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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DNF'ing Sucks

FORC Side Thrill Ride 


Proof I rode the berm -  Photo Credit: Hanson Photo Design

It sucks to have a mechanical during a race, but it really sucks when it's on your last lap and your having a pretty good race. I was riding a pretty tame section of course and thought my foot had come unclipped, odd, but no big deal. I didn't think too much of it until I tried to clip back in and realized I was missing my pedal! I looked down and saw my pedal attached to my shoe instead of my bike- well shit.

At this point in the race (3rd & final lap) Robin was well in the lead, and I knew I didn't have a chance of catching her. But I was sitting in second place with Britt and Liz maybe a minute or so behind, and I was hoping to hold the gap. I tried and tried to get the pedal screwed back in and it was just.not.working. One of the Iowa City Guys, Ryan came by and gave me a multi-tool, still no luck (thank you though!) Then one by one the women's field came by and passed me and I saw the race slipping through the cracks. I think I spent about 15 minutes trying to get the darn thing back on before mostly giving up.

I slowly made my way through the course, coasting when I could and hike a biking anytime there was an incline or roots - it's really hard to pedal and balance with just one leg! I was hoping that Aaron would soon come along and be able to fix my bike so I could at least finish. He did stop to help but the threading on the crank where the pedal screws in was messed up so there was no hope. And to make things worst Aaron lost a couple places while helping me- he wouldn't keep going until I absolutely insisted.

Only four miles to go but no chance to even run it in. I was falling over in the slippy mud just walking the bike- carbon soled shoes are just not made for climbing hills on foot! And let's be honest, I'm really not a runner anyway! That was one tough journey out of the trails.

For a while I was incredibly frustrated, thinking "why do I even put so much effort into racing?" But this is mountain bike racing and sometimes shit just happens. After the initial disappointment wore off I remembered how much I love this sport, and racing! I can't wait to head back out to Sunderbruch and ride the wooden berms again - holy cow those were fun when I finally rode them! And now I'm even more determined to have a good race next time around.

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