Well this past weekend was Bone Bender. What a great time.
We left early Saturday morning to head down to Lawrence, Kansas. We left Ames in some real shitty weather, and it was cloudy and cold all the way until we got into Kansas (Apparently known as the Florida of the midwest). We got there around one or so, checked into the hotel, had some beers, stopped at an awesome sandwich shop then hit the trail.
We rode the entire race loop and under first impression it was rocky as hell. The first 15 minutes of the trail was rougher than shit on my rigid and there werent too many good lines. Oh well! The rest of the course was awesome. Perfect singletrack, cool techy rock sections, downhills, not too many uphills, creek crossings and so on. The last section of the trail was some pretty techy rock uphill stuff, so I usually just walked it. When riding a single speed, you realize that sometimes running hills is faster than trying to pedal them.
After the ride, we went to the packet pickup at 23rd st. brewery, Good food, and great beer. They had a delicious House Porter and a pretty darn good Pale. After the food, we went back to the hotel and we started having a couple drinks and did some last minute tune-ups on maria and amys bikes. Brass Monkey was the choice of drink for me that night, and might have been the source of my problem that I will later discuss.
Woke up nice and early Sunday morning to get prepared for the race. Got the tent set up next to our buddies at Geoffs bike and ski, and the dudes from Rassmussen bike shop. Hell, partying with those guys during the race sounded more fun the riding for six hours!
Anyway, the race was a Le Mans start which was awesome. They started us on the bottom of a big gravel hill, had to run up, grab our bike and ride about a half mile before we dipped into the single track. I knew there was going to be a huge bottle neck, even with the Le Mans start, So I got the whole shot and was the first on my bike.
Lap three is where it all fell apart. I stayed in the lead all the way until the last 10 min of the lap. I cramped. Bad. I seriously thought i was out of the race. I sucked down a full bottle of cytomax, had three gu packets, 3 electrolyte pills and a energy bar hoping to solve my cramping legs. But I was going to finish, Every couple miles I ate some nutrition and drank water and my legs seemed to loosen up. Cool. Lap three was 1:03hr. Ten minutes slower. Lap four started. Even worse. It was to the point if I stood up to climb, or dismounted to walk a rocky hill, my legs would lock up. Quads first, then calfs then hip flexors. I limped my way on lap 4, ending with a 1:13hr lap. I wasnt the only one cramping out there either, I went back and forth with a couple people with each of us stopping to clench our legs in agony. Lap five my body hated me. In addition to my legs cramping, my fingers, hands, triceps, and neck were all starting to cramp up. Damn, maybe the amount of alcohol I consumed the day prior wasnt such a good idea. Hydrate kids!!!!!!! Lap five I put the pain behind me because I knew I wanted to finish the race. I was not backing out. The last two laps were 1:08 then 1:06. Got past by another SS dude on the fifth lap which ment I came out in 3rd place. Not bad for how terrible I felt. Overall it was a a pretty damn good race aside from cramping. Ill for sure be back next year to do it again and hopefully finish on top of the podium!
Racing bone bender rigid was a big mistake. The amount of rocks on the trail killed my hands and arms, next year I will have front suspension for sure. I thought the course was awesome on the SS and had no complaints there!
After the race I was wiped, but It was great getting to hang out with the folks from Iowa City and Des Moines. Kim, Amy, Maria and Heather came down with me and they made the weekend a blast! Who new racing with a bunch of women could be so fun... Ha!