Dirt Remedy 6/7/11: It's getting too hot to race. I mean really, we shouldn't race. But we do. It was in the 100s around 6pm. I decided to do the Bs race only and check out the course/field. It was definitely more difficult. The course was about a mile long and much more technical than the Cs race from last week. There were several ascents that I wasn't strong enough to power through, and I ended up walking a lot. I got passed, a lot. There were two really fast girls in front of me, that dropped me from the beginning, but I was expecting that. Then they lapped me - I wasn't expecting that. At least it was only once! There was one girl behind me. I lapped her. The disappointing part about women's mountain biking is that there isn't a big enough field to have really good competition, even on single track. But the prizes make up for it... I got 3rd out of 4th and won a gift certificate to the Gibson, a swanky bar on the south side of town. I managed to washout on a fast, loose turn and gave myself an awesome wound.
Afterwards one of the race volunteers brought to me a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. I said, "no way" and stared at him incredulously. But I thought about how I didn't have anything to clean it with, and just before he turned to leave, I said "Do it. Do it now. But I can't watch." I covered my eyes, stuck my knee out and... yeah, it hurt like holy hell. BUT I did get an obligatory "kudos" fist bump from the race organizer when he heard the story. Haha, I love MTB people.
Driveway Crit 6/9/11: It was women's night, and the Austin Flyers were providing mentored racing. Really the only help I got from that was motivation to hold onto the group, but there were other girls there that needed the help more. I like to see that kind of community involvement. I have been thinking of joining a cycling team and I thought about the Austin Flyers that day, but it's really just too big for me. I need a smaller group.Anyway, my goal this time was to stay with the pack til the finish. The problem was, it was a huge night for juniors. They had just finished a development camp, and decided to end it with the Driveway crit. We race with the juniors, and they are FAST. This time there were too many fast one, and they pretty much blew up the field from the start of the whistle. There were a few women strong enough to hang on at that point. Eventually they strung out and two of the juniors came back to help us pull in a pack. There were 5 of us for most of the race in a pack following 3-4 women. We never caught up to them. We rolled pretty slow for the last lap, as we argued over who was going to pull, and sprinted for the finish. I manage to pass up one person I was behind and capture 5th place. Not a podium finish, but I'll take it! Those were some strong women.
My other goal was to race as much of the Men's 4/5 as I could hold on for, until my legs blew up. I made it until about 10:30 before I quit.
Dirt Remedy 6/14/11: I decided the time had come to quit being a sissy, and do both the B and C races. I took it easy on the C course. There was only one other woman in the Cs, but I'm about in the middle of the boys as far as speed is concerned, so the C race is actually good for me. I got 1st in the women's Cs and won another Gibson gift card.
The Bs race was really long this time (as far is short track is concerned) and there was a lot of uphill technical climbing. I spent a lot of time walking, to say the least. There were uphill stair steps that were about 8 inches tall! Impossible for me. We started with five women. Kristi (BSS) dropped me immediately as expected. I was right behind a BSS girl for a good bit, and I was excited to be with someone of around the same speed to compete with. Unfortunately, she had a mechanical the first lap of the race and had to stop. Kristi also had some issues, which left me and a girl named Larissa as women's race leader. I actually caught up to her (imagine my surprise), and then we went back and forth as to who was leading! Finally though, I found a girl of about my speed. We kept passing each other back and forth and after a while, I decided just to stay behind her until the last lap. I saw the referee card to 2 laps and thought I was safe to let her be in front at the start of the next lap. Little did I know, the race leaders were about to pass, and we were about to lose that extra lap. We got to the referee "finish line" and should have been in for another lap, but the referee yelled "done!" I wish I would have known - I would have tried harder! But 2nd ain't bad for my 2nd race with the Bs! I won two awesome camelback water bottles and some honey stinger loot.
Driveway Crit 6/16/11: Kim came! And so did a few other boys from the team. It was nice to not be the only person in an Aggie kit for once. I was aiming to place top three this time. The field was a little more cohesive this week, but the course included an uphill that I loathe. However, I must be doing something right, because that hill was a whole lot easier this week. I didn't feel like I was going to get dropped on the climb every lap. I felt strong. Kathryn, the super fast chick from Austin Tricyclist, didn't really attempt a breakaway until the last half of the last lap. I think it was largely because everyone was keeping an eye out for it. I was too, and the second she took off I was behind her. I gave it everything I had for the sprint, and passed a girl that had been in front of me at the last turn, which I love. Again I didn't know how I finished, so I'd have to wait a few hours. But I got 2nd! I only have 5 (out of 20) more points to go before I *can* upgrade to Cat 3. We will see about that.
With the Men's 4/5s, I stayed with the group for about 12 mins 30 seconds, so it's an improvement at least! One day I'll be able to stay the whole time. Henri dropped about the same time but then caught back on. What a rockstar - when I quit I quit.
Kim and I hung out with a few of the Brain and Spine Team ladies and then ended the night with a hard-earned Torchy's Tacos visit. It was pretty perfect. I love Austin and the cycling community.Women's 3/4 Results
And I'm third in overall points for the series!