Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Princesa turned Queen?

Last April I began a quest to become the "Mountain Bike Queen of Orange County." Honestly I had no idea what I was getting myself into and being consumed with adventure racing, I wasn't sure if I'd have the time or the desire to compete in all 4 races of the Warriors Society Championship Series. But I thoroughly enjoyed competing in their events so I decided to give them a try.

All 4 races were held at the Flying B Ranch on a 5.6 mile course with 1253 feet of elevation gain. In April, despite a gnarly acrobatic flight over the handlebars of my bike, I managed to pull off a 2nd place finish at the Spring XC race. But three laps around that course was nothing compared to my next challenge at the 24 Hours of OC. In the sweltering heat of June, I rode 16 laps around the brutal course and won a very hard-fought 1st place. With two more races to go, I had a narrow lead in the points race against the Warriors' own Mary Huth. Mary was a strong rider who always pushed me to ride as hard as I could. One month before the 6 Hours of OC, I joined team Sho-Air/Rock N Road and I focused on my training and set my sight on finishing the series on top. Unfortunately I had a mental collapse at the 6 Hours race in October that caused me to settle for a less than stellar result. I was still leading the series but Mary was close and there would be no room to falter at the final XC event.

For the next month, I worked on my physical and mental game and I was ready for that final race of the series. The XC format was not really my strength, but I was able to ride hard and come from behind for a very satisfactory 3rd place finish. With that, I clinched the series victory and my title of "Mountain Bike Queen of Orange County."

How does it feel to be Queen you ask? Well, whereas Elizabeth might be forced to take a limo to Buckingham, I had the pleasure of driving the Element back to my Costamesacastle. She may sport the Imperial State Crown and the Sceptre, but I can now flaunt a few open wounds, bruises, and permanent scars. And five years of riding, eight months of solid training, 34 hours of riding circles around the Flying B and countless hours of mental preparation were fully compensated by a giant posterboard check for $250! Aaaaahh, life is good as Queen!

I would like to acknowledge Mary Huth for being such a fierce and gracious competitor. She was always so strong and never gave up. She made me work hard for every single point and taught me some valuable lessons along the way.
Also many thanks to...
Chris, Sherry, Suzanne, Jason, volunteers and members of the Warriors Society for building the trails and organizing the races.
Scott of Sho-Air and Matt of Rock N Road for the team.
Coach Lynda for showing me the way.
Super Mario for advising me, encouraging me, training with me, pushing me, and expecting everything out of me.
Tim for taking care of Fiona and making her ride smoothly on her final race.
Greg, Miss Gilly, Erin, Caroline, and Curt for believing in me and supporting me.
Eron, Jonathan and Josh for motivating me and training with me.

Click HERE for the official race report.


The German said...

Hey Bern,

Congrats !

Think I would rather share a beer with you rather than the one who lives down the road from me over here in the UK as well.

Cheers fir nooo

Miss Gilly said...

Anything for you my Queen. I will pick you up in the Subilimo tomorrow night!! :)

mp3 said...

So now it's time to celebrate!

Hart said...

nice work bern!