Sunday, March 04, 2007

Vision Quest ~ I did it!


Top 5

If you live in Southern California and want to call yourself an endurance mountain bike racer, then Vision Quest is a must! It is a 55.6 mile ride with 11,000 feet of elevation GAIN! There are so many folks who want to attempt it that it sells out every year. I’ve thought about it for the last few years, but it never worked into my adventure racing calendar. Finally this year, I made it happen.

Helpful hint:
If you do a 24 hour solo race two weeks before Vision Quest, be prepared to suffer-- tremendously.

Good thing I have a Doctorate in Pain & Suffering. An hour and a half into my projected nine hour ride, I was hurting. My body reminded me that it was pushed to the limit merely two weeks ago and wasn’t quite prepared to do it again. So I had to back off the pace a little. I needed to go slow enough so my body would not fail, but fast enough to make the cut-offs. And I was also trying to be super careful on the down hills because I didn’t want to take a chance at injury right before my adventure race in Spain. But the gusting Santa Ana winds were not cooperating. Anytime I’d try to gain a little speed on the down hill, the wind would blow me into a rut or into other riders so I had to slow down. I made the first cut-off with no problem and Amalia (Manny’s wife) was at the Aid Station to re-fuel me. As I left, I ran into Georgina King. She and I rode up Maple Springs to Santiago Peak together and it was nice to chat with her and pass the time. Then I came upon Mary Huth at the top of Holy Jim. She and I rode down Holy Jim together and got to the second cut-off/Aid Station just in time. George was there to support me and encouraged me to go hard so that I could make the last cut-off. I made it with a whole 4 minutes to spare! Super Mario had warned me of the one hour hike-a-bike up West Horse Thief. …Huh, a one hour hike-a-bike. No problem. I’ve cursed many a race director through 3-6 hour hike-a-bikes in several adventure races! Definitely not my favorite discipline, but manageable. When I reached the top of West Horse Thief and got back on my bike, I finally felt good. Eight hours into my ride, my body stopped hurting long enough for me to crack a smile. I thoroughly enjoyed riding down Trabuco Canyon Trail and out the last 4 miles of Trabuco Canyon Road to the finish. The Warriors presented me with my Finisher’s Feather and George, Josh, Andy, Suzanne, and others welcomed me back.

Top 10

Congratulations to the entire Sho-Air/Rock N Road team for the outstanding effort. Cameron, Manny, Fuzzy, Todd, Brad, and Super Mario all finished in the top 10 of Vison Quest. Ty won the Counting Coup. And Tim, Justin, Scott, Matt, Jason, and Josh all did extremely well!

My goal for this race was to FINISH, period, end of story. And that’s what I did. Thanks to Chris, Sherry and all the Warriors and volunteers for producing a great event. And special thanks to my friend Eron Boyer for believing in me and encouraging me to ride the Quest.


Super Mario

1 comment:

Slater said...

Congratulations Bernice!

You must be packing in the miles this month! ;-)