So I did it, I race my mountain bike and I did it well! I ended up 13th out of 33 in my age group and 112th out of 224 overall on my 24 mile loop and it took me 1:51 hours. It was absolutely awesome and I am very happy with this result.
The event was amazing, I was nervous as hell and thought I’d make a fool of myself, but I didn’t. I fell 3 times, though falling is too strong a word, two of those were in the sand. I did so awesome, peddling like crazy and doing good…and then the chick in front of me fell and like a domino, so did I. I just couldn’t swerve around her. That happened twice. The third time was embarrassing – after the race I rode to the car and packed my snacks and some clothes into a bag and hung that over my shoulder. I am going through the grass when I heard someone holler “Hey Susanne, how did it go?” – my two nephews had spotted me. I took my hand off the handle bar to wave at them, yelled “Great!” and then fell over like a wet sack, LOL. OK, it was hilarious and people around were chuckling. I rode by the next guy and said “You didn’t see that, right?” and he replied “Oh, it wasn’t half as funny as the guy who fell over there” while pointing to a huge mud puddle.
Other memorable things:
- coming in strong:the route starts on pavement, then loops into the woods and finishes up on 6 miles of pavement. I was rolling down a hill and started thinking “Ah, just rolling, just sitting and rolling” and then I realized that this is stupid, and I can rest my legs when I am AFTER the finish line so I kicked it up and actually managed to get my heart rate back up into the 90% range for the last 20 minutes
- water bottles all over the place: seems like people were launching their bottles all over the place when going downhill fast through gravel
- losing to Judy: I had a little bet going with Judy from my bike club who is 62. She was convinced I’d win but I was convinced she would. Her argument was that I was 20 years younger and my argument was that she was 40 pounds lighter and had been riding for 40 years. She won, I had to pay up $5
- my butt crack: according to my husband, my spirited discussion about the club bike shorts with Judy, where we argued whether you can see butt crack or not turned a lot of heads
- best bike club ever: the support I got from my fellow club members, helping with my bike, adjusting cable routing and tire pressure, encouraging words and high fives when I made it through the finish line
- other cyclists cheering me on: I was in the shorter loop – 24 miles, other options were 36 and 62 – and in the end the loops came together again. While riding the last part, I kept hearing guys saying “Your doing great” and “Awesome job” and I knew I did and it wasn’t just some empty words. I also passed Cal, a fellow dude from the Wheelmen who cheered “You are doing awesome, kiddo!” which made me very proud. And he is 67, he can call me kiddo any day
- seeing people I want to be like: see above, Judy (62), Cal (67), John (64), Gary (59), Alison (66) who are just an inspiration and giving me hope to have an active and exciting life when approaching my 60s
- looking cool in pictures: I think that’s what all of us are experiencing these days. There are a lot of pictures of me, unbeknownst and in action, and I don’t feel like I have to throw up. Before, any picture that I didn’t really pose for made me cringe, and yes – disgusted me. Double to triple chin, fat roles everywhere. It is such an amazing feeling to have people take pictures and be comfortable with it
The race was sponsored by the local brewery, so we had a few beer afterwards and talked shop with everyone before we headed back home. And now for the aforementioned pictures: