Monday, November 8, 2010

Crash and Burn Provincials

Photo credit: KK

 Provincials was all about who fell down the least. Crashing was the order of the day for most. Except me. I seemed to have a force field around me that kept me upright. Although it is quite possible that I am just a total wuss. Take no unnecessary risks. Bring the body home intact.

And it got me third place woman. We took inventory at the end of the race. Everyone else went down somewhere. Some worse than others. I've never seen the medics so busy with such a large variety of road rash and injuries. Standing and watching the 20 and 30 year old men's race with Mel and Ryan L, I expressed a little guilt over benefiting from so many other's misfortunes, but as Ryan said, "Hey, that's cross racing."

Sleeveless  and pantless in November (Woodcock Cycle)
I especially have to thank Mel, who I know well from triathlon and who I revere as a rider, for my third place standing. Mel, who races "A" roster and was sure to crush me in this race, crashed out bad on the 2nd or 3rd lap and bent her derailleur out of wack. She finished, but needed to stop and fix her bike several times.

I also have to thank Charlene who also crashed, leaving herself a little woozy somewhere in lap 2. But I'm not thanking her for crashing, that was unfortunate. Apparently I passed her at some point shortly after she crashed, but I don't remember. What I have to thank Charlene for is dragging my ass up that steep incline, not unlike the bunker at Menno, three EXTRA times in warm up. AGAIN?  Do I HAVE to?  Oh, Alright. By the time I got into the race, the extra adrenaline made that steep climb a piece of cake.

Thanks to the Woodcock boys and girls for creating a surprising course with no long hills and NO BARRIERS -- thus rendering irrelevant my big racing weakness: The mount and dismount. The soggy ditch became a barrier by lap three. Most were not riding through it by that point. There were several bad twists of fate in that section. Thanks to Vic for getting stuck there right in front of me leaving me without enough momentum to get through there on lap three. Vic taking that crash instead of me, motivated me to get off my bike and run the ditch for the remainder of the race. Who knows what kind of nasty mishap that prevented.

I have to thank Michelle for teaching me about cross bike cadence (there we go again with that roadie word). I sat behind Michelle for about half of the first lap thinking if I could stay with her that would be a good showing for me. She races with some serious big gear grinding and I tried pushing a bigger gear than I was comfortable with in appropriate places. It was useful. I'm a roadie, remember, typically everything is about the spin.

I must thank the, typically "A" racing, 40 and 50 year old men who didn't humiliate me too badly. About 7 of them full-on lapped me, the last of whom, about 100 m from the finish, taught me that even the Dark Lord can say PLEASE when he wants to squeeze by in tight places.

Thanks to everyone who spectated and cheered. I had no idea so many of you knew my name. It was really motivating.

Thanks to Stefan, the Woodcock folk, KK, Dave B., Chris H. and everyone else who photographs cross racing both personally and professionally. You do a lovely job of feeding my narcissistic drive. And everyone else's too.

Thanks to Dave C. for, not just the bike loan (about which I've gushed enough), but for the Friday afternoon pep talk and for tossing me a few secrets of the trade for how to beat people who are faster than you. It all helped Dave. And it worked.

I wouldn't have raced at all this weekend if it wasn't for Colin A. Thanks for being supportive and a good friend, despite the fact that I am a gigantic doofus. I did not too bad. "For a girl."

I'm having the time of my life. I spent a summer training long distance road so this is quite a foreign type of riding for me. These races are so damn short they are over just when I start to get going. I'm sad there is only one race left.

In that respect, I'm just getting going too.

Not the most flattering picture, but my first ever cycling race medal Silver in the womens 40 year old category. Thanks MCA for making me 40, six months early. (Woodcock) 


Lisa said...


Anonymous said...

Nice Job out there! and now I know who Kim is, so I can say hi!

Make sure to tell Dave that that bike is yours.. possession is 9/10th of the law.. right? And you will ride it harder than he will anyways.

Kim said...

Thanks Greg. I dutifully passed on your message as I was just in the shop ;-) And I hope you make it to the city on the 27th... for a "Hello" at Belgian.