Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Napa Valley

by Piper

I'm a singletrack kinda girl.

I'm not afraid to admit it.

I don't own a roadbike. I have no desire to ride 60+ miles on a road.

My love affair with biking revolves around rocks, roots, ruts, narrow trees, steep descents, logs, switchbacks, and yes, even mud: anything to keep my mind off the fact that I'm asking my body to push itself harder than I normally do. And the Napa ValleyDirt Classic excited me.

This was my first year at NVDC. Sea Otter bored me with its endless fireroads. NVDC had its share of fire roads (most of which seemed to be going UP), but it had enough singletrack to keep me smiling and happy.

The details of the race are kind-of a blur: There were lots of fun, narrow singletrack through the trees, whoop-de-doos, logs to jump over, rutted and steep descents, mud patches that covered my legs in mud, and yes, there were also lots of fire roads.

I found myself passing groups of riders in the singletrack sections, only to have them pass me on the fire roads. Again and again. I found myself battling mostly with one woman, we took turns passing each other. She finished 30 seconds ahead of me, and it turns out she wasn't in my category. But I'm glad I had someone to push me more than I would have pushed myself.

This was a fun race for me. I finished 7th, Sport women 30-35. Now on to my favorite race of the year (in California, at least): Skyline. A true singletrack course for a singletrack kinda girl.


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