Monday, October 8, 2007

Downeast 'Cross

This was our second year racing at Pineland Farm, and the weather was stellar again - sunny and temps in the lower 60s. The course changed some from last year, taking out the barriers right before/after the off-camber dippity-doo (that's the technical term), removing the mud pit and huge log barrier, and the rooty woods section, but adding another off-camber climb, and a steep run-up full of baby-heads. I think I liked the course a little better last year - lots more climbing this year, and not a lot of chance to rest.

We managed to get to the venue fairly early, just as the B women were finishing up their race. That let us watch the B Masters before Mike set off in the A Masters race (where he finished in the money at 7th, with teammate Wayne right behind in 8th). Got a lot of good photos of friends in both of those races (more pics are posted here)

After the handlebar debacle in Biddeford, I took a spin on the course and realized just how sore I really was. Also found another good-sized hematoma on my leg ;-). After pre-riding, I resorted to warming up on the trainer so as not to get into any more trouble.

With all of the big-name New England Women off racing in Long Island for the weekend, our starting field was small - 7. Even smaller than yesterday, when we were 12. At go, I almost got taken out by Kate (West Hill) in the first pavement corner - she came across the road and completely cut my line, forcing me to brake pretty hard to avoid hitting the curb/deck. I hauled down the pavement after that, but was already chasing when we hit the off-camber dippity-doo. I slowed too much here to get a good, rideable line, and then was forced to chase hard into the next off-camber climb, where I hit a pedal, and was forced to dismount. I got passed by Heidi (aka Wonder Woman) at that point, and realized that I was suddenly in LAST PLACE. I beat Heidi only once last year, so really wanted to get back by her. I did, and then saw her only one other time in the race.

So, essentially, I rode 6 laps on my own, with 5th place often in site, but out of range. I had to bargain with myself through the last half of the race - only 2 more times up that run-up, now only one more time... On my second to last lap, as I was coming off of the run-up section, I saw the leader going into there, and determined that I WOULD NOT GET LAPPED with only one more to go. Dug deep, and kept the hammer down to go out and finish my last lap.

The promoters of this race are to be HIGHLY commended. Everything was well orchestrated and on time for the whole day. In addition, they PAID OUT the entire women's field! Yup - I got paid for finishing next to last. This is not something seen in most of the women's races (Casco Bay shortened the payout from 8 to 5 when only 12 women lined up), so a great surprise, and a huge thanks to them for doing so!

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