Preparing for CX Race Number Two

I must admit that these past two days of 65 degree weather in November has definitely given me a more positive outlook on life after struggling with “what should I be doing with my life?” for the past couple weeks. I spent the past two days outside as long as I could–soaking up the sun which seems to lack in my nocturnal life–the dwindling sunlight does not help, either. Not that the lack of sunlight ever stopped me from running outside, but to spend time outside off the trainer in the fresh air (which I definitely do not get enough off–as my doctor said, I had a critical vitamin D deficiency. Well, duh, I work night shifts, run in the dark, and do most everything in the dark.)

Becker Hill, off of Turkey Hill Road

But these couple of days off have been incredible my rides have been awesome, and being in the fresh air definitely helped whatever bug I caught. Not only that, I realized that time spend on my bike whether it be my Giant CX bike, mountain bike, or beloved road bike, always puts me in a good mood. I might start the ride in not-the-best spirits (I know, me, in a bad mood? I think work is doing that to me) but then after climbing which I tend to do a  lot of, and long rides up through Columbia and Dutchess counties on county roads where you rarely pass cars, I can’t help but feel a grin across my face. Whether it be that, or the fact I am not freezing, or am getting my vitamin D…I simply don’t know. I do know, however, that I love biking. And that is something which (I hope) won’t change. There is no better feeling than finishing up a 55-60mile ride in 65 degree weather in the sun! I know those days won’t be here for very long, but I’ve been taking advantage of them as much as possible.

Who ever guesses where this is will get a free prize from me or, a free hug

On River Road, looking at the Catskills

So, my last cx race was cancelled a couple of weeks ago because of the odd snow storm that we got (which was slightly annoying, because I was very excited to attempt my cross skills again.) But, since I took a holiday this Sunday, I’ll be able to take part in the 21st West Hill Shop Cyclocross Race in Putney, VT. It will be more difficult than the last one I did in Saratoga Springs– this course has a “run up” –I’ve never done a run up or practiced a run up before in my life. But, hey, that’s what makes the sport fun!

courtesy of West Hill Shop Race Page

I’m not sure if I should be worried, terrified, excited, or all three about this race– I keep needing to remind myself: this is FUN. And you’ll never know how to do it until you actually do it! (that’s my motto at least). Below is a video from the race last year, and, I must admit, min 5:34 of the video slightly worries me…

After the race, which I hope to have all limbs attached by the end of it (bruises and scratches are okay as I always seem to have some sort of bruise or scratch on my legs anyhow),  I’ll be heading to New Hampshire to do some hiking! Ahh, to spend a weekend doing activities with I love is the best… (Get ready, J. N. for a fun-filled day with yours truly, if I am still alive….)

So get ready, Vermont (and I suppose New Hampshire). Molly G. and her not-the-best-cyclocross-skills-in-the-Northeast, will be coming to visit you shortly for some mud, run ups, obstacles, and all around fun, rockin’ her Overlook Jersey.

Thanks to Billy D. and everyone at the shop for making my cyclocross dreams come true.

And to leave you with a song that was stuck in my head on a recent mountain bike ride (you get another free hug if you can tell me which movie this is from):

Billy, I Want a Bike.

“Hey Molly, just wanted to let you know that I was able to find the Contessa Spark for you. They were out, but my rep is a really cool chick and was able to steal it from another shop…”

I awoke and anxiously listened to a message left on my phone. Yes! He found one!

What is soon to be my new baby.

After surviving my first mountain bike ride, I realized there is more to cycling than simply riding on roads, and it was definitely an activity I would like to do again in the future. And, my friend actually did some research about mountain bikes for me (or, women specific bikes to be more exact) and it was love at first sight when he showed me the bike he had found.

“It’s a Scott Contessa Spark,” he said as he navigated through Scott’s website. If you don’t already know, which you probably do because I’ve talked a lot about it in posts in the past, I purchased a Scott road bike in August, and feel a special fondness towards any Scott bike. X went on to tell me all of the specs that the bike had, and compared it to some other mountain bikes. Yes, specs for a bike are important. But, what was more important in my mind, was that the bike was pretty. Furthermore, I could not help but thing of all the new mountain bike clothes I would need, so that I would look like a badass mountain biker.

“Ouuu, it’s blue! It’s so pretty! I want one!” I remember exclaiming.

Ofcourse, me and bikes go hand in hand, and if someone suggests a good bike for me, it’s like inception…It’s an idea that has been planted in my head and now consumes all my thoughts. For the next twenty-four hours, this is all I could think about. My heart was not at ease until I could go to the shop and see if I could get one. Honestly, a time trial bike is what I’ve been thinking of getting recently, but after weighing the pros and cons of a time trial bike versus a mountain bike, I realized I’d get a lot more use out of a mountain bike. I can ride it in the winter and not have to worry about getting my road bike dirty, ride it in the woods (which opens up the world of off-road races/duathlons/ x-terra races up to me), and basically, ride it all the time. Whereas a tri bike I’d only really use in races which are during a certain time of the year. You see, I put a lot of thought into this.

Addiction? Yes. But, really, it could be worse. And, in my mind, you can never have too many bikes.

Saturday I went to the shop to see what Billy could do, and ask for his advice on mountain bikes. If you are looking for a bike shop, I strongly suggest going to Overlook Mountain Bikes. The people who work there are amazing, incredibly knowledgeable about all bikes, are friendly, and out to get you the bike which is good for you. Believe me, I’ve been to most bike shops in the Hudson Valley, too. This place is the best.*

“Billy, I want a mountain bike,” I blurted out after a couple minutes of being inside.

“Nice, do you have any ideas of what you’re looking for…”He went on to mention different mountain bikes or parts (my knowledge of mountain bikes is nothing compared to my knowledge of time trial bikes or road bikes, so I was trudging on unknown grounds. I still have no idea what he was talking about).

“Umm, wellll, I was thinking, a Scott Contessa Spark,” I said.

“Awesome, Scott’s are great,” Billy went on to go over the bike with me, and showed me the men’s model that they had on the floor. Even the men’s model was pretty.

“This is actually a great bike– lock out suspension, Shimano derailleurs, Rock Shox…You really did your homework, this is a nice bike.” Well, technically, I didn’t do my homework, X did.

“And, I have a jersey that matches!” I stated, a bit too enthusiastically.

Billy chuckled, “That’s important, too….Well, Monday I’ll give them a call and see what I can do for you!”

Alas, it is Monday, and my baby is on it’s way from Arizona, thanks to miracle bike finder Billy.

I’m very sorry, Plasma. I still have very strong feelings of affection towards you, but you’ll just need to wait for now. Spark is more important for the time being.

Parents, please keep your small children indoors. Pet owners, hold on to your small animals with your life. This crazy girl will be tearing up dirt very shortly, sporting her matching blue jersey.

* Links below

Scott Bikes

Overlook Mtn Bikes

When was the last crazy post written?

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