Met up with a couple of girlfriends for some after work dirt yesterday at OCNP.
Background: Pam and I race the same class and if I'm lucky, and it's not a technical course, I can squeak by and finish ahead of her; but, I've finished behind her more than ahead. Christine is still a Sport... I mean Cat2 racer, but she can still move through the trees and beat me on a downhill, I have the advantage on climbing and endurance. When we first started out mountain bike racing I thought that Jen was a mountain bike Goddess... she was an Expert racer! I could only hope to one day ride half as well as her. Thankfully, life got in the way of Jen's training/racing so while she was being a recreational rider I was still trying to race. Right now I've got the most endurance, but the least technical, in the group. When everyone is warmed up and fresh it's "ride on" and any of us can be the one putting the hurt to the others.
We've met up for a few rides together lately and those rides have turned into some of the most fun I've had on the bike in a while. We're turning the pedals, throwing down some smack talk, dodging the trees and having a girly ride like no other.
Last night was no exception. I got to the trail before everyone else, so I was able to do a couple of quick miles and I'm glad I did. The bike was feeling "bouncy" on the trail. I let a little air out of both tires - it felt much better and I was holding my line on the trail.
The first lap was the full course, so I sat in back on Christine's wheel since I would be the only one getting off on the "obstacles". Did the girls play nice and wait for me? No way! They kept rolling, which meant I had to sprint back up to them every time. That's OK, because soon enough we'd be on the backside of the course and that's where the climbs are. We're riding, talking and having an overall good time, then it hits. Christine is gearing down and griping about the climbs... time for "Coach Kathy" to kick in. I start talking her through them and giving her general harassment to keep her spinning. Is "yah mule" a nice thing to say? Really doesn't matter - it got her up and over the top.
We get to the home stretch which is fast & winding through the fields and trees and I'm feeling good. Pam & Jen have gapped us, then Christine starts whining about being tired... so out comes "Coach Kathy" again. "Is that what you do in races? Get your butt in gear and chase those girls down. Come on - LET'S GO!" Next thing you know, we're caught back up to the other two and I'm still sitting 4th wheel and mouthing off the whole time.
We get back to the trail head parking lot and do a little BSing. Christine says "we're running out of daylight", so I grab another bottle and we decide to do a shorter loop and take the bypasses. I like this because now there's only two things I won't ride and those are early on.
This time I'm in the lead and still feeling good. The trail has a new cut section for the upcoming race, it leads you to the road where you have a short sprint before going back onto the trail. Christine is on my wheel this time and she starts mouthing off and I hear Jen throwing in her two cents. Once we get off the road and back on the trail I start to pick up the speed. When we get to my first dismount section I'm far enough ahead that I don't see anyone until I'm getting back on my bike and Pam is the first one to come up on me. Sweet - we've dropped the other two, but I can hear them and they aren't that far behind. Pam and I keep it up and before long we're to the my next obstacle, this time I pull over and let Pam go before I get off and run it up and over. She waits up and lets me back in the lead, so I take off again and she's keeping close on my wheel... what fun!!!
We take the bypass and wait for the others to catch up. Next thing we know Jen goes by on the main trail, so we yell to her that we'll wait for her to come around, but no sign of Christine. It doesn't take long for Jen to meet back up with us and she tells us that Christine has cut off the section we are on (wrong bypass girlfriend!) and we'll meet up with her at the trail head. After Jen catches her breath, we take off again and once again I put a gap on the others. I can still hear them behind me, so I don't let up.
At the next bypass section, I wait... and wait... and wait. Hmm... it shouldn't be taking them that long to catch up to me, so I ride the trail backwards until I find them. They said they took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. We get going again and this time everyone is still together when we get to the last bypass, now it's time to head home, I'm still in the lead and feeling good so it's off I go with Pam & Jen chasing.
Christine is already at the trail head when I get there and Jen & Pam aren't too far behind. Next comes the parking lot smack talk and all I get is grief for being too fast. I told them if they don't like the pace I set then don't have me lead, I'm fine sitting on someone else's wheel.
Tomorrow night we meet up again. It's supposed to be an easy ride... we'll see.
Now for the "it's a small world" department.
Over the summer, while on our morning walk, I started talking to this cyclist (John) that I met while we were both waiting for a red light. Most mornings we'd yell "hello" to each other and about once a week he'd stop and we'd talk for a bit about riding. He was training for the Hotter N Hell (100 mile) ride and I told him that Kyle was planning to do the race. Anyway, this continued through the summer until Shimano cut his foot and the morning walks had to stop.
Well, this past Monday we started walking again and John saw us so we talked a bit and got the past three weeks caught up. He finished the Hotter N Hell and he told me about almost being hit by a car and crashing in front of a group of people at mile 98. He also told me about a time trail (TT) that he was thinking about doing. I mentioned that there was a regular TT on the dam at a local lake and if he gave me his cell number I'd get the information and call him with it.
Yesterday I called his cell and got his voice mail which gave his full name. I'm thinking to myself that his name sounded awfully familiar. As the day goes on I think about it some more and finally I look it up in the billing program... sure enough there's a repair customer with the same name and the house is in the right general neighborhood; and, look at that - we've just done some work there, too. So I call John's cell again and this time he answers. I give him the information he was looking for and then ask if his last name was S*******, he said it was. I asked if he lived on E*** **** and had a pool, and he said he did. I then told him that our company just finished doing some work for him. How weird is that?
2 days ago