Kermesse QA: Three Questions for the better half
Our Q&A's have been male dominated lately. Time to let the Ladies speak! Here's Heidi Fischer and Emily Nervin on behalf of the superior 51% of the population.
PruDog: Rumor has I decided to put on a bike race in early February so that no one would show up. I even added dirt just in case. Yet I had to do a second race to handle the number of riders who wanted to do it. Did you know what you where getting into????
Emily: I had no idea what I was getting into, after the first practice Lap I was thinking to myself "oh my god how am i ever going to race on this stuff and maintain any physical stamina"... in my case the answer was.. I wasn't.. the off road section proved to be so difficult that it sapped any chance I might have had to do the road portion of the race.
PruDog: Other than Sanicans, what was the biggest difference between your prerace expectation and the actual experience of racing a Kermesse?
Heidi: I thought it would be more similar to a road race rather than a cross race. I was worried about getting dropped since that the field was essentially all men, but that wasn’t the case at all. There were plenty of men I was able to hang with. Since the course was so short you saw a lot of the other racers. The race was definitely a lot harder than expected as well; think 1 hr and 20 min cross race effort... Very few places to catch your breath.
Emily: the lack of... tact... that the off road section held for it's victims. It was just a rocky mess better suited for Mt bikes. (ed note -- I think she means the course but the lack of tact comment may be about me.. not sure!)
PruDog: Did you have any problems? Special equipment?
Heidi: I was lucky enough to not have a mechanical free race. I have to thank my mechanic for thatJ I raced my cross bike with road tires. I ran pretty high tire pressure to avoid flatting. With the amount of large rocks on the dirt section I’m very glad I didn’t ride my carbon rode bike. Some cushier bar tape or better gloves would have been nice. My hands took quite the beating.
Emily: to the bike no, I feel it was the best I could do for the mixed conditions, the fault was mine own for not understanding the pure amount of effort it would take to ride off road. I'll be trying to increase my endurance a little but with such a short time to prep, it will be another suffer fest for me I'm afraid.
PruDog: What advice would you give women racers interested in doing Kermesse
Heidi: It’s a fun way to start the race season without having to do a 60 mile road race. The course definitely had some challenging rocky parts to it, but once you are in race mode you don’t think about it too much and focus more on catching your next person. Having cyclocross and mountain bike experience is a big plus, but not essential. Oh, and make sure your water bottles are tight in their cages!