Team Spotlight: Anna-Lisette Davis

Anna finishes her running leg during the 2012 Run & Ride

Fitzgerald’s Bicycles Team Member Anna-Lisette Davis just completed the Lumberjack 100 in Michigan coming in 16th on her first 100 mile mountain bike ride (not to mention mountain bike race).   She also took first place in this June’s Run & Ride in the mixed race division with fellow team member and now husband Dan Abraham.  Anna shared why bike fittings rock, singing during races, Affagatos at the Nine Bar and her race report.

SKH:  How long have you been on the team and why did you join?

AD:   This is my first season with the team.  I joined for the camaraderie and community and also because I thought it would motivate me to bike more.  So far, so good!

SKH:  You just finished the Lumberjack 100 and shared with us your race report (below).  What’s next?

AD:   The Crusher in the Tushar….70ish mile dirt/road race down in Utah… definitely has the potential to be brutal.  People keep telling me, “Whichever bike you decide to ride, by the end, you’ll think it was the wrong one.”

SKH:  What’s your strategy to ride through the pain locker?

AD:  I have nothing taped to my stem, but I do often find myself repeating the phrase “you’re okay.  you’re okay.”  when things get rough.  I also sing songs to myself under my breath.

Anna with a strong run leg finish in June's Run & Ride

SKH:  What is your favorite post ride treat?

AD:  ICE CREAM!  I have not tried the Affagato at the Nine Bar yet, but next time I feel like I’ve earned it, that’s where I’ll be headed.

SKH:  What have you purchased from Fitzgerald’s that you can’t ride without?

AD:  The new long sleeved team jersey might be my favorite piece of cycling apparel ever.  It makes me feel like a European soccer star.  Also I think the best money I ever spent at Fitzy’s was having Scott do a fit on my road bike. All the adjustments he made were so subtle, but have made my bike way more comfortable, especially on long rides.

SKH:  Tell us about the Lumberjack 100.

AD:   I had no idea what to expect going into the Lumberjack 100. This was my first mountain bike race, and the farthest I had previously mountain biked in a day was 40 miles (a ride that famously ended with me throwing my bike in a sand/blood sugar-induced fit of rage). But, based on lots of long road rides, I knew that I could sit in the saddle for an entire day, and like most people on the team, I’m pretty good at suffering, so I figured it would be fine.

It turns out that planning a race report is a great way to pass the time during an endurance event. I spent most of the first lap mentally composing this document, entertaining myself with lists of lessons learned (dead leaves are slippery; there is a lot of oxygen in Michigan, but it’s not worth it for the amount of humidity that goes with it; if you try to eat Gu on tight singletrack, you will hook your handlebar around a tree; when Amanda Carey tells you the hills are “punchy”, she is not joking) and tales of “glorious suffering” (Dropping your water bottle halfway through the first lap and realizing too late that you should have stopped and picked it up? Glorious suffering! Biking uphill through four inches of sand? Glorious suffering! Sunglasses fully fogging after a brief rainstorm? Glorious suffering!)

By the second lap, the novelty had mostly worn off and I spent most of the time silently trash talking this guy in a green jersey who I could not seem to ditch. It turns out that biking in the West will get you good at climbing hills. So I would catch this guy on every uphill, then have to either crank at a painfully slow speed or get off my bike when he inevitably tipped over and started walking. Then he would proceed to tailgate me all the way down the other side. (To be fair, he is probably back in Michigan writing a race report about this stupid girl who would tailgate him up every hill and then ride her brakes like a big baby on every downhill.)

As I came through after the second lap, I was really psyched by how good I still felt. My original goal had just been to finish, but I was on track to do it in less than 10 hours, so that became the new plan. However, almost immediately after shoving off for the final lap, things got a little grim. I can normally push through that feeling by throwing more food at it, but I think my inexperience and lack of specific training just caught up with me. I spent the last lap making lists of “other things I have done for three hours which sucked but did not kill me” (LOTOJA from Alpine to Teton Village; the trudge back to the car after any number of epics in the Tetons; a marathon in 90-degree weather, etc.) in an effort to convince my body that it could keep going. Not my best work.


That is dirt, not pants

In the end, I came in right around 10:20, which put me 16th out of 32 women. This was better than I ever expected to do, so even though I was bummed that I kind of fell apart on the last lap, I knew I should be pleased with that result. All in all, it was a great day, and definitely something I would do again. It was super well organized with excellent aid stations and lots of really nice people. The trail was ridiculously smooth (minus a few brutal sand sections), and it was really novel to cruise through dense vegetation without worrying about running into some large animal. Team road trip next year?

And, oh, also we got married. So that was exciting too. In fact, Dan claims he is too busy putting together the new espresso maker we got to write a race report, so he wanted me to add that he had a good race too. About 8:30, 14th in the single speeds, he was psyched. Successful road trip all around and a great kickoff to summer!

One Response to “Team Spotlight: Anna-Lisette Davis”

  1. [...] Favorite and least favorite—Coined the Idaho Hill Torture by fellow Fitzy Team Rider Anna Davis– From Victor its up Teton Pass, then up Pinecreek and then up Targhee.  Sometimes I throw in [...]

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