Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I can't believe it's been a year since the Bradbury '09, my first race. With 2 races under my belt, I had less fear about passing and getting passed (mostly the later). I was ready to move beyond survival mode and decided to set some goals.
We arrived at our campsite early Saturday morning. The site would need to hold three 4-person coed teams, wrench and cook, and a solo rider. Carl, a friendly rival from Team Burrito Bus, convinced the solo guy to share his site with our small group of 13. We're all facebook buddies now! Well, not really.
The course was about 8.5 miles and mostly flat. A friendly course for those of us relatively new to racing. Team Racer X sent Steve D. out first to mash it up on the crowded first lap. The course was slick, but Steve hammered it home in 56:22. An excellent start to the day. I was up next. Feeling pretty good, my goal was to do at least one lap in under an hour. Unfortunately it was not to be the first lap. It became clear the course was snotty and every root was a potential yard sale. Somewhere around mile 2 was the evil wet rock. I was confident this was in my skill set even as I eyed the bodies strewn left and right. Okay, straight up the middle I go. Pedal, pedal, pedal... I got it, I got it... I.. got... uh oh ... spinning wheels... scraping sounds down the rock... ugh, crap. Ok, that hurt. Just as I'm scrambling to my feet I see Todd (Team Leisure X) heading up the rock. Okay, I admit I felt a small twitch of a smile as he slid off the rock, but hey, this is a race right? I finished the lap with only 4 more crashes and came in at just over an hour. Time for food.
Adrian went out next followed by Mike B who laid it down in 48:10. GO MIKE!!!! Who knew he was so fast?!? Steve D.'s 2nd lap was his best at 54:30. Great job Steve! By this time it's a balmy 68 degrees and I'm stoked. I figure if I'm gonna break an hour this is the lap to do it. Within minutes of hitting the first singletrack I settle in behind a single speed guy who's got a great pace going. I figure if I can keep him in my sights, I'll have someone to pace against. I felt great... really fast, balanced and efficient on the turns. I stick with my single speed friend for the entire lap and finish in 57:16. Yes! Thank you red-shirted single speed guy!!!
By this time the course has dried out, the weather is superb, and the camp fire is warm and inviting. Between laps we hang out by the fire exchanging stories, comparing scars and keeping Kaylee, the wonder dog from eating everything in sight. Now THIS is nice. Too bad we have to race! There's boatloads of food everywhere. Chocolate bars, chocolate boost, chocolate gu, chocolate brownies... I've died and gone to heaven. Oh, and there's other kinds of food too.
I head up to the transition tent for my 3rd lap. I can already feel my hamstrings and feet cramping. Come on sport legs, don't fail me now. The lap is thankfully uneventful. I'm just hanging on trying to keep the cramps away. I take some comfort in the knowledge that this is the last time for the evil wet rock or any of the other rocks and roots I've come to know so well. Good bye gnarly mile 2, so long unrideable log bridge. Maybe I'll see ya next year.
We finished 3rd place behind Burrito Bus (who blew away the competition with an amazing 14 laps!) and Ghost Shifters. Team Leisure X, aka Racer X without a plan, finished a very respectable 5th out of a field of 9 competitors. It was an awesome day with good friends. Thanks Steve for convincing us to do it again. And thanks Adrian for sucking it up and racing on the juice, and Mike for sealing the deal with 3 amazingly fast lap times. You guys rock!