|Oh yeah! How sweet it is! Fine champagne (or cheep) celebration! Celebrated another win at OVCX Eva Bandman. Photo: Tim Brown|
Man, I took a couple weeks off the blog and next thing I knew, life just flew by! Cross season does that to a person. You spend the whole year prepping yourself for it, and the next thing you knew you are standing in Wisconsin at Nationals planning how to approach the next season after Master's Worlds ends. No way can I stop now... we are in the thick of the season!
Anyway, so since the last posts I have packed in another 6 races, many miles and hours in the Honda Pilot, slept in 5 different beds (no, this isn't like you think), had many many cups of coffee, bananas, and oatmeal, had a few meals from team chef Melinda, went through a chain, a tubie, and accumulated several mystery bruises. Somewhere along the way I even got to step up on the podium 5 different occasions with the last one being on the top step! Yes!
So since time is short and a picture is worth a thousand words. I will mostly keep the post as show and tell. But let's get to it:
The ICX (http://www.indianacxcup.com/index.php) race in Richmond kicked off a weekend of bad mechanical luck for me. I had a chain skip problem from the start only to have the problem come to a head with my chain link breaking clean with one lap to go. I was as far as possible from the pit (of course) and enjoyed a nice walk in the park to get my B bike to finish off the race in 3rd. Twas okay with me really, Sierra S. was in 2nd ahead of me at the time and I was in no way gonna catch her so I didn't mind saving my legs for the OVCX Gunclub the next day.
|This pretty much sums up my race weekend. Here I'm running to the pits from a broken chain. Didn't even feel like I worked up a sweat... mechanicals are frustrating, but machines break down... just happy it was ME that broke down. Photo: Joni Siebenlist|
So on that note, I was pretty pumped up for the famous Gun Club ovcx http://ovcx.com/ race the next day. GC is always highly attended and the course is just a blast even though it doesn't seem to play to my strengths much these days. After a nice overnight stay with my generous teammates Bill and Teri the night before, I was ready to roll. I had a pretty good start and was getting settled in and then found myself settled on the ground after another racer had a crash directly in front of me. I spend precious time untangling my bike from hers and fought like heck to catch back to all the people that passed me... only to have my rear tubie roll in one of the tight corners. So I ended up getting more time to walk in the woods to the pits... but once again it was a long walk, and I dropped down to 17th place when it was said and done. Boo! Crazy weekend!
Sooo after that was the first mud race of the year! We headed to Bargarsville, IN for another ICX race. I had planned a week trip with my Mom around this weekend and had considered skipping racing this day, but she was willing to sit out at a cold muddy cx race, God love her, so I decided to just put forth enough time and energy to show up and get it done. In other words, it wasn't a priority on my list and my 4th place results reflected that... but I was cool with it. It was fun to get the hang of the mud again and get the Tex Market team kit (http://www.texmarket-usa.com/usa/chi-siamo.php ) some cx mud on it to properly break it in! It was also kinda fun to show up for a race with little to no pressure for a change!
| Taking on the first mud of the season! MMMMuuuddd!!!! |
Photo: Kent Baumgardt
|Stretching out the legs a little in the mud, a good proper gloomy day for cx! |
Photo Kent Baumgardt
Next up was Blooming Cross in B'town! Love this race! I like the venue all around and the weather didn't disappoint either. It was a beautiful day. I was focused on this race and had a good showing for me. I think I ran in 3rd the majority of the race (at least that's what my Don Walker Cycles racing team camp was shouting to me ( http://www.donwalkercycles.com/), until I faded just a bit at the end. I ended up getting 2nd in my Master's class and 5th (?) overall in the elite class. It was a super fun race as Bridget and Gerri and I had a good, clean, back and forth race the entire time. Love that! Plus, I was treated to a ice cold brew of root beer from neighboring Shamrock Cycles afterwords (http://www.lugoftheirish.com/Shamrock_Cycles/Home.html) too! Double bonus!
|Wonderful day of racing against yet another strong Ohio Valley Elite Women's field! Best part of the day was my teammate Teri Meek taking the overall WIN! Two weekends in a row for her! |
Photo: Kent Baumgardt
After that, Mom and I departed on our yearly Brown County cabin vacation trip and it was a much needed 3 days of chilling out with her. I really cherish the time I have with my Mom and this week was no exception. I had some wonderful, quite ride time in BC and had nothing to do except relax by the fire and hot tub most the rest of the time. Bliss!
|When all else fails... there is nothing a Twissler hand up from a kid can't make better! |
Photo: Team J's Bikes
And then it was GO time again! After our cabin trip, I came home to pass some gas for a day before heading off to the races again. ICX ventured to Martinsville next and the course had a nice film of moisture to make it a challenge. The only really bad part was the addition of the "hell hill" they added on the backside of the course. I was not a fan at all... and neither was my bum ankle, plus I was running on very very little sleep and the hunger to perform just wasn't in my belly. I gave a few good efforts here and there, but I decided pretty early in the race to not spend energy that I simply didn't have. It was a good little practice race for me and I still managed 4th overall.
|Charging hard at Eva Bandman!|
Photo: Nathan Roberson
After that I was off to L'ville for the OVCX Storm Eva Badman. I really love this venue as well... like many other racers. My team owner and his new wife were kind enough to house me for the night and I stocked up on much needed sleep! I knew I needed to sleep tons so I could focus on racing the next day... plus staying in the NAHMBS (http://2013.handmadebicycleshow.com/) founders house didn't hurt to help me focus on bikes either! Kinda like a custom bike museum.
|Good thing mechanical luck went my way... looks like I avoided some down cx tape! |
Photo: Nathan Roberson
I headed out to the races after a nice breakfast and got to the task at hand. I knew the day would go well since the song that the venue played during staging of my very first pro race years ago came over the truck radio as I pulled into the race park. I was pumped! I have just finally been feeling like my high end fitness has been kicking back in and I was anxious to see if I could manage a good ride at the future World's venue. Turns out, I could! I got off to a good start and laid down as much power in every place I could. The course had great flow to it and having a bunch of DW crew around the course (along with many others) didn't hurt either! We had a strong field of women this day and I was really pleased to be hanging in 4th for a while, but my main focus was taking the win in the Elite Master's Cat. I managed that and also held on for 6th overall even though B-jet was charging hard.
It felt so rewarding personally to take the win. My myasthenia was giving me fits all week and after deciding to save my matches the day before, I banked a lot of time and effort into this race. It paid off and I had a blast doing it!
Thanks to all my teammates and friends for the support out there!
|Channelling my inner Stella. Stelllaaaa! |
Photo: Scott Whitehair
Next up is Cinci UCI3 weekend... that's 3 days of racing! It may not seem like a lot to the average joe, but 3 days of focused racing is an exhausting effort for everyone involved, but we can't stop now....
|Mi familia! Yeah... that's right!|
... we WON'T stop now!
See you all at the races!