Thursday, July 05, 2007

Big Bear - Jen and Teshia win!

by Jen

Gah, that was a hard day of racing. Altitudinous suffering. There's something particularly nasty about racing at altitude in the heat of summer. The kind people at Team Big Bear gave the expert-pro race an extra lap around the top of the mountain. Nothing like spending an hour or so at 8000 feet. Yum. Funny thing, the 40+ womens' expert race did not do the extra special lap, much to the dismay of one of the riders. I'm thinking, hey, wanna trade? I'll do your nice short race and you can do my silly long one. It'll work out great. No?

It was a lovely day in the neighborhood, though. Something about pine trees and vertiginous views raises my morale even when the pedals aren't turning so easily. Blue skies, a peak of the lake, and mountains folded upon mountains folded upon mountains. I think I remember why I like this sport.

I was not liking the sport quite so much when I cramped like crazy on the first climb. Too little warmup, too much speed way too soon. I'm not of the fast start persuasion. Start slow, finish fast. True confessions? I really wanted to turn around, take my toys, and go home. But that seemed like a really lame thing to do. So I kept pedaling. What's a little cramping among friends anyway?

There was a cute loopy, swishy downhill single track that was over far too quickly. Courses at Big Bear come in an almost infinite variety. This one was heavy on fire road with rolling climbs and lots of pedaling. I especially liked the sandy corners. Surprise! I prefer the uppy-downy courses: up the mountain, down the mountain, up the mountain down the mountain. But with only two races on the calender this summer? I'll take whatever they throw. It's their party, they can make me cry if they want to.

The nuetral feed guy who threw cold water on me and the other nuetral feed guy who handed me a fresh bottle are my new best friends. Tastiest water I ever had. And necessary on that dread second lap around the top of the mountain. Are you sure you don't want to trade races? Here, take my number. You know you want to.

So after a lifetime riding around in circles on top of the mountain, we at last came to upper Fall Line and Lower Fall Line. Upper Fall Line is a total tease. Yay, we finally get to go downhill. Not so fast, says Upper Fall Line. Suddenly you're grannying your way up this sandy bit of climbing, dodging the tree on the left and the rock on the right. More up than down. Say what? I don't wanna pedal anymore. Make iiiitttt stttoooppppp. Does this race even have a descent?

Then, the Fall Line Mess. It's steep, with lots of loose rocks, and dusty sand. But oddly, not especially hard to ride, if you don't stop to think too hard about it. With no oxygen to spare for the brain, I didn't stop to think. Thump, thwack, kachunk, kachunk, thwap, oops, thwap, woohoo!

Voila, the finish line.

The End.


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