It all started Friday night, as Jay and I headed up to Cable, WI to stay w/ "Best Rep" Rick at his super-spiffy cabin. The place was beautiful, and just the rest we needed before the Cable Off-Road Classic the next morning. Saturday morning was filled with excitement - this was to be my first Mountain Bike Race EVER!!! I was doing the 18 mile race with Rick, while Jay raced the 23 miler w/ the Chucker, G-reg, and super Dennis.
Just before the start, the skies leaked out a 10 minute rain - just enough to make the dusty trails tacky. Jay dropped me on the side of the road and pointed "onward" to the start. Actually, I knew where to go....this race came full circle, taking me back to the lodge I've seen many a 4th of July fireworks display as a kid, with my best friend since I was 10 yrs. old having a cabin on Lake Namekagen. Their family sold it last summer....and I never thought I'd be back, let alone w/ my fiancee, racing mountain bikes!
The trail was spectacular! Carpeted as far as you could see with lush green ferns, the rolling hills gave way to peaceful woods and preceded rocky downhills. 7 miles in, flying down a rocky desent on my fully-rigid single speed, my tail got wicked and started to swing out in front of me. In total slo-mo, I grabbed the brakes, completely stalling my bike on my front wheel, while swinging the back end behind me, clipping out my right foot, and landing gingerly, rubber-side down. It was absolutely shocking, and I took a moment to appreciate it before clipping back in and completing the race. I rode hard and had a blast, TT'ing it the last 2 miles to the finish and completely destroying a guy on the line that had passed me at the 200m mark! I found Jay, the Chucker, and G-reg at the finish and we headed out of town for some clean clothes. Later that afternoon, I came to find out that, not only did I get 9th out of the women's class, but 2nd place in my age category!!! Wowza! I was so stoked! Chucker got 1st in his age cat, and 8th overall, Greg got 12th in the overall, and Jay ....well, first time out of the top ten. As my mom said the other night: Tiger Woods had a slump when he fell in love too. :)
We headed home after some hang time and burgers with Rick and the fam, trying to catch the Sat. Night at the Velodrome to cheer on the black n white. NC Tainter, Timmer, and the Krusinator rode hard as we cheered beneath a dozen layers on the 40 degree night. Timmer was on fire!...as usual....and Tainter put up some great competition out there, stitches and all. After the races wrapped up, Timmer, Jay, and I grabbed some burgers, then all headed home.
Sunday morning came to early, but we headed out, fully amped for Mtn. Bike Race #2...the MNSCS Race #1. I rode the citizen race, 2 laps of some sweet flowing Single track on what else, but my Fully Rigid Single Speed, the Baloney Pony. The first lap ran well at a nice moderate pace. Jay kept popping up all over the course cheering me on (I love when he does that!) He even got a quik vid of me leading out a pack of guys thru the single track! As I started my second lap, Jay was there, shouting for me as I neared the single track letting me know that the gal I was "chasing" was not too far in front of me. Sweet, I thought, I'm in third!
Adrenaline kicked in hard, and I turned it up a notch. I saw flashes of blue between the trees on the trail ahead and I closed in. A mile or so in, I got on her wheel. She was riding a full suspension geared bike, and pushing a pace right at the edge of my comfort level, so I stayed on her wheel and prepped to beat her in a sprint on the open field. The trail was definitely dry and rigid, forcing me to struggle for control in spots. How bumpy was it, you ask? Just ask the Kreme Queen.
The second we left the single track, I heard her gearing down and pull a couple dozen yards in front of me. I caught up quick before the sharp left-right-combo, as she got away again w/ 150 m to go....I closed that gap so hard that I almost got her on the line....finishing a mere 5/10ths of a second behind her....for SECOND PLACE OVERALL!!! Wow!! It was so exhilirating that there was nothing to be disappointed about. Luckily, she was younger than me, so I still scored 1st in the 20-29 yr. old Women cat. Man, was that fun. I learned so much about trusting and pushing myself, and Jay got the finish on video! Check it out! First official podeum - raise it up!
Did you see that finish??
Jay rode his buns off, too, in the expert race. Of course, he got the hole-shot, charging off the line in style. It was so much fun, feeding him bottles and cheering hard! Jay was on the wheel of one guy coming out of the single track, and completely kicked it down, tearing away from him and finishing hard.
He got 16th overall, and 2nd in his age class. G-reg scored 4th overall and 3rd in his age cat in the Comp class. Silver Cycles and Peace Coffee both represented hard and strong out there on the trails with a number of great finishes, including the OC finishing 4th in her 1st Expert race. Nice job, racers! I hope you all had even a fraction of the fun I had!!
All I can say is that life is good, and riding my bike is so much fun.....doing it all with Jay - priceless.
Head over SPD's,