Read my race prep, and now experience my race report.
In fashion from this past week’s race prep of Lion’s Roar here is my “get super excited” pre-race report.
I feel more prepared than last week, and that is mostly because I raced last week. I have been focusing on stretching, more back/core work and such so my ass doesn’t lock up on me again. Tomorrow during openers I plan on doing a bunch of mounts/dismounts so my confidence is back up. That’s really the worst thing about cross, when you don’t feel confident about a specific skill you over analyze it because you have to do it over and over again each lap.
REASONS WHY I’M STOKED FOR THIS WEEKEND
Costumes, it is Halloween weekend!
The chance of riding in the rain/mud. This could suck, but will be awesome all together.
Hanging out with friends/ 36th Street teammates
New skin suits
Racing = Training
Mountain bikes vs. real world
In my previous post, I wrote rather sentimentally about my love of mountain biking as a way to check out from real life, if only for a short time. Unfortunately for us, mountain bike rides end. At some point, we all have to rejoin reality.
Part of my reality is working in a 9-to-5 office at a company that loves its business casual dress code. I love my job and, to be honest, I kind of love business casual clothes (pencil skirts! patent leather heels!), so that part of real life is pretty awesome. What I don’t like about returning to reality is that evidence of my out-of-work activities is usually conspicuously apparent (e.g. a 4-inch, blue bruise on the outside of my otherwise professional shins framed beautifully on top by the hem of a skirt and below by the aforementioned heels). When my co-workers and superiors notice the new marks on my body, my mountain bike and professional worlds collide. Despite being fiercely proud of what I do and how I spend my time, these moments always make me a little self-conscious, like an awkward pre-teen who’s the only non-adult at Take Your Daughter to Work Day.
Let me give you guys a real-life example:
I recently returned from a shred-cation (My friends and I created several names for our 4-day, Oregon mtn biking tour of awesomeness–”shred-cation”, “shred-venture”, and “shred camp”. I’m sure you can pick out the theme there.) and returned to work the next day wearing one of my favorite skirts. My outfit revealed some small bruises, a couple minor cuts on my arms, and one patch of peeling skin near my elbow. At some point in the day, I was catching up with a co-worker and at the same time applying some antibacterial ointment to the cuts and scrapes. I apologized for doing this while we were chatting, although I’m not sure he had even noticed. This leads him to ask why I had bruises and cuts. (He’s a new employee. The rest of the office is very familiar with my recreational activities.) When I explained my choice of vacation and the consequences of coming around a washed-out, sandy turn in the high Oregon desert too quickly, his response was something between apologies and disgust. It was an uncomfortable and awkward reaction…”I’m so sorry for you”, “Why do you do that?”, “Ugh”, and so on…. Mountain biking was obviously an activity that he had never tried or considered.
I quickly felt like I had to defend myself and my choices, not because I was doing anything wrong, but because of this other person’s complete lack of understanding or comprehension. I felt like I was trying to explain my choice of feminine hygiene products to a teenage boy, rather than my choice of leisure time activities to an adult co-worker. I don’t think my co-worker meant anything by his reaction. I think the idea was just new to him and he was trying to understand it. That didn’t make me feel any less embarrassed in the moment though.
These situations are not uncommon in my work life and I certainly don’t mind being “the cyclist” for my co-workers. It’s just that when my mountain bike world and my work world rub against each other, it creates a really uncomfortable friction. I don’t want to have to explain what I do in my free time. I dread these moments. Having to justify how I spend my time and the resulting consequences (bruises and cuts) takes away from my enjoyment of riding. It steals a little bit of that awesome post-ride glow. It also unfairly makes me feel a little less professional, like I’m not as suited to be in the office as my co-workers. While I know it’s not their intent to make me feel that way, the result is the same.
My co-workers don’t have to explain why they choose to tailgate at college football games every Saturday in the fall or go to the gym a couple times a week. Why do I need to explain and justify what I do for fun? Whatever the answer, this battle between my mountain biking and professional worlds makes the return to reality after a great weekend of riding just a little more disheartening.
While I have raced several cross races this year, they all have been prep work (fun) for the grand event of the North Carolina Cyclocross series. This series kicked off this past weekend, I didn’t make the Saturday race so Sunday was the official kick off to the next 3 months of cyclocross racing!
In order to give you a full scope of the race let’s begin at 5:15am when I woke up. Why? Because I had to leave by 6:15am for the 2.5-3 hour drive to Raleigh. Thank goodness for in car entertainment of Natalie Moore (friend, cheerleeder and cyclocross virgin)! In the car, rocking towards Lion’s Roar I know my body was feeling sore. There’s no reason a 2.5 hour drive should bother me, but something in my hamstring and lower back just didn’t feel right.
Get to race, teammate/friend/brother from another mother, George Berger, had set up his tent already and we had staked out a place for the team to hang out. Another tent went up near the course for race heckling and photo taking.
Get dressed in awesome new Birdsong Brewery team skinsuit. Long sleeve jersey and Foundry parka overtop. 45 degrees and on the road warm up.
Warm up for 45 minutes on the road. Openers. My hamstring wasn’t feeling right. I couldn’t spin through it. It was tight like a fiddle.
Pre-race lap. Course was fast, felt short and super fun.
The field of women (and single speed guys) was the biggest I had ever seen at a NC CX event. 26 women in the CX 4 race, and close to the same in the Pro, 1,2,3 race. Due to warming up and not having points from the day before for call ups – I was 2nd row. That wasn’t good. I normally have a good start and like to rail into the first lap to find my footing.
Racers – 15 seconds
Strategically I had figured out how I was going to get around the girl in front of me after the line. That was as long as she didn’t fall over in front of me.
Start was on pavement. Slight up hill with a 80 degree turn to the left. Cut to her inside and hit the corner hard. Success. Went into the first wooded section about 10 back.
Bump through the woods, through pine straw and roots. Hard left turn. Girly in 3rd place takes out about 6 girls. Utilizing my mtb skills I stay high inside and sitting pretty in 3rd after that pile up.
Short section of pavement into some taped off turns. If you rode the tape properly you could really keep your steam going. Downhill, 180 degree turn back uphill to the right, 90 degree turn to the left, gravel, miss the huge hole on the right.
Hit gravel road section. Big gear, hitting it hard. Felt good, felt like I could actually attack the wheels I was sitting on if I wanted.
Gear down, left turn into grass, uphill, gravel thrown in for fun. Around some taped turns. Barriers.
This is when I went from 3rd to 6th.
Dismount… that went pretty. Hop. run.. Hop.
Remount. Crap, hamstring and hip won’t open up enough. Stop. Lean bike over. Mount.
SPRINT. Run up huge hill. Pin it in the taped field. Oh shit moment on the steep downhill. Big ring on the pavement to start the lap all over again.
I sat in 5th for most the race. Last lap 6th caught me at that barrier again. We played cat and mouse the rest of the lap. I sat on her wheel, hitting it hard right before the pavement section. Thought I was going to have a sprint finish but had a bike or two lead at the line.
Awesomely happy with myself. Having not ridden much over the past 3 weeks (hell month and a half) I am happy to say I was sitting in 3rd and finished 6th out of 26! The season is long and I should be hitting the podium soon enough. Confidence isn’t huge, but passion is fueled.
Did you race this weekend? How did it go?
photo credit: Natalie and George
What’s your name and location?
Martha Van Inwegen of Action Wipes (my favorite body wipes) – Central Coast, California
What type of cycling do you enjoy?
Casual – usually along the beach or just to do errands.
What is your first cycling memory?
The first time I was able to ride a bike by myself. My dad worked part time for a moving company and someone gave him a kids bike. He put it in the garage and said one day he would teach me how to ride it. I was in 1st grade. After school, I’d get on the bike, use the house walls to support me and then let go down the drive way. Soon, I was pedaling all over the neighborhood. I taught myself. My dad didn’t know until the day came when he could teach me. Boy, was he surprised.
Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?
My husband. He rides a single speed MTB and loves it. Watching how he pushes himself up a climb while loving every minute inspires me to get on my own bike. The adrenaline that pumps through his vans and the energy it gives him afterwards is amazing. Now I must admit, getting inspired and actually doing it are two different things. I’m very guilty of just enjoying the sport of cycling as a spectator
What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?
Every road that leads to our home is a hill of some sort. Then there’s our driveway – a steep climb. My best moment was making it up one of the hills and only having to stop twice, then getting half way up the driveway when I got home! Woohoo!!
Tell us all about your bikes
I have a Jamis road bike. Nothing fancy, but it get’s me where I need to go. Again, I use it primarily to run errands and on casual rides. My favorite bike was stolen 10 years ago and I still dream of it. It was the coolest mash-up of an all chrome Schwinn frame with Harley Davidson handle bars. You could see me coming for miles it shone so bright. I bought it at the San Diego swap meet and it really broke my heart when it disappeared.
Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!
Been hanging out every other Saturday bantering about bikes with a buncha guys (and one lady) with the Spokesmen Cycling Roundtable Podcast.
Listen to the last two that I was present on here:
- USADA Reasoned Decision Report
- Livestrong fundraiser
- Lance Armstrong losing sponsors, one by one
- Consensus on Christophe Bassons’ doping ban: rules are rules
- Growth job of the future: bike mechanic
- Let’s get #bikecommutercabal trending on Google+
- Doping control refused at Florida MTB race
- Bicycle recycling schemes
- UCI Cyclocross Elite World Championships – February 2-3rd 2013
- Blogger’s Bike Tour of Taiwan
- Happy rail trail pix, Taichung, Taiwan
How to Listen:
- Listen LIVE via Ustream every-other Saturday at 8:00 AM PST
- Subscribe via iTunes
- Listen to or download the show directly
- Subscribe to our RSS feed
- UCI Lawsuits
- Floyd Landis
- Paul Kimmage
- What Does This Mean for Bike Sales?
- Video: 4-year-old on MTB with his Dad
- International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day
- What do Dealers Talk About?
- What Do You Love About Bikes?
How to Listen:
Long climbs. Long descents. Gravel. 50 miles. The Wall. Vineyards. Wine.
SOUTHERN CROSS 2013
The first endurance cross race in the Southeast. You can use cyclocross bikes or mountain bikes though the course will favor cross bikes. The course will be mainly gravel roads with some spectator-friendly cyclocross goodies thrown in to distinguish it from a mountain bike or road race. SX2013 is also the first race of the 2013 American UltraCross Championship Series so you must not miss it.
It’s that time of the year. Unless you live in some odd part of the country that doesn’t receive seasons, fall is hitting you smack in the face. You may get caught in a cold rain, or have a headwind chilling you to the core on a late night commute.
Chrome has released a new jacket just for those reasons.
The Storm Pasha features fully-taped 100% waterproof breathable Chrome Storm™ technology. It has a bike-friendly fit for comfortable riding, pit zips and two way main zipper for active venting, a zippered back cargo pocket for cell phone and keys, and reflective details so you can be seen at night.
Features and Fit
- Fully seam taped construction with waterproof Tactel nylon fabric
- Zippered pit vents for on bike ventilation
- High neck collar with 3 panel hood
- Full width pass through back cargo pocket
- Longer sleeves and torso for riding comfort
- Waterproof two way main zipper for on bike ventilation
Personal thoughts on the Storm Pasha
I wish there were more colors, or at least color hits to make the jacket pop out in the dark while riding on the streets. Black is sexy and clean, but so is not dying. Once I get my hands on one I’ll be sure to let you know the fit and durability!
I’m not prepared. I’m back on my schedule from coach to a crossed t and dotted i, but I’m not ready as I fell off the back. The whirlwind of September and October bit my ass hard. Throwing a lot of hard work from this summer out the window, but life is what it is and I’m busting my ass now to catch back on.
Reasons why I’m stoked for this weekend
Hanging out with friends/ 36th Street teammates
New skin suits
Racing = Training
So let’s HTFU and get this weekend going already!!
I don’t plan on waxing a poetic response to what is going on with Lance Armstrong or the doping scandal of the pro cycling folks. My buddy Josh did a good job of that already, read it here.
This video, shot locally in Charlotte, at a race put on by my friends and teammates of 36th Street Racing. This is why I love my job and my life.