This race went oodles of times better than the last one. That was probably helped by the fact that it wasn't really technical, and although it climbed a lot, the downhills were straight-forward enough that you could recover relatively well. The course rode a lot like a ski course, which makes sense given that most of the trails were ski trails. It started with some fast single track, and then climbed for a while in a way that made you think you weren't actually climbing, but rather that something was rubbing in a way that was seriously slowing you down. Then you got some downhills, some tricky bits where I almost fell off, and then a long climb that they called heartbreak hill. Go down heartbreak hill, back up the other side, out into a meadow with an awesome view, and down to start the last hill into the finish. A fair bit of climbing, but as I said, fun fast downhills that let you recover decently well.
I got a ride with Jess and Tal, who are experts, which meant I was there at 9:30 for a 2pm race. yay for sitting in the sun all day and then trying to race. I pre-rode the course, and decided that not biking for two weeks doesn't help your legs go round and round in circles. In fact, they hurt, a lot, and I was in granny gear and wondering why it wasn't easy enough. The experts went off, and I sat around in the feed zone waiting for them. Linnea went down hard early on, she hyperextended her knee and banged herself up pretty good, but she said it was easier to ride than walk, so finished the race (4 laps). HARDCORE.
My race was fun, and I only fell off my bike once. I had a spectacular save in the same spot next lap. There isn't that much to say about this race, except that each lap, the hills felt bigger and my legs hurt more. I was in fourth coming through the first lap, and decided that I could make up time, and maybe that wasn't such a great idea because my legs didn't have much to give after putting in a hard effort. My derailleur started skipping a bunch, like 2-3 gears at a time, about halfway through second lap. This frustrated me, because I had made sure it could get into the granny gear (which it hadn't been doing during warmup), and I believe as a result of that I screwed up everything else. But new brake pads were AWESOME; I can slow down now! Overall, the downhills were enjoyable, and after a dip in the connecticut river and some soup at the Putney food co-op, I was feeling pretty happy. Ready to do this crazy sport again!