Monday, April 2, 2007

NMBS #1 XC - "It's All About Sunday Sunday Sunday"

That is what the announcers kept saying all weekend long about the first NMBS (National Mountain Bike Series) Cross Country race of the season. Too bad I was crashed into after only 10-15 minutes from the race start. I had a rippen' start and was hanging on for dear life in the Top 10 when someone tried to pass me and took me down hard. Ever come to a sliding stop only because of your own skin gripping the dirt, pebbles and cacti on the ground? Oh ya....that felt really good. I went over the bars and landed on my right ride tearing it up good.

After shaking the dust off and getting onto my feet I discovered that the bikes were interlocked in every which way. A big hunk of expensive metal right there. A tug here and a pull there and I was on my way to get back into the race.....of course this is after what seemed like half of the field had passed.

Unfortunately, after I got on my bike I found that my bar stem had been forced 45 degrees to the left from the impact of the crash. Could I fix it manually? I tried. Did I have a tool? I was the tool for not having a tool. Big bummer. So I rode sideways for a lap which was pretty sweet when trying to navigate up and over things and back down rock gardens. Oh ya. I got to the technical zone which was 25 long minutes away and the announcer saw that I was in about 40th place and said over the loud speaker "I wonder if the effort from last nights race got to Kathy" and I am just sitting there thinking "uh..........or...maybe.....just could be the small fact that I AM RIDING SIDEWAYS RIGHT NOW!!" Whatever. That comment was slightly amusing to me which I needed at that moment.

Once I got the stem straightened out I got back into the game for the 2nd of 3 laps. That is when my left hand started to go numb and get puffy because of the mere fact that I had poisonous cactus quills in it. I looked like I was getting acupuncture all over that hand or something. But I put that all in the back of my head because everything was working to include me and the bike and I just thought, ok, this is my chance to make my way back up the field. So I just went crazy trying to gain as many spots as possible because its not over until its over!!

Little did I know that it was just about to be almost over again when on the 3rd lap a bolt in my brake loosened up and dropped out. Oh man, what else was going to happen? Never mind I don't want to know. So lap 3 was a lap with no rear brake. Sweet. Oh well. I kept punching it on the flats and then really needed to be careful on the down grab for a back brake lever that is just limp can be a big issue and I was choosing to have a "rest of the season" by taking it easier on the dh's and reminding myself as if it were a chant....No rear brake. No rear brake.

After it was all said and done, I fought back through the field and ended up 17th. What can you say? That is racing for you and I at least come away from the weekend knowing my fitness is there.

The one thing about a race ending is that the pain stops once you cross that finish line but that was not the case for me. It was just the start of the pain from the crash because now I could feel it. The guys at Titus were nice enough to pluck out every last cactus quill in my hand and even broke out tweezers to really finish the job. Thanks again guys. My left hand was puffy and lumpy and there was plenty of soft tissue damage to go around on that hand but nothing was broken although I had some doubts. This was also the time for what I call "the pebble check" where you start lifting up your uniform where the blood stains are to see just what you have going on there...... but I just had surface wounds if you can believe it. Several hema-tomatoes popped up over the next few hours in places that just make you wonder what exactly your crash looked like for Pete's sake plus I had discovered cuts in the back of my mouth. Geez, just how did I land in that crash? Weird. Overall I was a lucky ducky and cannot wait to do it again next weekend. Well....not the crash part.


Adam Lisonbee said...

Looks like you are gonna be flying this year!

reliza said...

You amaze me Kathy! Have a great trip...keep posting! I'll miss you here.