Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sugar Bottom Scramble Showdown

We knew that Lee was pretty crazy in her zest to bike race. This weekend in North Liberty proved just that. She headed over to race without her constant sidekick Joann. A solo pink racer. This race is considered one of the toughest in the IMBCS. This course is known for its heavily rooted miles, steep drops, twisty climbs and cyclocross hill. Why would a mountain bike race have something called cyclocross hill in it? Just for the fun of it. The spectators could be heard cheering loudly across the full course as riders shot down a steep and long down hill, across a narrow bridge and straight up what appeared to be a mirror image of what they just rode down. When Lee first saw that this was part of the race she thought about quitting. You see, Lee races on blue- and green-rated courses. This was part of a black-rated trail. The ratings are similar to what downhill ski enthusiasts run into when they ski. But we all know that Lee is not a quitter. So she tightened her helmet strap, said a prayer and let 'er rip down the hill, nailed the bridge and in true cyclocross fashion ran up that darn steep hill. Oh, and this was the warm up lap. Race day temps were in the mid 90s. Lee toed the line with eight other racers. The tough, nine-mile course was on the outer edge of what she thought she could race. Most races this year have been in the 4-6 mile range. Add to it a ton of climbing and roots, and you have a leg buster. She shot off at the start for the gravel, steep, quarter-mile climb to the single track. One person got around her and the chase was on. Lee must not like to be the chaser because she threw caution to the wind and flew through the downhills; climbed like a woman possessed; over took the lead racer; and, was very happy to come through the mid-race point. However she was only half-way done. She sucked it up and went on to the harder part of the course. A few steep-climbing switchbacks knocked her off her bike and she got passed. She knew that there was another fast gal behind her ready to move into second so she kept charging forward. Then cyclocross hill appeared. Quite spent at this point, Lee sped down the hill and hit the uphill without a leg left to climb. As she dismounted and began to run up the hill, she could hear the crowd cheering the gal behind her. Quit Lee does not do. She made it to the top, used her cyclecross skills to hop on the bike and pedal off with the third place gal on her wheel. It was a mile race to the finish. "Ride it like you stole it" was Lee's mantra. She held on to second place with around a half minute gap. Lee best summed up how she felt: "I did not even think about a beer for 90 minutes and it took an additional 30 before I opened one!" For someone known affectionately as Brewer, that sums up the effort she put out in this race! Folks, that is how we race at VeloRosa. Congrats to Lee on her 7th consecutive podium finish in the Iowa series and 10th for the year. Your Roving Race Reporter, Luann

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