Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kisscross-Window on the Waterfront Park

Sunday was the last Kisscross race of the year and I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I think everyone did. Heading into the race I was planning on switching things up and racing on my SS. I had no clue what sort of gearing to put on the bike. I figured there was a good chance that the course would be snowy or muddy so I went with a 32x16.

A few days before the race I saw a post that since there was snow on the ground they were adding a fat bike class. It only took a nanosecond for me to decide to race both my fat bike and SS. I mean come on, how often do I get to race my two favorite bikes in the same day?

I was picked up early Sunday morning by the GRBC event coordinator (and my favorite travel buddy)  Jill and we were on our way. Naturally we had to take a road trip selfie :-)
There was much more snow in Holland and the moment we pulled up I started second guessing my clothing choices. It always takes a few weeks of winter for me to get everything dialed in gear wise. Temps were in the 20's so I decided to stick with a long sleeve base layer, long sleeve fleece lined salsa jersey and GRBC vest with shorts, leg warmers and knickers on the bottom.

Look! Our bikes match the van! We planned that...of course :-)
Then our friend Jenny Scott rolled up and I knew that we were in for some serious heckling? How did I know that? Because I couldn't even see Jenny...she was hidden behind giant blown-up pictures of our faces!
It only took about a minute before another really fast female cross racer (I'm not going to name names....Mackenzie!) came up and rubbed her butt over my face. I felt violated for my giant blown-up face :-)

Needless to say I was laughing so hard I missed my chance to pre-ride the course. In fact, I never even warmed up. As you can imagine my lungs felt AWESOME the first lap or two...NOT!!! The cold air was a total shock and I alternated from moments of having so much fun on my Beargrease to moments of feeling like I was going to pass out!
photo: Jack Kunnen

This was my first time ever racing cross on my fat bike and I loved it. I finished in 3rd place, about 20 seconds behind the 2nd place guy. For a while I was reeling him in but he would always get ahead of me at the stairs. He could ride up them and I had to dismount and run. Mental note: practice riding up stairs!

I had so much fun racing on my fat bike that I was really tempted to race on it in the next race too. However I decided to stick with my SS since my mechanic Ted had just spent time tuning it up that week. I was so hot in the first race that I decided to lose a layer. As a result I lined up way in the back for the SS race, which made the first couple of laps slower. I realized that passing wasn't as easy as it was on my fat bike.
The hecklers were out in full force and I'm really glad that when I crashed I managed to do it in front of everyone :-)
This picture cracks me up because I'm not even looking at the course in front of me. I was too busy looking at my face in the left hand corner of the photo and laughing my butt off :-)
photo: Jack Kunnen

Usually in a cross race I'm always super relieved to see the finish line but not this time. I could have kept racing all day!!!! I ended up 6th in the SS class. Not the best finish but I had a really poor start, crashed...yadayadayada. Those are all just excuses. To tell you the truth my biggest excuse is that I was just freaking laughing too hard :-)

I mean it's not every day you have a hotdog cheering for you on the course while holding a giant picture of your face!
I'm so, so glad that I did most of the series and definitely plan on racing more cross next year.

After the race everyone kept asking me which bike I had more fun on. To tell you the truth I loved racing on both of them. The fat bike was WAY easier to handle and most of my laps were faster then my SS laps. However my fastest lap of the day was my very last lap on my SS. Overall I felt better on my SS but that's because I was finally warmed up after racing on my fat bike.

Now it's time to start ramping up for Thanksgiving! The Humane Society of West Michigan has a new program where some of their long term resident dogs can go stay with a volunteer over the holidays. Our doggie guest is coming over tomorrow and I am so excited about the program. I'm really, really lucky that I have such a nice husband because I was pretty sure he was going to say "no," after the way I acted with our first foster, Moxie. I will be the first to admit that I had a few crazy moments where I started acting like a ten year old who couldn't keep the puppy that she wanted :-)

Then on Thanksgiving I'm doing the same Thanksgiving Day race that I did last year. My coach has me running a little again  and even though I'm not a huge fan of running it's really good cross-training. Last year I was in much better running shape for the race....this year will be interesting. There is a good chance that I might be crawling (literally) by the time I make it to the finish line!

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