We made this HUGE vegan dinner, collards, 3 different salsas, African fufu bread, fried plantains, fried aubergine, yucca root. Amazing. Mike Taylor orchastrated the whole deal while I shivered in the corner. No joke, it is fucking cold up in this punk house. I am typing next to a broken window.
Dan, Sarah and I drove up to Gloustcer, Mass this morning. I’m driving and I was like “is this snow? nope, just fancy rain drops. Wait, is this snow? no, no its not.”
“No way.” I exclaim.
I order Dan to put my tyre pressure to 2 BAR and within 20 minutes there is 2 inches of snowfall. We watch the “B” race and then for most of the women’s elite race it is just blizzarding! I am warming up in ALL my spandex with rain pants and stuff on. It is just treachorous. So, so slippery and the snow-ice-sluch just packs up on your bike instantly.
I was warming up in the Kona tent (sorry bout’ the mess) when we all start getting ready and I decide go to the car to sit in the warmth for a second to defrost my hands and feet.
I nearly miss my start! I jam backwards up the start straight and the UCI official actually holds the race up so I can peel off like ten layers of clothes. So amatuerish of me. The second I get my last bit of clothing offa me she lets the whistle blow and I actually had to run my bike for the start! I got to scurry past a few mishaps and the first few laps were total insanity! I alternately blow past Wicks, Tonkin, Adam Craig and Carl Decker with mishaps and ride really quickly up into the top 30 of the race.
And, it is just snowing! Like crazy. My glasses are packed with snow. It is building up on my arms and hips. my top tube gets a little snow build up on it. It was brutal. People are flying off the course left and right. It is so slick, one second a turn is rideable and the next second you will be out of control on it.
I eventually get popped off the back of the Adam Craig-Carl Decker train and am stuck by myself for the last bunch of laps. There has been this Frenchy guy Ben chasing me ahead of a group of 4 chasing him. Keep in mind I am just dying in the cold. My hands have gotten numb and it is windy as hell and I been riding through buckets of ice water for 45 minutes now. But I am holding my ground and picking people off slowly.
I am praying to see 3 to go and even contemplate dropping out. I can’t feel my feet or hands and I figure there is no harm in saving myself for the next race. But I get that 3 to go lap counter and give it everything I have. Frenchy Ben catches up to me and we in turn pass 3 riders in the last couple laps.
Oh, my last lap was total BS. I screw up so much. I was trying to finish really strong and just risking it in every turn, I endup crashing near the sand pit, bobbling over the barriers and careening off course and into a sharp (painful) course marking. I was just frozen, I could not shift and could barely work the brakes. And, it showed.
Thankfully everyone was up watching Tim Johnson win with like a 2 minute gap or something. From what I gather Shannon was in the top 10, Erik was in the top 5, I was in the top 20. For sure.
When I finish, I don’t stop pedaling and jam straight towards the car and start having violent shaking spasms. Sarah had to take my gloves and shoes off and I started blacking out. She put me in the car and we kicked the heater while I convulsed and almost puked. She had to peel all of my clothes offa me and I started crying. It hurt worse than anything I have felt in a long time. I was punching my head trying to feel something other than the pain. It was out of control.
Was it worth it?