This weekend was the of the upmost fun and hard work (my lungs are still hurting!)
Saturday was the MASS team relays hosted by Mike Kuhn. This is an event I always try and attend because I get to see race friends I haven't seen all winter and it is an intense speed workout. The weather had been rubbish all week, but to our delight Saturday actually turned into a lovely day down at Marysville.
I think this year was the best yet. The course was tight and twisty but with some open sections you could really power out on. More importantly, there were a great bunch of people there. A couple of our friends raced tandem (Go Shay and Clayton!), some people rocked it out for their first mountain bike race (yay Tracey B!), and the guys from doucheblog cycling were there racing and handing out beer and hotdogs.
I raced with Billy (http://www.bikeflights.com), Rich and Manny, all of us on our singlespeeds. I lightened up my pig of a singlespeed with one of my new Stans race wheels (heaven!). We made Rich do the Le Mans start (he loves those). Unfortunately, it was A LOT longer than he thought. It was very funny watching Rich and Clayton battling it out on the run
Rich exhibiting major pain and only starting out on the bike! Focus....
Although the race was just for fun, I was really pleased with my lap times (fastest female I think, but really it's irrelevant for this race). I always seem to do well at these really short events (and on the heaviest bike I own!) and then again in the ultras, but when it comes to xc racing I have a mental block. It's too long to go hard all the time, but sometimes I feel I hold back too much. We'll see next week when I hopefully race Fair Hill with the xc ladies!
The single track was good in spots....a heck of a lot better than last week!
Somehow we managed to get 2nd place. I felt bad as I am sure there were teams with bigger handicaps than ours (like our friends on the tandem?!), but we got points for me being a chick and billy for being a senior! Prizes were some cool Cannondale pumps, tools and money (thanks Kuhn!).
Sunday I headed out with Rich and a few of the other guys for a longish, hard, hilly road ride. When I start out with those guys and the pace is blistering I often wonder whether I will make it, but somehow I do. I often repeat in my head, remember who you are riding with, it's ok not to hang on the climbs (girls, I have gathered are better at this!). I didn't bring any solid food (just my super liquid nutrition) but with a few miles to go, a rumbling tummy and a climb, Rich for once convinced me to go for the nutrageous instead of the snickers bar at the snappys. I have to say, it did the job nicely.