Month: September 2011

Ukiah Triathalon

Nicole, Andrew and I went and raced a triathlon on Sunday the 11th of September. Andrew had decided to race and Nicole and I decided last min to join him. The race was in Ukiah so only a little more an hour and a half away from home. Nicole and I got ready the day before. She rocked the Marin cross bike with some road tires and I built up my new cxr carbon fiber 29er hardtail and threw on some nano raptors. Sure that it was going to be a pretty small race with not many people there we didn’t get too nervous. After the alarm didn’t go off and we were late waking up at 4:30am and we were late picking Andrew up we raced over to ukiah making a personal best from gualala to ukiah in an hour and 6 min. Nicole and Andrew stepped out of the car a bit car sick and we headed to registration. While registering we realized it was going to be a bigger race than we thought. There were a little more than 400 participants there. Most people there had time trial bikes and lots had aero helmets. I saw a few solid disc carbon fiber aero wheels there as well. Andrew was the only one in our group with a straight up tri bike so he looked like he fit in. Looking at the tri bikes and then looking back at my mountain bike I felt a little under prepared. Nicole was a bit nervous because this was her first swim, bike ,run triathlon ever. She has race a tri before but there was a kayak leg and not a swim leg. We got to the bike to run transition zone and prepared our things. We rode over to the swim to bike transition area which ended up being a pretty good warm up and got all set up. The morning was kind of cool and I saw people shivering all over the place in the water waiting for the gun to go off. I saw Nic just before the race started and we wish each other good luck. Same with Andrew, I said stay out of my way or I’ll kill you. Just kidding I said good luck to him as well.

The race started and we were off. It was a half mile swim into a 21.7 mile ride. The swim was over pretty quick and then the ride was on. It was an out and back so I saw Andrew and Nicole on my way back, they looked like they were doing really well. Nicole had gotten out of the water and layed it down on the ride. She used the ride as her opportunity to pass tons of people on the bike, great job Nic. I managed to not get passed by more than three people during the ride which was pretty sweet. Everyone who passed me made a comment about my bike with regular mountain bike tires, everything was positive. The last guy who passed me said I needed an aero helmet, which I thought was pretty funny and I told him that I needed and had forgotten my arm ferrings at home. Having built my bike up until late the night before I hadn’t quite gotten my seat position right and now my ass and back were so tight. I got to the bike to run trans and got changed up quick and took off in a short strided super speedy shuffle. My back was so tight by then I couldn’t open my stride up. I managed to pass two or three guys on the run and ended up in first for my age group and 5th over all which I was pretty happy about. I saw Andrew a little bit later coming in from the run with a strong finish line sprint. The dude was wearing sandles he had been training in for a barefoot half marathon. He ended up in 6th for his age group. Way to kill it Drew. I went over to the race course were it double back to look for Nicole. I only had to wait a second before I saw here charging the course in her vibrams. I was surprised see how fast she was moving and the rate she was picking people off. I cheered her on and assured her that the finish line was so close and to give it everything, she did and ended up killing it and placing 6th for her age group. Great job with your first triathlon Nic! Same to Andrew! We got bottles of wine and lots of fruit after the race and went home and did a two hour mountain bike ride. What a great way
to finish off an on road triathlon. That was the day that never ended.
Ps. Nicole’s front tire blew out in the transition zone after the ride leg was over. The tire blew completely off the rim. Luckily no one was injured. And luckily I wasn’t the one who put the tire on. I hate getting blamed. peace out and see you at the races!


Bidwell Bump

In late August I suited up for Chico’s hometown race, the Bidwell Bump. Held in Upper Bidwell Park, the Bump covers 14 miles of brutally rocky, challenging technical terrain up through the Canyon along Bidwell Creek. They’ve been holding a mountain bike race here in Chico since 1976 so 2011 marked the 35th anniversary of the event and a great group of locals did an amazing job of putting together a world-class event.
I rolled over to the start on sat morning and was surprised by how warm it already was at 9am. en Cruz as well as tons of local fast guys. There were a handful of ladies too and I was stoked to hear that there would be two other women competing in the long course. I did a nice warm up on the road and was excited to try a race on the Marin Rift Zone full suspension bike I’ve been borrowing. I’d never raced a full suspension and was curious if it would feel any different. The race started with a short road sprint and then funneled onto the lava rocks of North Rim trail. I kept a steady pace up North Rim, pushing myself but trying not to blow up. The Rift Zone felt swift and comfortable on the climb. It was nice to be able to stay seated and crank a harder gear. The year before I was on my hardtail and north rim almost rattled my teeth out.
I got to the top of the 4 mile climb with a good group still by me and headed down B Trail. I passed a rider and another rider passed me. I was stoked and excited to clear a section I usually walk! Then we crossed over the road, trudged through the creek which was still up to my hips, and then started the steep climb up 10 mile house road. It was warm on the climb and I kept a steady pace, but would have liked to pass a couple more people.
Once at the top I was psyched for the descent down Guardians. Guardian trail is my favorite trail in the park and it felt flowy and fast. On Bloody Pin I was passed by one rider, but felt strong and confident. Once I got onto SouthRim, I rode that section faster than I ever had before. The Rift Zone was killing it! The hike a bike up tennis ball hill hurt, but before I knew it I was at the bottom of the park and big-ringing the road section back to the start. I finished the race at 1:44, a few minutes faster than last year on a longer course, and first for the ladies. It felt good to put out a hard effort and I was happy with my fitness considering my accident earlier in the year had me out of commission for so long.
Later in the afternoon we finished the day with a Super D race down Guardians trail. It was extremely hot at the start of the race (like 100 degrees!) and I was feeling faded from the XC. I held it together well though, and only got passed by two people. Sadly I was the only lady to race the SuperD, so I won the All Mountain, but I was happy with my time (31 mins). I definitely rode some sections of the trail faster than I thought was possible.
At the end of the day, it was an awesome event and I’m super stoked on my custom trophy made by Lowell. It now has a special case on top of my bookshelf in the living room and has gotten lots of compliments. Thanks again to the race organizers for a great event!



SONOMAS

The day started off foggy and dank down at the warm springs rec. area. Everyone seemed excited for the event to start. The gun went off as planned at 8 am and we headed up the pavement and over the bridge. I didn’t get a warm up in at all which definitely hurt me in the beginning. The pace was blistering. I watched the pro field ride off as my legs packed up and decided not to do their job. The turn off the pavement climbed us to our first dirt decent, steep and loose should be the lake sonoma motto. We crossed a small creek and kept climbing. It wasn’t until about 1/3 of the way through the race and a few recovery descents that my legs started to feel ok. I was psyched to see my girl friend nicole out there at the feed station with a bottle, I didn’t know it at the time but it was a haul and a half to get to any of those spots. So thanks nic and thank you to everyone out there supporting! I slowly began to start to see people in front of me. Reeling people in was a slow and tedious task, everyone was super fit and fast for this event. We climbed and climbed and the day heated up. It never got quite as hot as I had thought it would, mainly thanks to the idea of the counter clockwise loop it kept us in the shade as long as possible. Great idea guys! I had never ridden the course counter clock wise before and I thought it was great. By the time we had gotten back to the finish line the fog was gone and the sun was blazing. I ended up in 5th which I was happy about. I went right over to my car and threw on my running shorts and shoes and knock out my 10k training run as I am training for an xterra race in mid october. Psyched to be done the run I hosed off changed up and got some delicious food from our friends @ fork catering. I really enjoyed this event, the people over at bike monkey rock. They have put on such awesome events this whole year and have also offered prize money for the top places which I think really helps the sport as well. Keep it up guys I think as well as everyone else (I’m sure) thinks your doing an amazing job with the events. Thanks.- Brian