Sunday, July 5, 2009

Champagne bottles and water bottle cages...

I was going to call this "The elusive first win with an asterisk" but the best part of the day was figuring out that I could fit a champagne bottle in my waterbottle cage. Like this:

Today, I was racing the Long Pine Classic - a mountain bike race near Chambersburg, PA. 8.5 miles in the beginner race - in theory with a lot of technical Michaux riding. The fields were small in general - only about 40 beginners altogether I would guess. But for once, there were a bunch of women! 4 in my age range and 5 in the "more experienced" women category. Even one of our own! Sherri is the other mountain biking chick on our team. The Kelly beginner category riders before the race:

The start was sorta... eh. 2+ miles of dirt road, mostly uphill. A rolling start, and I hit it hard. Too hard. But, (finally!) got onto the single track about where I wanted to be. Most of the slow men were already behind me and I was the second woman onto the dirt. I passed newcomer to mountain biking Jessica - an experienced cross racer - on the first technical section. I then proceeded to blow up on the next dirt road and she dropped me, never to be seen again.

Altogether, not my favorite course. A lot of fire road with some very difficult singletrack thrown in. Including a gnarly loose rock-filled ditch that I trudged up and a scree covered downhill that I actually walked part of - normally I only hoof it on the uphills. After the sketchy downhill, I enjoyed some lovely rocky singletrack and a tough downhill in the trees before all of the sudden, I was climbing out of the trees to the finish on top of a hill, under a powerline. Somewhere in there I did a lot of cussing and negative thinking. Like I said, not my favorite. But, I won. My age category, anyway. Jessica, who rides for C3, had come in a few minutes earlier, so I won my group and took 2nd outta all the beginner women. Sweet!

But where's Shea? I made it back to the car, and he wasn't yet there. Odd. I knew he was ahead of me when we started and I never passed him... About 20 minutes later, he and all the rest of the guys in his category rolled in. They had (presumably all of them!) taken a wrong turn and gone 13 miles instead of about 9. Ah, well. Extra fun for the money.

No prizes today, but these guys managed to get EVERYONE to show up for their podiums by being prompt with the results and doing champagne for every one. We got a little competitive seeing who could shoot the cork the furthest and/or shoot the most of the bubbly around. Here's me, spraying the crowd:

Fun day. Shea's didn't get much better as we knicked a branch on the way out of the parking lot and it sorta knocked his bike off the car. Luckily, rack failed in a way that meant neither the rack or the bike are too much worse for the wear.

ps - Thanks to Phil for the podium pics.


  1. Beautiful day for a race!! And they couldn't pick a better place for great podium pics!! Nice job Becky!!