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OES round 4


Dirtyhip
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The 4th race was held at Sandy Ridge and Mt Hood Skibowl. This was a two day race. On Friday, we get to Hood for recon. I check the race list like I always do for start times and to see who I am dueling.  The list reads 4 women including myself. Yay...no default podium. it's a race. On recon day I mainly wanted to see the stage called rock drop. It is rated as a black diamond so I need to see that. During practice, I crash on one of the rock gardens and hit my chest on a rock. I think about the guy from CO enduro that died from blunt force trauma to the chest, but I am ok....thankfully. 

On race day, I get a text from my most fierce competitor. She tells me she is out and will not show today. Big disappointment for me. She has been super fun to race against. Oh well.  So, at this point I realize that all I have to do is finish clean and I will get a 1st place for the series. The other two girl names have no points, so they are no threat. I decide in my mind to play it cautious. Keep my gear solid and just ride it for a great overall finish. Our first stage is rock drop. I decide that I will skip the big rock drop and use the slower go around. Well, I get to the drop but thought the sneaky way was left.  Nope. it was the right side. I find myself on top of the rock drop. Not wanting to dismount and walk it....there is people watching...I huck off of it. Success And relief that I didn't crash again. My rubs are aching from the rock slam the day before.  I want no more crashes. Stage 2 was similar terrain. Very rocky and challenging...but is am still good and riding clean as ever. It is slightly concerning me that I am not seeing any sport cougar women. I think it could be that they startee out of sequence. I check the day 1 results and it reads my time and the other 3 are all DNFd. I knew one was skipping, but what the hellllllll? Now, this is just a bike ride and this saddens me.

Race day day 2 will be on the ski bowl. We get shuttled up to Timberline. Everyone in the van is talking about this expert line that the pros and experts will take. Even my man who rarely fears terrain says to me "it's gnarly". I have never heard him speak about a trail with genuine concern before.  He pre rode it the day before and walked a section of it. During the first stage on day 2, I am riding slower. I really don't care and just want to finish. During the transition stage (untimed) I get to ride with one of the sport kittens. She is very fast and I am chasing her down the hill. We are totally hauling ass.  I think I was riding faster in that zone. I am right on her and we just blaze down the trail. Fun! I almost crash once from a rocky area that is big loose rock area that bucked my front wheel.  I correct and ride it out, but it was close.  The final stage on day 2 was on the skibowl west. we ride to mid mountain, and take a lift to the top. These lifts at Hood skibowl are old and awkward. Little two seaters and it feels sketchy to me. I half expect our chair to plummet to the ground. K is with me most of the day. The lineup is a bit out of order on this day. That last stage was super rocky, even for the sport line. I worry a little for what my husband will endure in the pro expert line. There were several rock gardens that were pretty big. Everything is marked nicely. Although I really hate the skull and crossbones signs before all the big chunky stuff. Those signs look freaky to me.  As I finish I see the checkerboard flags. I love racing but I really love being done. I am tired and ready for downtime. I cross the finish in a sprint and coast to a stop past the finish. I go to get off my bike and fall on the ground.Some fellow racers see this and belt out roars of hooting and laughter. I am laughing as well.  I can be super talented but also a clumsy one as well.  

One of the friends we made is racing in the sport men class.  We learn that his 15 year old daughter died two weeks ago. Car crash.  He is still in serious grief mode, but he wanted to win it for her. we saw our friend accept a 1st place for the weekend and a 2nd for the series overall. I cried with him a little on this day. We make plans to do a camptrip and shuttle adventure in a few weeks. I know we have made a friend that will be long lasting. I have made several friends during these races. Good stuff.

My podium was so lonely. None of the girls for the overall were there. No other girls finished for this event either. I got a bunch of extra hoots being the lone cougar up there. More women need to jump into the fray. We are outnumbered.

End result for me ... two medals, and well over 1000 $ of swag. K got 3rd for the weekend and 2nd for the overall series. A great race series for both of us. Lots of fun and travels.

Thank you all for supporting me and reading my race reports.

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A gold medal's a gold medal, but I understand it would be nice to win one after really having to fight to keep it out of someone else's hands.

My daughter is 12 and does karate - apparently 12-yo girls who do karate are rare as well.  She's been to two tournaments and defaulted into one gold.

You are a better rider than I will ever be, and I'll keep cheering you as long as you keep racing. :D

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