SEA OTTER CLASSIC
What a bunch of craziness!!! First off, there were a ton of high points. I was so excited, and borderline emotional, to see all the local girls lined up for the pro XC race sunday. There they were, all in a little gaggle. Carolyn, Christie, Mandy, Meggan, Teri, Chrissy it has been and i know will be exciting to see what these girls are capable of! I also saw Matt heading off into the drizzle with the pro men!
The Trip: Went smoothly! Spent the night in SLO with the HAMRICKS and the Grandparents were there too! I was actually driving the JEEP it is red incase you forgot. Come to find out it needed over a QUART of oil! YOu would think that when those loosers were "tinkering" with the engine for eight weeks and a day they would have put some oil in it. But they didnt.
Jason and Uriah hit up the Aquarium in search of the Octopus as i scrambled in normal form to find Christie, Teri, Mandy and Heather for a little XC preride. It was good un-clean fun due to the mud etc. For the most part, a normal day.
To start the off nicely, i forgot my helmet at the hotel. Of course!! While driving into the hotel driveway, there was a BMW infront of the Jeep. They proceeded to back straight out of the driveway and into the front of the JEEP. NO WAY! I was livid. I think i was a bit mean to the poor fellow. His tail light was shattered and the sturdy jeep bumper just scratched. Not a good way to start a race day though.
This would have been my first short track race. It was not to be. This is my first, ever, DNS this one actually made me cry. I was so frustrated and upset. I got there when they were about 3/4 way through their first lap. I went up to Longo and asked if those were truly my girls, and yes indeed they were. After much self discussion i realized it would be ok. It was super, out of control muddy, and i was over it. So i took Jason and Uriah Sea Kayaking. While they went to play in the sun, i went to jump on my trainer. This was not to be either. I misplaced an intregal portion of the trainer, and had to resort to a road ride in a town i have never been in. Fantastic. Almost every main road ended up in a tunnel or on HWY 1 or 68. Very awkward indeed.
SUNDAY: The big day. You see, i have been prepping for this season. I have been thinking of the looming 40 mile race at Sea Otter and what a challenge it will be, and how great it would be. This was, infact, not to be. As i was heading towards the start line, *someone* said, as they stood with a group of people: "So Joy, are you going to start this race today?" It was all I could do to restrain myself from the well over-due verbal assault that should have answered that question. Do they really think i CHOSE not to start stxc? Instead, i resorted to my snottiest 8th grade catfight voice and just yelled "NO, im not gonna start." Theory 854: Stupid questions deserve stupid answers, or worse.
Since i am starting a season of first, as before stated, i decided to have my first ever flat in a race. Ever. I think i was protected by some schroud last year that worded off all ill-fate as i raced. This year, that shroud has been tossed to the wind. Or as Meggan says, were all just getting so strong, we keep breaking things.
I was in the perfect spot. I was with key people who have handed it to me in the past, i felt good, and i knew i had a LONG ways to go. Then "poof" there it went. I HAD to look at this flat in perspective. About 100 yards behind me there was an ambulance taking some semi-pro or expert men out. This was just a flat and i can totally deal. Although about 9 girls passed me, i knew i could catch a good chunk of them, assuming that i was going to get stronger as the race went on.
Thus began the Monty Python movie that was never, and will never, be released. I was flying solo now, except for the phantom tandem. These guys were crazy. Riding through the boggy forest into thick trenches of mud and quagmire, reminding me of Pilgrims Progress, then python these guys kept me optimistic. They were dressed totally in black and riding a single speed. They would just appear through a thicket in the fog, then promptly fall in the mud. Rumor has it that they were wearing dresses earlier that day. I could hear them yelling, laughing, runny, and lugging behind me. We played cat and mouse for the better part of the race. They kept telling me how i would catch up... LIARS!!!! THey should be hung....
While riding the road climb, next to the tandem weirdos, we were split, swarmed and engulfed by pro men. Oh, what a feeling. I told them that it was the highlight of my day and they could stay a bit longer if they needed anything, at all. I actually got a few to laugh. Point for me. FRom then on, i played a little game Christie would call 'name that tune' but i played 'name that jersey.' Since i do my fair share or stalking, ok, i do enough for a small town, i know who these guys are. Wells grunted really weird when he went by, that Bishop guys bike needed some serious lube, and the Fisher boys ALL talked to me. Also, Leslie Tomlison talked to me from the side of a climb. If you dont know who she is, try www.google.com, duh. you way even find youself there!!
So the lap is almost over. Much longer than anticipated, but great things happened. I actually PASSED girls who were riding and normal (usually it is people with broken bikes or bodies) on the descents. I passed Jason and Uriah and yelled at them because they wouldnt give me my water bottle, then i realized, it was all about to hit the fan.
I GOT PULLED. Alot of things crossed my mind. Why didnt i just DNF like an hour ago? WHy didnt anyone tell us there was a time cut? What happens to my time? Am i that worthless? Joking on the last one, totally. A lot of girls got pulled, and were not stoked. I went out to race 42 miles, so you kinda ride conservatively on the first lap.It was just a huge let down. So much money spent to get there and i am not even on any sort of results list. I went there to race a super long, hard race, and didnt.
But you know, next week theres some race type thing in Bonelli so maybe that will be a better day. I will use my super duper flat fixer skills to the full, i will remember to use the good lines while riding through mud, and most of the time there are no good lines, so RUN. I will also remember that it is just a race, we have good ones and bad ones. And sometimes, other people just have more control and power than i do. i hate that the most, really. If i threw my race, so be it. But to have other people tell im out, thats a tough one.
Truth of the matter, everyone had trials this weekend. Check out Meggan's Blog with fantastic photos and daily updates. Also check Christie out although i am not sure there is a Sea Otter update there yet. One day i will learn how to put links on my site so you guys can check out ALL the bikers on a regular basis!