011 A Tale of Two Races

Bad Donkey likes new home.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the season of cyclocross. 
On Saturday Bad Andy and I headed down to northern Maryland for MABRA Race #2 supporting breast cancer awareness. Good cause bad directions. BA and I got so unbelievably lost we almost gave up on the race and went home. We were on a tour of the Gettysburg battle fields and not headed to a race. Seriously. If not for a quick call to Fouche who is semi local and was able to point us in the right direction we would have bagged the race. We owe him one.

I would like to just skip over my race on this day entirely. I was ready. Third to the mud at the start. Then it all went wrong. Apparently I wasn't ready for the mud, the slog of a climb. I tried to make up where I could, it was too late. I'm proud I stuck it out. I knew what was happening and I tried to adjust my riding style, but was glad when I finished. I held it together for the most part. 7th in the Cat. 3 women's field.

BA had another nice ride to 4th in the Elite Men's Race. Battling with Bishop. I'm told they both found a secret concrete gutter along the really muddy off camber section. Everyone else thought it was a stream. BA took the line through the mud, Bishop was pushed into the stream, when Bishop discovered it was concrete he attacked. Later BA used it to attack Bishop. Those crazy elites. BA had his number on the wrong side the entire race. He was rider X. The officials where really nice about it.

On Sunday we headed over to New Jersey for the Hillbilly Hustle v.5 put on by Breakaway Bikes. I new things where right with the world when we got out of the car and heard G n' R blaring on the race course. I breathed deep, and exhaled letting the previous days bad race float away into the Jersey breeze, this was gonna be a great race. The course is flat, sandy, loads of turns, a giant dirt pile, and some fast tricky sections.

Bad Kat Hillbilly Hustle
Yeah I'm holding my breath.
I pre rode a bunch, it calmed me to know the course inside and out. On the pre ride I saw the log natural barrier. I saw the way around. The log wasn't that big. I've been practicing log hopping this summer on the mountain bike (I usually slam into them and hope my mountain bike suspension does me a favor). On the mountain bike this log is a no brainer a bump in the trail. On the cross bike it's a different story. I rode up to it twice in warm up until I finally found the confidence and over it I went. Not bad. The first lap I hopped the log and the one spectator in this section went crazy. That was all I needed, I railed it every time the rest of the race. I hung onto the wheel of two chicks that have been racing elites since I started racing like it was my life's mission. 5th in the elite women's field. 

Bad Andy rode like a rock star to WIN his first Hillbilly Hustle. He's been there since the inaugural race, except for last year when we made the trek up to Gloucester for New England Worlds. Not this year kids, we were pumped to get hustled. He signed a few autographs and posed for some fan pictures post race. Didn't I tell you this is a great race. 
The best part is the super Bad Donkey trophy Bad Andy won created by Warren Holzman. It found a good home. Thanks to everyone who had a part in the Hustle. It really is a gem. Alright, I'll stop now.

Elite Men's Podium Hillbilly Hustle
With the high of the great race going I may not have been slightly negligent with the bike rack. As we crossed the Delaware Memorial Bridge we heard a rustling up top. I looked over to see BA's brand new bike dangling off the side of the car held by the wheel strap. My heart sank. We made our way the the right side of the bridge desperately searching out a pull off. The drop out is slightly damaged, everyone seems to concur it's not structural. 
This weekend we head out to Cincinnati Ohio for the three day race weekend. The bikes will be inside the element for this trip. What's better then a cross race? A day off work. Can't wait. 

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