So other than an attempt at an Enduro or three over the last two summers I haven't seriously raced since the 2012/2013 Cyclocross season. I can't say it's much different since I'm not sure Wednesday's race counts as serious racing (for me).
I'm out of practice on race prep so got home, gathered my gear and bike, loaded the van and headed to Eva. This after making numerous trips back to the house for this and that. Once I arrived I felt terribly rushed to get registered and the line was growing at the reg tent, then to get my timing chip. Rush back to the van and change (have I said how common it is to see me anywhere in the USA changing clothes in parking lots? yeah, all the time). Before I turned 45 I never would've thought at almost 57 I would be doing any of these things.
I digress. The Trance is too heavy for short track racing, IMO. I had lent my Scalpel to a friend to ride for a couple of weeks and he returned it Tuesday night, all clean and ready to go. Lowered my saddle, put my pedals on and went for a pre-ride thinking I had about 15 minutes before start time. In an ideal world a minimum 30 minute ride for warmup is best for me. There were 3 logs to clear, 2 small and one not so small (but there was a ride around I discovered during the race). About halfway through the first warmup lap and my gears started wanting to shift themselves, more than needing a trim. The one climb on the course made this problem seem even worse. I rode to my van and worked on adjusting things. At first I moved the barrel in the wrong direction, but I figured that out and thought I had it right. Rode 2 more laps and went to start line.
The kids race was just starting! I had more time than the schedule said, which was good for me to calm down and watch the little ones. These girls and boys are anywhere from around 2 to 8 riding tricycles, striders and bicycles. They are all in and racing their little bums down the track. So adorably cute they all are!
Since I haven't had any fitness and long time since racing I entered the Women's C race. There were 4 of us and we were set for 20 minutes. In addition to us we had the Juniors racing 30 seconds behind us. Well, it didn't take long for several of them to pass us! I lost count but think we completed 4 maybe 5 laps and total time was less than 20 minutes. I haven't ridden that hard with my heart rate pegged in a long time! Clare was much too fast and she dieseled well out in front and I never saw her after the first lap. Leigh Ann was in 2nd and I can't remember when I passed her. Maybe about the time the first junior boy passed us. The Jr girls came around fairly early on. I wound up 2nd. Was happy the wheezing subsided by the end of the following race and was humbled by all of the people cheering for me as I rode around and around the course. I do not have the words to convey the way that makes me feel. But I do hope I can get some consistency over the summer and drop some weight. No commitments, but it would be nice to through in a cyclocross race this fall. End of the day if I never race again I'd be fine with it. But being around all the people in the cycling community is great. The mountain bikers especially are some of the most supportive around.
There are so many fun people that raced Wednesday. I'm so proud of K8 monster and another Jr I can't remember her name, Kate Dietrich, KK Santos, Laura Chism, Jennifer Hester, Mary Penta and Jenna Blandford. These women and many more are my heroines to be sure regardless of their age.
The men's races were fun to watch as well, but I will let them tell their stories. :-D
We have four more Wednesdays to race. It costs $10 each and $5 if you are a Jr and free for kids. There's a food truck, Black Rock Grille that serves up delicious burgers and fries. The kids get Popsicles after their race and I'm thinking a few people have extra brews in their coolers if you forget yours.
Come down and watch us all suffer for 20-30 minutes racing our bikes through the woods at Eva Bandman. It's free and a great family oriented time.
The others left before our podium. :-(