Overdue Race Reports

CCC #3. This race was at Dan Ryan Woods in the nice part of South Chicago. I had seen some buzz on Twitter about people honing their bunny hopping skills but didn’t investigate further. Turns out I should have…

The course was awesome considering we’re in Flatlandia. It was long (a nice break from the previous week’s micro course) and included a singletrack climb/descent, stairs, regular barriers plus a series of 3 8″ mini barriers spaced far apart. What to do about those pesky mini barriers? I haven’t bunny hopped in years. Someone was nice enough to set up a practice barrier; the first time I tried was a success but the second…not so much. After seeing some of the cat 3 guys take out spectators or mess up their wheels I decided I’d just run the section.

I had a second row call up but quickly shot to the top seven or so, and even managed to hold off a few strong riders for a couple laps (probably due to the singletrack and other technical features). I ran the short barriers which kinda sucked but definitely better than falling on my face in front of dozens of spectators 🙂 But just like all of my races this year, eventually a small group of ladies passed me and I finished 11th. At least I’m consistent! Dan Ryan Woods is my favorite course of the series so far.

CCC #4. Last week’s race was out in Carpentersville, yet another cute small town maybe 30 min NW of where we live. I have to say racing the CCC has shown me a lot of the area and there sure are a lot of neat towns in the state. As I rode to registration I was greeted with polka music (!) and a petting zoo. Two of my favorite things!  I admit I spent more time than an adult should petting the chickens 🙂 Once I got the 5-year old out of my system I pre-rode the course, which was quite different than last week’s singletrack heaven. This course was flat with sweeping out and backs, a few turns through trees and some short whoop-de-whoops. I finally got my front row call up back and had a great start, holding on to fifth for the first lap and a half. Then the passing started of course. I was in 11th and had just gone over a barrier when I heard a rattling sound. Wtf? I finally realized that the sound was coming from my front wheel- my thru-axle had somehow worked itself loose. So I stopped and at least 15 women blew by me as I tightened it up again.

Once the wheel was fixed I found myself in survival mode. I came upon a friend who encouraged me to keep going so I mustered whatever energy was left and got to work. I passed at least 10 women but came up short in 16th place. Obviously I’m disappointed with my finish but that’s life- I have not had any sort of mechanical in the last four years so I guess I was overdue. Did I make rookie mistake? I usually check things like wheels, shoe buckles and helmet straps at the start like (nervous habits), but since I just had the bike built I assumed everything was good to go. So who knows.

I had thought about going to Nationals in January but I don’t think it’s worth the time and money. I’m pretty slow this year. And we just booked a trip to Hawaii. I think I will just consider this season a success if I can hold my position as a cat 2.5!

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