Monday, September 26, 2011


(Photo courtesy of Nikki Cyp.)

I've now done seven races for this year: Women's 123 and Men's 4 in Rantoul, Women's 123, Mens 3 and Mens 123 at Jackson Park and Womens 3/4 both days of the USGP. Last year, I broke my ankle at the beginning of my sixth race. So, things are definitely better this year.

But, Nikki's photo seems to illustrate how this season is starting out frustratingly -- and, yes, I just made that word up. If you look close at the photo, you'll see my rear derailleur in my wheel.

I would see people running with their bike around a CX course, laugh, cheer them on & think "wow, that sucks." I can now officially say that yes, indeed, that sucks. I ran -- okay, very slowly jogged -- around the bulk of the course on Saturday.

I prerode and thought the course was very similar to the previous year. I was getting over a cold but had hopes of bettering my results from last year: 12th on day 1 and 11th on day 2.

I started very poorly in the race and was beginning to pick ladies off. On the third lap, I was coming to a downhill, 180, up and downshifted in the back in preparation when BAM. The derailleur went into my wheel. Rob is yelling at me to kick it, I'm trying to pull it out and then start running. I think to myself that I definitely need to do more running as cross-training. At the start/finish, I got pulled. The guy said my bike was done. I said I was trying to get to my pit bike and he replied I wouldn't make it there without getting lapped. Bummer. So, I was 40th out of 40. But, of course, running a course to finish dead last is still better than being carried off the course for a visit to the ER.

No one had a derailleur hanger so the bike was unrideable for Day 2. Then, Katie mentions that Leah is not racing on Sunday. I asked and she graciously allowed me to take her son's bike. I was originally going to use it as a pit bike but realized it is better than my pit bike. = )

Tom & Christopher took naps (well, at least Christopher. I think Tom did too but am not sure) and then Christopher & I played with blocks while Tom spectated.

I did get to watch the end of the men's race which was awesome. It was also rather amazing to see people go from mostly sober, chill out in the RV and then come back to find people mostly completely drunk. = ) It was like the alcohol fairy had waved her magic wand or something.

Saturday evening, we left the RV in the lot and went with Rob, Julie and their son Andrew to Red Robin. Who knew they were actually vegan friendly? I ate way too much.

Sunday morning, I prerode on my borrowed bike and felt really good on the bike. I was taking turns with barely any braking and was psyched. It started raining. We stood at the start for what seemed like forever. I had my old Fox jacket over me and could watch some of the girls in front of me visibly shivering.

We were off and I was completely excited to see I was in the top five. I was in the top 10 for most of the race. I rode a little too conservatively though and kept losing spots, ending 14th out of 31. I'm a little bummed I didn't hold on to the top 10 but did good. I'm sure I'm still being too tentative -- particularly as I come to the one year anniversary of my break. I hope to do some more racing with the guys -- maybe 4A or 4B, perhaps. But, obviously, 14th is a lot better than jogging with my bike to take dead last. = )

Saturday is CX the Domes. I'll be going and doing the Men's 4 and Women's 3 races. Sunday, I'll be doing at least the 30+ and Women's 123 races. I'm hoping to get another one in as well.