State Champ

I hung up the skis by the middle of March and decided it was time to go bike racing! That is the sweetest thing about not riding much over the winter…the strong desire to get back on the bike and rip it up. I got my 2013 Scalpel and decided the first ride on it would be the Virginia State Championships. It was the perfect Mtb race for a me because it was all fun singletrack that rewarded skills like cornering and not using the brakes. It was a relatively flat 6.5 mile loop.
It was a small race with a handful of girls from Virginia and beyond. It was a fast start and I was in the third position following wheels closely. I decided that I didn’t have the fitness to go all out, so I concentrated on following Zoe’s wheel as close as I could. I look at this as skills practice, keeping my reflexes fast and relaxed. I always imagine where I’m going to make my move the next lap. I love to see how other rider’s handle different spots on the course, too. And of course, it is a bit of a defensive strategy and something I won’t do as much when I’m fitter.

Sue Haywood

I hadn’t decided where exactly I was going to make my move, but I could see where I was faster than Zoe on different parts of the course. Zoe dropped her water bottle and I waited for her. She is a sweet girl and I wouldn’t take advantage of her like that. But picking up that water bottle must have took it out of her because I got a gap and rolled on with it. Its actually so much faster to take my own lines and brake when I want to brake.

It was a short race and I managed to keep it smooth and get a state championship! It felt great to get some quick riding in after a long winter. I know the upcoming races won’t be that easy, but like my friend Jimmy Mac says, “You my friend are deep, deep into the build phase!” Which means, I have a long way to go.


I really liked my new Scalpel. Its was fast, light and flickable. It felt like a full suspension race bike, which is something that I can totally dig. I’ll be racing it this weekend at a 4 hour xc race called the Tuscarora Endurance Race in Pennsylvania.