Monday, November 26, 2007

Jingle Cross 2 race report and guardian angel adventures

I'd forgotten exactly how much fun Jingle Cross is until this weekend, even though I've been looking forward to it all season! Today my step-dad came over from Des Moines as well. I was worried they might be bored, but my mom was telling me how much fun she was having, and how great it is to get out of the house, since they have to be around constantly lest my elderly grandmother burn down the house or fall down the stairs. They really had a lot of fun at the race!

Once again I left it all on the course. This was only good for about the same results as yesterday and last year again, which means one of two things: I'm not getting any better, or the competition is getting stiffer. I'm going to go with the latter! No matter what all I can do is my best, and with racers all around me, the wall of cheers up Mt. Krumpit and people cheering for me and people around me throughout the course. It's even motivating when people are cheering for the person behind me to "go get that guy"! Thanks to everyone that was cheering for us MN racers, and there were a lot of you out there!

After my race it was time to return the favor, and maybe the best part of the race was watching Linda Sone battle her way through the field to grab 4th place in an exciting sprint at the line! I think I yelled my throat sore! Several MN women represented extremely well, and it's been exciting watching them improve throughout this season, culminating in an awesome race against national-caliber racers this weekend: Linda Sone, Linda Cooper, Margo and Maria Stewart.

Next up was the men's elite race, competing for UCI points before Nationals. Todd Wells was a shoo-in to win the race and was the only one to bunny hop the logs at the base of Mt. Krumpit each time and ride all the way up (although it wasn't necessarily any faster). Chris Horner presented some very serious competition again this year, and you have to cheer for such a nice guy! Midwest elite racers Bjorn Selander, Tristan Shouten, Steve Tilford (48 years old!) and Adam Bergman didn't let it go down without a fight though, and made for some very exciting racing!Mt. Krumpit was the place to be of course, and we made for a solid wall of cowbells, yelling, cheers, music and mayhem! There were dollar (and more!) primes, Hollywood's @$$ prime, beer flowing, and everyone having a really good time. I'm sure there was plenty of action Saturday night as well, but I took my mom out for dinner and got to bed early. It was truly like being at a Cross Crusade race, and I'm sure Horner and the RCB girls felt right at home! Next time we just need a hot tub at the top of Mt Krumpit! (Credit to JimmerC for the great Hollywood pic.)

The adventures didn't end when the racing ended though. After saying goodbye to the parents I headed back to Minneapolis. I took the most direct route, which almost proved to be a bad decision. My dad called while I was on the road, and yakking with him I didn't notice my fuel gauge heading toward empty. When the light came on I was literally in the middle of BFE Iowa. After a while I lowered my speed to save fuel, but still no gas stations. A while after that the engine started sputtering! I slowed down even more with a few miles to go until Mason City. More sputtering periodically, and rolling down the ramp for Mason City the engine died completely! Somehow I was able to get it started again and rolled into the first gas station in Mason City without further problems and filled up.

But wait, there's more! Heading back out of Mason City, a deer crossed the road right in front of me, and I slammed on the brakes just in time for another deer to miss me by inches! ABS FTW! Wow. By comparison the rest of the drive was uneventful, but long. :(