Thursday, July 09, 2009

First MTB Race of the season

It seems odd to be into July and to be finally doing my first race on dirt of the year, but that's how it worked out. I guess I should restate that and say first race off the pave as it was clearly not on dirt but rather in the mud.

So Tuesday was the first race in the Dakine Summer Series at Great Glen Trails. We had planned to arrive at about 5 or so and have myself and my two sons who are 5 & 10 race as well. At about 3PM I got a call from my wife asking my to check the radar as there was a large green blob moving towards us. Knowing that the rain was coming soon we decided to head to Great Glen sooner and arrived there about 4PM. The whole drive up was in the rain but as we pulled into the parking lot the rain subsided. I usually will pre-ride the course or at least do a lap on the short course with my kids as a warm up before racing, however I decided to just go out cold and try to get my race in before the skies opened up.

A couple of friends went off a few minutes before I did and I stood in the start house awaiting the count-down. Eli told me right before I was to go that he expected a 24 minute lap from me. I said "Eli, look, I have only one gear." He just smiled and then I heard the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go....

I was off. Within about 200 yards my heart rate was already at 167. I could feel that I was red lining right from the start. The course changes every year and this year even had some new singletrack. As I rode the mud and roots were wicked sloppy. About 1.5 miles in I came upon a friend who had started before me. She was off her bike trying to get through a really muddy almost bog like section at the entrance of Moose Alley. I figured that maybe she had just picked the wrong line and decided to just ride right through it. I hit it and it almost sucked me right in and threw me off my bike. I came to an abrupt halt and slowly churned through the peanut-butter like ooze and then proceeded on my way. That was almost a disaster so I decided to be a bit more careful as I approached other similar sections.

There was a good bit more of carriage roads before I came to the entrance to Whiplash, a section where I have had some great success riding it and other times great difficulty, including some very bad crashes. With that in mind I stared into it and made it to about the half way point until I decided it was much more prudent considering the conditions and my present heart rate of about 300 that I get off and try to run this section as opposed to ride it and break myself or my helmet, again.

I ran some, but not enough and got back on too soon, I got back off and ran some more and then got back on only to jump off yet again and finally start yelling at my dumb ass as I jogged along, the whole time thinking that the clock was going as I was farting around getting on and off my bike instead of riding.

Finally I was able to get on my bike and actually ride it. I completed Whiplash and headed out onto the carriage road, I had taken my glasses off due to the fog that appeared on them as I was running(walking). I tried to pull them out of my jersey pocket and put them on while going as fast as I could. It was not a good idea as I proceeded to hit a water bar with one hand on the handlebars and almost stuck the glasses in my eye and just plain crash. I averted that mishap and thought I was ready to head back to the start/finish area. My heart rate was still in the low 170's and had been there since almost the start with no let down. I figured I was going to struggle getting back in a good time and as I looked at my clock I was thinking I was looking at a time of about 27 minutes.

I peddled my bike as fast as I could considering what was left in the tank and was cruising along at a blistering 14 mph. I really could have used a few more gears at that moment but was stuck with the only one I had. AS I headed up the final hill I could really feel the legs starting the not feel good and my lungs were on fire. To top that all off I was thinking I was going to taste my lunch again shortly. Gotta love when you get to enjoy a meal twice.

AS I hit the tunnel to the home stretch I saw that I was still under 25 minutes. I drove for the line and came in at 25:01. Just missed the 24. Not too bad considering the amount of time off the bike and being spun out as much as I was. Oh well, that's racing on a single-speed.

After the race everything needed a good hose down and as I was loading the car up with all of our bikes Sven rolled in with his crew. I told Sven's oldest to make sure he took his time on his lap and she asked me what my time was, I fibbed and told her I put up a 30. Guess I wanted to give Sven some false sense of my time thinking he'd take it easy out there.

Overall I ended up in 8th p[lace in the expert division, but I think I was the top singlespeed finisher so that's cool.

My oldest son took second place in his division and our youngest who is 5 and was racing for the first time took first place in his division. Nice job fellas.

Next week is Week 2 of the series as well as the second race in the Red Jersey Race Series.

Good luck to Sven on the hill climb Saturday. Better him than me.


1 comment:

Wolverines said...

I was hoping you'd offer to ride for me on Saturday, or maybe we can do it like a relay. K can drop you off at 4 mile and you take it from there!