Sunday, 25 March
No Sequim for me. Today's project was to plant some raspberry canes that my dad gave me about a month ago that have been living in giant plastic bags amid our recycling bins. They seemed to be doing okay, but I figured if I wanted berries this summer, my odds were better if they were stuck in the ground. They came from rural Skagit County, and I think they will have a tough time adjusting to the high density of urban living because my tired, aching body could only manage to clear a plot about 1.5 x 3.5 feet to plant maybe 25 canes. (Yeah, Curly, now this is a hats and tandems and farming blog.)
Breaking sod is not the smartest or pleasantest thing to do the day after your hardest bike race of the year, so far. Yesterday was the Independence Valley road race, which must be a great course because I realized on the last lap that I had used all the gears on my bike. The course features two hills per lap, and we did three laps. I was pretty happy to move up through the pack on the first hill, but then a couple of tactical errors pretty much put the nail in the coffin on my race and I waved goodbye to the pack after the second hill. I was in a group of three for the second lap; one rider cut her losses and bailed, and I just didn't have the focus to stay with the other one. So I rode the last 20 miles on my own. In the pouring rain (it rained ALL day). Of course, I spent the whole time I was alone looking over my shoulder, mainly for the cat 1-2s which I knew were back there somewhere. They came past me in bits and pieces (nice to see Jamie in the break, but Rich is amazing!). About 3/4 of the way through the lap, I saw a single rider behind me. I was sure my speed had gotten pathetic and it was another woman, overtaking me for coveted 8th place. Much to my delight, it was Steve H., so I got 30 seconds of chat with him and distraction from my pain before he hightailed it to the finish line ahead of the group that "wouldn't work" with him.
My burning question at the end of the race? There was a "for rent" sign on a single-wide, 30-year-old mobile home on the course. How much is rent on such a beast, 5 miles outside of Rochester, which is, like, 25 miles outside of Olympia?
After my lamentations last week, I must point out that my team had 4 riders in the top 10 yesterday. Of course, I must also point out that 2 of them were just plain strong, and 2 of us were just stubborn.