Adventure. Travel. Race.
White people problems are what you get when you work 55+hrs a week, when you own and operate your own business, and try to race bikes professionally as full-time as possible. KickStand Coffee & Kitchen (Hood River, Oregon) is our business to be exact -- It's a fun, 110 seat coffee bar/restaurant/cocktail bar in the heart of Hood River, Oregon.
As a full-time racer, let me be the first to say that at times it can feel near impossible to perform to my fullest, let alone train, let alone ride my bike. But there's something about racing that keeps me going, and reminds me in those moments, to "Go with the Flow". Even if the week doesn't go to plan, or training pan out as scheduled, that is okay. Business comes first and some times you've just got to be more responsible than you'd like to.
Back to the story... Capitol Forest is a riding area West of Tacoma, Washington, known for its more pedally trails, and recently sanctioned DH loamers. Having never experienced either, I figured why not check it out?
Friday: On the drive North from Hood River, I had my first #WPP. An employee was calling in for an evening shift Saturday and we had no back-up due to vacations. I pulled over, took a deep breathe, and considered my options.
A. I could turn back now, although I was most of the way to Capitol Forest, and cover the shift myself.
B. I could go ahead to practice, and hope for a change. If there was a change, I could race and not have to cover the shift myself.
C. I could go ahead to practice, and hope for a change. If there was no change, I would need to be back by 6pm Saturday evening.
I opted for Option C, and showed up for practice all stressed out (there was no realistic way I could be home by 6pm the next day), and frustrated. No matter how frustrated you are, riding bikes makes you happy. And happy I became, as friends and I practiced amidst the pedally XC dust bowl. I went into town for cell service, and got the best news of the trip -- said employee no longer needed coverage, YES! I just got lucky....
That evening I did my usual GoPro, make notes, eat pasta, stretch, and study notes, and faced my second #WPP: getting kicked off the end of a random forest road at 9:00pm by Forest Service for camping, and being told all roads in the area were closed to camping. "Campgrounds only" they said. Good thing they were full (sarcasm)! Turns out rolling solo as a young female pays its dues as a lovely couple at the nearby campground took pity on me and let me park the van in their campsite driveway. Thank you!!!
Race day came, and so did the 95 degree heat. There were only 4 of us girls, but we were a mighty 4, and set out for a full day of lady-shredding. Our first transfer was the longest of the day, involving only a smidge of hike-a-bike up a steep gravel road. From the top, we descended a total of 5000ft on the day, featuring little ole' me cramping near the finish of the last stage (third #WPP). I took this as a sign, and rallied home after a great afternoon playing bikes in the woods with friends. Turns out you can make it from Tacoma to Hood River in 3 hours flat, if you want to.
Here's to another great speedy weekend with friends!