It was a dark and stormy night.
No, it wasn't. That's a lie. But it sounded so much more intriguing than It was a cool and calm night with nary a cloud in the sky and I was innocuously riding my bike down the bike path.
I was heading towards the Alleycat night race.
I was nervous as, at the last race, I didn't even finish. This time around, however, I had the Cinelli vs. the mountain bike. I knew I should go home and go to bed and be well rested for the weekend camping/mountain bike riding trip the next morning, but I just ... really wanted to do the race so of course I did the mature and responsible thing and went to the night race.
Oh, but earlier in the day - we're working backwards - I inadvertently fixed the rear disc brake on my mountain bike. It came about like this:
I was in the kitchen with the bike (where else?) trying to adjust the brake as the guys at the bike shop had shown me, but I don't have a bike stand and the bike was rolling away and I was feeling rushed as I still needed to put my new bike lights on the Cinelli for the race that night and finish packing for the camping trip tomorrow and I couldn't exactly remember was there supposed to be a bigger gap towards the adjuster knob or away from it? My mountain bike maintenance book wasn't helping and then it got worse and I got mad and I texted Eli at the bike shop letting him know that I had made matters worse and was coming in to let him fix the brake before I threw the bike out the window and took up knitting. He responded that he was at the shop and to come on in and that he knows how to knit. Of course you do, I texted back, bite me. I wasn't exactly in the best mood. So I set the brake as best I could and, convinced it was completely screwed up, didn't check it.When I got to the bike shop Joe, the other bike shop guy, says "Miss? Are you here for the knitting class?"
Everyone's a comedian.
Anyway, as it turns out I'd actually fixed the stupid thing perfectly.
And after I got done being perturbed I was pretty pleased with myself.
And...then I found five bucks? OK, boring story. Where was I? Oh yes, the race.
...9PM, I was nervous, standing around in the dark parking lot with the 20 or so other riders, feeling a little sheepish as I could tell some of them remembered me from last time. I just wanted to not get lost and finish in a timely fashion and not be the very last one by an hour or anything embarrassing like that. I was the only girl in attendance and probably the most inexperienced rider but I remembered my and Jen's motto Just do it, even if you suck and was determined to give it another shot.
And then we were off to the first check point (where we would then find out the destination of the second check point, and from there the third, etc.) and I was able to stay with the pack and then I realized I was pacing myself behind them so I started passing some of the guys, me and the Italian Stallion. It was a beautiful night, cool and sweet, and I love being out and about at night and I swear sometimes that bike has wings.
At each checkpoint we had to answer a trivia question, like Quote a Beatle's song but I'm all out of breath and all I could think was "Who are the Beatles, again?" At the last check point, however, at the top of a very steep climb, the question the lady presented was to quote a line from an 80's movie and that one I had, despite the hill. "Oh honey," I said, panting but grinning, "I've got a run in my pantyhose...I'm not wearing pantyhose!" She laughed and said "OK, back to the bike shop!" and then as I rode away she called after "You're number five!"
So... I was aiming for not last and then landed in fifth place! Fifth out of twenty-ish, and the only girl to boot, and after not even completing the previous race I was pretty damn happy about that. I felt I earned a little street cred that night.
I was going to post a bunch of pictures and stories of the camping/mountain bike riding trip, but the pictures were taking forever to upload so... I'll do that later. Stay tuned. It was a good time, to say the least.