19 January, 2012

P.S. I left out something!

The picture below is of the Pit Pass I was issued for my pit crew. It provided them access to the pit for my race.

The medal is a participation medal. Everyone that completed their race received one. Very cool

Also, on Saturday evening they held the awards ceremony for the day's podium winners. Once all race podium were held they held the raffle. This raffle was for a Focus Mares AX 2.0. Crazy enough I won the bike! Woo hoo!!!

18 January, 2012

and CX season 2011/2012 ends

CX Master's Worlds week was unbelievable. 4 full days of excitement and fun. 

I spent the first two working with Barb. One of the best race registrar's around. She introduced me to all of the officials and judges. My job was to run start sheets to everyone. We also took racer's jackets/gear and made sure it was secure at the start line.

The third day was spent spectating, I wanted to watch all of my friends race and I cheered to the best of my ability. Cooper started off the day in the Women's 30-34 race with a course full of frozen ruts. I learned a few things that morning. Next up was Kiersta in the 35-39 race. She went airborne down the first grass/mud straightaway, but kept the shiny side up. There were numerous friends in the Men's 45-49 race. It was super exciting getting to cheer for all of them. One friend barely missed the podium, finishing in 4th place. The founder of my race team raced after having a nasty crash earlier in the season and busting up his shoulder really good. So glad to see him get out there! Another friend had a few challenging crashes. One of them put his handle bars through his kit and he had a very interesting time trying to keep all parts tucked inside.

My race was first up on Sunday morning. 27F and the course was frozen solid. Ruts were deep and narrow. I was able to pull up to the big white tent and unload my A bike and trainer before parking. I thought I had plenty of time to finish dressing, ride the trainer and preride a bit of the course. My pit crew showed up and tuned up the A bike. He helped get my shoulder numbers pinned and attended to a few other tasks. My skinsuit malfuntioned! The zipped popped a hole in the zipper material and it would not zip up or down. It was lodged about two inches above my navel. So out come more safety pins. Brian convinces me I just need to preride and forget the trainer. He was right. I needed to see how the bike felt and the air pressure, etc. However, I got out there and was very tentative. I didn't want to crash and hurt my bike or me before the race even started!

I rode about half the course and then made my way to the start area. There were 21 women registered in my age group. I was thrilled at that size field. (Cooper's had 7). There were many talented racers in my event. A couple of US national champions, the Italian national champion and a former Olympian to list a few. They were salting the pavement just before our start. This made me somewhat nervous. Then as the official gave instructions he mentions that there are places on the course where the tape has been replaced with yellow tape. This tape is made NOT to break when you go through it. Be especially careful and it will act as a big rubberband. YAY. The whistle blows and we start. I started in my small chainring, stupid. I was probably 15 into the holeshot. But I'm confident as we hit the grass and the first downhill. I pedal hard and fast and am flying over the first hump to the straightaway. My frontwheel finds a rut and suddenly I am airborne. But I manage to keep things upright and work my way down to the first sandpit. Memory gets all jumbled after this. I hit the flyover and those steps are way too tall for my short legs. I get to the top and see the frozen white ruts at the bottom and do a very stupid thing. I started riding down it with my brakes on. It's a wonder I didn't endo. 1/3 of the way down I let go of the brakes and let 'er rip. I remember hitting the second sandpit and people are getting off, but I stay on the bike and keep riding. We get to the far backside on the grassy area in the woods. Women are being tentative and I pick off three of them over there. As I make my way to the pit area someone (I don't know who) was screaming, "take a bike Sherri, Brian needs to make a change, pit and take a bike". So I did. Two women pass me, but I just keep going. My legs felt good, my lungs felt great. I hadn't used my fast acting inhaled for 3 days. I was worried I might be selected for doping and didn't want a positive result to DQ me.  At one point I'm riding a straight stretch and hit a bit rut. My bike is heading towards yellow tape. My mind is thinking, holy moly I'm going to bounce off of this stuff. But instead I broke the unbreakable yellow tape. Whew, I was so scared I was going to bounce back into the lane and crash.

I should've been in bigger gear maybe. I should've been in smaller gear and spun faster. I should've spent more time running all season and running hills with my bike. One thing I had no opportunity to do was ride frozen ruts. I know I went airborne twice. I had at least 5 majorly wonderful saves. I fell only once and dropped my chain. This lost me more time and another woman passed me. As I rode my third lap, almost to the pavement the leader lapped me. Then the official pulled me before I could get on the pavement and get my third lap time. 

This was such a wonderful experience. Brian change my air pressure in my tires and that definitely helped the rest of my race. I wasn't last. I really and truly want to finish on the lead lap in all of my races next year. I wish I had a Garmin so I could've recorded my laps for me. I need to do a lot more power work and weight training to be sure. 

The rest of the day was: getting changed and warm, going and getting some food, and watching other friend's race. One got a gold medal, Yay Karen! Unfortunately, Tim broker a rear der and had to run a long way to the pit. However, he still finished the race! I know I'm missing a lot of things that happened that I should record here.

So very proud of everyone that came out and competed. I'm impressed by the turnout of volunteers for the week. They did everything from registration, to parking, to crossing guards to course maintenance. 

Did I mention that this year was the first time EVER that CX Master's World has been held outside of Europe? Major coup on behalf of Joan Hanscom and Bruce Fina. 

Goal for 2013 Elite and Master's World Championships - get out the population to come and cheer and spectate and be a part of this excitement.

It's taken me days to find the energy to sit and write this down. I woke up on Tuesday with a sore throat and sniffles. Still fighting it today. Need to get back on my bike soon, but need to get well also.

Give someone a hug, Ride a bike, Smile



13 January, 2012

2012 Cyclocross Master's World Championships have arrived

in Louisville, KY as has Father Winter in full force. The week started with quite a lot of rain and by Wednesday the course was a soggy, muddy, boggy playground. I took an "easy" lap to pre-ride and check out the lay of the course. It took me 25 minutes! to ride 2.2 miles. 

I signed up to volunteer Thursday and Friday. Thursday saw quite a mudfest of races. Many many pit changes for racers. The temperature dropped throughout Thursday and the winds picked up. When I arrived at the course this morning it was frozen solid, ruts and all. They were de-icing the flyover.

as well as the paved start to the hole shot. Several crashes occurred throughout the day. Needless to say I have been having some fear-filled anxiety thinking about this race. It should warm up tomorrow and I'm sure the course will be muddy by end of day. However, it will refreeze overnight and be frozen for my race that goes off at 9:30 on Sunday. 

Up until this afternoon all races have been qualifying heats that have seeded riders for starting position in their final race. This afternoon saw the first championship race of this final event of the 2011-2012 Cyclocross Season. At the end of the race each and every finisher received a participation medal. I want one! So, I will get out there and toe the line and do this last race of the season. Wish I had better fitness, wish I was stronger and faster with enough power to complete each lap in under 15 minutes. It's a 35 minute race. Today saw 12 minute lap times by the lead riders in some of the heats. We shall see how this goes.

There are quite a few of my friends from around the country racing tomorrow and Sunday. I will be out there cheering for them all day tomorrow and as soon as I can recoup on Sunday. 

I think I'll not do anything on Monday except sit with my feet up and nap all day. I'm still cold from being out there today.

Already planning the year with races. Looking where I can travel if I have the $. Need to find a job soon if I want to continue to play on my bikes all year.

Happy Friday 13th to all of you. 


05 January, 2012

CX Nats

Wow, double wow. What a week and there's 3 more days to go.

Monday was a whirlwind. Had bike checked up, needed new bearings in the BB and new rear brake cable (think that's right) and a new chain as the old one was stretched. Then grocery store, home to clean, cook, do laundry, pack bags, start to load the van. 

Tuesday I left the house about 6:20. Truly wanted to leave by 6, but that wasn't going to happen. It took me 7 hours when I expected 8.5 not shabby and traffic was light. Staying at hotel with the Red Zone Jr team. Great bunch of kids and super parents all. 

Wednesday, fellow Rogue Brian raced in the non-championship 40+ race. He's done great this year considering a very late start after repairing a miniscus tear in July/August. He got a great start, but in the first 1/4 of the first lap another rider put a pedal into his front wheel and broke a spoke. It took a bit for him to bend that spoke around another  so his wheel would spin freely. He picked off a few other cyclists and finished on the lead lap. 

Thursday was my race day. Crazy night of waking up too many times. But I felt pretty good, got hot oatmeal for breakfast and had plenty of time to prep for my race. We got to the warm-up area 2 hours before start time. Unloaded the van and started getting things ready to warm-up on the trainer. I decided I wanted about 40 minutes. I got on the trainer a bit early and B2 dialed in my A bike. He grabbed a seat and I started spinning, easy. A few people came in and out, but it was just 4 or 5 of us for the most part. All of a sudden a whoosh and a big ball of light and Brian was flying parallel to the floor across a row of chairs in front of me. I realized then that the propane heater had an explosion and I tried to move away from it. I couldn't unclip and just fell to my left away from the blast. I looked to see where Brian was and he was getting up. I finally got off the trainer and ran to the door. Then I came back to see how Brian was. His shirt sleeve melted against his left arm, eyebrows and eyelashes singed and lower back was very pink. Lucky he wasn't hurt worse. He insisted he was fine. Finally went to drugstore and got some stuff for his burns. 

I got back to my trainer and got in probably the best warmup I've done this year. Got on dry clothes to race. Brian got back. We headed to the course. I was in the back for callups. Felt pretty good in my start. Left the pavement and up the hump to the straightaway. Most of the field was pulling away, but I was staying with about 5 of them. Felt good and didn't overdue the start like I typically do. Came around to the first technical turn and we were bunched up. I backed off and slid out. My composure went out the window. I couldn't get back on the bike and "slid" down the small hill out of the turn. I worked and worked to calm down and just pedal. But I lost too much ground. I got to the big hill and women were still there as i reached it so I thought I would be fine. Just maintain composure and work really hard. But the hill took a lot out of me. Need more cardio fitness. LOTS more cardio fitness. I have a long way to go if I want to be competitive in this or any sport. Now, I am going to be realistic and say that I was racing against former Pro and current Cat 1 racers. I am not going to be competitive with them. But I need to work on getting my times closer to the 5 - 8 that finished just ahead of me. I was 13th, last and down one lap.

Ok, enough about that. Tomorrow the Jr Red Zone team race. I'm so excited to be out there helping where I can and cheering them on. Such great kids! Then there are friends that will be racing tomorrow and Saturday. And the best for last on Sunday, the pros!

Well, I'm beat. Hope to check on my friend one last time and then hit the pillow.

Enjoy your weekend!


02 January, 2012

Brief entry

Raced on Saturday, felt like I was going backwards. Worst feeling in a race ever with good lungs and legs. Just had no power and a 10 year old passed me. ha ha this is life. 2.5 hour drive to race 30 minutes and suck big wind then drive 2.5 hours home. Boy, do I know how to party on New Year's Eve!  

I posted a word of the day that night: solitude. It is actually a good word, much different from lonely. Google it, you'll see.

I should be in bed. Finally have bags packed and some of the van loaded. More to do in am before pulling out for WI. After Sat. race I thought I might just stop; not do Natz or Worlds. We'll see. It's here. I understand the Natz course is frozen. If it stays that way, maybe I can slip and slide with the best of them. Otherwise, it might warm up and be a mudfest. 

Happy 12 to everyone. I have lots of stuff to get busy on soon. AT least I hope I do.