The Halloween Cross Crusade weekend in Bend was brilliant, an excellent display of the Bend community, putting on a fabulous race and memory-making party.
I, unfortunately, didn't have such a brilliant weekend; smashing my face on the asphalt on my way to work on Friday (stupid-silly a$$-over-tea-kettle, complete user error), and racing both Saturday and Sunday with my face so swollen that I had trouble breathing out of my nose and my fat lip getting in the way of mouth breathing.
The redeeming factor of the weekend was my Halloween costume. A dragon; made with lovely care by my Mom; who made the over the mountains to see the costumer race live and in person. Having her here was wonderful and gave me more reason to push myself when I felt like staying the bed. After the race on Sunday, I was forced to admit how exhausted I was. I almost felt over as I tried to get on my bike to get in a cool-down.
Barton Park was a different story. After a week of rest and recovery, spiced up with a couple solid workouts, I was ready to race.
The course was a combination of fast dirt and gravel with a few mud puddles and peanut-butter corners thrown in for good measure. Oh, and of course, the Barton Park run-ups. Two per lap. This was going to be good.
I had a slow start, but quickly moved my way through a strong field of women and by the end of the first lap was in the lead. Head down, hammering, I looked back only enough to see that Alice wasn't on my wheel. After I confirmed I was alone, I focused my attention forward.
I was riding well and having fun. Legs burning, heart on fire.
Barton was a the reasons I love to race cross.
Dirt, mud, friends, cow-bells, donuts, and suffering shared by each person who toed the line.
I have traveled a bit more this season, going to out-of-state races, racing against super-fast women. These races are fun, but racing at home, in Oregon, surrounded by my community - that is the best. I am continually thankful for our community. One of strong spirits, brilliant smiles and flannel. Yes, lots of flannel.
And Don, we certainly miss you.
|Photo: Nick Fochtman|
|Photo: Nick Fochtman|
|Photo: Matthew Lasala|
I really like this image.... exhausted, elated, smiling. Yes, Oregon, I really do love you!