Monday, January 23, 2012

End of year/CX season report

The past month has been kind of crazy. After the Afterglow, was all the craziness of Christmas. Christopher got way too many toys, I was able to go ride singletrack on Christmas Eve -- so mainly good stuff but very busy.

New Year's Eve & New Year's Day I did the CX races at Indian Lakes Resort. I was able to get out and preride on that Friday. A course that helps if you have a lot of power, which is something I do not have a lot of. On Saturday, the 3/4 race could have gone better. But, it could have gone worse as well. I was 9th out of 23. I then volunteered at a course crossing. I looked ridiculous but I mainly stayed warm and I got to watch the women's and men's elite races at the same time. = )

After I was done volunteering, I got ready to do the Women's 2/3 race. There were seven starters with two breaking derailleurs. I finished 4th and was happy with my racing. After crossing the line, I grabbed my pit bike and immediately hopped in the car to go celebrate Christmas with my mom's side of the family. I arrived late and muddy but was happy to see everyone and eat way too much food.

On New Year's Day, we had a much smaller turnout. There were only 12 starters for the Women's 3/4. I raced really well and took 4th. The only bad part was I mistakenly thought I was in 3rd so it was a bit disappointing to realize I missed the last podium step. However, I got another upgrade point!!! Woo hoo! Granted, not that I think I'm Cat. 2 caliber yet but I'm still pretty excited that I now have 2 points.

Tom & Christopher showed up after my race. I was able to see them, volunteer and watch some of the men's & women's elite races. Only Ellie and I were signed up for the Women's 2/3 race. We were able to just do a parade lap and she was nice enough to let me win. That was very fun. = )

Then, it was off to Madison for Nats. We got there Tuesday. I prerode the course and was in an excellent mood. The morning of the race was just too hectic -- as things can get when you have a five-year-old and spouse with you. I did a lot of stupid things -- such as forgetting to change shoes, or at least clean out my cleats, before the start. I kept unclipping at the start and was almost dead last by the time we hit dirt. I would gain some spots and then either slide out or have a mechanical. I ended up 12th out of 19 finishers/23 starters. Bleah. Since that was the B race, I had hoped to do better.

Friday (Jan. 7) was the 35-39 Nats race. There were some Cat. 3's but an awful lot of Cat. 1 and 2's so I was hoping to race well for me but not expecting to place well. I was 12th out of 16 finishers/18 starters and was mainly pleased with how it went. I seemed to keep being attracted to poles/stakes however and felt a lot like a pinball bouncing around the course. It took me forever to track down the gloves I tossed during the race but I then scored a six-pack of beer. It would have been better if I actually drank beer but that's okay.

Not quite a full week later and we were trekking down to Kentucky for Worlds. I was excited for the opportunity but also not very optimistic. There were barely any other Cat. 3's registered and I came down with some type of stomach bug Wednesday night, spent all day Thursday in bed and went 24 hours without eating. Luckily, I was almost back to 100% by Saturday morning. Since you had to pick up your number the day before your race, I had the opportunity to preride the course on Friday. Lots of frozen ruts in what would have otherwise been a power course. The officials did, unfortunately, take out a technical section that I could ride.

The course stayed frozen for my race. I went back and forth with a couple of girls for most of the race. One got past me but I held the other one off. I did slip on the ice going over the barrier and went down hard on my left knee. Lots of blood on my skin suit and it is still actually sore. I ended up a lap down but was still very happy with how I did. I was 14th out of 17 out of a field filled with pros, speedy girls and an Olympian. A huge thanks to Tom who took off work Friday so we could go and who made sure that I could warm up and get ready for my race. = ) Another huge thanks to Rob Curtis who was in the pit for me in case I needed to switch bikes, cheered and, of course, gave me some awesome wheels to race on.

On the way home we stopped at the "Midwest's Largest McDonald's" which had an indoor tree-house playground. Christopher was a happy boy. We then stopped at another eating establishment before getting back on the highway so I could get a veggie burger and fries.

Last week was spent trying to catch up on various work projects. Sunday, I was able to try out a fat bike at 2Bici. My first time out I couldn't understand what all the hoopla was about. I came back tried the same section on my 29er and realized there were some perks. I went back out on the 15 Salsa Mukluk with the seat dropped more and forward and some air out of the tires. I liked it a lot more the second time around. I think I would definitely need a 13 or, more than likely, the XS 9:Zero:7. Unfortunately, a fat bike is not in the budget. I'm still trying to catch up on work stuff and have barely given much thought to 2012 except for realizing that my CX age will be 40.

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