Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kenda Cup & the seasons wrapped up

The season is winding down or should we say for me, it already has – at least the mountain bike season. Here’s my summary for the year, lengthy as it is.

In an odd unplanned way, I accomplished one of my goals this year.

Kenda Cup 2009, their inaugural year and I wanted to compete in the East Coast Championship for Cat 2 which meant I’d need to do 4 of their 6 races. Races were in TN, AL, VA, NC, VT and NY. That was part of the problem with the series; it was very wide spread over the east coast. Not that many folks have the time/budget to make it happen. It was tough for me as well but I managed my 4 venturing to TN, VA, VT and NY.

TN – May 3rd; a blast of a course to me, especially in the pre-ride the day before. Race day brought the shorter course and me learning another aspect of not letting the mental game get the best of me during a race. Let’s just say I had more fun pre-riding the day before than I had during the race because I ended up with a competitor in my way that I didn’t get by and I let it mentally bum me out. Even though the pre-ride was a muddy mess it was oh so fun. Hubby had a good race too, as did our teammate and we all ventured home having a good weekend.

VA – June 7th; was a blast for me, but no pre-ride. It was a day to wake up early, drive down, race, drive back. I enjoyed the heck out of the race, technical rocky climb up and then descending down, a ski slope course that I enjoyed so much more than I expected. I passed some folks climbing and descending, shockingly more climbing. I had a great fun race and was all smiles at the end. Hubby had more laps than me so finished after and unfortunately my smile was whipped away as he rolled in holding his arm funny and I learned he had a crash that causing his thumb issue he’s still dealing with. He still finished strong just we had to visit the ER that night.

Then there’s a break in the racing. Funny enough exactly 2 months between Kenda races for me. My fitness degraded even further as I got busier at work, road less and slept less. I raced two MASS races, Iron Hill and Fair Hill, both were basically pathetic and jokes. No reason to actually be “racing”. My exhaustion and lack of fitness was showing and it continued into my final two Kenda races.

VT – Aug 7th; Mount Snow, the same location as last year’s National’s where I loved the course and came in second regardless of being another ski slope course. The course changed some this year because of muddy conditions but that didn’t have much effect on my day. Physically horrible, rode moronically on lap one and my bike became full of mechanical’s come lap two. Rear tire wouldn’t hold air and my derailleur stuck leaving me with no ability to pedal. Basically wasted tons of time in that lap which as it turns out taught me something important. Apparently to USA cycling, a mountain bike race is no different than a road race and I was pulled at the end of lap two (of three planned) because I was “off the pace”. A finisher none the less but still I tried to fight with the officials to not be pulled to no avail and actually ended my day incredibly emotionally pissed off and drove home asap. Granted, we had our race at Neshaminy the same weekend and Hubby had already stayed home to work on the trails. I needed to drive back that night but the earlier the better as it turned out since I didn’t want to hang out in Vermont for one second longer than I needed. Thanks to a friend for getting my medal and prize (since I was actually 1st with no competition on this day).

Aug 9th; our race at Neshaminy. No racing for either one of us but our first as promoter’s of a race. Considering the rescheduling, the day of rain and all our other factors it seemed to be a good day overall.

NY – Aug 14th; the weekend after VT and another ski slope course. I had never ventured to this course before but knew all I needed was to finish and I’d take the East Series Championship. Kinda easy when no one else ventures to the required 4 races of the series. It was amazing how low the turnout was across the board for all the races in the series, especially VT and NY. I brought Hubby’s 29er to this race hoping that would change my luck since he wouldn’t need it as he ventured to Mount Washington for the hill climb that he rocked on. But my luck didn’t seem to change much. I got there Thur night to do a pre-ride on Fri am and the ride went okay but I had issues with air in the rear tire again. After the lap I realize I had torn a hole in the rear tire and had to swap it out. That should have been fine but as the race begins I realize I have issues in the first ¼ of the lap. I’m burping the front and rear tires constantly, the front with every turn and the rear over most every rock. Add to it, in the mitts of a race scenario I convinced myself the CO2 cartridges I have don’t fit in my dispenser. By lap two I have basically no air in the tires, I’m walking everything trying not to hurt Hubby’s wheels and I remember being pulled last week because of being “off the pace”. Sadly, at this point my race turns to the hope of getting pulled because a third lap would be 100% walking/running. I’ve always believed everything happens for a reason and apparently the reason for VT was so I’d know I might just get pulled this weekend and not to even consider a DNF. My luck is there and they pull me, thus I’m a finisher. . and I’m the East Coast Series Champ for Cat 2 Women 30-39.

So I accomplished my goal of competing in the Kenda Cup and I won the series, but like I said, not the way I wanted. I managed to finish 4 of the 6 races and no other competitor did. Exciting.. Not.

Then the whole East v. West championship in Vegas the end of September was cancelled / changed to CA the week before. Not happening for me, thanks but no thanks.

So here I sit in Mid August, feeling done with Mountain Bike racing and feeling mostly caught up on the work front. Still have the Stage Race in NC sitting on the horizon for Mid-October and hoping somehow I manage to pull 38,000’ of climbing out of my you know what. Next year isn’t that far on the horizon with the 12hrs of Oleta the first weekend of January. And a decision of what my focus is for next year. Endurance, Cat 1, Cat 2.. MASS, Kenda.. no idea. All I know is I’ve still got tons of work to do and I’m certainly hoping to accomplish it during the next few months. I’ve got a good year of mtb racing somewhere inside me.

And maybe next year I'll bring a camera to all my ventures!

1 comment:

fatmarc said...

congrats on your season and a great write up...