Monday, September 17, 2012

Union College - Bulldoggin" It

Wow! Sunday morning I have way to much energy it seems! Who am I kidding? I'm always a nutcase. Actually I was making sure our newest team member, Shana in pink, was ready for her first collegiate mountain bike race. I had some concern that this course may have been a little tough for her first race but she killed the women's B class finishing a solid 5th! Men's A, Women's A & Men's B (me) would dice it out after the Men's C and Women's B finished. I was not looking forward to racing on this hill and the short 2.5 mile course. My day would end early when I rolled a front tire transitioning from an off camber to switchback mid-way through the 3rd lap of my 5.

Catherine from Mars Hill College navigates the Union "G-OUT". This gully was huge! You had to carry speed and lots of it if you wanted to peak on the top. These pictures do NOT do this justice at all. The "G-OUT" was used for every race held this weekend. In short track I had to climb the mini mountain that led to this 6 times (yes I'm whinin') This was no doubt the hardest short track to date for me. Climb to the top and bomb down the 2X course for 20 min.
Next on tap was Downhill. The riders were rolling the course in a tad over a minute and at the end they too had to drop into the "G-OUT". Thus the gravity riders were throwing a little flare at the top before hitting the log drop that sent you straight down into the finish line. Below Ethan, a Milligan rider, is on course. Derek made another top 10 in DH! Amazing things coming from Derek in his collegaite MTB years, wait and see! In 2X he pulled a huge digger and bruised his hand keeping him from racing after 2X qualifying. Schyler just pounded his pedals into the ground getting a great workout so that he'll be ready for Nationals at New Mexico in 4 weeks since he's already qualified. He wasn't a fan of the brutal XC & STX climb either I heard him say.

Last event of the day was 2X? I'm not sure if this was a legal USAC collegiate event but it was fun to watch. It seemed whomever got the holeshot won. The only flaw to that statement was when 2 Lindsey Wilson riders were going to head-to-head into the "G-OUT" and finishing millimeters apart at the finish. Below - Lt. Dan from Brevard lets it rip off the log drop while he's racing Ray from Union. The fall line is straight down from where his front wheel is. No lie! It's really about an 80% grade for about 30 feet to the finish. Lt. Dan is an older student that decided to go back to school and runs Sycamore Cycles in Brevard but I'm still the oldest on the circuit.

Oh yea! This is what we had to climb in short track AND XC! This hill hurt so bad. See that telephone pole in the distance at the top? Yep, all the way to there with only two little switchbacks! In short track I was begging silently for the leaders to catch me and lap me so I could stop. I believe this was the worst climb I've ever had to do since I've been racing in the SECCC hands down. Props to Union's head coach Peter Haile & rider Wes Lamberson for making this happen. It took many long hours and many days this summer to get this ready for this past weekends race. Great job Union!

Thanks to Catherine's friend, Liza F., for the pics. I ripped them from facebox.

Fun, fun weekend for sure! I love collegiate racing. Everyone is like one big extended family. I actually look forward to seeing everyone each weekend when we travel. It's overwhelming at times but it beats every other form of bicycle racing hands down, except for BMX maybe... This weekend we travel down to ATL (Conyers) to take on the Georgia Tech riders. Granite and red clay here we come.

LAter G.........................

No comments: