Sunday, November 08, 2009

Iceman and Chili

So once again, the Iceman cometh and wenteth. And I felt a lot of paineth.

Here's a recap...

I arrived Friday afternoon and found the Kenda tent completely swamped. I jumped in and helped Jim (marketing director and all-around good guy) sell merchandise for the rest of the day. It was fun and we sold A LOT of tires.

The pro men and women didn't start until 2:30 on Saturday. It was really nice being able to sleep in, but at the same time I was jealous of the people who were already done racing while I was warming up. We arrived at the start area pretty early. I was riding with a camera to get race footage for Masher's Media, and they had to set it up on my handlebars. They make the Iceman DVD, and I can't wait to see it!

My bike getting set-up...
And then it was time to line up. Our field was 40 deep and had a TON of great racers. It was pretty cool to see, and a true testament of what happens where there are equal payouts. We were supposed to start 30 seconds behind the pro men, but there was a big pile-up before they even got out of sight. It's never fun to see or hear that.

Finally we were off. The course was a bit longer this year, with at least a mile of road at the start and some added singletrack. We made it further then the pro men before anyone crashed, but at the first turn a girl went down and took a few others with her. I felt like half of my mind was in race mode, and the other half was in full "protect shoulder" mode. As a result, I hit the first bit of doubletrack in a HORRIBLE position, and the lead group broke off before I could even think about moving up.

Even though we were on mountain bikes, a lot of the race felt like a road race. It was windy out and I was in a group of about 20 women for a while. It was one giant pace line. Eventually it started to break up a bit. I stayed near the front which was smart because the few singletrack sections were pretty tight. Eventually our group whittled down to about 4, and it stayed that way until the end.

For a lot of the race I felt like I was almost riding along and spectating. Don't get me wrong, we were going fast, but my shoulder hurt enough that I couldn't get in a comfortable position. The course was also so bumpy that I also couldn't take my hands off of the handlebars to grab my water bottle. Ouch!!!

By the last mile we were down to 3 racers, and I was in a 29'er sandwich. Both of the women I was with stood up and started hammering and I just had to sit and spin my brains out. I can't wait until I can stand up again on my bike!

I ended up in 12th place. NOT a position that I normally would be happy with, but given the circumstances I am really happy that I was able to race. The nice thing about the Iceman is that there is always next year!

Here I am hanging out by the Kenda trailer. I noticed that I've developed a bad habit of holding the arm with my fractured shoulder...
The rest of the night was pretty mellow. Scott and I had a nice dinner with my team, stopped by the Bell's party, and then it was off to bed. We had a 6:00 a.m. wake-up call so that we could get back in time for the VCC chilly-chili ride.

Temps were in the 70's and lots of people showed up to ride....this was only half of the group
Most of the people were on road bikes, but there were some cross bikes too. Scott and I just grabbed our race bikes out of the truck and were good to go. I'm happiest on my mountain bike anyways...even on pavement.

After a good 46 miles of riding it was time for some serious eating, which I am a pro at doing...especially when it involves chili and cookies :-)

Mike announcing the winner....

Sadly it was not Scott. After a 3 year winning streak he finally got taken down. He may look like he's smiling in the picture below, but he cried like a baby all the way home :-)
I have next week completely off. Time for some serious rest and recovering! But just for the record, I can still be talked into fun coffee rides!


Scott said...

Yikes! who's that scary looking man on the left with the mustache? He looks like he just got out of Prison.

Trek Madone said...

Danielle it was fun riding with you and Scott on Sunday in the Chili ride, you really roll on a mountain bike with those Fat tires. Averaging almost 19mph for 46 miles(on a Mountain bike)is fantastic it was a lot of fun.