Guess who’s now going to Master’s Worlds for CX AND earned their upgrade!? Amanda 1.0-that’s who!
This post is about the amazing world of cyclocross and my new favorite number, three. Last weekend was Cross at the North Colorado State Cyclocross Championships. The Cat 4 women did not race until Sunday. So bright and early Heather, Lora and I (3 of us) loaded up and travelled to Loveland to pre-ride the course. Upon arrival, we heard about a few crashes that had already occurred and I was a bit timid to ride this course. It was lose dirt, inclines, lots of turns, a steep, off-camber decline and a run up, not to mention one set of barriers. We had watched the SW 35+ take this course like it was an easy Sunday ride and we had the expertise of both Susan and Joan in the pre-ride. I knew that they would direct us in a safe manner through each section of the course. We got to the steep downhill and since I had watched other people take it very fast, I decided that I would do the same. Problem was that I took the wrong line and was thrown into the air. I somehow landed in the soft dirt and did not fall but was clearly shaky and could barely hold onto my handlebars afterwards (partially as a result of locking my elbows). That is when I heard both Joan and Susan sternly state that I was to get back to the top and do it again. I whispered that I would do it again next lap but no it had to be done then and they were right. Heather helped by reminding me that I could do this and Lora reminded me to look like a cat coming down the hill. Each time I rode that section, I felt more comfortable.
Sunday I arrived to the race to see many of the Cat 4 women had already arrived and were starting to warm-up in the very cold and surprisingly humid conditions. There were so many cheery voices and familiar faces. This is what cycling is all about. People wishing each other good luck, wanting the best for each other, joking and genuinely happy to see each other. Part of the camaraderie is having similar ways to explain areas of the course. Here are a few examples of how these ladies have creatively come up with ways to connect my last name with racing. If there is sand or a weird turn, they will ask “What is the Amanda Bye-Line?” or “Is there an Amanda Bye-Line Canal through the sand yet?” When we are pre-riding the question is “Where is the Amanda Bye-Pass?” The new one thanks to Larry Grossman’s commentary on my racing career (note this was less than one minute in length as there is not much to say) is now being referred to as the “Amanda Bye-O.”
During the race, you can hear women cheering for each other. At the end of the race, everyone waited at the finish for all riders to come through, congratulated each other on a great season and took a Cat 4 photo. Katie had already cat’ed up and thus was not in the picture but she was certainly an integral part of the season. These ladies are much more than cyclocross racers, they are friends and I am sure going to miss them in the off season.
The cross cup results were posted later that day and I got 3rd in the racer competition and Naked Women’s Racing got 3rd in the Cat 4 category, I also got 3rd in the Boulder Cycling Series and thus the inevitable occurred and I cat’ed up to my new favorite number … 3.
Huge shout out to all the announcers, teams, photographers and promotors for a wonderful season of cross. Here are my 3 favorite pics from States. Now to get ready for CX Worlds.