Slip and Slide

It was wet. It was slippery. It was a good day to be a cyclo-cross racer in Williston, Vermont. I told everyone it wouldn’t rain today. Well, I was wrong. It rained. I think it rained all night and for a good part of the morning. But it was a warm rain… And besides I’m not made of sugar, so I won’t melt.

We had a great evening at our host’s house on Saturday. Much relaxing, story telling, ice cream eating, and general frivolity was had. I think everyone was a bit tired from the day of racing, bike race watching, hiking and barn sales. But this is what the weekend is for – to squeeze as much in and out as possible. Thanks again to our awesome hosts (Jen and Shane) for taking us in for the weekend and letting us take over their basement, fridge, living room and generally their house. It really was a treat to return to a house rather than a hotel room for the night. Thanks to Skip for helping us out and extending his family’s hospitality to us. Hopefully one day we can do the same.

So we woke up to rain. Oh well. Luckily we had packed our super MEC rain pants and had plenty of layers, gloves, hats, and shoes to get us through. Marc and I hit the race course pretty early to get in some laps since today we were racing on a new course. Glad we did this as there were some key sections that it helped to be aware of for the race. The pump track was back in today as were some more longer rather punishing climbs. All in all, another excellent course set-up by the organizers. Nice to race two back-to-back days at the same venue and have to different race courses.

Kicked off the day with Marc and Steve’s race. This was a blast. Lots of friendly faces in the pit to catch up with. A little bit of pit action for me with two bike changes for Marc. Marc had a couple of crashes today that messed up a very strong ride. He recovered well from the crashes and did an impressive job of putting himself in the hurt locker to ride to a strong finish. Steve had a strong ride as well finishing in the front of the race. Great ride guys! Always inspiring to watch you guys race and hear you talk about the race afterwards. Congrats to Mike and Kathy R. for their fine rides this weekend as well. (Thanks as well for the cheering!)

I chilled out after Marc’s race and pedaled in place on the trainer. Decided that with the rain I didn’t want to go out and get damp and cold again. Luckily with the New England Verge Races, there is a designated elite warm-up period so we have plenty of time to get on the course before we race. I did two laps before my race and arrived at the staging area with just a few minutes to spare. This worked out well – the course was fresh in my mind, my body was still warm, and my brain was not getting distracted with the nervous chatter. So my race was in the end a good one. The result on paper is not what I wanted. But I rallied well from two crashes and a flat tire all in the first lap of the race. I mentioned this in my race report but it needs to be reiterated here: many many thanks to Marc, Keirnan, Shane and Skip today. These guys literally saved my race today – from noticing the ripped tire on my race bike, to loaning me a wheel (thanks Keirnan!), to getting me my race bikes, running to the pit to let Marc know I would be pitting, to helping Marc out in the pit, and for just generally being out there in the rain and damp cheering for me and continually encouraging me. Thanks so much!

We took off from the race pretty quick as we wanted to make some stops at our favorite Burlington shops. We did some browsing around EMS, Barnes and Noble, and Small Dog Electronics and then hit up Moe’s for some tacos and Sbucks for a chai tea and we then we were off. Took our new favorite route home that includes a smooth ferry ride and slid into our drive way just before 10:00. Not bad. One load of laundry is done. Second load is in the washer. Dishwasher is churning away. Bags are all unpacked. Bikes are wiped down. Murphy is sitting here happy that we’re back. And now I’m going to go to bed. Another great weekend of racing, friends, and traveling. I always say that one of the best things about cyclo-cross for me is the community and this weekend I really felt it. People were super supportive of one another – helping out with problems, cheering, showing each other good race lines, and just generally being friendly. Good times were had.

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