State Championships in Wisconsin turned out to be an epic event. The course is in Waterloo not far from where I work. So I did have the luxury to be able to ride the proposed course a few times before Saturday. However nothing could prepare us for the epic day that was to come. Weather changed everything. The night before the race we received about 5” of snow. The course was already fairly saturated with rain previous that week. The lucky few who came out to race were Mike Van Dyke, Laura Andrews and Myself. It had all the elements to be just an epic race. Brianne Van Dyke was also there to cheer us on and also keep Ranger (their dog) and Shimano warm. I had signed up to race both the Single speed race and the 4's later that day, proved not needed. Mike and I started out in the race together working through the mud, snow and ice. Not a fantastic start but the group was very fast and hungry for the state championship. There were areas where I could catch and pass some individuals and then others where the mud just sucked you in. Clipping in was a huge problem for all. Especially those of us who didn't have pit crew. Thanks to the eggbeaters I fared better than most. For the single speed races I have been trying to stay with a competitor Nate and a few others from his team. Even though he is a stronger rider than me, he has been my goal. Due to a mechanical I was able to pass him and thought the last lap would be a bit easier, but he was right back on and coming fast. I did slip and hit the ground in a turn but was able to quickly remount earlier in the race. Last lap pressure was on and I was trying to also catch the person right in front of me. I knew if I could get through the last two turns I could get the speed to pass him on the finish... That all changed. One of those last turns coming down a hill my front tire lost control, I think it hit one of the flag poles and I crashed hard on my right shoulder in the mud and ice. I wasn't able to get out of my bike that easily. I stood up and walked around in circles trying to figure out where all the pain was coming from and what I was doing. Sure enough I get passed by Nate and friends asking if I was ok, I was, sort of. My right shoulder hurt and I couldn't move my arm. So that is ok right? I thought I might have broken it or the collar bone. Or just dislocated the shoulder. But with just this lap to go I got back on the bike and tried to ride. I had to jump off on the last hill due to not being able to hold the bars and pull up in the mud. I did finally finish the race. Mike also working hard in the mud caught me right as I was finishing. He knew I was hurt so he took my bike for me. Brianne then checked out my shoulder back at the tent while Mike washed the bike. Great to have friends. Muse Davis who used to race with us helped me out when I went to change by letting me borrow his sling and looked at the arm to. By then we figured it wasn't broken but just maybe separated AC. Had to get someone to help me change clothes. So that ended my day of the fun. I did end up in 16th place and Mike in 17th. Laura was even late to her race because she was checking on me and trying to get going. Her race started without her but she was able to get in and catch a number of racers and end up in 8th place for the women's Cat 3. Overall it was still a fun day with epic conditions. I wish I could have raced more. Shoulder is feeling much better after a few weeks. It did have a slight AC Separation/movement. Oh well, season is over for me. Looking forward to next year with Angry Monkeys!
Photos are from a number of friends including- Karl Hendrikse and others.