After the trip to Madison Friday night, Darrin slept in a bit Saturday morning. I couldn't sleep and decided to get up and start packing for our trip to Iola. I finished making sandwiches and coffee when Darrin got up. Oatmeal was on the menu and after adding fresh fruit, I inhaled mine. Who needs sugar right? We took our time packing the last few items and tidied up our apartment. Darrin ventured outside to get the bikes on top of the car and I hauled our stuff out to him to pack in the car. He does a great job of getting a spot for Ginger to relax and see the road.
By 11:30 we started our trip north, and what a windy trip it was. Iola is about 2.5 hours from our house and provided me with a great time to study. As we approached Amherst we could sense that the directions Google Maps gave us were going to lead us down the wrong roads. Sure enough, we ended up about 5 miles out of our way. With my superior map reading skills and Darrin's driving skills, we found a scenic route to the course.
The parking lot was packed full of other's who chose to pre-ride the course. All the nervousness of that first biking event ran through my veins as we pulled into a spot. The banners were up and bikers were every where. The wind whipped through the parking lot, creating a dust storm for everyone to enjoy. We managed our way to the registration tent and picked up Darrin's race numbers. Geared up for winter, Darrin got his pre-ride in while Ginger and I camped out in the car because of the 30 mph winds.
I debated a bit with Ginger if I should pre-ride or if we should just go to Mom's. In the end I decided to ride one lap of the course. I follow Darrin's wheel and his advice on just trying to make it up hills and through certain tricky parts. Darrin does a really good job of leading the way. When we started on the course, he warned me of the butt burner hills and technical spots. I had so much fun even though it was so hard. The hills were short but steep and there wasn't a lot of recovery time between them. This provided me with a burning sensation in my chest/throat and a great workout.
On one portion of the trail, I knew I couldn't ride it because of it's difficulty so I got off my bike. I managed to pull of the trail just as 6 riders were coming through. The fourth rider forgot he was riding a mountain bike and turned to look at me. Upon returning his attention to the trail it was too late. "Oh Shit," were his last words as he plummeted to the ground. I asked him if he was okay and he gave me this glare as if I were somehow responsible for his recent accident. However, had he just kept riding like the three ladies previous to him, he would have been just fine and his pride wouldn't have suffered.
I had a lot of fun out on the course and we decided that this is a great way for me to get in a little exercise and enjoy mountain biking more. For me it is about gaining confidence. This trail was a lot different than the trails I was used to. The downhills are the scariest parts for me as I have never done anything like this before. Yes, I have jumped out of a plane twice, but that is way easier than trying to navigate a heavy bike through trails cut into the woods. But, I think the more I ride the better I will become!
After pre-riding we made our way to Mom and Dad's for a spaghetti supper! Boy was that delicious. Perhaps because I had just worked so hard on the bike trail. Cory, Jaime and the kids made their way over after supper and we all ventured outside for the kids to play a little ball. Darrin was the pitcher for the boys. Mom and I laughed at Reegan trying to multitask with her watermelon in hand, trying to swing at a ball. We played outside for a while until everyone got cold fingers. This was okay for us as we wanted to get to bed early for a good nights sleep!