Wednesday, August 02, 2006

2006 USA Cycling National Championships at Infineon/Cougar Mountain

Mammoth, 2005 was the first time I raced the National Championships. I didn’t know moms could qualify for such things. Encouraged by my partner and my unconditional emotional race supporter Sally, my son Alejandro, my friends and race team members Paula and Olivier, my coach Rachel, my business partner Zoe and some work colleagues and friends, I decided to check Mammoth out. I had a blast and even though I placed 5th out of 5 women, so in other words, I was the slow poke of the party, I got a medal that says National Championships, perfect for grandchildren stories in the future...

But let’s move to 2006, Cougar for more stories for my grandchildren. I qualified one more time for the Championships at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. But this time I got in the Downhill Sport category and I placed 1st out of 4 women. Which means gravity, unlike cross country climbs, favors my mom's legs and butt. I have to confess, I never imagined I was going to end up racing Downhill at this point in my life when I am supposed to get a rocking chair and learn how to knit for grand-motherhood… But I got sucked to the dark side by my friend Dana, who got sucked herself due to some on-line dating she did with the downhill dude Michael from Team No Brakes.

For me, the Downhill experience is quite different from the Cross Country. I actually get to enjoy it more, doing DH practice runs and racing DH is like going to the amusement park for roller coasters. I don’t have to work hard on the climbs; the shuttles do that job for my legs, but rather get adrenaline rushes every time I go down on steep loose hills and tight switchbacks. I get to be a kid again having fun fun fun.

I am not becoming a total lazy rider going only downhill. I also raced Super D which included some climbing, and placed 5th overall among 11 women (2nd out of 2 on my age group). That Super D race was a good training for the Downieville Classic but that will be another story.

And in some years, when my three children have grandchildren, I will have many stories for them when I was the US National Champion Grandma of the Universe and Beyond.

Click here for pictures of the event. (READ THE CAPTIONS!)

Click here to go to my team Garmin MotionBased site for more stories about the Championships. (SCROLL DOWN).