Monday, September 23, 2013

Pando XC, Izzys career begins

I decided to try another race and this time I was bringing Izzy along with me. I talked with Fun Promotions and was given the go ahead to ride with her. We loaded up and met Jay, Mark, and Lisa on the way up to Pando Winter Sports Park.
Izzy trying to hide!
We got the numbers on and then it was time for me to go. I left my phone with Izzy, she took some good pics.

There she is!
I have never ridden here, but how bad could it be? The actual ski hill isn't that big....I mean Cannonsburg is bigger. I have ridden at Boyne Mountain. Pando is only 4 miles long....and UPHILL THE WHOLE FREAKING WAY. I am not a climber....not by any means.

Start: Up the face of the ski hill. No problem. I made it. The problem? well, I was gassed. ha. I wasn't the last one up the hill, but it wasn't long before I found myself in last place. I settled myself down and managed to reel one guy back in. At the end of my first lap I saw the next guy popping out of the woods just up the hill. I planned on reeling him in too....but I never saw him again.

Me on 1st lap
This was a cool section. A downhill across the deck and then a hard right before climbing the tubing hill. The hill doesn't look bad, but holy hell do I hate hills. I kept pressing on. At the end of the second lap I knew I was hosed. I got to the top of the hill and just bailed out. I would not have been able to ride 2 more laps and then follow Izzy. Hey, it was fun (not really) while it lasted. HA. I was right around an hour for my 2 laps. Not terrible, but way down the standing. 12 people in my class this year, which I think is a lot. Good to see the big guys coming out to race!

Izzy and I before the start
Next it was time for Izzy. We lined up and I was surprised by the 10 kids in her class. Beginner 10 and Under had TEN RIDERS!!! Brent yelled GO and off the kids went. There was about 5 dads following their kids around too. Izzy did awesome. She didn't make the first climb, but she sure did try.

Izzy on first lap (I got to follow)
Izzy making the turn after the deck. She said later that she would gladly ride the course to this point again so she could ride across it. She even took the little drop off. This kid is a trooper. She was frustrated as the other kids disappeared out of sight but she kept pushing onward. She caught one girl a few miles in, but they passed us shortly after. I was sure to offer only encouragement and it was just a lot of fun to watch her try her best.

 As we came past the start line for the last climb our teammates from Custer Cyclery were there cheering away for Izzy. She didn't want to ride the Ski hill again, but then she asked if she could "bomb down the hill" after the race was done. OF COURSE YOU CAN!  She had to push her bike more than she wanted....but she finished her first ever mountain bike race....of a brutal course.
Izzy after her race!
I want to give a huge shout to my team for cheering her on. You guys made the experience for her even more fun. We could hear you all the way to the top of the hill. I love my team and Izzy certainly loves you guys too!

Speaking of my team. Great job to Lisa P. for taking 1st place in her class. Also great job to Jeff R. and Mark K. on their first races. Good job to Jay and Bill for coming out and taking on this course!

The highlight had to be when we were watching the Beginner podiums. They called the Beginner Women 11-14 and I told Izzy that would be her in a few years. Her response "yep, but I will be wearing this jersey" as she flicked the shoulder on her Custer jersey. LOVIN IT!

Monday, September 16, 2013


It has been a while huh?  Well, the last two weeks have not been great. A sinus infection has knocked me down a bit but I am fighting back and will be ready for Sunday. What is Sunday? Well, I broke down and signed up for the final MMBA CPS race at Pando on the 22nd. I also signed up Izzy for her first "full length" race in the Beginner 10 and Under category. After taking her to Fort Custer I think she will be ready, and I can follow her to make sure she is ok. At just over 4 miles for her lap this will be a good first time course for her.

So right away my mind drifted back to when I bailed out at Fort Custer. I bailed because I was in awful shape and didn't feel like subjecting myself to 9 more miles of torture. I hope this race will be different. It will be on a course I have never ridden, but I have been riding more and I am way stronger than I was in the is everyone else I am sure. Jeff asked me if I was "getting excited" for the race and I just shook my head "no". It will be his first race so I am sure he will be more excited than I am, but as the time draws nearer I am sure I will get my mind into it. I will do my race (4 laps) and then hopefully get done in time to chase Izzy around on her lap. I will record her, so it should be blast!

On another note, there is a trail that has been in the works for some time in my area. Click here for a news story on it. I am excited because it is about 2 miles from my house! Lets get cutting!

Otherwise, busy as usual. I am going to try to get at least one solid singletrack ride in this week before the race as Saturday is booked solid. Gotta keep some focus and get a plan lined up for the winter...because I want to be ready for 2014....not backing in with a "wide load" sign on my back.