Monday, February 9, 2015

Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout

I was so pumped about Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout that I had actually planned to post this blog last night....however at about 6:30pm I decided to take a 30 minute nap and then accidentally woke up at 9:15pm....oops.  If being tired is any indication of how much fun someone has.... I am winning!!!!

I arrived home from Houston Friday just after 2:30pm and immediately bonded with my bike Bear after missing him so much last week.  An hour later Dolan arrived which meant that he pretty much got to watch me finish getting ready and move all my stuff from one suitcase to the next.  Needless to say we got a late start heading up to Crosby and arrived at the C-I Pub around 7pm to pick up packets, share a beer with good friends and even participate in a Meat Raffle!!!  And guess what....I won!!!

Winning a meat raffle has been on my bucket list for quite some time now, so winning some meat turkey at the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout was a dream come true!  Immediately following the raffle we grabbed my loot and headed straight over to 45NRTH's rental cabin for the Stud Party!!

Huge, huge thanks to 45NRTH for pretty much laying out the stud carpet for all of us.  I've never had so much fun swapping tires in my entire life!  It also felt really good to know that not only would I have the right tires for Saturday (conditions were icy), but also that I would be able to race safely.  This was my first time riding on studs and I couldn't wait to hear the frying bacon. 

The race didn't' start on Saturday until 12:30pm which meant that we got to enjoy an awesome pre-race breakfast at the Heartland CafĂ©.  We got to the race with plenty of time to warm up and I somehow managed to fill-up all that time with a bunch of chaos...which included a trip to the porta potty, Kurt adding pressure to my tires, and then deciding to ride back to the car put on another layer (which was absolutely the WRONG choice!). In the end I only got about 10ish legit minutes to warm up and then of course again missed my chance at a front row starting spot!!

Photo Credit: The amazing Todd Bauer
As you can see I'm lined up right in front of that neon green beauty that I call a husband.  While I was dorkin' around he actually took my advice and got in a proper warm-up.  Folks...never give up your race secrets :)

Finally the gun went off.  Actually it probably wasn't a gun, but you know what I mean.  I was very pleased with my jump off the line and managed to work my way into a pretty solid starting position as we exploded up the first straightaway section of trail.  My legs felt pretty darn good for having not ridden all week & I was pleased to be nearly hanging on to the front pace group.  The studded Dillinger5s that I mounted on my Sarma Naran's were the perfect choice as I was able to corner on the ice with ease. Things were going fantastic. 

Well, at least until I took the first left hand turn and was quickly passed by a neon green blaze that didn't even say "good job honey."  What???He didn't' even say anything? Punk. I'm not supposed to be behind him.    I quickly mashed my feet into the pedals to grab his wheel. Tom seemed to be riding with wings and I remember feeling happy and excited for him as he smoothly worked his way through all of Sagamore's twisty turns. But of course I was also wondering What the heck is wrong with me?  At first I was content to just sit in in his draft for a bit, but then it became harder and harder for me to hold on.  I fell back about 10 yards due to some poor cornering on my part and realized that I needed to make a move in order to get back on his group at which point I took a corner real tight and then SMASH!!

Yea...that's me on the chase!!
Photo Credit: The Amazing Todd Bauer
I smoked my left handlebar on the tree trunk and it pretty much catapulted me off my bike to the right.  Rats!!! As CJ Smith put was a nice "45NRTH yard sale!" I quickly got back on my bike and was pleased that it didn't hurt much and also to realize that I hadn't really lost all that much time.  However now I was in no man's land and could not make up the gap for the life of me. 

I rode a strong last couple of laps and was happy to maintain my position as first female, smashing my previous result on this same course in 2013.  It was a great race for me and an obviously even better race for Tom. He's been hitting the training hard lately so he definitely deserved this result. As I was mashing my way to the finish line I remember thinking how proud I was of him and how I couldn't wait to hug him and congratulate him at the finish.  However, as I rolled through the finish chute and made eye contact with him I realized that he was pumping his fist in joy for having beat me.  

Can you freaking believe that????  NEVER AGAIN!

 I am being gracious in defeat....but are going down!
Huge congrats to Pam and Chelsea for battling their way to 2nd and 3rd overall respectively.  Jill rolled in 4th after pretty much driving through the night to get to the race and then Martha (we call each other  "Fatties")  rounded out the top 5.  Way to go ladies!

Jill is so fast she is invisible on the youthful age group podium!!
Saturday night awards and post race party were so much fun. Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout has such a neat small town feel about it and it really warms my heart.  I'm starting to fall in love with the town of Crosby and it's obvious that it's such a genuine community filled with some passionate people. Tom and I are lucky to have such amazing and fun friends. I laughed so hard this entire weekend that I'm pretty sure it made up for all those core workouts that I "forgot" to do!

Post race with Jill Martindale, 45NRTH Scott Patterson & The Yeti!
Photo Credit: The Amazing Todd Bauer
 Huge thanks to my sponsors 45NRTHSarma, LazerBicycle Fit Guru and Compex. You each make this sport both possible and exciting. I am humbled by your support and even more honored to represent your greatness.

Photo Credit: The Amazing Todd Bauer