04 July, 2011

Beers, briars, bikes, bruises, bumbs and some beauty, too!

Last weekend I took Friday through Monday. First real vacation, short as it was, this year. I drove to Cincy and raced two evening crits: Madeira and Hyde Park Blast, on Friday and Saturday. Proof of how far behind everyone else I am as far as fitness on the year. But they were good indicators and motivators. It was a good thing I was on my own afterwards. Was not proud of my performance at all.

I left and headed to Versailles, IN and rode the trails on Sunday. What a beautiful park and trails. It was a little wet, but only sloppy in spots. The top trail (Creekside?) was cordoned off so now I want to get back so I can ride all of the trails. I left there and headed to Muscatituck in North Vernon. They have a nice campground and it was quiet on Sunday evening. I camped in my van and dreamt of more trail riding the next morning. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. I woke up and checked the forecast on my iphone, saw the orange and red bearing down and packed up the van. No sooner had I pulled out of the park the skies opened and it poured. It poured all the way to Memphis, IN. I got home, unloaded the van and got a call. A couple of ladies wanted to ride, so we put in a nice 45 miles on the road. 4 days of bike riding is my idea of a nice mini vacation. 

Wednesday was the finale of the Louisville Short Track series. I'd only ridden 2 of the previous 4 so of course I was ready to get my ride on. I got to the venue, registered and pre-rode the course. The first part was perfect, all uphill singletrack, twisty and turny. Then out on the grass to a fast downhill and a few turns then a slow grind uphill on grass. My first lap went well and started the second lap strong. Something happened somewhere on the grassy part and I fell. I don't remember much EXCEPT I got back on my bike and rode to finish, I remember jumping the log. Next thing I know I'm standing near the registration table. I check my helmet and it's cracked. dang! that's an expensive evening, to be sure. I call my LBS.  I drive over and they don't have my helmet in my size in stock. B2 say, "you can borrow my spare". This is so nice and thoughtful, since I'm racing all weekend.

So, it's 4th of July weekend. I pick up a girl friend early Sat morning and drive to North Vernon. She's a Cat 1 mtb racer! We both enter and ride the short track race. It was hard and fast. A short 1/4 mile track the Cat 3 women and men, Intros, and juniors all rode together at same time. The DINO staff were shocked by the number that turned out for this race, over twice what they've experienced in the past. 20 minutes in and at an all out pace and my heart and lungs were running out of steam. This translates into my thighs being full of lactic acid. But I finished and got third and a pair of nice socks for my effort. :)  

After the short track we rode to watch the downhill competition. What an experience! There were two different trails and all riders had to do each one, then the average of the two times were ranked for placement. I took some videos. Search Youtube.com for 'downhill @ muscatituck'.  Saturday evening was fun, catching up with lots of friends that were camping. My friend decided on sleeping under the stars. I left the sliding door open on the van and turned on my small box fan. This provided some white noise as we didn't realize there was a dirt race track close by where cars ran until 2am. Then of course the park was the local cruise spot for all local youngsters. Honking horns next to our campsite at 2 and 3 am was not cool.

Sunday arrived sooner than I'd wanted. But everyone got ready and the Pro/1/2s started their XC race at 10 am. I got some nice photos and video. Still need to upload the vids. 20 minutes before my race as I was warming up my bike started making a rattling noise. I took it by neutral support and he says my chain is too long. like a dumbass I let him shorten the chain. I race my race with no mechanical issues at all. I got a little tired of "dancing" with a few of the Intro men. They would pass me on the downhills and then get off their bikes and push up hills that I could ride so I would pass them. That was such a yo-yo effect, even worse than criterium racing in my opinion. Finally, I'm out there with only one or two others for a while, so I could ride hard and had someone to chase. I think my HR stayed at 169 almost the entire race. I learned a lot from pre-riding the day before. I got more brave taking the downhills and allowing that momentum carry me up the next hills. I stood on a few hills which felt great. The one major multi log crossing, I took my time over (since I fell trying it on Sat). I truly wish I was stronger and faster than I am. All in good time with the right training.

I'd wanted to travel somewhere today, but the rains came in last night and dampened that plan. I took my bike into the LBS today and got the chain replaced. Then came home and met another lady friend who is a Cat 1 racer and we rode trails, at a relaxed pace. The temps were cooler today and the trails drain so well. There were a handful of mud puddles, but for the most part they were in excellent condition. 

I met more people this weekend. Can't have too many friends or acquaintances. 

I am trying to come up with something nice for the best wrench around. I broke my rule by letting someone else touch my bike. That will NOT happen again, if I can help it. So dumb of me to do that.

I've had such a great weekend. My traveling buddy was so much fun and she taught me many things. Fireworks are going off everywhere. Most people I know are probably at the waterfront watching the big show. I should've gone I reckon. But sometimes it's not so easy being third wheel. I'm getting better all of the time, but still not ready to do somethings solo or with a couple.  I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday weekend. 


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