It’s Not About the Bike. It’s About the Epic Singletrack Race: How a Housewife Plans to Survive 15 Miles of Racing.

I have this thing. I sometimes complain. But one thing I won’t complain about is a long bike ride. Some of my best days on the bike have been 15+ mile days (hey, that’s a lot for mountain bikers). But it’s one thing to be on a ride with your best girl pals in the desert. It’s a whole other enchilada racing for 15 miles and at altitude to boot. And as the days creep closer to the Epic Singletrack race, I can’t help but think, “What was I thinking when I agreed to do this?”

Author, Cheri Felix rides Fruita
Cheri will be taking on race #2 at the Epic Singletrack race series this upcoming Saturday in Winter Park.

40 minutes, 8 miles and 20 minute short track races. This is it. This is my race experience. If I was creating a match dot com profile for mountain bike racing, it would read pretty poorly. All I might garner are guys who like girls on the margins. The peripheral girl. Not quite a virgin but definitely not experienced. That’s me. The girl who is much like the old Sesame Street skit where there is one thing that’s not like the other.

It’s not that I don’t belong on a mountain bike or even in a race. It’s that I never quite seem like I’m in the right place. It’s like I’m in middle school all over again and I can’t seem to find my group. I’m not super cool. I’m not techy. I don’t wear a kit. My bike is older. Gasp, it’s NOT a 29er. And my bike is pink. I know what you’re thinking. “Really? Pink?” When I bought it, my husband said, “This bike is all pink. Are you able to commit to that for the long term?” I guess I was.

So as I am a mere six days away from the longest race I’ve ever raced, I have to laugh. Cause it’s going to be funny. I get hungry during a 20 minute short track race. Heck, I get hungry driving across Boulder. And I tend to get bored on non-technical stretches of trail and long climbs. I’d like to think it’s because I am a super genius and need constant intellectual stimulation but I’m afraid it’s just that I lack focus. In my mind’s eye I am kind of cool but really I’m not. I’m just an almost middle-aged (it depends on how long I live) housewife. Yep. I said housewife. I’m not putting myself down. I’m really not. I’m just clear on what I am and what I’m not. I am amazing (at least I think so) but I think I’m slowing down and I think that my body sometimes wants to give in to the devil’s talons called inflammatory crapitis.

I wanted to let you know what I am up to. Can’t wait to share how it goes. It should be fun(ny). And hard and humbling. But I can’t wait. I’ll tape Gu packs to my bike (like a friend told me to do) and I’ll eat well in the days before the race (I read Rebecca Rusch’s nutrition tips). And I’ll hope that I don’t get a flat because me changing a flat is neither pretty nor quick. But one thing I’ll bring for sure is my sense of humor. I’m gonna need it.

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