*Photos by Random Start Photography, Mandy Loorham http://www.randomstartphotography.com/
I love cyclocross but sometimes it is like jumping buck ass nekkid in a arctic river or putting duck tape on one’s sensitive body hairs and ripping it off with strength and no mercy; the agony of anticipation for the race to start, the extreme mouth gapping pain, the WTF of it all why am I so happy?! When I had to make the decision between this race and the CX races at Conyers this past weekend, I really wanted to believe that it was a terribly difficult decision to make but my soul was well aware that there was no decision to make. Assail the trail is like a high holy day for me if you will, it is my anniversary of being christened in the Church of the Blood Warriors of Mountain Biking. But really I hope next year that these two events don't happen on the same weekend! :)
Last year I remember signing up for this race with my tail in between my legs. Feeling discouraged with my rather poor showings at the couple of CX races I had done. It all seems pretty silly to feel sad about it in retrospect considering at that time I had just gotten on a bike the beginning of spring and not only that - I had just started exercising again in January of that year after a 2 year hiatus when I quit dancing!! So, I entered the beginner’s race with no expectations but only that I really fucking love mountain biking and I wanted to see what it was like racing it. I unno this race inspired me to keep on keeping on or someshit. Here is my race report from last year - http://fastermustache.org/node/7567
I was really boosted about signing up for the big girl’s race this year. I knew it was on a GA CX double header weekend but I had no idea who was going to be there. Shit, Amanda Green and some heavy hitters showed up at that Doughnut race in Tennessee by Ride for Reading and unlike the men’s categories ( some fuggin’awesome male mugg ate 27 *ucking doughnuts – the *uck?!), I’d say the majority of the women could have cared less that it was supposed to be just for fun. So, I was thinking there was no telling about who’d might be there for this race.
Unfortunately, it was a sausage fest and I was the token taco. It kind of seemed like we were a crew of mallard ducks or someshit – no interest or courting involved though. We all venture up the hill to the start. Now I remember this son of bitch last year, this hill didn’t seem all that terrible now. I felt good as shit going up it like some kind of messed up goat. But however nice I was feeling right then was soon about to fade because I had forgotten something so vital – lunch.
The weak-ass whistle blows and we are off up the gravel hill and I all of a sudden feel like real ass. Bonk - I left them delicious watermelon GU Chomps in my car…damnit! I wasn’t going to stop, thankfully in my past I was used to working out at high intensities with little to no food to the point of seizure sometimes, no wonder I was shit at remembering dance combos or forget choreography!
The first singletrack segment is a gahdamn tease. The two gentlemen guiding the direction of the race were not kidding when they said, “This is the fun part.” And boy it was! Like a roller coaster and as flowy as a waterside. Go past the start and I was like, “aiight I can handle some more of that!” Then, the pump tracky section was cool and then gradually and less gradually the climbs started to remind me of those of fuggin’ Dawson Forrest, less rutted out of course. Then after the switchback in to some gravel quick-sand to the next segment…boy I was ready to go down the hill but not all at once, gahtdamn. The decent was steep, narrow, off camber, on dirt as dry as Margaret Thatcher’s vagina and like powered sugar on top. A lot of that was cyclocrossed – and it wasn’t easy to even walk it on that terrain. I’m not certain but I suspect that part of the trail was just freshly cut for the race. Anyways, going up back hill wasn’t too much long after and it was like the Little Shop of Horrors had placed all of Seymore’s children in this one spot. *uckin’ hell! Next it was that old section I couldn’t do at all last year – and it was a piece of cake! Then down the gravel to the flowy section ahhh! I felt terrible the whole time but I kept on till the end and still managed to have a blast!
Since there were no other women, I guess I won the women’s division and got 5th overall! But really that is what all isn’t about though; I love this race and the people in it! It is so much fun and supports a good cause and I plan on doing it every year they hold it. Oh and I’ll eat lunch and not forget my Gu's!! Oh and thanks to Beth Gearhart for generously letting me borrow her bicycle for this race, it is a sexy ride and I’d of died if I did it on my CX bike. Oh and Brookshire the *uckin' man for setting that shit up right away!