Monday, July 28, 2008

It was one of those days where I had no business being on a bike. None at all. In the words of Adam Craig, I rode like a small child. The race is just behind Teton Village. The course is great. It is a bit technical—rocks and roots, switch back climbs, water crossing, some quick pitches, just a little of everything. It is one of my favorite courses usually. Not this year though.

On my first lap, I ended up in the water. We left with the expert women again. And they just took off for the single track. I ended up boxed in for a bit, so an expert women (Michelle) and Erika entered in front of me. I passed Erika after a bit and Michelle had a gap. I caught her in the first set of switch back which climbed. I rode with her for a while and then was able to pass her. I am out in front; we are winding around and climbing. Everything is good. Then there is the rocky little steep pitch before crossing the road. I get a little off camber and my front wheel runs into a bigger rock. I stop and start leaning over to the left. There is nothing to the left but a stream. Yep into I go. My bike is upside down hanging off the trail and gravity has me running down river when Michelle passes. She asks if I am okay. I am so she does not break her cadence. I jump back on my bike, feet soaking wet, and start riding. I still have a good attitude and think to myself that this will help me stay cool. I am behind Erika, but she ends having a tire issue further down the trail. It was really unfortunate because she was riding really well.

Second lap a little like the first. I am out in front again. I clear the place of my first incident and am feeling better. There is a dip in the trail that houses a little stream in this wooded area. There are two younger girls from Utah Mountain Biking Dot Com stopped on either side of it one just a bit in front of the other. It is a rocky little area with an odd rock that juts out the trail starts coming back up. I slow because of the presence of the two girls. I hit the jutting rock and again loose what little momentum I have. I again fall over. This time my left hand falls into mud. It oozes into my glove. I am ticked. In frustration I announce this is the second water crossing I have been in. One of the girls makes a comment about it being refreshing. I am not in the mood. I jump on my bike again. The mud on my hand makes it really difficult to shift my front chain rings. I am not happy.

Third lap, the good news is I did not get wet. I am riding around tired and trying to be careful. My frustration has simmered a bit. I am riding okay. I again pass the place of incident number one. A little way up and then down the trail, I am descending the trail. I am thinking to myself, that I do not really “crash” going down hill so much. It is usually something silly, where I just lose focus. Not five minutes later on a dusty single track switchback, my front wheel slips out and I land on my right shoulder in a puff of dirt. Disgusted with myself I again mount my bike and start thinking how I do not deserve to win this race. I am utterly ridiculous. As I am climbing I see a blue jersey behind me. I assume it is Erika and think about letting her pass me. It was not her but Alex who did not catch me. (Now, let me just say Alex and Erika look NOTHING alike. It was a quick glance over my shoulder and all I saw was a blue Revolution jersey.)

I was so glad to be done. This is my last ICUP race of the season. Erika will take first place overall if she goes to Evanston. I can not complain about my season. It had its ups and downs due to injuries, blood donations, and the like, but I was able to podium at every event. I feel pretty good about that.

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