Monday, April 17, 2006

The view from the rear

I raced Copper(takeyourpicoffunnynames)opolis this weekend.

I did as I have done every year of this race: Last as long as I can on the climb and then time trial the rest of the course.

Its good training. Thats what we say anyway as we are alone suffering in the wind, isn't it?

So one of the first times I ever did this race, I did it as a Cat 4 and we lined up with the Women 35+. I remember back then, hanging on for dear life on the climbs, getting dropped about 1/3 of the way up and crawling around for the last two laps by myself.

This time I signed up for the Women 35+. And wouldn't you know it, its the same women from that race back when. Perenniel hammerheads that just don't quit, like Linda Elgart, Lea Brooks and my own lovely teammate, Liz Benishin. And sure enough, so many years later, they dropped me on the climb about 1/3 of the way up.

Amazingly enough, near the top I saw two others riders (both from the same team) from my group. I was stoked that maybe this would be the year I would not have to ride alone.

But sometimes its just better to ride alone.

Because although we were fighting for DFL and the real race was waaaay up the road, and we had two laps of windy bumpy hell in front of us, these two ladies were intent on playing team games with me. At least I think they were. Either that or they were blissfully unaware. I was guttered, the pace picked up whenever I tried to eat, and one of the riders kept gapping us off when I was 3rd wheel, but it never seemed to happen to her when I was in front.

I couldn't believe it. Were they really playing such games back here in the survival zone?

I decided to call their bluff. When the gap opened, I did not rush around and fill it. When the teammate in front, looked back and saw the big gap that formed, sure enough, she attacked.

Oh no she didn't.

Ouch. Life is rough in the survival zone.

I felt the tailwind. And although I cannot go uphill so good. I can go flat pretty darn well if I don't say so myself. Especially with a pretty little tailwind to coax me. So I let that gap grow and grow and then jumped across alone.

Three who could have worked together very nicely, became two. One of whom who decided maybe it was nicer alone after all. If they were going to make a race of this, so be it. Good clean demented fun.

And so, lap two, I climbed as if I could climb.

and then at the top, I time trialed as if I could time trial.

And it was good training after all.

I so need a mountain bike race right now.

Congrats to Liz who got 3rd in the masters women race. And congrats to former bella Debbie on the win. Healing wishes go out to Debbie's teammate who crashed on the rough descent.

Picture is from Check out their beautiful shots of a hellish race.


At 11:27 AM, April 17, 2006, Blogger Jed said: said...

THIS is what i've waited all weekend for!

At 12:31 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger PAB said...

wish I could have witnessed you working over the two numbskulls.

At 12:38 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger Velo Bella said...

I think i worked over myself more than anyone else.
me = numbskull

At 1:22 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

i loved that story

i'm glad you outsmarted them


and abbiorca took awesome shots of this race

made it look downright scenic

At 3:29 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

any update on the crash?

GG only told us she was in the hospital but said they didn't know any more

At 3:33 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

broken collar bone and scapula ... but apparently in strong condition and already thinking of when she'll return.


At 3:53 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger PAB said...

that is a huge relief.

At 4:51 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger X Bunny said...

scapula is a tough bone to break

but way better than we feared

big relief

At 5:20 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger the old bag said...

ha -- excellent race

At 7:34 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger Chico Cyclist said...

Best race report so far.....I dig it.


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