By Rachel Harris
I drove to Fruita the day before, and pre-road with the team. I was not feeling too good, so I was nervous going into the next day that I would feel the same, and my body would not hold up for me. That night I got a good night’s rest, but has to wake up early for the 8:30 start. I had a breakfast of Greek yogurt, and a slice of toast. I felt awake and ready to race until I walked outside and it was misting. It wasn’t bad at first but the rain got worse and worse, and during my race, it was actually raining. I had a good warm up, and my legs felt good even though they were hurting the day before.
The race began, and it was going really well. I led out, and an older lady helped me up the road and to the single track. I dropped back to 7 out of the Cat 2 woman because I dropped my chain, and got caught up because shifting up did not work to fix it. I gained back the ground, and I remember thinking, “Oh the mud is actually better on the single track”, but then the real mud began. The mountain bike race became trying to walk up a hill, but sliding back down because your bike and shoes are covered in 50 pounds of mud.
The mud just kept going. There was point when no one was trying to race we were just cheering each other on, and helping each other though the mess. There was one point on a hill when I could’t seem to move. I would take one step, and slide back. Take another one, and slide off the edge of the hill. Before the race, everybody was worried about how much his or her bike weighed, well that did not matter. It was actually cool to see how the mud evened out the playing field. I was hiking with a guy that would normally beat me in an everyday race. Once you got to the single track you had to keep your speed up because you did not want the mud sticking, and also you had to keep your momentum up to keep your bike rolling through it.
Over all, when I look back at the race, and it was actually pretty fun. You do not get mud that often in a bike race, and typically you’re not allowed to ride on muddy trails because it ruins them. Also I ruined a pair of bike shorts because my chain kept catching when I would set my bike down. Next time the chain side is not going to be against my back when I carry the bike!
And to Jacob and Johanne… I DID IT!!! Goal was accomplished if you know what I mean.