Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Muddy Day 1: Mercer, NJ

This photo was early in the race... the bike still mostly looks like a bike.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Video Clip: Ohio day 1

Here is a link to the first day of racing in Ohio. It is worth the watch. I am "lucky 13".



Warm. Sunny. Dry. So much unlike everything we've done this season. I was really looking forward to Savannah. It was the Georgia State Championships so we were looking forward to some good racing. Star and I were headed south and there were two days of racing, Saturday night and Sunday to look forward to.

We arrived in Savannah to 70 degrees and sunny. The race was at a dirt track speedway and it was dusty and flat. Saturday's course was short and open, with a really cool fly-over. They had to keep it close enough to the infield to keep it "under the lights" for the later races. What a neat event. Some of the corners were DARK; I had pre-ridden in the day light so I almost killed myself on the first lap numerous times.

Star started off the weekend for us with a WIN. She rode confidently and never looked back. She was all smiles as she crossed the finish line. Not wanting to be out done in my race I also took the lead from the start and won the race. What a fun evening.

Sunday was the GA State race so the fields were bigger and faster on Sunday. Star's race was first again and she did a repeat of the night before with a convincing win. That's two for two on the weekend. Our self proclaimed "endurance queen" is rocking the cross scene!!! Great job girl.

I also won my race. Vantaggio tore it up; the only thing that really sucked was that we are not GA residents so although we both won the GA State Championships, neither of us got the winner's jersey. That's okay, we have our own state race in January.

USGP: Louisville, New Jersey and back again...

... and the theme of my season; MUD!!!

Okay, here is the update on the last month of racing. I have been all over the Eastern US and it has been incredible. I have proven to myself that I am a competitive UCI racer in the Elite Field and I LOVE this sport!!!!!!

Our friend Andy sums up the day without words.

After the two weekends in GA and an incredible weekend in Ohio it was time for more USGP racing. The weekend after Ohio I had an unexpected weekend off. It was nice to stay home and get the bike cleaned up a bit. And sleep in my own bed for a few more days. And then the whirlwind began.

Kym climbing the "green monster" in Louisville. The steps got bigger each lap.

USGP #2 was in Louisville, KY. I was really excited to see where I stacked up now that I had some racing in my legs. We again headed to a race weekend in the rain; I am getting tired of destroying my bike every weekend. Oh well, this should be fun. We were staying with one of the kids that came to our camp this summer and his family and they were awesome. I have never eaten so well on a race weekend. Thanks again!!!!

It was another muddy weekend but I did well. I got 12th and 11th. Both great finishes. I was also called up 10th all weekend. That was really cool. It is really great being competitive in big races with the front part of the field.


After Louisville was a weekend of sunshine and warmth in Savannah for the GA state championships. I'll do a separate post on that. Star and I both went and it was AWESOME.

And then I put on my "bad idea jeans"....

So, the USGP #3 in Mercer, New Jersey was the weekend after Savannah. I decided that I could drive to NJ and back, and race, in just over 3 days. Yep. It somehow sounded like a good idea. Not sure how that happened. So...off I went. Going to NJ meant giving up any hope at winning the GA series (I would now miss too many races for an overall win) but my goal is Nationals and NJ was better preparation for that.

I left home Thursday evening and drove to Johnson City to stay with my friend Kim (who came with me). We got up Friday morning and drove. And drove. And sat in traffic in DC. And sat in traffic in Baltimore. And sat in traffic in Philly. You get the idea. It was a LONG day. I had strained my hamstring in Savannah and it was killing me by the time we got there. And it was RAINING. Bad idea jeans....

Saturday morning came REALLY early (Margaret and Kim raced at 8:45am) and I was tired. The rain had slowed to a drizzle. The first races of the day were muddy but the course was rideable. And then the rain stopped. The thing about mud is that sometimes it is worse when it starts to dry out. It turns to peanut butter. And it gets sticky. Really sticky. By the time my race started it was BAD. Bikes were caked with mud. Girls were taking a pit bike every half lap. I do not have a pit bike. I watched riders that I was riding way stronger than get a clean bike and ride away from me and my 50 pound steed. It was incredibly frustrating. I finished 20th with a bike that no longer shifted, had brakes or even rolled. But I finished. And I was still ahead of a lot of girls.

Sunday was better. The course dried out for us and I had found a pit bike to borrow "just in case". Unfortunately I got caught behind a crash at the start and was then LAST. I ran over a poor girl who went down. I spent the entire race chasing. I rode well, it just wasn't enough. I finish a disappointing 18th. Oh well, it was still a fun day of racing. And my wheels rolled so it's all good.

And then we got in the car and drove. And drove. We took a different way home; it was a bit longer but we avoided DC. We got to Kim's at about 2am and I was up again at 6am to drive to Chattanooga in time to be at work at 11am. I will not do that again.

So that is the brief update of where I've been. It's been a great season and I am really excited for Nationals. Only 3 weeks!!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

GA Cross #2

Okay, obviously I am slacking again.... Cross season has kept me so busy that I barely have time to see myself going out the door again each weekend. I haven't unpacked my bag or the car since the end of September. My blog posts are a bit late. I will try to get caught up this week. And I'll post some pictures too.

The second GA Cross weekend combined two of my favorite things: a winery and cross. We raced on the property of a winery in Dahlonega, GA. The course was OK; not great but still fun. And it was surrounded by a beautiful setting and WINE. It had a killer run-up to the finish (it was rideable for one lap and then it was easier/faster to run...) and a LOT of climbing.

Saturday night was a one lap time trial, winner take all. I knew that the riding the run-up was going to be the key so I forced myself to save some for the end and nailed it. I won. Good start to the weekend!!!

Sunday we lined up a big competitive women's field. I wanted the hole shot so I nailed it from the gun. It worked, I took the lead and never looked back. I celebrated with some wine tasting and we stopped at an orchard on the way home for pie.... what a perfect weekend.

Thanks for reading.