Thursday, May 2, 2013

Better late than never? Last year's blog post so I can start blogging 2013 and my switch from XC to Enduro racing.

While my shoulder injury (see last post) put a damper in my 2012 racing it didn't stop us from traveling and riding with folks all over the world. Todd and I had a great time in Europe, we were able to spend more time with family across the USA and purchased a vacation rental in Durango, CO. 

Details and pictures so we don't forget where we've been:

2012 May 6th
Italy to Austria
We left our amazing Italian farmhouse apartment in the Tuscan mountains where we had spent three weeks:  / 

Headed to Czech, I again wanted to see if I was able to race and stopped off at a UCI race in northern Italy. 
on the road again

view from the coffee shop along the route

Luckily we had a working GPS

We barely had time to pre-ride (in the rain) before pitch dark, so Todd dropped me off and I did one lap with lights. As soon as I saw him back at the car I broke down in tears again, I just couldn't control my bike yet on a Euro course. Sliding into a padded tree on a steep that turned (and my bike didn't) hadn't hurt but I was pretty rattled. If something is too steep and slippery to ride it is impossible to walk. After getting to the hotel room I decided if it were drier I could make the steep slippery, rooty descents. The decision was made that if it was raining when we woke up I would skip the race. It was pouring the next morning, I looked out the window, saw the Junior racers covered in mud and was perfectly happy to go back to bed; guess I was pretty stressed out about trying to race. 

When I finally got out of bed we walked around this little mountain town.

I kept with the same theme all summer, doing everything I could, I may not do it well but I sure didn't want to miss out on anything. 

Mellow ride in Austria

Austria to Czech
Back on the road to Czech we rode in Austria and got a big fine for not having a toll sticker. Apparently you pull over right when you cross the border and buy a sticker. Now we know...  

Buying a toll sticker in Czech

We stayed in a cool hotel. You drive up to a kiosk, put in a credit card and it drops out a key to a room. Problem was it gave us a key to an upstairs room, not wanting to drag 6 weeks worth of stuff up two flights of stairs for one night we went to the office which had closed early. Long story about driving around a Eastern European town at night looking for options ended up with us calling the first hotel's contact number. Luckily he spoke some English and was able to get the machine to give us a ground level room! (We had learned by now not to ask for 1st floor, because that is the 1st floor above ground level.)

Internet, yay!

Czech (Nove Mesto na Morave World Cup May 13th)
I knew the Czech course, it's the easiest European World Cup course so I was excited. As long as it didn't rain and make the angled roots slippery I would survive. I would tape up my shoulder, take Aleve, wear an EVS shoulder pad/brace, use a 29'er front wheel with a Kenda Nevegal, take B lines and run the flat rock garden, I didn't care, I was going to "race". 

Trying to find accreditation

Finding the town is always the first challenge, then the hotel and the course.

Todd thinking he found it, turns out it was an arts and crafts street fair

I did a pre-ride with Georgia and was so happy that I did a tiny drop and every B-line (still ran the rocks).  My ligaments are severed, they don't fix themselves and opting for the no surgery route I had nothing but muscle holding my shoulder up. So to stay the least my shoulder is not stable, and soft tissue damage apparently takes FOREVER to heal and is very painful.

The day before my race Todd did the local Marathon race. It was freezing cold and very wet, He had fun, but I'm not sure I would have. I drove around trying to find the feed, but the course had changed and nothing (racer's meeting, notes, map) was in English so we never figured that out. I missed his feed...


Lots of easy riding from the hotel

Surfin' buddies Chloe and Judy

Race day venue

The race went as well as I could have hoped, no wrecking and I didn't finish last (almost, but it could have been worse, I could have DNF'd or been 2 laps down instead of 1...). While still operating with pretty much one arm I am calling it a victory.

Czech Republic to Germany
On to the way to France for the next World Cup race we spent a little time in Germany. The ride from our hotel in Bad Wimpfen, Germany to river path then north along the bike path was pretty nice.

Getting dropped on a date ride

France (Le Bresse World Cup May 20th)

The process is always the same, find hotel...

This hotel has a freezer!!!!! Ice for the shoulder, very hard to come by in Europe.

Find the course...

Find the easy rides around town, in this case around the lake

Grabbing an espresso while doing laundry across the street 

Finding a massage

Lea Davidson's Birthday party at the Specialized trailer

Race time

My race was all about survival, I think I was one of two racers who didn't wreck, it was steep, slippery and mud/rock techy which at my speed (slow) was so much fun! This time I finished 2 laps down, but there were riders who finished 3 laps down and 11 that DNF'd, so again it could have been worse. I was worked by the time they pulled me, I was fading quickly and wouldn't have had enough upper body strength or the shoulder pain threshold to do another lap.

Watching the Cannondale boys race

Course description from Mary and Mike's blog, "The demanding course took it's toll on many.  There were more mechanical problems and bloodied riders than at any of the other WCs in recent memory!    Sketchy chutes seemed to be enough to take down even the best riders including the world cup winner Julian Absalon who took a solid tumble over the bars on his way to victory. "

Videos here:

Results and pics here:

back to theUSA

Everything the two of us needed for 6 weeks in Europe

One last Tucson MTB ride

One last Lemmon road ride, it's HOT here

Headed to Durango for the rest of 2012

Cooler riding in Flagstaff on the way to Durango

 2012 Summer/Fall in Durango

While I was based out of Durango there was still a lot of traveling the second half of 2012 with National/ProXCT races in Idaho, Montana and Wisconsin, my brother Dana's wedding in Tennessee, Todd's Uncle's birthday in Texas,  Interbike in Nevada, Cannondale visit in Connecticut and that's just what I remember.

Dressed up for a wedding

Shoulder progress was super slow but I was able to ride all summer. Most importantly I successively eluded surgery once again. (edit: it took one full year till I was "back" shoulder-wise, March 2013; that was one long recovery.)

The Durango rental loft we purchased was entirely unfinished inside, only cement floors and sheetrock, no counters, no kitchen, no bathrooms, etc. A good portion of the Fall was spent finishing the loft and working to get it rented. Then it was back to Tucson to start 2013.

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