Nov 17, 2009

Molly Cameron, I crown you Gold

I have a lot of cross race reports to catch up on.... but right now I wanted to give some props to Molly Cameron, because there wouldn't even be any race reports from me if it weren't for Molly. Almost 10 years ago now, Molly and I were living together, and I was riding a free crappy neighbor giveaway 1980 50 pound mountain bike. This was how I got to work. I thought it was making me stronger, you know, to ride like 3 miles on a free barely ride able tank.
Molly loaned me a road bike for several months, and encouraged me to just try it out. I remember riding over small bumps in the road feeling like major potholes after a life of bmx bikes and that one crappy free neighbor giveaway mountain bike.
I decided that Molly's roadbike was indeed a much better idea, and decided I was in: I wanted to be a cyclist, and buy my first bike. I had no idea what the hell I was looking for, except I knew it needed two wheels.
Molly came with me to countless shops for weeks on end, looking for the perfect bike for me. I remember the day, Sellwood Cycle Repair, the white Redline Cyclocross Conquest in the window, my size. I rode it around the block, she rode it around the block, I asked her if she thought this was the one, and we decided it was. Fast forward to almost 10 years later, I am still racing on that white Redline.
Tim and Anne keep telling me it's too heavy, but I am not parting with that Redline.
That bike has changed my life. I have ridden on it almost every day since. I have toured across Oregon on it, ridden it to work every single day, raced Cross many years on it, and I can't even remember how many new parts Molly has put on it over the years. She converted it to a triple when I wanted to go over mountain passes, replaced the cables when I rode them to shreads, and answered her phone when I had ridden all the way to Halfway Oregon, and my gears were skipping.

Molly, that simple initial nudge you gave me and your neverending support, has brought me all the way to an Ironman.

I bought a Canondale frame on Ebay, ordered a Shimano group through a shop, and handed a giant pile of bike mess to her, and she assembled the entire thing... my first real road bike, and the road bike I am still riding.

Molly won her first major Cross Race this season, then won another, and I think another, and was all of a sudden in the lead for the series. I can tell you that Molly has been training her ass off for as long as I have known her and longer, and those 5am training sessions have been regular occurances for years. These wins were more than deserved.

A constant inspiration, she has developed a growing fan club, and it's nice to see her getting some well earned love. I know that many of you know how amazing she is on so many levels, and I think the Cross Crusade crowd was made up half of families of racers, and half of Molly fans.
We were SCREAMING our heads off for her at the last Cross race of the series on Sunday, she was jockeying for first the entire race, and right there with Sean, the other leader, the entire 60 minutes. Running up the last run up, side by side with Sean, everyone could tell there was little room for Molly to squeeze, and a tangle at the top resulted in heartbreak. I think there was a moment of silence as we all stood there as Sean won, and no one knew what to do. Congratulate Sean or cry.

You could feel the loss in the air, and it was a strange ending to a fantastic series, when my heart was in my throat and Molly was shaking hands with Sean, after she got back on the bike and slowly rolled over the finish line while the announcer said "A heartbroken Molly Cameron...."...

Molly Cameron... You are my inspiration, and the reason I am even on a cross bike.
I crown you Gold.