April 26, 2006
I have never been in a mud-wrestling contest before the weekend of the Sea Otter Classic, but in Monterey I was matched up against Kula Lisa (my Kona 'Kula Lisa' ride). She won the first three stages, as I came out of the mud pit with chain ring scrapes and bruises up and down both of my calves, but during the fourth stage however, I came back, and we made up during the 36-miles of the cross-country race.
After three days in the mud pits, I was happy when Sunday arrived and we were able to ride our mountain bikes longer than one minute at a time. It was a diverse route with steep short climbs, long double track climbs, fast twisting singe track sandy descents and of course a few mud pits. I pedalled Kula Lisa as fast as I could and I realised how happy I am to be on the dirt again. Considering the world-class field that showed up for the competition, I was pleased with my finish and learned what I need to work on for future races. I came home with a fire burning as I feel like I just need to work on a few weaknesses before I reach my goals throughout the season.
As for all the entertaining ladies that make up Velo Bella, they were awesome. Our Velo Bella tent was by far the most fun tent set up at the Sea Otter venue. We had beats blaring, hips swivelling, hula hoops flying, bubbles floating, streamers streaming, glitter sparkling and bodies dancing. Best of all were the beautiful smiles beaming. The Velo Bella programme attracts such a fun group of women who want to combine fun with riding and racing. I love it, and I'm happy that I have become a part of it.
Sometimes inspiration arrives in various forms and throughout the Sea Otter races I found inspiration from so many different experiences; from all the Bellas to the competition. Seeing all the tanned, fit, lean ladies out on the courses makes me want to give it my all this season. I finally decided to compete in a world cup race this year and experience the highest level of racing. I'll be in Spain already so I thought hey, Madrid is only a six hour drive from Girona, I might as well give it a go.' One of my very talented team-mates, Wendy, will be attending several of the World Cup races, so she'll be in Madrid sporting pink and blue at the starting line too. It will be nice to have a familiar face around in a foreign country. Since the Madrid world cup will be my next mountain bike race I'll be doing everything I can to prepare myself for such a fierce competition.
After Tour of Georgia Tom and I will travel together over to Europe where he'll be preparing for the Giro and I'll be preparing for the world cup. The peaceful farm roads that twist through the small European towns are calling my name. I love all the old stone farmhouses that stand tall in the middle of bright orange poppy fields. The long climbs that only Europe can provide will hopefully get my legs and lungs primed for my first world cup race. This will also be the first time for me to explore new trails that wrap around the Girona hills. For some reason I have a feeling that the trails are just as awesome as the roads in Europe.
Till next time,