First race of the season is out of the way….and it was a blast! I decided sort of at the last minute to head up to Vail for the Vail Mountain Games snow xc bike race. While I didn’t have a ‘snow bike’ and I had never really actually ridden on snow, I thought the race would be a good rehearsal for the upcoming race season. Plus, it looked like it would be fun, Vail always has amazing schwag bags, and it would be something new and different to spice up my training routine. When I showed up at the start I was somewhat intimidated by the big wheeled snow bikes everyone else seemed to be riding. But, what the heck I was there for the fun!
The start was pretty gnarly and I struggled with the potatoey snow while the big, fat tires seemed to effortlessly float by. Once we got onto the groomed Nordic trail section of the course, I felt like the course turned in my favor. I was able to shift down and motor by fat bike after fat bike…and it felt awesome….until we turned off the groomed stuff and back into the trees. And, I was a mess and all over the place as people piled up behind me. I felt more than a little self-conscious about slowing people up, but there were people in front of me struggling too so I figured we were all in the same boat. The race continued like that for 6 laps and I got pretty excited when I realized that we were on our last lap, I was the lead woman, and there was just groomed trail in front of me. Or so I thought. In actuality, the finish was on the same stretch of mashed-potatoey snow that we started on. I struggled to keep pedaling-slipping, sliding, sinking all over the place. In the end, I couldn’t get to the finish line fast enough to claim first place and narrowly missed out on winning a snow bike frame of my very own. But, the main goals of fun, change of pace, and race refresher were all accomplished.