To justify gobbling sweet treats on Valentine’s Day, I jumped into my first mountain bike race of the year, competing in the women’s sport (intermediate) class race today, Sunday, February 14 at Fort Ord in Monterey, California. It was the opening event of the seven-race CCCX series, nearly all of which will take place at Fort Ord, an hour’s drive south from my Santa Cruz home.
Signing up for the race was a bold move, considering I can’t even recall the last bike race I did. I haven’t been on my mountain bike on weeks because it’s been so rainy – the trails have been too wet to ride. But at Fort Ord, there’s lots of sand, so no danger of destroying delicate trail eco-systems there.
My race consisted of 4 laps – beginners did 3 and pros did 5. Seemed like I could manage four. Little did I know how brutal those sandy laps would be! I estimate each loop was about 5 miles, but I swear as I huffed and puffed up the numerous climbs that they were 10 miles each.
I considered dropping out after the first lap, seriously thought about it again after the second lap, then decided to stick it out. I thought about the Olympic athletes, in particular the tragic death of the luger on Friday and felt the need to press on, despite my discomfort. My strategy was to make the third lap