Sunday was the Colorado Cyclocross Championship. It brought out a lot of serious competition. People who have been spending their time doing out of town races, or other things, set time aside to do this race. Ellie's competition was stiff. The day was unseasonably warm and the ground was muddy, consistency of peanut butter, or so I'm told. It was a nice, of odd, change from the super cold weather we had been experiencing.
The girls got off to a fast uphill start. Ellie was right in the middle of the pack. She came around for the first lap, but then I did not see her again. I knew that if she was hurt, the network of parents would find and inform me. Instead, I waited at the top of the hill where I could see most of the course, though some parts were obscured by gently hills. It was on the back side of one of those hills that Ellie managed to hit the ground. I am not sure what she did, but whatever it was, it made her seat wonky and rendered her bike unridable. After the previous race when she broke her derailer hanger, our mechanics, Bruce and Walt, tuned up her bike and trued her wheels. It had not occured to any of us to check her seat. Anyway, she tightened the screws that hold the seat rails to the bike by hand and rode it to the pit, being sure not to sit on the actual seat. Once there, a network of dads gathered up her bike, found a multitool and the proper tool within to tighten the seat back on. Maxl offered his bike for her use, but she politely declined as she was afraid that she might break something on his bike. (Later we realized that he has a different kind of shifters, so that would have taken some learning anyway.) This all took a while and by the time she was good to go, Ellie would not podium. She finished the lap and called it good. She was disappointed to not be able to ride the course more as she said that it was a fun course, but her attitude was good. I was thankful for her good attitude. She managed to get through most of the season without technical difficulties. It is odd that she had two in a row. Perhaps it was a sign that it was good that the end of the season had arrived. In the end she did not podium at the state championship, but she did win the Colorado 2011 Cyclocross Cup award.
We had a quiet ride home. I adimred the sunset. Ellie rested. We listened to Christmas music. We capped it off by stoping at the carwash so that we could clean up the van and the bike.