Keweenaw Chain Drive Mountain Bike Race
With being at a camp for five days up in the UP in Houghton with amazing and wonderful coaches who taught us so many new strategies that I never even knew about, it was nice to finish the fun trip with an aggressive race representing the under-the-bridge RWT girls!
The start was definitely neat; we had a police car that escorted us across the extravagant bridge that connects Houghton and Hancock together with a nice view of colorful houses and people cheering us on after that. I liked that we had a four mile stretch of pavement that got my muscles warmed up for the race, while on the other hand, for example, the Canonsburg Ski Area hits you with a hill right at the start. The worst part of the race, I might say, was that brutal "cemetery hill" as we got closer and closer to real, dirty fun trails that we all love as mountain bikers (especially me with the mud). The hill was definitely challenging, and it got my heart rate up, too.
Further into the race, were some nice technical parts that I absolutely love which included slick bridges that were fun to go on, though I was a little apprehensive since I experienced a slight crash and a numb knee the day before when our coaches led us through a pre-ride of the course. It was pretty much Merrell, Luton, Hanson Hills, and Canonsburg (the rocky and root-y up hills) all together through into 16 miles of fun experience. The course had pretty much everything you could ever think of when it came to mountain biking trails.
My dad rode with me the entire way and pushed me on the hills even when I felt like puking and wanting to quit. That’s one of the things that I love about mountain biking: it’s challenging and not many people enjoy doing it, but once you’re caught into the sport, you’re pretty much obsessed with it like I am and it’s just soooooooo fun.
One of my favorite parts of the race was when we entered the forest. I mean, we were surrounded by forest for the entire race, like on two-track and all that, but going into the forest was one of my favorite moments because there were lots of mud holes, which I enjoyed getting muddy by the way, roots, LOTS of rocks, and I’m not kidding, tight bridges, swoopy turns, and fun down hills at which I was going so fast I thought I was going to crash every time there was a down hill! My arms were vibrating a lot from going down rocky down hills, also, and I was laughing a lot.
After going up and down technical trails, one of the guys told me that the finish line was just around the corner, literally! My legs at this point felt like they were Jell-O and going to fall off. The pavement was really killing my legs, I could feel the burning sensation in my calves A TON! I could see people (AND FOOD!!!), so I sprinted as fast as I could to the finish, trying to pass this one guy, but didn’t end up passing him, but I didn’t care because I was covered in mud, hungry, and really wanting some food!
In conclusion, I enjoyed the race A LOT, and was glad to go to the mountain bike camp up in Houghton, and had an awesome experience doing the Chain drive race, and learning so much from the coaches!! Looking forward to going again next year with my friend and RWT girl Ellie!!