BVC-CHAT Super D State Champ!
Jean Marie Linhart
jeanmarie at brazoscyclists.org
Wed Sep 6 09:31:23 CDT 2006
Jackie and Chris asked for more details. Chris wanted some gore,
which I don't have, though if someone wants to volunteer to come over
and take a picture or three, I have some lovely bruises. Some are not
where I'd allow a picture to be taken, but my legs look like a war-zone
so I'm sure we can work something out. The worst of the injuries, to my
left shin up by the knee, does not look bad, but hurts like heck. I went
in and had it X-rayed yesterday, but the Doctor was not too worried about
it. It also has a puncture wound that is healing up nicely (without
stitches). They also gave me a tetanus shot!
Pictures of the venue, Camp Eagle, are available here:
I took these on a trip out there in July.
A video from the race (big file) is here:
Let me start out by saying, I'm not a racer. I'm slow. I'm usually
cautious (my adventures from this weekend may belie this statement).
I've got arthritis in my back of which to be careful. But I do like being
out on the trail; sometimes I really prefer being out by myself. I've
gotten enough confidence in the past 2 years to feel secure even
with faster racers passing me on the trail, which, it turns out,
is not much of an issue. Everyone I've had to deal with in a race
has been really nice about announcing their presence, their desire to
pass, and waiting for me to either say pass or find a spot to pull
off to let 'em by. Even the fast guys and gals from the next set of
racers that catch up with stragglers like me.
(I got scared by a fast guy early in my mountain biking career --
I was on a rooty downhill section at Huntsville State Park. I said "No
Passing", but he passed me anyhow, and I almost endoed. Scared me
badly. I really didn't have a lot of control at that time on that
type of terrain.)
The Super-D course was mostly downhill, but it wasn't technical downhill
like you see on TV. No big drops, nothing really scary if you are used
to mountain biking. We started down some steep, rocky but fairly straight
jeep roads. I probably could have laid off the brakes more and gone faster
down them, but I wasn't interested in a crash, so I rode conservatively.
We then had as sharp left into some single track. The single track,
unfortunately, was loose dirt on the low side, and so when
I went too far toward the outer part of the lane, my wheels slipped
out from beneath me. It was so loose, I had a hard time getting back up,
because my feet kept sliding out from under me. I then had 2 more minor
falls after that, because I was nervous. I had to pull myself together
to finish up. Most of the fast men were finishing in about
6 minutes. The winner of the women's open division finished in about
6:30, and I finished in about 11:30. I think if I had entered
into Women's open (instead of 19-39 amateur) I would have won prize
money for 3rd place. I was happy with the trophy and bragging rights for
the State Championship, though.
(You may have guessed by now that there were all of 3 women up at the top
for the Super-D start. The other two were in the Open category. I
got the State Champion's medal for Women age 19-39, and was happy
with that, though! There were a lot of men in all of the mens divisions
except for the 40+ pound bike category. The single entrant in that one
won some prize money!)
By the way, most people walked bikes up to the Super-D start. It was loose
and steep. The one woman I saw who rode up it was an expert/pro who won
the open division.
By the time I got to the XC start on Sunday morning, I'd done enough riding
and had enough minor falls to be really nervous about the fact that a
fraction of the trail is off camber and you usually have a nice drop-off
on your left side. For some reason, I'm always falling over to the left.
I'd inadvertently tired myself out too much the day before --
too many fun things to do, and while I did get up the initial difficult
hill pedalling, the day got worse from there. I had a few minor scrape
ups, and I was having a hard time clipping back in with a new pair of
shoes and cleats. I didn't mind being at the back of the group, but
when I finally took a hard fall on the down side of the trail,
sliding down the rocky slope, bending a brake lever good, and knocking
myself hard, well... it wasn't good. I had a hard time getting back up,
probably because my back was exhausted already. I was really hitting
hard on anxiety.
I got my bike rolling again, but the trail was really rough in that area.
I came to a rock pile I couldn't ride up and I got off... started having
trouble breathing. I realized immediately that I was having a panic attack.
My reaction was actually: Cool! I've never had one of these before. Wow!
You really do have a hard time breathing when you have a panic attack.
Gosh, I need to sit down and calm down for a few minutes. I was right by
a corner marshall, who took my bike and let me take his chair. Fed me 1/2
a banana. I was calmed down and riding again about 5 minutes later.
I finished up more-or-less okay, with one outburst when we got to the
kalichi pit (spelling?) with the BMX jumps. The ride in to the
pit has the trail curve around blindly -- it looks like you are going to
take a header into the pit. I yelled out "I HATE THIS PART". I think the
few spectators were affronted by the outburst, they shouted no
encouragement and treated me like a bomb about to go off. I was a
little explosive and really ready to be done.
I've got more bruises on my legs than I can count, 3 areas that
required ice on the drive home (let's hear it for frozen lima
beans at the Fredricksburg HEB!). About 8 spots that were bleeding
at one point or another (most minor), one that was pretty
deep on my shin. The brake lever on my mtb. is bent but useable, I
will replace it anyhow. The mtb. is at Aggieland Cycles. They are
busy and won't give it back to me until next Monday. Probably a good
thing, since that way I won't be able to leave it out for bulky trash
pickup in the meantime! ;)
Richard, Tyler, Jayme (Richard's friend), Thomas all provided great
support for me on and off throughout the weekend, and, Guys, thank you,
it was very appreciated. I really appreciated the help from Tyler.
The A&M Team put in a good show, especially Rachel Watters, who was on
a mountain bike (no suspension!) for the first time and who won every
event she entered, getting some good points for her team. The Weber
sisters were 1 and 2 in their event, and everyone was very supportive
of me and my efforts, which I appreciated.
I had a good time, though that XC ride got pretty hairy. I enjoy Camp
Eagle -- the trails are very very pretty though somewhat difficult
and technical, with quite a few off camber parts.
The Power Pedal, coming up Oct 7/8 has more beginner events. If anyone
(female especially) is interested, has a mountain bike, but is inexperienced,
you probably would do well to contact me or Gina. When I'm more healed
up in a few days, I'm game to take some new folks out on the trail and get
them oriented. The women's beginner races generally have about 5-7 people
per age group, and this decreases the older you get, though the Power Pedal
is popular enough that you are somewhat unlikely to be the only entrant in
a category. The men's races always have a lot of participants. The few
TMBRA races I've been to always have a raffle for some really good schwag
at the end, and most of the participants do walk away with something. I
was unfortunate to be one of the unlucky unwinners of schwag at the Camp
Eagle race. With all my wounds, I thought I deserved something!
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