Monday, July 23, 2012

Imagining a Well-Marked Course

Yesterday, was the mountain bike race at Imagination Glen. They are fun trails so I was looking forward to the race even though I've been battling a cold or something for most of the week. I knew the course was technical but didn't want to pre-ride a lap since it's 10 miles. I did ride part of the course, socialized and warmed up. It ended up being myself and one other woman. Imagination Glen are her home trails, so to speak, and I remembered her having a very speedy first lap last year before dropping out due to mechanical issues. So, I was kind of resigned to second place but figured I would see how I felt on the bike.

Then, the race started and several sections of the course didn't have tape on them. I ended up going down one part the wrong way and then ended up riding back the way I had came. A volunteer starts yelling at me, I get turned around to do that portion a third time and then come to another volunteer that makes me stop -- stop -- for awhile because he just started and is not sure where the trail is. Things start going well and, then, another section that is not marked. I guess which way to go and then have someone tell me I'm not on the race course. I double back, look around and, it turns out that, yeah, I had been on the course. Since the other lady knew the race course, she obviously did not have those issues. Talk about a home court advantage.

That definitely tends to ruin your mental game for a race. I spoke to others after the race who, unfortunately, had similar experiences. It didn't help that, during my second lap, one of the volunteers starting yelling at me about the tape being down. Or, the fact that they were paying out for the guys but not the ladies. Or, that I remembered that last year they couldn't find the keys to open up the bathrooms. Ugh.

On a good note, I did get three hours of mountain biking in. They did have watermelon, cantaloupe and bananas for racers afterwards which was cool. And, apparently, they then had their act together for the other races. But, I'm not sure I could recommend this race to anyone.

And, on a better note, we did a little family bike ride to a park after I got home. I took photos of them playing at the park while I laid in the grass looking at the clouds and my dirty legs, which I had been too tired to wipe off. = )

Macomb had been a couple of weeks before. That race I would definitely recommend, even though it is a haul. They had a great course, it was marked well and the guy that runs it is super nice. When I finished, I was handed a cold Powerade. Betsy, Bev and I lined up and decided to just go off the same time as the sport ladies. I rode well the first lap and, then, just wasn't there mentally. Life sometimes sucks and that was one of those periods.

This coming up weekend, however, will be full of fun and smiles. = ) I can't believe my little guy is actually turning six a week from today. His party will be on Saturday and I'm still trying to think of something cool for us to do on Sunday.

Then, the Palos Meltdown is on Sunday, Aug. 5!!! I can't believe it is this soon! We still have a final committee meeting and the packet stuffing as well as final decisions on the course and marking it. I have to say, I will be breathing a big sigh of relief at the end of the day. Ben has been doing a great job as race director and I'm sure he'll need a beer, nap or both by the time it's over. I hope to see everyone there -- either racing, cheering people on or helping out.

No comments: