Trek Women
September 22, 2008

Race Update


Chequamegon 2008. The good and the bad.

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Good:
1. Lea Davison said good luck to me before the race.
2.I beat my time from last year.
3. It was very muddy.
4. Temperature was perfect.
5. I got done racing about 1 hour before it started pouring rain.
6. Did I mention the mud and how much fun it was.

Bad:
1. I didn't get my goal time of under three hours.
2. I had energy left at the end of the race.
3. I took fourth in my age group, which meant no trophy.

Overall the good was more than the bad and I had so much fun during the race. It is still my favorite race ever. Great job to Lea Davison for being the first woman to cross the finish line! She rocks!

September 7, 2008

Chequamegon 40!

ChequamegonThe Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival is coming up this weekend. I am racing in the 40 mile off road race on Saturday. I am really excited...this is my favorite race of all time. I have been looking forward to it all summer!

Last year I did it for the first time and it was so much fun. There are about 1700 riders, and it is a mass start race (check out the picture). At no time will you find yourself alone in this race, no matter how fast, or how slow you go.

I looked at the race results from last year; I did pretty good, considering it was my second MTB race ever. 3 hours, 11 minutes. This year I hope to beat my time by at least 12 minutes so I can go under 3 hours.

Ride on!

August 29, 2008

"I'd rather be chased by a bear" Part II

Mountain_biking

Here are a few tips if you plan on taking a friend out for their very first mountain bike ride:

1. Get her a bike that fits her (I let my friend use my bike, but I am a good 4-5 inches taller than her...she could barely stand over the top tube)
2. Take her on trails that are appropriate for her skill level (tight turns, rock gardens, logs, steep down hills; these should be reserved for future rides)
3, If she does not know what a "rock garden" is, let her know before she has to ride through one.
4. Teach her basic bike handling skills and practice them before hitting intermediate trails.
5. if she starts to cry...well, I don't know what to do, so hopefully that won't happen.

August 25, 2008

"I'd rather be chased by a bear!"

Grizzly_2

That is a direct quote.

I took my good friend mountain biking this past weekend. She is very new to mountain biking (I don't think she had actually done it before). The day was beautiful, the trails were smooth, and my friend looked like she was having fun. Everything was going so well in the beginning; but by the end of the ride, she said "I'd rather be chased by a bear, than go mountain biking again!"

Wow! I thought it was pretty funny, but she was serious. She wasn't talking about a cute baby bear...she was talking full grown, very hungry Grizzly Bear!
What happened? Well, it was a culmination of many things:

1. She crashed down a hill in the very beginning of the ride.
2. The crash made her tense and nervous the rest of the ride.
3. The nerves made her unable to control the bike on the unfamiliar terrain.
4. Lack of control led to other near crashes.
5. Near crashes made her fear for her life around every corner.

What could I have done to make her experience better? I have some ideas. I will post them soon!


June 24, 2008

INJURY REPORT!

Dsc_0002 INJURY REPORT!  WARNING...GRUESOME DETAILS FOLLOW!

I know...a foot is probably the last thing you want to see on some one's blog...but I had to do it.

If you look at the balls of my feet, you will notice that both of them are callused.  In fact most people who walk have a callus there...a big patch of dead skin due to friction. Calluses are actually pretty good things, all long as they remain attached to the layers of living skin underneath.

On Saturday, tragedy struck, and my calluses became unattached during a soccer match.  The result was two blood-blisters.  I knew my feet hurt, but decided to keep playing.  That was not the smartest choice I have ever made.  The blood blisters then riped open and the rest is history. I am now waiting for the under-layer of skin to heal enough to take the calluses off.

The whole injury has not slowed me down.  I can't run yet, but I did go for a 45 mile bike ride yesterday, and I am planning to play in our next soccer match this Saturday!

Wish me luck!

April 8, 2008

Preparing for the races

Logo My first race of the year is less than two weeks away! Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA! April 19th. Am I nervous?...yeah!  I haven't ridden my bike on dirt in 5 or 6 months.   I don't know what the course is like, but the Sea Otter Website gives this description: "You will fight your way up short, steep climbs and enjoy single-track trails that include rocks, sand and other challenges. You will careen through tight sections in the trees..."  Great, I am really in for it now. I really hope I enjoy those trails full or rocks, sand, and other challenges.  I want to enjoy them, but not come too close to them, or have any sort of interaction with them.  If you remember from a previous blog, I said it is my goal to ride in a race this season without falling off my bike. 

Wish me luck.  I'll keep you updated on my cycling and racing events.  Next planned race is the Fargo Marathon in North Dakota...May 17th. Yeah, that is right, a marathon...26.2 miles of running.  It will be my second, and hopefully fastest, marathon yet!

Keep riding...and running.

February 28, 2008

First Race of the Year!


Sea Otter ClassicSeaotter1_3 here I come.  This x-country race is in Monterey CA, on April 19th.  That is six weeks away and I am a little nervous.  Mostly because I haven't been on my mountain bike all winter and the snow hasn't melted yet.  It is unlikely that I will get a whole lot of practice before the big day.

I can always hope for the best though.  I still have a goal to stay on my bike for an entire race without falling off.  I haven't done it yet.  Could this be the race that I achieve that goal?

Stay tuned in to find out.   

I am so excited to race, and to go to California! More details about the race later.  (The picture is not me...but it was taken at the Sea Otter Classic of 2007)  It is so cool what people can do on a bike...I just ride mine...not that exciting. 

January 29, 2008

24 Hour Angels

Dsc_0134 I read the diary of an all Women's team that raced a 24 hour race back in 2003.  The team of four has the team name of Angels.  They tell about all their exciting experiences during the weekend.  From super fast lap times, to vomiting and ripped shorts.  Check in out on mountainzone.com.

The story inspired me to ride harder.  It also got me thinking about doing a 24 hour race of my own.  I would need to find 3 more women to do it with me.  I think they would have to be either super enthusiastic about riding, or a little on the crazy side.

Keep Riding!

September 25, 2007

Last Race of the season

The Single Track Escape race was my third and final race of the season.  After my chain got stuck in mile one, and I crashed in mile two, the race went really well and I got 6th place in the women's sport division.

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It was the most technical race I have done, due to the tight turns and narrow tree passages.  I don't really know what happened to my chain in the first mile, but it kept rubbing on my frame and I couldn't get it to stop.  I had to hop off my bike to fix it apparently.  As soon as I got off, there seemed to be no problem, so I got back on and tried to catch the ladies who had just passed me.  After the race I looked at my frame and it had gotten scratched up pretty bad from my chain rubbing.  Nothing a little touch up paint can't semi-fix though. 

The fall I took in mile two was kind of funny.  I had to really haul butt after my technical problems, so I was going pretty fast. I was excited and confident that I had caught and passed three lady riders.  Still going pretty fast, I got a little too close to the edge of the trail and...BANG!  Just like that I was on the side of the trail and my bike in the middle of the trail with the handle bar completely twisted around.  The end of my handle bar had clipped a small tree trunk.  It happened so fast I had no time to react; I just went where physics wanted me to go.  It didn't hurt (well my shoulder was a little sore the next day), but my biggest concern was getting my bike out of the trail so the riders behind me would not have an unnecessary obstacle to roll over.

The riders I had worked so hard to pass just moments before, were now ahead of me again.  I didn't waste a second, got back on my bike, and was determined to pass as many of them as I could (especially this one girl who looked like she was 12 years old; I wasn't about to be beat by a 12 year old! Humiliating!).

The rest of the race went really well and I worked my way up to 6th place in the end. The best part was passing this rider in the last mile.  As I came up on her, I recognized her from my very first race at Buck Hill.  She had gotten first place in the race, and beat me by like ten minutes.   I couldn't help but smile when she got stuck in a tight turn and I passed her with a polite "thank-you".  She might have been having a really bad race, but I prefer to think that I beat her because I am becoming a better rider.

With the racing over for the season, it is time to think about next year.  I hope to keep riding enough to do really well in some races next year.

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My friend Lindsay did great in her race, especially since it was her second mountain bike race ever. Third place finish, good job.  Lindsay, you really should race more, you're pretty good.  Her boyfriend, Scott, was in the sport race with me.  He raced single speed and got third, even after an unfortunate short ripping experience. If you see him, ask him how he had time to leave the trail, go to his car, change shorts, and still place third.

September 17, 2007

Chequamegon 40

This weekend I rode in the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival held in Hayward and Cable WI.  Don't worry about the pronunciation...if you are not from Wisconsin, you won't say it right.

The race was through off road trails that went through the beautiful forests of Northern Wisconsin.  The weather turned out to be perfect, despite the cold frost the night before.  There were thousands of cyclists who showed up to race, including the pros.  I got to meet and chat with Lea Davison, who is on the Trek VW Pro Team.  She was way cool!  I also got to see guys like Travis Brown and Gary Fisher! The whole scene was just amazing.

Now, for the race...  I did better than expected, considering it was only my second race ever. It was 40 miles long, but it flew by.  The trails were fast and fun. Rolling hills the whole way. The best part was being surrounded by other riders the entire race.  There were 1700 riders in the race, and unless you were at either end, you were surrounded.  It was great!  I even passed about 20 people in the last 3 miles.  I ended up getting third in my age group (18-24 yrs).  Lea Davison got first in my age group...and she's a pro rider!  (There was a 45 minute gap between our times, but that is beside the point).  I went to the awards ceremony and they gave me a nice plaque for my third place finish.  It was a nice touch for the end of a great day.

I am really starting to like this whole mountain bike racing thing.

Keep Riding!