Thursday, November 16, 2006

12 Hours of Temecula ~ Team Sho-Air/Rock N' Road ~ 2nd Place Two Person Co-Ed

My Sho-Air teammate and great friend Josh Smith and I paired up for the 12 Hours of Temecula on November 11. We arrived on Friday evening and pre-rode the course. Jason, the RD, changed it up from previous races and made it a good mixture of singletrack, ridgeline rollercoasters, and technical climbs. There were a couple of steep, extremely sandy downhills where I knew I'd have to take caution but mostly it was a fast, fun course with only one dreaded climb dubbed "The Dam(n) Hill."

Josh packed up the Element well!

The race started with a 1/2 mile prologue to spread the field. Josh sprinted his way through the first lap and came through in fourth position--even against all the 4 and 5 man teams! We'd planned that he would take the first two laps and then we'd alternate, however, I had a feeling that I should be ready to ride...just in case.

Josh focusing on his start.

Thank God I was ready because as soon as he came through he signaled for me to go because he was having problems with his shifting. So I took off and rode hard. I was trying to win the $50 for the "Fastest Female Lap" but I guess I will have to work on my speed quite a bit more. Chrissy Bono, the Pro rider for the 2 person Co-Ed Spinergy team beat me by 6 minutes.

Bern smiles for the camera. (Stop posing and maybe you'll ride faster!)

My first two laps went smoothly. I made it down both steep, sandy sections with no mishaps. I was feeling good and making sure to fuel in between laps. Buuuuutttt, oops! I think I over fueled. After my second lap, I downed an entire bottle of Recoverite, a whole banana, a flask of Perpetuem, and 2 salty potato chips. As soon as I started riding, my tummy was NOT happy! I battled excruciating stomach cramps all the way up The Dam(n) Hill and through most of the lap. Then when I reached the first steep, sandy down, I lost control and fell hard right on my bottom. OUCH! It hurt. But I got up and kept riding. When I finally reached the transition to tag Josh, he knew something was wrong. But I just said I had a bad tummy and I'd be fine when he got back. I took some time to visit the medical guys and they were more than happy to tend to the giant gash on my left butt cheek. They asked if I had crashed over the fence into the ditch. "What fence? What ditch," I asked. "Nope, I just went down on the trail." So they asked if I was going back out to ride again. I thought: What? Is there an option? Hmmmm......Could I talk Josh into riding 8 more laps? Ha, ha! Nope, I wouldn't do such a thing. "Of course I'm going back out."

Josh powering up The Dam(n) Hill.

My fourth lap was going smoothly until I reached that darn sandy, steep section again. I was cautious and I made it down. Then I got cocky because I was almost in the clear...ALMOST in the clear. I then proceeded to run right through THE fence and into THE ditch. Luckily the RD, Jason, had set down a piece of plywood as a makeshift bridge just in case someone went over the edge. (He must have known I was racing.) So I managed to grab on to the edge of the plywood as my entire body dangled down towards the bottom of the 20 foot ravine. A nice young man stopped, picked up my bike, and helped me out of that mess and I kept on riding. I was too embarrassed to make yet another trip to the med tent so I tended to my own cuts and bruises. My 5th and final lap was slow, easy, and I decided to walk that DAM (no N) sandy, steep drop. I figured that 5 open wounds and 9 bruises (that I could see) were enough for one race.

Josh and I completed 11 laps and finished in 2nd place behind the Pro riders of Team Spinergy. We raced hard, had fun, and made a great team. We motivated each other and communicated with each other by leaving notes. We anticipated each other's needs and took care of each other throughout the race. Once again, great teamwork prevailed and made for a successful race for Team Sho-Air/Rock N' Road.


mp3 said...

Nice job! And yeah you probably will go faster if you don't slow down for the camera. =)

Anonymous said...

Great work Bernice-Josh thank you for the great show at the 12 hours of temecula!

Manuel Prado