Two days before the race I met Amanda 1.0 and Ingrid to preride the course for the Koppenberg race. Since we are all such close friends here I will be honest with you and tell you that I was feeling pretty dang confident on that ride. Confidence doesn’t usually happen with me on the bike but that course with the gravel and downhills and dirt was my kind of route. That night Amanda 1.0 and I devised a plan of dominance and it seemed like nothing could stop us.
Friday I spent my work hours looking at photos of Belgian cyclist tearing up the other Koppenberg climb, practicing my very humble and yet awesome victory salute, and eating frites (Belgian for french fries). As you can see I was in this to win this… prepared as anyone ever could be.
As soon as Amanda 1.0 and I got to where Ingrid had set up our “warm up” spot we realized the weather was totally different than what we had expected. If it were not for Mom aka Ingrid and her crazy trunk of extra cycling gear Amanda 1.0 and I would still be jumping around in the parking lot not talking but mentally scrapping our “plan of dominance”.
On the first lap I was right where I wanted to be, well other than on a nice warm beach, and was feeling pretty good. The wind was so strong that even being right on someone’s wheel didn’t seem to make any difference. As we approached the famous climb I had worked my way to the lead spot. Again this weird sense of confidence washed over me and I got the pick of the litter on the best line up the hill. 0.5 seconds later everyone else decided they wanted my line and I kind of just let them take it. Why? Yeah, I will be in therapy for this decision for a while.
Hill 1 was done and I was at the back of the lead pack because I handed it over real nice like but I was still with the pack. Ok, that wasn’t really how I had imagined that going down but I was still in this to win this and thank goodness I know how to decend and corner.
Hill 2 broke my spirit. No more confidence. No more in this to win this blah blah blah. My new plan was to not walk and to not quite and to find someone to help me battle the no good horrible wind.
Hill 3 nailed the coffin. Once again I was behind the lead group and all alone. I am not sure how wind can come at you with such anger and from all directions at every single stinking inch of a course but it was. I used to like that course… I even talked people into racing it. I felt so betrayed!
I finished in the middle of the pack. It is not the place I really was shooting for but know I fought crazy wind and cold conditions with my whole heart and can’t ask for more. Post race Amanda 1.0 and Mom aka Ingrid returned clothes to their owners and patted each other on the back for giving it our all. The crazy thing about racing I am learning is that after every race I start getting excited for the next time I can line up to give it my all . Until then I will just keep practicing my victory salute.
Hell hath no furry like Mother Nature’s scorn!