Monday, August 11, 2014

National Championships

I've been on the  Stan's No Tubes Women's Elite Team for the past three years now.  It's a really cool team because all the women are dedicated to personal bests in their racing, but also give back to the bigger community of cycling.  It's also great to have the backing of our main sponsor Stan's No Tubes and get to ride sweet wheels like the carbon Valors.

I also learn so many tips and tricks hanging out with Richie O'Neil and Mike Bush.  I learned that many people burp their tubeless tires because they don't have the right rimstrips in there.  So if you don't have a Stan's wheel set, put Stan's rim tape in there, which helps build up the rim to make a better seal.

  I don't race as much as the other girls, so I don't get to see my teammates much.  Nor do I get to see our sponsors at the races much. So, I knew that I had to go to Nationals in Pennsylvania to support the other girls and see my Stan's family.  Feeling like a tweener knowing that I had no fitness to race in the Pro Women's XC or Short Track, but couldn't really downgrade to an age grouper.  There was only one event for me to do...The Super D. Vicki Barclay was kinda in the same position.  She couldn't race the pro class because she is Scottish, so she raced the single speed class and won!

I personally love Super D and think that USAC is crazy to drop it.  It is really the quintessential event for anybody.  Unlike Enduro, which they will adopt next year, Super D can be done by anybody, on any bike , with any level of fitness.  Enduro really does require a bike with more travel and you need to have the fitness and skill to survive the longer, more technical stages.

The course was fun and short.  The East Coast really does have such great technical terrain, I wish the pros got to race the goods like that more often.  I honestly think they want to, but a lot of the bigger races are out West.  And riders have very little say in the direction of the sport. And the "Heckle Pit" is only on the East Coast.

Anyway, I hadn't the fitness to win the race.  That is the bottom line.  The short pedal sections made my legs burn and I knew that I wasn't sprinting up them like a winner, more like a chubby slug.  I did have a mostly smooth run in the rocks.  It was fun and my Trigger again proved its versatility.

Georgia Gould, skinny in her skinsuit, won by five seconds over me. I was pretty happy to not have embarrassed myself.

I'm a  big fan of both Georgia and Lea Davison.  I watched them both race at the London Olympics and I knew that they would be in a class of their own at Nationals.  They both work so hard and have great personalities.  I had goosebumps as I watched them at different spots on the course.  They were both riding the rocks fast.  I knew it would come down to some attacks on the steepest grassy switchbacks on the last laps.  It was special to be able to see both Georgia's mom and Lea's dad on the same switchbacks (in different spots, though) cheering for their girls.

I was very inspired by my seeing my teammates Nina Baum and Sarah Kauffman, too give it their all in the pro class.  They have the courage to race and train and put it all on the line while holding down full time jobs and being very active in their communities. Hopefully Sarah will have a speedy recovery from her collarbone injury!