Friday, November 13, 2009

Whitewater and Estabrook

Catching up on last weekend's last weekend's races. For a blog about bike racing I don't actually blog about bike racing much anymore...

Two Saturdays ago was Whitewater. I kind of like Whitewater. Most people hate it, or hate it so much they don't even go to it. I'd hazard to say that it's the hilliest course of the year. This year they made the lap a little longer and kind of broke up the hills into smaller, slightly less vicious climbs.

Whitewater is so hilly. How hilly it is?


That's the best photo I've got for illustrating the size of the hill you have to bike up and down. Anyway, I guess there's not much to say about the actual race. This whole year, two of my closer competitors have been out with injuries, leaving me to race against National level ladies. Needless to say, I've been just kind of trucking along, doing my own thing. In this race I would hit the hills, have a good time on them and then trudge around the rest of the course. As much as I like hills, they tire me out for the flats.

Photo by John.

On one of the later laps I took a beer handup by the barrier on the hill and wound up with another beer dumped over my head. Thanks for that, guys.

The other thing I like about Whitewater is the sand:


It was actually faster to get off and run your bike, like the guys are doing in the above photo, but I prefered to ride it, because I wasn't in any huge hurry and I liked the challenge.

Estabrook was on Sunday. Have I mentioned it was gorgeous out that whole weekend? Well, it was. For Estabrook, I knew I'd be out of the money so I planned to take a lap on the Cale's newly set-up Pugsley, which got more attention at the race than a fluffy puppy. And there was a fluffy puppy there, so I would know.

There was a little wrench thrown into the mix when there was actually someone there for me to race. While the top ladies were beating the pants off of me like they do, there was someone hanging out with me in the middle. I wanted to take a lap on the Pugsley, but I didn't want to look like I was bowing out of the race. Also, it wouldn't be fair to the other lady to be stuck in no-man's land with nobody to race. I decided to play it by ear- about halfway through or so, it seemed like I was pulling away from her. Since we'd both me in no-man's land soon anyway, I decided to take a lap.

What can I say about the lap on the Pugsley? Highly inefficient, in a word (or two). The plastic on the bottom of my shoes kept slipping on the metal flat pedals, and I had to bring a car jack to get it over the barriers. Ok, I made that up, but it is 36 lbs. The cool thing was, the grip around corners was amazing, because the tires are many inches wide.

When I got back, I found that one of my teammates had taken my cross bike from the pit and taken it back to the tent. After hollering from the pit and waving my arms around, one of the Planet Bike guys brought my bike over (phwew!) and I finished up the last four or five laps.

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