From Monday’s “Cool Down”
Couldn’t resist this ribbon of dirt today!

       Let’s start with the plus. My coach wants me to take a mental break from training this week. “Just ride, have fun, don’t worry about intervals, cadence, heart rate or power, just ride.” This is an unusual move on her part. My weeks are scripted down to which bike on which day with exact directions. I may have too many bikes, [no dear 13 is not really too many] but I do have 4 different bikes my coach chooses from each day. On any given day it could be my road, mountain, single speed mountain or cross bike but his week it’s up to me. And so far I’ve chosen the same bike, my CX bike. My Paru is just the bike that is the most fun to ride right now. Monday should have been a short cool down ride but I ended up putting in about 2.5 hours because I just didn’t want to turn around and head for home. Today I promised myself I wouldn’t go as long or hard but I couldn’t resist hitting a little extra dirt on the way home. It was on today’s ride that I realized that the Paru was not just an amazing CX race machine but it is also the bike I’m choosing to ride when I just want to have fun.

A muddy stair run up.
The end of the off camber straight.

      Enough of that let’s get to the race report. Sacramento CX number 6 was held at LangeTwins Winery. We have been racing there for several years now and it’s one of my favorite venues; not only is the course always fun but the people are great to work with and they hook the podium up with wine and the spectators with wine tasting. Yea! The weather report was for rain and more rain and it did rain most of Saturday night before the race; so I pack rain clothes to MC in and rain gear to race in. Out the door by 6 a.m. Well the weather gods tricked me again and it was a beautiful sunny day, just gorgeous. I didn’t have the right clothes and raced in a T-shirt from the team sponsor. My warm up went as well as any this season no flats, enough time and I’m ready. I made my call up and I’m sitting on the front row waiting on the starters whistle. I looked down and notice I’m in my biggest cog and it’s a flat, straight start. I make the quick decision to change to a smaller cog. Click, click, click and now I think I’m ready. Oops in my zeal for a fast start I’ve picked a gear that just bogs me way down and the Men’s C 55+ers just drop me right at the start. Damn it. I quickly get in a better gear and begin the chase from the back. The front of my wave starts to catch up with the earlier waves and I lose touch with where I am in my race. I do know I’m picking racers off but I know lots of them are 45+ers and even some 35+ers. How I’m doing against my guys is anybody’s guess. I do feel pretty good, and I am enjoying the course, even the off camber, wet section that is slowing folks down. Run it or walk it? I choose ride and that works for me as it is one of the spots I pick off people. Lap card says 3 then 2 then 1. I’m still chasing and catching a few guys but we are pretty spread out by now. I hit the finishing fly over hill as hard as I can. I know it felt good and no matter what the standings I had a good race but now it’s back to my MC duties. The Women’s race is under way and I need to get the Men’s C podium ready. And guess what? I’m on it! Sweet! Turns out I worked my way all the way back to 3rd place.

MCing (blowing the starter’s whistle) in my rain hat.

Another podium day and I’m stoked both with my day and with my Grammo Paru once again. I put in a full day of MC work then head to My Lady for food and hugs. Looking at the series results so far; it’s a best 6 of 8, and we are 6 races in, it looks as if 1st is out of reach but I have a solid lock on 2nd place overall. Considering how my CX season started I really can’t complain. I’d like to podium again, we’ll see how this mental break thing works out. Wish me luck!

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!

Race Report Plus

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