Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Last Super D of the Season
The adventure began before we even got on our bikes. Once we reached the top of the Zephyr lift the trucks and vans were waiting for us racers to take us to . . . bumm, bumm, bummm . . . the very top of the mountain. Our bikes were tossed (in our minds they were tossed. Someone made a comment about 'bike spaghetti.') into the backs of vans and eager, mindless riders piled into SUV's with no seats in the back. Up terrain that looked like you should only ride your bike down we bounced our way around the back side of the mountain to make the climb to the top. The ride was so bumpy that one of the racers, our new friend Roxy, bounced so high her already unstable shoulder popped out of socket. The van stopped while a few riders got out and collectively popped the shoulder back without so much as a squeal from Roxy. She still raced, placing 3rd.
Once at the top, our nerves now taking over, we lined up ON OUR BIKES for our mass start - yay, not La Mans style! Off the line I was the third girl out of ten. I really wanted to hold my position so even though the dust from dirt-thick-as-could-be coming off the first two riders was choking out my vision I tried to stay fast. I could only see the top of Adrienne's, the rider in second, helmet in front of me and I kept my eye on her helmet's movement -- if the helmet went up, set- up for an obstacle, if the helmet tipped sideways, crouch in position for a turn. It was that way for what seemed a long time but I am sure was only a minute until we hit thick, thick dirt single track that was on a slight upgrade. The pedaling was nauseating and I could hear Tina, who was on her light xc bike, coming up behind me. I could also see Adrienne, on her heavy DH bike, slowing down. Stuck between the two I held my own back down the familiar side of the mountain and in to rocky, silty terrain. I was keeping good speed until a wipe out in a sharp, rutted out corner sent me over the handle bars. . . I was cussing like a sailor when Tina (sport class) and Molly (pro) stumbled past me. Damn it!!!! I vowed to catch them and quickly overcoming the mental aspects of the crash I sped up to them on the ladder bridge where Tina had dove off because of two flat tires. I passed her slowing down to ask if she was alright and hearing a word I am sure was "fine" I kept in hot pursuit of Molly, now the rider in front of me. The rest of the rocky, twisty race I was pushing it, but not as hard as I know I have in the past. I think I was a little worn out from a long week of work, but still, I made a strong finish through the technical, but 0h-so-fun bottom of the run to place 1st in Sport class (finishing behind all three pro's).
It was a great run for a last race . . . I am just sorry for Tina who flatted out. Big bummer! At least she took it like a sport. Hopefully next year we can say 'she took it like a pro.'