6 Hours of Power Report

07.19.09 6HOP PlateI was disappointed I had to pick from three cool races this past Sunday.  The closest WV race offered, Dark Hollow @ Michaux and the 6HOP.  Why, why, why cant our race directors work this out better!?  (boo hoo hooo) I thought this would be my first year to complete all three Michaux races, but when I weighed my pros and cons the 6HOP won this battle, so I hitched a ride North with my buds, Matt and Dana Tinkey for the weekend festivities.  We headed up Saturday, got some pre-riding in with friends and first time 6HOPr’s Ryanne and Shannon (Team: Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner &  in photo below) and had plenty of time to hit up The Barn for dinner and the E.B.C. for a beverage or several. (they make a beer called the “pantius droppus”.. ahhh hahahahaa!)

 07.18.09 Ryanne & Shannon Pre-ride

Sunday. We all lined up for the dreaded lemans start.  Oh you pain in my ass, I cycle for a reason, please dont make me do it, I think I rather cage fight, crap way to force me to run!!  In honor of Nancy Reagan.. JUST SAY NO.. to cycling shoes and running starts!  The lap was somewhere around 10 miles.  Nice big climb to start.  Lots and lots of roots and fast single track.  Two new sections this year.  I liked the first one cuz it kept us out of an area thats usually always sloppy, but the last change seemed to cut out some technical rocks that I remember from years past.  Oh well.  We then bombed back down the mountain and zig zagged our way back to the start/finish line.  I almost ate it hard two times on that downhill.  Just managed to stop in time to not completely splatter myself on the trail.  It was just such a sweet spot to rail down the mountain I couldnt resist.  As long as you dodge the ginormous mud bog at one section and keep out of the rutt along the right side.  At least those low branches slowed my face down and the rest of me followed suit.

I stopped at registration before the start to see how many girls were racing solo and they could not tell me (still entering in riders information).  So as we lined up to “run” I had no clue who my competition was for the day. Oh well.  I’ll know soon enough I suppose.  I scurry around the little orange cones and make it to my full suspension 69er.  The first two laps went well and the time went by very fast for me.  That ruled.  Starting into my third lap I rolled past Dana and asked her to pick me up a $5. foot long.  JUST kidding.  I was definitely thinking it but stuck to the original plan of pb&b (banana).  Another favorite of my neverending list of favorite foods.  I munched a little on trail throughout the day, but I knew I was going to need something substantial to keep it up.  Lap 3 goes by without a problem.  I roll past our pit area and snag the pb&b (hot dog style, one piece of bread smoothered in peanut butter and a banana sliced up the center), swap out my camelbak and bottle and I’m off.  Matt informs me I was in 2nd place overall by about 10 minutes.  Without knowing my position until that point I seriously felt a little spark ignite knowing I had a carrot out there.  This changed the race for me.  I headed out with my pb&b planning to eat it up on the climb up.  I’m rolling along and notice that a small clump of mud stuck to my bread as I rest my hand on my bars to steer.  Ah man!  I steady my wheel and with my other hand I reach over to flick it off and manage to smear the entire glob INTO the bread.  Oh crap, its a done deal.  I am running on E here and I just mucked up lunch!  Oh well.  I gobbled the entire thing up mud and all.. and it was awesome. 

Riding through the 4th lap I could feel the food in my belly and energy coming back some.  I picked it up a notch (felt like it anyway) and tried to chase down my competition.  I made it through the whole lap and didnt spot any girls.  I rolled right through to lap 5 figuring it will probably be my last with the time of day.  As I start up the ski slope I spot a girl rolling kind of slow and I can see she’s munching on a Gu or something.  My heart beat totally picks it up a notch thinking “is it her?  i dont know! should I ask? i dont know! “ I continue to approach and I guess due to stress and excitement and nerves all balled up into one hill climb I rolled right around her and didnt say a thing.  Totally unlike me cuz I very often tend to at least say hi, especially when its another girl rider (yeah, I’m totally all girl power.. do you not know me at ALL!?)  I want to look back and check out her number plate (duo riders are three digits, solo two) and I couldnt do it.  I didnt know what the heck to expect now and just knew it was time to leave whatever I had left on the freaking trail!  I maintain an uncomfortable, too high of a gear, but I pull away from her.  Wasnt sure if she knew I was in her catagory (and truly wasnt sure if she was in mine) and wanted to get away before she decided to chase me.  Eek!  I bust my ass getting through that course one last time!  Caught up to my girl Shannon ripping it up and all smiles completing her FIRST race ever!  I love it!!  Once I reached the final top section before the down hill I notice my heart rate monitor is right around 5:52-ish and I think “oh snap can I do another lap!?”  I seriously loved and hated the idea, but without hesitation I bombed down the hill (yeah, this was totally one of those moments when I almost ate dirt.. probably did but I’m so used to it I take no notice. nomnomnom!) and trying to make my way through the start / finish one last time thinking if my competition is ahead of me I still have one last lap and attempt to catch her.  I make the final stretch down and across that little bump where I would have SWORE I got huge air, but the photos say otherwise (photos never do justice!) and I reached the chicane (I totally just had to look that word up) and the clock read 6:03.. doh!  I missed it!  I get a few applause from the people hanging out and I’m sad and glad I’m done.  I gotta pause for a moment and can feel every inch of my body humming in exhaustion and satisfaction.  Its a great feeling.   I walk over to the results posted on the wall to see if I can figure out where I stand and they already have an “O/A” next to my name.  Really? How’d they do that so fast?  Either way I feel a huge sense of relief and excitement as I discover I actually won the race.   Another feeling I am so grateful I get to enjoy and appreciate. 

Big props to Beth Delgenio (Ellicottville Bike Shop) who took second place by only 7 minutes, and my girls Kelly Ayer (CAMBA Bike Authority) and Becky Iden (Spidermockey Cycling) rocking it out solo this year too!  LOVE IT!  I’ve gotten a few medals and plaques in my day for racing, but I gotta say I am so super pleased to add this to my small yet priceless collection…

07.19.09 6HOP Trophy

I looked up my lap times (since I’m brilliant enough to let my GPS run out of juice during one of my races.. of course.. stoopid!) and I was pleased to see I did pick it up a notch for my last two laps (1:13, 1:14, 1:17, 1:09, 1:11).  Big thanks to Matt and Dana Tinkey for being my support for the day.  I really appreciate it and had such a fun time with you guys.  Cheers! 🙂


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