Friday, December 10, 2010

2 x 1 = 2 (aka belated Rockburn race report)

Only a few people read this blog - it's mostly for me and I look back at it as a journal when I need to.  I left you last time on a cliff hanger of sorts - heading into the second day of a double weekend of cross racing, wondering if I had the mental and physical fortitude to win twice.  Of course, pretty much everyone who reads this blog is also facebook friends with me or was at the race and knows the answer.

Rockburn.  Two years ago I had a crap race here, even though we were promoting it.  Shea and I flew in that morning from New York, having gotten laid over coming back from Spain after a week of mountain bike riding followed by a single night of true debauchery.  Last year, Rockburn was in the part of the season where everyone else was getting faster and I was just getting frustrated.

This year - 13 or so Cat 3's to the line.  A flowy course with some climbs, singletrack, a sand pit that required attention.  I had a good start but Katy came by me on the ramp onto the grass.  I sat on her wheel through the sand but just didn't want to go that slowly on the next technical sections - her strength is power from the road but I can cook her sometimes in the corners.  I burned a couple matches passing her on the next straightaway, getting around on the inside as we curled down the hill onto singletrack.
First lap singletrack.  Photo: Joe Mallis

And that was that.  I was off the front. Again.  But this time (unlike pretty much every other time, and there have been a lot this season and last), I didn't doubt myself.  At Rockburn, the challenge was for me - could I prove to myself that I was strong enough, tough enough to ride perfectly and fast... again.
Photo: Samantha Rynas

The Kelly crew was cheering loudly.  I barely heard them.  I was in a different place.  The one where all you see is the grass in front of you, the only thoughts were when to shift and which foot needed to be down for the next corner... (okay, once over the barriers I let myself think my bike was heavy, then remembered that it isn't and chided myself for being a wimp). 
Photo: teammate Galen Wallace

The announcer was butchering my easy-to-pronounce last name.  By the 4th lap, my teammates were calling me that as well.  I had a 45 second gap and managed to crack a smile... The guys would tell me later that I got a good part of that gap climbing on the first lap.  I don't believe them, but it would be cool if I had.
Two Kelly women on the Podium!  Jen will be faster than me in no time.  Photo: Samantha Rynas  

In 'cross - you win twice in respectable fields, you upgrade or get upgraded.
Yikes, cat 2 in 'cross!
Next year, hanging with the big girls.  Well, they aren't big. They are just wicked fast.

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