photo: Amy Dykema / velogrrl

 

Sometimes I try to do too many things…like race my bike(s) 3 times in as many days. Friday night started out with the Women’s Open CX Race at Psycho Cross After Dark (because who doesn’t like a little night time bike racing?). There were 6 of us racing and I successfully came in DFL. The race course was fun enough, with a pretty awesome fly over, a big sand pit, and lots of turns (hey, I ride MTBs, love MTBs, one could say I’m addicted to MTBs… so doing a CX race is not my thing, but sometimes, I do them). My one piece of advice for anyone looking to start CX racing… practice! I am not comfortable on my CX bike yet and therefore I struggled during this race. Not knowing how the bike handles, not being confident in the braking, and just being awkward all added up to a bad race.

photo: Amy Dykema / velogrrl

 

Immediately following the Women’s Open was the race I was most looking forward to…the Inter-Galactic Bunny Crusher Fat Tire Circus.I finished the race and did a super fast bike hand off and number ripping session (thanks Andrew!) to promptly line up last (after being reprimanded by the official for being late). Off I went on my Gunnar Singlespeed. Bliss… I love this bike and that love showed. I moved fast and went through all the turns, sandpit, and weird sections with ease. At one point Amy D. called out my name, resulting in the dude running up the fly over with me commenting on how I just finished a race. I said ‘Yes, I did’ as I hopped on the bike and pedaled on, finishing in a much better position (7th out of 16!) – and I was the only lady. Woot!!

Sunday rolled around and so did an insane amount of rain.

photo: mtbVegan

We arrived early as Andrew was entering his first MTB race. The course was wet, muddy, and messy… but in the bigger picture of the entire day, it was in the best shape possible. So he raced, crashed hard, finished, and still smiled.

By the time my race started it had been raining for the better part of 12 hours. I (seriously) debated about just not doing it. But I lined up, in the rain, with 6 other ladies to tackle the course. We were racing a shortened course of 2 laps, and within a minute of the race I was laughing because this was just insane. After barely getting through the first two sections of singletrack we were riding along the river… the water was up to my thigh. It was cold, difficult to pedal through and, once you did make it through you were riding in super thick, squishy mud. Running, pushing, pedaling… it was all horrible (did I mention how cold that water was?). I could barely ride and was about half way through lap 1 when I started contemplating a DNF. I was struggling, I couldn’t feel my toes, and I was miserable. But somewhere along the way I pulled it together and went out for the last lap. Maybe the cold wet muddiness mucked up my mind, but I thought I’d give the second lap a try. Dang, it was worse. The water receded and left even more annoying and impossible to ride through conditions. I was running up a hill, in the mud, about to cry, when my shoe came off… and I couldn’t find it. It was buried in the mud. I went looking for it (because, really, how can you ride without a shoe?) and eventually I found it but I was done. I pedaled off the course to the finish line to hand in my DNF. I’m amazed and impressed by everyone who finished that day. Because that was tough.

photo: mtbVegan



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