Month: June 2009
Where have you been all my life!? I love this course!!! This is how the affair went down! Left my phat crib at 6am and my girlfriend drove us over to the race in napa 2 and a half hours away while I passed out in the passenger seat.( She’s such a trooper) I get to the race course unharmed and groggy eyed, register and get geared up. I have a little more food and change the stem on my brand new Marin CXR. I needed to run a shorter stem than what came on this badass rig. This bike is sexy! I’m talkin carbon sexy! I’ve had only 3 rides on this thing but I know that now that the stem is changed out we are ready. I fill a water bottle and politely ask Nicole(girl friend) if she would mind filling up the other 3 bottles. Thanks Nic and I’m off to warm up. I ride for about 20 min and head over to the start line where apparently every one but me is. I squeeze my way into the second row just behind Mark Weir. I say a friendly hello to the right and left, THEN out of no where I get stuck with a rider’s home made shank, there is so much blood oh my god! Ok, Ok so it wasn’t quite that exciting at the start line. I’m checking out everyones rides and it looks like the ride of choice was a light weight full suspension. I’m a little nervous cause I’ve never seen this course before. We get the run down and the gun goes off. I hop on Marks wheel and we rally up the first climb, he’s out of the saddle trying to drop me or at least break my spirits about the pace of this thing. It eases up a bit and then its back on. We get to the down hill and I know this dudes reputation. I hear a psst. sound and think maybe he burped some air from his tire. nope I’m wrong it’s the sound of his gravity dropper. I hold on tight. We rip through all kinds of rock sections drops and roots. I’m not running tubless and running way too much air so I don’t flat. He is ever so slowly pulling away but the sexy carbon hard tail pushes me and tells me not to give up and says other things like I’ll never let you down, ride me like you’ve never ridden me before. OK! I say. how does this feel! Right about now I’m thinking I’m going to need Van Helsing to catch this mystical beast! We hit some windy slightly smoother trail and I get on the gas for a few seconds. I am able to catch “the” Weir Wolf solo. I sit on Marks wheel and sexy carbon and I make a pact to never let that happen again. Mark and I go through the feed zone and start another lap. The field is no where insight. We start to climb and I take the lead. A gap opens up and its on. I take it a bit easier through the rocky stuff because flatting would bring this race to an end for me, whoops I forgot to bring a spare tube. Look back a few times and see no one and it’s through the start finish for another lap and up the climb. I hear someone yell, yeah man you’ ve got 10 seconds on him! WTF! Where did he come from!? I look back and Mark Weir is breathing down my neck. I decide to rage up the hill to try and open up another gap so I can hold him off on the down. It works I stomp on the pedals again at the top and look back. I take the down quicker than the second lap preying not to flat. Close to the bottom I wreck. I jump up and run back to my bike, apologize and we’re off. Hard hard is the only acceptable pace for this point in the race and it is what brought me and sexy carbon over the line for a win. Now I’m the Northern California State Champion and life hasn’t been the same since becoming so. The Paparazzi has been following me every where, every one seems to be calling my name every time I walk down the street and now because of this I’ve had to start wearing panties for when I get out of the car (I don’t want croch shots on the front page of every news paper every where) AND THATS THE TRUTH!
On May 31 Maureen competed in the 3rd event of the 2009 Pro XCT Series near Birmingham. Here is her race report:
I first went to this race in 2004 as a neophyte mountain biker (still living in Kentucky). It was so much fun that I returned in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The venue is awesome; there is a beautiful lake right next to the course for the perfect post-race cool-down and there is even a BMX track down the road.
The course is usually a really fun 17-mile loop with lots of singletrack, a single long climb, and a technical rocky descent (“Blood Rock”) followed by flowing fast twisty singletrack to the finish. Because the race was to be included in the new Pro XCT this year, they did some serious modifications to the course. The usual race course (2 laps of the 17-mile loop) was replaced by a short 6-mile circuit that was about 1/3 paved road. At first I was bummed to learn I wouldn’t be riding Blood Rock or the awesome Seven Bridges trail, but I definitely understand the organizers’ point of view. USA Cycling is trying to prepare US Mountain Bikers for the international race scene, which, like it or not, features short circuits that demand power and speed. Those racer-types longing for the traditional US cross country racing scene of massive loops requiring rugged individualism should find solace in the NUE Series–if they can find the time to train for 100-mile events!
We did four laps and the men did five. Even though the course was 1/3 paved and only had 500 feet of climbing per lap, it was still freaking hard. Most of the singletrack was very pedal-y and twisty, requiring the utmost concentration despite my inability to see clearly from the hard effort. There were 2 climbs, one singletrack and one paved. There was a rocky staircase that we rode UP; it had two steps and was fairly technical. I was proud to ride it every time!
I crossed the line in 15th place. I definitely lost several positions and I should’ve fought a little harder. It’s a good lesson though: I better give my all despite how much it hurts, or face lingering regrets.
The crowd at the race was AMAZING! There were friendly people cheering me on EVERYWHERE along the course. It was awesome. I enjoyed being back on the terrain where I learned to mountain bike. If you get a chance to ride here, do it!
Thanks for reading!