Go back one week. Last Friday.
I was super excited that I finally got to go to Crested Butte to do the mountain states cup race there. My family has an annual camping trip at South Mineral Campground (since I was 2) that I never miss, and consequently, this race always happens during the race. I decided to make the sacrifice and miss a few days with the fam to check out Wildflower Rush. Brian and I took the tough bastard (my car, the Sentra) up to Crested Butte, loaded down, but getting superb gas mileage! I was really excited to camp there too and have heard so many great things about the camping. We got suited up and pre-rode the course. My legs felt like rotten meat sticks, but I remember that at Deer VAlley the weekend before my legs had felt awful on the pre-ride and great during the race. Not to worry. As we were leaving the car, I put my car key in my jersey pocket. I usually hide the key near my car just in case, but for some reason, I took it with me. About 2 minutes from the bottom of the lap, I had an unfortunately crash. I did a sommersault in the air and my bike flew over my head. The handlebar slammed down on my knee (good thing I put the plastic ends on them or it would be nasty). I shook it off and rode down a little further. Then I decided to make sure I had everything. I reached in my pocket…ipod, check. pump, check. tool, check. car key……. car key…. (my hand frantically moving around in my pocket)….car key…. no car key. I started to freak out (because I did NOT bring a spare). I went back to the site of the crash and was searching through the grass and bushes. 3 nice people saw me and were trying to help. nothing. I rode back down to find Brian waiting for me at the car. He took one look at me and said, “What’s WRONG?” I replied, “I… I… (tears starting to flow)…. I crashed and… and… I lost the car key!” He acted like it was no big deal. EVERYTHING was locked in the car. I was trying to call local towing companies from the bike shop phone while Brian used Mike West’s phone to call AAA. The nightmare began… AAA said they could get someone out in an hour and a half. Meanwhile we managed to break into my car with some help. I don’t have a trunk latch, so I busted through the backseat to access the trunk. At least we had everything we needed to camp and race. However, I told my parents that if they didn’t see me by Saturday at 6 PM, that meant something very bad happened to me. They don’t have cell service up there and I was flipping out knowing that I may not be able to go anywhere for awhile. We talked to the company AAA gave us, a local locksmith (6 PM). He said that in order to make a key, he’d need the lock cylinder out of the door, and that it would cost 250 for someone to come get it. I was flabberghasted and decided that I was going to take the lock cylinder out. I changed a window once by myself and wasn’t afraid to take the door panel off. Unfortunately the lock cylinder clip was difficult to get out. Brian, Andy Schultz, and I were all trying to get it. WE ended up sticking a screwdriver in the lock and prying it out. Bad idea. Andy drove me to the locksmith and it was this old man who kept telling this corny jokes. It’s 8 PM by now… I didn’t eat any food after my ride or drink any water, feeling weak, stressed, and tired. He is taking his sweet time and then tells us that we sort of damaged the lock and he can’t make a key. He said he didn’t want to file one either because it would take too long. His next instruction was to have someone make a copy of both sides of the key, trace the ridges, and fax him a copy in the morning. I knew how blunted my key was and how hard of a time it took Ace Hardware to make a copy of it. Disaster. I called Liz and she was going to a movie and said she’d call me back.
The bottom one is my key…. a comparison to show you how bad my key was…
In the meantime, I set up the tent in the dirt parking lot (not happy b/c there is GREAT camping all around). Brian and I tried to go to bed, but there were these stupid kids having a fire right outside our tent. I heard from Liz at 10 something. she found my spare and made a copy of it. She decided there was NO way that the locksmith could make a copy from the key. Liz said, “I’ll just come down there tomorrow.” I was in disbelief and kept poking Brian trying to tell him about my shock (he grunted and went back to sleep! haha) Liz said, “So don’t worry about the key, just race well tomorrow.” …which is the opposite of what happened. I lined up at the start the next morning after getting only 5 hours of sleep, and not eating or drinking the day before. My legs were not feeling good on my warm-up either. I should have been excited to get called up in third, but I wasn’t… I didn’t want to be there. Not only did I not want to be there, but we were supposed to ride THIRTY miles which is about an hour longer than usual. We tried to talk the officials into a shorter race but no way. Katie Compton said, “Ok, nobody quit!” I rode the first lap at a pace I would do a recovery ride at, but that was as hard as I could go. I started out on the second lap, got up the fire road aways and decided there was NO way I was going to finish THREE laps, so I flipped it and dropped out. This is the first time I have ever quit a race other than being so injured that I couldn’t. I did the right thing though.
Liz arrived a couple hours later and I was so happy and relieved. We headed to Silverton to camp with my family.