Tuesday, June 9, 2009

mud on the tires...

james definitely beat me to the punch on the awesome race and weekend recap so if you have a minute (or like 15 becuase its long), check out his blog.

mountain biking freaks me out. so when james told me that sarah (ryan's fiance) was going to wo-man up and do her first mountain bike race at the santa barbara bicycle festival, i froze. i mean, i was going up there too, to spectate, because a real mountain bike race was still way in the distance. you see, i have very questionable technical skills and had ridden my mountain bike only once since february (sorry, james and no you did not waste money on the nice gift for me- it's totally coming back in the rotation). so i wasn't going to race. well, that is, until sarah was. i mean, how could i be the only scaredy in the group? if she could do it, i could do it? right? so last week, i decided i would maybe possibly try to do it. first up, get back on the bike. james took me out on the trails at lake hodges on thursday and it was fun, but scary. and he told me to "get over it and stop being a baby" when i walked my bike because it was close to a death ledge. he says it wasn't sketchy (and it wasn't- to him).
cruising out at hodges....
so, test ride went okay, and i brought my bike up to santa barbara with the crew. i thought i could try to pre-ride the course and see how it was. i was going to make a game time decision

well, on saturday we did a pre-ride of the santa barbara course- and you know how it was (from my shaky arm point of view)? scary, sketchy, loose, twisty, steep, death trap. but that damn sarah kept charging down the hills. so i HAD to follow. it was an odd feeling to be so highly anxious for what felt like such a long period of time and i was stoked when the first lap was over. but james told me i had to do a second lap. NO! at this point, i wasn't going to race. it was too scary! but lap two came, and went much better! i was awkwardly "cruising" some turns, holding on on the descents and making some tough switchbacks i had missed in the first lap. when we rolled back to the parking lot, i signed up for the CAT 3 race the following day.

james, ryan, and sarah out on the course...

race day came, but not too early- i like a 9am start! i lined up like i had a clue what i was doing. i noticed the girl "all kitted out" in blue was in my age group (she's not in the pic below, she's off off to the right) and and knew she would be tough. all the CAT 3 women started together so it was a mix of ages.
on the start line...i'm the hussy with the unzipped yellow jersey....

the race started with a huge fire road climb of about 5 minutes. i went off pretty fast and halfway up the hill realized i was in the front with two other girls- blue kitted out girl in my age group, and an older lady who could climb her face off. i followed the wheel of the older lady and started getting nervous for the descent. the first descent freaked me out on the pre-ride- really bumpy and steep tight switchback turns. the girl in blue and the older lady began the descent and i let them go first, too scared i would make a fool of myself if i was in front of them. well, little miss blue promptly crashed about a third of the way down the hill (this is the point i also realized that everyone else was just as bad as i was at descending- yeah!) ...i quickly checked if she was okay (glad she said yes) and dropped on down. i knew this was my chance to get out of sight...

so i plowed on down and then hit another climb.i checked back and the rest of the field was gone. older lady was first off the front, i was second, and blue girl wouldn't give it up in third! she stayed about 20yds behind me for what felt like forever....3/4 through the first lap, i dropped a chain like a total rookie on a steep climb and quickly ran my bike up the hill. while i fumbled like a loser for a few minutes, blue kitted girl passed me. oh, it was ON! i was going to GET her....before the end of the first lap, she ate it again on the descent (i really was sruprised anyone was worose than me at descending...)...and i was able to pass her for good.

Lap 2 of the course I just maintained my position and had a lot more fun. i had totally dropped blue girl and older lady was way ahead....i just kept charging away and crossed the finish just over an hour! 2nd in my category and 1st age group. wahoo! what was even better was that sarah had a great first race as well and we got to share the podium!i think the best part was seeing james and ryan act like proud parents at a violin recital. they were taking pictures all over the place and cheering like crazy- they loved it!


after that, it was on to spectating. ryan killed his race, and james had a pretty amazing race. james dropped his bottle of nutrition on the first lap, but came back with a solid race for 1st in his age group in CAT 1.. yeah!
it was a great day for the team (as james calls us, team tall and team small)
seriously, mountian bike racing is FUN. i just need a little confidence (maybe i should try getting out there and riding it more) - can't wait to build some SKEEELZ!

13 comments:

Shan said...

Nice work! I still get queasy with gnarly descents on the ROAD, so mad props to you for doing so great on the trails!

Hope the hip is healing and that you can be back to running soon!

Luke said...

uh oh...it's on now!! time to upgrade. already?!

good job! keep it up.

D said...

When my asthma started up again this year I swore I was quitting tri and going into mountain biking. Now I'm sold... just need a nice (hot) man to buy me the bike!

Congrats on the race, superstar!!

Tawnee said...

That's awesome Beth! Is there anything u can't do? :)

I used to mtn bike back in the day, and I'm starting up again this summer. Goal is to play it safe though and avoid eating sh*t.

We got to ride sometime! Road, mountain, whatever!

Sarah Huddyson said...

"but that damn sarah kept charging down the hills. so i HAD to follow." ahhhhh you kill me. too bad I was the scared one following YOU the whole time! so good try.

you dominated girl.. awesome job!! I think we need to sign up for our next race before we get freaked out about mountain biking again, yeah? haha. seriously though.

X-Country2 said...

Medals medals everywhere! Congrats to the whole Team Tall/Team Small (ha) crew.

kerrie said...

nice! do i detect an xterra race in your future??? maui???

Benson said...

Freaken awesome!
Good job on facing your fears and killing the course.

jameson said...

we did love it! so proud of you for going for it... the coures WAS sketchy!

i'm already looking forward to Maui in 2010!

Mary said...

That's so awesome! I love that you dropped your chain, ran the bike up the hill and still won!

Jill Costantino said...

Woohoo - Congrats!

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Awesome job! Great story. Hope you had fun on the GWL Sunday. I am visitng Tim's family. Glad to hear you are out of school for summer. We def. have to ride. I'll e-mail you.

Sarah said...

OMG you just like went out and WON! You rock. :)