Will You Marry Me?

July 16, 2007 · Print This Article

Georgia State Championship Series
Race 7, Ellijay

By Natasha Cowie
Dahlonega, Georgia

So, it was supposed to be a rest weekend, but at 9:30 last Saturday night I was like, sure whatever, it’s the closest race I’m going to do all year (45 minutes from home) and it’s a cool course. Why not. Also, I was chasing points in the Georgia State Championship series. My points lead was large enough that I was almost assured of winning without the race, but not quite. BUT I was totally going to race conservatively, just cruise, go easy, whatever. Finish for the points.

Right. That was the plan, but there’s nothing conservative about me. I mean, I have a nose piercing and a subscription to Mother Jones magazine. Anyway, so I got to the race course early on a cloudy morning. Beautiful course, lots of climbing, winding around ridges that border Carters Lake in north Georgia. Warmed up. Sort of. Needed more coffee. No problem, though, I had my Magic Canadian Hot Short Shorts on. (I am seriously into the Louis Garneau team kit. The short shorts are very fun. And they are making me favourably adjust my tan lines upwards.)

On the start line. OH my god there are some fast people. Well that’s okay, I told myself, just try to hit the singletrack second or third wheel, hang out, see what happens. We started with a parade lap thing: half a mile of climbing on a paved road, then the last 2/3 of the course before going through the start/finish to start the first full lap. Predictably, Jamie took off in front, and I sat third wheel for a while to see how my legs were working. Hm. They were happy, I was happy, so I passed Paula and moved into second. That kind of surprised me. So I was like okay, might as well try to chase Jamie, at least it’ll give me something to do for the next hour or so.

I notched up the pace, nearly got run over by some large singlespeed dudes, and then rode by myself for a while, observing the oak-hickory hardwood forest and thinking about how much I wanted to eat the blackberries hanging from bushes surrounding the trail. And then…I found Jamie. Hey girl, she chirps. How are you doing? Well, pretty good, I said. Do you know what lap we’re on? No. Um…are we on our last lap? I don’t know, girl, she says. Do you think anyone can tell us? I ask. (At this point we were in the middle of a huge section of forest without anyone or anything nearby.) Yeah, maybe someone at the finish line, Jamie says. Well, Jamie, I say, I guess I’d better pass you then. Been nice riding with you.

Thus began my two laps of freaking out. I passed Jamie, decided that probably that parade lap counted as a full lap and sure, I was probably about to finish, cruised across the line shouting at people “Is this the pro finish?” Everybody either a. stared at me like I was a driveling idiot or b. cheered me on, saying “Go faster! Go faster!” Crap. I had just run out of water. Like “going faster” was totally going to happen for the next eight miles and 1000 feet of climbing. So I started lap 3.5.

Somehow I finished. I lapped a bunch of sport guys on the last lap, and as I was climbing a hill so steep I couldn’t really see straight, some dude proposed to me. I told him I’d better finish the race before I made a decision on that one.

A nice clean win by about 2 minutes, and many comments on my pretty Kona as I rode around after the race. I also got a lovely pink massage stick for turning the fastest female lap.

Happy trails everyone. (And happy roads too.)

Editor’s note: Clicky here for more on Tasha’s adventures.

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