Editors Note: This is the second of our Pacific Pedaling lady racers reports from the past weekend. Thanks to Ellen Miller for contributing this wrap up report. Be sure to also check out Martha’s report just before this one too! Thanks ladies! Some of my favorite shots here, and the full couple hundred on our Flickr page here.
To start off my inaugural blog/race report I would like to give huge ‘props’ to our team owner/director sportif, Paul Lopez. He has been the most amazing support this entire year. The beauty of this team is that it is a gift from Paul, his business, and his family for some local Salem racers to have fun. There is no need for glory or payback, just have fun. Also, big kudos to Pacific Pedaling rider, Tyler Jackson for his 2nd place finish Sunday in the Clydes…way to go Tyler!
This last weekend with the rain, mud, and wind Paul was there with his trailer, heaters, delicious hot pork rib sandwiches, and even a handmade Roland keyboard to complete my SSCXWC Devo costume! Paul, thank you for everything!
Transitions are always a challenge in my life. On Sunday at PIR I assumed that many racers would be participating in the A race and the SSCXWC, so I planned on making it work. “Staging for SSCXWC at 345” they announced, but our race didn’t even start until 315. This was going to be interesting.
As we waited for our whistle, we chatted among ourselves to see who was in for both races. Kari from Velo Bella rolled up next to me and mentioned that she planned on doing the SS race but was sad that her pink sparkle boots didn’t pass the run-up test. I later found out she won the women’s SSCXWC. Congrats Kari, hopefully you will find an occasion to wear your new yellow sparkle bikini with your pink sparkle boots.
I was having a ball racing the Cross Crusade course. The course was a perfect combination of fast stretches, deep mud, greasy corners and silly, slippery off camber sections that even made the fastest A’s humble. When I began my fourth lap I glanced at my watch, 350pm, yikes! I b-lined it back to the van and with Pat and Paul’s help got taped into my Devo kit and I was off to the SSCXWC staging area.
I made it just in time to throw my bike in the pile and find the ladies lined up in a pretty little row. For some reason the women were staged off to the side away from the circle of men. It kind of made me feel second class. The start was a Le Mans start where everyone had to run to their bikes and then jump on the course. We were given the wave by Potestio’s magic wand and the race was on.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t that chaotic to get onto the course. We were definitely in a traffic jam, but it was a fun kind of jam full of heckling and laughing. After the first barriers, run-up and off camber section we were already spreading out. Much to my delight, I realized I was riding next to Trebon. Much to my dismay, as soon as I noticed him I hit the fence and rode it like a cheese grater. I am a total star struck kind of girl. After I recovered, I was determined to stalk him for the first lap. He was obviously taking a joy ride approach to this race. I followed him, listened to others heckle him and even saw him put his foot down on an easy corner. Then I got distracted by a bacon hand-up, mmmm bacon. It was fresh off the skillet and delicious. Thank you bacon hand-up boy! I got back on track to chasing Trebon and then quickly lost him to the stripper bus. I was very torn about this short cut. Although I do not wish to condone behavior that leads to misogyny, I also have a serious case of FOMS (fear of missing something). I forgot my dollars. I had no choice.
The course was completely annihilated by the rain and the thousand racers earlier. It was a blast just playing around with different lines and heckling each other. There was never a good line for the run-up after the off-camber section and the cheese grater fence. I felt like every time I was on that run-up I was looking up some guys skirt in front of me or some mud stain up someone’s briefs. Fortunately, the Lanimal was at the top of this section with some refreshments.
On every lap the crowd was awesome, setting up jumps, making noise in any way possible, yelling encouraging words and yelling discouraging words. The energy in the Thunderdome was pretty cool. You couldn’t wipe the smile off your face for the whole lap after going through there. If you could bottle that, I would never need a Hammer product again.
Just as soon as I noticed that it was getting dark, the race was over. Even though my Devo pants had become Devo chaps at that point, I wanted to keep going. The next lap I was going to try to ride the high ridge versus the low puddle, I was going to try to get air on the jumps, I was going to find a dollar in the mud and see what was in that bus! I guess the moral of my story racing cross this year is you never know when your last lap is going to be. Ride every lap like it is your last.
Thanks to everyone who made Sunday at PIR such a fabulous day. A special thanks to Dani Dance and crew for hosting SSCXWC.