Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mudhican: NUE Series round #2

Welp fan, I knew it was going to be a rough weekend as JR and I made our way through Ohio when Mother Nature opened up the skies to show her might. This was just a warm up for what she had in store for us race day.

Bright and early we headed out of Loundonville toward the KOM. A group of 40 or so, those that were in it to win it, which included Gunnar and I had a gap on the main field. I looked backed a few times to the impressive sight of wall to wall riders stretching for a ½ a mile so back. It was pretty darn neat.

Chris turning over single speed in the mud

We got up over the first climb hammering away as if we were in a short track race. These are the moments at the start of a 100 that scare me as we go so stinking fast in that first hour it can be a bit intimating. But I was up with the mover and shakers so that was good. We hooked left onto the farm road. I jumped on Gunnar’s wheel and we made our way through the geared guys as the single track was approaching. Gunnar and I hit the woods far enough ahead that the single track traffic jam was minimal, however, we got a taste of thick sticky mud we would have to contend with for the next 98 miles.

Gunnar looking good early

I was feeling pretty good through the first miles of single track. I was doing a lot of passing keeping the grumpy ds in sight or at least I could hear as he smack talked ever person he was passing in front of me. If I had to guess at that point I was some where between 5-10 SS and top 40 overall, a good place to be this early in the day. The single track was full of a thick-gooey mud 1 to 4 inches deep. Most of it was rideable but slow. I caught up to fast friend Cheryl S. (TeamCF) and the other women’s leader. We had some laughs and paced off each other for a bit until I felt I needed to step it up a bit. Miles 10-20 in the woods went well but man the those muddy upward short pitches started to hit my legs. The purty ladies caught back up to me, flirted, and dropped me…bye bye Cheryl.

Bunny dirty but still going strong

A little over thirty miles in we finally exit the woods and began to hit some rollers on our way to aid station 2. I was in a bad place in those few miles heading to aid station #2. The mud had taken its toll and I was getting worried as it was a little early to be feeling this bad. Stupid mud! I took my time at the aid station as I knew I needed to fill the tank and rest for a few minutes when that handsome devil Roger M. caught me. Ugh, back to racing. He got out before me but he would be a fast carrot to chase. Vvvrrrrooommm as I pass Roger on the back of a geared freight train.


Leaving aid station #3 I found myself in my darkest hour. I was over 5 hours in and only half way home. Mother Natures mud was winning. I was no longer in it to win it but just to finish. After seeing some very fast guys lying in the field at aid station #3 waiting for a truck ride back home just finishing would be a victory on this day.

JR not "feeling it" at one of the aid stations

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. I was riding pretty well but the mud had taken its toll on my legs. I did almost get hit by lightening too which was exciting and I am pretty sure I cried some.

In the end it was an extremely hard day and I was just happy to finish. Around mile 50 podiums and NUE series points were no longer my motivation. It the was longest race time I have ever had at 10:15. An epic indeed!!!!!!

Gunnar showing of a broken saddle. He earned tough guy points!

Big ole thanks to Ryan O’Dell and all his awesome aid volunteers- washing bikes, lubing chains and generally keeping the morale up-THANKS!!!

Our sweet sponsors that make us feel “oh so pro”- Dynamic Physical Therapy, Cannondale, Kenda Tires, Camelbak, Swftwik, Ergon, I9, Mike Miller DDS, Edward Jones, Performance Coaching Services, Pro Gold Lube and Pathfinder! Thanks!

Check Cyclingnews for coverage too.

As always "May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face" and may your wheels always find it safely back to the ground.
PEACE Chrissy