Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is it possible to bruise your sternum?

This weekend was FORC's first annual series of MTB races at Scott County Park, the Mean Fuzzy. Two days of racing with multiple categories and the good swag that FORC is known for made for a FANTASTIC first event.

Saturday was a "short track" race. This was my first attempt at short track and it was AWESOME. I'm not sure what else to say about it- I felt good and the course was great fun. I really need to work on my technical skills--I know I had the fitness to do much more than I did, even in a race that is generally less technical. My race (novice) was six laps and lasted around 28 minutes (balls to the wall!). The course was dry and fast, making for good clean fun.

Sunday was the cross country (XC) race. Two laps, 10 miles. Again, I was feeling really good about my fitness--but this was definitely more technical than the short track. I rode most of the race with Christie Klemish, until I decided it would be fun to wreck like a cartoon character.

Here's the scene: left handlebar hits tree, recover, right handlebar hits tree, barely recover, small root system finishes me off. Wobble, wobble, whoa! It was slow motion as I started to tip right, and all I could think was: "That is a lot of poison ivy." The next thing I know, I'm in the ditch (head lower than feet) and have somehow lost my right shoe. I took the end of my handlebars to the sternum (luckily no bar ends!) and had the wind knocked out of me. When the stars and tweeting birds cleared and my eyes focused, I was face-to-face with a three-leafed beauty.

Don't get me wrong- I love rolling around in poison ivy just as much as the next girl. But as I looked for my shoe (which I found still attached to my bike?) I just felt dirty.

I feel bad for the guy behind me- when he came around the corner all he would've seen sticking out of the ditch is two spinning wheels and perhaps a black-socked foot. Rock and roll.

My day was topped off by a good Zanfel scrubbing in the parking lot and a couple-hour jaunt to the ER with Matt Klemish (Christie's husband) to take care of his 3rd-degree ankle sprain (a nice, gnarly knot). Genesis East had Klem out lightning fast and we were back at the course sipping beers before the end of the expert race--which, by the way, was over 30 miles and took nearly three hours. This is why Bruce Grell is my hero. What a freak!

Side note: I seriously love that Zanfel. Seriously. If you do anything in the woods, ever, you must have this stuff. Do not cry to me about the cost, I am not listening. It is worth every penny.

Results: Sat- 1 of 3 Women's Novice, Sun- 3 of 6 Women's Novice, pain with deep breaths, slight bad-beer buzz. See you in the funny pages...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stayin' at The Bates

It’s true, and I can vouch: you get what you pay for… and I stayed at a $43 motel on Tuesday.

When I first pulled in to Nowhere, KS I stopped at a gas station to fill up and get anything I would need for the next day’s 5am start- cereal bar, juice, caffeine. The guy behind the counter had a very Jeffrey Dahmer-esque vibe. So when he asked me why I wouldn’t stop by in the morning, I minimized any information and got the hell out of there. But not before he got in a “What does your license plate say? I can tell you’re not from here… we don’t get many good-lookin’ women like you around here.” He followed this with one of the most horrifying laugh/grin combinations I have ever seen-- outside of a movie theater. Seriously. We’re talking cheap “Halloween Sound Effects” cassette. It was all I could do to stifle my Jamie Lee Curtis scream.

I should mention here that I had been in a van for nine hours after a two hour bike ride. My clothes were wrinkled and I was wearing pool shoes. My skin was in a civil war which resulted in three meteor-sized pimples around my left eye. (When I got home Sean asked, “What’s on your face?”) So no, I was not a “good looking woman” by any stretch of the imagination.

I escape the gas station unscathed but shaken and realize with horror that my motel was directly across the street. I knew that when I pulled my giant, white, beacon of a 3/4-ton van into the parking lot I would just announce myself to all the Jeff Dahmers of the area. It was 9pm. Awesome.

I get checked in and head to my room, key in hand. A key. Literally, a metal key--which in some situations, can be viewed as quaint. I was simply interested in security at this point, so the key was a bit disheartening, as was the lack of any other form of lock on the door. But this was nothing compared to the room.

In the right context, many of the things that I encountered could have been any variation of the word “quaint”. For example, the adorable stains on the throw pillows. Or the super-cute half-drank can of Squirt in the mini-fridge. Or the endearing loose toilet seat—I love to hover in my hotel! But I was not at a forgivable bed and breakfast out east. I was in the middle of Kansas surrounded by weirdos.

I decided that I would be better off sleeping (and I use this term loosely) in my clothes, skipping the filthy shower, and shoving the “desk chair” (a folding chair) under the door handle for security. Good times!