Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lasting Memories Along FS Road 28

It has been several days since my Southern X volunteer stint, but the past couple days at work has been like back to back VO2 Max Intervals.  Left physically exhausted, mentally drained, and saying, "Huh?  What just happened?", I elected to sleep vs. blog.

Even though the weather was almost unbearable, Carly, Zeke, and I had a wonderful time.  Today was one of my proudest days of being a mother.  We got up early Saturday morning, drove miles and miles along twisty, gravel road to Camp Wahsega, checked in with Namrita, found out where we were to be stationed along the course, and then drove miles and miles of more twisty, gravel road to get there.

Once we arrived at the intersection of Silver Fox and Doublehead Gap, Zeke headed out with Webb for a little bit of gravel road riding while Carly and I got ready to cheer the racers on.  It was cloudy, 40 degrees, and with a bone-chilling wind coming up the valley.  Carly was able to stay out of it by sitting on the tailgate of Zeke's truck. (Yeah, I said truck; no more "Chester Molester" van.)

For the next two hours, Carly cheered the racers on while I sent them in the right direction and stopped traffic when necessary.  Carly was a great cheerleader, "Go get 'em,"  "Like your jersey," and "Hurry, hurry, hurry," were her favorite lines.  She stayed warm, with her down jacket and handwarmers, while Ol' Man Winter slowly sucked the heat out of my fingers and toes.

Once we finished our duties and Zeke got back from his ride, I rode the remaining 24 miles of the course.  Beautiful, but brutal.  While I rode back, Zeke and Carly got to ride SOME MORE twisty gravel road back to the finish.

Carly waited patiently for me.  She was the LAST to get in her ride.  What a trooper ... never once complained.  As soon as she saw me, she leapt out of the truck and hopped on her bike.  I was tired and cold, but excited.

Together, in 36 degree weather, we rode up and down FS Road 28.  I did not take any pictures (fingers would not have been able to work the camera anyway) but seeing the happiness and pride exude from Carly's face will forever remain etched in my memory.  Time seemed to stand still as I watched my little girl turn the cranks over and over again.  Awesome!  We rode for 30 minutes, until Carly's thighs "felt stiff" (as she put it). 

When we got back to the truck, Carly had to show Zeke her muddy tires.  She was so happy to have finally gone mountain biking. 

What a far cry from less than a month ago when she told me she hated riding her bike.  That was back when her training wheels were on, a huge limiter to turning with ease and riding on rough terrain.

I can't wait until our next adventure.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Hands!

My hands are excited to be racing on these this year:

I had been using the GR2 Carbon grips, but Zeke's weight weenie attitude has been rubbing off on me.  Since I now have a 20 pound SS ('10 Specialized Stumpjumper 29'r), I would like for Indy ('09 Specialized Era) to be as light as possible, all the while maintaining a comfort factor.

The last time I used these grips was in 2007, my first year as an Ergon-sponsored rider.  Back then, I was racing the prototype.  While it provided my hands with an unbelievable pain- and numb-free platform, after several hundred milers, the two rubber compounds began to separate.

I have no doubt that the problem has been fixed, so my hands will be happy at the 24 Hour Natz, probably the only body part after 24 hours of racing!

BTW, I will be using this race as a platform to raise money for City Park Elementary School's physical education program.  This is where my daughter, Carly, goes to school.  I will have more info in the near future and will expect y'all to help out, even if it is only equivalent to 1 bottle of your neighborhood brewskie.