Every year I go to Vegas, I quickly regret it, what bike racer likes Vegas? The lights, the heat, the dry air, all those people. It's an anxious person's nightmare (AKA, my nightmare). Our (from here on out when I say "our" it refers to my lovely husband and I) trip to Vegas was already chaos before we even boarded the plane. Sunday night I realized I forgot to register, and at that point registration was already closed. I emailed and called the promoter with no such luck. Monday morning I waited and waited and waited to hear back from him. Nothing. Chris called him and had no luck. I was texting one of my friends/amazing sponsor at Clif to see if he could help me out. I spent the better half of Monday in tears, had to leave work because I couldn't stop crying, all of this effort I was putting into Vegas, all the sponsors I told I was going to race, was for nothing. I was extremely upset and very stressed. By 1pm I received a text from my favorite Clif Bar employee that I was in the race. I felt as if a 20 pound brick was lifted off my chest.
May the circus continue!
I love flying to Vegas because we can fly direct from Bellingham. It's so much easier than flying out of SeaTac, we leave 10am and arrive 12:30pm, pick up the rental car, head to the hotel, put bikes together, skip out on riding and take a nap instead, pick up race numbers, continue to put bikes together, and went to dinner.
Dinner was a whole new experience for me. Perhaps both of us. Tuesday night I had a dinner planned with a new sponsor! This season I am extremely excited to say I am a KASK sponsored athlete. KASK is an Italian company that makes/designs helmets, and a whole lot of them! Not just biking helmets, but safety and climbing, just to name a few. We planned to meet for dinner at 8pm, but it was then pushed back to 10pm, which then meant we didn't sit down for dinner until 10:30pm. Italian style. At dinner they presented me a couple of new custom helmets, and they are beautiful! Exactly as I had imagined, black and fuchsia. They make me smile when I see them. I had a really great time meeting the Italian KASK family, and I'm really looking forward to working with them this year! Look for awesome looking helmets on my head throughout the season.
Wednesday night the real circus begins! Racing CrossVegas has it's highs and lows. I love the crowds, but I really could do without the dry desert hot air. Every year I have raced with a bottle cage and have never regretted it. My mouth gets SO dry! It will get so dry that I can't open it and then I can't breath. This is problematic when your heart is beating at 190bpms and all it want's is a little oxygen. This year I forgot a bottle cage, and I probably won't do that again! I had a really great start and I was feeling extremely comfortable with the group I was riding with. Within the 2nd lap the race split and I certainly wasn't able to stick with the front group, but that's okay because I was still riding in the top ten with the chase group. I was extremely excited with the way I was riding and the group I was riding with. Halfway through the third lap at the bottom of one of the flyovers my bars slipped and where now at a 45 degree angle facing the ground. It startled me at first and everyone in the group came flying by me. I thought perhaps I could try to pull them upwards, but no such luck. I ended up pitting as I was dangling off the back of the group. Once on my "B" bike I dug really hard to catch the group in front of me, which consequently made me explode. For the last 2 laps I did everything I could to just hold a solid position. I kept telling myself it would be okay, and Vegas doesn't really depict how I am going to do all season. I needed to stay positive to get through the race.
In the end I thought my throat was going to explode and I wasn't sure I would be able to open my mouth, but I caught my breath grabbed some water and continued to find the positive from the race.
I think it's important every race to think about what you did right, and not just dwell on what went wrong, because sometimes things aren't going to go your way. I had a great start and my legs felt good. I'm happy with that.
Thursday we spent most of the day at Interbike. Which was a whole new experience for both of us! I had some sponsor booths to stop by at and meet. It was so great to have the opportunity to stop by and meet my sponsors face to face. More on Interbike later!
Over all I would say my trip to Vegas was pretty successful. Friday morning we started our adventure to Boulder, in a car, which I will never…ever…do…again.
I'm going to do my best to get some better pictures posted in my blog, and remember to take pictures, so I will be sure to work on that! For now you have silly photos taken from my phone.