Monday, October 25, 2010

evidence and thank-yous

First of all, thanks to Rich Rosko for taking 146 photos of just the womens' race (he shot something like 900 pictures all day) and making them available for free. Like this shot of me on the final lap of the course. The sun had come out and the mud positively sparkled, along with my mood when I realized that I had enough gas to finish the race and redeem myself from last year's DNF on the very same course.




















UPDATE: results were just posted and, as expected, I finished last in my category, 31 out of 31 in Master Women 45+. I managed three laps and I'm happy with how it all went down.

The women struggling in the mud behind me (including the one who fell) would all pass me before the final straightaway. That's racing. That's also, I freely acknowledge, being older, heavier and slower and having the physique of a hard-boiled egg on twigs. Incidentally, I have inherited my mother's physique to a T. The difference is that she would never, ever have done anything like this. I sometimes wonder what she would make of it if she were here today and could come watch a race.

Other thank-yous:

--OBRA officials, without whom there would be no placings and bike races in Oregon would be little more than an anarchy festival at the finish line. Recently heard that our lead official was consulted on tracking racers by another organization somewhere back east that was using the same computer program. They were having trouble keeping track of 40 racers in a category. I laughed out loud. OBRA regularly tracks hundreds of racers in a single category at Cross Crusade, over a thousand at a race; and results are posted within a day or two of the race. Next time you're at an Oregon bike race, bring something nice for the OBRA officials and say thank you. (Preferably when they're not trying to track laps.)

--Kristin, Crystal, Shawn, Tori, Mielle, Jenn, JJ. Tina, Sue, Susan, Sharon, Flo and all the other amazing, strong Oregon women who come out and race with me at these things. You inspire me, encourage and push me to do better, and make me feel SO welcome in this place called bicycle racing. Someday we WILL have a womens' singlespeed category at Cross Crusade, even if my lobbying for it makes me very unpopular and annoying.

--Ed, Rob, Justin, Joel H., Edwin, Joel M., Ira, Tony, John, Jose, Ron, Will and all the other unfailingly, insanely cheerful guys who dared me to try racing, and who now scream my name, hurl tons of love at my humble little singlespeed bike ("go singlespeeeeed!"), and ring cowbells for me until I'm nearly deaf during all the womens' races. I never had a brother growing up and now I feel like I've got a dozen of them. How cool.

--Cross Crusade organizers and volunteers. Your name is legion. Your efforts are Herculean, and more appreciated than you'll ever know. You are why we have one of the best bicycle racing series in the world.

--My Sweetie, for accepting the fact that I was born with way too much shpilkes and simply must go and get it out of my system on a regular basis. As she wisely surmised one day early in our relationship, "Bicycling for you is like breathing." Even though she does not come to my cyclocross races (too cold and wet for her) she is with me at every single one.

5 comments:

Richard said...

OMG! I forgot just how muddy Oregon can get. I'd run the widest tires I could find. Oh, here's a little trick for ya. spray areas on your bike that tend to pack with some Pam or Tri-Flow. It helps.

I do agree with you about ORBA. It's a great organization that treats members right and is actually growing the sport. I've heard on some mtb racing forums that USA Cycling is trying to muscle in on ORBA for their members and even some events. USAC has a long way to go to catch ORBA in my book.

Congrats on a hard race.

bikelovejones said...

Richard: Thank you! I'll play around with the PAM and see how it works. Truthfully, my brakes were never an issue (there were too many puddles along the way for me to clean everything off as I rode through!). My tires weren't a problem, either; too wide a tire would've slowed me down in the muck because it was so deep.

As for OBRA, USA Cycling has apparently been jealous of OBRA's success for some time. If they are trying to muscle in on membership it wouldn't be the first time. Against all common sense I've signed up to race at USGP-Portland, early in the morning in the OBRA-sanctioned womens' race. (I'm doing it for the experience of racing in sub-freezing temps, one more time. Probably my last year racing it.)
If USA Cycling required me to buy a separate USAC license to race that day, I wouldn't sign up.

EvoDavo said...

Last is way better than watching TV. Pinning on a number and putting yourself out there is the reward. Looking at your fellow riders muddy faces and trading knowing smiles brings a kinship many will never know.
Congratulations.

jjfantastic said...

YOU inspire me to get out there and do this! Reading your accounts of races last year, and of short track this summer, made me want to get out and challenge myself to do this too. Thank you!

Judi said...

i loved this post. you have an amazing spirit!