Monday, June 24, 2013

Grafton Ponds Mountain Bike Race

What better way than to spend the day riding a bike in the woods with friends? It was a beautiful day on Sunday, we loaded up the Fiat and discover that one of the screws on the bike rack is loose and we couldn't get it tighten. Unload everything and reload into the Rav4. Allergy season is in full bloom and hitting both of us, Claritin is our friend. I failed to take it though. Oh well. Need to say I decided to ride the hardtail (what was I thinking!). Shoulders are sore today and I feel it in my wrists.

By the time we get up to Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center it's already 84 degrees out!! Dang, it's hot and the humidity is creeping up. We both try to stay out of the sun as much as possible. The call for staging and we're up.

The count and we're off. Jessica takes off right out of the gate, never to be seen again! I'm thinking to myself, pace yourself, it's hot and you have 3 laps. The rest of us pretty much ride together up the first climb and then into the single track, it's slippery, the roots are slimy and I realize my sunglasses are too dark. In the woods it's hard to pick the roots out but I keep riding and slipping away. After about 1 mile we're already spread out, I know Jessica is up front, another woman I don't know (she's in the 19-34 AG), Pam and myself. I know Michelle is probably right behind me but I can't hear her. Yes, it's hot and I'm thankful most of the riding is in the woods!!

So I'm getting bounced around pretty good on my hard-tail, I'm not getting into a rhythm and am frustrated with myself. Start getting that stressed, tension kind of riding going. I don't like riding like that, so I just back off a bit and try to regroup. Michelle passes me, okay, just have to stay in contact.

Second loop, right behind Michelle and Pam, can't see Jessica. Thank goodness for Dave gave me a bottle of cold water to dump on myself and the feed zone gave us water! Michelle and I go back and forth on the second loop. I love it! She makes it through a tough spot, I get to cheer good job, keep going!! I make it through a tough spot, she cheers, good job!! So goes the discussion as we ride. Finally settling in on the bike, taking better lines, feeling better. Sweating something awful.

Third loop, can still see Pam, don't know if I can catch her but will do my best. I thought Michelle was with me but she dropped off, heat is so tough to ride in!! I'm guessing Pam is about a minute in front of me. Now I'm actually feeling like I'm becoming one with my bike! Took too long! What's fun about this course is it goes back and forth so you can see the other riders and cheer them on. At the last climb Pam is 3/4 of the way up and I'm only 1/4 of the way up and it's pretty much downhill after you hit the top. So I know I'm not going to catch her unless something happens BUT that doesn't mean I'm not going to keep trying!

I cross the finish line, oh so nice!! Pam's there, high five and hug! I hang around at the finish to see Michelle finish, more hugs! Eddie comes across, cheering and more hugs! Get water, visit, change and we're heading home. Half way home, I ask Eddie, "where's the ibeprofen?", have a wicked headache. We get home, unload (Eddie does most of it), I crash. Another great day!

Jessica (1st), Pam (2nd) and myself (3rd)
So, Cat 2 does 3 laps, Cat 1 does 4 laps and the Pro's 5 laps! Kudos to all that rode yesterday! Keep hydrated and recover well.

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