At 22 and with only one race under her belt, Asia Morris took third overall in the geared ladies category at the 2013 Marathon Crash Race. Born and raised in Long Beach, a college roommate inspired her to trade in her beach cruiser for “a little less clunky” bike. It was then that she started riding avidly on Tuesday nights with a group called the Juggernauts in 2008. Asia was busy acquiring her BA from Scripps College in Claremont when she won a sprint race in Riverside in 2010, and only a week ago she competed in her third race in South Korea at King Track placing 2nd. Natural talent is strong with this one.
“So, I guess you could say you’re catching me at the beginning
of what might be a promising career or just a really fruitful hobby.”
One on One with Asia Morris:
1. What influenced you to pursue racing? Why?
I race because I like to surprise myself. I think the scary part about racing is putting yourself out there, believing that you’re fast, that maybe, just maybe, you’ve put in enough time and training to put yourself above the other competitors. I remember the first time I raced, I hadn’t planned on it at all. I’d been riding for a couple years but not with the hopes of winning any races. I’d always enjoyed the friendly competition with the guys I rode with weekly, but I’d never thought about having any potential to win. I remember I’d tagged along with my boyfriend at the time to watch the Victoria St. Drag Race in Riverside. There were about forty male competitors, some looked pretty serious, others not so serious, and then I noticed there were only five female competitors. I thought, wow, I’ve been riding a lot, maybe I could do well. Just the thought of entering the race gave me butterflies, made me almost sick to my stomach, but that could’ve been the Little Caesars I had just eaten. It was silly, but I won and blew my fears out of the water.
I didn’t race again until Wolfpack this year where a whole new set of fears waited for me, I didn’t exactly blow past them, I mostly crashed into them, twisting my cleat out of place and messing up my knee. I remember falling over before the race even started because I couldn’t get my shoe out in time (I’m kind of new to clip less pedals) I got up and bowed to a round of awkward applause. Then my chain fell off. I’m kind of a klutz so it’s absolutely amazing that I even placed. I expected top sixteen, but 3rd?! That’s crazy. So yea, I race because every time I do well it’s a surprise. Even in Korea, I chose not to expect to do well, but just to do my absolute best. I wanted to go on the trip because it seemed like a crazy thing to do, but I figured if I’m not doing things that seem crazy I’m not really living.
2. What have been your results this year in “sanctioned” and “unsanctioned” races?
This year I placed 3rd in the Wolfpack Crash Race and 2nd in the Women’s Keirin for King of Track in Korea.
3. What do you think about when you train for races?
I usually think about how I’m not training hard enough or how Bud’s rear wheel is getting farther and farther and farther away from me… We’ve been training together for a couple months now and I figure, as long as I can keep up with his chill pace that means I’m pushing myself hard enough. But now I think it’s time to push myself a little bit harder.
4. What interests do you have outside of cycling?
Outside of cycling I’m a creative writer, a visual artist, and sometimes a singer when I’m not paralyzed by shyness. Since graduation, I’ve showed my work three or four times, in a couple galleries and someone’s house, while I just finished up an internship at the Orange County Museum of Art. I’m currently looking for a job in the visual arts and paying the bills as a receptionist.
5. What is your all-time favorite racing moment to this day?
Probably when I lost at King of Track. The other cyclist, MJ, kicked my butt by like half a wheel. I wouldn’t have wanted the finish to be any different. It was so exciting, and I learned what I need to do differently for my next track race. That’s the beautiful thing about racing, you can always lose, but then you just learn, train a little harder, and then go back for more.
6. What are you looking forward to this year whether in “sanctioned” races or “unsanctioned”?
I’m looking forward to meeting other female cyclists, hopefully some that I can train with.