These 2 pictures could not better illustrate how I feel about mountain biking.
If you can’t make fun of yourself, who can you make fun of?
Not only did I achieve my goals (in particular, #1) but I had a blast doing so. I’m convinced that the Nimby Fifty is one of those events that every mountain biker in the corridor ought to try at least once. And if you aren’t in it to win it, then you can be like me and wear stupid socks.
Rare is the event where I don’t at least once think “Ugh, this sucks. I am so done”. Oddly, I didn’t experience that during this race, even when I was cramping, when I was staring at yet another uphill or I was quaking in my spotty socks at the top of the Red Bull Downhill section. Incidentally, I placed 3rd to last in that race-within-a-race; I was trying to DFL but couldn’t quite make it happen.
The atmosphere at the start was relaxed yet buzzing. The race itself unfurled at a totally manageable pace and for the most part, I was surrounded by really nice riders. The cheering sections were fun (thanks for the sips of beer, Seb) and there were lots of unexpected conversations. Particularly the lovely German gentleman who asked me – at the bottom of Happy Trail (the beginning of a 45-60m climb) – if we were “almost done wiss ze climbing”. Schiesse, no.
Lots of miscellaneous thoughts run through your brain when you are on your bike in the forest for about 4 hours. A mere sampling:
“Wow. That guy is really hammering. Too bad the race started 6 minutes ago.”
“Eeep! Hold on tight! Why am I closing my eyes, DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES, YOU DUMMY!”
“Hmm. Some of these boy mountain bikers don’t like getting passed by a girl any more than boy triathletes.”
“How the f#$% do people ride down this?”
“I’m so glad I wore these socks.”
“Why am I all alone? Where is everyone?”
“Oh hey! Hi!”
Those burgers at the finish, the friendly faces everywhere and the family BBQ to top off the day really made it a perfect, Pemberton spring day. Thanks to the organizers, sponsors and the riders for making it so.
I promised some before and after pics. Behold, the spotted socks:
Photo credit: Jon Anthony
Before! The jersey on the left may offend some, but I whole-heartedly agree. Alex, Baby Finn (not nursing, despite popular belief) and me – all done.
At the finish with Bren and Rich. Bren broke a derailleur and finished on a borrowed bike; Rich and duked it out for a while out there – oh yeah, he got me at the end. Note my styly hair. The only time Brett Tippie, aka The Mouth of the South, will ever interview me. I think he’s grimacing because I told him my favourite part was the uphill.
Next up, the Whistler Half Marathon, family-style: 21K for me, 10K for Jay and Little Rippers for the kids. Come out and cheer!
Tomorrow, I’ll be throwing a leg over my mountain bike and doing my first “real” mountain bike race in probably 8 years. The Nimby 50 is tomorrow morning and seeing as it’s about 50ft from the backdoor, I’ll be giving it a go. My goals are simple:
1. Don’t die.
2. Don’t break any bones (except, maybe, for the one that’s still broken. That’ll give me reason to go ahead with the surgery I don’t want).
3. Finish before they start pulling down the Finish Chute and still be capable to eat the burgers/drink the beer!
4. Reinforce my race mantra that there’s no shame and walking and that chatting to volunteers is the best part of the day.
5. Ride faster than the mosquitos on the uphills.
I asked the boys if they’d come and cheer for me. Will replied:
“Yeah, maybe. We’ll have to see what the weather does”.
I hope to have a full & fun report up soon, as well as some good before/after pics. The big decision I’m wrestling with right now is whether or not to bring a camera. Sigh, first world problems.
On a similar note, the boys are really into their bikes right now and have set a goal for the summer of riding all the “Blue” trails in Pemberton. We’re off to a good start!