A couple weekends ago, I (Elisabeth) broke out my pro camera and headed to Trexlertown, Saturday as just a spectator, and Sunday to hop in and race as well as take some photos during the rest of the races. Here’s a little recap, including contributions from Yung TayTay and photos of the Laser Cats in Sunday’s race taken by Willem.
Nittany was the first big race of the region, and the Laser Cats Feline All-Stars were ready to rock. Roz held it down Saturday, crushing for the holeshot on her patriotic single speed. Then our good buddy Rachel Rubino tore through the whole field and took the win!
Later on Saturday afternoon, Shaina (who races with us on the road) took to the line in her first UCI race, throwing down an impressive performance in the rain.
On Sunday, after a night of rain, we had bluebird skies and nice muddy corners all over the course. I LOVE mud. Just the game of how much body English it takes to go as fast as you can through the turns without sliding out (and knowing it will hurt way less than washing out on a hard-packed dry course if you go down) is so much fun. I also like the fact that I am intentionally and willfully going to make myself totally filthy.
We rolled deep, with Michaela, Roz, Sam, Taylor and I all taking to the start in the very large women’s 3/4 field. Willem got some nice start line photos.
Taylor so ready to crush her way fiercely through the field
With a giant mud bog just a few turns after the holeshot, I made a point to actually try to have a good start. I’m not much of a sprinter, so my starts are typically lackluster. But, knowing I could ride it, I wanted to get there early. I made it through clean (well, legs covered in mud…) with about 7 other riders, and the pace was hot. It wasn’t long before Rachel had made her way through the field and up to our group, and Taylor was right behind her. I have a tendency to forget to regulate my breathing, and Taylor reminded me, so gently, to slow that breathing down. Deep breaths.
We came through the log over together, and with a bit of a bunch up, those two got ahead of me.
I kept the pressure on myself, and a few greasy turns later, I made it back around Taylor and worked to catch the next rider. We were behind the Masters women, so there was lots of passing back and forth as the fields mixed.
Nittany was a mostly flat course, with lots of big swooping turns and long straightaways. Typically, this would not be a course I’d like. But a combination of the mud, the big women’s field, a fierce chase from Taylor, and my recent work on cornering at speed had me throwing down power on the straights and carrying lots of it through the turns. I raced hard and I raced well, and it was the first time in probably 3 years that I really felt like it all came together and I was really racing again.
Thanks for taking photos of us, Willem!