Monday, May 12, 2008


No, not marriage or anything like that. Racing the Cascade Chainbreaker on Sunday was the 5 year anniversary of my first race ever! 5 years ago, Tim and I had a wild hair and decided to drive to Bend, rent a hotel, and do this race. We knew no one that raced and I still have no idea why we decided to do it. We hadn't been to Bend together and figured this was a good opportunity to go and ride our bike. I raced beginner and actually won by 6 1/2 minutes. Quickly got an upgrade and did the Coastal Hills Classic as a sport, won by a good margin and that was about enough racing for us. We weren't racers. We just liked to ride. We became big fans of the Bend Big Fat tour and just epic riding. However, this milestone has caused me to go back and look at my 'racing career'. Well, if you can call it that. It is pretty funny!

2003: 2 XC races mentioned above
2004: 2 XC races (Sea Otter, a dead last finish in expert due to a crash & Oregon State Games, where Tina Brubaker beat me in the expert category by 10 minutes, but I still got 2nd. Check out that old picture of Tina, who I had no idea who she was, & me. Click to make bigger.) & the Trans Rockies.

2005: 1 XC race & 2 STX races (Cascade Chainbreaker again. 2nd in expert)
2006: This was going to be my year. I decided to take a leave of absence and start racing my bike for real. By my HUGE race resume, you can tell why I made such a decision. Not sure why I thought I was qualified. Maybe I just wanted to quit my job, but I hired a coach, Kendra Wenzel and I was off to a good training season. But major knee surgery in February derailed me and my season was cut short, but successful. I did 4 XC races, still as an expert. Used State Games of Oregon as a warm up, got beat by Alice, of course and then went to Norba #4, Deer Valley to do my first national series race. I won my age group in expert, qualified for nationals and headed to Sonoma to win the USAC National Championship in expert 35-39! Crazy stuff. I also did World Masters and won my age, but took second in 30-39. My age category was too small with only 4 girls, to count as an actual category. In addition, I won the Trans Rockies with Anna Vacca, raced the E100 and got 3rd in my age cat and 4th overall in women and did 7 stx races, including a 3rd at nattys in expert! This was also the year that I decided to try cyclocross and raced the entire Cross Crusade series.

Well, I won't talk you through my 2007 season, b/c it would take pages. It was my first year racing 'pro' with an official upgrade from USA Cycling. I did the whole national series and had mostly top 20 finishes, finishing 18th in the series overall and 13th overall in stx. I finished 16th at nationals in XC. I FINALLY won a race in Oregon at the Oakridge MTB Festival. That was a victory I won't forget! It meant I was definitely getting faster. I tacked on my first NRC road race (Mt. Hood Classic) and also a full USGP series for cross. Do you see a trend? Bike racing is getting out of control!

This brings me to 2008! My fifth year racing mountain bikes and my second year as a 'pro'. It has been an exciting mtb season, but yesterday was a special day! Winning the Cascade Chainbreaker just 5 years after doing it as a beginner was a great way to celebrate an anniversary. Emily made me work REALLY hard for the win and it was not by minutes, but only by a few seconds. It was a fun, fast race. A lot has changed in 5 years, except the fact that Oregon has great people and great races! It made me smile to have people cheering for me as I went through the start finish. I've come a long way in 5 years! And this is where I start my thank you speech for the one person I could not have done it without! It is the STUD that got second in the 19-39 expert race, even though he is 42. He is the one that got me started in racing, creating a serious addiction in our household to gear, etc. He is the most supportive, wonderful husband in the world! Tim Butler, YOU ROCK!!! Thanks for letting me live the dream!


Anonymous said...

OMG, i'm getting all teary eye'd here. i'm such a P*SSY.

Anonymous said...

You passed me during the Chainbreaker and asked me to block the racer chasing you through the singletrack.

I'm not on your team, not in your category, and not even of the same gender. Do you, as a PRO bike racer, think asking me to block your competitor is an acceptable thing to do?

It isn't, and it's extremely poor sportsmanship. You are obviously a very talented athlete, so act like a PRO: be hero and a role model. Win on your talent and training, and don't set a bad example to all those who up to you.

Sue said...

A bit too serious, anonymous! It was pretty much said in jest. She was right behind me. Do you really think I expected you to block her? Think about it. I think I said something like, "Thanks, you can block her now. Or please block her. Or You gotta block her, man." Emily was with me when I saw your post and we both laughed. She actually said, "That is so funny, b/c I totally almost said that when I passed that one guy." We ride together and train together and that comment was in no way meant to convey poor sportsmanship or acting like a non role model. Lighten up. Emily didn't ask the guy that blocked me to block me, but it happened, and I wasn't even racing him, but took his elbow for the singletrack. Ahhhhhh, racing is so much fun. And what does a PRO act like? I race because I love it and love to ride my bike. Sorry to disappoint you in making a comment in jest in passing. Emily and I were having fun and just working on killing each other. In fact, we were quite chatty for a lot of the race. It was FUN, like it should be. And I am flattered you took the time to find my blog and make a comment. I wish the gal that I collided with in Arizona would have done the same.

Cass Perkins said...

"Win on your talent and training, and don't set a bad example to all those who up to you."
If your going to criticize someone Mr. Anonymous maybe you should proof read before you post.