Tag Archives: mountain bike racing
Janet scores a Cat 1 podium spot for the Naked Women’s Racing Team at the Burn MTB XC TT race. Any race that combines TTing, MTBing, and Uphill simply sounds painful!
On a race day morning there’s a moment in waking when your feet touch the ground and you do a body inventory: are my hamstrings the tight knots they’d been for three days? Did I sleep enough? Did I do anything stupid last night? I woke on Saturday with relief that the hike up Mount Shavano had finally healed, my hamstrings were mobile, and I’d avoided drinking a martini or three the night before so had slept fitfully. I looked out at the soft twilight over Denver as the dog ran in circles around my legs and thought I’m going to win.
The route, drive, and morning routine and breakfast are all inconsequential. These are dreary details that you might find fascinating, but even your coach would yawn to hear. Since I don’t have a coach I will yawn at them myself. One detail is of consequence, I’d lost my inhaler and it was hot out. I have asthma, its mild at best, but that day this was a notable detail.
If you’re not familiar- The Burn is a mountain bike time trial- so it started with a quick chat at the time clock with the USCF official, and then I was off in my big ring. My legs felt good at the start and I eased the downhill since I’m not a hotshot downhiller. It turned up to the first climb and initially was hot to go until my asthma kicked in. I’m going to win, I thought, audible wheeze, and guessed my oxygen sats were around 70 at that point. Wheeze, I’m going to win, wheeze. Yes, it was a bit of a buzz kill, but I kept it up as eventually the adrenaline would kick in and I’d get relief. Sure I couldn’t breathe, but my legs were still working. You have to stay optimistic, right? I slammed a rock or two in hypoxia, I’m going to win, I thought. Gasp.
Then I passed two women, then a couple more. The wheeze stopped. I was in the middle ring going up that sandy climb in the burn and feeling alright. Maybe I would win? I still kept it in my pocket. I was almost to the top and a woman caught me and passed me. Shit, I’m not going win, I thought. But at least I had someone to chase and a reason to keep it red-lined. I followed her until she disappeared up the last big climb. Thunder rumbled overhead and dark round clouds billowed low. A wind picked up but I didn’t notice as my legs cranked the hill. I passed a few more women. I’d wanted to keep it in the middle ring but caved halfway up and slipped to my small ring and spun it for my quads. On the apex of the hill I clicked up to the big ring and give it all I had. We crested into trees kneeled forward and a raging headwind that knocked a lot of steam from my engine. Shit, I thought, go legs, go and I cranked until they screamed and somehow made it around the lake. Alright, so I didn’t win, but I gave it all I had and I podiumed. I’ll win next time.
Race report from Susan Adamkovics on the first mountain bike race of her season.
Ridgeline Rampage...First mountain bike race of the season…check box. I knew it was going to be a hot day, so I made sure to fuel up with some Naked coconut water on the way to the race. I was pretty sure I was going to die, joking of course, but I am not in nearly the kind of shape I’ve been in the last few years at this early in the season. None the less, I signed up for the 30 miler. My teammate Joan and I were suffering from pre-race jitters at the start… 3-2-1 go and we’re off. We both got a great start with Joan winning the holeshot. Joan led for most of the first lap; she is a little mountain goat and quite honestly an amazing mountain bike racer. The course was dry and slick with technical turns. It was tricky, because you had to lean the body not the bike. I did it wrong one too many times, but fortunately I was able to save myself from complete disaster. There were a lot of riders on the course at the same time, so I often found myself getting stuck behind them. I was making risky moves to pass so I didn’t lose too much time, but that is a part of racing. “Head-up” was the mantra playing over and over in my head, this was important because I was not familiar with the course and it was fast with a lot of turns.
During the first lap, I felt as if my rear tire was a bit low and I started to worry about what to do; should I stop and put some air in, or keep riding. I chose to keep riding, and thought about the advice my husband Peter always says to me, “just focus on riding the bike, don’t worry about the other stuff.” Which if you know me, can be a laundry list of items. I posted a solid time on the first lap, 51 minutes. I started to fade midway through the second lap, and from that point on it was a back and forth with my effort. During the final lap I could see a female rider coming up behind me. This gave me the extra motivation to keep pushing during the final couple of miles. I ended up 3rd in my age group and 4th overall, while Joan took the win in her age group and got 2nd overall.
Pictures coming soon from Mountain Moon Photography!