Tyler Mill Race

Race Results Race Video Race Pictures

Racers: Steve, Jonathan, Rick, John, Dave Fierro, Jill, Cliff

Support: Tracy, Vicky, Allyssa, Lauren, My Dad, Mike

I can’t even express how happy I was that the expert women were racing at 9:30am. My Dad was visiting from Florida, he was trooper and got up early with me to head down to Wallingford. We put up the tent and banner and I got ready to race. Did a couple laps on the “orange prologue” course to warm up and headed over to the racer meeting at 9am. The men were doing a prologue lap to spread out the field and the women were heading straight up the hill. Said Hi to Tom from Vernon Cycle and chatted briefly with Cliff who introduced me to Jeff the new owner of Central Wheel (http://www.centralwheel.com/). Lot’s of women on the line, this is a favorite race for a lot of people. Michael gets there just in time to wish me luck then the whistle blows and we’re off heading up the windy, narrow, steep, new single track section. All of the riders in front of me get off their bikes and I do as well. The girl behind me is still riding and asks to pass but I have nowhere to go, I apologize and keep moving forward. Amazingly she cleans the whole thing, the only one I’ve seen make the climb so far. Down the creepy, steep, rocky hill on the other side and pop out onto the road. Long, long stretch of road and pop back in to the “old” course. Great single track, lot’s of fun stuff. This is the kind of race where you forget you are racing because the terrain is so varying, challenging, and just plain fun. Over Doug’s bridge, around the double jumps (Did Mar do the jumps???), through the switchback section that I don’t care for then back into the fun stuff. More bridges, rock gardens, and loose rocky descents. I am behind a girl I don’t recognize but she is super courteous, warning me about upcoming tricky sections and mud. Get to the end of the lap and my Dad hands me a water bottle but I start heading up toward the field where the old trail used to go, realize my mistake, suck down some water, give the bottle back, and the girl passes me. Crap! We get to the new section and she starts to pull away, it takes me too long to get up the hill this time and I lose sight of her by the time I finish up on the road and scoot back into the woods. Uneventful 2nd lap, I’m having to dig deep to keep the pace steady in the heat. I see Justin again on foot heading out with another flat! Every time I let up I think about the girls behind me catching me and pedal harder. After the 2nd lap I unload my camelbak and grab the water bottle from my Dad. At the top of the 1st climb I drink most of it and worry about getting through the rest of the lap with little or no water. But I feel a lot lighter without the camelbak and I concentrate on pushing out another steady lap. Michael shows up as I come out of the loopy section with a beautiful, ice cold water bottle so I throw him the empty one, grab the new one and push on. Every time I pop out of the woods he is there with the video camera. He has a way of seeing the course in his head and knowing which shortcuts will get him to each spot (a skill I definitely do not have). I saw the girl behind me in the switchbacks so I knew I had to keep pushing because she wasn’t that far behind. My left calf was feeling a bit tight but I have never cramped at a race before so when I stepped down with my left leg to push off a log I wasn’t prepared for the kind of pain that I felt. I couldn’t stop myself from screaming but I just kept pedaling, the finish line was less than 10 minutes away. As Michael said when I popped out of the woods, just suck it up and keep going so I did exactly that. This race was challenging but fun, I really enjoyed the perfect conditions of the trails. There was hardly any mud, it was nice just being able to ride without getting stuck in huge mud bogs and getting your bike all mucked up.

After the race I met Jonathan’s Mom. I never did get to meet him but he was out there racing with the beginners along with Steve. Rick, Dave, and John were getting ready for their sport race so my Dad and I headed out to the course to get some good video footage. The sport racers were not doing the new steep section so we hoofed out to the first climb and waited. Got some good footage of our 3 sport guys and hiked over to the rocky uphill after the road section. This was much more exciting because Dave was the 3rd one by and Rick followed soon after. We got John and a tiny bit of Tom and headed over to the rocky downhill for the end. Got a great shot of Tom doing a wheelie before the descent and headed back to the parking lot to congratulate the crew, break camp and scoot home. My Dad didn’t care so much for the hills (no hills in Florida!) but he stuck it out for the whole day, worked the feed zone for me, and didn’t complain when I dragged him all over the course to get some good video. Thanks Dad!!! -Jill


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