Road Race: Smithsburg, MD Not racing last weekend left me feeling as though it had been months since I last pulled up to a starting line. Funny how just one weekend can make you feel so out of touch. This might explain a few of my follies such as pinning my number on upside down and forgetting to take off my saddle bag. Was I #899 or #668? Honest mistake really. Follow that up with a saddle bag and you’ve got yourself one classy racer.
It was a 36 mile road race (6 laps on a 6 mile course) on a rolling course on the outskirts of Smithsburg, Maryland. It was on the second lap that I started feeling pretty good about my climbing. I was actually feeling pretty strong. The hills were short and punchy which suites me fairly well. It was on the third lap that I flatted. Funny thing, just that morning I commented on how I never put wheels in the wheel truck. Fortunately there was an unmarked wheel swimming around in the back that I was able to use. (photo: Erin & Amanda of Artemis)
Back on the bike I started to chase. The rest of the field was now way up the road. Did I want to roll around for the next 3 laps and just finish the race? Or did I want to peel off and go explore the local yard sale scene? I’m currently in the market for some garden balls.
Eventually I came upon my teammate Michelle along with some other ladies who had gotten caught up in a crash earlier in the race. Together we put in a half hearted attempt to catch the field…..so you can imagine our surprise when we came upon the entire field at a dead stop. Turns out they put a momentary halt on the women’s race in order to let the master’s through. Yeah …I'll leave that one alone ….it was a fortunate chain of events for me anyway.
Somewhere around 2 laps to go Arley (Hub Racing) and Erin (Artemis) went off the front and managed to make the break stick all the way to the finish. Towards the end of the final lap, Kate encouraged me to make my way to the front of the field. I came across the last big hill in great position. Having not ridden the climb to the finish I didn' have a good idea of what kind of effort I could sustain to the top. Lesley, Kate, and I tried to form a train for the final 700 meters. I think it was Lesley (Cyclelife) who squeezed in between Kate and I. With 200 meters to go ….hell, I don’t know what happened ….I lost Lesley’s wheel ….it was an uphill sprint finish. I think I let it get too big in my head. Next time I think I’ll pre-ride the finish regardless of my expectations for the day. Yup, I think that was the day’s lesson for me. Thanks again Kate for trying to lead me out! (photo: Hamburger hunting in Boonsboro)
Oh, and many many thanks to Amanda of Artemis for the banana case! What a fantastic surprise! Can’t wait to get that much needed potassium back in my diet!
Time Trial: Boonsboro, MD With a 7:57am start time, I was pushing it when I left DC just a little after 6am. In all honesty, I was not altogether excited about this time trial. My head wasn’t in it. I wasn’t aero in any way. The end. (photo: Melanie and Judd)
Crit: Downtown Williamsport, MD: Joe’s race commentary is really starting to come into good form. He had a slow start to the season, but now I really think he’s starting to peak. I especially enjoyed his similes during the men’s pro1/2/3 race:
“…and he was shot out the back like a raisin bran muffin”
Truly great material. Nice job Joe.
By the time our 1pm crit rolled around both my mind and my legs were ready to race. It was one of the more technical crit courses of the season which I enjoy. Things got off to a pretty fast start. Michelle (HPC) fired things up right from the gun. In just 8 short laps I was already looking at the lap counter and wondering how long we would keep it pegged. Eventually a break formed containing one rider from each of the major teams (HPC, C3, Hub, Cyclelife, Artemis, Kenda and Human Zoom). This helped to ease the pace in the chase group, much to my relief. A few ladies put in an attempt to chase them down, none of which were successful. (photo: 7 woman break)
With 7 laps to go I started thinking about getting my self into position for the finish. Just as this thought crossed my mind, the officials announced that the chase group was now reduced to just 2 laps to go. It was a scramble to find position. Looking back I could have been a bit more risky on the back side in order to move up, but at the same time the entire field was getting a bit squirrely. The field sprint didn’t turn out so well. Christina and I rolled in together as we always do. Oh well, we both like riding in the dirt better anyway. (photo: C3 ladies)
Our premature finish allowed us the opportunity to watch the finish for the 7 woman break. Turns out Sonja Evers successfully launched off the front of the break and was able to hold onto a respectable gap. What a beast! It was really exciting to watch her enjoy a beautiful solo win. Nice job Sonja! It was only a matter of time before you got your day to shine! Lesley had a great race and finished third overall. Many thanks to Michelle who really laid it on the line in order to make that break a success!
(Lesley and I took a cool down spin to West Virginia)
It was just yesterday that I was telling my friend Maria (yffmag.com) about my grand idea to invent a banana case. Kind of like a toothbrush case, but with a bend. This idea was inspired by countless bananas that have met their fate in the bottom of my faux messenger bag. Too little, too late I guess. Looks like this idea has already been explored. Damn it! So close to fame!
Last weekend (Hoo-Ha weekend) I spent more time racing to the bathroom than I did on the bike. So I was most grateful to be feeling back to my old self when we arrived at Tour de Tykes in Danville, PA on Sunday morning. Not being much of a climber, I didn’t have very high hopes for this race, but thought I would just get a good song going in my internal i-pod and see how things went. (photo: engrish.com)
It was a funny start. It was about a minute before the race began that I realized we would be plodding up the climb all at once rather than in a staggered start. A slightly awkward conversation ensued among us ladies. We were in a small gaggle off to the side trying to decide whether or not to move up …but no one really wanted to make the first move. This is just a little snapshot into the world of female competition. We all know we’re competitive, for Christ’s Sake it’s a race! So much female competition goes on under the surface. Rarely do women parade their competitive streak in the same way as our male counterparts. This makes for great road trip conversation… Right, so the race ….well, once the climb was over I was able to settle into a good pace. Due to the slightly chaotic start I really had no idea where I was with respect to the other ladies. Nancy and I went back and forth for a while. She would catch me on the climbs, I would lose her on the descents …we went back and forth like that for a while. I think it was a particularly long descent that created a sizable gap between us. With only a few miles left in the race I spotted another woman in front of me, but wasn’t sure if she was in the elite women’s field or the elite 35+ women’s field. So ….I tried to sprint past her on the line …turned out we weren’t in the same class …either way it made for an exciting end to a hot ass day.
So, my good friend Michelle took first, I bee-bopped in behind her (about 14 min. later) in second, and Nancy took third. Aside from the brutal heat, it was a good day. Milling around after the race it was good to catch up with folks I hadn’t seen in a while …I think that’s one of the primary reasons I race …to catch up with old friends. Maybe one day I’ll catch up with Michelle on the trail!
Oh, and thanks again Michelle for taking such good care of Jeff and I! We had a great time! The bromeliads have are doing very well in their new home!
(again, I didn’t take any photos …more photo filler)
Ok ….race reports. Sorry for the delay, didn’t mean to concern
anyone! People start making check up calls when I haven't posted in a while! I just seem to have come upon a writer’s block. In addition, I haven’t been as active with the camera at races resulting in a lack of visual representation. (hence the random photo filler)
So, where to start….
Ride Sally Ride: Originally I had planned on heading up to Amish Country for the Rapho Road Race; however, it seems Red Rose Races has fallen upon some hard times. Skimming a detailed account of the situation posted on the Red Rose website, I was not surprised to find that it is rooted in a tumultuous business relationship between Butterworth and Ruof. Yes, this is the same Butterworth who historically refuses to provide a women’s cash prize and who also excluded the men’s pro ½ field from the 2007 race schedule.
So, it was under these unfortunate circumstances that I found myself at the Ride Sally Ride crit on Saturday morning in Sterling, Virginia. Not much to report really. The field was largely represented by Artemis and Cyclelife (by the way ladies, I could use some of those beads if you’ve got an extra set lying around). The HPC representation included Tania, Catherine, Chris, and myself. Artemis and Cyclelife put out a bunch of attacks. I seem to remember being in a break with Lesley Jennings for a hot second ….but with 20 laps to go there was more than enough time on the clock for Artemis to chase us down.
Chris and I chased stuff down. Chris attacked a few times. I chased some more stuff down. We had few little breaks here and there. Tania’s crank arm ripped right out of her bottom bracket, but she still managed to keep her shit together and not go down. Catherine held her own and even helped chase some stuff down. The sprint came, I thought I had it in me, didn’t quite make it in the points ….but it was a good day overall. Chris and I cooled down together ….we talked racing ….we talked life ….one is really just a microcosm of the other. Thanks for a good chat, Chris!!!