lol, thanks for the welcomes! It took me a few days to get back to the forum... in the middle of packing up the house for the move. Thanks for all the tips... I'm going to attempt to make it nicer when I get to California.
On the racing question... in college I dated a recreational rider. I thought it was admirable to ride 30 miles and decided I was going to do that. I saved (ok, I used a student loan) bought my road bike. Since my daughter was 2 years old... I couldn't train with anyone (they trained after 5 and she was out of day care then) - so I did my training by myself or with the Burley trailer. My first intercollegiate race came along. They "needed" someone in Womens A time trial and put me there... not knowing how I rode or if I was any good (neither did I). I finished second overall. I guess all the training by myself was good for hammering down, lol... I started racing for my town cycling team and started doing really well for my first year racing. I went from Cat 4 to Cat 3 that year, placed at some big races... so.. I didn't ride mountain bikes at first but a friend let me borrow his one day. It was cool... so I bought a purple Kona from the local bike shop. They knew me from racing so he threw me one of his jerseys and asked, when I was off road, to wear it. I'd get shop discount etc etc.... The chromolly heavy monster with rock shocks. My exhusband bought it from me when I upgraded. I'm going to ask if he still has it. I want it back!
I ended up second woman overall in a series in Lake Tahoe (professional finished first). I did uphill, downhill, cross country... this was before everyone started wearing pads and front shocks were new. I got a tee shirt once for "most blood on the course" lol.
After that first year... I submitted my resume to Marin and they took me as expert. Unfortunately while skiing in Colorado the spring before my sponsorship year... I decided I was going to race on skis. Well, I did cartwheels and fractured my fibula... no insurance, I got delivery of my bik e(in CO) headed back to CA with a splint (car was clutch, it was NOT fun)... first ride on that bike was Mount Tamalpais in Marin. I was going up and I heard someone who passed me going down laugh that I had a "cast" on...lol... well... the clinic was wrong... there was soft tissue damage... I was riding my mountain bike and my track bike a lot and one day, kneeling down I heard a ripp and pop. My calf muscle tore. It was not good. I didn't get on my bike until June that year. I stayed expert and the plan was to just get my ass kicked until I didn't. I bonked one race.. Mt Hood Oregon... I was sitting well with the sport class but expert had a second lap. I stopped on the turn and cried knowing I was pretty spent... I kept going... until I couldn't ride in a straight line down a gravel road without falling over. It was only 2 miles at the end of a 35 miles course... and APPARENTLY it was 5:30pm - I had started at 10am. I had been refusing to throw in the towel (until I was immobile) and the corner people had to wait all day for me... I down graded. It was a real bummer.
So, that's my shortened history of how I started riding for Marin back in the day.