Monday, April 28, 2008

Winding Trails MTB

So, since I didn't start official ski training until today, and its a day off anyway, I raced my mountain bike yesterday. I see the logic in that, don't you? It was a race down in Farmington, CT, where they hold the Chainbiter 'cross race, and I think the 'cross course might be more technical than the mountain bike course. There was some singletrack, maybe 40%, probably less, and it was pretty flat, there weren't any rocks, and there was only one scary part. It would have been boring if it hadn't been a race.

I got a ride down south with Thom, Colin, and Linnea, which was good, because they all know how to fix bikes better than me. Which, when I'm around, is a good skill to have. Of course, I was the only one in that car that isn't fast enough to win money, but I try not to let that get to me. I didn't really see much of the course beforehand, just a somewhat sketchy downhill, that had a big drop thing at the bottom. The sketchy part came in that it was super loose sandy stuff, and if you had any speed whatsoever, the corner shot you someplace the trail wasn't. Luckily for me, I never had any speed thanks to copious riding of my brakes. I only lost one brakepad on my ride south, and luckily we (I should say they) found one from Colin's cross bike somewhere. Am I a mess? noooo. Was I completely wired on sugar from too many cupcakes? Maybe.

The race starts, and I happened to be in the right gear (luck), so I shoot off the front, go through the sandpit using my mad 'cross skills, and then the race happened and everyone passed me. I sort of expected that, but I was glad to be one of the first to go over the sketchy downhill thing, because I don't trust girls on bikes unless its Linnea. So for a while I was riding third wheel, and then we hit a flat part under the powerlines and Cathy blew past me like I was standing still, with a girl in her draft. Bleepin' roadies. So I rode along in fifth for a while, HR pegged and legs dying on anything remotely angled upwards, which felt like most of the course. But that is just because I don't ride bikes and I'm weak. I found I was making up time on the girl in blue on the singletrack, and I'd almost latch on, but then we'd hit another wide-open trail and she'd put thirty feet on me in about four seconds. I was starting to think I couldn't go any harder when I saw the IBC posse, and they were cheering so I went as fast as I could up the hill, and I almost caught up to the girl in green, but I got too close and stopped paying attention to what I was riding over, and we came up on a short steep little hill, and I tipped over fully clipped in. Bleepin' rookie.

I sort of squirmed for a bit to get out from under my bike, while three more girls passed me. Grr. I chased for the next lap, making up some time on the singletrack if it was going downhill, and losing massive percentages of minutes on the uphill stuff. And no, this was not a hilly course, it was flat, for all intents and purposes. Anyway, second lap passed by and I was working just as hard, just as far behind these girls. I think for a little section of one part of the single track I caught up to the girl in blue, but naturally she dumped me again. Third lap I could see someone in orange catching up to me, and I was chasing the girl in orange-and-black who was chasing the girl in blue. I finally caught up to the girl in orange-and-black on the last uphill, the only one, really, but I was stuck behind her going back down it and she wasn't very fast on the parts where I wanted to go faster. I didn't think it was smart (or nice) to pass on the singletrack, so I just rode behind her almost all the way to the finish. So, the girl in orange caught up to us, and then we came into a three-up sprint to the finish, which I barely won, thinking it was just between me and black-and-orange, although both me and orange passed black-and-orange. Woo, 7th place. That was good enough for 3rd in my category, though I didn't know it and missed the awards.

Then I watched Linnea and Colin and Thom ride really fast. Thom was third in the semi-pro, I thought that was pretty cool. Linnea was second, I think, and Colin was fifth, although he was whining about riding his bike too much the day before. Overall, I'd say it was fun, although I would have liked a little more variety in the terrain than what was offered. And I really should ride a bike if I expect to race one, but we all know how well I avoid doing that.

A possible reason I was so hyper all day... CAR BOMB CUPCAKES!!! (chocolate guinness cake with bailey's frosting. heaven in my mouth)


Jess said...

Hah... so you made the carbombs. Nice job piping that icing =)

Cathy said...

I was psyched to see you, and you had a GREAT race! Also glad that you didn't get off your bike to run the chute - I would have never let you live that one down ;-). I had so much fun I'm racing Amherst on Sunday...