July 21, 2006 · Print This Article

Welcome to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. We arrived
Wednesday evening for the Norba National Mountain Bike Series at Ski
Sugar in Banner Elk, NC. We stayed with Chelly Richards. She is a
Velo Bella, too. She and her boyfriend Daryl were very nice and
extremely accomodating.Thanks again for everything.

Alicia finally got to meet Kiersten Inserni and her brother Kees
from Texas. They actually stayed up and waited for her to get there.
There were instant friends.

Here is the gameplan for the weekend – Alicia is racing, Morgan is
the bike mechanic for our Pro Team, Ethan is the official prodium boy
and I am here to help out with meals, in the feed zone and whatever
else is thrown at me.

Thursday Alicia registered for her race today. It was raining on and off most of the day. We found out we had to walk the course before
Alicia officially got her race number. So Alicia and I made our way
to the chair lift. It was a interesting and scary experience for
Alicia. She has never been on a lift, plus a few times on the way up
to the top it had stopped. And to add to this it poured while we were
about half way up the mountain. Once was got to the top we were very
happy (and wet). Now we had to find the cross country course. For
some reason, we ended up not really needing to go to the top of the
mountain. That is where the downhill course started (not the cross
country course). The cool thing is that we were able to see some
downhill racers practice. We finally found the course and walked down
the rest of the way. By this point we were hungry and ready to relax
the rest of the day. Alicia was FINALLY able to get her number,
except for the fact that NOW they had her in the wrong age group. She
was registered in my age group(30-39). OOPS !

Friday. Today was a fairly low key day ( AT FIRST). Alicia rode her
bike most of the day and got a lot of stickers and stuff from
different teams. Some of our friends raced today. Melanie and Judd,
both did pretty well. Now just to make things really interesting !
Alicia decides she wants to do downhill, so she and Morgan walk the
course and then they changed her registration to the downhill race.
The race starts at 9:00 am on Saturday and that does not include the
time it takes to get to the top. I am already nervous about Alicia
racing in general. This adds another element to the nervousness of
getting her there on time and it takes about 20 minutes or so just to
get the the resort from Chelly’s house. At the end of all this
planning I made the executive decision to have her race the cross
country race, anyway. I did not feel that Alicia was ready for the
downhill stuff yet.

Saturday. RACE DAY. Today started off pretty well. Alicia’s race did not start until 3:00 after the pro girls had raced. The pro girls all
gave their best effort in the cross country race. Finally, it was
time for Alicia to race. Unfortunately, there were no other girls in
her age group to race against. The beginning of the race Alicia did
awesome keeping up with the older kids. She had a really rough time
with the climbing portion of the race, but she made it to the top.
Then is was all downhill from there (Pardon the pun). She only had
one crash. The bike had some mechanical issues(NO FRONT BRAKES). She
finally got to the end and her chain popped off right at the finsh
line. I was very proud of her. It was a very difficult race. She even
got an interview at the end and a 6-pack (GATORADE of course)! Alicia
was awarded a new bike for winning FIRST PLACE in her race. It was a
great bike, but it would not work for the trails she likes to ride.
We were able to get store credit at the bike shop that donated it.
She picked out an awesome pink Giro helmet and a really cool Camelbak.

Sunday. Short Track Race today. Today was the short track for the pro girls. All of the girls gave it their best effort. Congrats to
Kristen on being able to finish the race and not be pulled.
The evening was alot of fun. We had a great dinner at Chelly’s house.

Monday – Trip home to unpack and get ready for the racing in Vermont. Stay tuned for the next race report. Good Times.

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