Tsering and I jetted across the US to the East Coast in July to race in some super fun races and travel up and down the East Coast. We were very fortunate to stay with many awesome friends and relatives along the way and got to ride some sweet trails and race on some exciting courses! The first leg of our journey was a heinous flight from SF to Maryland with Airtran which ended up taking 24 hours after several delays, transfers, sleeping in the airport, and lots of exhaustion! We were happy to spend a couple days in Delaware with Tsering’s Dad Edward and his little sis Amaranth who were very gracious hosts. They fed us tons of yummy food and drove us around Newark. We were also thrilled to get out on two super fun rides in the area where Tsering grew up. Per the suggestion of a local shop employee, we checked out some riding at a local park which had an abundance of MTB-legal single track including an advanced skills loop with wooden ladders, skinnies, teeter-totters, drops, and other challenges. Tsering and I loved the skills loop so much that we had to come back the next day to ride again and photo document the sweet riding in DE!
After a few days of relaxing in DE we were back on the road with a sweet little Jeep we rented for a great price to head to New York in. We drove all night all the way to upper New York and arrived to the small town of Windham early on Saturday morning. We squeezed in a couple hours of sleep in Becca’s tent (who has driven all the way from Iowa to the race!) before Tsering and I were awake and getting ready for our XC races. The XC course at NY was awesome! It had some fun, lengthy climbs on mostly fire road with lots of bridges and ripping, rocky, single track descents through the woods. There were even some bridges that had been built up so that XC races could ride over DH racers! I’ve decided that the Windham course was my favorite of all the courses I raced in this year’s NMBS series and I hope we get a chance to race the venue again next year! As for the actual race, I had an awesome ride that day! I went into the race not knowing the course and was apprehensive about my fitness after taking some time off to finish school and write my thesis. But once the race started and we were all on the trail, everything clicked and I slowed moved my way to the front of the pack and battled the whole race for second place. It was a tight race between Lisa, Philicia, and I with a girl from Colorado off the front. They were on my heels the whole race though and it was a challenge to stay away on the descents, but on the last lap I opened up enough of a gap to ride through the finish solidly in 2nd place- definitely a good, hard race! Tsering also had a good race, finishing 25th out of a full field of about 50 semi-pros. He was up late the night before fighting a fever so it was astonishing to me that he even did the race!
After racing, we spent some time hanging out around the venue and exploring the lovely town of Windham. We had some great sandwiches at a local deli and camped out inside our rental car in a large area the race promoters had set aside for camping with mowed grass, a fire pit, and port-a-potties, it was sweet! The next day we tackled the gnarliest Super-D I’ve seen in my days of racing. It had rained a little bit the night before the race and come race day, the course which was tricky and very technical had turned a little bit scary! The bridges were very slippery when wet and the 3 foot rock drop still made me cringe. But Tsering and I rallied the race on our hard tails anyways and we both ended up kicking butt! Tsering really impressed his field by taking 3rd in the 19-29 Open category on his hard tail while some of the other racers were riding full-travel bikes and pads. I finished 3rd in my category as well and was happy to make it down the slippery slopes in one piece and with a smile on my face.
After all the racing we packed up our bikes and headed back onto the road to Massachusetts where we spent a few lovely days with my Grandma Noni. More on that later…
-Emma