Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Devil is in the Details

Headed up to the 22nd Annual Tidewater Mountain Bike Challenge on Sunday for the once a year opportunity to ride on some sweet singletrack that's been carved out in the woods of someone's private property. The 4 mile loop provides a garden variety of what you find on any given trail but the unique "gravity cavity" sections are my favorite because they're not only fast & fun, they're set up to let your momentum do most of the work for you! The course is perfect for spectators, even providing some spots where you can see a few different sections of the trail from one vantage point. With Ingram, El Cap & new cat Karen there to cheer our friends and me on, I had great support to go along with the prime conditions (both weather & trail).

The expert women class was set for 5 laps. I've been mountain biking for many years now but never got into the racing aspect of it. That said, I think my green horns (costumes were encouraged) were aptly worn that day at the start. I got caught up in the back & fumbled a bit riding so close to each other, had some reoccuring shifting issues and then topped it all off with an unsecured rear wheel skewer (that I noticed about half way into the 1st lap after dismounting to reset my chain that had come off). Good stuff. Finally got the kinks worked out and caught back up to the pack. Don't know for sure where we were when I manuevered my way up to the front but I do know I was glad to get there. The familiar feeling of being out on a trail with no one too close by helped to temporarily distract me from the uncertainty of the not knowing just how close "too close" was. I settled in on a pace that I was able to maintain and tried to keep count by remembering how many times I got to hit the jumps (another favorite
section). Managed to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the race & can honestly say I had a blast along the way!

This race was not only about the ridiculously fun course the promoter et al set up out there but it was equally about the easy going air circulating through those woods. Mountain bikers are all about having a good time and it shows, especially at this race. Already looking forward to signing up next year but I'm hoping it'll be the Duo-Enduro class with Cheetah...thinking we should enter as the "Flying Feral Felines" but there's plenty of time for deciding on that.

Thanks to everyone whose efforts pulled off yet another successful year in this long standing event & thanks to the other girls who raced...the quality over quantity concept was once again in full effect, making for another enjoyable experience from start to finish!

Ali Cat

P.S. Mysterio Muggler is da Man!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Meet and Greet – We’ve got new Kittens!

Club Manager, Barbi Cat, hosted our 2nd annual” Meet and Greet” welcoming some of the new kittens to our club team. Once again, our membership has grown to include some of the brightest stars. Coming from every walk of life, our club welcomes Christy, a children’s dentist from Norfolk who loves to ski along with riding her bike. Holly has been raising a family while putting her cycling on hold for almost 7 years. We welcome her, and her Softride Bike, out on the road and look forward to watching her long ponytail going airborne when she’s on her bike. Sherry and Iris come to us as “2 peas in a pod”, training early in the AM as well as sharing a friendship on the side. They are triathletes and found us surfing the net while looking for “cat” stuff. Erika aka Miss P, is our Latin teacher and part time bike shop employee who enjoys triathlons. She’ll be a great example to all of her students as the teacher who is well rounded. Gabby is our realtor who will take our team to a new level. She’s a multi-talented athlete and gives it her all no matter what sport she’s doing. We look forward to her making her mark as a CAT 4 next year. Jacqui is a competitor and you can tell that when you look in her eyes. A very strong runner who is now switching to cycling, she’ll be a great addition to our team once she toes the line at any race she does. Suszann is on fire and will represent us well in the 40 plus category. She not only has a strong desire to do crits and time trials, but wants to do them well! Although some of our newest felines couldn’t make the 2nd annual "Meet and Greet" we also want to welcome Jennifer, owner of Shockley’s Sweet Shoppe. She will be the sweetest addition to our pride. We understand that her business is booming – a great thing for her as long as she gets time out of the kitchen so she can spend more time on her bike! Karen, a local triathlete who is a great competitor, will also be joining us next year. She wasn’t able to make it to our meeting at Barb’s because she was out training in the mountains, but we look forward to great things from our resident pharmacist as a strong CAT 4 next year.

If you are interested in joining our fast growing club team, please contact Barb at
BarbC147@aol.com for more information.