Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Snappin' Her Fingers and Shufflin' Her Feet.

It's after a weekend, which means another race report...Or two. This is the first week this year that I've done two cycloCX races in two days.

It's one of my favorite races of the year - Oakley Night Cap CX in Des Moines. It's at a bar called Mullets. I normally don't do that well at this race. They even offer a 45+ Women's Masters race, and every year I fail to make the podium. Sigh. 

thanks for the photo, Paul Buchanan
 Saturday is a night race. The women didn't go off until 10:15. I am WAY too old for that shit. John raced at 4, and we got there at 3, so I had SEVEN WHOLE HOURS to wait for my race. As you know, I'm a bit of a spaz, so I'm not that good at sitting around and relaxing, which meant that any chance I got in between races, I rode the course. It was a crazy twisty turny course, and I knew it would be dark by the time I raced, so I wanted to be familiar with it enough, that I didn't turn the wrong way and screw myself over. I was a little worried that I would exhaust myself before I even started the race, though.

I also spent almost a half hour spinning on the trainer before my race.

Photo courtesy of Heather Wince.
 It must have helped, because I had the best start to a race ever. They let the women racing the open category go first, then they gave us about 20 or 30 seconds and sent the masters women off.

I was about 3rd when we hit the tight turn. One of my teammates started to stall-out up the hill. I saw a little hole between her and another woman and sped through it. The women behind me got stuck behind my teammate, and so I was 2nd going into some of the twisty labrynths. One woman in my category passed me and then I passed the first woman who was ahead of me from the beginning of the race. I was pretty exhausted after the 2nd lap and another woman passed me. Damn! I passed two women in the open category and had a good gap on any other women who were behind me and feeling fine to be 3rd. I was even singing while I rode.

Coming over the barriers, I was in too low a gear and I was so oxygen deprived, I set my bike down too hard and my chain jumped off. Double Damn! One woman passed me, but she was in the open race and I was A-okay with that, but by the time I got my chain back on, the rest of the women in my category had almost caught up with me. I only had 2 laps left, so I tried to turn-up my speed. I was lucky and none of the other women caught me. I finished 3rd for the master's women overall and Third in the master's women 45 and over. It was the first time I've podiumed in the Saturday night race and I was very happy with that.

Sunday is a lot smaller field than the Saturday night party.  I was lucky enough to get another decent start. My friend J. got out first and got the hole shot through the first turn.

 I had to go around another woman and cut her off going up the hill, which sounds like an a-hole maneuver, but it's how you race cyclocross, Anyway, that's how I got out in front.

 I got passed by a woman, and I just rode right behind her, doing my locomotive engine breathing, which I can't help, but I'm sure it's unnerving. Finally she moved over and said, "Go on!" And so I did.

  I passed a girl from the open category and saw the gap between me and the women behind me get wider and wider.

 Next I caught up to another woman from the open women's race, but she fought me....For the next couple of laps we battled. I started getting stupid and trying to pass her at ridiculous times and going into corners too hard, so that I went off the course and hit a stump with my wheel. Dumb arse. I calmed down and just rode my bike.

I never caught the woman from the open women's race, but she wasn't in my category, so it wasn't a big deal. Since the two women who beat me the night before didn't race on Sunday. I won the the Women's Masters race.

Part of the prize I got was $20 worth of gift cards to El Bait Shop. I treated John to lunch and all the beer he could drink. Check out all of those taps! My goal of trying to get a little less last this year seems to be on track. Of course, I'm nowhere near most of the women in the open races, but that will give me my next goal...


A said...

Excellent - Congratulations - Who knew Des Moines could be such fun?
Des Moines Hell Yes

Churlita said...

I know. Des Moines has changed so much in the last 10 years. I used to wonder why anyone would go there, but the bike culture there is so fun and the trails so cool that people are going to Des Moines just to ride. I bet you never felt lucky to be from Des Moines before. Ha ha.