Fontana, part two. My March race in Riverside County was so traumatic, I never wrote it up. A wild success for the promoters, and mountain bike racing in general, the teeming hordes on that course made for a long day. You can get a feel for it in this video: http://tinyurl.com/fontanahighlights
Those are the pros, bless 'em. My Cat 1, formerly known as "expert", race wasn't quite as crowded, but the traffic still stalled and trail rage reared its ugly tread. I would pull over to let people pass, and after fifteen bikes went by, I still couldn't merge back in. And when I did, I got yelled at. There is nothing less pleasant than a former semi-pro racer, forced to race down because USA Cycling reshuffled the categories, bumping your back tire and worrying about his fading sponsorhip chances.
I managed to get past someone, politely I hope, and he caught up with me when I stopped to replace my dropped chain. "Not going so fast now, are you?"
But I digress.
Saturday's XC race was the finale of the Southridge series, i.e. not part of the UCI or State points chase. And most people are racing cyclocross at this time of year, anyway.
Still, six singlespeeders lined up, me representing all the women out there who secretly want to race one-y.
Recently, while trying to convince someone of the joys of racing, someone commented on the bruises on my legs as evidence for a more sedate sport.
Ooooh, yeah, those aren't bruises. Try varicose veins, gifts bestowed by mutliple pregnancies and a genetic collagen defect.
Suitably embarrassed, for this race, I donned knee high socks, with a pink stripe. Which generated yet more commentary.
Someday, I want to be famous for actual ability. Sigh.
Ready, set go, up the pavement, down the dirt, repeat twice. Short, hard, fun laps. Most of the guys wisely installed a 22 tooth rear gear but, not having preridden, I still had my 19. So I hiked. A lot. But I refuse to pay money to feel sorry for myself, so enjoyed fishtailing down the powdery descents on my 29 inch tires, and celebrating any sections I could actually pedal. I didn't pass anyone, this time, but at least didn't get yelled at.
I think this race report could really be condensed to eight and half words: Beautiful day. Great course. Wrong gear. Had a blast.
No tragedies, crashes, blood or tears. How boring is that?
After five years, I am about due to ditch the drama.
So, if you ever run across (or even over) someone on a blue singlespeed wearing funny socks, you know she's having a good time.