Monday, August 31, 2009

blame it on the chain...yeah yeah

first, our friend, Mark, who rides for Celo Pacific had the best facebook status updates last week. i don't think he reads my blog, but if he does, i hope he doesn't think i'm too odd for re-posting these because i don't know him all that well. facebook "friend" can mean so many things, eh? anyway, I can't wait until james is as cool of a dad as Mark is.

Mark's facebook status update #1: "First week of elementary school & I'm stoked every child in the neighborhood knows I'm rolling out with 3 of my kids on bikes at 7:05 (just like last year) for the 2 mile journey. Our mini-peloton 9 strong today all waved at the grumpy... school bus driver as we rolled by noting her near empty cargo...is it cruel to want to put her out of a job?! Same time tomorrow...bring a friend!"

Mark's status update #2:"Caught my son Drew sneaking out after dinner last night with his helmet. "I'm just gonna get some more miles" he said. A couple weeks ago I put odometers on the kid's bikes and offered a special prize when they get to 100 miles.... Drew's got over 30; MJ's around 40. Guess I better figure out what that "prize" is going to be...!!???"

pretty cool. makes you happy there is still some good old clean fun out there, and some great dads.


okay. back to me:)
last weekend's mountain bike race: Rim Nordic, Cat 2.

do you ever race and while you're racing (usually if things aren't going so well) you actually spend time writing your blog entry in your head or thinking up a title for it. well, about halfway through the Rim Nordic mountain bike cross country race on sunday, i couldn't get milli vanilli out of my head, substituting the "r" for a "ch"...bame it on the chain, yeah, yeah.

good times good times when your chain falls off both the front and read derailleur multiple times going uphill and your bike doesn't want to stick in the gears you need to use...it wasn't total mayhem, but enough for me to stop worrying about racing and just have fun and get to the finish.

the race itself was just some more mountain bike practice for me- mostly we drove up there so james could finish out the series and get in some hard racing. i had already raced up at Rim Nordic one time about a month ago and did the Cat 3 race. which was fun, but pretty short (about 45 minutes). when i raced Cat 3, i managed to crush the women's field :). but let's be honest. the "field" consisted 4 of us. one girl had panniers and a kickstand and another one had a cotton shirt and no bike shorts...so the competition wasn't too rough.

this time, james and i decided i would step it up and race Cat 2. the girls would have a lot more experience than me, but to get in enough practice and a solid workout, Cat 2 was the best decision even though i was a little tired. i had a rough ride/run brick the day before the Rim Nordic race (saturday). saturday, i cruised out to the celo pacific ride with james and his friends and worked pretty hard but still got dropped (i joked that i was "saving" my legs for sunday's race, but there was definitely no saving going on, i had some bad positioning on the climb and was population 1 before i could blink). since the ride was an out and back up the coast and onto the military base, Camp Pendleton, I got in some good solid aero miles after slipping off the back and then rejoined the group at the turn around. when we got home after a solid 3.5 hour ride, i headed straight out for a 30 minute run....

sunday morning, i did not feel awesome. i had a killer migraine overnight and into the morning that made everything foggy and i was able to get just a couple hours sleep. i decided to not sign up for the race until after i had done a warm-up to see how i felt. i ended up feeling okay and signed up a few minutes before the start. the race was fun, hot and had tons of climbing and technical descending which is perfect for me, just what i need to work on.


on lap one, i started out pretty well and was 3rd (of about 8) woman up the climbs for the first 3/4 of the way up the mountain. then, i tried to use one of my most useful climbing gears and got nothing but chain rub, clanking and ghost shifting. i spent a lot of time trying to shift out of the gears that were not working, eventually lost rhythm, and had to hop off the bike and let the girls pass. i ended up dead last after this and began working my way back up. by the time we reached the summit, i had re-passed all the women except two that were still ahead. after the summit, there is a lot of fire road, technical descending with rocky/sandy switchbacks, fast bumpy fireroad descents and a couple last climbs out of a little valley. on these last climbs, my real problems started happening. again, i couldn't "grab gears" in the easier gears and after clanking around, my chain fell off. i got off and had nervous hands trying to get it back on. got passed by one or two girls here. this turned out to be just the beginning, and when we hit lap 2, i spent the whole time climbing to the summit fumbling between gears that wouldn't stick and my chain fell off both the back and the front derailleurs. i almost gave up and turned around becuase my bike was just not all together working, but realized that once i made it to the top, i wouldn't need all the gears giving me problems, so i kept going. i had to hike-a-bike a section i would normally ride, but eventually made it. i had been passed by most of the other women, but not all, so decided to just give it my best to the finish and keep my position.

it was a tough one, but i was happy to have finished and had the experience to deal with some bike maddness and not get too frustrated. its important to deal with stuff like this in smaller races because then you know a little bit more about how to handle hiccups when the important races come. but then again, "important" is even funny because after all, its just a race! and, the difference between my time and the Cat 2 winner was just about 4 minutes- not that much considering what i was dealing with, so i know that if i get everything dialed in, i can be competitive!

after the race, i played water girl for james....who won his series title- so excited!

for now, my bike is at B&L getting some TLC from Gordon...he is swapping parts from some of james' old bikes and he's already dropped 5 POUNDS with more to go! i can't wait to ride it!

11 comments:

runninggunner said...

good work at continuing on. Totally think of the blog during a bad race. Then have to shake my head and get back into it.

Love the facebook status updates. Sounds like a cool guy.

IronMatron said...

I must admit, off road racing (what is it even called--just x-terra?) scares the piss out of me to even think about! Which means I'd like to try it, naturally. Your blog is fun for me to read b/c I'm not sure of half of what you're talking about.
I can say, though, that I too compose blog entries in my head when I've lost the zone and start to space.

GZ said...

Milli Vanilli? Whoa. I did not think you were that aged.

Totally think of blog crap when running. I think too much I think.

I might have to start this bike thing sometime. That means I need to get coordinated though.

Love the dad stuff.

Yasi said...

That's great that you stuck with your race after having all of those aversions, I don't know that I would have been so patient! Awesome that you found another thing to be competitive in!

I wonder if there's any field hockey playing going on in SD, if not I may have to start a league (if I ever make it out there that is)!

Luke said...

good to see you becoming a "dirty girl"! ;)

keep it up...you'll be puttin' a hurt on the podium in no time!

X-Country2 said...

I've been having chain drama too. What's with that?! Very annoying. Way to finish strong. I give it one more race before you win the entire thing. :o)

Charisa said...

Nice Cat2 - and with the stupid chain! Hope you had a good weekend!

Sherry said...

Way to stick with it, Beth!!

BreeWee said...

nice new photo for your title, LOVZE that black and white shot! Wooohooo, on a mountain bike, shoots, you look so cute on there! Good luck with all your adventures!

kerrie said...

you are going to be crushing the xterra circuit without a doubt next year...but in the meantime, your "mechanic" needs to step it up!!!
i love the facebook status updates...so cool. i wish we could get something like that going on around here but rain seems to be one of the only kids that bikes to school :( it's amazing the excuses that kids can come up with as to why they can't bike.....

Julie said...

Beth!
It's your long-lost friend Julie from Tockwogh!!! I had a weird dream last night and decided to look you up and have spent most of this rainy afternoon in NYC reading your blog. You look great!!! And congrats on SO many levels. Races, job, fiance... Wow!
I've gotten the biggest kick reading about your sweet tooth, remembering those days tearing off the icing from the left-over brownies. I'm still like that!
Shoot me an email if you get a chance - I'd love to catch up!