Monday, November 2, 2009

Wisconsin Halloween Race

So after some fleeting thoughts of going to Boulder for some UCI racing in the mud we decided to take a weekend off of travel and race locally. The Midwest has a great scene and it's always fun to stay home and support the local events. I missed out on the Halloween race last year as it coincided with the Louisville USGP so it was nice to be a part of it this year. Breaking out of my normal boring routine I decided to actually attempt a costume this year. Granted I wasn't quite as intricate as many of my fellow racers I was proud of myself for at least making an effort! Devil horns and red fish net stockings are cheap and easy!

Teammate Kaitie was a cute lady bug - nice!

Made the trip to Milwaukee alone as unfortunately Dave has caught the dreaded swine flu. He was laid out on the couch for 4 days so I headed to the race planning on doing both the womens and mens 30+ race. Dave is leading the overall 30+ category so I told him I'd do my best to try to beat some of his closest competition!

All in all a perfect day for racing with cool, windy temps. Course was a bit wet in a couple spots from all the rain the day before. Two sets of barriers (one set on a hill) and the dreaded coffin jump were the obstacles for the day. Lots of people were choosing to run the coffins as they were pretty wide. I figured I'd make my decision once I got to them! About 10 women on the line so a pretty small field - awesome to see about 30 women raced the two lower catergory races earlier in the day though. Kaitie, Sam Schneider, and I formed a group early on. Halfway through the lap I came around and tried to push the pace a bit. By the start of lap 2 I had a gap on them and soon saw that Kaitie had pulled away from Sam.

Other than the first and last lap (when there were some riders nearby me and I decided to run) I jumped the coffins. I have to say that I was pretty nervous about smacking my rear wheel each lap. I also heard about some nasty endo's and I really didn't want to do that. All the pictures I've seen show me with this goofy look on my face - jaw clenched and bracing for impact. I'm just happy I made it over.

With two laps to go I saw my teammate Patti down on the ground near the start/finish. She had several people around her and it didn't look good. She was unable to finish but luckily nothing was broken. Then I noticed I couldn't see Kaitie anymore and as the course looped back I saw her shouldering her bike and I knew she had a mechanical. Her front deraileur bolt had popped out and she had to run for nearly half a lap.
Unfortunately Kaitie's mechanical caused her to drop back and finish 4th behind Sam and Holly Klug who were 3rd and 4th, respectively. So after the womens race I tried to stay warm and then lined up with the guys for the 1/2/3 30+ race. There were about 15 guys on the line. Off we went and I tried to steadily move my way up as the race wore on. It's fun to do the mens race because you can stick with a group of guys generally and try to be more tactical. I was trying to be smart and ride the course technically well. I decided to use some Dugast Rhyno tires today and I have to say those things are amazing. They really handle well and I feel so much more confident taking corners hot with them. By about halfway through the race I had picked off some guys and was feeling alright - admittedly I was ready to be done though too!
On the last lap I was with another guy and I wanted to try to beat him so I turned on the gas through the twists and turns and then put my head down for the final pavement stretch before the finish. I was happy to hold him off and finish 5th. Thanks to all of the costumed super fans on the hill - they were awesome.

Some more costumes on the day included the classic Tighty Whitey

Katy's impressive hand sequined showgirl outfit (during the mens elite race she put on a trench coat and was "flashing" riders as they ran up the hill - hilarious!)
and Holly's Cruella deVille

We've got lots of creative and artistic racers and it was super fun to see everyone's creations.

Another weekend at home planned with two Wisconsin races. The next month will be filled with travel after that so I'm enjoying the down time. I'm also desperately trying to avoid getting sick - Dave is finally starting to feel better but I figure I'm not out of the woods yet. Keep drinking that Echinacea tea!

Thanks to Renee for all of the great photos used here!

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