Soooo its been a while. I'm reporting in from the cool climes and wavy aspens of northern New Mexico--this haven to which the hubs and I retreated in the wake of our Vegas campaign...
We landed at the trade show on Wed morning. Interbike is held a convention center in the Venetian--land of the perpetual powder smell. The hubs supposes such smell is pumped in to try to cover up the smoke and odor of decaying humanity.
Anyway, checked some stuff out, then went to our hotel--which was waaayyyy south on the strip. Upon checking in we were told "no bikes allowed" (to the tune of "no dogs allowed" as sung in that Peanuts movie where Snoopy gets rejected out of every place he wants to go). Reason #459873 that vegas just sucks. Ok, I will restrain myself from the Vegas rant. Anyway, we layer caked 4 bikes into the trunk of the subaru and hung out for a few hours before the cross race on Wednesday.
The cross race was awesome. Held at a soccer complex about 10 minutes from the strip--it was a great course with one set of barriers. The grass kinda sucked the energy from your legs--but it was better than having a super technical course where I would be braking the shit out of myself and having to accelerate and try to catch up. At least this had everyone in the same boat. I was called up to the line LAST! Yeah--who's a big deal. :)) Anyway, the race started and it was pedal to the medal...I was moving up but then on the 2nd lap a girl lost it on one of the downhills and I slammed right into her. Bummer. Dusted myself off and tried to get it back together. I came to complete stops behind 2 more crashes and definitely lost a lot of ground. I definitely got demoralized but pulled myself together and just tried to focus on picking people off. I ended up finishing 18th which is my best finish EVER in a UCI cross race so I was psyched.
I heard my name at random spots on the course which was SO COOL!!!! THANK YOU so much to anyone who was cheering for me! That was awesome! Same thing in the crit!
The next day we had coffee with Big Al--owner of Missoula Bicycle Works--coolest bike shop in Montana before nerding out at the bike show again. Then it was time for the crit.
The crit was the USA crit series finals and it was held at Mandalay Bay. We drove to the venue and discovered that I had left my road shoes at the hotel...Which was far away. I had a heart attack while the hubs presto-change'oed my cross pedals over to my road bike and handed me my cross shoes. He then left to try to get my road shoes while I tried to stave off the impending meltdown. Headed over to SRAM tech support to discover my front wheel was not fit for racing. Those AWESOME guys hooked me up with a wheel and sent me towards the start line.
Like last year, it was a 1k course with lots of turns and big sweeping corners. There were a couple crashes and it was just generally sketchy. I would make my way to the front and then just get pushed back. For a while I found myself tailgunning at the back--having to accelerate hard out of the corners to stay with the group. The pace stayed relatively high and there were tons of primes. about midway through the race, I had a little sit-down with myself about getting to the front. I got myself up there and committed to just STAYING up there, even if I was poking my nose in the wind. I reasoned that being in the wind at the front was better than having to accelerate at the back and dealing with the super sketchosity. However, Jen McRae had escaped off the front and was putting serious time on the field. Being solo, I just kind of watched what the teams were doing. Definitely made me be psyched for next year when I will have teammates and will be able to be more proactive rather than reactive...Anyway, there were some half-hearted chase attempts but nothing that brought her back. With 2 laps to go, the lead-out trains were getting setup...I was still trying to fight to stay up there...coming into the last big sweeper, I just went, figuring I'd rather get swarmed then crashed by waiting...I got swarmed by about 8 which landed me in the top 10 (well tenth :)) my best result at this level of event so far. I was psyched on the result but even happier with how I rode in the race. I'm looking forward to improving upon that next year!!
It was a great event and a lot of fun. Again, I heard my name at various points along the course--and that was so awesome. Many thanks also to the Canyon Bicycles guys who helped me with my bike and let me stash my stuff in their sweet van. Its always great to see friendly Utah faces when you are racing out of state!
After the race, the hubs and I celebrated at In and Out burger. I had been planning on going there after this race since I had decided to race! It pretty much ruled. We complimented that fine meal with a bottle of Verve-Clicquet--which my AWESOMEST friends ever -- lizzie and laura s--had given us to break open after the race. THANKS GUYS!!!!! And, just when you thought a day couldn't get any better--the hubs assented to my movie choice of Sex and the City...It ruled.
We got the hell out of vegas (the hubs was close to ejecting himself from the situation) and headed to New Mexico to hang with Fritz and Dave, steve's bro and sis-in-law...We've got a couple days of mountain bike rides and chile consuming before we head back to reality. sigh.
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