Wednesday, August 26, 2015

As They Speed Through the Finish, the Flags go Down.

thanks to Lisa Eggers for all of the great photos on this post.

Soooo, on Sunday I did my first real mountain bike race, that wasn't a training time trial race. It was pretty interesting, since last year I said mountain biking was just for fun and I probably wouldn't ever race it...

It rained the night before, which could have meant that the race would be canceled. Our trails can't handle tons of mountain bikes tearing-up the mud, and if it had rained too much, they would have canceled the race. Apparently, it rained jus enough. They gave us a two hour delay.

When we pre-rode the course, I slid-out on greasy corners a couple of times and used that as a warning to ride slow and steady during the race.

 The race begins going up a big hill on a gravel road. It's a great way to thin out the pack before you get to the single track section.

A race all depends on who shows up. I had no idea who I'd be racing against, and sadly, there were only 4 women in my race altogether. I didn't care if I was last or not, I just wanted to have a nice smooth ride and see what an actual mountain bike race felt like.

 I was second to last going into the single track. That gravel hill kills me every time. I figured I'd just see  how it went and ride as hard as I could. The first woman was a 17 year old racing phenom in the area in her first mountain bike race, riding a fat bike. She was easily in the lead, and I wasn't one bit surprised.

 I was able to pass the girl in second on an uphill part. I passed 2 of the beginner men, who started a minute ahead of us and then came upon a third guy who wouldn't get over to save his life. I feel bad for those kinds of guys who are so insecure that they can't let a woman chick them, but I didn't want to lose my second place and he was third from last and had almost nothing to lose in his race. So, the third time I said, On your left," I was much more forceful about it and he finally got out of my way.

I was worried about getting passed, because I knew I couldn't ride some of the things that the other girls could ride. So, I was trying to get out in front of the last two as far as I could, so they wouldn't pass me on a couple of the downhills I was too chicken to ride down.

I got to Cyclocross Hill and was far enough ahead of the two girls, that I couldn't see or hear them behind me. I got off my bike and walked down and then slid on the mud on the way up and wasn't sure if I'd be able to crawl my way up. Luckily, I finally got up, but not without a lot of teasing and heckling from John and the crowd- which I loved.

There was one spot where one of the beginner guys went through the tape. I missed my turn and got lost for a minute, but then figured it out and corrected myself and went back and found the right course. I was happy that no one passed me during that dumb mistake. I headed into the finish, and thought I was firmly in 2nd. Way better than I thought I'd do. The front runner's dad asked me where his daughter was. I had no idea. I thought she was way ahead of me. Turns out, she hadn't pre-ridden the course, so when she came to the part where the tape was down, she got lost and ended up DNF'ing. I felt badly about that, but it's all part of trail racing, I suppose. I ended up getting first and I won a new Camelback. They had great prizes. So, my first official mountain bike race is in the books and The Sugar Bottom Scramble was a lot of fun.


A said...

You Rock ! 1st race 1st place - Guess your done with mountain biking now !

(just kidding about that done thing - you do rock)

Churlita said...

Thanks, A. Most of the time, I feel like a crazy old lady, trying to hang with the younger kids...