Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Deep into Google-Land

This is a term I employed yesterday to describe my efforts to find "the most amazing pair of women's bibs with adjustable straps that could also detach for easy drawer dropping at a bathroom stop" for a fellow Yahoo group member. I have linked to said bibs in the hopes that plenty of people will buy them and thus they will be easier to find in the future.

More importantly, though, I got up a half-hour early yesterday and came into work well before my usual time to register for the Ouachita Challenge. It sold out in less than 24 hours last year, so I expected it to sell out even faster this year. Since I slated it several months ago as my endurance debut (as well as a chance to visit the folks in Oklahoma), I felt it was very important that I be logged in with my mouse poised in one hand and my credit card in the other to make sure I got in the moment registration opened. However, the joke was on me as we are approaching hour 26 and both the 60 and 80 mile divisions are still open.

The 80 mile option is new for 2008, but I'm sticking to the 60 for my first time. I find it rather hilarious, though, that the website describes that 80 mile race as such:

NEW for 2008, there will be an 80 mile race.This VERY difficult event will be limited to 100 well qualified riders. This event will have VERY strict cut-off times so if you are not prepared to ride with the "big dogs" at the "big dog" pace, we STRONGLY ADVISE you to choose from one of the other events.

Not sure what to think about that...

My one disappointment is that Bikereg.com does not have a confirmed rider list for this event like they did for most of 'cross season. That's unfortunate because the confirmed rider list is the main reason that I prefer Bikereg over other event registration sites. Of course, it is very functional and easy to use and the owner lives about 5 or 6 blocks from me, so I'm a little prejudiced.

The blessing and curse of no confirmed rider list is that I apparently won't be spending the next 16 weeks Googling my competition. Although I like to know what's in store for me, the fact of the matter is that one never really does. I spent all 'cross season pouring over results and entry lists only to be disappointed when I would finish much worse that I felt I should.

This is the main reason my 'cross season was a disapointment. Despite knowing in my heart of hearts that most of the other 3/4 riders were not really better cyclists than me, I never could seem to put a good race together. Of the 30-ish different girls I squared off against during the season, I was able to beat exactly three. Strangely enough, one of those three went on to win a couple of races against of pretty big fields in races I did not go to. So it really did seem like everyone was pretty close in ability and anything could happen, but it just never seemed to happen for me.

So it's probably better that I know who I'll be seeing at the starting line come April 6th. I've just got to keep telling myself to TBC and not worry about what anyone else is doing.


Charley Rome said...

The Ouachita Challenge folks will probably post confirmed rider lists for the tour and race in the near future. They did so last year. It will be on their forum. Keep an eye out for it if you want to know. This will be my 4th year in a row to do the race. This year I signed up for the Mac Daddy 80 miler!

Lindsay Hall-Stec said...

Thanks, Charley. Even though Googling the competition is a fruitless, I am curious as to the overall size of the women's field and which, if any, "pros" will be in attendance. I haven't seen any mention of it on any of the blogs I read.