Monday, December 05, 2005

RI Race Weekend

I'm in full cooking mode now, and stirring the brown rice risotto with pumpkin gives me plenty of time to recap my weekend here on my blog.

Friday afternoon I anxiously awaited the arrival of my Voodoo frame, which FedEx finally brought at 5 pm. I was immediately upset when I saw the packing job, which consisted of some newspaper taped around the frame. Yep. I should have brought it home on the plane with me. My fears were confirmed; the rear derailleur hanger was bent pretty out of whack. The silver lining: I bought this bike because it was steel, and steel is pliable. Jason over at Ace Wheelworks bent it back for me, although it looks like it needs some more work and possibly a new hanger welded on, because I cannot get my rear wheel back out of the dropouts....
I rode the bike successfully while warming up both Saturday and Sunday, and it fits great and rides nicely. What a shame... nice frame.

So Friday night was a late one. G and me had a bike workshop cooking in my kitchen until 2 am. I was a bit tired on Saturday, especially from being on my feet for so many hours after work.

For those of you who missed the start of the elite women's race on Saturday, Marianne's arrival on the scene was that of myth and legend. After going the wrong way, hours of speeding, getting pulled over twice (leading to one $250 speeding ticket), and actually peeing in a water bottle while stuck in traffic (I think this happened before she got pulled over for driving up the breakdown lane), Marianne arrived panting, frantic, and gloveless at the blustery cold start line. She had a decent start, all pumped up on adrenaline like that, but unfortunately didn't know the course (as she had no time for pre-riding) and biffed the first run up, since she didn't know it was there. Ah, oh well. All for the love of cross.

I had a good initial start, jumping first up the road, but I took a wrong line eaerly on and watched as 3 people passed me. I just had no legs and couldn't close gaps. I slipped back and ended up 5th by virtue of another's misfortune, but I'll take it.

Sunday's race just plain ROCKED. The course was awesome, and it would have been great under any conditions. Luckily, we had snow. I looked forward to getting some snow practice. My bruises (and pride) were still swollen from crashing at Sterling, and I wanted another shot at snow this year, particularly given the decent chance that next weekend will be white. I can't believe how well I ran the sand in the race. I just felt like I was flying. I don't know if I've ever run that well in a cross race. I hope this is a new trend for me! Mo and Christine were simply fast. As we all know, Mo rides like butter. So smooth it's unbelivable. Since she's also pretty much one of the nicest people on the planet, she fills a special role as "hero" in my world.
CONGRATULATIONS to Mo for winning the Verge series!!!

I rode pretty well, catching Mackenzie as she seemed to slow. There was a group of 4 of us, keeping the pressure on each other and the pace high. I attacked in the last lap on the beach run, and got a small gap. I held it until the final corner, when I rode too defensively. I knew there were 3 behind me, and a fall would mean losing 3 places. I took the last icy corner too slow, and Mackenzie passed me. The finish was not on the road for us, and after the last corner, there was no room to catch or pass. So I missed 4th place by feet. Had I stayed ahead in that corner, I would have had fourth. I was disappointed, but that race was so fun!

Thanks to everyone who cheered for me this weekend! It's so wonderful to hear my name shouted out as I'm suffering around the course. One day I'm gonna win something for you all.
And thank you to Todd R. and G-Man for coming to my rescue and helping in the pit!! You guys were pros.

Here are a few pics:

They moved the finish to the road for the men's race, and it was an exciting sprint, with McCormick beating Johnson by a hair.

The bridge was a great vantage point for viewing.

Paul Weiss - photographers never get their picture taken!!

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