11 March, 2012

March has arrived and Sub9 DeathMarch is in the books!

and it started out with exciting weather happenings, like tornadoes. There's been some nasty devastation not far from here, but the community has pulled together and donated over $400,000 and many many man hours already to help clean up and more to come in the next weeks. 

Friends came and picked me up last Sunday and we headed to Waverly. It's a great place to ride trails. And it's a great place for me to fall down. But I fall down most anywhere I ride my mtn bike. Debbie and I were getting ready to ride up Montana when another woman cyclist was just pulling into the park. She joined us once she got parked and we climbed the hill. Montana is on my list of "need to conquer". I know I'll do it, once I get the negativity out of my brain about it. I've climbed mountains, I can do this Dag gone it. :)  We had a great ride, even if I fell twice. One of these days I'll stop doing that. Monday was a cold day and I was sore so I went for a nice brisk 4 mile walk. Rode 25 miles on my SuperX to get used to it's feel on Tuesday in prep for Saturday. Weather has been great so Wednesday we headed to Brown County for some trail riding. I Love That Place! It has some of everything but mostly great flow. About the time you think you can't climb anymore the trail gives you some reprieve and a lot of the climbing doesn't feel like climbing, unless you've been riding a while and your body is exhausted. 22 miles of trails and 2000 ft of climbing OUCH, rain on Thursday and tune up on Friday.

Sub9 DeathMarch: the day starts @ 4:50 am, fix breakfast, finish packing and load the van. Pull out @ 6:15. The moon was gorgeous in the western sky as I drove north.
I arrived, knocked on the window of the Rogue-mobile and headed to registration to pick up my number, etc. My team mate had already picked it up! and in true Sherri fashion I get back to the Rogue-mobile and demand my stuff! hmm, not the best way to start the day. But everyone shook me off and we put on our smiley faces. It was quite chilly, 34F at the ride start, but not a cloud in the sky. Total participation was twice 2011. There were lots of cyclists as the mass start. It's always interesting to watch who's going in which direction and try to determine some of their strategy. Heather is our navigator and does the job fabulously. She keeps the map tucked in nice and dry under her jersey, easy access! Here's the first picture at the first cemetery:
I told Heather that I had forgotten most of the ride until I was driving to the Boy Scout camp and bits and pieces started coming back. Pain and climbing and exhaustion and flat tires were the first memories I had. Heather of course remember most every detail and would give me the play by play before we reached each obstacle/climb. This was much like my daughter telling me what's going to happen next in a movie I've never seen. :-)   But this was a fun day and most of my complaining is in jest. I won't be able to give a play by play from yesterday, even though it should still be fresh in my mind. I can give you some numbers and highlights:

Heading to the 2nd cemetery we have to ride miles of fresh gravel. I hate fresh gravel. (it might've only been 2 miles) We go off road where there's no real road or gravel, just muddy ruts and many creeks to cross. One crossing is deep enough and wide enough that no matter what, your feet will get wet. Mine were soaked well above my ankles. Thank goodness for wool socks, it stays warm even when wet and it dries fairly quickly.  I fell once due to failing to hop a log. I slid once walking across a bog and got muddy. I fell another time but can't remember the details. My feet had pretty much dried and we had to cross that creek again just to get soaked once more. 

The ride is posted on Strava along with many others that rode yesterday: http://app.strava.com/rides/5034615

We got off course once. We spent at least one hour less out there than last year. Out of 22 teams in the women's category we came in 3rd. Officials made a correction and rightly so and we did not come in third after all. Congrats to the winners Janet and Jayne!  We rode 52.5 miles, climbed 3,600 ft in just under 5 hours (though we were out there 6.5 hours taking pictures, climbing fire towers, asking directions). We pretty much rocked this race this year. Last year I walked several climbs on paved roads, but this year I rode all of those. There was still a nasty off road climb that we walked and a gravel road climb we walked because the gravel was so deep and loose we couldn't do anything but spin out. 

Spain definitely got me ready for this event, as much mentally as physically. I am much more ready to just do it instead of telling myself I can't. Strong Like Bull made me stronger than I'd ever thought possible. Also, I was pleasantly surprised how good my legs felt once I got home and this morning. I expected to be miserable. So I went for a 30+ mile ride today and now my butt is killing me!  haha.

Here's the next to last cemetery picture.

The one picture we failed to get both years was at the finish line. We will get that one in 2013!

I thoroughly enjoy riding my bike. I had a BLAST doing this race with Heather and look forward to doing it again next year. 

The weather looks to be fantastic this week, with temps in the 70s from Tuesday onward. More off road riding is in our future for Wednesday! 

I hope you are enjoying March as much as I am. Life is good. Smile, laugh, love and commit acts of kindness when you can.


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