Monday, May 21, 2012

Just another weekend in the 'hood. May 18-20, 2012

It was time for a weekend off from racing and for some quality time at the cabin and riding with friends. And of course,  eating, drinking and movie watching. But movie watching only commenced Friday night after Mr. Weeman & Mr. Patla helped me install a new hot water heater so we could have hot showers the whole weekend. Mission accomplished. I could not have done it alone.
Saturday we headed down to Hood River for some MHCC course recon. We did 75+ miles, riding out to the new Friday road race course (which was emailed to me just in the nick of time! Thanks Chad!) and then back on the TT course. It was a beautiful day and it is always good to come back to the cabin feeling like you deserve to drink a beer and eat lots of food. Which is exactly what we did!!!  No pictures taken on this gorgeous day. Except of the guest of honor: O'malleys new puppy.
Sunday was an adventure. It wasn't going to be. It should have been a straight forward ride. Up lost lake, turn around at the snow, go up and climb the other side. Descend. Back to cabin. BUT no. My recalcitrant husband decided the snow section would go. Granted, I initially agreed, but it really didn't go. It was a LONG hike through snow. It was cute and fun for the first half mile, maybe. The next 2 miles we were just hoping the next corner would be clear. It didn't happen for a LONG time. But we made it. And the saving grace was that it was not too cold. We survived. And we had great post ride snacks. The only bummer was, I was so efficient in getting 2 cars packed and 4 people out the door, I forgot my damn bag with all my wet clothes and wet shoes. Not good. Oh well. Perhaps an excuse to go back up this week?

O'Malley brought the new puppy for her first cabin visit. Definitely the highlight of Saturday.
Tim and I before hiking in the snow got OLD! See those smiles. They didn't last long.
Luckily I have a kick ass light bike to put on my shoulder for miles on end.
Lindsay heading over the big tree. The excitement continued... We should have turned around here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A weekend of FIRSTS in Bend! May 12-14, 2012

I love Bend. It was great to get over there and spend a long weekend. It was pretty much the first awesome weekend of weather and our first trip over to Bend this spring. And it was a great weekend of FIRSTS! It was the first year we opted not to pre-ride that dusty course and we actually took a really great 3.5 hour mtb ride on fun trails on Saturday! I finally placed FIRST again at the Cascade Chainbreaker on Sunday. It had been since 2009, so it was really nice to stand on the top step again. 

On Monday, although Tim had to go home Sunday and go to San Fran for business, I took another long mountain bike ride alone (perhaps a first as well). Not sure why I'm not scared in Bend to go for long mountain bike ride by myself, but near Mt. Hood, I am. Cougars, perhaps? Bears? But it was awesome & 30+ miles of fast, flowing singletrack will put a smile on your face any day!!!

Insert bars here!

If I was heading the other way, you know which way I would have chosen, right?

Didn't quite make it to Tumalo Falls. About 4-5 miles shy. Too much snow.

Post ride, met up with Barry Wicks & John Rollert and did Stand Up Paddling for the first time. And I didn't even fall in! Sorry. No pics. I was too scared of getting it wet! Having so much fun and not wanting to drive home yet, I decided to stay another night and then Tuesday morning, I went skeet shooting for the first time. It wasn't my first time shooting a gun, but it was my first time hitting flying targets. It was a blast. 
The first one I hit. Then the next ones, I started SHATTERING! So fun.

 I am already excited for our Memorial Day weekend over there! More racing and more riding.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Coast Hills Classic is back! May 6, 2012

Just another weekend in Oregon! This one with sunshine! Tim and I did a great road ride on Saturday, then packed the car up and headed for the ocean for some dirt racing. The Coast Hills Classic was being brought back and I figured we had to support it! 9 years ago, it was our 2nd XC MTB race ever. I had upgraded to 'sport' from the previous weekend as a beginner in Bend & won again. My first and only race as sport. I was upgraded to Expert immediately. But I remember it being a fun race. I guess winning is always fun. Yesterday, I learned that it still is! I was shocked to learn how huge the payout was too. I walked away with a $599 check, a $100 cash prime, a goretex jacket and a sweet trophy. I almost felt guilty. With that goes a little story.
The race had already intended to pay equal. There wasn't even a question. I always support that. Little did I know, however, that Exergy had matched their prize purse and the payouts had doubled. Along with some fun fast lap primes! Yes, I race because I love it, but when you can actually make a buck or two, it sweetens the pot. Our pot was really sweet! So thank you to everyone that made that happen! And the community in Newport was just awesome! 
It was also great to see some family. My cousin Bryan lives in Newport and is in the coast guard in Depoe Bay. So I got to see my cousin, his wife and their little 4 1/2 year old, Zach, who had told his dad that 'some day, he wanted to race his bike." Well, I informed them of the kids race and wow! He got to race his bike. And he won. Not in the "oh, you're so cute and here's a ribbon and everyone wins" way. He actually ripped the legs off all the kids with training wheels. Now only if he could get those training wheels off...  Watch out world. I think we may have created a monster.

Zach proudly displaying his winnings!

Trophies, prizes, money, great riding.  What's not to love?
Although Tim won his category, he also took 4th overall and some cash home! Pretty soon he will want to quit his job and do this full time. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

FUN in the SUN! Whiskey 50, April 25-30, 2012

As guilty as I felt leaving Tim back here in Oregon, I hastily booked my tickets for the Whiskey 50 and some sunshine in AZ the minute I figured out I could fit it in my schedule. Plus, Stans NOTUBES was giving away entries on Twitter. Then I found out my good friend Wendy Simms was taking a sunshine break sans kids. How could I resist? I practically had to go. Not to mention, EQUAL prize money for women. Out of principle, I have to support those events!
I took off late Tuesday and got myself to Paul Gundlach's house in Fountain Hills around midnight, only to be woken up by a knock on my door at 5:30 a.m. the next morning. Well, it was going to be a hot one, so we had to start our ride at 7. Bikes built, we were out the door by 6:45. I was half asleep, but nothing that the threat of rattlesnakes on the trail won't cure. I was VERY alert on our 3 hour spin on singletrack around the McDowell area. Great way to start the day. And done by 10. 

Riding with Paul is a rare treat.

I hate snakes. At least this was a small one. Unlike the one I saw the next day and did NOT take a pic.
 The next morning I woke up to rain. Yes, seriously. RAIN. And not just the misty type. It was full on rain for quite a while. But by noon, it stopped and I headed out to McDowell park. The 'competitive track'. Took a nice ride out there with perfectly dry trails. Apparently it didn't take long to absorb and evaporate. Then packed it up and went to the airport to pick up "THE WENDY SIMMS". We jammed up to Prescott for a late arrival to the Kona headquarters, which was eerily empty. Until an hour later when I was surrounded by bacon eating, 'eh' speaking Canadians. It was going to be a fun weekend. 
Friday was the FAT TIRE CRIT downtown Prescott. It was, hmmmm. Dare I say fun? Or would hellishly hard be a better description. At any rate, after a rest week and some easy rides, my legs felt GREAT. Perhaps too great, b/c the first lap I forgot I was at elevation and by lap 2, I was all blowed up. I came back to 'normal', but man, that hurt. Breathing through a straw when climbing a 18% grade (?) hill. It felt like about 25%. It was a tough one. 

steep hill. I'm on left going around after my bad start. bad idea.
more relaxed.
 Saturday Wendy and I went out to 'pre-ride'. Yes, one may think a 50 mile course is a lot to pre-ride. No worries. We skipped the gravel road out and back and just did a mere 28 miles with 3700 feet of climbing. It was awesome though. The weather was great, the trails were fun and we were all smiles. And Prescott was a buzz. The event was HUGE. Everyone was excited, the downtown was all about this race. it was certainly a spectacle and a good one.

Views we would not take in the next day.
 Sunday morning the small pro fields took off. The men blasted out of the gate at 8:30 and we followed 10 minutes later. I was pleasantly surprised at the pace out of the gate. I could hold it. For a while, at least, until it amped up. I told myself, DO NOT GO! NO BLOWING UP! And I just paced myself at a comfortable pace I knew I could hold. After the first long descent, my back was angry. And that next climb proved more difficult. Girls came by me and some asked, are you ok? I didn't think I was going that slow.  But I motored on, got to the descent down to Skull Valley. I hate gravel road descents, but I pushed it as fast as I felt comfortable and made it to the bottom, catching a few gals and then started the climb, where I passed a few more. I thought maybe I could climb myself back into the money. I was motivated. Then I saw a familiar butt. Yep, Alice Pennington was up the road. A very familiar battle for me. I could not catch her, b/c she knew she was being chased and once on the single track climb & descent, she was gone. I almost cramped for the first time in my life, but I pushed to the end. And sure enough, once I popped out on the pavement, I passed a few more gals. Alice was one of them. There were a couple with mechanicals, I started thinking, maybe I did it. Maybe I worked my way into the money. Well, no such luck. I finished 11th. 

Christopher See got this spectacular shot. Water felt good at this point.
 But I had an amazing time and hanging out with Barry, Chris, Spencer, Cory, Wendy, Alice, Dave & we even had a Kabush sighting at the house. The event was amazing. The riding spectacular and the vitamin D I got will get me through this next period of pouring rain here in Oregon. The girls even got some pool time on Monday back in Pheonix. Mountain bikers wearing bikinis is pretty funny. Awesome tan lines! I hope to see the sun again soon!!!