March 8, 2010

Echo Red-to-Red

Don told me the Trek EX 9.8 would change my life.  Considering I have fallen in love with mountain bike riding, I have to tell him he was right.

Saturday I joined the herd of folks rolling out through Echo for the second running of the Red-to-Red.  All the Pro, Cat 1 and Singlespeed men and women started together.  Strange feeling to start a race and have no idea who you are racing against.  The Women’s field was swallowed up by the Men’s field.  There could have been 100 women starting that race or just 3.  Turns out there were 16.  I saw only one of them the entire 29-mile race. 

Endless ribbons of single track wound itself up the rolling Eastern Oregon landscape, a couple of steep climbs, a few slat bridges and a load of sunshine.  There was nothing I would have rather been doing on Saturday afternoon.

The race unfolded pretty close to my expectations.  I got passed on the descents and preceded to pass the same guys on the climbs.  My confidence grew stronger as the race progressed and by the end, I felt like I was actually attacking the corners instead of letting them attack me.  I have a lot of technical improvement to do, but the season is young, I have teammates who specialize in Super D and I have a new bike that I absolutely love riding.

When the results were posted, Sunnyside claimed 6 podium spots!  Not a bad way to start off the season.  I placed 1st in the Cat 1 category, shared the podium with my stellar teammate Julie, and took home a bottle of wine and a sweet medal (which will be swiftly added to my nephew’s growing collection).

Now, off to pack and purchase books for my upcoming Spain adventure. 
Did I mention I was going to Spain? 
Did I mention how excited I am?