Today was the annual Fall Fear mountain bike race held in Marion,Va. I drove through Elizabethton and picked up Chris at the local MickyD's. We were off at 8am. It was a drury cloudy morning with rain threatening but it held off for the day with only a small shower near Bristol on the way up.
After arriving we checked in and signed up, gave them $20 then collected our usuall long sleeve T-shirt. On the way up there Chris made the comment that I would be racing expert this time, the thought had crossed my mind very briefly earlier in the week. I'm definately not an expert class rider in power and abilities but I'm very capable of it mentally. Last year at this race I brought my CX bike and finished 3rd in sport class so I only thought of it being fair that I should move on up to the expert class here at this race. Now if this had been a USA cycling santcioned race I would have raced CAT 2 (sport) not expert! There was a very nice turnout considering it was threatening rain the whole time. I did my (semi-serious racer) normal non-warm-up ritual before the race with only about 1/2 mile of riding around the lake with Fat Tony. The informal expert staggered start sent us off without a flurry like most races. These guys were smart and just rolled out at about medium pace, I liked that! We had several different trails added to our course thus expert status. I really think that they should make the experts do two laps as well as Sport class on the shorter course that they do. Onward, the first 2 miles of trails were sweet and we stayed together quite well then the big guys (Dwayne, Eric, Dave and Bill) flexed their horsepower and were gone. When we arrived at Molly's Trail all I could see was 7th place in front of me. Molly's Trail is a very long steep climb but I slowly managed to summit and roll on. Onwards now to the steep CCC trail, I heard that they had reworked and rerouted it to take the sting out of it. Trail Dynamics can be thanked for this, they did a freakin' awesome job too! Only the first third was hard climbing (to me) then it turned into very nice sweet fast gradual climbing. I had lost sight of my 7th place rabbit and could see no one behind me for a good ways so I changed from race mode to fast group ride mode trying to just enjoy getting to ride in the mountains, something I haven't got to do much of in October with school and bad weather (and the Epic being down for two weeks). I held onto 8th in expert to the finish and was glad I decided to ride that class. The rest of my buds were banging bars in the sport class and having fun, I sorta missed getting to ride with them a little. Sponsorship was down this year due to the economy but we all had a supercalifratulisticexpealadocious time no doubt. Looking forward to next year! Thanks Jason and Hungry Mothers State Park for all your hard work!!!!
NEXT WEEK? H>O>T>