Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My Big Fat Hillside Trophy

The wheels of my bikes have perhaps spent more hours at Hillside than any other trail. They have certainly experienced more types of racing there than anywhere else. Considering the number of firsts that have happened for me there- my first winter race, my first night race, my first 24 hour race, my first time trial, my first short track, my first enduro- I can confidently say that I have also probably faced more fear on that trail than I have in any other place on my bike.

Along the way there have been many uncomfortable moments- insecurity when I know I'll be lapped, terror at the prospect of riding downhill as fast as I can, nausea after unwisely downing nearly an entire pint of ice cream in the middle of a race, dehydration when bottles froze in the winter and when temps reached 90 in a 24 hour race. I've come in dead last there more than once, but it's also one of the places where I've been able to gut out some of my few wins, made possible by the fact that Rich, Jeremie, Sue, David and the crew always stayed committed to putting on races that reward scrappiness (also known as the persistence of those who don't have a lot of skill or speed) as much as they do speed. In other words- they've perfected the art of putting on races that, as the PIC put it last year, "make you question who you are." Personally, I think that's a good thing because, in the end, you end up somehow better or stronger or at least more self-aware-even if your ass is raw, your stomach hurts and your knees are bloody.

Every year, the above trophy goes to the person who has accrued the most points for the year at Hillside. You get to keep the trophy for the year, your name goes on the back but you have to return it the following year. We chicks have never won it. Even though we've gone from sometimes only having 1-2 of us at a race to once having 20+, there still simply weren't enough of us for anyone to rack up enough points to beat the guys and there was only one trophy. This year, since the men's winner was a repeat of last year, Rich decided to add a women's class. Apparently, yours truly gutted out enough laps on that trail to take it home.

Rumor has it I'm supposed to "share" it with the men's winner. However, I was also told that the original idea for this trophy was that whoever had it for the year was supposed to take it around and take pictures of it. That said, Mr. Colbert is going to have to chase me around a bit if he wants possession of it because I plan to tote that heavy-ass trophy all over the place and pose with it. As someone put it at dinner, "She no longer poses for pictures without the trophy."

Funny how some things come when you most need them. After a rough end to last year's racing, I'm now ready to find some new adventures so I can keep the spirit of this thing alive.....and take its picture in some really cool places. (Of course, Big E has already become my "trophy sherpa" since I can barely lift the thing myself.)


  1. Lisa-- would it be okay if I shared your post on the Hillside fb page? Congrats!

    1. Of course! Thanks for making the awesome trophy!

  2. That trophy is so big it didn't fit in the picture!