Now serving confidence hand-ups!

Yes kids, it’s been a while.  I slacked after Cincy3 and failed to post ANYTHING.  The week was a total bust and my performance was less than stellar.  I took a week to gather my thoughts and work my ever-loving ass off.  I got home from Cincy around 1am Monday and had to be at work 7 hours later.  I pulled off 48 hours of work in 3 days…one of which was my birthday.

Soo, I guess I should say a few words about the Cincy3 festival.  Well, it was hard.  I don’t have a lot to say about Saturday because I sucked big ones.  I didn’t come in last which is an accomplishment considering it was the biggest field of sandbaggers I’ve ever seen 😉  But seriously, those Ohio Valley 4’s are FAST!

Cincy3 flyover
Sunday was COLD and frost-covered.  My head blew a gasket after pre-ride.  I was so far up my own ass I couldn’t see straight.  I was terrified and torn to pieces over a stupid off-camber section.  I’ve ridden harder stuff on my mountain bike, but I couldn’t rationalize anything.
 
Boy am I glad I decided to race this one!
 
Although my soul was sucked dry and I was ready for the Jesus bus to come, I had a good race.  I was next to last, but raced my heart out for position.  The best part of the race was my epic crash…
Hmm, something looks fishy here…
Long story short…
I was taking the inside line in a turn because I didn’t want the girl behind me to pass.  I took it a tad too sharp, started to go down, tried to push myself back up using one of the stakes, I went over the handlebars, stake bent to the ground…
This is the moment when I made a terrible decision.  I thought the stake had cracked at the base, so I let go.  Bad move.
 
Ever had a gun go off right in your ear?  Course stakes sound pretty close to the same thing as they smack you across the face.  I just knew I had knocked my teeth out.  I immediately stood up, grabbed my bike and ran through the “camel hump” section.  I screamed like a little piggy and cried like a big baby.  I screamed in tears asking my friend if I was bleeding…
 
“Tony!! Am I bleeding?!”
“No Megan, you’re ok.  Just go.  You’re ok!”
 
I cried for half a lap as I pedaled my brains out.
 
I had all my teeth, beat the girl who crushed me on Saturday and had a bruised imprint of a course stake across my jaw.  Good day of racing, I say!
 
And I heckled Jr. Elites like a boss!
 
Did I mention our pit area was next to Katie Compton?
 
J-Willy, Katie, Grace (the crusher), and myself

 
 

 

Fast forward to this past weekend.  USGP Louisville!
 
Spending a nice Fall morning sucking wind and pushing 190 bpm
 
What does a girl do when she’s 10 races into her first CX season?  She goes to the USGP and prepares for the apocalypse!!  Most people race a few seasons before they attempt something like the Lou.  I have a sick addiction to pain, so I figured it would be a good experience if nothing else.
 
Friday.  Pre-ride.  I made it half a lap before I came to a screeching hault.  180 degree turn into a sketchy off-camber section into a steep, rutted downhill into a steep uphill into a steep downhill into a steep, rutted uphill.  You following me?!  It sounds easy and seems even easier on a mtb.  I was about to crap my pants…or cry…wasn’t sure which at this point.  I made many attempts to ride into this section but gave up and went back our pit. 
 
“I can’t believe I paid money to race this weekend.  What was I thinking?”
 
After pouting and feeling discouraged for a bit, I decided to give it another go.  I forced myself to figure it out.  I tried to imagine being on my mtb.  I squeezed my butt cheeks together and held my breath…and rode that shit.  I had to tripod around the turn, but I rode it.  I was fully prepared to run this section during the race due to all the Cat 4 carnage, but never had to.  I rode past girls laying on the ground and flew by girls walking their bikes down the hill.  For once I felt like a bad ass. 
 
 
I fully expected to be last, but to my astonishment I was 11/17.  Best race of my very short CX career!  I rode hard, tested my ability, surpassed my expectations and actually finished before a handful of other chicks.  I was full of joy and very proud of myself. 
 
Longest.sandpit.ever.  Sucked out my soul.  I actually had vomit coming up by lap 3.  I rode the short one, ran the long one.  I was suicidal in the sand.  I felt like dropping to the ground and making sand castles. 
 
The stare
My teammates killed it too!  In spite of mechanicals, Tony Williams had a strong finish in men’s Cat 4 and Grace Bishop is now known as “The Crusher”.  Mike Stewart brought his A game too…does he have any other game?  I don’t think the man has a B game.  Everyone represented the Dirty South very well!
 
And thanks for the birthday surprise…
 
 
I had a goal of breaking the top 10 on Sunday, but my legs were toast.  Running the long sand pit wore me down pretty fast.  I managed to hold 13th place in spite of crashing through the fence before the concrete stairs.  The field was so damn fast! 13/15 is respectable in my eyes, all things considered.
 
And the CX Gods said,
“LET THERE BE HECKLING!”
 
And it was good…
 
Silent heckling Katerina Nash
 
 
 
I made a few friends along the way…
 
Tim Johnson:  Thanks for being a good sport and taking my heckling while using the port-o-potty.  You’re a super rad dude.
 
Yannick Eckmann and the California Giant Cycling Team:  I DO love your berries!  I’m glad I could make each of you chuckle in the midst of pain.
 
J-Pow:  Even the man in front gets crap.  Just because you’re fast, doesn’t mean you’re too good for my megaphone.  We love you!
 
Ryan Trebon:  It took me two weeks, but I finally made you crack a smile.  I can die a happy girl now.
 
Ben Berden:  I know you think I’m a crazy American girl.  I am.
 
Katie, Georgia, Katerina:  It made my day when you guys actually laughed DURING your race.  Silent cheering always makes the pain go away.
 
Adam Myerson:
 
What can I say?  You’re the man.  I also think it’s pretty rad that you haven’t ripped out your earrings during a race.  Of course, you can actually ride a bike and most likely spend more time on it rather than on the ground.  I have yet to master this.
 
Jimbo and the Shamrock crew:
Yes, I stole this from your Facebook.  Thanks Shamrock!
Thanks for the inspiration.  The megaphone is the best invention ever.  You guys are hysterical and I look forward crossing paths in the future.  Hit up the MSG crew if you’re ever down this way!
 
 
My little dude, Cade:
 
One day you’re gonna make it big.  When this cougar gets really old, you’ll be making money and smacking bitches.  I will sell your childhood autograph and make my retirement.  I am a paramedic and we make shit money…you’re welcome.
(But seriously, you’re a cute kid)
 
I can walk away from this past weekend with confidence.  Yes, I still suck…but much less than I did a month ago.  Cincy3 and the USGP have taught me more than I thought possible.  I can almost call myself a cyclocross racer.  Maybe I’ll actually be good by the time I hit the women’s masters class.  I’m not too far away….meow!
 
 
 
 
 


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