The Joy of Mountain Biking


not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Sooo... @Santapez has been bugging me about posting my race recaps here instead of just facebook. so here ya go. it'll be a repeat for some of you. i'll start with the most recent (and most verbose) one and work my way backwards for now. This is my first year in Cat 2 so most of this is just getting my ass kicked and learning from it. (language may not suitable for children under 13)

Wawayanda Spring Cleaning Race

Pre-race: i got no sleep. i am super tired. @Santapez 's knee is bothering him so i also have to drive to the race. it's about an hour and by the time i get to the park i have to pee... badly... i park and run towards the bathrooms when i hear rod calling to me... huh? "the bathrooms are closed." i turn around and see the chains and closed signs that i was totally blind to before. awesome.

i go back to the car and start to put my gear and bug spray on so i can bike over to the other bathrooms. i realize i should put my backpack with my wallet and stuff in the trunk... wait. where's my backpack?! FUUUUUCK. now i'm tired and i have to pee and i'm worried i did something stupid like leave my backpack in the condo parking lot and drive off. this is not how i wanted to start my day.

i finally make it over to the other bathrooms, run into @2Julianas and @muddybike and chit chat (and most importantly take care of business). i finally get over to registration and get my number. chill out for a bit... and decide to ride the beginning portion of the race to warm up. and then i realize it's all road. a mile and half or so of road. awesome. sprint start.
i get back from riding a bit and they announce a delay. this is not the awesome start i was envisioning.

race: we finally line up. i have a lovely mix of sleep deprivation and anxiety. they blow the horn. i sprint off with the pack. i keep up with them for a little bit and then realize it's not worth it. i'm sure someone got the awesome start shot for facebook (priorities). i'm cool with that and back off a little. head into the woods. and i begin the rock torture game.

i know i'm not as fast as the other ladies and i decide to just go slow and try to go as smooth as possible. i make it through the first loop fairly cleanly albeit slow as shit. make it to the start area where the course loops back in the other direction and start the larger of the two loops (imagine a figure 8 of sorts). More rocks. and rocks. and rocks. i think this course might be the hardest one yet. since no one's around i don't have to worry about picking less desirable lines or getting in anyone's way. i just go at my own speed. and, for the most part, i don't get too tangled up. for now anyway.

cat 1 folks actually have to do this loop twice and they come up on me a lot sooner than i would have liked. sooo... i just get the fuck out of their way. a few people i don't know and then @UtahJoe ... utah at race pace barreling down on you with the whole jersey unzipped and sweating and stuff... very scary stuff. i REALLY get the fuck out of his way.

since some of this is the same as the cat 3 course from last year, i recognize it and feel a little better knowing i've done it before. i try all the rock gardens i can muster and get thru a decent chunk of them. until about mile 7. and then fatigue really is starting to catch up. and i am sore. and slow. and starting to get sloppy. and sloppy is dangerous so there's a few spots i walk just to get a mental restart and to not wind up in the ER.

every one who passes me is nice... even encouraging. i think they understand the suffer-fest. i'm closing in on mile 10 and i'm having a little trouble with a hill so i move over and let the guy behind me pass... he tells me just over the hill and i'm home free. whew. then i get to the hill. FUCK! i forgot about *that* hill.
i make myself try and i get about half way and i say forget it. i couldn't make it last year and i'm too tired right now.

i eventually make it back to the start/congregating area and everyone's standing there and they cheer for me as i come thru... even tho i'm hitting the 2 hour mark and totally DFL... i feel like a celebrity
and i make it up the last little blip of a hill for the official finish.

the end.

(the other recaps are way shorter... i promise)


Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Yay, joy! You have come so far as a rider in the last few years, due to all your hard work. Excited to continue following along with your progress as a cat 2!


Team Workhorse
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Great work Joy...that really is one of the toughest courses I can think of around here.....So just finishing that lap is an accomplishment. The spot where I passed you...I must have been racing with my head down because I literally didnt see you until the last second. New bike will help bc new bike.


Team MTBNJ Halter's
did you sort out a new mechanic?

i posted elsewhere that this course is BROOTAL, so kudos for sticking with it!


not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
did you sort out a new mechanic?
i think i'll keep my mechanic... he's kinda cute and all... plus he insists it was @sarcaro messing with my bike ;)

no mechanical issues this race, but the issues in the other races have me concerned... once i get the new bike set up (whenever i finally get it), i think i'll give this bike some TLC and buy a few bits and pieces for it.


not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
so as i said in the first post, i'm actually working backwards with the race recaps... they've already been posted to FB so, aside from some editing, this is another repeat for some of you...

Mooch Madness

noon start @Santapez volunteered to help so i was there at 7:30 am. i'm pooped already. my pre-race plan was just not to freeze my ass off and ride up and down the first hill a few times. one out of two ain't bad.

lap 1: oh... hills... and rocks... and another hill... and more rocks... and rocks and rocks... seriously, where the fuck did all these rocks come from? but wait... what's that? DOWNHILL!!!!!!!! *

(this is where i'm going to love that full suspension bike... if it ever shows up!)

and then the short track section... i could really do without this right now. seriously. :/ and look... there's the scoring... hi guys!

lap 2: wave to the tall guy announcing @seanrunnette ... aaaaannnndddd we're back to hills and rocks... hey someone's behind me... STEVE!
good... you're just in time because it looks like i have a flat... aaaannnnd there goes any lead i had over the back half of the group... ah well... back to hills and more rocks... and fixing the flat again... and DOWNHILL WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! ... and then short track stuff
and then slowly crossing the finish line as i'm losing more air in my tire.

sad sad walk back to the car with my now totally flat tire bike.

cat 2 is very humbling. much learning to be had.

then off to diner for delicious sandwich with good company

* i really REALLY like downhills
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Well-Known Member
+1 on the great title! I am not on the facepage, so I am one of the few reading these race recaps for the first time.


Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
sad sad walk back to the car with my now totally flat tire bike.
Do girls know how to fix a flat and refuse to do it, like Luke refuses to cook for himself or do girls really not know how to fix a flat? And I'm over 50 so I get to ask questions like this:)


not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Do girls know how to fix a flat and refuse to do it, like Luke refuses to cook for himself or do girls really not know how to fix a flat? And I'm over 50 so I get to ask questions like this:)
I do know how to fix a flat. I'm just super slow at it. But in this case, I needed more Stans which I just didn't have. I have a pump in my camel back to put air in the tire and was going to do it myself, but since Steve was there, I figured I'd utilize his expertise during the race.

And since it was the end of the race, there's no rush to deal with it... It can wait til home
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not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
So this is the last of the already written race recaps I have for ya... But it's actually my first cat 2 race. I don't have any races planned for May (originally I was hoping to do the Urban Assault* but there was a scheduling conflict). I'll probably post bits and pieces about rides and clinics I do while I wait for the next race. Aside from the H2H races in June, I'll most likely be doing the GGG and Mountain Man duathlons this year.

Ringwood Rumble

Ok. So here it goes. I knew going into the race I'd be slow... I estimated two hours based on what other people pre-rode it in. I actually did it in about 1 hour 45.

I didn't pre-ride and @sarcaro and @2Julianas said it sucked so I knew I was in trouble. And four people registered in my age group so I was like whatever. DFL is fine with me. Just go and do what I could do.

First lap sucked. Since I have never ridden Ringwood before, so I had no idea how to pace myself or where to put energy into hills and rocks. I fell. Couldn't unclip. Hit my head. Came close to melt down/ panic attack. Then I said fuck. A few hundred times. Got it out of my system and moved on.

Then my back wheel had issues. And I thought maybe I knocked it loose when I fell. So fixed it. I thought. Did it again. Fixed it again. Moved on. Saw Luke taking pictures. Made it to lap two.

Passed Alex. Technical issues. She was out and said third place was mine. Ok. But I still had to survive and make it to the finish line.

I was feeling better and more confident and definitely thought lap two was going to be better and faster. I was wrong.

More back wheel issues. Then seat started sliding back. And I stop and fix them and move on. Then again. And again. More issues with bike. So I had to stop like seven times in the race to readjust something. Uggh.

I'm a mile from the finish and my seat moves a third time. Fuck it. I stand up on the pedals and keep going. Cross the finish line as I see Cat 1 waiting to start and I yell out "YES! I made it back before Cat 1 left!!!"

So I wound up third place by default. But I'm disappointed by my bike basically screwing me over. I really do think my lap 2 would have been faster. Next time, folks. Next time.



not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
i wasn't sure if i wanted to write this post... but it's been kind of hanging out in the back of my mind so here it goes:

i picked up my new bike about a week ago (YAY!) and i'm really liking it so far (especially on the downhills :))...



as i was telling friends, it's pretty bittersweet.

see, i really wanted to get a new bike last year because it was a "big" birthday year for me. i decided months before my birthday that this was going to be my gift to myself. i kept going back and forth about what kind of bike and what my budget was and all that. i planned to use some "extra" paychecks to fund it and i was really really excited about the thought of getting me a fancy grown up, full suspension bike.

but then my cat, jack, got very sick. very, very sick. and he wound up in the cat hospital for a few days. his kidneys were failing. he pulled through but required some extra special care. we tried to get him on all sorts of fancy food and he required subcutaneous fluids every day. and, quite frankly, he was more important than any fancy bike. so the new bike early birthday purchase was going to become a christmas gift to myself purchase.

but then he got very sick again around christmas. very very sick again and required another cat hospital stay. but he wasn't recovering as quickly as he did the previous time. and so more vet visits and more tests and then the results came back... not just kidneys... but his heart wasn't working well now either. so more meds and now subcutaneous fluids twice a day. i spent my entire two week christmas vacation basically cuddling with him on the couch because i knew he wasn't going to pull through this time.

we finally said good-bye to him at the end of january. he was part of our family for 11 years.

so, of course, without all those vet bills, i was able to finally get that new fancy bike. but, needless to say, i miss the little furball and i wish he were still here.


*bike photo courtesy of Halter's IG
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