! Cody is an AMAZING racer! Fortunately, his wrecks are few and far between. Once we pit him, my nerves settle down (Mike's NEVER EVER EVER settle down). The worst is when you are waiting on them to come through and they are longer than anticipated or don't come through at all!! The absolute worst!ALL of us parents, fans, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, and family of each and every racer want the same exact thing for our racer - to win and finish safely. It's so exciting to see your child work so hard and then succeed. We cheer them on at every lap. So amazing for every finish, every win, every championship! You also have to cheer them on when they don't do well. The talent in every class at GNCC is insurmountable! Their talent and speed is impressive to say the least! You know the saying... you win some, you lose some. For me, it's been more important how Cody handles the losses. He is a super competitor for sure, but to congratulate your fellow competitor that just beat you and shake their hand and talk about the race after is the best! That is the definition of a GREAT athlete in my opinion! I always say, "Competitors on the track and friends off the track!"
Cody has found great success in racing, as a mom watching him, what do you think sets him apart from the rest? Did you see that early on in him?
Let's be honest, most, if not all, racers and families at GNCC are Type A personalities. Hyper focused and driven! The Collier's are as well! We are, as my husband says, "Too dumb to quit!" Cody has always been a high achiever, in academics and all sports and has a great work ethic! He doesn't know how to not shoot for the win in every aspect of his life.
Being a mom is an incredibly special experience on its own, do you think racing as a family adds a new dynamic?
I am a Mom of 4. Ryan started this whole racing lifestyle, even my girls, Kaitlyna and Cassidy, raced a bit! My kids grew up at GNCC! The people that race are amazing! Hard working and dedicated! My family has life long friends all over the east coast, even a few in Canada! I don't know how many summers my house was filled with Cody's racing buddies! Hunter Hart, John Glauda Jr., James Glauda, Mikey Nickels, Drew Landers, to name a few! I'd have them 2 weeks, or LONGER!! They NEVER STOPPED EATING or RIDING!! We had 250 wars on the daily! The memories and friendships are endless! Where else can you learn about success, failures, friendships, heartache, loss of fellow racers, sportsmanship, public speaking, or dedication to your craft?!
The pros to this sport are long! Another part of our weekend is the Saturday night party! Work hard - play harder! I am also a grill master! I have an 8 burner grill that is generally filled with wings every Saturday night! We love to have our racing friends and family (one in the same) come and celebrate!! I love to hear about everyone's races! It's one of the best parts of racing! Everyone talking, laughing, eating, and drinking! Memories and friendships in the making! Even Carrie Jo shows up every now and then!!I couldn't imagine life without GNCC in it! All of Cody's wins and championships! His epic battles with fellow competitors! Commentating with Mikey Waynes and the GNCC crew in the ATV afternoon race! Our friends are endless!
I am also a dog lover! That is an understatement!! My husband calls me the crazy dog lady because we usually bring 5 or more dogs to every race!! Dog fence in tow!! We take our pups everywhere we go!! Actually, the GNCC Annual Dog Show is dedicated after our pup Mowgli, who passed away at Snowshoe years ago.
What advice would you give to the other racer mom's out there?
The best advice I can give to other race mom's is to stick with it! The GNCC is the greatest place to raise your kids! Kids are not indoors, playing video games or watching tv. They are outside learning how to be the best person they can be! Making lifelong memories and friendships that cannot be measured!
Is there anyone you'd like to thank along the Collier family journey?
I'd like to give a shout out to Cody's friends/family/fans for their continued support, to anyone of our friends that have helped at pit (hint hint Richard Gorrell and many others), Mike, Katie and Kahne Segers (KMK Offroad/Mechanic of the Year 2022), all of Cody's sponsors (cause racing is freaking expensive! And they are amazing!), My mom (Mimi), and Lacey Wilkinson (Cody's girlfriend) who does all of the amazing videos for his social media accounts. Thank you so so much!
Lastly I'd like to recognize those special to us that have passed:
Papa (my dad, Cody's #1 fan by far)
Ayden Konkler #823
Matthew Blankenship #127
Laz and Mary Ann Sommers (GThunder forever)
Lynsey Cain #Love4Lynsey
- Forever Missed, Never Ever Forgotten
I hope you enjoyed learning about my Cody Collier racer mom crazy life!! Please stop by and say Hi to us! Anytime!!