Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bear Springs Trap CX mtn bike race

This past weekend the family and I ventured up to Mt. Hood for the 3rd Obra mtn bike series race, The Bear Springs trap.  The kids had been looking forward to this first family camping trip for weeks and were eager to help pack.  We absolutely love our Volkswagon Eurovan for these adventures.  The kids snuggled in to the back with their pile of Garfield books and we were off.
Berry Milkshakes from Dairy Queen was a fun treat!
We arrived just as friends Jesse Coombs and Jeremy Andreson were returning from a pre-ride of the course.  Jesse filled us in on what to expect on race day and the kids worked at collecting kindling for our fire.
Spaghetti Dinner in the Van

We sat by the fire, laughing and telling stories until after 10, then we all turned in.  I slept so well, even though temperatures got down to the low 30's that night.  The van is a BIG step up from our days spent tent camping.  It is so nice to wake up rested after a night of camping.

Of course the morning is filled with all sorts of preparations before the race start. Trevor and I often don't get much of a warm up before races as we are tending to the kids, and making sure they have everything they need while we are gone.  Alleck was so cute, as we walked back from the bathroom he grabbed my hand and said, "I just can't wait to see you race"  " I love watching you race".  That just made me feel so good inside, and I made sure to let him know how much I love having him there with us.

 I was able to ride up the road, and down one section of trail for a total of about a 15 minute warm up tops.  By the time I made it down to the start, the race director was well into his pre-race briefing.  There was a lot of chatter going on, as this event has a long history of not being very well marked.  Last year a group that I was with took a wrong turn and ended up at least 2 miles off course.   We all hoped that this year would be different.

I was so happy to see that so many women showed up for this event.  The start line had quite a nice group of Pro/ Cat 1 women, 19 of us!

The start was fun.  Up a paved road which turned right up the first trail and climb.  This was right where the boys were set up, so I made sure to give them a thumbs up and a loud holler.

I made it up the first climb, mostly because I went to the far right avoiding a pile up along the main line. I was happy to keep my momentum and let my big wheels do their job.

I was quickly reminded of how technical this course was.  Lots of roots and rocks and a fair amount of climbing.  I was so happy that I was racing with the Shower's Pass Veleau system, as this made fueling so much easier.  I was able to get down 42ounces of Hammer Heed and an entire flask of Hammer Gel. 

I found myself riding stuff that I remember only a year ago that I would not have.  I think this is due to the 29 inch wheels, but also I am becoming a better bike handler!  It feels so good to be confident while riding a trail like this.  My ease and comfort allowed me the opportunity to really take in my surroundings.  This place is beautiful, and the smells were amazing. I just love being in the forest!
Happy to finish!  Keller plays photographer
I made sure to keep my wits about me in case I got off course.  This did happen 3 times, but luckily I was pretty quick to realize my mistake and get back on track.  Although I did not lose my place, I'm sure I lost a few minutes with these little detours.  Each time I got off course, it was a bit harder to get back into a rhythm.  Its a bit frustrating to be riding so well, and then get confused about where to go.  I enjoyed the company I picked up along the way though, and ended up riding the last 10 miles or so with Jim Thorton, the guy responsible for these amazing trails. It was fun to hear the history of the trails in that area, and to have Jim to navigate us back to the finish line. At the last aid station, he made sure I was aware that we had a bit of a climb to get back to the finish, so to grab some water if I needed.  I had already drained my Veleau, so I stopped and downed 2 cups of whatever they had available. 

I was welcomed to the finish line by my family and with Trevor congratulating me on my 3rd place finish.  I think he is always so happy to see me cross that finish line in one piece.  This course was so technical, that its hard not to worry a little bit about each other.  But we both made it with huge smiles on our faces.  Trevor had a great race. Not exactly the nice and relaxing last 10 miles that I had.  He ended his race with a full on sprint with two other guys in his category to end up 5th.

Keller, likes to play team manager and prepared a recovery water bottle for both Trevor and I to drink as we crossed the line.  Our favorite concoction of 2 scoops of Hammer Recoverite, Nancy's Yogurt and water.  Yum!

The day was not complete without taking the boys out on the trails.  They had been riding the same trail over and over while we raced and were excited to see what else was out there. By the time we returned from our ride, the camp had cleared and we were the last ones to leave.  Dirty and happy were were off to find some burgers!

I just love my smart phone!  We found the neatest place to stop for burgers.  The Stone Cliff Inn Restaurant and bar.  We enjoyed yummy burgers on the deck overlooking the Clackamas River then explored the climbing park behind the restaurant.  Huge rock faces and boulders that is a hot spot for Portland rock climbers.  This place was so cool!  Oh, and another tidbit.  Apparently the movie Twilight was filmed here!
The Stone Cliff Inn
Walking off our dinner at the bouldering walls

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