Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Six Hours to Nowhere

I’ve mountain biked for many years now but I’d only raced once. That one race was such a disaster I never wanted to go again. I was in novice women and the other women were ridiculously fast. I would think novice should be for people like me who just race and ride a bit but these girls had been racing for years and must have rode all the time. I was so far behind and I didn’t know anyone so I was getting what I called ‘the pity clap’. Strangers were cheering me on with “you can do it number 658”. It was sweet but not as motivational as they might have thought. It kinda made me feel pathetic. So I decided I didn’t want to commit that much time and racing is just not for me.

Flash forward several years and I’m asked to do a 6 hour mountain bike race. This is a solo event but thankfully there is also a 3 person team category. So Team Spin Spin Sugars was born. We didn’t train except for our usual Tuesday rides and I had never ridden the actual race course. So as I took the baton from my fellow Spin Spin I headed off into 10 miles of undiscovered country. I was told the trail was a ‘blue’ which is only somewhat technical. So I went full speed even in areas that looked to be highly technical. Thankfully my teammates didn’t steer me wrong and there was nothing more than a blue. It was still a bit scary heading full speed into some of the unknown drops. It was a brutal race since I couldn’t catch my breath on my first lap and since I had never ridden there before 10 miles felt more like 20. My second lap felt shorter and my breathing was ok but my legs felt like rubber since I sat for two hours in between laps.

Our not training paid off since we took 3rd in the all women’s division! After my lousy first race experience I never thought I’d get a medal in mountain biking so that it was exciting and fun to pose on the podium.

Will I do it again? Probably but I’m not going to make a lifestyle out of it. There are just too many other things on my bucket list.

Cat “Spin Spin” Cathy

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