Monday, April 21, 2008

SeaOtter Classic 2008

The best thing about this year's SeaOtter Classic was catching up with teammates, sponsors, and friends. It is also always fun to see people that you meet at different races. I am so lucky to be able to travel and race and meet cool people from all over the world. I really like racing, but that is only a small part of mountain bike racing. It is all the great people you meet and new places you get to see that makes the experience.

Oh, yeah, I raced at SeaOtter too. I raced in the women's pro/expert single speed
category this year again. Since the 2 to 1 gear ratio seemed to work fine last year, and since that is what I ride, I went with the same gearing again. I was a little nervous before the race, since I NEVER race anything this short but once I was on the starting line I felt fine and it was fun. What can I say about a race that is only an hour and a half??

Well, I almost managed to get lost... At one point I was convinced I had taken a wrong turn because I thought I had already been on that part of the course. I stopped to try to figure out what I should do. After a while the 2nd place woman caught me and I realized I was in fact going the right way. It all worked out anyway. I finished in first place with a time of 1 hr 32 minutes, a couple of minutes in front of 2nd place. I was pleasantly surprised that my time was actually a bit faster than last year even though I haven't been able to ride as much. I think I have to give my bike the credit for the faster time. It is quite a bit lighter than last year with the new Magura fork which is only 3.19 lbs and the Karmas on the Stan's wheels. Or, maybe its all the saddle.....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

8 Hrs of Boggs Mountain

After coming highly recommended by Mario, Eric and I decided to do 8 Hrs of Boggs Mountain as a training race. Neither one of us has been able to ride that much this winter; me because of several bouts with the flu and Eric fell off a ladder and injured his leg earlier this year.

We decided to camp, but since the Boggs Mountain website claimed there were only 20 camp-sites, I called the nearby Yogi Bear campground to make reservations. It was nice to do a race we could drive to, only 3.5 hrs north. It was a great drive with awesome scenery. It was fun driving over the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day looking back at San Francisco.

We decided to pre-ride the course when we got there just to stretch out our legs after the drive. It was a 9.5 mile loop with 1200 feet of climbing, consisting of fun, smooth single track weaving in and out of pine trees. The only hazard I could see was all the slippery pine needles on the ground.

After the ride we went to the Yogi Bear Campground and made burritos for dinner. The owners of the campground had highly recommended making reservations due to a "motorcycle race" at Boggs Mountain, but as far as we could see there was only one other couple there... In the local grocery store we were also told there was a "bicycle tournament" in town.

Saturday morning when we woke up it was so cold that our water had ice on it. Yes, I know we are California softies, it was just not what I expected in April. I was freezing and decided to start out with my arm and legwarmers and vest. That lasted only the first lap off course.

All I have to say about the race is:

Super-fun smooth single track
Good weather
Fast course
Good fun
Friendly racers
No major incidents or stupid "guy comments"

That's about it. I won the women's pro category with 9 laps (85.5 miles and 10,800 feet of climbing) and ended up in the top 10 overall. Eric ended up 3rd in his category, also with 9 laps.

My Progress Magic was perfect for this course. There was a fair amount of steep climbing and I was happy to have such a light bike. Durin and Marta worked perfect as always and my Kenda Karma's kept me from sliding out and flying in to a tree! Thanks to Ergon I could go back to work the next Monday without hand, arm, or shoulder pain!!! Thank You also to Scott, Ty, and my team Sho-Air for the support.