Miss Motocross 1974 Gina Baillie finishes seventh in inaugural all-female street race at Australian Postie Bike Grand Prix

BACK ON THE BIKE: Gina Baillie, who raced in the women's postie race at Cessnock on the weekend. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
BACK ON THE BIKE: Gina Baillie, who raced in the women's postie race at Cessnock on the weekend. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

In 1974, Gina Baillie became the first Miss Motocross at age 13, and 44 years later she has jumped on the bike again to ride in Sundays inaugural all-female street race at the Australian Postie Bike Grand Prix.

The Nulkaba mum-of-two hadnt rode competitively since that year, but managed to finish seventh out of a field of 26 mostly 20-to-30-year-olds. Gina even used to ride with some of the competitors dads back in the day.

Its always in your blood once you start, she said.

When I signed up, I said to Colin (her husband), you know how competitive I am, this isnt just going to be a ride around.

Once talk began of a female race, Ginas son Ethan, who also rode in the Grand Prix, put the pressure on his mum to sign up.

So Gina got out on the bike one afternoon to see if it was, as they say, just like riding a bike.

When I got on, I thought this feels good, she said Its like youre flying but youre not. Its a real adrenaline rush.

She began training and soon had hopes for a top five finish, despite having no experience in road racing.

We had a practice the morning of the race and I was trying to ride like motocross rather than road, she said.

My times got better, but I needed more time on the track.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Gina Baillie (second from right) with son Ethan, husband Colin an daughter Emma.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Gina Baillie (second from right) with son Ethan, husband Colin an daughter Emma.

But it was all good. I think I shocked a few people. I had a lot of years and a lot of weight on the other girls.

One of the people she shocked was Ethan, who had never seen his mum ride, except in old videos when she used to towel the boys up.

Ethan even put a bit of weight on so he could size up against his mum, but Gina held her own her best lap time not far off his while carrying a few extra kilos.

He was so proud, she said.

Gina first started riding at age 7 alongside her brother Adrian. Their dad built a track a few blocks away from their house to help get the riders out of the bush.

I was a bit of a tomboy, she said in a piece of understatement. I shared a bike with my brother before we got one each.

But Gina said despite their history on the track, Adrian held concerns about her getting on the bike on Sunday.

I said settle down, Im not going to fall off, she laughed.

Gina said she wasnt nervous on the start line, and even set her sights on a competitor to overtake straight away. And when she finished the race, she wanted to go again.

There were a few people clapping for me it makes you feel good. Colin even said to me theyre not cheering for Chad (Reed), theyre cheering for you, Gina said with a giggle.

As well as being a chance for female riders to shine, the race also promoted an important cause breast cancer awareness.

Ten grid boys lined the start with pink singlets saying early detection saves lives.

It was great, Gina said. The whole event is absolutely great for the town.

And despite pulling up a little sore on Tuesday, Gina said shed do it again in a heartbeat.

I wish they did it the first year Id be on my fifth year by now!

This story From Miss Motocross 1974 to postie bike queen first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.