Monday, March 15, 2010

Victoria Visit & Crash Tales


I finally sat down to spin my tales of daffodils, cherry blossoms and soft tissue trauma.

We had a wonderful weekend in Victoria- spring is in full force and the blossoms waited for our arrival which was kind of them.

Hi-lights were feasting at the Japanese Village with my family and 4 birthday peeps...early morning walks through the Village, along Dallas Road and through the Park...sharing a steaming pot of homemade seafood chowder with family at my sisters home. Ahhhh...there is nothing quite like spring in Victoria!

Saturday I had a chance to pre-ride the bike course out at the Hartland dump in Saanich. The guys were flagging the course so it gave me a great opportunity to check out the trails, try out some lines and get a feel for the flow of the course. This is key for me! I like surprises but not that kind.

Sunday the race started at 12pm for the 'intermediate' class. This just meant that we did 2 loops. Beginners did 1 loop and Experts did 3. You choose the length of your workout!

Gen was there also from Courtenay and we looked at the start line and each wondered aloud: "Where are all the girls?".

Not being experience bike racers we were surprised to see over 35 men and only 5 women on the line. Strange? Apparently not. Soon I learned that for some reason not many girls choose to race bikes. No sure why- it is a fun way to make yourself go faster!

The other weird thing (from a complete bike racing rookie) was they started the guys first. Then after about 5 minutes they started the girls. All 5 of us! Strange? I think so!

I have all sorts of ideas why they might think to do this...but don't want to make any unfair assumptions so I emailed the race organizer.

Apparently they do the split start to 'decrease the intimidation factor'. I didn't realize we were so scary for the boys! HA! I caught and passed a few boys within 5 or 10 minutes- I hope I didn't scare any of them...

I was suprised to find myself at the front of our little girl power pack...and then I crashed about half way through the first lap.

Long story medium- I endo'd because of a teeny wet root that I didn't see after a little drop....hands went out but somehow I managed to find a large sharp, hard rock in the middle of the dirt and my sternum and clavicles crushed into it. Not my face luckily! Wind knocked out...thought my ribs or collar bone were busted off for sure...rolling around in pain under my bike...

Friendly racers picked my bike up off me, helped me up and checked on me:) Such nice racers these bikers are! A fellow girl racer also stopped to help me before I sent her on her way. I could breathe, I could talk, I could move my arms...I would be ok.

I walked my bike through the next little steep downhill section then dusted myself off and hopped back on. The rest of the loop was a bit wild- with adrenaline pumping and nasty images replaying in my head every time I went down a tricky bit.

But by the time I started the second loop I had shaken it off and had a great second lap. I think it was about 30 minutes per lap - and a total of 1:06 ish? with time for crying and rolling around on the ground of course.

At least I got to race. Gen didn't even make it off the fire road before her derailer snapped in 2 she had to walk back to the start without any bike riding at all:(

Today I feel like I survived a run in with a truck. TENDER to say the very least. Neck, shoulders, chest, and a few aching bruised bones...not much upper body activity this week.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS I can run again! My sprained ankle is nearly healed! Woohoo!

Onward and upward I say!

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