Monday, October 6, 2008

Curbing My Curbophobia

Another weekend, another double header. After last Sunday's awesomely fun course, I was really excited to do a few more races. This time the course was at the University of Calgary campus and would be the same course for both races. To spice it up, the first race would be held in the dark (at night) and the second would be held in the light (during the day).
In addition to the usual tight corners, run overs, and off camber lines, the course featured a heinously tight, off camber left hand turn, and a dreadful, extended run through a sandpit. But that didn't scare me. What scared me was that there was a curb on the course.

I've spent a lot of time on bicycles over the last couple of years and learned to ride a lot of stuff that I previously would have considered unridable. But my dirty little secret has been that I'm terrified of curbs. I have to dismount and walk my bike up them. It's embarrassing. But, it's a fear/incompetency that I've somehow avoided overcoming. So, with only 20 minutes before my first race was to start and the discovery of the curb, I was faced with three options:

a) not race
b) shamefully dismount on each of my six laps
c) learn how to ride up a curb in the next 20 minutes

I chose c). Miraculously, it worked. As a bonus, I convinced a friend, Tanya, that she could do the same. We had a blast on what was an insanely fun course and conquered the curb on every lap.
The night race (The Dark Knight) was the most fun of any race that I've tried so far. Excellent for spectators - with glowstick-covered cyclists visible in all directions and a DJ pumping in the background.
I came away with two sixth place finishes (though I must have been going too fast to be noticed at the finish), which I was happy about. I also came away a better cyclist and a little less terrified of curbs. Not bad for two days in October.
(photo credit to Bill Quinney for the first two shots and to Stephen Burke for the third)


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