Well, that was quite a weekend. There were a few things that stood out this past weekend: the heat, the heckle pit, the racing, hanging with old and new friends, the heckle pit. On Friday we showed up and got a little riding in and visited. Saturday was the cross country race. I fed Mike for his race and then it was time for the ladies to go off. Uggh. I raced gears for the first time since I don't know when. It was a bit odd. Riding gears is different than racing gears. My singlepeed habits sure have a way of popping up. I made a concerted effort to sit the climb. My legs were not the snappiest they have been and they were a little shocked when I asked them to sit and spin the whole initial climb. They played along. The first time. I was a mess. What does this lever do? Big ring. Little ring. Spinny. Grindy. Standy. No! No standy! Once we got up the climb and to the fun, technical part of the course I became an impatient asshole. I used the fully to pass people in the tech. I took some funky lines that I would have never taken on a single. Although, it seemed like a good idea at the time because I was passing people, I was working way too hard because the fully allowed me to. At about 40 minutes in my body let me know it was not fond of the idea by hitting me with twinges of cramps. I'd been drinking and I was plenty fueled. It was due to effort. Geared, sitty efforts at that. I was starting to fall apart at 45 minutes and it was horrifying. I finally made it through the first lap and was faced with the second lap. The pace of the second lap: backwards. I didn't think I was going to make it to the finish. At one point I tried to remember if I had gone through a stream crossing or stepped in water because my feet were squishing and sloshing in wet shoes. It then hit me that it was sweat. My legs were cramping and I was cracked. Somehow I made it up and over the final little gravel climb to the finish. I made it and I wasn't last. Mission accomplished.
The only thing that kept me going was the LWC heckle pit. It was incredible. There are no words. I could hear the roar before I got to the drops: horns, screaming, jeering, and whistling-a cacophony of drunken goodness. Toasted Head is a PA/Philly team really, so I got a little extra love and shout-outs which made it that much better.
My first lap I dismounted up the steep up and ran like I was on my singlespeed and I heard, "You have gears now, use them!". I remember screaming, "I don't know how!". That about sums up my cross country race.
After I was done racing it was time to get changed and participate in the heckle pit for the pro races. This was the highlight of the weekend. If I do not race next year, I will be fine with being a professionl heckler for the weekend. I may have gotten a little boozed up in the heckle pit before Super D practice opened. I think my best runs came on Saturday night when I had some liquor in me. I was loose and relaxed, that's for sure.
Come Sunday morning, it was time for a morning run on the course and a crash. During the race I had some issues going into and coming out of that same spot. I was a bit tentative and lost my mojo right away and that got in my head the rest of the run. I ended up taking 3rd in my class and I was pretty happy about that. Gears and suspension were pretty damn fun for the Super D. One day I will learn to ride them cross country. One day, but I won't be working on that this weekend.
I will be showing my ss some love at the Wilderness 101 on Saturday. My goal as always is to take time off from last year and for the W101, I have added the extra goal of not crying. For some reason last year I had a meltdown. It wasn't that it was so hard or that I was so tired and spent. The course is not even a particularly hard hundred. I just lost my mind last year. I'm not a crier. All I remember is crying in the rain and not being able to stop.
I will not cry. I will not cry.