Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Last Push

This past weekend marked the last race weekend of the year for me. It also marked my last day as a teenager (D:!) and the last weekend of Fall Semester. Fittingly, the weather turned frigid on Saturday, reminding me that as all the fun stuff is going to have to take a back seat for a while, winter really is coming.

I headed over to Ottawa on Friday afternoon to meet up with the rest of the Norco crew for the Hammer & Anvil races. With a lot of rain on Friday afternoon, McNeely could be heard (multiple times) to say "the course is going to be sweet tomorrow". I was a little apprehensive about the forecasted cold weather, but I took his word for it and prepared to have some fun.

On Saturday morning, we saw sub-zero temperatures, but nothing too dramatic. The course looked pretty dry when I arrived 1.5 hrs before the race and the sky was relatively clear. Then, about an hour before, the snow started to fall. Before our race start, the course went from bare to having about 5-10cm  of fluffy white packing snow. Awesome. I wasn't really expecting anything from the race... standing on the start line, the only thing I was thinking about was how bizarre it was that I was about to race my bike in a snowstorm! The race started, and I sat mid-pack before gradually working my way up through the field. The course turned pretty technical with all the snow, and it was a ton of fun. Great way to spend a Saturday.

I ended up 3rd after what felt like the shortest race ever and only one fall on the slippery snow. I was definitely stoked to have the barn available to warm up in after the race!

After a team dinner and a surprise birthday cake from the boys (and let me tell you, that was the best cake I've ever eaten), I headed to bed dreading the -21 degrees in the forecast with the the windchill. Waking up, the weatherman didn't disappoint and I was gearing myself up to freeze my a** off. But, with the help of some lobster claws, a little sunshine, and hand and foot warmers, it wasn't too bad. The course had turned into a virtual skating rink overnight and I was a little leery of all the corners. My cautiousness meant I didn't race quite as well, and came up with a fourth place in the Anvil. Probably would have been more successful if I'd strapped a pair of skates to my feet, but it was still loads of fun. I guess there really is a first for everything!

Watching the boys race on Sunday was a ton of fun; lots of banter going back and forth between Evan and the Andrews. Super nice to see them sweep the podium! Big ups to Ride with Rendall for organizing such a fun event! It was a great way to finish up the year. You can find results and a race report here. Sorry I don't have any pictures, it was too cold to expose my poor finger to the air!

Back at school now for the last 4 days of classes. Not overly looking forward to the exams that are going to come in the next few weeks, but the promise of southern adventures in the coming months will get me through!

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