Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oh, hey there, I have a neglected blog...

In the wake of a whirlwind school semester which is currently being finalized with... well...  finals, I have been well aware of the lack of blogging I've done.  It's just that, every time I thought about blogging, I realized that I had some other pressing assignment that I should be working on.  This blog isn't going to get me a really sweet career someday (or is it?), so I need to focus on reaping the most from this educational opportunity which is consuming my already preoccupied life.  Right on.

And so, a whole lot of stuff has been happening, and I haven't been able to write about it.  If we are related somehow via social media, it's likely that you are up to speed, but if not, buckle up; this could be a long and wordy ride...  but I'll try to be brief(ish).

I never planned to race much cross this season - that is, I hadn't planned on it until I realized MTB race season was ending, and I wanted to add some more fun to my schedule.  So I barely rode, didn't exactly train, but raced nearly every weekend.  Now that it's officially over with, I'm glad I did it.  Talk about a learning experience - damn!  I've mentioned in previous posts that I haven't really raced cross before.  I've done a few races here and there, but it's never been my thing.  Yeah, it still isn't - not really.  I do like it though...  next year I'll know what I'm getting myself into, and I'll put a little more effort into being prepared.

The highlight of the season came a little unexpectedly.  We were planning to put on a DAS cyclocross race; there's been one at Owen Bell park since Donnie opened DAS.  This year we'd talked about changing the course a bit - Donnie had some ideas to make the course more spectator friendly.  We also had to change the name of the race because we were using a town park and calling it 'Beer cross' wasn't really good for town image.  No problem...  after joking around at cross practice one Wednesday night, we somehow decided on Beaver Cross.  We got ourselves all set up through USA cycling, and seemed off to a good start.  Then a Facebook post about inequality in women's payouts vs men's payouts spiraled into a never-ending dialogue that had everything from seemingly chauvinist pigs to radical feminists.  Okay, I might be exaggerating, but there were a lot of concerned individuals who felt strongly about what they were saying...  finally, someone pointed out that maybe we should do something rather than talk about it.  Right-O!  Almost immediately, Beaver Cross became all about the Bea....  um, all about the women's payout being as awesome as possible.  Yeah, equal payout would be cool, but how about this time, we show all the ladies that there are people willing to put up some money for them to race.  We ended up with $850 in donations and distributed it 5 deep for both the open women's category AND the 3/4 women's category.  There were also lots of other sweet goodies donated.  Donnie's buddy Oliver offered some of his jerseys... check them out!

Race day went off beautifully!  We had an amazing crew of volunteers helping out, built a kick-ass course, and the weather cooperated for set-up, racing, and clean-up.  This year's race featured in a DJ, a fire, and a quadruple uphill sandpit from your wildest cyclocross nightmares.  To quote one of the participants, it was the "raddest course ever!"  SOOOoooo looking forward to doing it again next year.

...But before next year's cross season gets here, MOUNTAIN BIKE RACING RETURNS!!!  Can you tell I'm excited!?   Well, I have reason to be because there's a lot to be excited about in the New England MTB racing world...  Nationals are coming back to the East coast!  That's right, the end of July will bring some of the fastest racers in the USA out to Bear Creek Resort in PA.  AND THAT'S NOT ALL...  The USA cycling Pro XCT is coming to the East TWICE - to Windham, NY and Catamount, VT.  I bet you're beginning to see why I'm using so many capitals (I'm not sorry if that annoys you... I'm excited; deal with it).  The 2013 season is already looking like it's going to be an amazing one.

Meanwhile, my BA in English is nearing completion...  seriously, I only have senior seminar (two semesters of it) which I'm starting in a few weeks, and my BS in Biology is about a year and half away...  that's if I really buckle down and bust it out - which I've been doing.  Also, my knee problems are en route to a state of resolution...  my IT band is pulling my knee all 'outta-whack' so I'm supposed to be stretching and what-not.  Stretching and use of the foam roller of death seems to be helping a whole lot, so I'll keep on it.

I suppose this wasn't nearly as wordy or long-winded as it could have been...  I'm on break for the next three weeks, so I plan on posting some interesting stuff about fun rides and trail-building.  Here's hoping it doesn't rain the entire time I'm on break!