Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cancer Free Weekend

This weekend was the kickoff of the mountain bike racing season here in Utah. I have raced the Desert Rampage in St. George every single year since 2004. It is one of my favorite races of the year. Not only because the course is so much fun, but because all the racers travel south for some fair weather riding. Although it is technically a race, it is really a social event. Even though my fitness is now nowhere near where it needs to be to keep up with the pro women, I headed south for some desert riding and to soak in a comfortable and familiar atmosphere.

Before we left, I wasn't sure if I would even be able to ride off road at all. My last surgery was exactly one week ago and I certainly did not want to do any damage to the incision. We arrived at twilight Friday night and wasted no time getting on the bike. Basically we threw on our helmet and shoes and took off wearing blue jeans and sweatshirts. It was still 60 degrees out and the (relative) warmth felt fantastic. I took off up Prospector and felt great to be on the bike riding singletrack. I could immediately tell that there would be more off-road riding for me this weekend.

Saturday was race day. I had mixed emotions about showing up to the race. On one hand it was going to be great to see all of my racing buddies. On the other, it was going to be really hard watching from the sidelines. It was a bit of an emotional day, but the joy of seeing friends and being part of the race scene overrode my sadness of not being able to race. I rode for a couple hours in the morning before the race and then was assigned to be photographer for I was uninspired to take photos and did a lousy job basically staying in the same place the entire race; fortunately some of my photos turned out okay:)

Rippin' Stucki Springs
Sunday was another beautiful, warm day and we took the puppy for a hike before a fun ride on Bear Paw and Stucki Springs. I felt pretty darn good for a girl with cancer.

The best part about the weekend was that I took a 'break' from cancer. No doctor appointments, no books, no internet searches (well...maybe one or two). Basically a cancer free weekend. Ahhhhh, loved it.

Dizzy only gets to sleep in the bed when we travel. He took full advantage of that this weekend!


  1. Jen, i completely relate to the mixed emotions of showing up to a race you can't actually race. Same thing for me last fall at the first CX race. It was weird to show up and watch everyone else prep to race when i knew i wouldn't be, but like you said, even if i couldn't race, it was great to see so many friends and still be able to participate in some way. Glad you had a great weekend!

  2. I'm glad you went AND rode your bike! I feel being "normal" when things aren't necessarily "normal" is good medicine! Sending you the healing and courage juju!