Monday, May 26, 2008
Coyote Hill MT Bike race
Last year, I raced at Coyote Hill, and it was my first mtb race ever, and I cried for most of the race, which is the first (and last) time that has ever happened. I remember being deathly scared on the downhills, and crashing a lot, most memorably off one of the bridges... it was not a pleasant sight. I finished, dead last, and I knew I had to do that race again. Vengeance!
So I showed up again this year, having not ridden any sort of bike in any sort of while, and I had just enough time (in an Alex sense of time) to preride the course. Off I went, and I got to the first scary drop thing, and I thought to myself, "Ha. I couldn't do this last year without whimpering, look at me go now!" and then I crashed, and whacked my knee pretty hard, and had to sit down until I stopped hyperventilating. I managed to get a lot of leaves and dirt and gunk between my tire and my rim, but I didn't notice this until I was on the start line, when I frantically yanked it off to wipe it out and got it back on and myself on the bike all in time to start. So, I decided that I was just going to ride my bike today, I would crush any competitive spirit within myself and just have fun out there.
I didn't completely succeed in not feeling competitive, because my HR was at like 175 on the start line... Then we started moving and I rode my bike and felt much more relaxed. I moved up on the road to just behind the 14 year old kid, with one girl way up the road already and an NEBC girl just ahead of the 14 year old. I decided that I didn't want to be behind little 14 year old, because she might be nasty good but she might not be, and then I got stuck behind an NEBCer going down the hill. I thought I was cautious, but compared to this gal I'm just CRAZY on those downhills... finally she bobbled and I got by. By now the first girl was out of site, and I was riding in no-man's land for a while, wondering when somebody who actually knew how to ride a bike would catch up to me. I ran down the first scary drop, into some twisty trail that seemed to be pretty new, and then some uphills where I kept bobbling and a girl in green caught up. She got around me on one of the wide uphills, but she was making some terrifying noises on the downhills, and while I know how that feels, I wasn't feeling full of sympathy, so I snuck back around her, just in time to run down the second scary drop, where I got heckled by Colin and Linnea for not riding it.
I owned the bridges this year, instead of them owning me, and then the course went uphill for a while and I wasn't having fun, I was out of breath and my legs were tired and it felt like there was an oven where my head used to be, but then lap 2 started and I started having fun again. There were three moments on lap two when I distinctly remember thinking, "this is FUN!" I think all races should have moments like that. I was riding alone, catching the occasional guy, but no idea how far ahead the next girl was, and not sure I wanted to know, since then I would feel compelled to catch her. It was hot out there, and I could feel the beginnings of a bonk happening, but then I finished, and it felt nice to stop riding. Ended up 2nd, which was kind of a surprise, because I'm supposed to be the person who can't ride technical courses or hills, and this was a real mtb race, with rocks and roots and hills and things, but hey, I'm not complaining. It was a super fun course, and I stayed upright! (except in the warm up). That is generally a goal of mine...
Colin, Thom, and Linnea all had good races (thinks me) and all ended up third. I didn't see where Rachel ended up, but she looked fast out there. George was riding sport, and I actually saw him on one of the switchbacks and was like "GO GEORGE!!", but he said he didn't hear me.
That boy just never stops talking... you'd think if he were racing, he would shut up and pedal faster...
I can make people smile when I cheer!
The fastest guy on one gear...