Thanks for the season, 2015

Probably my favorite race photo from 2015 (Shawn Curry)

Whelp, it’s done!  Ended a bit rougher than usual, but I survived 11 months of racing for 2015.  The round up…

States Raced In: Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming
# of Races: 20 mountain bike, 7 road, 14 cyclocross
# of Wins: 4 (MTB), 2 (CX)
# of Top 5: 15 (MTB), 4 (road),  5 (CX)
# of Beverage Drinking Devices Won: Uhhh… I finally stopped counting this.  Water bottle overload!

Way more MTB than 2014, but 6 less cross races.  Interesting balance.  My first season as what I call a combo of “semi-pro” and “really slow wannabe pro” mountain bike racing, and while tough at times, it was fun and a good push for me to get faster and tighten up my skills.

  • I won a tube of “eurostyle” Chamois Butt’r.  I’m scared to try it
  • I finally accepted the fact that I cannot be highly competitive in a highly competitive category in cyclocross without training in a highly competitive manner.  So I raced single speed with the boys.  Problem solved.
  • The Laramie MTB Series was still my 2015 season highlight.  There was nothing like going from DFL by 15-20 minutes in 2014 to top 3 in every race, including winning one by an 8 minute margin.  To succeed locally in the race series that made me start racing in the first place will always mean the most to me.
  • Continuing with local success, I finish the Laramie Enduro, which caused me to cry happy tears to a stranger at the finish line.
  • I actually did not win any beer this year.  However, I think I earn enough alcohol during TCCX…
  • Racing is tough on bikes.  The $600 repair bill on my S-Works Fate is proof.
  • Do not forget your timing chip at a Without Limits cyclocross race.  They really won’t care if you drove all the way from Wyoming, cried, pouted, and gave them puppy eyes.  Instead they’ll negate your 6th place result in the regional championship SS4/5 race, and place you last in your ironically last race of the year.
  • Wow, road season… what a surprise!  5th place across the board at the 3 USAC road races I did, which was an utter surprise.  Apparently I’m really really really good at climbing on a road bike… even stranger since I’m not a small “climber type” by any means.
  • I flew to my first race – 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.  Definitely an adventure from the moment Katey and I landed in Tucson to the moment I arrived home days later.  From POS rental RV’s to crash courses in bike building and tire pressures and my first 24 hour racing experience, it’s something I was super excited to be a part of!
  • I’m so happy I finally found a home on a great cycling team, Naked Women’s Racing!
One of the finish lines I was most happy to see... stuck it out in 30 degree weather to qualify for nationals at the Wyocity AMBC (Photo by Luke Blair)
One of the finish lines I was most happy to see… stuck it out in 30 degree weather to qualify for nationals at the Wyocity AMBC (Photo by Luke Blair)

Well, so what does 2016 have in store for me?  I did start out with a solo single speed entry to 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, but upon sitting down and looking at the logistics, it just wasn’t going to be a stress-free time.  The money I would’ve had to spend on lighting and then travel would take away from other stuff, so I transferred my entry to a gal in California.  Sad I won’t be returning to the desert, but it relieved a lot of stress in my life.  I do plan on racing at the Fat Bike National Championships in February since it’s in Ogden.  My big goal for 2016 is the Cross Country National Championships at Mammoth Mountain in CA in July.  I’ve decided to give it one last go as a Cat 1 before officially upgrading my USAC license.  However, I will race strictly pro/open in all non-sanctioned racing.  I’m planning on short track and XC at Nationals, and debating throwing the enduro competition in there as well since I may have purchased a trail bike with lots of squishy travel and a dropper post (the enduro is after all the XC competitions, so it in no way would affect my main goal)!  I dialed back my race calendar significantly, though it’s hard to keep adding events.  Hopefully I can make Rumble at 18 Road purely for the USAC points for both short track and XC call ups at Nationals.  Then I will be racing the Half Growler again, along with the Gowdy Grinder.  Naturally the Laramie MTB Series is on the calendar, along with the Laramie Enduro as I want to see if I can better my time.  I may do an early spring RME race depending on weather and how I’m feeling (but no endurance distance, just XC).  Glendo Trails Fest of course is an option since I can’t turn down good WY grassroots racing.  But that’s about all!  Of course some road here and there, but with my work schedule I will not make it a priority.  And finally, I am a returning member of the Naked Women’s Racing mountain bike team, so I’ll be rocking the Naked Juice in 2016!

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