Saturday, January 17, 2009

Will She or Won't She?

I'd already decided we were going to Snowcross today, but I hadn't decided if I was going to race. I thought it might be nice to just watch the race for once and not struggle through it myself. I dressed in riding clothes just in case and we made the trek to the Versluis Orchard.

We got a late start and the roads weren't great. Actually, I didn't think they were that bad until a semi in front of us blew out a tire and I had to put on my brakes. At that point, I realized it was a bit slippery.

We got to the venue literally five minutes before the race was supposed to start. I had already talked myself out of racing on the trip over, mainly because I didn't think we'd arrive with enough time to spare. The group was still milling around, however, and I asked Rick if I was too late. He and Cathy convinced me there was plenty of time and gave me the mandatory pre-race shot of peppermint schnapps.

I rushed back out to my car, grabbed my bike and changed my shoes. I was instructed to leave my bike outside and return to the garage. The racers gathered in the garage and Rick gave last minute instructions with a bullhorn. The garage door was raised, a shotgun fired and all the racers ran for their bikes.

After riding briefly down the road, we veered off into the orchard. Nate Versluis had plowed a course through the orchard for the race. All classes left at once, which is different from a normal Kisscross race. It was a little strange for me to be riding with everyone. Since I'm always last, I'm used to being by myself for most of the race, but because the A and B racers were doing more laps, they were out there for nearly the entire time I was. In fact, until the race was over and I saw the results, I didn't even know how many C racers were racing. As it turned out, there were only four.

I took my mountain bike instead of my cross bike today and it was a really good decision. The only time I really felt at a disadvantage was when I was trying to get over the barriers or when I had to walk up a hill. Since my bike is so ridiculously heavy, it was a lot of weight to lug up a hill. Other than that, though, having my mountain bike there was a positive experience.
Since I lack confidence on the bike, it really helps to have something bulkier with bigger tires. Given the course's snow and icy downhills, I know I would have walked a lot of sections if I had my cross bike.

Yes, I still came in last, but I had a good time out there, despite the fact that I was constantly sliding around and crashing into snowbanks. Surprisingly enough, I never got cold and it sure beat the crap out of spending that time on the trainer.

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