Okay, my weekend wasn't quite as spectacular as Ryder's (YAAAAAAA!!!!!!), but I still had an amazing weekend of riding/racing some amazing trails with some amazing people in some amazing weather...it was all around an amazing weekend!! Pemberton, BC played host to the Nimby 50....which is actually is only 37km but is called 50 because it really does feel like 50....or even more! Easily the hardest, most demanding mountain bike course that I think I've ridden in a long time....and I thought I was in shape :-)
Typical neutral start with 400 mountain bikers on the road is guaranteed to be sketchy. Once the neutral car peeled out of the way, we hammered up a steep long gravel road...everyone trying to be first into the first section of singletrack. That first section of singletrack ended up being a lot farther up that road then I was expecting and was really uncomfortable by the time we hit it. Working on intensity is on my list of things to do (starting today with 9 nasty intervals...thanks Bill Fry...I really was serious about wanting you to push me all the way home).
Quick rough decent popped us out on a gravel road and our last little bit of repreive for almost the entire rest of the course....yes, already done all the easy parts. Next up, 11 km and 101 switchbacks up Big Nimby. Nothing super steep or technical, but just constant elevation gain getting slightly harder as you go up and as you get more tired and as you loose more and more oxygen due to altitude...Yes, I am so using that one!!!
Catherine Pendral was no where to be seen, but Brandi Heistermann was just one switchback up from me the whole way up Big Nimby. I was really proud of myself for putting the pressure on a climber during a climb :-) But I really started to feel the effort near the top and had to take a little moment to myself....and I lost contact with Brandi. Out of the switchbacks we hit some really fresh fast loamy singletrack, then a little more climbing and into the Red Bull DownTime. I was really excited about this section, a race within a race, your clock starts at the top of the trail and stops at the bottom.....awesome. But riding this trial blind was extremely difficult and it really wasn't pretty. Keeping it upright and my rear wheel behind me on some of the rock slabs was interesting....but somehow I managed to pull off a 3rd place time on the DownTime.
DownTime podium with local downhill superstar taking the win and World Champ on her 5 and 5 inch bike in second (I was really jealous of this on the downhill, but glad I wasn't the one hauling it up the climbs)
By the time I popped out of DownTime I was more then excited to start climbing again because I couldn't feel my arms or my eyeballs for that matter. Through the feedzone and up into the steep technical climbing half of the course and I soon lost that enthusiasm for climbing...haha. This short little loop near the end of the race was just about the end of me. Catherine's husband Keith came up behind me just before the last singletrack..."Wendy is about 2 mins behind you!"....Me "10 mins???"....Keith "NO 2 mins!"....Me "S&$t!!!!". Hit the gravel road at the bottom and quickly hit the pavement back to the finish. 3km of by myself on the road trying to get as small as I possibly could and hammer as hard as I could...OUCH!
Brandi was able to smell blood when Catherine flatted and pounced taking the win.
Thanks ladies for the awesome race. Thanks Pemberton and the Nimby 50 organizers for the awesome race and the 27 degrees. Thank you Pony Espresso for the amazing post race burger! Thank you Regan Pringle for teching out my rig and for the awesome weekend. So proud of your finish!
Regan's post ride dust
This weekend.....Bastion Crit :-0