Wind and Milkshakes

March 21, 2008 · Print This Article

By Marian Jamison

Reno, Nevada

See how stoked I am to ride in 30 mph winds?

So! After leaving Reno at 6am, chaining up my poor little truck, and driving through the snow to meet up with my dad in Grass Valley, I managed to arrive at Land Park in Sacramento with plenty of time to warm up and register and talk to the ladies.

There were, um, four Bellas in the 1,2,3s. Katie, Soni, Ryan and myself. We were all pretty active and rode well and put in attacks. I attacked at one point and opened up a few feet of real estate between myself and the pack, but immediately cracked (ouch) and was caught. We chatted prior to the race about setting up Ryan for the finish. As we were going into the last lap I found myself next to Soni totally blocked out from attacking or doing anything worthwhile. I managed to reposition myself into the top ten-ish as we approached the last turn, but realized upon looking around that there was no one around me to lead out. And . . . I let myself get bullied in the last turn and lost about 10 places, then lost a few more in the sprint. But I was happy to see Ryan sprinting ahead of me.

It was fun, though, and I was proud to see all the Bellas riding so strong and aggressively. Plus, it was gorgeous down there. It’s hard to be unhappy on a day like that.

I thought I had a really good idea of where the Zamora road race was, having raced the course two years ago as a collegiate race, but I was wrong, and failed to print out directions. As it turned out though, I didn’t want to warm up in the damn wind anyway, so getting there on time would have been just silly. I feel that it was better driving around on farming roads telling my dad, “Oh, it’s out this way, I’m sure. See, this is right where the climb is . . . oh, wait . . . hmm . . . maybe we should have turned right back there . . .” But, we found it. Whew!

There were four of us again – myself, Katie, Soni, and Sarah. Did I mention it was windy? Oh, I didn’t? Well, it was windy!!!

I was feeling pretty good, but picked the wrong wheel heading up the KOM climb, which is more of a hill than a mountain. So . . . a little gap opened up between the girl in front of me and the pack, and then I was flailing around in the wind with an ever growing gap between myself and where I wanted to be. There was a small group behind me, so I slowed up a little bit so they could catch on, and then started hammering. It ended up being just me and one other girl, who I told, “We can catch them!” even though I didn’t think that was very likely. But, lo and behold, we did. And on the head-wind stretch no less! But when we came to the KOM hill again, I was off the back. Again. Hmm.

This time there was clearly no catching back on. I TT’d it for about half a lap, then caught up to two girls who’d also gotten dropped, then we broke apart on the KOM hill again. Damn. Almost a whole lap in the wind by myself before I was caught by a group of 4 who were hammering to stay away from a larger group behind them. So, we hammered to the finish and I ended up 2nd in the sprint, which was more of a long fast wind-out before the line. Sarah was with the lead group, and I think Katie and Soni were with the larger group behind me.

It was a hard day! And anyone racing out there is tough tough tough. I’m super proud of my teammates.

On a side note, at Snelling, which was my last race, I think the biggest problem (other than my legs, my lungs, my back, and the supposed “cold” that I claim to have had) was just getting bummed out by riding in the wind and not being able to stick with the lead group. Today I was determined to stay positive and happy and not get crabby, and it worked! I was even happy when I was TTing into the head wind trying to keep my speed above 12 mph. Haha. Really though, it made all the difference.

And then I drank a milk shake. Mmmm . . . milk shake . . .

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