Saturday, November 7, 2009


October 25 th 2009 was a bittersweet day... The last mountainbike race of the season... Not knowing if we had a sitter, Jim opted to ride the tour and I was going to do the race. Lining up Sunday morning, with the usual suspects, I looked at it as a group ride and set a goal of about 7 hours.. Deep down I wondered about my legs and what I could expect from them coming off the Burnin' just 2 weeks ago.. There was also a chance of rain to make things interesting.

After crossing the make shift bridge at the water crossing, thank you Scott, I knew the gravel would be tough on my SS so I just pedaled and looked forward to the singletrack. The trail was covered in leaves but otherwise in good shape. I reached Brazil Creek and saw a bike and a helmet, hmmm. Getting to the switchback I see a guy being carried down on a board. After about 10 minutes we are able to pass. The volunteers apologize for "holding you guys up". Not necessary. I said a short prayer for him and moved on..

At mile 21 I got to see Jim , who was surprised to see me so soon. Jim is an awesome pit crew, as many of you found out.. He gave me some liquid fuel, an apple and a bagel I shoved in my bra for later. He then informed me that my teammate, Mason Storm, was only a few minutes ahead of me. After crossing the Hwy I already knew I would be in for a walk on the longer climb, so I made sure to ride the steep short one. I came upon another rider and asked if he had seen Storm.. He had .. Storm was close. I started yelling " Storm, I am coming to snap your wrists.." Finally I caught him. He was " just chillin". I had the pleasure of riding with him until the road climb back to Berryman. My downhills arent very fast, but I can climb pretty well.

Jim pushed me through very quickly. Yea, finally to our piece of adopt-a-trail.. I know this well and was able to reach Beecher in record time.. The rain wasnt so bad until about now. Wet, cold, and tired I reminded myself that there was BEER at the finish. Keep going.

Around mile 43 I was surprised to see Jim and Doug Busken, who gave me a much needed jacket. About mile 45 I realized I had no brakes after I hit the first of 3 trees . I have experience with hitting trees and am tougher than I look. But, how am I going to stop on the gravel downhills ???
The mud was thick and took a lot out of me. I was thrilled to hit the gravel, or so I thought. I had wished I had a mask on to deflect the gravel from hitting me in the face and eyes. Finally , the last downhill . I squeezed my brake levers as hard as I could and was able to make the turn, screaming though. The guy behind me was not as lucky, and hit the fence. I dreaded the water cross but then realized I was already wet, so it was not a big deal.. I could hear the party and smell the beer by now. I finished at 7 hours and 49 minutes, with a huge smile. I felt great and wished there was 10 more miles left. I am confident that my 7 hour goal would have been within reach if conditions had been better. Next year!!

Special thanks to God, for my strength and safety, Jim for being so supportive, the volunteers for making it all happen,Jason Pryor for the preride pasta, Busken for the jacket which is finally clean,and finally to SHE-RA my bike {Specialized SS Rockhopper } that made it all possible.
Congrats to Loreen, Karen, and Christine for spectacular finishes. Way to go Kevin Bonney, at 17, was the youngest finisher. It was a pleasure talking to Clayton Bell and Garth Possner , who I think is amazing and want to join his " fan club" . And a high five to Mitch, Dwayne and Keeven for making the shirt.

No comments: