more than just another bike blog

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!

Today was the 7th and final race in the CCCX Mountain Bike Race Series. My goals for the year were to win one race (best finish so far was 3rd) and podium for the series (guaranteed 4th going into this race).

I was excited to race and hoping I had good legs today. I did a massive training load this week -- 22 hours in the previous seven days (ouch) and my legs were fried for our Tri-Flow training yesterday. So I wasn't sure how I'd feel, but I didn't burn going up & downstairs to load the car this morning so that was a good sign.

Dani Weber went to the race with me and we pre-rode the course together (even though she wasn't racing until the 11:00 sport race). It was great to pre-ride with a more experienced racer. I liked the course -- very fast, pretty flat, and a couple of pavement sections. There were a few technical sections I wasn't sure I'd clean, and a bunch of sand, but all in all a course that seemed to suit me well.

At the start, I still wasn't sure how I'd do. Angela asked me (in a secret whisper-voice) if I was going to win. I just smiled, knowing that I probably wouldn't win, but vowing to die trying.

My start was strong and I was nose & nose with the leader as we entered the singletrack. I sat on her wheel through the pre-lap and maintained contact on the climb (yippee). I didn't look back to see if we had a gap so I didn't know who was where behind us. The leader passed one of the men and I couldn't get around, so I lost a bit of ground, but when we swung out onto the pavement, I caught and passed her.

As we approached the ledge (a jump-like short, steep uphill), I got a little nervous. I had cleaned it in my pre-ride, but I hadn't worked so hard approaching it earlier. The trail was congested, I didn't get enough speed, and I fell, causing a train-wreck of beginner women behind me (drat!). While I was untangling myself and getting back on the bike, one girl passed me. I was slow to mount, hit a root, and fell again, while another girl passed me. Shortly after that, a third girl passed me. I started chasing, confident I would catch them on the singletrack, but I got behind two slow guys and one slow kid. I lost minutes before I could pass and I never caught any of the girls again.

So, it was a crazy day. Once I lost the lead women, I was out there alone for the rest of the race. My legs were great, but I just kept falling off my bike (and riding off the track). What's with that? I never fall. The weather was weird -- cold and foggy. I was sweating like the hyper-thyroid pig I am. So, I couldn't see for shit. My eyes were foggy and I felt like I was losing depth perception. And my helmet was sitting too low on my forehead, obstructing my vision. Whine, whine, whine.

Random thoughts from the race in no particular order:

On our pre-ride we saw a little grey mouse lying dead on the singletrack. I carefully steered around him. On my first lap, it appeared that 100 riders before me had hit him -- bright red guts everywhere.

I had decided I'd bring a flat coke on the bike for a late-race sugar/caffeine boost. Since I don't drink soda or coffee anymore, I thought it would serve as jet fuel. I bought a coke yesterday and let it sit open to flat. On lap 3, I decided to take a sip. As I opened the water bottle with my teeth, coke blew up in my face (and out my nose). Choking, I almost fell off the bike again.

Mountain biking is just so cool and the people are great. I've gotten to know lots of folks during this season and it was so great to come through the finish circuit each lap and hear folks cheering my name -- thank you everybody!!! I love the kids, families, dogs, post-race beer, the way everyone comes to stay for the day, the whole enchilada.

I've met some great women. I felt a little teary-eyed today when I said good-bye to Ayshe and Shelly. They've motivated me and I feel like we've all grown as racers together. Thank you both!

During the race, I kept thinking "I'm more of a mud girl than a sand girl." I'm actually proud that I nailed all the sandy sections except one. But I feel more comfortable in the mud.

I'm bummed that my mtn bike season is almost over. I've had much more fun and positive experiences than with my road races or crits this year. Next up is Cougar Mountain and then I think that's it for this year. Bummer.

Hey, maybe I'm not a beginner anymore.....I've done seven, count 'em, seven mtn bike races now, including Sea Otter!

Now, back to those goals. I finished 5th today, so I didn't win a race in the series, but I'm okay with that. I improved a lot and have been racing well (when I'm not falling off my bike). And I moved up into 3rd in the series, so I can check that one off.

***Congratulations to MARY (2nd mtb race) and ELIZABETH (4th mtb race). It was great to see both of you at the line today!!!***

***And finally, big thanks to Keith and Rod for putting on such a great series! Can't wait until cyclocross starts!***

ps -- Thanks for making me feel pretty, Dusty. "Fast riding and good looking" carried me through the week. It's been a while since I've felt attractive.


At 7/02/2006 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank u for the's so much fun reading your report! I laughed so hard because I also saw the mouse you were referring to! LOL

At 7/02/2006 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way, congrats on placing 4th overall!!!

At 7/02/2006 9:57 PM, Blogger Miss Mary said...

congrats on your great season Lori,

I was hoping i'd get to chat with you after the race, but as you've already read, I jutted out of there pretty quick.

see you at cougar (though I won't be racing).

At 7/03/2006 7:22 AM, Blogger Erein said...

It was a fun race. Next year I think I'm going to try to do the whole series.

I'm passing on cougar mountain, so you all have fun out there in the hot sonoma sun! :P

At 7/03/2006 7:47 AM, Blogger velogirl said...

The whole series? Yippee! I thought you hated it? You always make it sound like you hate your races from your blog reports.

At 7/03/2006 10:53 AM, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

very, very cool.


Post a Comment

<< Home