Thanks to our friend Vince we had some posh accommodations near OO. In true April fashion we also had some midnight pre-race shenanigans which involved me dumping my entire recovery drink's worth of powder all over my suitcase and then trying to shake it all off out the sliding glass door (while it was raining)....and then a couple nasty frogs jumped in the cabin...GROSS! Naturally I screamed and begged Tom to get out of bed and take control of the situation.
I was lucky to line up next to Rebecca Sauber at the start and I'm pretty sure at this point we we're talking about how she carries lipstick in her jersey pocket. Rebecca has great competitive energy and I hope I can start more races next to her!
Finally we were off as a pack of nearly 2000 carefully making our way through the streets of Hayward. I can never remember these turns by heart but i seemed to hold my own and happily sitting on the wheel of Jorden Wakely for most of the roll out, until we took the infamous turn onto Hwy 77 and the 4 wheelers take off! Suddenly it becomes a smashfest and an important part of the race in terms of holding your spot. It's always a gongshow when we take the left turn down the ditch to Rosie's field. I made sure to be in the right gear however there is always some kind of mess. This year there was a slow motion crash that took a few riders down in front of me (I think Abby and maybe one other gal). I managed to stay up right but had to dismount and run my way up to Rosies with the rest of the folks around me. Not the best way to start the race, but not the worst either.
|Photo Credit: Kelly Randolph|
After that the beginning of the race is mostly a blur of tortuous punchy hill after punchy hill. Outside of the Fat Bike Birkie I can't think of many other races that start out so brutally. I'm always gasping for air and wondering "when in the heck is this going to flatten out?" I wasn't exactly sure what place I was in (maybe 8th through 10th?) but I knew i was in pretty good company right around Jen, Abby and Corey. I'd say things were going just okay until all the sudden I shifted up a climb and heard a "Snap!" At first I thought I broke my chain and then I heard that dreaded spoke noise. "Ah hell!" I thought not again. This time I actually had a spoke wrench on me even though I had no idea how to use it :) I set my bike down and felt around only to find that all the spokes were in tact!!! What on earth? Oh well...GAME ON! I was pleased to not have had my race ruined however slightly bummed about having to stop briefly - but like most races these small crashes or mechanical issues happen to a lot of people so I didn't let it bug me too much.
|Photo Credit: Kelly Randolph|
|Smiles + Vince was top 10 fat bikes!|
Now I've gotta hustle up and get my bike ready for Metal Cross....it's a beautiful day!! Psyched for some snot flying suffering and hoping these agony intervals I've been doing will pay off soon!
Meanwhile these photos pretty much sum up the awesomeness that was this past week. I'm feeling super grateful for 9 years!!! + I becoming an Aunt again + having amazing sponsors that I appreciate so very much! and yeah....you should get a fat bike, the end.
|45NRTH introduces the Wølfgar!|
|Hot Pink Onyx hubs?! You're so spoiled right meow.|