Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Red Jersey Summer Series, Race #3: Cranmore Mountain

Thursday Night, Aug, 21, was the third race in the 4 race Summer Series put on by the Red Jersey. The race was held at Cranmore Mountain Resort and is always know for not being a flat race. It usually has some very good climbing and will punish people.

I got to the race and brought both my SS and my geared bike and I wasn't sure what I was going to ride. I pre-rode the course on my geared bike and was confident that the SS was going to stay on the bike rack. The climbing was pretty tough but what made it worse was that the first climb has some real sloppy sections to it and that trying to stand and climb on the SS was not going to work for me. After my inspection lap I got a drink and lined up at the start.

My class was set for 2 laps and as we set off the pace was pretty fast. I knew a few of the folks in my class and tried to keep in contact with those that were ahead of me. After making the initial climb we came to a very wet section that I decided would be faster to run that to try to ride so I got off and began to run up the ski slope some. I like skiing down much better than pushing a bike up. After s short section of singletrack we exited the woods and rode up the ski trail a bit more before turning directly down hill for a couple hundred yards in some very wet and quickly deteriorating grass/mud.

We continued a traverse across the ski area as we approached the tubing area and again headed uphill. This was a much better climb as far as conditions went as it was dry. The only problem was it was steeper and longer and had a lot of loose rocks to contend with. I was running my bike as a 2x9 so I had no granny gear to bail to and had to climb in a bigger gear than many folks and it allowed me to pass a few. We then dropped into some fun singletrack downhill sections that were pretty freshly cut, when they get ridden in more they will be real nice.

As we finished the first lap and started the second I could tell that my legs and lungs were still suffering from the recent 24 Hour Race as there just was not a lot of gas in the tank. About half way through my second lap a friend of mine who I had been in front of passed me and I was just not able to catch him. He was descending with a lot more confidence that I was and he ended up getting me by about 10 seconds.

At the end of it all I was surprised to hear my name called as they were announcing the podium spots, but I finished in third place. With the fourth and final race, the "Fat Tire Fest" coming in a couple weeks I think I am still in the running for a top three for the season series in my class.


1 comment:

chris d said...

That race was short, steep and fast. I was visiting from Norfolk, Va., and decided to give it a try in expert vet. It was definitely fun.
Good luck chasing the podium.