Friday, August 27, 2010

TR 2010: stage 1: Fernie to Fernie TTT

So rain it did, all night. We woke to the rain, had breakfast while looking out at the swelling Elk river and the rain, and then like champions, went back to bed. It was 50 degrees and we were freezing. I had left Sag Harbor in a sweat, with long (travel) pants and my compression socks worn under duress in the 90's, and arrived on my HOLIDAYS to the rain, the cold air and truly Irish weather. Under the duvet, Dennis and I made our plans, ride hard, finish safe. Priority number one, no injuries, number two, have fun. Funny that having fun on your holidays plays second fiddle to being able to earn an income on your return. We shook ourselves out of bed and rode in the rain to the start line in Fernie.
race course: pointy and hard

hyperventilation: not joking
The set-up was just as in regular UCI time trials: the media circus, the tent, the starting corral, the UCI official counting down from 5 to 1 with funny finger signals (just in case you couldn't figure it out yourself, the two of us bumping knuckles with 2 to go, and then "beep" and we were off..thirty seconds after Brian and Cricket, also on hard tails, also east coasters.. We were on a mission. Play safe, have fun. And beat Brian and Cricket. Haha, as always my competitive side always rears it's ugly head at these moments. I had had butterflies all morning, despite being here "for fun", or "to go the distance" or "just for adventure" as I had told everyone including myself. But only Dennis and I know the truth. In every competition that I have ever participated in, my urge is to win. Or at least beat the person nearest to me. And that was Cricket. She is a lovely lass from North Carolina, and was riding a Gary Fisher Superfly XC 2010, wearing a nice orange kit, but all I saw was CHALLENGE. Her team mate Brian, in a Clif Bar kit, was very discernible on the powerlines trail, so we pounded it out and passed them early, swapping panting congrats for what would not be the last time in the week as we jockeyed for position. I was certain that in the rain, the  "roots" trail would be a walk, but with enough caffeine and adrenaline, many things are possible. I cleaned it, and while walking many sections on trails appropriately named"hyperventilation", "hyper-extension" and "broken dérailleur", I was amazed at how much we rode. Amazed and pantingly flabbergasted. This was a tough ride, rocks, roots, hike-a-bike sections and all this on the uphills. I battled the same territory a bit on the downhill section, before my cramping hands and white knuckles bade me relax and let the bike do it's thing. I finally began to breathe, as opposed to breath-holding which is what I had done to this point, hung my arse back off the saddle, and let the damn bike roll. Saddle whomping me in the belly at points, I kept a firm grip, soft knees and let the terrain decide the 8" line, hung on graciously, and had the ride of my life. We pounded the flat (mud roads) and hammered the back section of the course, rolling terrain with 100% singletrack, keeping us focussed and fast. The last 2k was through the park, into town and heads down we charged to the banner.
not us, my camera is dead..
Stage one down, 3rd in our category, Ryder sunglasses and a nice certificate. We were chuffed. We sat through the ceremony and slideshow, the GoogleMaps video of the next stage, and sank a well earned beer.
tent city: anywhere: TR2010
We retired early to the campsite in town, and enjoyed the warm and fuzzy feeling from tucking down into a dry sleeping bag, in a dry tent. "Enjoy it while it lasts" a little voice in my head told me. I didn't know whether it was talking about the podium spot, the thrill of the ride or the weather. Little did I know it was talking about all three..


Wingnut said...

nice job out there. I was emailing back and forth with Jen during your race saying "She has to beat a woman named 'Cricket'". Too funny. Can't wait to hear the rest!

Anonymous said...

Please don't make us wait another week for the next installment of your adventure!