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Treasure Valley Rally 2015

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

Well the summer is almost over and I haven't finished a race yet. After spectating in Colorado at the Breck Epic, while my boyfriend and teammate Paul Simoes raced, it left me feeling like I had better get my act together and do a race.

Colorado was awesome btw. While Paul raced, I was able to do some spectacular rides myself. Nothing like riding your bike above 10,000ft, very humbling. Spectating at the Breck Epic was a treat in itself. It was quite the international event with over 400 racers from from all over the country and the world including the Marathon World Champion. After 6 days of racing for Paul (you can read his write up about his 5th place finish in the singlespeed category also on the forum) and riding and hiking for myself, it was time to head home to Massachusetts. If you've driven across country, you know it is an endurance event in itself. We arrived home just in time for a heat wave, nothing like coming from 10,000ft with little oxygen to breathe, to hot and humid...Gross! I am not sure which is worse trying to breathe at altitude or in the muggies.

Treasure Valley Rally is put on by our local mountain bike club, Team Bums, which Bikeman has been a major sponsor of over the years. It's a race I look forward to racing each year. The course consists of some of the best local riding in central Mass. It is very technical as well as hilly and billed as a real mountain bikers course. Racers seem to either love it or hate it! I've always loved it even if you're not sure you will survive it. When I ride the Treasure Valley trails for fun, my bike of choice is my Kona Process 111, which really smooths out the multitude of rock gardens but for racing I opted for my Kona Hei Hei which not only handles the rocks but climbs like a mountain goat.

This year I convinced a couple of other women that I often ride with, to come out and join the fun. The heat wave lifted just in time to bring in some nice dry air which dried up the woods and rocks that had been super slimy most of the summer. Sunday was a beautiful day; promising sunny skies and temps around 80. About 140 true mountain bikers showed up. We had 4 women overall in the cat 2 category, 3 in the 40+ and 1 youngster. It would be the youngster, my friend Erica, who happened to be celebrating her 30th birthday that day, that I would end up racing against right down to the end. Erica bolted right from the gun. I knew she was fast and I had some apprehension about whether I could stay with her, but what the hell, so I chased. We made it to the first of many technical single track together and we would remain pretty much together the entire first lap. Coming through the start/finish she attacked and used her roadie speed and was out of sight by the time I hit the singletrack. By now, my back was screaming at me and I was feeling the fatigue set in, so I popped some electrolyte tabs and a gu and hoped I would start to feel better soon. I also hoped to not get caught by the other women in my category. With a lot of friends cheering me on along the route I started to pick up the pace a little and about 2/3 of the way through the 2nd lap I spied Erica up ahead. I caught up with her and managed to stay with her throughout the last lap but she managed to reach the last section of narrow singletrack first with really no place to pass. We hit the field and raced to the finish. I finished 3 seconds behind her but since we weren't in the same age group, it was still a win for me. I ride with Erica often and it was a lot of fun to race against her, maybe we can get a rematch soon. Oh that's right, the Bums fall TT start this week!

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