Single Speed USA still courses through my veins and fuels my desire to hit the single track whenever we can. The best part, though, was the amazing skills I found in myself while taking it all on. I rode as if I never questioned myself. I BELIEVED in myself, and that's something, admittedly, I rarely do. I even keep a fortune cookie fortune on my bathroom mirror that says "Believe in yourself and others will believe in you too"... I'm starting to wonder if there's something to it.
To keep the flames roaring, we took that energy into 4 weeks of events, travel, racing and fun. The week after SSUSA was my sister's wedding down in Reno, NV. It was a whirlwind 4 days/3 nights of traveling & celebrating and everything turned out perfect, including meeting my new bro-in-law for the very first time. I've never seen my sister so comfortable and at ease, like she truly found her other half.. I'm so happy for them and feel so blessed to have been part of the celebration!
It was a friggin' blast and I think this 'bout sums it all up...
I was riding out of my mind, scrubbing speed in the corners and never thinking twice about an obstacle as I cleared it. The light-switch was definitely on! With half a lap to go, our competition was nowhere in sight and we were lined up to sweep the podium, Girl Fiend style! Alye had begun to pull away from me and I was riding hard to close the gap when my left grip clipped a tree, turning my bars completely to the left, cartwheeling me over the bars and onto my back. My feet were still clipped in as I laid upside down, trying to figure out how to get out of my pedals and back on the bike before I lost too much time. Heck, I never even looked for injuries as I put my bike back onto the trail and hopped on.
But it was over... my crash had broken the seal on my tubeless front wheels, spilling the Stan's No Tubes all over the trail. I tried riding it for a moment, but the protests from my brand new HED. Belgium+ were excruciating to listen to. It's what, 3 miles to the finish? I can do this. I HAD to do this... last time I'd raced St Cloud, I was sitting in third when I head-butted my handlebars in the rock garden, breaking my nose and ending my race. This was payback... I wasn't going to quit.
So, my mtn bike race turning into a duathlon. I ran the final three miles of tight single track to the finish.. and as I did, one-by-one, my competition caught me and left me in the dust. Third to sixth in the final miles, but I wasn't going to quit. I had my fist raised high in the air as I ran my bike across the finish line. Thank heavens for my Northwave Vega's - they were so comfortable to run in and the heel support kept me from rolling my ankles in the rocks & off camber sections.
It had been one of my best races and I wavered back n' forth all night between happy and pissed. But when the dust finally settled, I was so proud of myself. Maybe it's the new LaMere 29'er... either way, the light switch is on and I can see things in a much different light. And I love it and now can't seem to get enough.
Maybe that's why every time I hear "Royals" by Lorde, I think of raging on my bike... it's my kind of buzz..
And we'll never be royals
It don't run in our blood
That kind of luxe just ain't for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler,
You can call me queen Bee
And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.