Monday, December 22, 2014

Solstice Chase - Can I have more hills please?!

Holy fatbike hangover!!! I have no idea what it is about turning the cranks on a fatty, but I can barely get out of bed the day after a race.   However, I must admit that in a good way it's kind of reminiscent of the college days as I usually wake up, realize I feel like crap and instantly think "damn that was a lot of fun!"
Photo Credit: 45NRTH Kurt Barclay
This year's Solstice Chase was shaping up to be a spectacular day at Big Rock Creek Retreat.  Conditions were swell, there was a tiny bit of snow and the race headquarters were in an awesome BARN! Barns are so cool....when we first walked into this barn to pick up our race numbers I was blown was so romantic that I instantly tried to convince Tom that we needed to skip the race and renew our vows instead!!

Photo Credit: Scott Spoo (Mr. Romance)
What I was most excited about for last weekend was a chance to see all of my favorite race buddies! The fatbike community is like no other and it's camaraderie and great people are what makes me want to race fatbikes forever!  What's even more awesome is racing with my 45NRTH teammates this year!!   We all did some quick chatting, shared some pre-race nerves and then I went off to get a few hard efforts in before the race. 

I was pretty jacked up about racing for the first time on my new set of Sarma Naran rims! These rims are freaking amazing! I could immediately feel the improvement in rolling resistance.  My bike felt light and fluffy and during warm-ups it felt almost effortless to turn the front end of the my bike.  WOW!!!

Since there was only a light dusting of snow this year everyone was assuring me it was going to be a "fast" day!  Well, I suppose it's all relative, but as I was climbing punchy hill after punchy hill in the first 5 miles of the race I was feeling anything but "fast" :)   In quads were in major REVOLT!!! I'm pretty sure that someone had picked up every single hill in Minneapolis and brought it to St. Croix Falls!  ouch.
Photo Credit: 45NRTH Kurt Barclay

Eventually I gathered myself and I spent much of the race riding with a couple of fast dudes and even got the benefit of some JP pulls.....well, before the ice ate him for breakfast!  At one point on the second lap I dropped my chain and afterwards looked back to find Danielle right on my heels!!! EEEK!!!  There are so many fast women racing this year that it seems like it can easily be anybody's day and I knew that for the remainder of the race I had to ride both hard and clean!  As I rounded the final turn and descended towards the finish I was stoked to have earned the top step and even more stoked to be able to share a podium with my teammate Danielle!!

Photo Credit: 45NRTH Kurt Barclay
Huge congrats to Megan (3rd place!) who is quickly becoming one of Minnesota's fastest.  And way to go everyone who toed the line and gritted out a finish. You all inspire me!!

Thank you Kurt and Scott with 45NRTH for kick ass race day support and for taking rad photos!  And of course, thank you Sarma for creating race long smiles.

Post race beers and fun were had by all   This is my favorite photo of the day... our podium hug almost resulted in a total catastrophe!!!  Frank -- you gotta put those stumps closer next year ;)

Photo Credit: Megan Barr (or at least I think her phone!)

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