A while back, I was lucky enough to spend a few days with one of the best cycling teams in the world. We rode bikes and ate food. I thoroughly enjoyed the slightly awkward social situation, something like this – I am hanging out at your team camp with all of you and all your new and old teammates and I am just happy to be here thanks for having me. And it turns out I had quite a very nice time indeed. These women, who are many of the best cyclists of our time, are so down to earth, real, and enjoyable. My internal monologue referred to myself as ‘tag-a-long’, which I most definitely was and was happy to be. So much warm and welcome was given to my tag-a-long self and I look fondly back on those few days in January in California.
Fast forward to now. I got to guest ride at the Amgen Tour of California Circuit race with this wonderful team, directed at TOC by one of the best bike riders of all time, Ina Yoko-Teutenburg, now retired from racing. Some may think it’s wild to travel all this way for a crit (mind you, it’s only about 1.5 hours by air), but I promised myself I would say YES to every opportunity this season and am glad I am keeping that promise. Thanks to Kristy Scrymgeour for the opportunity to race with her team. I will give a short and sweet race report from my eyes in a bit, but the more interesting and awesome parts of the day consists of the things I made a list of below the photo.
1. I really like dogs and Princess Sophie (of Ina) always reminds me of this and gives me a whole lot of dog envy, she's just so darn cute!
2. There were amazing fans at the race. Some of them knew me personally and it made me feel so happy that they were there to cheer and say hello! Thanks, Christine Jerko-Holland, Brian and Corrine Vegter, and all the other folks who yelled and screamed. So much energy and excitement!
3. A WIN! With much team effort and an incredible delivery at the finish by Carmen Small, the team took the win at a much-anticipated and publicized women’s cycling event and I feel honored to have played a small part in this.
4. Since Carmen won, Tayler earned a spot to race the invite-only time trial (in which she placed third!) eff yeah, crushers!
5. My good friend and awesome bike racer, Brie Walle, got third yesterday and second today in the TT, super stoked for her and can’t wait to see what other rad stuff she does this season and beyond!
6. We saw some wild turkeys fighting on our bike ride to the race. I don't have a picture, so you'll have to use your imagination. I love wildlife. The chat with Evelyn was also refreshing, she's a rad lady!
Short and sweet personal race recap:
The race was a bit crashy. On one of the first laps in corner 3 a girl went down right in front of me. I got up quick and was able to catch back onto the field in no time. I know I could have taken a free lap, but it didn't really matter because of what happens next. Coming back around the pit, they were putting a bunch or riders back into the field and it caused another large pile up. This one hurt a little more and it broke a couple things on my bike, rendering it useless. Luckily, James The Mechanic Extraordinaire was in the pit and got me hooked up on a pit bike right quick! I was able to do some good-to-mediocre attacks and stuff for the rest of the race.
One other noteworthy thing is that a racer ran into my rear wheel somewhere around halfway through the race. After that incident, I kept hearing crazy noises coming out of my wheel but I decided to ignore them and continue on.
I got dropped in the last lap and a half and was pretty annoyed at myself. I really wanted to be able to help (or at least try to help) at the end with a lead out for the sprinty one, but it turns out my rear wheel was rubbing on the brake in an unfortunate way. It's still my fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, mechanical and crash city! And yes, that's bike racing!
Overall, it was an excellent day and I am so stoked for the opportunity to race with Specialized lululemon!
The other fun thing I did yesterday was ride with a few really awesome ladies in the afternoon. Thanks for the fun spin, Heather, Kristy, and Ursula! Check out our Cyclofemme/Velocio fun times in this photo below.
Also, since my bike had a broken shifter and derailleur hanger, I rode this spare team bike for the afternoon. It was overall too small for me, but it totally worked! #seatpost
Oh and hey, did you get your PBLRB socks yet? Check them out and send some rad PNW women to a bike race this June!
Another huge shout out to the folks who stepped up to support me for the rest of 2014; Hosmer Chiropractic Health, HiFi Wheels, Veloforma bicycles, and Ironclad gloves. You folks make this whole bike racing thing possible, eff yeah!
All for now! Enjoy your day and many thank-yous for stopping by the tiny wooden box.