Kaila and I arrived in Milwaukee on Thursday evening and were met by a slightly road-weary Chris with the sprinter van. We hit TJ’s and pointed the sprinter van north into the Wisconsin wilderness – *gasp* no 4G! After some minor misdirection with our Garmin, we found our lakeside (read: swampside) cabin. It was lovely.
On Friday, we got ourselves organized and headed to the venue to scope the Subaru Cup course. I was here two years ago and I remembered liking it a lot. Despite some grassy sections, most of the course is shaded in the woods and there are plenty of rocks and roots to keep it interesting. I was still a little banged up from my Super D wreck in Montana a couple of weeks ago and I was worried the rough course would be painful. I was happy to find that my body seemed to have healed well and was up to the challenge. I reasoned that as long as I kept the rubber side down, I would be good to go in the race.
We had some evening excitement at the cabin when some Wisconsin bugs must have hatched in the very near vicinity and my bedroom was rendered a bug fog. I migrated to a mattress in the living room and my bedroom was quarantined. Don’t go in there.
Saturday was pleasantly slightly overcast. I found a molehill sized bump in the road to do a warmup and it was time to go. Our start loop was a bit of a disaster after no one was able to preview the loop and the moto apparently went off-course leading us into a single-lane bridge instead of the wide and grassy track that was intended. It was further complicated when a split in the course had not been closed from some of the morning’s earlier races. Several of us took the wrong turn but luckily we realized within a few seconds and quickly got back on course. As if your heart rate isn’t pinned enough in the first five minutes!
I spent the first couple of laps recovering from the poor start. I was worried about laps four and five since I had cracked in the later laps a couple of weeks ago in Montana. But I managed to hold it together, even picking up a few places in the later laps. The course was so much fun; it was worth it to suffer like crazy on the climbs just to ride down the descents again I was happy to finish in 10th.
After a cool down and watching the men’s race (which was fraught with its own issues at the start…), we headed back to the cabin. Aaaand, we arrived in time to find that the plumbing work being done on the house next door had affected the plumbing system in our place. Rendering the shower and toilets unuseable. We showered at the campground down the road…and watered the grass in the back yard. It was shaping up to be fine digs, indeed.
I had a sleepless night on Saturday night and after a mellow morning, we headed back to the venue. It was much warmer on Sunday and I was glad STXC and Super D are at least short events. Despite my immediate preference for a nap at that moment, I got on my bike and warmed up. Unfortunately I failed to keep the motivation to continue warming up when our start was delayed. I paid the price by going straight to the back at the start and spent the first couple of laps working (a little) up from the very back. When I finally got clear, there was a group of five women about 10 seconds up but I was never able to get there. It was a fun short track course with a little ramp jump to keep things interesting. I finished in 12th.
There wasn’t much time to lament the short track because Super D was just about to start. After a practice run, we sat in the shade at the top of the hill and waited for our race waves. After a long weekend with two races and lots of high temperatures, there was some very loopy and slap-happy chatter at the top of the hill
I knew the running start to our bikes did not bode well for me but I tried to make the most of it with a smooth cyclocross remount (read: tried). I failed at clipping into my Eggbeater pedals – who can’t clip into Eggbeaters?! After the first fast grassy stretch, I think I entered the singletrack in 8th. I made a few passes near the top and then chased all the way down, finishing in 5th. Look at me go – I’m so fast!
I was fried. No cool down. Oops. We shoved off and managed to get in about four hours of driving toward Pennsylvania.
We spent all of Monday in the van, arriving at NoTubes world headquarters in State College, PA Monday evening. That’s alotta windshield time. We are zombies. Next stop MTB Natz!
We are so lucky to be looked after by the following amazing sponsors: Stan’s NoTubes, Cannondale, Kenda, Verge, Magura, Uvex, elete, Griggs Orthopedics, fizik, GU, Crankbrothers, Northwave, 3T, Progold, ESI Grips and King Cage. We are so lucky!