Monday, June 09, 2008

Bikes and Brews

By Kari Studley
Bothell, Washington

Highlights of the race:

- Getting to ride my bike in the sun! it’s been POURING rain the last 10 days in Seattle. Yuck.

- Amazing views. I had to refrain from singing “The Hills Are Alive” from the Sound of Music as I enjoyed the panorama of mountains view.

- The sweet smell of Lupin and you ride through trails blanketed by the beautiful purple fragrant flower on either side.

- Sunshine! Sunshine! Sunshine!

- I won my first cowbell trophy! I’m a sucker for racing for t-shirts & cowbells, guess it’s a cross thing.

- Fun race atmosphere. Beer garden & bands and community turnout = fun!

- Perfect Kari-course (4 miles of Kari-grade climbing up, 4 mile single track downhill. Repeat 3 times.) I had a GREAT second lap!

- Erika Krumpelman WON her race in the open women category. Whoo hoo Erika!

The not-so-highlights:

- I won by default as the only other racer in my expert 19-34 age division had to leave emergently as her father crashed severely (rumored initially unconscious) and had to be carried out by stretcher by mountain rescue in his race prior to ours. I was very distracted the first lap thinking about her and her dad and hoping the very best for the whole family. (Please help me in sending good healing & well-being Bella vibes to them). So it was me in my <34 category against the 6 women expert 35+ category racers.

- Because the my race kept getting delayed by half hour increments (my race at noon became 12:30 to 1:00 and my race actually started at 1:15) for the rescue effort I kept having just enough time to not do anything productive for my race. I just want to clarify that his life/well-being is SOOO much more important than my silly race and I have no problem with being delayed (or canceled) for such reasons, but I’ve never had a situational delay like that or that long before my race. So I didn’t eat/fuel up enough to make up for that hour since I kept thinking I’d be racing in 20-30 minutes and didn’t want to suffer that consequence of indigestion.

- Hence my perfectly timed out food & warm up prep lasted me to what would have been a perfectly timed race finish according to the original plan. Or the end of lap two (of 3) for the revised plan. I had just solidified first out of all the expert women when just after the feedzone my hamstrings cramped really really badly to an almost paralyzing point (also a new experience while racing). And then just as I was able to get back into a normal cadence I completely food bonked (with 3 miles left of the climb and 7 miles total for the race). It’s really not pretty when I food bonk and I’ve never been that hungry before on the bike, much less, racing.

- So I tried to at least enjoy the scenery and not think about eating the plants and watch the lead 35+ expert woman pass me and take first overall for the expert women field (a matter of personal pride since I beat her by 8 minutes the last time we raced. But, kudos to her, as this was her hometown course and she definitely ate time into me on the downhill part).

24 hours later I still am hungry (I don’t think I ate enough the day before either, so I’ve learned my lesson). But very glad I at least got to go spend a day riding my bike in the sun, lupin flowers and spectacular views. We’re back to rain and clouds in Seattle. And a big plug for my Zeal Mistro sunglasses: not only are they the PERFECT tint for sunny & shady trails (a balance I’ve never been able to find before with previous sunglasses), they fit perfectly around my helmet, AND (most importantly!) I didn’t get a sun-headache that a Seattle-ite like me is often prone to when I go suddenly from no sun to tons of sun in a day.

Photo stolen from the collection of Sabine Dukes, because it looked pretty.


At 10:57 PM, Blogger Erika said...

Nice report, Kari! You did awesome for bonking--I would have never known! I saw your report after I posted mine. Guess you can't have too much bikes and brews!!


Post a Comment

<< Home