An early morning thunderstorm tamped down a lot of the pollen out at PIR. I was underslept, but decided I'd go and have fun no matter what. And I did.
The course this week was very technical, twisty-turny and decidedly BMX-y out on the moto track, with off-camber transitions that sent many Cat 3 riders crashing yet made me grin with delight. The whoops were run in reverse, meaning that if you didn't watch your speed you'd catch some air. Easily the happiest course I've ridden all series. I knocked out my three laps (I wasn't even close to being able to pull out a fourth this time, the course and the lead riders were all so fast!), and noted that I didn't need to stop for my inhaler once during the race. I also noticed that my legs felt uncommonly strong, which I could only chalk up to two days off the bike over the weekend (all other variables being equal). Major bonus: Sweetie came out to watch, wave the Team Slow sign, ring her cowbell and scream her lungs out. Past a certain point in my race, when the oxygen deprivation had kicked in, I could no longer really see her, but I heard her all over the course and it definitely made a difference. (I don't know what I'll do when cyclocross season starts and Sweetie stays home -- it's too cold and crowded a scene for her and our deal is she pretty much only comes to watch me race short-track -- I'll sure miss her voice out on the course when I'm bogged down in three feet of mud.)
In short, I had a really satisfying race and felt more like a real racer than I have all summer.
Our team representation was smaller tonight, with only three of us racing singlespeed or Cat 2 age group; several regular players were either working late, on vacation or getting over illness. Mielle (my pal from Team S & M and not entirely of this earth) nabbed second place in her age group and looks to be on track to podium in the series overall. I will not be shocked if she also makes podium at the OBRA [Oregon] State Championship short-track race next weekend. As we watched some of the final race, Kris (the race organizer) came over and chatted with us. He commented that showing up every week was how you earned points, and that it was possible to make podium if you raced consistently every single week of the series. He grinned right at me as he said it. Was this a hint? I preferred not to make anything of it. After six races I was in fourth overall, but I'm not sure where I'll end up. Kristin was gone this week and I got a DNF a couple of weeks ago. They toss the lowest result and tally up the other seven races, so in the end I suspect Kristin could still make the series podium (which would be really cool, considering she's been racing the double for most of the series).
Next up: OBRA Champs on Saturday. I've been advised that the course is pretty darned flat, and not really suited to singlespeed. Whatever. I'll go and race and have a good time. And I'll hope that more than three women show up for Womens' Singlespeed this year.