Approximately three fifths of our team, dubbed the Boadcious Booties and Bulging Beer Bellies, departed Seattle mid morning on Friday, packing Tyler's Volvo station wagon to the tippy top with gear. We even had a four-bike hitch rack on the back. JillyB's fancy Indy Fab went on the outside slot, which made me a little nervous, being the nicest of all our bikes by a factor of at least 5, and considering how low the wagon was riding. Luckily, all the bikes (and riders) arrived unscathed after a smooth, uneventful, sunny drive across eastern WA. We rolled into camp around 3:30pm to find an expansive scene of RV's, tents, bike racks, camp chairs, and very fit, muscly people packed in tight like sardines. Like burning man, but with Gu and Nuun instead of acid and magical cookies (and spandex instead of fuzzy mini skirts and kilts). The race directors directed us to the back of the camping area, and because Tyler boldy wove the Volvo between the trees into the woods, we scored a huge wooded area with virtually no one else around (great for letting the dogs loose, and for tired racers trying to catch some quiet time between laps).
|Lupines and Arrowleaf balsamroot were in full bloom.|
|JillyB getting ready for a pre-ride|
We did a quick trip into town for some groceries, then got suited up for a late afternoon course pre-ride.
I was elated to be back on these trails, the familiar lines upon which I first learned to ride knobbies so many years ago (in my jr. high school years, actually). The weather was sunny and crisp, and twilight lingered for hours, as it does near the 49th parallel in June. It felt so good to let go of the brakes and let it all go on the smooth, wide open trails and vistas here- such a refreshing contrast to the control required for the technical, damp rootiness of Western Washington trails.
|Home, sweet home. I miss this place!|
|Tyler and Leslie enjoying the views.|
I wasn't sure I would make it to the top of Devil's Up, but I scooted to the front of my saddle, shifted to my granny gear, and spun my cranks like a wind up toy, looking for a clear line between the rocks. To my surprise, I squeaked up and over the top without stopping. Whew! It felt good, but I was skeptical about whether I'd make it up that in a race situation.
The course continued over a short section before Devil's Down, a loose, chaucy section that required good line picking skills.
|Here's a shot of a mtb tandem couple (what? they are crazy) doing the Devil's Down section. Many people walked this.|
After our ride, we settled in to camp, made some dinner, and got a few hours of shut-eye before the rest of the Bodacious Booties rolled in around midnight. After a few more bleary eyed hours, the sun found us around 5 am. The dogs were up, so I was too. I snuck out of camp to do a quick last-minute supply run, and was back just as the rest of the Booties were getting out of bed. We unloaded more camping supplies from the pickup- a bike rack, tables, a fire pit, camp chairs- and set up. Dave, our # 1 relay man, got changed and ready to go- the Bodacious Booties were ready to race!
|Erin, one of our fantastic cheerleaders/ volunteers/ bad asses.|
|Check out these Bodacious Booties and Bellies! Even Chase is getting into the goofiness.|