Reposted from Black Sheep Cartel’s newest and most bad ass teammate, from her blog Mud Junkie.
Cory’s First Jingle Cross Rock
A lot has happened over the past few weeks.
My life changed in some pretty huge ways exactly 30 days ago.
I am pretty amazed at how much those changes changed me.
30 days ago, I was beaten down, sad, tired…
Today, not so much.
I cut a few ties that were too binding and took a big breath.
I let the events of the day crash on top of me and just held my breath.
I got past it and the next day got on my bike and raced my cx bike with the weight of the word no where in sight.
There was photographic evidence that I was smiling and just having fun in the sport that I so love.
The Sass raced too and we had a great day surrounded by our friends, dirt, and cow bells.
With each race, I relaxed more and figured my head out.
(…my race head and my real life head.)
As Thanksgiving approached, I started to get sad over the fact that The Sass was going to her dad’s for the weekend and Ty was going out of town with his girlfriend.
The thought of the holiday weekend without my kiddos was bumming me out.
The last Bubba cx race of the season was that Sunday and I my time with my friends was coming to a close.
I made a somewhat last minute decision to race Jingle Cross.
To get in my car and leave for the weekend and bury myself in cold and pain so I didn’t miss my kids or think too much about certain other things.
Suddenly, I was very excited!
This was an adventure!
We rolled up to the course and I’m pretty sure I got my “O” face on as I examined the course.
Then…I saw it…
I stepped out of the car and jumped right the hell back in it…
I got on the jacket and damn near skipped to registration.
Registration was a BREEZE!
This pleased me.
As I was paying, but after I registered because you pay at a different table, I see the sign that they are “dumbing down” the course for the Cat 4s.
I really wanted to do Mt. Krumpitt.
I went back and asked them to deadline to register for a race and they said 30 mins prior.
We hurried up and got dressed to pre-ride. The plan being that if I was fine with Mt. Krumpitt, I was adding the Masters race so that I could do it.
Soooooo, we got our butts on the course and headed toward the hill…
The climb up was nice. Very cool.
When we crested the top, we realized why people were stressed out about a bunch of Cat 4 men and women on that thing.
Ice and slime on one big off-camber downhill pinball game.
There were a bunch of racers just sitting there watching people slide down.
It was awesome!
Downhill off-camber hairpins would normally excite me. Seeing all those grown men nervous made me a little, well…nervous.
I took the first turn and all was fine, but then the bike starts sliding down toward the fencing when you are supposed to be moving forward.
Hmmmm…OK…I’ll run it.
You slide running it too.
What a mess!
(Hey, I wanted mud, right?)
It was a lot of fun, but I knew that with a ton of 4s on the course, it would get ugly and I was happy they removed it.
I rode the rest of the course and reintroduced myself to the Green Monster.
I got excited again.
Suddenly, it was time.
We were called to Staging and boy was THAT ever a non-blast!
33 degrees and the men’s field is huge.
Row by row they line up as we all get colder.
(To me, the most miserable part of the race is Staging. I hate it. Oh. My. GAWD, do I ever hate it!)
Because I registered an hour or so before the race, I have the last place at the start. I am pretty excited about this, but I know it is what it is.
The race goes off and I work my way up.
Still freezing, but REALLY grateful for a thermal skinsuit at this point.
[name redacted] is calling out my splits as I make my way around the course and I am slowly picking girls off.
When I come thru on the first lap, I hear that I am in 4th.
This pleases me.
There are a ton of Cat 4 men on the course too and some are not very cool.
One continues to block me at every turn and when I would pass him, he would attack and cut in front of me.
Finally, I had to be a gentle dick to him.
I calmly (yes calmly) say, “Dude, you’re impeding my race. I am in 4th. No offense, but if you are back here with me, you are not. Let me pass. You are NOT racing me.”
If I would have had a camera handy, I would have saved the snapshot of his look FOREVER.
I hauled ass and after motoring past some fellas on the off-camber, I headed toward the gravel chasing (aka “trying to find”) the 3rd place racer.
I took a hairpin on the gravel and my rear wheel slid out.
My race/skin flashed before my eyes as I kept the rubber down, to the awesome cheer of the SRAM boys and spectators, so I’m glad THAT worked out.
(I kept that smile on my face for a while…and every time I hit that turn.)
[Name redacted] was keeping track and I was apparently getting faster each lap.
(Why the HELL am I so ass backwards?!?!?)
I came through the final lap in the barn making the hairpins with a Cat 4 male.
As I came around him for the sprint, I let him know I was a chick so he could do his thing without stressing.
He smiled and we sprinted.
I held 4th.
The next day, dawned 26 degrees and windy.
The morning was chaos for me and I almost bailed on the 4 race and raced Masters (2 hours later) because I was running late.
When I got to the course, I said, “Fuck it” and got dressed to race.
This time, we got Mt.Krumpitt as a run up and dive down. It was a blast!
After the first lap (…and after advancing and then getting caught behind a wreck), I was in 5th.
Apparently, by the last lap, the girl in 4th was blowing up.
I could see her and 6th was chasing me and I put some gap at the barriers.
I was going after 4th, when I wrecked on the snotty turn onto the off-camber base of Mt.Krumpitt.
I got up and ran it to the grassy off-camber and hopped back on.
4th got away and 6th was with me as we took the hill.
I recovered as I ran and climbed and let her go a hair.
Unfortunately, I knew she struggled with remounts and descending.
She had to run farther to remount on the flat top.
I remounted on the climb and crested.
I said, “C’mon…let’s go finish.”
We were exhausted and our fingers were frozen.
She chased me down the hill and as I hit the flats, I heard The Sass in my ear.
“Add a gear! Pedal! Pedal! Pedal!”
So, I did.
That was it.
I dropped 6th.
I hit the barn, took the turns, and on the last turn added my gears and started my sprint.
My lips were frozen to my teeth as I crossed the finish, secure in 5th (out of 25).
I had done it.
I had done things that only meant something to me, but I was beyond happy.
[Name redacted] and I headed to Mt. Krumpitt and watched a few more races and then decided to head home a bit early.
I was excited that I got to do this event and still be home the next day to race Bubba with my friends and say good-bye to some.
It was a fantastic weekend!