Since I have been racing cyclocross for the last month I had forgotten how much I love my Orbea Alma 29. She is now like a good friend after a season of racing- you can not see each other for a while, but when you do it is like not a moment has passed. I put some fresh Race Formula Stan’s in my Rocket Rons, hopped on Alma and did a 2 hour sweet spot ride with 240 of my fastest friends on a beautiful Saturday in the Southwest. It was one of those days when the bike feels effortless under you, the wind is always at your back, and despite low perceived effort you unexpectedly go fast. My time was almost 10 minutes faster than last year, when I was stopping frequently to tighten a loose crank and came 2nd to N Baum. The sand was packed nicely and the whoops groomed with a coherent line. T. Brown and Kenny Wehn led the pack out at a reasonable pace, enabling me to hang on almost all the way out on the pave’. I stood for much of the race, letting the bike pump the whoops under me. I thought back to 5 years ago when I was almost the only one riding a 29er and marvelled at how now nearly every bike out there was a 29er. I love the big wheels! And on this day they loved me. It was a great day for our whole Stan’s crew, with 3 Orbea Alma 29ers on the podium- Kenny (1st cat 1, 2nd overall) me (1st and only pro woman) and Frank Mapel (4th pro man). Thanks to Orbea and Sixty-five.12 Bicycle Boutique for our stellar bicycles. Thanks to Shawn Lyle, City of Farmington and Pete at Cottonwood Cycles for a super smooth event. I hope to be back for a seventh or 8th time next year, God willing!