Monday, January 14, 2008

Peak Season

By Beth Welliver
Pacific Grove, California

Another Peak Season race today. On our Saturday mountain bike ride yesterday, a few of the regular 'crossers were chatting...we weren't excited to do this race. Perhaps because the 'cross season is winding down, or because the last race on this course was so bloody bumpy. Alas, I had sold my soul to the Peak Season gods at the first race and signed up for all of them, so I was forced to throw my second thoughts about racing today out the window and suck it up.

Did I mention that we climbed 3000+ feet yesterday on our Saturday mountain bike ride? Not all of that climbing was in the saddle either...a chunk of it feet on the ground beside my bike. Heave ho...

An accidently long warm-up got me to the start with seconds to spare to find that I was just one of 3 chicas racing B's today. Automatically on the podium. Schweeeett! But also a good chance of getting last. Hmm...well, just go as long as the legs will go and see what happens.

Off the start I grab a wheel and follow behind. A good power section leading into some tight turns and then a run-up. Up the run-up, still need to learn how to get back on my bike, pedal, pedal, bump, bump, squish, squish through some mud, crap, I'm in first place. Pedal, pedal, splash (I tend to find all the mud apparently), pedal, get off, run-up (gotta get rid of this studder step remount), look back...what this? I have a lead? Schweeet!

For three and a half laps I was winning the B's. Nevermind that there were only three of us. Then I got caught, and passed, and then a rogue raspberry bush caught me and wrapped its mean little thorns around my leg on the poison oak infested run-up. Somehow I caught back up to first place right before the last lap, but she was too strong and I got dropped like a half-hearted New Year's resolution in the second week of January. But I still got second place, so woo-hoo!

If only I could learn how to get back on my bike faster. That's what I'll work on for next year. I can get off fast, run with it fast, but getting back on, not so much.

A small schmattering of racey photos from Mr. Bella Paparazzo can be found here.


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