Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Colorado Mountain Bike Championship - Fruita Dessert Classic

This past weekend was exciting. I know, I know, I probably say something like that almost every weekend, but it is how I feel. This past weekend found Ellie and I in Fruita for the Colorado High School Cycling League Mountain Bike Championship. It was exciting because it was the championship and because Ellie has never had a chance to ride in Fruita, one of the big, world famous mountain bike riding spots.

I was also super excited because I was able to make arrangements to spend time with Natalie, one of my dearest friends, a friend I have not seen in person in about 3.5 or 4 years.
We left Denver bright and early on Saturday morning so that we could be sure that Ellie would have plenty of time to pre-ride the course. We met some of the teammates and parents at Sunshine Cafe in Silverthorn for breakfast. Afterwards the kids piled into my car and we make the remaining four hour drive in noisy, musical fun.

Being the dessert, the race course was hot and dusty. Ellie rode the course a bit and then wanted to go home to shower. She wanted to feel fresh for the next day.

That evening we returned to Fruita to take team pictures and attend the end of the year shindig. (I wrote more about that below.)

Coach Kathy was super jazzed for the final race of the season so she make our spot a party. We hung up balloons and streamers. She also gave both girls tiaras for their helmets and the coaches sported silly costumes. It looked like a little kid's birthday party and everyone who passed us smilled.

Ellie raced the JV girls, the second group to go. The cheering and excitement was really something. People clapped, hooted and cheered. When Ellie's name was announced for her call-up (getting to pick your place on the starting line) the volume of cheering went up a bit. Between her enthusiastic team mates, coaches and people who know her from road or cross, many voices were heard. I was nervous. Coach Kathy had Ellie ride her Super Fly, as super sweet, light bike - a bike Ellie is unfamiliar with. I wanted her to have a good ride, to be happy with her effort and standing.

She went off like a rocket, a buzzing cloud of other girls whirling their pedals just behind her. By the time the girls got to the first big hill Ellie was in second place. I was not worried as she always makes up some time in the successive laps.

The race was a serious battle. Izzy finished just head of Ellie by about 18 feet and just over a second. Soon after the third girl flew in for her finish. By that point she was anaerobic, we could see her hurting as she was entering the final stretch. Her head was bobbing and her bike was weaving - she was bonking. As she passed us I could see foam at the corners of her mouth and white stuff was dried on her cheek. Just a few feet after crossing the finish line she went down. The paramedics checked her out, gave her an IV and set her on the right course. I am sure that the girl will feel like she had a hang-over the next day.

Ellie would have enjoyed being the champion, of course, but she was also okay with coming in second to Izzy since they both put in a lot and gave it their all.

Coach Eric donned a green wig and cheered for every one of our team members. I am pretty sure that makes them feel special.
Here's Coach Kathy, sporting a fun dress, proving that we have the msot team spirit.
Ellie earned second in the JV category in a large field of girls. Next year she may be moved up to the varsity category.

She also earned second overall in the JV girls category.

Fruita State Championships 2012-Vail Composite from Ted vic on Vimeo.

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