Could I keep consistent lap times? Could I make the podium? How did my skinsuit do under mountain bike conditions?
Let’s Cut to the Conclusion
Mission, possible. 2nd place, behind a super strong (pro) Debbie, and in front of a damn good field.
I’m not going to give you play by play but here are cliff notes.
Went into the woods on first lap 3/4 behind the field. I simply didn’t have the gearing to power through the start which sucks as I’m normally good at stopped starts.
Through the woods, on the brakes, riding someone’s tire, over the rock and on the gravel. Picking off girls, calling my passes and not knowing how this was happening. I was “picking girls off”???? For a few laps I tried to work with Patty Smith. She’s fast in the short track, I could help her on the gravel and road but in the end I was giving up too much time on the road not pushing hard enough. Around lap 4 I put a gap between us, holding it steady (losing 5 seconds or so on the last last lap.) I could see Debbie through the trees, but the guys winner ended up between us, ending my last lap a lap down from her. I wish I knew the time gap better before that extra lap she did.
Hard Work Means Harder Work Ahead
Yes, I am super proud of my accomplishments in a short amount of time. It is two days after the race and I still don’t believe I placed 2nd as my goals of this series was to not get lapped.
My goals are still lofty, but feel a little closer after this past weeks performance.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Anne & Paul
Today was the first time in this race series I’ve been able to sleep in. Maybe the nerves are calming down and I am realizing I don’t have to wake up at 7am to dance around in spandex all morning. Restless. Excited. Hopeful. Is today the day I’ll earn myself a place on the podium?
My goals for today are simple. Solid, consistent, lap times. I won’t be relying on the Garmin for this, but my internal clock. My heart rate, my pounding heart, and the time gaps before or after my position.
My other goal is that today is skin suit rocking weather since it is going to be under 55º! This skinsuit, TwinSix team issue, has been in my arsenal all fall long but I haven’t been able to wear it so today is the day! On a side note, I don’t know which color sports bra to wear as the kit is black/silver. Thoughts? (Yes, these are the thoughts that go through my head…I am a girl!)
Hope to see you out there ringing the cowbell!
I use a lot of bike gear, I ride about 5-7 days a week depending on work and I use a lot of bike gear. As I abuse and use things I want to start talking about brands or products that I fully support. Don’t think of these as reviews but as manifestos of LOVE.
Let’s take a moment, flip back to Interbike of 2005. Meet Twin Six and fall in love with the styles of Brent Gale and Ryan Carlson. For the next year Brent was a great support role and simply a good person to talk to as I traveled the roads of North Carolina finding my place in life. The Bike Shop Girl “chick” you see is Brent’s vision. We talked for many hours as I drove from building wheels at Cane Creek to home in Charlotte NC as he sat in his basement slaving away creating the company that is Twin Six. (I should mention Ryan was slaving away as well.)
Through the years Twin Six has always been there. If I put on a race, start a team, need new chamois, travel, crash, interview and so on. The guys of Twin Six have always been there. Recently Mark has allowed me to spread Twin Six goodness in shops in the southeast in hopes that my fellow spandex lovers would look better!
Before I talk about product, I want to say this. This company is owned by two very caring guys, that design nice cycling goods. They help out the cycling industry, they understand grassroots, they ride their bikes and to me they are what the industry needs.
See what gets me excited below the break..
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A friend of mine, Jason Grantz, has been focusing on the definition of words for the past couple weeks. I’m going to utilize this idea and sum up how I feel the day after 6 Hours of Warrior Creek.
broken |ˈbrōkən| past participle of break
1 having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order : a broken arm.
• rejected, defeated, or despairing : he went to his grave a broken man | a broken heart.
• sick or weakened : broken health.
• (of a relationship) ended, typically by betrayal or faithlessness : a broken marriage.
• disrupted or divided : broken families.
• (of an agreement or promise) not observed by one of the parties involved.
2 having gaps or intervals that break a continuity : a broken white line across the road.
• spoken haltingly, as if overcome by emotion : he whispered in a broken voice.
The trail was amazing, the berms were buff, the climbs had traction and even the first lap wasn’t too muddy.The temperature ended up being around 70º in Wilkesboro, NC.
The pit crew, as always, was extraordinary. Kimberlee and Shelley were always there for food, smiles and a good kick in the butt.
Our pit mates, the guys from Luna Cycles, Dale and Robbie, and of course Darby.
The weather was perfect, a bit chilly in the morning ending up around 75 in the afternoon.
The other racers, encouraging, helpful, inspiring.
My teammate, Melissa. Always smiling and optimistic. Even when my last lap took twice as long as it should and we ended in last place.
The sweet lady next to our pits that recognized me as Bike Shop Girl and even stopped as I was suffering after the race to say she enjoyed my writing.
A flat tire at mile 5 on my second lap.
Losing tons of electrolytes and only having water on my back.
Walking a ton on that second lap.
The feeling of competitors passing you and not being able to do a damn thing about it.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, wtf happened?
Somewhere between the start of lap one, and the middle of lap two my bottom bracket started to seize up. Hills that I was able to spin up in a middle gear on my cassette I was grinding up in my easiest cog. My multi-tool didn’t have a 2.5mm allen wrench on it to back out the adjustable ring on the SRAM X-9 cranks.
The feeling when you realize why you are sucking is between happiness and a stupid sick gut wrenching. Especially when you realize you can’t fix the thing. I knew I had 5 miles more to go, and most of it was up hill. It got to a point that I was simply hoping that I would get through before 5pm for my lap to count.
For the rest of the lap I pushed, grinded, walked, tried to smile and hoped the miles would tick by. My knees ached from trying to climb the hills with my cranks not spinning freely, my stomach hurt and at times I hit hyperventilation in frustration and pain.
A couple days later I feel better. My knees still hurt, and my brain is rather screwed up from the event. Who knows if I could have done something differently. Maybe check over my bike better between laps. Maybe tell PF30 bottom brackets to kiss my ass.
I feel badly for letting down my team. I feel badly about many things. At the end of the day it is only a race, but to look forward to something for a complete year and it to end this way is a horrible feeling.