Yesterday in Surhuisterveen – I did all three: swimming, biking, and running… Perhaps I have triathlons in my future? Yes, I went to a ‘cross race and ended up swimming.
To be quite blunt about it – I fell in the river. One moment I was riding along on the nice firm green grass and the next moment I was in the river. Completely submerged. My bike made the trip into the river with me. It was so sudden. I must have hit a root or some mud and my bike just took off to the right. Right into the river.
I couldn’t believe it. The river was deep. I couldn’t touch bottom. It was also extremely cold (particularly since I was wearing my skinsuit (with lots of white on it) and only a sleeveless (white) undershirt). I dragged myself up the river bank. This was not easy – the bank was pure mud and thorns. Hauled my bike out.
I wasn’t far from the pit so I walked to the pit. No way I was going to get back on my bike and risk falling into the river again! What a sight I must have been. Marc knew something was up and was at the edge of the pit. Apparently all I said was “I fell in the river!”. Marc tried to give me his coat but I didn’t want to get it all wet and for him to get cold. (Later he told me he wanted me to take the coat because the white on my skinsuit and undershirt – were now see-through… Luckily I was wearing a black bra…)
I walked back to the car. I got a lot of stares and comments from spectators. Not only was I soaked but I was bleeding a lot. I scraped up both my legs quite badly on the thorns and whatever else what was in that darn river. Crazy Canadian – goes to a ‘cross race in Holland and falls in the river.
I don’t want to mislead you and make you think that the course was unsafe. It was completely safe. I made a poor decision. There were two options for the section where I crashed – ride in the greasy mud along a thorny bush or ride on the firmer green grass kind of closer to the edge of the river bank. I chose the green grass because I knew it would be faster – not once did I think there was potential for a swim!
After getting cleaned up and packing the super van, Marc and I chilled out in a nice little bakery and had some lunch. We watched a bit of the elite race and then started the trip home. We made our way to Amsterdam but didn’t stop – the timing wasn’t quite right.
Marc rode really well and finished 8th yesterday. If it hadn’t been for a pit debacle he would have been 5th…. I was supporting both Ed and Marc in the pit. No problem, I’m used to supporting two riders. Ed pitted – he had a problem with a cable. So I got his bike over to the super powerful power washer (yes, Rob, people were still losing stickers off their wheels…) and got his bike cleaned. This took a while since I had to let someone else do it. This was a double pit. Marc’s bike was on the wrong side of the pit. I see the leaders coming. I start to run. I see Marc. He looks like he is going to pit…. I run faster. But not fast enough. Marc is in the pit. Standing there. His bike is on the other side of the pit. (A few words were shouted. Much to the amusement of the others in the pit…) Marc got his bike and rode super well to finish 8th (but should have been 5th…). By the way – Marc beat the Belgian National Champ yesterday! So I’m happy to say that at least Marc had a good ride.
So that was the trip to Holland. Not what I expected. I kind of wrote a race report…
Um – that sounds COLD! Glad you are ok. Next time you go for a swim, try to make it intentional, and not Steve Tilford-like ;). If you had done that here right now you would have ended up in hospital – we’re in an Arctic freeze with the high temps in single digits (F).
Congrats to Marc on a good race.