Sunday, May 20, 2007

how i lost my mtb racing virginity-- by manda

the course: Salem Hills (Harmon Park) in Inner Grove Heights.

the race: one of a series of 10 in Erik's spring cup

the verdict: following the metaphor in the title.. it was like being in high school, and hooking up with a fellow high school student-- with bad planning and not a lot of skill. but in the end, no matter how EH it was.. you know you'll probably do it again.

bad planning: I did get a new bottom bracket for my mtb... but didn't manage to install it. Based on Rocker's TT report, I need a pre-installation idiot check, AND during the install idiot check.

Oh well. Maria and Baba had already assured me the course was do-able on my cross bike.. and I can definitely swap my tires on and off! So.. sweet! i had a ride for the race. My ex, who has done/maybe raced this course before, thought me + cross bike + course == dead panda. I figured 2 outa 3 wasn't, so I off I went to the race... to ride the Sport class (citizen is sorta like cat4, I'm thinking... but they don't really enforce it)... under the premise... "same amount of money. more time on the course. it starts at 11 instead of 9:30".

Ran into Hollywood when I got there... got style points for having the cross bike. w00t! I will DFL in style.. and that I did... with some haggling with the officials. They had me down as 2nd in my age group.. as I thought it was like a cross race, and you're done when the lead group gets down. Apparently this was not the case. I shoulda did my 3rd lap. DOH! When I mentioned this, they wanted to DNF me, but... I asked for DFL, because... it seems slightly better.

The race didn't start out too bad. It all sorta fell apart, when I tried to stop my front wheel from rubbing (the tire was ripping at the bead...and the tube was bulgey). The guys in the front will pass you really calmly and really well, but the deeper you end up in the middle of the pack, the scarier it is. I can get passed by all sorts on the road, and it is good.. 'cause you got one side of the road. this.. you got single track. UGH. MTB being not only a skills thing, but HUGE mental thing... this was bad bad bad.

oh. and skills. in cross.. at I think Lake Rebecca, the officials say "oh hey. there's this one really really sharp turn at... blah blah blah.. but that's the only really sharp turn..." Some of the turns on this course, made that infamous turn look straight... eep. must get better at this turning thing.

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At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummm, Manda, where was this race? (dov'e in Italian)


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