Sunday, April 22, 2012

Part of a TEAM Again

Hi! Let me introduce myself to the blog, my name is Justine Pagenhardt, but JR Petsko has lovingly dubbed me “JPeg.” I started cycling 2 summers ago and have pedaled away with my love for the bike. As a retired college basketball player, I am so excited to be a part of a team again. I feel fortunate to have been asked to be a member on Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling powered by Pathfinder!
I started out racing this year at the ABRA Morgantown Road Race. I was nervous before the race because I had much higher expectations of myself compared to my debut in racing last year at the same event. The first part of the race was fun. Since we started with the Women 1,2,3, we got to ride in a large pack until the first climb. After that, I settled in with teammate Anne Foreman and several other riders to form a nice paceline. I can’t tell you how fun it was to have a teammate to ride with and support one another up the many climbs along the course. At the last climb, I knew I had to the legs to get up and gain a little on the other women. I went up the last climb and a fun downhill then pedaled all the way to the end. Most fun I have ever had in a road race.

 “Happy Campers” with teammate Nicole Dorinzi: 

The race felt good and was made even better knowing I was off to the Florida Keys the next day for  a week vacation. Biking in the Keys really made me miss the mountains, but I could not complain about the 80 degree weather and sunshine!
In the Keys:

Back to Morgantown to get ready for the second race in the ABRA Road Series, the Green County Road Race. I pre-rode the race on Tuesday and was glad since it was much different than last year.
Pre-ride Adventures in Green County:

I was looking forward to race day and was prepared for one of the “flatter” (for WV standards) races all year. I felt slick in my new team kit and matching helmet (Thanks Pathfinder of WV!) Starting with the Cat 5 Men, Anne and I again soon found a group of women to work with. I knew that I would have 2 longer climbs towards the end of the race, so my focus was to keep my legs loose in the cold, wet weather. My new team fleece knickers and Swiftwick socks did a great job of keeping me warm. WOOO, down a steep decent, with 2 very sharp turns, we went! Then I heard a yell from behind me. One of the other women we were riding with must have been going a little fast. I stopped and ran up the hill to help her out,  but she was up and trying to get back on her bike with a little added road rash. Quickly, I was back on my bike to continue my descent. Later, I laughed when Anne stated, “I feel safe riding with you.” Good to know my 4 years of medical school made me feel prepared to act in situations like these. The last climb included a very steep “wall” as the final obstacle to a great 2nd and 3rd place finish for Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling powered by Pathfinder. All in all, it was a very rewarding day, and I think the weather made us all a bit tougher. Can’t wait for Tour of Tucker County! Thanks again to all our sponsors! I feel honored to be a part of such a great team!