One of the perks about living in Fort Collins is the breweries! And, there is a local non-profit organization called Ciclismo Youth Foundation that puts on a series of races in the spring (mountain bike short track) and fall (cyclocross) at New Belgium. Their mission is to create, advocate and promote youth cycling opportunities in the community–and they do just that. They host really awesome grassroots races in the grounds around New Belgium and have races for everyone–youth, beginners, expert mountain bikers, everything–and it’s one of my favorite things about living in Fort Collins. Races are $10 and I can ride to the start line (it’s less than 2 miles away from my house, by bike trail!) and they are FUN.
Tonight’s race was no exception…the field was bigger than last year, my teammate Suzie won (and kicked everyone else’s @$$ along the way) and I had a great time! The course was harder this year than last year, with a “rock garden” that was terrifying to ride over, and a few very steep pitches (some I sadly had to get off my bike and run up, cyclocross-style) and one super-steep descent followed by a sharp left turn that I was sure I was going to eat it on.
Luckily for me, though, no crashes on the actual technical parts of the race, I instead chose to crash on the least technical portion of the whole race–go figure. After the 2nd lap, we came through the straightaway and I figured that would be a GREAT opportunity to pass this one girl who I was following behind, for quite some time. I put my head down, got into a big gear, and laid down the hammer, and I passed her!
Until I realized that my amount of gravel straightaway was much shorter than I had originally thought, and the speed that I was going was in no way conducive to the sharp left turn I had to make. Like an idiot, then, just after passing her, I tried really hard to make that sharp left turn back onto the trail and ended up completely sliding out in what Greg likes to call “yard sale” fashion. If you can imagine a yard sale being a giant mess everywhere on someone’s lawn, that’s kind of what I looked like. Aside from feeling like a complete fool, nothing was hurt (not even my brand new Fort Follies kit, phew!) so I quickly got up and kept going. The girl had passed me while I was in yard sale fashion, but I passed her quickly afterwards; this time, a little more carefully. 🙂
Here are our awesome Fort Follies, post-race (L-R: Monica, me, Suzie, Sam, Ashley, and Presley); and yep–it was Suzie in the cutoff flannel that laid down the hurt today. 😀
After our race, we stayed to cheer on other friends of ours that raced, including Drew from the CSU Cycling team, who rocks! On one of his laps, though, as he was on a climb, his chain completely broke and he had to hop out of the race. I jokingly asked him if he wanted to borrow my bike…he asked what pedals I rode and when we realized that we both had the same pedals, he said “sure!” and I gave him my bike to ride. Nevermind that we have about 8 inches of height difference between us and we couldn’t quickly adjust the seat height.
Needless to say, he was the highlight of the race on my teeny-tiny bike and channeled a little bit of the “circus performer on tiny tricycle” look–but he finished in style–and that’s all that matters. 🙂