Our 4-lady team was just 2, but we decided to start the series with 12 Hours of Gears anyway and just have a good time.

Poor planning got me to the start line late. Began in the back of the pack, and pretty much stayed there. I think 3-4 people finished the lap behind me. The loop was fast. Sweeping downhill on open fire road, a great pump section toward the end. a few log jumps but nothing i couldn’t handle. And some twisty turny bumpy new trail with no flow through pines.

On my second lap I caught myself watching a butterfly and paid for it, riding out of the deep trail rut and up the side. Fell straight onto my left middle finger, which jammed badly, popping back into place when i tried to bend it. Dislocated? I don’t know. Either way, it got puffier and hurtier with each lap, and by my 6th it wasn’t interested in helping me brake anymore, so my race was done.

With the finger getting worse and me seeing stars, I rode a second lap before handing the bike off to Amanda, and after she came back I rode my 4th and 5th laps as a double too. They were short- less than 5 mi- and I could have kept going. My 6th was a single, and with my ability to use my front brake going downhill fast it just wasn’t a good idea to be out there anymore. It was beer time, and as always, the Half Acre was flowin’.

Amanda did awesome. Her first time on the Spot and she was lovin’ it. It was so amazing to watch her lap times improve over the day. Even though she was getting tired, she was just more used to the bike, pushing it faster and havin’ more fun.

So, we took 2nd of 2. The other team had 4 members, and while it looks like I was faster than 3 of their folks, we just didn’t have it together. It’s ok. It was sunny and a great start to the season.

 - Julie Eisenhart