Things were going well in the lead up to Landmine.
Then they weren't
Time for the commuter mtb time trial test.
I tried putting the carbon fork back on Aspasia (my dirt little whore).
I even tried a big boy gear.
Riding a singlespeed mountain bike to work, you have a lot of time to think when you get to the road sections. You start playing games with math and names (well I do). The bike (Blü.2) + the gear (17t) = B-17.
When I saw Mike had signed up for the race I decided to have a little fun with him. I gave one of my rides a cryptic name on Strava making reference to the B-17 and Mike.
Posted a picture of a B-17 on his facebook page.
On the starting line I even pointed out his front tire was on backwards.
Nothing. The man is unflappable.
Making a special guest appearance in the SS Open class was none other than former Demi-Pro and Dirtwire.TV head honcho Thom P.
The whistle blows and for one glorious moment I'm leading MKR, Thom, and the rest of the hearty SS field.
As we turn into the woods, the dream ends and Mike takes the lead. I'm waiting for him to power away from me, but I'm able to hang.
Mike picks really good lines too, so he's making riding 2nd wheel really easy.
I know there is one sort of climb coming up followed by a pretty technical (for me) descent. It would be good to be at the front for this to A. maybe get a gap on the climb and B.prevent Mike and Thom from running away from me on the descent (Thom is attached tenaciously to us).
Make a cheeky pass on MKR and plans are going as planned.
There is some place swapping here and there, but we're all hanging.
One thing about the SS class is it's like a Brodown-Showdown; you want to do well and go fast, but you also want to have fun riding with your friends. As such, Mike is calling out turns when he's leading, and we're talking about this and that when we have the breath.
Mike and I start stretching a little gap on Thom. We even get out of sight of him...until I lead us off course (Doh! Turn left, not tight left!). Thom catches us and asks if we're looking for the A line.
Mike gets back on course first and starts to build momentum.
I'm holding a gap over Thom until he gets crafty and latches on to the leaders of the Master's 50+. He uses them to get back to me, and then the rocks and roots of the course to get away.
The third quarter of the race was a dark place for me. Thom is out of sight and I really don't know how I'm doing. Pushing a bigger gear than I normally would I'm having a hard time judging my exertion. That being said, I'm still catching riders from the groups that started ahead of us. I try to reassure myself that this is a good sign of a consistent effort.
Popping out on to one of the road sections in the final quarter of the race I see a splendid vision. Thom.
He's within sight and I have a bigger gear.
I try and leave it all out there as we weave through traffic, Thom going in and out of my line of sight as we wind through to the finish. As we're about to come out into the field and take the big bermed turn to the finish line I'm right on him.
Why isn't he sprinting?
Because he finished 30 seconds earlier and this is one of his geared teammates.
Mike takes the W, Thom gets 2nd and I close out the podium all within one minute.
Mike and Thom kept the pace up high enough that we caught and passed most of the 19-29 and 30-39 podiums.
Now that's racing!
Thom missed the podium doing the dirty work for Dirtwire.tv.