Riding like a little girl... The past weeks training went well. I felt good on the mountain bike and my shoulder is getting strong enough that I can even ride technical sections without too much pain - still some but not bad. After Thursday's pre-ride of the course with Rich I was pumped about racing the KC Cup on one of my favorite trail systems.....then mother nature sheds a few tears and turns our once perfect course into a slick little bastard. Usually I ride well on wet courses, but not the slick rocks of Rim Job. I was hoping by race time the course would dry out and most of it did. Rim Job did not and this was my undoing.....Doug Long called us to the line and I was surprised to get on the front row with my teammate Damian. Damian and I had just got back from pre-riding parts of the course and I felt good so I stayed there not really knowing if I had the form to keep up with the front runners. The question was answered very quickly as the horn was blown. The race was on and I sprinted along with everyone else to the first section of single track. Only my current sprinting pace is not at an "Expert" level. I quickly fell towards the rear but still kept the effort high enough to keep attached to the last rider. The experts were going 3 laps and my plan was to run consistent lap times and hopefully end the day well. Most everyone else did not have the same plan as I and soon there was a gap and a pack of riders behind me. After several minutes one of the riders yelled out "can we get by Cow Town?" No problem was my answer and soon a small group of riders including eventual overall winner Aaron Elwell went flying by. I settled down into my pace and even passed back several riders. In reality I was not riding that bad and as we exited Wills and heading up the double track I could see a dozen riders that I was hoping to catch up once we hit Rim Job. I usually fare very well there and was optimistic. That was until I hit that first slick ass rock on Rim Job and about busted my butt. I quickly have visions of another shoulder surgery if I was to crash. This caused me to ride really tight. My teammate Ashley Blum, who would go on to win his age division and the Missouri State Championship title, caught up to me at the end of Rim Job and said I was "riding like a little girl" and to relax. Let if flow he said has he went by on the way to victory. As for me, I continued to ride like that little girl and finished the day safely. Better to arrive safely and live to fight anther day.
Everyone likes to be in pictures....Carolynn took some pictures of the days action. Here finger was still hurting so she only took a limited amount.