New Hampshire: Live free or die

I’m now back in Campton, NH after a great weekend of racing at Mt. Snow Vermont. I have now completed my first mechanical free Norba!! And it was tons of fun. In keeping with Norba style we did 3 laps of a longer loop. There was a lot of climbing snaking in and out of singletrack with a lengthy and challenging singletrack climb over slick rocks. We then descended the rock and root strewn trail back to the base. I haven’t been on a descent that rough in a while and first time through felt like I was bouncing all over the place. After letting some tire pressure out and setting my fork to 5 inches I was feeling much better.

Saturday was warm. As we lined up to race at three the showers that had held off all day started to fall, but it was short lived and the course remained mostly dry. On the first lap I focused on fighting through traffic and made it up to the top ten. I knew there were still girls ahead of me that I couldn’t see so I kept trying to get as far up as I could. I felt good and was able to get by a bunch of women on the descent. When I came through the start at the end of lap 1 with Alison on my wheel I realized I was in 3rd! I was being told Mary M had 1:30 on us, but could see Katrina Nash (Hanusova) ahead and set my sights on reeling her in. I passed her just after the first climb and kept pushing to the top and getting a clean run down the descent. Going into the final lap I was still in 2nd with Alison Sydor and Shonny Vanlandingham in contact. I’m pretty sure Willow and Heather were just a couple seconds off. Shonny went to the front on the climb and I held her wheel. About half way up Alison passed us on a technical climb I had messed up and Shonny went with her. This was about the time I started seeing stars and my legs went from hero to zero. Girls started passing me depressingly fast and I just had to convince myself to keep spinning. By the top of the climb I was in 9th and Jimena and I took turns leading the descent which was a little sketchy when seen through blurred vision. She was able to pull away after the last woods and I came in 9th. Still a great result, but leaving me with the feeling that a little better pacing could have seen me on the podium.

I definitely want to do more Norbas in the future. The depth of the fields are excellent and the circuit is very fun and friendly.