Monday, October 25, 2010

MFG #4 Pacific Raceways

Ok so what a race. It poured off and on all day, and it was cold. The course was very muddy, but wet mud so it was a bit easier to ride then the mud a Beverly. The course was actually really fun and I really liked it.

When we lined up to start the race the rain was pouring and the wind was starting to pick up. We had about 8 or 10 cat 1/2 women, with Wendy Simms from Canada (has been Canadian national champ before, very fast) and Jenni Gaertner from ID and Jessica Culter, Ann Knapp, and a few other gals that I am forgetting. A good strong group.

It was raining so hard, it was hard to see when we started. Wendy got the whole shot with Jenni and myself on her wheel. We dove off the pavement into the grass/mud and started slipping and sliding. It was so much fun. The 3 of us started to pull away, and I passed Jenni and got on Wendy's wheel. I stayed there for half the race and even passed her on the technical downhill section but she got me back in the deep mud. I tried to stay with her but she pulled away from me and I lost contact. I was so happy though to be able to stay with her for as long as I did!!
I stayed riding hard and held onto 2nd. It was such a great race for me, I really was riding so excited and couldn't believe I was able to stay on Wendy's wheel.

Holden didn't have such a great day though. He missed his start, so he was very upset and Chad and I had to basically force him to get on the course to just do one lap and have fun. It didn't matter where he finished for us we just wanted him to get out there and have fun. He however was so upset and was crying. I think he was more confused because he has never missed his start before so he thought that meant he couldn't race at all. So once we got him on the course he warmed up and was having fun finally. But there was this plywood ramp that the promoters built and it was cool for sure but the little kids should have been forced off their bikes and not allowed to try to ride it. Holden tried to ride it and almost made it but didn't get to the top and rode backwards down the ramp (about 45 degree angle) and ran his back right into one of the hand rails and was hurt. He was screaming because his back was cold and he hit the pole hard. Chad was there and ran over to get him. While they were there another little guy tried to ride it and didn't make it and fell over and one of the faster juniors rode right over the top of the little guy. They just should have had the 10 and under kids go around it. Anyways Holden had to quit and was pretty sore but we worked it out and he was better by the evening. Rough day for him!!

Chad on the other hand finally had a better race. We think maybe he had a cold or something that affected his muscles over the last couple weeks because he was having a lot of issues but this race was much better. He had a great start and was in like 6th or 7th and held that for a bit and slide back a few but stayed strong and his legs felt much better. He finished 11th I think, so much better day for him.

For the SSCXWC it was Wendy and Kari going at for the title. Kari is the reining SSCXWC so she wanted to win it again. But Wendy got a better start and was off front and held onto it for the whole race and won the title. I was excited, Wendy really is an awesome gal and it was cool to see her win both races. Bummer for Kari though, I would have loved for her to keep the title so it stayed in Seattle. Maybe next year!!

A lot of costumes and funny stuff and a lot of beer was drank during the SS race. It as a blast to watch and really was crazy to see what some of these people were wearing.

Overall a great day of racing, it was so much fun!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SCX #3 Silver Lake

Another great race under my belt. We raced on Sunday at Silver Lake Park in Everett. Nice and close to home, it only took us 25min to get to this race. So nice!!

It was sunny but cold, we set up camp right on the bank of the lake and it was beautiful as the sun was rising and the fog on the water. It was the perfect fall day for cross racing.

I raced at 1:30pm so it had warmed up a bit and was perfect temp. The course has a very long sand section that runs along the bank of the lake. It is very deep sand that moves and changes every time you ride it. In the practice laps I was able to ride the sand section but during the race it looked like I would only be able to ride about 3/4 of it and then jump off and run.

We started right into the sand, so the whole shot was very important on this race. I got the whole shot and lead through the sand. I had to jump off and Ann Knapp passed me and I jumped on her wheel. About half way through the start lap I took a grass turn pretty tight and felt my rear tire start rubbing my frame. I jumped off and though my rear wheel had come out but realized my rear tubular had rolled just a bit so I popped it back on and finished the lap. Unfortunately I had fallen back to about 5th or 6th position. So I had a lot of work ahead of me to get back up to the front.

I got to the pits, and thanks to my wonderful husband my bike was ready for me and I grabbed it and jumped on. I had gotten back up to Ann and was in 2nd so I started working to pass Ann when I realized that my rear clincher was slowly going flat. So I had to back off just a bit, and get back to the pits. I got back and again thanks to my awesome husband my bike was ready for me with a new wheel and I grabbed it and was off again.

This course has a lot of short power climbs so I knew I was going to have to kill myself to get in front of Ann. I passed her and then hit it hard to get some ground. I was riding the sand really well and running ok so I managed to put on some time every lap there and then slowly increased my lead to about 50secs and came in with the win.

Wow what a day, 2 flats and still got the win. That race hurt a lot because I had to fight so much to get my 1st place back. And it was so awesome to see Ann and Dale back out racing. This was their first race back out and I am so excited to have them back. Ann is one of my favorite racers and is a huge inspiration to me. She has paved the road for all of us racing cross now, it is an honor to have her out at the races!!

Holden raced also, and after a rough morning (I think he woke up on the wrong side of the bed) he came around once his cousins and Aunt and Nana showed up to cheer him on. He ended up having a great race and was really happy when he finished that had raced.

Chad also raced and unfortunately just wasn't a good day for him. He has been so busy with the 2 fire depts that he works and volunteers at that I think it is starting to take a toll on him a bit. He will come around so watch out everyone, he is on a roll to kick some butt!! This weekend will be his day, I can feel it!!

We are racing at Pacific Raceways this Sunday and it will be crazy. After the MFG races, it is the Single Speed World Championships so it will be crazy. I am not racing in it but will be there to watch the craziness. I am rooting for the current SPWorld Champ Kari Studley to win again. SO let's cheer for Kari!!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

SCX #2 Beverly Park

Wow is all I can say about Sunday's race. The rain gods opened up the sky and rained so hard all morning/afternoon. Thank you rain gods!!

When we arrived at 8am it was starting to rain, the grass was wet but not to muddy yet. As the morning went on it rained harder and there was so much more standing water on the ground. There was a one point a small river running under the True North Trailer. My poor dog wouldn't even sit on the ground it was so wet.

The first couple races of the morning were on wet grass, but since the first couple classes are the biggest numbers of racers every lap they raced the grounds got softer and the mud started to form. The good thing was that it was still raining so the mud was very wet and not sticking to bad to the bikes.

I got out and did a warm up lap around noon and my bike was muddy but it wasn't collecting to bad at that point. Holden raced first, and I was concerned that he wasn't going to have any fun and get frustrated out there. I told him that he had to relax and just have fun and be OK with getting off and running in the mud. And boy did he do that, he was so darn cute. He was running in mud that almost up to his knees and he was having so much fun. He had a smile on his face and when he finished all he could say was "I love mud!" I love it, definitely a future cross contender for sure. And he was able to ride all the downhill slippery mud sections, he has awesome bike handling skills.

Chad went next, it continued to rain until about the first 3rd of his race and then the sun started to come out and actually started to thicken the mud up a bit. It was starting to stick more to the bikes so I was starting to get a bit nervous about just how hard the course was going to be to ride. Chad had a great start and got the whole shot and was first up the run up. He looked awesome! As the race progressed it got slower and he fell back a bit in the standings, but rode strong and even with a crash about half way through he held on and finished in the 20's.

I went next, and boy was the mud even thicker! I started out and decided not to go all out because we start and go right into a run up so I didn't want to blow up on the hill. I was 2nd at the top I think and then got on and started using my technical skills to move away from the rest of the ladies. I absolutely love epic conditions because it requires great bike handling skills and a very strong mental game. My two strengths. I worked hard the first lap and started getting a gap on 2nd so I decided to change my focus to seeing how far I could get up into the single speed guys that start 1 min ahead of us. I was passing guys like crazy and really having a lot of fun despite how hard it was to push through the mud.

After the first lap came into the barriers and realized just how heavy my bike was when I went to pick it up. Holy cow at least 10lbs heavier in 1 lap!! Luckily my awesome husband was in the pits ready for me and I was able to get a nice new clean, light bike!! It felt amazing to be on a lighter bike as I knew I had to switch every lap. And that I did, Micah and Chad were so busy in the pits with mine and Corrie's bikes to clean each lap. But it made the world of difference and was a huge part in my big gap over the other girls. With 2 laps to go I flatted just coming off the track into the grass. I slammed my rear wheel on the curb, I was getting tired and just didn't pull up enough and pinch flatted. The funny thing was the mud was so thick I didn't even notice it was flat until I went through the finish area and made the hard right had turn and realized the tire was flat. So I ran up the hill and got a new bike, and managed to increase my gap to almost 2 mins and won the race.

I really had so much fun, I love the mud. I just hope we didn't do so much damage that we won't get to go back there. Thank you to everyone that spent their Sunday evening racing and laying grass seed. You are all awesome and so appreciated!!

Sunday is Silver Lake park in South Everett. I love this course to because it is more of a MTB style course so I can use my skills again. I will let you all know how it goes.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

MFG #3 5 Mile Lake Park, Federal Way

On Sunday we got to race at a brand new venue. 5 Mile Lake Park in Federal Way. Thank you to my husband's fellow team mate and good friend Dave Pearson on Collision 1 for introducing this park to the MFG team.

The park is small but they used every inch of it well and it really was a fun course. Mostly flat but lots of corners and even a long sand section on the water. I really enjoyed this course and hope we continue to race here in the future.

We drove down to Dave's house Saturday evening. Dave and Corazon were nice enough to put us up for the night at their house that was all of 4min ride time away from the course. Awesome!! We slept in their living room on an air bed and boy was it comfy! And Lucky, their dog is now one of my favorite dogs. So cute and so darn fuzzy!

We woke up Sunday morning and the guys ran over to the course to set up camp. I packed up our stuff and Chad came back to get me and we made our ritual stop at Starbucks for coffee and off to the course.

I got out and did a easy ride on the course with a client of mine and right away I knew I loved the course and I just knew it was going to be a good day. I raced first out of the family. I lined up and we had 10 ladies I think in the 1/2 Cat. We took off and I got the whole shot off the start with Jenni Gaertner right on my wheel. We pulled away a bit from the rest of the ladies and I kept pushing hard knowing Jenni has a strong road backround and I knew this would be a good course for her. So every time I could I got up an attacked and used my bike handling skills to take the corners fast and not have to slow down.

I managed to get gap so I sat in for one lap to catch my breath and then hit it hard again till the end. I got the win, and managed to move up through half of the field of guys that started a couple min ahead of us. My legs just felt amazing, no pain. I love those days when it all comes together on race day and you feel like you are on a cloud. It was a great race for me and I had so much fun. Jenni had a crash with a couple laps to go so Jessica Culter got around her to finish in 2nd and Jenni in 3rd.

Holden raced next, he raced this one without me riding with him. He was awesome, so strong and he really like the course also. I had a friend tell us that he attacked the run up and ran it faster then any other kid!! I am so proud!! He had so much fun after the race he did another lap to cool down. That is great, he is really starting to love racing and wants to know when he gets to have one of my bikes as a hand me down!

Chad went last on the day. He was hoping for a great day, with a great week of training in the books. But unfortunately the legs just weren't there for him. He started out in around 15th off the start and then just didn't have anything to move up. He finished in the 20's and was pretty bummed out. But there always the next race. Watch out Cat 1/2 35+ guys, he is on a mission this week to redeem himself. And it was awesome, our good friends Katy and Chad came down to watch us race. They are firefighter friends of ours, it was fun seeing them at the race!!

Ok we have SCX #2 at Beverly Park this Sunday. Another course I like it has a great downhill technical section that a lot of people freak out on so my bike handling skills can come into play again!!