Sunday, June 29, 2008

...and other stuff...

This is more on the SS State Championships. I would apologize for writing so much, but how can I help it? I'm naturally self-absorbed. Besides, I'm pretty sure that no more than three people actually read this.

The Bike: An aluminum Motobecane frame, the $300 wonderbike. It's got some fancy brake levers on it, but apparently could use a fancier rear brake- it was rubbing a good amount on the wheel, which also seemed a bit wonky to me in a hub-is-on-its-way-out sort of way. The 20 tooth cog was an excellent choice by my mechanic, aka Cale. The saddle, oooohpain. Suffice to say, there was also a good amount of rubbing in the seat area. That is the last time I use that seat for over 4 miles of trails.

The transition back to rigid SS: I've been riding geared with front suspension and loving it, but it wasn't too terrible to go back to my old ways. I didn't spend the race pining away for suspension or gears. I think I've retained some of the SS habits of attacking hills and such, and besides I'm just so darned adaptable. When you're on a SS, there are going to be some hills you can't climb up. There are going to be things that will be a struggle. So what? There are limitations to what you can do on a geared bike, too.

The Skillz: I am getting so much better! It feels like I've finally had a breakthrough, as cheesy as that sounds. I'm able to do things faster and with less fear than ever before! On a side note, I had the song 'Pump It' by the Black Eyed Peas in my head for all 3hrs and 2mins of the race. There's a technique called 'pumping' that I saw a video for (thanks, Mark Weir!) that reminds me of the song. Plus, it's got the lyrics "Don't stop, and keep it going" in it. But anyhow, pumping and my accruing skills are making it feel like I'm working with the bike rather than just along for the ride. So good.

The Fuel:
Note to self- learn to drink water on a bike. Over three hours at race pace and I didn't even drink 3/4 of one waterbottle. I know I've got a few aunts who would lecture me about fueling my body properly, and they're right. I was just afraid to slow down at all, and I'm not slick at putting my water bottle back in its cage. Add to that the gasping for air, and it's not as easy as it sounds to actually get water into your mouth. I managed to get in a few Gu packets- my first time using them. Not as terrible as I thought they would be.

The Focus:
I was intensely focused for much of this race, which was a goal of mine. Focus and determination meant not as much hesitation in tricky areas, which resulted in better handling. A few of us went out and rode parts of the same trails today, and I wondered at the stuff I hadn't even blinked at while riding in competition. Also focusing: focusing on the positive. I've mentioned that I got all self-pitying at the end, and I know this is a weakness of mine. I tried to focus on the good stuff, technical areas I got over that the other girls might have had trouble with. Unfortunately I got discouraged at the end when my body started to slow, but at least I was better at cheerleading for the rest of the race.

No comments: