As we waited for Paul, Dan and Hayley to join us at Bombay Indian for our last supper in Vegas, Simon asked me what I was most looking forward to in Vermont with my dad. Of course hanging with dad and eating his deliciously prepared food was the obvious answer; but what I’ve really come to appreciate, something that was a given growing up in the boonies, is a dark and quiet night lit up by glimmering stars. After a long flight east I was finally able to step into the crisp Vermont air in the wee hours of Saturday and hear silence and see black.
It’s good to be home. Utterly tuckered out from the non-stop of Vegas and a 1am Jericho arrival I passed out for about 10 hours. Thankfully I had chosen to only race Sunday of Green Mountain Cyclocross Weekend at Catamount, just 10 miles from my house. I made my foddered legs go round and round for a while and hoped they would find some new life before Sunday’s race.
The noise, lights and chaos that is CrossVegas was a stark change to bumping along dirt and pot-holed roads to the luscious green rolling hills of Catamount Family Center, which was the inviting playground to my brother and his mountain bike years ago. The course was a longish circuit which held some climbing, but also rewarding and turny descents through open field and also through mountain bike track; a circuit that kept you on your toes while looking ahead and through the corners. It was good to catch up with some fellow racers who I had not seen since sometime last season, as well as to meet some new people who were similarly happy to be enjoying a perfect fall day in VT. But once on the start line the smiles disappeared and the racing lit up.
The first lap was fast and fun and there was a solid chase group reeling me in, with Andrea Smith catching onto my wheel and passing me on the non-midgetized barriers; these planks were massive…I felt I was doing box jumps to get up & over. Following this horrid section was a switchbacking descent in the open field down to the finish. I followed Andrea’s line through these and carried the speed with an attack up the right side of the straight going into our 2nd lap. With my head still in tact I continued to power the pedals to increase the gap. But a tad before hitting the halfway mark all I wanted was a nap. I was leading the race, my dad was going cowbell crazy in his AD/CD shirt and I was having difficulty remembering that I was racing and not on a joy ride. The rest of the race seemed to crawl by and I resorted to smacking my helmet and slapping my face in attempt to wake myself out of my lala land lull. Finally the lap card read 1 lap to go and I did my best to ride the dreams out of my foggy head. I finished with the win and was called to the podium when all I wanted was my bed.
And that is why 9pm through 9am has been reserved for studying the back of my eyelids. See Vegas? Do you see what you do to me?!