This past weekend was my first race of the year. It was a humbling experience on so many levels. First, I’ve only been riding and training for the past 5 weeks due to an injury that kept me off the bike all winter. Second, I’m focusing on endurance events and due to my injury I downgraded my 100 mile race plans for the 60 mile option. Third, fourth…. fifth…well, you’ll see…

photo: Race Vista

photo: Race Vista

My endurance was thoroughly tested this past weekend as I embarked on the WEMSNorthern Kettles Endurance Challenge. On the drive to the event it was raining, windy, and about 10 degrees cooler than the weather predictions were. I was nervous. The rain stopped shortly before arriving at the event, but it was cold. Very cold. I brought the clothes I thought I’d need for the weather forecast…which was totally false. I put everything on and headed to the start… shivering.

By lap 2 the sun was out, the wind calmed, and I was feeling better and having a blast on the trails. Very technical and flowing, rocks, roots, turns, everything I love. Halfway into lap 3 is started raining, sleeting, hailing, the wind kicked up, the trails got greasy, and I was frozen. I pushed on and convinced myself to at least go one more lap. It was all I had and after 40miles, I called it a day. Climbed in the car, wrapped in a blanket and tried to feel my toes again.

Sure, I’m disappointed in myself, but I learned a valuable lesson. Just bring everything…you never know when the weather will change and I’d rather cart around warmer items and not need them, than to be in desperate need of something warm and have nothing. But more importantly I had fun, I didn’t crash, and I managed to come in 2nd place….it was still a great day.


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