Oct 19, 2008

there's a first time for everything

including the thing you are most scared about on the bike; and for me that would be: skidding out in a turn and crashing.

we were pre-riding the new usgp course today with a bunch of teammates and it was great. i had all my new-found-at-harbin-park confidence up my sleeve and felt pretty good. i was thrilled to find that it wasn't just a one day confidence anomaly; there wasn't any of that ever present holy-shit-what-sort-of-danger-lurks-around-that-corner-fear. i could just ride. we were hitting the laps hard: doing the sandpits over and over, practicing the run ups. i was practicing reaching down for the downtube and shouldering the bike. i finally found the right line going into first not so sandy pit. i was practicing not using my brakes, although because it was slightly dewy out and we had been through the sand a bunch of times, lets just say the brakes were a bit noisy & everytime i squeezed them my husband would yell i can hear that! get off those brakes! damn that noisy sand caught on my brake pads.

so we do about a bunch of hot laps. and drilled the tougher obstacles over and over. and then a little bit more.

and then, we did a cool down lap. but really, everyone else's "cool down" lap is a medium lap for me. so as far as i'm concerned, its still fast. so i'm totally proud of myself as i go into a turn without braking - the turn went from grass, onto a sidewalk onto grass again, into a sandpit. so you wanna be going fast and have a little speed going into that little pit. but i was too wide - off the sidewalk a bit, and didn't even really realize it until i was down - when i turned to get back on the sidewalk, i hit the tiny curb and there was nowhere to go but down.

i've crashed a bunch of times on this course. more times than i can count - but its always been an easy spill over into the sand pit, or a slo-mo fall into pricker patch, or up steep hills on a too heavy mountain bike. this one was at some speed. and it happened so fast that i forgot to TUCK! which is the thing that i learned about when i googled what to do in a bike crash when i started racing this spring. -really, i totally googled that. and so instead of tucking, i landed on my elbow. which hurts. and i wanted to cry but i don't think there's any crying in cross. but my pedal made a really cool big scrapy mark of a dig in the sidewalk. and my leg was bleeding too. and apparently, a trickle of blood down the leg is a very desireable and badass thing to have in 'cross (cause everyone seemed pretty pleased & impressed) as is leaving your mark on the sidewalk and having your shifters scraped up a little bit.

so there. i got that whole skidding out in a fast turn onto hard pavement thing out of the way. and lived to tell the tale. which is good. cause the fear of what happened today always held me back. but now - been there, done that. don't need to be afraid of it anymore. it was an awesome practice on all kinds of levels.


Gotta Run..... said...

I was just telling Scott aht by the time I get back on the road on my cycle I will have to start all over again... I will be one big chicken ...again.

You are one hardcore rider!

Cindy said...

congrats on the bloodshed! that is definitely badass, and so is that course. nice work.

Groover said...

I don't want to hear any more about crashes. I've seen my fair share this weekend. Enough to keep me descending in snail speed for weeks ... Glad your crash wasn't that bad.

Anonymous said...

Dang! That's gotta hurt. Badass.

bsegal said...

Owwwwwwww!! I've left a few blood samples out there myself. It hurts, but you are doing it right if you're crashing. If you don't crash, you're not going hard enough!!! And the blood is cool. Plus, now you know it only hurts for a little while.

~ lauren said...

thankfully it's never as bad as crashing on the road.

but it still hurts!

and getting it over with is a great way to look at it. i try and do that too.

any racing this weekend?

Anonymous said...

blood is totally badass.

And to think, I was riding my bike to the yarn store this weekend and went from driveway over a tiny portion of grass onto the sidewalk at a pretty fast clip for me and freaked out a little tiny bit when my bike went all wiggy...

zanne said...

lauren - heck yeah, there's racing this weekend! USGP Derby City Cup! 2 days of racing right in our own backyard. Roll out of bed, ride down to race. That'll be my warm up seeing as I NEVER get a good warmup in before a race. My race is crazy early too.

pricklypear - i used to practically wig out when i was at a standstill at a stop light (i'm not kidding) ... the wig outs get fewer and farther bewteen the more you ride. I never would have believed it if I didn't see for myself. Hoping the trend just continues.

gotta run - you wont have to start all over again. bet you'll be surprised how fast it all comes back.

cindy - yeah, bloodshed felt sorta cool. like a cross rite of passage.

groover - read about the crashes to which you were referring! mine nowhere near as bad. minor scrape.

caroline & brian - yeah. totally hurt. yee-ouch. but its done. it happens fast. that's good to know.

sam fletcher said...

ah, that's right! i so wish i was going. sounds like lots of fun.

good luck! have fun. and yeah, get a good warm up in.

i love early races. you can hang out and have fun for the rest of the day. take lots of pics!

zanne said...

sam/lauren - yes, wish you were coming too ... would be so fun to meet & race together!

i'm excited about the morning race time too - it will all be over with by 9:30 at the latest - will have all day to have fun & watch the rest of the races. and my race time fits perfectly with the need to get one daughter off to her nutcracker rehearsal and another to a birthday party! all without missing my husbands' race or the pro races - total serendipity.

i'll look for the SF CX mag contigency - think he'll have an "I am Cyclocross" T on? have something to send back with him for you!!

Unknown said...

A few scratches only add more character to the body. My legs look like a cats scratch pole after this season.

Stuart said...

Well I gues it was a matter of when not if, glad to see you bounced...as such!