Tuesday, June 10, 2008


So, for anyone who does not know, here is the story behind my bright pink hair. I have been coloring my hair for years. Sometimes blonde, black, red, even blue and purple. Everyone who knows me, knows that I may show up with a strange color at any time. Earlier this year my hair was blonde, so I put a couple pink streaks in the front. Nothing too outrageous, but noticeable anyway.
In May, I raced in the first Derailer race in Danville. I won in the Sport class. At the awards the Jolly Rogers were all standing together, Me, Allen, Jen, and Chris. They called the second place winner in my age group. He was the “hometown hero” according to the announcer. Then they called me for first place. Apparently when the second place guy got back to his friends, who were behind us, one of them laughed and said, “You got beat by a guy with pink hair”. I doubt that he was trying to be mean about it, or maybe he was, I don’t know. I do know that it struck Jen the wrong way. She told Allen and Chris, loud enough for the other guy to hear, I’m sure, “Get used to it, because you will be losing to him all year!” This is why I love having her as a friend. She speaks her mind and protects her friends. After hearing about all of this, I decided that I would make a statement out of it. I would dye all of my hair bright bubblegum pink!
As Allen said, “If you show up to race with pink hair, you had better kick ass!” So far that is what I am doing with two first place finishes and a second place, and a 12 point lead in the series. The reaction from other racers seems to overwhelmingly positive, maybe even intimidating to some. Everyone definitely knows who I am! Reactions from local rednecks are not as favorable. I did have a group of idiots in a big truck yell some stupid shit at me in the mall parking lot. I thought Jess was going to go hunt them down. I am used to people staring at me though. I have never been in the “normal” category. Nor would I want to be. I wear nail polish most days, not just black, but any color imaginable. And I have a lot of eyeliner and other make-up! I hate stereotypes and a society that wants to tell people how they should act and feel and what they should look like. I want to dress how “I” want to, and look how “I” want to, not the way others think I should.(Punk rock is not dead!) It’s as ridiculous as thinking that an exclusively two party system will always work in government, but that’s another rant.
Anyway, that’s how the pink hair was inspired by a mountain bike race. Watch out in the Fall mountainbikers… the pink haired devil is coming for you!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday, 7:00 AM, it was already well above 80 degrees. I met Allen at the Wingate for a Candler's Mtn. training ride. I had not ridden since the Blackwater group ride at Candler's on Wednesday. It was miserably hot then too. Today was going to be a short one hour ride with a lot of long steep climbs planned. We took off for our warm-up trail, Candler's Climb. Then down the Lake Trail. Up the fire road to Raccoon Alley and on to many of our favorite climbs. Near the top on one climb, we crossed a new access road. We took way out to the backside of the mountain and tied into the perimeter loop. We followed the perimeter to the lake and took the Bridge Trail out. Our hour ride turned into a two and a half hour burn. But that's good. I need to step up my training over the Summer. I know that there will be more than a few people gunning for me in the second half of the Derailer Series. I say "Bring It On!" I have a 12 point lead and I am going to work as hard as possible to get stronger before September.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jersey Boy

A few weeks ago, after winning at Danville, Brandon at Bikes Unlimited gave me one of their jerseys to wear at the races. I have always done most of my business with Bikes. Mostly because that was the first place I looked when I decided to buy a real mountainbike in 2001. I picked out a Fuel and fell in love with it. I try not to be exclusive though. Davy at Blackwater Bikes is a great guy, and if he has something better or cheaper, I don't hesitate to go buy from him. But back to the point. Last week, Bob (aka Triffid) mentioned to Tyler that he had a jersey riding on his kid's race at Peaks View. I thought that he was most likely he was kidding, but of course being an 11 year old, Tyler took it seriously. On Sunday, Tyler did win the kid's race. So last night, before our ride, Tyler and I stopped by Bikes so he could "collect". I told him not to get too hopefull. When we walked in, we found Bob and talked for a minute. Brandon had gone straight to the jersey rack and came over with an X-small jersey and told Tyler to try it on. It was a perfect fit! Brandon said "There you go, congrats".I think Tyler almost fell out in te floor. I did too, I had no idea that they were going to give him a BU jersey. He decided on Sunday that his goal is to race in the Novice class in the Rocky Mount race in September. I am very proud of him for having the drive and determination to race.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Peaks View Park race 08

Sunday was the third event in the Virginia Derailler Series. I was going into this race with an 8 point lead in my class. I was very nervous about this race. Peaksview usually draws a large crowd. When I went to bed Saturday night, I laid awake for at least an hour with the track playing out in my head. I felt like there was a lot riding on this race. It's a hometown race and I wanted to prove myself.
It was a beautiful day. With no rain the night before, the course would be fast. We set up Camp Jolly Roger in the infield of the soccer field that we would be riding around. While I was out getting warmed up, Tyler raced in the kid's race. He easily won. Now he wants to train with me over the summer and race in the Novice class in Rock Mount! I think that rocks! I know that he can do it, as long as he commits to the hard work. I am very pround of him.
After a brief racers' meeting, we all headed down the pavement for half a mile to the start area. Soon the experts were heading off. Then the 18-35 Sport and the Singlespeeds. I was next. I usually like to sprint at the start and try to get a lead on the competition. So at the word "go", I was off and sprinting. There was someone right there with me. Eventually he fell in behind me. After the half mile road we had to circle the soccer field through the rough grass. As I curved off the pavement, I was surprised to see that there were three people drafting behind me. Believe it or not, drafting can play a big part, even on a mountainbike. Churning through the grass, all three riders passed me. My plan of being first into the woods, turned into being fourth. I had my work cut out for me.
The three rider were cruising fairly fast, so I made no attempt to pass until guy in front of me began to slow down. I passed him right before RockPile. Then there were two. I followed them into Steve's Bowl-a-Rama. Near the top, the rider in front of me mis-shifted, which gave me time to slip by. Then there was one. The last rider between me and the lead was the winner in Bedford. He is very fast, but not very familiar with PVP. We had pulled away from the other riders as we began the climb on Squeeze. Almost at the top, there is a choice to be made. Go right and have a smooth path around a fallen tree, or go left and hop over the tree that has many chainring grooves in it. The rider in front of me chose right. I chose left and merged back onto the trail before him. From then on I slowly pulled away from him. By the time I hit Cyclone, he was nowhere in sight. Now it was time to pass the younger Sport riders and some SingleSpeeders. I was riding hard and on Bottom-Out, I caught up with Brandon. He let me pass. Next I saw Allen. He was running a strong race. I knew that he was ahead of Warren already. The last thing I wanted to do was to make him slow down to let me by. All he had to say was "Shake and Bake! I'll go right, you go left, you know where!" I knew exactly what he meant. We were coming up on another short split in the trail with two quick dips and steep climbs on the other side. Going left would give me the shorter route, but would not make Allen lose any momentum. It was perfect, soon I was out on the pavement again, heading for the halfway point.
Heading around the field and back into the woods, I was feeling pretty good. I was still catching some Sport riders and some Experts too. Right before Steve's, I ate some of my homemade gel. On Squeeze, I noticed that my gel bottle had fallen off the bike. Luckily, Chris had given me an extra Hammergel before the race. Right before Squeeze, I caught the last of the Sport riders. This guy is very fast. He destroyed everyone in Bedford. He asked me what group I was in. Then I noticed that he had no seat! Apparently his frame somehow broke at the seatpost on the first lap. Now he was riding his second lap in a standing position. I stayed behind him for a while, then passed him on Cyclone. He was able to hold on to first place in the 18-35 group. He had to be hurting. It was pretty amazing.
The last few trails, I was going just fast enough to stay in the lead. When I hit the pavement for the last time, I put it in the "big" ring in the front, hunkered down to get more aerodynamic, and pushed for the finish. I knew that I had first place when I saw the finish and no one was in sight behind me. After I crossed the line, I had just enough energy to pedal over to Camp Jolly Roger and fall onto the ground.
Chris was already there. He placed sixth in Novice. Soon after I finished, Allen came rolling in. He pulled out an impressive second place in SingleSpeed. Then Jen came in with a third place finish. It was a great day! Everyone did well. None of it would happen for me though if it was not for the support of my lovely Pirate Wench, Jess! She is always by my side at the races, supporting me and all of the other Jolly Rogers. Not only does she come to all the races that she can, she always encourages me to go out and train. She knows how important mountainbiking is to me. Therefore it is important to her. Thank you so much Jess! I love you!
Now there is a three month break until the Rocky Mount race. I have a 12 point lead in my class. I want to find some filer races. Carvin's Cove is definately on the list. Crongatulation to everyone who raced on Sunday. The friendships developed at these races are very important to me. From all the people in the Jolly Roger crew to new friends like Warren and Paula, Colton, and all the others. See you on the high seas! HOIST THE COLOURS!