|We She-Ninjas Are Happy About Our New Team Hats!|
It was a heavy week of training leading up to this one so I was definitely feeling a little thick in the legs ... and not in a good way. But it's great practice for BCBR to line up tired so I embraced the fatigue and headed up to San Dimas early Sunday morning to help cheer on some Ninjas and line up for my start at 1:30pm.
The Cat 3 race got going first and we were stoked to have Ninjas in almost every group in that wave. The other She-Ninjas got first crack at the course in lovely cool weather with perfect light. Somewhat evenly matched, the rest of us were eager to see how the race would play out between Heidi and Paula - both have been putting in a bunch of training miles and it was either lady's game out there.
|Heidi and Paula (and Paula's knee, if you look close ...)|
Our She-Ninjas were riding smooth and strong so I lined up for my photo. Heidi smiled on her way by and then a few seconds later Paula was ready for her close up. "Take a picture of my knee," she joked. I almost did but when I saw it, I instead started flipping out, in no way calm or of help to Paula.
She said she wanted to keep racing, but there was blood and white foam pouring out of her leg. I strongly suggested she stop, she said she was fine. Because she's super hardcore and brave like that. Feeling pretty useless .... and nauseated ... I called Richard back at the team tent to let him know one of our prized ponies would need assistance when she crossed the line in a few minutes.
|She Ninjas on Podiums!|
I'm good! Turns out violating your joint space with nonsterile instruments is a bad idea, and results in emergency surgery to flush it out. I shouldn't have fallen on my throwing stars, my bad!
The good news? She should only be off the bike for about a week. Thank the mtb gods it wasn't worse and healing vibes to Paula for a smooth recovery. And mtb blessings on Heidi who was a real team player and a class act. Not to mention speedy!!
My race was the last of the day at 1:44pm. I didn't race the first Bonelli and I didn't get a chance to pre ride either so I was feeling a little bit in the dark about how I would fare. However, it turned out I was once again the only woman in my age group so the pressure was off. There were only three of us on the start line total, but Heidi B and Lisa were in a different age group than me. Thanks girls for coming out!! I decided to use this opportunity to test a few things in a race situation, which was perfect since it was a short course, and it was hot which is sometimes a limiter of mine. Verdict: Coconut water does not make a good on-course hydration option. I give up, I've tried a few electrolyte options, but for whatever reason, my system is H20 only.
Other than that discomfort, I had a really fun time out there. Even though there wasn't anyone in my age group, there were certainly still people to race, so I spent my 1 hours 15 minutes on course chasing down the men's categories ahead of ours, playing my favorite game of "Can you catch Richard?" and getting to know the pro men whipping around me politely and skillfully (thank you gentlemen!). The course was very fun, except for a boring section in the middle that was a combo rec path and paved road, and there were definitely some sections I looked forward to. I was able to climb in the big ring for most of it which was a great feather in my cap ... and eventual pain in my lower back. There were Ninjas hiding in a few different corners which was a highlight every lap. I high-fived some kids cheering on the side of some bermed switchbacks and my favorite moment of the day was ripping the technical rock garden descent for the first time. I carried in a little more speed than I should have, but skittered down my chosen line smoothly (albeit a bit surprised) and heard the spectators lining the crash zone cheering, "Yeah!!! RIDE LIKE A NINJA!"
Thanks to Sho-Air Cycling Group/Big Bear Events and USA Cycling for another fun day of racing. Thanks to Team Ninja for all the support and good times. Thanks Coach Richard for everything. And thanks to Gerhard for agreeing to be stranded at home while I took the car all day AND for making a delicious chicken dinner, as my result required. :D
TEAM NINJA RESULTS:
Eric Fischer - 2nd Cat 2 19-24
Ryan Brown - 6th Cat 2 30-34
Kyle Wills - Cat 2 30-24 - DNF - Mechanical :(
Henry Heisler - 13th Cat 2 35-39
James Vo - 14th Cat 2 40-44
Derek Couse - 16th Cat 2 40-44
Advait Ogale - 9th Cat 3 30-34
Abe Gonzalez - 8th Cat 3 40-44
Michael Whitehurst - 12th Cat 3 40-44
Tom Jones - 13th Cat 3 45-49
Vinny Casiano - 8th Cat 3 55-59
Todd Young - 3rd Cat 3 Clydesdale 35+
Kris Gross - 1st Cat 1 30-39
Paula Evenson - 2nd Cat 3 30-39
Heidi Amundson - 3rd Cat 3 30-39
Richard La China - 8th Cat 1 Single Speed
and honoary Ninja, Stephane Roch - 7th Pro