The race was good and I surprised myself with getting 8th overall in the Pro/Cat 1. As I was warming up for the race I felt like I just couldn't get it in gear. Funny because I only have one gear. Not funny because the start was watching everyone pass me up hill clicking through their gears. Then we get to the flat section by the pond and there is like 20 guys ahead of me just floating away from me while I make a half assed attempt at spinning very fast. Then the first tricky section (with the pallets) hit and I took the wrong line while my team mate Josh was telling me which line to take. I wasn't paying much attention and later as he was telling me the story about how I took some funked up line that took me off the bike I would respond with "I don't remember." Well the next 4 laps I would take the right line (actually it would be the left line) and everything was fine.
Everything was fine. We all got to the bottom of the first climb and I could see everyone. Cool, I wasn't out of the race yet. Colin and I dueled a little bit on the first or second lap. We would hit a hill and I was ahead and then he would pass me with his mad skills on the down hill. It was fun to watch him go so fast down some rough terrain and right then I was wishing for a full suspension bike. My 34x23 was not helping me on the flats or down hills but it sure saved me to go 5 laps up a ski slope. I think I could have gotten away with a 22 but I didn't have one at home. I've got to remember to order one.
It was fun riding with Colin and Kevin. Even thought they might not sound like they had any fun in there blogs they really were having fun. I think. Well it seemed like they were having fun. I'm sure it wasn't fun going over the handlebars but hey no one got hurt. Too bad.
Which brings me to the point of this blog. Here is my view about the conditions of the course and all that jazz.
I'm not just saying this to be the devil's advocate but I liked the course. Maybe it's because I raced it last year when the conditions were much better and that's when I fell in love with the course. This year with the radar full of red and green the night before the race and with all the 24 hour riders (God bless them) out on the course turned some sections into a muddy yucky mess. But it's not like we haven't ridden through mud before. This whole year has been shit for weather and mud is the name of the game. Yes I will admit that my heart sunk when I came across the palleted section and saw 4 inches of slop. But actually the conditions got better as the race went on. Things dried out a bit on some sections and overall it wasn't too bad.
To me the open ski slope sections were nice because you could see who was ahead of you and it gave me hope that I could catch a few guys before it was over. Maybe it was the gear that I had that kept me from red lining the climbs and I didn't overheat too much.
As far as going off course I remembered all of the turns from last year and didn't have a problem. I loved the guy at the top of the course with the ramp. Every time I went off that thing I laughed and it was fun. It kept me in a good mood though the race.
At the start of the race when we were asked if we wanted to do 4 or 5 laps I really wanted to do 4. I'm sure Andrew Freye wanted to do 4 also. It's amazing that he won the 6 hour race with 11 laps and then race the pro race the next day and get 2nd! That dude is Amazing! 5 was the number and I'm happy it was because I was able to wait it out and pass some guys on the last lap. Sorry Josh.
So overall I enjoyed the course very much. I can tell you which course I won't be enjoying if I even go. Mt. Snow. I have a feeling I will go, but I'm threatening to not go if there is any rain a week ahead of the race. So I'm pretty much not going. We'll see. I raced that course 3 or 4 times over the last 2 seasons and the only time I had fun on that course was the day before Nationals last year. I liked the changes they did because of all the bitching on the Root 66 bitch board. (I miss the old rt 66 message board, don't you?) So the course was somewhat rideable. And I didn't scream like a girl when the down hill rooty craziness was dry. Then it had to dump rain overnight and messed things up. Let's just all pray to the Cycling god that there will be no rain this year. Please!
My new bike, the Salsa Selma single speed, is doing very well. I'm loving the traction and handling of the small frame and big wheels. I like my new tire, the Hutchinson Python, on the rear. I've discovered that if you lower the tire pressure to 23 it grips anything. Even though I'm fully rigid I think I can still go faster with the bigger wheels. However, I don't like when the mud sticks to the tires and my bike instantly becomes a tank. Dry conditions are a plus for this bike.
Thanks for reading.