Two young children in sweatshirts (one wearing fairy wings) in a camp chair branded “Laurelwood Brewing Co.” at a bicycle race. They are smiling/laughing at someone off-camera. Very close behind them are two bicycle racers mid-race; to their collective left is a keg of beer in a huge ice bucket

Race Report: Cross Crusade #3, PIR Heron Lakes

Published 2013-10-22

One of my least favorite (and favorable) courses but a great race. Finished 12 of 201; now 11th in series.

Weather promised warm (70°!) and sunny. In actuality foggy and frigid (about 45°), especially down on the Columbia. The whole family was underdressed — poor Iris wore Jenny’s sweatshirt, Jenny wore mine, and I stayed in my skinsuit after the race. Tiny warmup (about 10min) on a trainer, and no preview lap. I started (literally!) cold.

Course dry except for dew. Every surface offered good purchase. More gravel than I remember. Staged 3rd, held to top 10 through Lap 1, crashed twice (hard), at least once on my head. Ripped my 2012 skinsuit. Fought back a dozen or more places by race end but lost to Thom by a measly second.

Mind-blowing migraine headache (my first) while leaving the race. Brilliant white zigzag flashes and fuzzy blind spots especially on my left side. Weird perceptions around noise — not painful so much as unearthly and shrill. Took a long hot shower while I struggled to recall what you call the thing that water flows out of (“faucet”). A headache, I suppose, but then I get a lot of headaches.

Feeling Monday-after-Fight-Club last two days. More than my quota of peak experiences the last few years. My head still hurts, Jenny wonders if maybe I didn’t have a concussion. Certainly dehydrated, underfed, poor electrolytes, probably hypothermic.

Photos by Amanda Erickson