Takin’ it for the Team

November 27, 2007 · Print This Article

Seattle Cross Series, Race 8

By Kari Studley
Bothell, Washington

I seriously feel like the Bad News Bella…

I really am an upbeat and optimistic person. But I’ve been put to the test, especially my perserverance, this cross season. It just keeps helping me become a better racer, which will hopefully come in handy someday….

After last week’s heartbreaking chain snap at the Washington State Championship, I was ready to start chasing Kristi Berg. I know I can hold my own consistently in the top 3. The cold foggy morning burned off into a cold sunny afternoon and it was a wonderful treat to feel the sun.

The course was nice and tacky as the dew had tamed the sandpit sections and I could really grip the fun windy twisty singletrack trail corners on the Challenge tubulars – love it! The course was TOUGH, too. There were TWO steep wall-like loose sand run ups and a couple of sand pits. There was no real chance to rest as I was always winding up, down and around on the trails when I wasn’t dismounting for barriers. I felt it was good nationals prep. It’s the hardest I’ve raced yet!

The race was going great. I had a decent start and had 3rd place secured with second in sight after the second lap. On the last lap to go, I was trying to reel her for a sprint finish. The corner before the pits (1/3 into the last lap), I rolled the tubular off the rim. See what I mean by Bad News Bella? I hope I’m taking all the bad luck for the team.

As I begged for a neutral bike or a spare wheel, the pit guy said the pit was closed on the last lap, further adding to my breaking and desperate heart. So back to running the rest of the race with the bike. At least I’m getting good at this. I was VERY thankful on how light the Kona is and ergonomically designed with the flat spot perfectly for one’s shoulder – that has been a blessing. So I got last place again.

But the good news is that I’m not sore like last week from the running and as we speak, the tires are being professionally glued (I hope with superglue – never again will we try to glue up our own tires). Watch out Portland, third time will be the charm in my attempts to race….

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