Well, since I'm sure race reports will come out in due time, and there will be plenty of those, I thought I would dwell on some of the other "fun" that went on at Kern. Those who were there already know all this...and those who weren't will never really understand...so actually I'm not sure what the point is to all this, but...some Kern randoms:
On the way to the races on day 2, we had to stop for cows in/on/near the road. Not once, but many times! Here is a photo I took during one of these stops. Over the course of the weekend I saw: Cows, Calves, snakes (2, both alive and dead), spiders, ticks, squirrels, buzzards, other birds, heard frogs, a bunny, and an assortment of lizards.
Day 2's road race started and finished at a cemetary! Kind of eerie, and yet cool. This was just a weird day...on lap 1, at mile 2, we went neutral for a bit so a girl could stop her bike from making this annoying ticking noise (her speed sensor was hitting her wheel magnet....). Then, a few miles later, we (the cat 3 peloton) again stopped, this time to take a pee break! How pro do you have to be to take a pee break? It was certainly a race first for me... The follow car got a good show!
I have such mixed feelings about Kern which changed throughout the weekend. I went into it very excited. I had such a good race last year, and so much fun that I was looking forward to it again. My training has been going ok, and I really thought it would go better than SeaOtter for me. After the TT, I was pretty mentally beat-up. That effort took a lot more out of me than I would have hoped, mostly because of the heat, and it was hard to get re-motivated for days 2 & 3. In addition, I have been fighting some inner demons about racing lately, and they came back to haunt me on Day 2 as well. I am usually mentally very tough but sometimes things out of your control affect you more than you know...and I was a bit of a victim to that on Day 2. Thankfully by the evening, I had mostly compartmentalized everything, but was still pretty blown apart about posting a less-than-stellar hill climb, and didn't sleep well at all. Sunday I decided to work really hard on the "have fun" part, and try to be realistic about the results. This is against my very nature, and it is so hard. However, I think I did ok with it. I even sat up a couple of times to wait for others in my field so we could work together, when I got gapped by the leaders on a steep climb. However, that call turned out to be a poor one, as the other folks near me didn't have anything left, and I didn't want to be out in the heat any longer than I had to be! So I got 25 miles of solo riding to think and ride and bake in the 100+ heat! I got 6th at the end of the day, both in the stage and overall.
Here's me with the $20 (in fives) I managed to win :-).
And here's Susie, with the significantly more that she won!
And here's a shot of some of the Santa Barbara area women near the finish of the final days RR. We all look happy it's over!
After all that, I'm glad I did it...I just wish I was: 1. skinnier, and 2. faster! I guess both of those things are variables that I have control over, though, so watch out Kern next year!