Friday, February 22, 2008

2006 Chain Stretcher

Race day, 6:00 a.m.- I am awakened to the sound of pouring rain. Dejavu for like the 5th time this year. Am I the jinx?? Anyway, I must get up and go to pick up the banners for the Ringwood race. I bring my bike just incase it clears up. I arrive and the Beginners are already out there rippin it up. I have to hand it to the promoters for cutting the course down from 8 to 6 miles. Superb choice. Racers came in very happy and the most technical section of trails were omitted and kept off limits.

Next the sports went off. They too started in the rain, but it eventually let up and Jess and Wendi put in some awesome fast racing in tough conditions with a 1st and 2nd place finish in their classes. I am proud to be from NJ where the ladies can handle these tough conditions and challenging terrain. You girls rock!

The rain stopped, I had no excuse but had to go out and at least try to race. I could always pull out at any time. Just on a second thought, I went back to my car and grabbed a bottle of Powerbar drink, since I had not eaten much. At the start, all of us single-speeders were seeded in the last of 4 groups. Being the only women, I was dropped instantly.

By the top of Ned’s lung, I had bridged up to the first racer, and by the single-track I had already passed one. The trails and rocks looked wet and I rode with caution. Too much caution probably. I lost my footing while swinging my leg over the bike to dismount and slammed all my weight into a rock with my palm. Ouch! I had a good stinger going til late that night. But with out much more than a blink, I was done with a lap, and wore a big smile on my face, ready for more.

The course was really fun for ss. All the sustained climbs were in the start, and then wooohooo roller coaster to the start/finish. I’m not sure if I just got loosened up or the trails got better, but my third lap was my best, reeling in a few of the men before I finished. I was greeted by more smiling faces at the finish, and could you believe the sun was shinning! What a day. This is certainly one of the best local races in this area. Can’t wait to get back there to ride it again.

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