Roddi’s best race update ever, long one too. make sure you have time. really.

Provided by Roddi Lega

For 2010 Roddi has agreed to be a BikeAlberta contributor, sharing his thoughts and experiences racing the Canada Cup circuit. So we though we’d share a little of what it’s like to be entertained by Roddi’s insightful race reports.

This race report goes back a few years, to 2005 I believe.  Enjoy:

Hi there,

I last left off with an update from the first 2 Norbas and that was quite a while ago. It was over 2 months ago actually, and there has been a little racing action going on. Many of you have been telling me that you love my updates more than puppies and kittens, so i figure i will throw down the most exciting race update ever (maybe not, but you will have a better time reading this than if you went to Disneyland, which costs you $100 bucks. You can pay me later).

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The Sea Otter classic was my big race for the month of April. It’s a 4 day stage race in Monteray (san francisco), California. Day 1, Super Cross Country (I don’t know what that is either). Day 2, time trial. Day 3, Short track. Day 4, cross country. Here is a quick day by day report. It went like this, really bad, a little better, even better, best. Once again the race was stacked with talent as some of the worlds best showed up to take part. I won the “B” short track race which is the race for the guys in the bottom half of the field after day 1 and 2, and since on the first day, I lost a lot of time due to my panties catching on my purse, which tangled with my high heels and a huge crash ensued (I just sucked that’s all). It was a tough race and I lost a lot of time that day. For the short track I wanted to show to myself that I didn’t belong in the “B” race, I attacked early and took the lead. It was a huge effort and I was hoping to get as many suffer face pictures as I could for the magazines. I did all but the first lap of it solo and there should be many pictures to come because all of the silly cameramen think it’s the “A” race. So keep your eyes peeled in the magazines. The cross country is always the main event and I had a pretty good day. I felt great during the first half, but got a little carried away a few times on the climbs when I noticed some very strong guys getting dropped while I was pushing the pace at the front of our group. I paid for my manly efforts later and lost a little time in the last few minutes of racing. I ended up 16th on the day and was ahead of many of North Americas best.

By then it was late april and I headed home to edmonton which is where I’ll be all summer. I did plenty of riding at home and found a bunch of new trails that some drastic, (drastic is the new word for extreme, don’t forget it) guh-narly kids have been building. They are getting a little better each year I come home. But there is some questionable trail building out there. The other day I was riding on a trail by downtown where the bums spend their day (this will all make sense later in the story, please, read on), and I went to do a log ride that is about 8 feet above ground. The kids put a board in front of the log that hooks you up so you get a straight line. Well, as I was rolling onto it the board wiggled and fell off the log. I did an amazing drastic gymnastical twisting back flip maneuver and landed on my feet, then I heard a, “sprain ankle sound here”. The american gymnast Kerri Strugg with the sprained ankle in the ’96 Olympics (remember her, she is the one who’s coach carried her off the mat in all her glory), would have been proud of it. Actually, I must say I put her pommel-horse routine to shame. Shame like little kid being sent to her room while stomping their feet. As I lay there in my semi-gay (Not that there is anything wrong with that) gymnast glory, I was unable to get up. It was the same sprained ankle injury that Kerri Strugg had thrashed. Luckily, one of the bums, who was wearing a sweet “8 ball” jacket, saw my stounding mis-hap and came over. He picked me up, and carried me to the safety of his shopping cart. To my amazement, all the other bums had also witnessed the ordeal. The roar they made was deafening, they were jumping, screaming, burping, farting and high fiving each other. Then, to my surprise, they all put up paper plates with “10” written on them in ketchup. It was truly the finest moment of my life. Aaaahhh haaaa, this was all a huge lie just to mess with you. I hope it worked. Anyways, back to some exciting racing stories.

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While I was home I did an Alberta Cup road race. It was in Ardrossan(edmonton) and I figured I might have a shot at the title since I had won it the previous 2 years. Well, I was in for a treat When I showed up and forgot to be fast. Man, did I ever suck. In the end I gave birth to a bouncing 10 pound baby 4th place. Yeah, it was tough but I’m okay with it, since i think road racing is really silly. Silly like a cat playing with a string, or a dog chasing a light that you flash on the ground. Now, I want everyone to know that I didn’t mean to make fun of bums in my story. Ever since I was a little kid I felt horrible for them. I hope no one is offended. But you probably though, what the heck is going on in this story?

Next I was out east in Quebec for the Canada Cups. There was about 5-8 of us traveling together at different times. Apart from the constant smell of poo it was a good fun. This year there is a lot more competition at the Canada Cups. For some reason (cream corn-which means $) all of our top racers are not doing the early season world cups in europe. That means most of them will be coming to the Canada Cup races, which are pretty much labeled as a developmental series. So they were set to be very tough races.

First up was Canada Cup 1 in Bromont, which is about a 1hr drive east of Montreal. I had a cold all week and ate monkey pace amounts of nanners and fruit to try and get my vitamin C. But nope, I was still coughing up fur balls before the race, maybe I should stop cleaning myself with my tongue. I did a couple of laps and stayed in the lead group of 4, then started to fade fast and thought I should save myself for the next race. So I didn’t finish the race. Too bad, I hate quitting.

Now a story about dirty underwear. Where we stayed in bromont it was at a house we rented from a super nice Swiss-German guy named Walt. He rented out the upstairs to us and the downstairs was his house. It had a laundry room and bike stand. We were doing laundry over the week because it was pretty muddy. Well, the last day we were there I did a load of laundry, got dressed with my clean-fresh shorts and headed out for our days humid and sweaty drive to Mt. Tremblent. Then, after we arrived at our place I went to do another load of laundry, so I got undressed and go to throw my sweaty underpants in the wash, and whooaah, size 38″. Wait a minute, I don’t own a pair of size 38″ shorts. What the heck, I’m thinking, then it hit me. eeewwwwwwww! I thought those things felt baggy. Uuuggghh, they were Walts shorts, ugghh. They were pretty gross looking when I looked closer. Crap! Walts pooh shorts I wore. I hope he is a clean guy.

About Canada Cup 2, it was pretty much a running race. Everyone had to run about 10k during it. The mud in quebec is orrible, just orrible. It rained hard all night before the race, and I know from experience that when it rains in Quebec, it’s going to be a running race. The mud there turns into a bog, so you end up sinking deep into it and it takes twice the energy to ride through it than it does to run/trip over my big goe-loshes. I got off to a decent start and was in the front group of 10. Then my first mechanical of the day was a flat tire. Which should be about a 1 minute stop. Well, I broke my CO2 cartridge and ended up taking over 5 minutes. So my race was really done in the first 1%. There was no way I was going to drop out of this one after my quitting the race last weekend. I soldiered on like Keith Richards is with his life, and was feeling pretty good. I actually worked my way back up into about 15th spot. I was enjoying myself and was riding well, tearing down a muddy descent on my Norco hard tail, when the rider in front of me slammed hard. I had nowhere to go and this is a play by play on how it sounded. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee (me having fun)-eeeeeeeeeee (me screaming like a little girl)-klank-klank-klank (me trying to go around him in some big jagged rocks)-kablammo (me hitting his bike)-gggggh-ggggh (the air coming out of my lungs)-plop (my panties getting stained)-hsssssssssssss (another flat tire)-ugh. Since I had only 1 tube and it was already being used I had to do something to continue the race that I refused to quite. So I remembered back when I was a kid and a friend of mine flatted when we were in the middle of nowhere. We filled his tire with woodchips and rode on. It had big lumps in it and wood chips were falling out all over the place. Just thinking about it right now makes me laugh. Back to my story. I started to fill the tire up with mud, wood chips and gravel and was laughing at how my race had been going. I was actually looking forward to riding the mud filled wheel back up to the technical pits just to get a laugh from the thousands of spectators and screaming women, but I never had to. You see, soon after I was filling my tire with mud, a friend came down and gave me his tube and CO2 cartridge. He quit and went for a beavertail (grease and chocolate desert). It was that kind of day.

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I got racing again after fixing it and realized I had broke one of my shifters in the crash. Oh well, it’s just another mechanical, I still wasn’t going to quit. Just like how the amazing Edmonton Oilers never quite, or how Don Cherry never shuts up. I will spare you all more details but I did flat one more time and finished the epic day. It took 3hrs and 10 mins of action, I rolled home in 23rd place out of over 70. This was the longest xc race I have ever done. There are many other long races but an XC race is supposed to be about 2 hrs. Usually you pace yourself for that kind of effort, but this day, most of us had gone out fast like speed racers and came home, beaten and exhausted like a tired, spanked beaver that has it’s leg caught in a trap. I have never seen a, “tired, spanked beaver with it’s leg caught in a trap” but I bet they are pretty darn slow. It was a pretty crazy race huh. It has to get better right? Because I don’t think it can get much worse. I still love to ride my bike. That’s all I need to remember. It’s a kids sport.

After Tremblant we then stayed for a few days at a bed and breakfast that didn’t include breakfast (I think we should sue). it was in Hull, which is the Quebec, french speaking side of Ottawa. I liked it there but the others were a little unimpressed with the dirty underwear hiding under Drews bed and the shower/living room which was crazy because the shower was in the living room. Anyone could take a peek if you were showering. Nuts huh. Aaahh haa.

Then we were on to Barrie, Ontario for the Harwood Hills Canada Cup. On the Saturday was the short track, which is not really a Canada Cup. It’s just a short track race that doesn’t mean much but maybe to make a little money. The course was so much fun. We did about a 30 second climb and then came down a BMX track. There were 2 sets of double jumps that a few of us were airing. I had a great time. A lead group of 5 quickly broke away from the pack with me in it. I sat in the 5th spot and we got a pretty large gap on the rest of the field. Then with 1 lap to go I figured I would go for the
win somehow by staying in 5th and getting dropped. Maybe if I could time it right I could get lapped at just the right time and they might think I won. But nope, I was just a little behind the front 4 and got no love from anyone. Damn it again. Then it was on to the big one, the XC and Canada Cup 3. It was so hot, 33c. I was so hot during the race I felt like Paris Hilton in a steamy-humid bikini shoot, only hotter because I’m really really really good looking. I raced super hard and my legs felt like they were mush. I was suffering and sweating like a fatty in “Sweatin to the oldies with Richard Simmonds”, and came home in the 7th place.

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Next up was National Championships in St. Anne (Quebec City). Dang it’s hot there. It was so hot that we used my baby modeling pictures to start the bar-b-q when we couldn’t find a match. That is pretty darn hot. During the week I stayed at a house with the Alberta team. It was pretty packed with 9 of us. There was not much room with 1 small kitchen but our little junior racer kept cleaning people out with his hideous gas emitions. They were absolutely unbearable. Evan “shermanater” Sherman would get a suffer face like no other when he would catch wind of the mini bomber. Really, how can someone so small make such a massive stink. About the Nationals, this is supposed to be the most important race of the year for me. A great ride at Nationals can automatically get me funding from the government and qualify me for the World Championships team. Alas, it was not to be. I had an okay day but, once again, the legs just didn’t have full gas. It was super hot, like an oven, 350f I think, and I’m sure if you put some spices on me I would have tasted scrumptious. Man was it hot for about the first hour until some clouds rolled in and saved my life. During the first few laps I didn’t think i was going to make it. I stayed with it and rode smooth to finish 6th just one spot off the podium. Spank, it was hot. A 3rd/4th place finish would have put me on the Worlds team. Oh well, I still have a couple more chances. I think everything is slowly coming around. The next bunch of races can only get better. Yeee-haw!

Now I’m back home Edmonton where I’ll spend a week taking it easy and getting ready for the World Cup which is right back in Quebec City. Whew that was a long one. Thank you to Neil, Mark, Pete and the folks at Norco for the support at the races, and congratulations to everyone who was able to read this far. Your hooked on fohn-icks gold medals are in the mail. I hope you enjoyed my update, and remember, when you are doing laundry, make sure no one else’s underwear get mixed in with yours.

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Talk with you all later.

Roddi

Photos by Brad Chisholm

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