Wednesday, August 21, 2013

SSUSA...part one!

We managed to pack so much fun into our SSUSA weekend I almost don't know where to begin. It already seems like a dream! All I know is that Minneapolis is one of my favorite cities to visit, and once again the Minnesota race scene did not disappoint!

My friend Jill (from the Ada Bike Shop) and I left early Thursday morning. I had only been home for three days since Ore to Shore and I will be the first to admit that I was NOT organized or prepared in the least for this trip. Scott stayed home with the dogs and I'm pretty sure I heard him mutter "hurricane Danielle" more then once as I was frantically unpacking and packing. Luckily I have it down and didn't forget anything.
We spent the majority of the trip discussing bikes and the upcoming race. I didn't do much research about the terrain, but I did know that it was going to be hilly and hard. Twin Six Brent told me to run a 32x20. Jill ran a 32x21 since she tore her ACL last winter in roller derby and only recently got "full clearance" to do full impact sports. Like riding a singlespeed over rocks and roots and roller derby. Finally we arrived around dinner time!

That's me...right there!!!
Brent had a few other friends (who were also racing) staying at his house for the night, we ate pizza and stayed up way too late. The next morning we woke up early, consumed coffee and then headed over to Lebanon Hills, a local trail that is really great.
We had a huge METAL group, all on single speeds! It was really cool to see.
As we were getting ready to ride we ran into some more friends...from my favorite bike company in the world! Minneapolis kind of feels like my home away from home!

The head boss man of Salsa...
I was drooling over both of his bikes...
Our friend Eric (E-fred) stayed with us to do another lap and we all started riding. Lebanon is a terrific trail. Hard packed but with some rocky sections and berms to keep things challenging. You can tell that it's very well taken care of.
I took this picture of E-fred riding through the trees and had to look twice at it. I don't want to alarm anyone but I think E-fred might be a ghost :-)
Early into our lap Jill took a wrong turn so E-fred and I went back to go find her. No Jill anywhere. We decided that she must have continued on some other trail. Every once in a while E-fred would shout Jill's name and at one point I decided to join in. The scream that came out of my mouth was about 100 octaves higher then my normal voice and LOUD! It was such a dramatic scream that one would think that I had just spotted Jill hanging from a ledge or something. Haha. I think I scared the crap out of E-fred.

I had a lot of fun following E-fred around. He showed me the good lines to take and I got some good rock practice in...
After our ride Jill and I headed over to QBP, also known as bike heaven!
Dork alert! PS. Not sure what I was looking at in this picture!
This was my second time touring QBP and I was just as in awe as I was the first time. We saw most of the 2014 Salsa bikes and they all are incredible. I think I'm in trouble! There are at least 4 that I absolutely need for racing next year. I could have stayed there all day but eventually we left, had dinner and then started to get our gear ready for the race. We had to be up at 5 a.m. to drive up to Winona the next day and by 9 p.m. I was getting a little stressed about going to bed. I hate early mornings.

At this point Brent mentioned that he had to go back to Twin Six headquarters and any thoughts of going to bed early went out the window. I grabbed my purse and was out the door before he could finish his sentence! New T6 t-shirts triumph sleep any day of the week!!!

There were too many cool t-shirts to choose from but I did a pretty good job of restraining myself. And I remembered Scott!!!
Finally it was time to get ready for bed. It was 10:30 p.m. and I was completely exhausted. Bikes and gear were all ready to go and Jill had picked out which booty shorts to race in....we were as ready as we could be!
To be continued...

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