... 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!!!!!