20 May, 2012

So mtb season is in full swing

I went to Chickasaw Trace in Tennessee end of March and then Tsali for one of the SERC races on April Fool's day. The DINO tune-up at Town Run just didn't work out for me and then the first of the Kentucky Point Series @ Fort Duffield was Mother's Day which just so happened to be my daughter's birthday and I didn't get to race it either. But since it poured rain that morning I'm not too sad about missing it.

Chickasaw, was a tough race, but I loved it. Was lucky to get to ride to the race with one of the Red Zone families. I've never been there before and didn't get a pre-ride. I'm always nervous to race a course sight unseen. Somehow I came in 3rd of 7 in Cat 3 women for a 9 mile race. About 300 yards into the single track there was a deep dip and then climb back up. Somehow I bounced on my saddle and knocked it where the nose was pointing straight up. I was 3rd in the hole shot and then everyone passed me as I beat on my saddle to straighten it out. It took most of the race to pick off the 4 women I beat. This race is a qualifier for the USA XC nationals in July in Sun Valley. Nice to know I can go. But I'm not this year. Need employment first.

Tsali was a wonderful course with great views. I drove down on Friday and camped in my van. I pre-rode on Saturday. Was lucky that a friend also drove down to pre-ride and so we started out together. But she is a Cat 1 so our ride together was very short, different courses about 1/2 mile from the start. There were a couple of tough climbs up washed out rutted and rocky. I could ride up about 3/5 but would lose traction. One climb was right after a sharp left hand turn. I have so much work to do and lots of riding experience to gain. I had a blast and am so glad I made the trip to North Carolina for this. Wound up 7 of 10 in a 13 mile race with a lot of climbing.

DB has been good to join me on weekly treks to mtb trails in the region. We've gone to Brown County numerous times, Versailles, French Lick and Younger's Creek. CH has travelled with me twice also. I've been so fortunate to get to "play" and get in some very good riding this spring. I was invited to camp at Brown County with some of the Red Zone kids and moms during their spring break. We had a blast. 

I originally planned to go to Ducktown and race another of the SERC races. But feeling the need to conserve $ and gas I went to Brown County and did a XC Time Trial race instead. It was 16 miles, I was dead last, but it was a very good experience. Starts were order of registration. My start was about 25. There were 94 racers. So about 60 people passed me in the first 8 miles of the course. One guy knocked into me. But I needed to learn to not get rattled by people passing. It's going to happen.

This weekend was the first race of the DINO (Do INdiana OffRoad) series. It was in Warsaw, IN which is a good 4.5 hour drive with no rush hour in Indianapolis. DB was gracious enough to go with me. I have decided to race the Cat 2 women's instead of the Cat 3. The distances in this series are considerably shorter for women than most of the other series. I don't want to race 5.5 or 6 miles. I'd rather be challenged and know I won't be so competitive and race with the Cat 2 women whose race is 9 or 10 miles. The venue was gorgeous. This is also part of the Fat and Skinny tire festival, so there are road races and leisure road rides as well as mtb race. It's at The Village on Winona Lake which is a beautiful setting and very quaint little town. Traffic kept us on the road longer than hoped on Friday. We arrived about 8:30 and didn't get to pre-ride. We camped at the mtb start/finish area. DB raced Cat 1. Both Cat 1 and 2 women started at the same time. Cat 1 raced 2 laps for 20 miles. I had tough competition. Several women from last year also jumped in the Cat 2 race. I was dead last again, but I learned a few more things. This course was fairly flat with some punchy climbs and descents and a LOT of twisty turns. There were hardly any obstacles except for the roots on some of the climbs/descents. One right-hand switchback to a steep drop put me off the bike and I slid down it. DB rode it like a pro. After about the 3rd or 4th mile I rode solo most of the rest of the race. The last mile or two the Cat 1 men were lapping me. But I just got out of their way. They are FAST! or I am slow. It's all relative.

There's a kypointseries race here this weekend, I'm trying to decide whether to do. Next weekend is the next DINO at Brown County. It has a tough road climb ascent before dropping into the single track. 

I've ridden and ridden. I know I'm improving but there are times I feel I'm going backwards. Last week I just didn't ride well at all. Wound up endoing on No Net and crashing in Wilderness at Chero/Seneca. Something I haven't done in a long while there. 

To change the subject briefly, I had my first phone interview ever on Thursday. We'll see if they call to schedule a face to face this week. At least this is good practice. There's one job I have applied for that i really would like to get. But life turns out as it should, right? Severance runs out end of this month so I need to get to the unemployment office soon. Tomorrow will be more job hunting and filling out online applications.

I hope all of you are enjoying this beautiful spring. It's going to be in the 90s this week here so it already feels like summer.