MASS#1 Bike Line Hosts Fair Hill

As we gather at the start line I’m a ball of nerves and excitement! Seeing familiar faces (Yeah, Kim!! Wendy and Sarah!!) made me feel a pinch more at home in the elite crowd than I had expected.  I’m so excited.. AHHH!!!  They call us up and the count down begins.. 1min.. 30 seconds.. 15 seconds.. my heart rate hits 130 standing there!!  The start was a little friendlier than most mtb races.  A slight incline up a gravel road before we cross over a bridge and bomb down a huge hill.  A creek crossing deeper than expected waiting at the bottom.  Fast, fast speeds come to a screeching halt in the deep water, we pedal through and climb out the other side soggy.  The only part of the course I pre-rode is now behind me.  We narrow into single track and I try to maintain.  I keep hitting my brakes too hard in the tight turns. The tag team of my first race on the 69er and unfamiliar trails makes it a little more challenging at first.  I have no idea where I’m at in the line up, but refuse to look around and let it play with me mentally.  I catch a glimpse of Kim climbing up ahead of me through a switch back.  I try to hollar out a “GO KIM!” but a lack of breath and energy doesnt take it very far.  I’m so proud to see her trucking strong!!  I was very happy to have the company of multiple riders through my first two laps.  Enjoyed trying to chase down “the girl in pink” (I later met Tracy officially) for most of it and then passed her starting into our 3rd lap.  We exchanged a few words (Glad to have your company! Me too! This is fun! And hurts! No doubt!).  Thought we’d finish the race together, but I later look back and see that I’m by myself.  I reach back for another Gu and its not there!  Had a moment of panic (Did I drop it?  Crap, I need it! Maybe I dont! I dont know!) I get over it and kept trucking as best I could.  Stood up more than the previous laps trying to maintain my pace better.  Felt a bit reserved before my final lap uncertain how my body would feel late in the race, so once I knew I was okay I “tried” to see if I could pick it up a notch and chase anyone down.  Easier said than done!  Road almost the entire lap solo without any competition in sight.  I finally start taking turns efficiently, slow down, no jerk braking, and glide through them… finally!!  My last road crossing and some awesome woman is hanging out there solo cheering us (me!) on.. “only 1.5 miles to go!”  I’m thinking.. “sweet!” and then thinking  “this has GOT to be the longest 1.5 miles of my life!”   I started making a few minor mistakes.. my body letting me know its tuckered.  I scale back a bit to hopefully not biff it completely on something stupid.  I approach one of the last logs.. not even worthy of “log” title, more like “branch on ground” and I have to pedal around it!  I’m cooked.. but still moving strong on the flat rolling stuff. I wind through a few tight bends and realize I’m approaching the finish.  I see Travis standing up ahead with camera aimed.  I try to smile but not sure what my face did.  He snaps a shot and shouts, “go, go, gooo!” and I excitedly (same pace though cuz I’m spent!) ride out of the trails, inside the fencing and cross the finish line totally pumped!  My first Elite MASS race, thrilled to survive it and love it at the same time, finished 14 outta 15 (19/22 include the 40+ women), so I wasnt last either!  I couldnt have asked for a better time! 

Great turn out, great friends, great vibe, chilly, but still great weather!!  It was soo worth the trip (11 hours total) as always!!! Michelle 🙂



One response to this post.

  1. Way to go! Do you realize we were riding among the best women in our series?! What an honor, ya know? There’s no one I’d rather get beaten by!
    As always, it was so great to line up & race together…and I did hear you shouting my name, gave me a huge boost of confidence.
    Hope to see you out there again soon (woo-hoo Granogue for sure)!
    Well done, you Elite Racer…


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