Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hodges Village Dam

What a fun race!
This course was a blast. Flowing, sweeping, twisty. I could have done with out the 2 "water features" above my axles, but I'll take that over primordial hike-a-bike mud pits.
From the GPS I found online I chose a 52" gear (34x19).
The whistle blows and I get a good jump off the line. Holeshot-ish even. Then I started going backwards. By the time we got to the first singletrack, there was a 30 meter gap between me and the "train". But they are going up a sharp, steep, climb, so I tighten it up and jump on.
I'm holding my position, but I'm not making up any ground.
There is a floating bridge over a water crossing. It's just far enough from shore to make riding it next to impossible. I'm not going to try it! Also if more than one rider is on it at a time, it sinks 2' down in the water. This causes major stringing out.
I'm still holding in with two other riders, Gerry Lafleur, and a rider from JRA Cycles. I get around Gerry, and as I go to pass the JRA rider, my axle slips pushing my tire against the chainstay. I stop to fix it, JRA and Gerry get on down the trail.
My race class is out of sight, and I'm not sure if I'm in the points or not. I start pulling in some 30-39 y/o's, which is a good sign,but no one from my class.
There is a good deal of fireroad, and not too much climbing per lap; this doesn't really play to my strengths, but by the time I get back to the floating bridge I've caught Gerry again. Super nice guy by the way; I've got to say one of the best parts of racing is meeting some exceptional human beings.
Later in the lap I reel in Gerry Gilsinger from the CAT1 Singlespeed class. Another good sign, but I still haven't brought back anyone else from my class.
Then I drop my chain...and I can't figure out how to put it back on. It's not stuck or anything, I just don't have the mental capacity to figure it out.
By the time I do figure it out, both Gerrys and some 30-39's pass me back.
At this point I've decided this is a wicked fun course, and just enjoy it. If my wheel slips again just fix it and keep going. Just enjoy the ride.
I catch back to Gerry Gilsinger from the SS class, pass back the 30-39's, pass a couple more 30-39's, I think some SS'er, but no Gerry L.
Most of the 3rd lap I'm riding with I believe the leader of the Cat1 Juniors. He begins stretching it out on the Start / Finish singletrack though.
Finally, up on the steep little grunt going into the singletrack, I think I see Gerry. He's up with a few other riders. I get past a SS'er, and another rider, and catch Gerry at the bridge.
At this point, I'm riding my own race and enjoying the flow of the course. I catch up to the Juniors leader, and some more back markers, but I'm still no man's land as far as my class goes. I crash trying to go around a mud hole and the Junior is up the trail out of sight.
Pull my shit together, and cruise to the finish.
I really thought there were more guys in front of me.
Lillian was glad I had a good time, but was a little surprised I didn't do better ("I thought you'd get second or third or something").

What's with the Cast2 in skinsuits? I saw a cute girl in a white skinsuit, oh yeah, that's going to look nice at the end of her race, bet she's going to reconsider that choice next time, and a couple of guys testing the limits to the elasticity of their skinsuits walking around before their race.

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