Oh boy, what a weekend! I decided to combine the race reports, as I don’t have a lot to say about the PV Cycle Derby, and don’t have a lot of race photos from the Beti Bike Bash.
The PV Cycle Derby was another RME race, this time taking place at the Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch. Yay for private trails on a boy scout ranch! Definitely one of the more scenic races I’ve done, as it lacked any sort of suburbia feel and little boxes everywhere. Instead you got pine forests, open prairie, and Pikes Peak. I’ll take that! I entered the 22 mile long cross country race, which was an early morning start for once. Therefore, I drove down to Denver after work, because who doesn’t like insanely long drives after work, right? Stayed at La Quinta, and got to “sleep in” until 6am. Sure beats 4am, I suppose. I left my Garmin 510 at the hotel, which I realized halfway through the hour long drive to the scout ranch. Racing unplugged, ok!
Right from the start my body said NO. I felt slow and sluggish, and the apple cinnamon Hammer gel I ate wasn’t playing nicely with my gastrointestinal tract (yeah yeah, don’t try new food before racing… I know…). The pace was silly fast right from the start, unlike Battle the Bear. So I settled back and just started treating it like a ride. I had no idea where I was placement wise, but I knew it was off in the back, though I would pass some XC men time to time.
Race was on gravel roads, two track, and singletrack. A lot of of the technical singletrack was really loose and powdery, which sucked. I ended up off the bike more than I felt like I should’ve been. I started to get really clumsy and tired feeling. The type of feeling that causes me to run into trees for no reason. I really felt like a spazz, haha. One girl that was behind me for over half the race I finally let around me in my delirium, even though she didn’t want to because she said I was too powerful on the flats to keep up with 😀
I finally managed to eat a gel while riding the bike, giving my left brake handle some gel to munch on too. Finally I was on the home stretch, and I knew for sure as I passed a guy with a Garmin so I could ask him how many miles we had ridden (it was driving me nuts not having a GPS in front of me!). Last 3 miles were actually some fun stuff, but being so tired I found myself walking a lot of otherwise rideable stuff. I didn’t even have the energy to do my normal happy sprint to the finish. I cross the finish in less than 2 hours 30 minutes, and immediately ate watermelon and stumbled off to my car. I figured I was way off the podium, so no need to stick around. Turns out I got 2nd in my age category and 8th overall. Boo!
Sunday was the Beti Bike Bash, which is hands down one of the best races I have ever attended! The Beti Bike Bash is in it’s 4th year and is an all-women mountain bike race held at Bear Creek Park in Lakewood. Awesome vendor tents, pink outhouses, fast trails, and Georgia Gould. Woohoo!
Teammate Amy and I signed up for the Beginner’s 30-39 race. I was unsure if my body/legs would show up after the previous days torture fest, so 8 miles sounded good. I told my fellow Fort Follies I’d either sandbag the crap out of the beginner’s race, or totally get my ass kicked. I got a nice front row starting spot, after they tried to put me in the 19-29 race, saying my age was wrong. After assuring them I was 30 in race age (at Peaceful Valley they also questioned me being 30, so it was beginning to creep me out… seriously, I’d rather race 19-29, they’re slower!), we all lined up. Immediately a girl took off like a bat out of hell, so I stuck myself to her rear tire, and we effectively demolished the rest of the field at the start of the race. Happy to be racing on trails that I had already raced on, I jumped around her on the first double track chance for the lead. About half the first lap she stuck to me and then I lost her. And that whole strange “I’m leading the race” feeling set in. I almost biffed it coming onto the gravel road for the big climb to the start line, but saved it with a quick foot. I saw Lauren from Fort Follies and yelled “I’m in first again, and still don’t know why” LOL
Second lap started and I was alone in regards to people from my class. I passed quite a few racers from the Never Ever class on climbs, and soon enough my 8 miles were coming to an end and I was on the final gravel climb. At the top of the hill my legs screamed and I struggled to get started on a sprint. Finally across the finish line in a bit over 37 minutes, and I grabbed my finisher’s socks. I love socks!
Awesome race, and I was pleased with my results. I must admit, halfway through my race I really felt like a sandbagger. Team kit, expensive bike, 56 seconds ahead of the field…
Amy rolled in at 6th place. We were hanging out and Amy nudged me and said, “Look right in front of you.” I started looking all around and had no idea what Amy was talking about. So Amy finally went “Oh my god, Georgia Gould is standing in front of you and you have no idea!” OMG OMG OMG. LOL.
Georgia Gould is hands down one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. She is super friendly and down to earth. I actually managed to form some sentences and tell her how she’s a big inspiration to me and asked for a photo and to have my bike signed. Usually I can’t do that around people, haha! Then I was talking about my race, and she called me a sandbagger. Which was awesome. Because we all know I need to upgrade to Cat 2 and do intermediate+ level races. So now I gotta, cuz Georgia called me a sandbagger! She told me a story about how she entered beginner in her first race and blew everyone away. Even more awesome, Georgia knew some things about me from Facebook, like that I lived in Wyoming and raced the day before. LIKE WHOA AWESOME! I whipped out the Sharpie I actually raced with in my back pocket, and she autographed the top tube of my Epic, and told me anytime I was struggling I could look down and know that she has been in the same place many times. Now how cool is that for motivation, right? My front tire went flat during all of this, so once again the goatheads stuck at Bear Creek Park…
My life now complete due to talking to Georgia, Amy and I waited around for podium. Which was a sketchy cooler I would have to stand on. I was super jazzed, as I was finally sticking around for the podium (IHBC didn’t have one, and at Ridgeline Rampage I took off early). I got a winner’s swag bag, and awesome wine glass trophy. Which was slightly scary, as I’m clumsy and it was fragile, but I did make it safely home with it.
So Beti Bike Bash… I will DEFINITELY be there next year! Super awesome event, awesome goodies, awesome course (minus the goatheads), and awesome environment.