Monday, August 31, 2009
There is much to say about this race. But unstead of winding important things into long-winded paragraphs, I'm going to list them out.
-Mike Patrick made the trek up. He is battling brain cancer and is simply the most tenacious racer I know. We rode together for part of the 1st lap but he said he was having a moment and faded back. Apparently he made it through part of the 2nd lap but ended up having a seizure. Good people like Skip Brown came across him and helped out. He went to the hospital and I can only hope he has recovered. Nothing else really matters. Send him some positive vibes.
-Kilburn did not show up. Too bad.
-The midcoast received 4" of rain on Saturday. The course rode great 1st lap, but was super greasy for the next 3. I did a lot of running. I hate running and carrying a bike. Even in 'cross.
-I completed all my running training for 'cross season in 1 day.
-Although my placing looks great finishing behind only proper racers in the form of my Porky Gulch nemesis Pete Ostroski and former student/racer Andrew Freye, my time told the real story: just under 15 minutes off the lead, and under 10 to 2nd. I was semi-slow to say the least.
-I finished 3rd because Chris LaFlamme flatted out with less than 2 miles to go.
-I was semi-slow thanks to my left forearm and tricep seizing up solid on the last lap. I was like a walking mummy with my arm all out stiff. I had to hoof it down some of the tech descents because I couldn't steer my bike.
-Said cramping was no doubt due to the fact that I pumped up, deflated, installed Stan's, re-pumped up my mud tires the day before. Let's just say 1 tire didn't want to seat.
-How do you give your arms an ice bath?!
-Took a dip in the pond at the base of the hill. I'm thinking this trend that was started with Burns and Joos may be drawing to an end. There will be serious shrinkage come November!
-This was my last XC race of the season and the end of my 2 year Master of Mud reign. All good things must come to an end. The future remains uncertain.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
down for 2.5 hours of fun, cuts, and bruises. Conditions were primo. The new bridges are fantastic. We finished without a spec of mud on the bikes. The day was capped with lunch @ Gritty's and an afternoon on the lake.
Now that's a perfect summer day!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Well, I'm enjoying my piece of humble pie. Apparently I got nipped when I wasn't looking on the last lap. Hard to believe, but I somehow managed to coast through the last lap and lost 2 minutes. Guess I faded more than a rug in the sun.
Congrats to Kilburn.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
So off the start, Racin' Rick had his big ring single gear going on and led the field through a short NASCAR loop and onto the long dirt road.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Careful planning and scheming enabled me to hit the Concord Criterium the day before on my way to my mom's on the Cape. Then day trip over here to Oxford, MA, back to the Cape, then pick up the fam @ Logan on Monday and head home. 1 more neo-pro bike racer weekend for me.
My hope was to arrive early enough to the race venue and get a recon. lap in. But, 1 thing lead to another and by the time I was kitted up and on the bike I had less than 1/2 hour. Rumor was there was some standing water around and talk of a "floating bridge" so it sounded like a pre-ride might do more damage than good. So I hopped on the bike after changing to a rear mud tire and set out to spin the legs around. I rode for like 10 minutes then started to feel the rear getting a bit too squishy. Sure enough, I was losing air in the tire. I run tubeless, but no Stan's, I'm a little crazy like that. So it was a bouncy pedal back to the truck to swop tires. Problem was, it's often a bitch seating the tire. As I was madly pumping, the announcer made the pro call-up. I wasn't panicking, but I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it. Fortunately it caught and I rolled up in the 2nd row and was ready to go. If my legs weren't warmed up, my arms sure were! A Hutchinson Python was my only other option and I was hoping it wouldn't be a liability out there for me.
The gun went off and we packed it down a fire road for like 1/2 mile. I was in the top 1/3 before the first 1 lane section. We hit some puddles along the way and I got thoroughly drenched by some nasty smelling water. Fortunately, I would get a total spray down several more times on each lap! Having scoped out a pro line on my pre-ride, I avoided a slight traffic jam, and made my way into the top-10 right away. But, the faster riders like Kevin Hines quickly put me back where I belonged hovering outside the top-10 and we all settled in to singletracking. The course was a lot of fun and reminded me of Otis. Rolling hardpack trail with some roots and baby-head rocks to swerve around. However, it was not all Oz.
The land must have been around like a reservoir and the dam controlled how much overflow water remained above it. Given the amount of rain we've had, the low lying areas had a lot of water. 1 section in the trail was so deep the wooden bridge that normally spans it was actually floating. If you came up to it, it was all good because it was on the top of the water. But if you were behind someone, they would submerge it and it was tougher to negotiate. This was clearly a run! There were massive puddles in an open road section that were hub deep as well as 1 long super muddy section. But this took the cake:
I ran it each time, but guys were saying they rode it. I don't know how @ race pace.
Anyway, in terms of the race, I made a couple passes myself on lap 1, then settled into a groove and ended up playing cat and mouse with a singlespeeder for 2 laps. He was quick and smooth in the singletrack, but my gears helped me bridge any gaps in the open sections. Eventually I got by him in the last 1/4 of the penultimate lap then I dug in and hammered the first 1/4 of the final lap and made the gap stick. I rode solo in from there for a top-10.
I was really glad to be riding the mountain bike and enjoyed the course as a whole. The water issues were nothing compared to the crap we've been riding through @ Mt. Snow, Pat's Peak, etc.
Joos and I took our traditional post-ride dip. This time the water looked dirty and there was a dead fish, but it really doesn't matter when you're covered in mud.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Why did I bother to go?!
Root 66 Hodges Dam XC
This was something of a triathlon with open roads, running, and virtual swimming. But the ripping singletrack was well worth the other course elements. I had a blast!