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consistent default champ
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was the Tiger Rag at Isaqueena Lake in Clemson, SC. The course was about 9.5miles long. I was in the beginner group so I luckily only had one lap!
When we were waiting at the the start line they started putting us into groups. There were only five beginner women and for three of us it was our first race. We all chatted while they released the men and youth and then they gave us the thirty second warning.
So, we take off and I do not get a good start but I am trying to have fun right? So I am 4th while we start up the first hill climb. I start trying to pass the lady in front of me but there is only really one single hard packed trail up the gravel road and the rocks start slowing me down. I tried to get back over but by then the other lady behind me is catching up so I end up being last up the hill ~ doh! I decided I should just take my place at the end and try to make up for it in the woods. I get up to the top of the hill and there are my husband, mtbJen and I don't know who else cheering for me :D
Off into the woods for a while. The track is too tight for me to try to pass so I am just stuck in the rear. Finally we hit the first rooty climb in the woods. First one lady fell in front of me and I freaked out and stopped also. We both got going again (her still in front) and someone else fell. We passed her and kept climbing. The she fell again and it threw me off course a little. I almost pulled off the trail and told her to go ahead and then thought 'What the hell am I doing??! This is a race!' so I kept going.
I am cruising through the rest of this hill area on my own and finally get down to the fast fun lake part. I have no idea where the other two in front of me are but I start pumping to make up time. Finally, I spotted them up ahead and pushed myself to catch up. We started another uphill climb away from the lake and I stay with the one lady. The other one takes off and I never saw her again till the finish line.
We crested the top and are riding along this flat ridge and she asked if I wanted to pass her. I told her 'oh no, you are doing fine!' After a minute hough I see the next uphill on the horizon and asked which side she wanted me to pass on. So I passed her and took off again. I finally climbed out of that are and there is my husband on the fire road yelling that I am doing great.
Ahhhh the downhill gravel road. I hauled booty down that in my highest gears and dipped back into the woods. I passed one older guy and several of the youth group. The sport group was starting down the hill that I had to finish on and everyone is yelling you are almost there and great job!
The finish line came into view. I ended up finishing in 2nd place for my group. I was so happy I did okay! I think my husband was as excited as I was :D
I have already registered for a race next month.
Thanks for all the encouragement and help on the board
Sharon
 

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life is a barrel o'fun
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The very *idea* of racing scares the crap out of me, and now my heart rate has jumped up just from reading about it!

"I almost pulled off the trail and told her to go ahead and then thought 'What the hell am I doing??! This is a race!' so I kept going."

This part made me laugh, it's a hard habit to break, getting other people through the ride! :p I would feel guilty too!
 

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consistent default champ
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was a nervous wreck

For hours afterwards I couldn't eat. I also fell twice during the race ~ nothing bad luckily. Just picking bad lines on uphill climbs because it was hard to think with the adrenaline.
It was a blast though.
There were five jerseys given away in the women beginnner class( 5 women = everyone got one). I paid $35 to register and came out of it with a $60 jersey, a nice multitool (that will go in my commute bag for work) and some tire levers.
 

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You did awesome, Sharon! See, I told you you'd be toward the front! Will was so excited for you, too (I could tell...). I recruited some other Divas and Charlotte-area riders to cheer you on, so if you were wondering who was yelling for you, it was probably them.

I had a great race, too. Last year's Tiger Rag was terrible for me, so I went into Sunday with no expectations. I got a tough start on that long hill, but managed to pass a couple of riders. I'm really not much of a climber. They started all of the Sport Women's age groups together, so I really didn't know where I was in the lineup once we hit the singletrack. All I know is I was behind at least two other 30-39 racers (I could see them). The girl in front of me going into the singletrack slowed down in the technical sections, so I tried to encourage her to stay on Trish's (Sadlebred) wheel. She was falling behind, so I passed her and worked like h*ll to catch up to Trish. I finally caught her right at that hill that you and I stopped to work on Saturday. Then I dropped my chain. Trish took off and Philicia (19-29 group) caught up with me.

I continued up the hill working with Philicia to catch Trish. Philicia was a great motivator and we kept talking each other up the climbs. When we came out to the feed zone (where I saw you and Will with the camera), Philicia was fading and I was determined to make up some time. I threw it in the big ring and cranked it down that long fast road. At the bottom of the road I saw Trish.

I finally caught up with her in that last twisty singletrack climb, where she was saying something about her borrowed bike being messed up. I didn't pass her there, and when we came through the field and up the big start/finish climb again she dropped me. Did I mention I'm not much of a climber?

So, I spent the second lap trying to catch her again. That's when my new friend showed up. There was a guy from the 40+ group who had mechanicals and decided just to ride it out instead of DNFing. He asked if I needed a "push", and I said, "oh yeah, I've got to catch the girl in front of me". For the entire lap he sat behind me, coaching me, encouraging me, "pushing" me to go faster. Every time I wanted to rest and tried to get him to pass, he wouldn't let me. By the time I hit the bottom of the long fast road again, another (expert?) racer was coming up the road and said, "she's right there, you can catch her!". "Thanks!", I yelled. Not sure if he heard me. Sure enough, there she was. I caught her and passed her. Still, my buddy is back there cheering me on.

Well, she passed me back and dropped me again on the long finish climb. Did I mention I'm not much of a climber? I was so excited, though, because I felt great and had a good race. I finished about 20 or 30 seconds behind Trish, but I didn't know what place I was. I was shocked to find out that I got second. Whoo hoo!

Looking at my HRM data, my race time was 12 minutes faster than last year's, and my second lap was about 6 minutes faster than my first lap. I wish that guy would follow me in all of my races! (If you're out there, dude, THANKS!)

Overall, the weather and the trail conditions were perfect. It was such a great day. Brian got 7th out of about 20. I got a nice floor pump, a tube and some nice gloves. Plus, I got a medal (which is really all I wanted...).

I'm glad the DD jersey worked out well for you. We'll be at Spartanburg, too, if you want it then.
 

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consistent default champ
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Serc?

I don't know what that is rt ~ short speed races? were you racing this past weekend? It seemed like most of the women racers were expert class ~ three laps?? haha, maybe I could do that in a few years

Jennifer I am glad you did so well too! They had some pretty nice stuff for prizes also. That hill climb is awful. If I would have hit a rock on my way up the final time it would have stopped me in my tracks. I think I went faster the second time just because my muscles were warmed up again then (after waiting for everyone to get released in the cool morning air they didn't want to go up that hill the first time). I got some pictures of you but I haven't posted them or anything. I can send them to you though if you want. We were cheering Trish (I didn't know her name) on when she came through and she said something like 'this borrowed bike sucks'.
Thanks for the cheering section. It perked me up at the top of that hill :D \
Where are the race results listed? The only times that I saw were ours before the time for the other groups were subtracted. I haven't been able to find them on the internet.
 

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brownieinSC said:
I don't know what that is rt ~ short speed races? were you racing this past weekend? It seemed like most of the women racers were expert class ~ three laps?? haha, maybe I could do that in a few years

Jennifer I am glad you did so well too! They had some pretty nice stuff for prizes also. That hill climb is awful. If I would have hit a rock on my way up the final time it would have stopped me in my tracks. I think I went faster the second time just because my muscles were warmed up again then (after waiting for everyone to get released in the cool morning air they didn't want to go up that hill the first time). I got some pictures of you but I haven't posted them or anything. I can send them to you though if you want. We were cheering Trish (I didn't know her name) on when she came through and she said something like 'this borrowed bike sucks'.
Thanks for the cheering section. It perked me up at the top of that hill :D \
Where are the race results listed? The only times that I saw were ours before the time for the other groups were subtracted. I haven't been able to find them on the internet.
Times/Results aren't posted yet. My Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) records and downloads to the computer. That's where I got my numbers.

SERC is the Southeastern Regional Championship series, put on by www.goneriding.com. It's similar to the Cane Creek Series. SERC is more widespread across NC, SC, TN, FL, GA, AL, whereas Cane Creek is just NC/SC. There are 11 Cane Creek races in NC/SC, and SERC is 8 races in the states mentioned above. The Tsali race is part of both series' (last week's race).

A good place to find ALL the NORBA races by state is http://www.usacycling.org/events/

This will show upcoming races that have a NORBA permit. It is not all-inclusive, as some promoters get their permits earlier than others. But, the usacycling website is really good.
 

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consistent default champ
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why do people do one series or the other?

Or do they? Is it a big deal for me to race a few races in each one just to race? Are the two different ones similar in having three levels of riders, etc?
 

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consistent default champ
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
oh yeah!

brownieinSC said:
Or do they? Is it a big deal for me to race a few races in each one just to race? Are the two different ones similar in having three levels of riders, etc?
Would a NORBA license save me money if I am going to do 10 races? Do you just get one to keep track of points?
 

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Way to go!!! Loved your write-up. Haven't been around here much lately, but I always enjoy these posts. Going to have to stop being such a stranger. Can't wait to hear how you do in te next event!

Mallie
 

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Horses and Bikes, Oh My!
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Good job ya'll!

You guys did great! I love this course and enjoy racing it. I like it the way the Clemson Chamber runs it more than Gone Riding. This isn't a knock against Gone Riding as they put on excellent races, just a personal opinion. The GR course has more climbing, and I'm a really poor climber!

Jen was right--the bike I was on was having major shifting and suspension problems. I broke my custom Kelly frame at a race two weeks ago. The ETA for getting it fixed now is about 6 weeks. I really wanted to race at Isaqueena, so I borrowed a friend's Cannondale. Let's just say, it isn't the Kelly--more of an entry level bike. It didn't handle very well in the singletrack although it was fine on the fireroads. Combine that with being sick and on antibiotics, and I didn't have the best race. My time this year was nearly 7 minutes slower than last! Ugh! I was glad to have Jen back there pushing me!

I wish I could make it up to the Carolinas more to race, but life is crazy this year and I am not travelling as much. Have any of you given thought to doing Bump N Grind in June? (www.bump.org). I'll be there if the Kelly is back.
 

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brownieinSC said:
Would a NORBA license save me money if I am going to do 10 races? Do you just get one to keep track of points?
A NORBA license is $60, and you generally get a $5 NORBA discount at each race. (You do the math...) The NORBA license also allows your race placings to be tracked on usacycling.com (you can see everyone's history in the "results and rankings" portion of the website). You don't need a license to keep track of series points within each series, because you get those points regardless.

Many people do just a race here and a race there. Some do all races in a series. Some do whatever races they think will be fun, regardless of what series. I know some that have attempted to do both the SERC and Cane Creek series. (Crazy, I say). We are doing the Cane Creek series just because, being in Charlotte, we are very centrally located to the venues -- 3 1/2 hours is the furthest we have to drive for all 12 (11) races (one was cancelled).

The two series are similar. I think there are more age groups within the classes in the Cane Creek series. The biggest difference (I think), is that Gone Riding generally runs all of the SERC races, while individual local promoters run the different races in the CC series. That's good and bad. Having the same promoter at each race adds to the consistency within the series.

But, having a non-local promoter is different, too, because they aren't local and don't have as much interest in the trails themselves. I know that when we host the Riverfront Classic (a CC race), our local club does a LOT of trailwork to prepare, and proceeds from the race go directly back into the local trails. I don't know how much of the goneriding proceeds actually go back to the trail.

I'm not knocking goneriding, and they could be "donating" proceeds, but this is my outside perspective. I thought of this while preriding Tsali and wondering if anyone had done any work out there to even prepare for the race. On Saturday before the race, there were huge mudholes that could have been easily fixable, if maintained. (Goneriding promoted this race, and it was a SERC/CC series crossover).

ramble over...
 

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consistent default champ
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the information

I will not get a NORBA license then because I don't think it will help me out with anything. Maybe I'll wait till closer to the SERC in Clemson gets here to decide. I don't always know what weekends I can be off work and I hate taking a vacation day on Friday just so I know I can be off for the race.
I think I'll just randomly race and next year maybe do a series.
 

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Awesome job! Second place in your first race! Having fun is the most important aspect, and it sounds like you had a great time!

While you participated in the Isaqueena race, we had the Baker's Dozen on the Horn Creek trail at the Lick Fork Recreational Area just north of North Augusta, SC. It is a 13 hour race put on by SORBA-CSRA. I raced on a 4-woman team last year for the first time and had a wonderful time. I raced with the same team this year. I enjoyed both races, but had a lot more fun this year just because I had learned so much from the first race. I'm much better, now, at passing people, and getting passed. Since all the solo riders and teams from all categories are on the trail at the same time, I was worried the first year about getting in a faster racer's way and wondering how to pass someone who was slower. I'm much better at it now. It's great to see how far you can push yourself, and to meet other MTBers from other areas and states.

Have fun at your next race!!!! :p
 
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Congratulations. You are now not just a bike rider, you are a bicycle racer, and that's something.
 

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consistent default champ
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Passing people could be a challenge

I only passed people that fell or on fire roads. How in the world can you pass on single track without wiping someone out? Maybe I'll make my husband help me with that one.
Thanks everyone ~~ I had a great time
 
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