Unfortunately, I had only been on one mtb ride in 13 days. It showed (I have more excuses, but will save them for later). I geared my bike with a 42x21 ratio (geared for the road) and off I went. Inspite of starting at the bottom of a hill ~1/4 mile before the single track, the bottleneck trail of bikers was long and thick. I found myself too far in the back and was stuck with a bunch of guys that were only going to slow me down, but this early in the race, I did not care. A few guys made efforts to pass, which I found comical considering how crowded it was. As two guys tried to squeeze past I gave them room and when they said "thanks" I simply said, "I'll catch you later." And I meant it. It was funny when things finally stared clearing out, I came up on one guy who was walking his bike in the middle of the trail and as I approached, he made no effort to move, he just said, "Go ahead", I shouted, "Go where?" as I rode off the trail and had to dismount to avoid a wreck. "Oh, sorry dude." "Yeah, well screw you, you trail hogging son of a ...." is what I wanted to say, but instead I said, "No harm done" as I ran my bike past him, and was on my way.
|The 'road' portion of the ride.|
Two years ago, in muddy conditions, on my 26" single speed (with 44x19 gearing) I won the SS division. This year, I was 6th (one place behind the same SSer I rode most of the race with). 6th was also DFL for SS'ers (62nd out of 106). The difference was that there was a VERY strong field this year (including SSer extraordinaire Kelly Klett, whom I talked into the race the day before). Funny, but I always seem to do better in the races without a strong field, hmm.
Anyway, I cannot brag about the result, but I am proud of the effort, and surprised considering how few miles I have ridden this month (fewest in nearly 2 years). Also, I have dropped ~5 solid lbs over the month of January (thanks to a healthier diet), so as I increase my miles and decrease my weight, I will be on track to be where I need to be for the important races: PMBAR and Burn24. What makes them so important? I am on a team and cannot let down my team mate.
Now stop reading this, put down your beer, and go plan a ride!