Whew, that's about all I could say after the 45+ Masters 3,4,5 class Saturday at Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton, TN. This race is so convenient for me because I live about 1/4 mi from the venue. The 4 of us hustled to get the 1.6 mi. course all set up Friday, it took almost 4 hours. Friday evening I was able to get over there afterwards and get an hour of pre-riding in and it helped. After being pretty sick the week before I didn't expect much from myself at race #5 of the MSG series. I actually felt good during the race. The heart, legs and lungs were all working together it seemed even though I still sucked. I managed a 7th out of 12 in Saturday's race. If I could just get rid of that spare tire around my waist. Still didn't pass COB though....
I look like an umpa-loompa going through these barriers. The flat bars and I smashed this little hill every lap. (pic below)
(all photo credits: Tracey Icenhour)
Sunday, it was time to haul our arses over to Pisgah Brewery in Black Mtn, NC near Asheville. This was to be the last CX race of the year for the AVLCX crew. This race draws a large number of quality riders every year. I personally think it's because of the delicious coffee porter they serve but I could be wrong. Of course I'm wrong, it's because of all the local talent that shows up to race. USAC XC National Champ - Brevard Asst Coach Brad Perly, USAC Collegiate National Champ Tristan Cowie, Robert Marion, No Tubes Development rider Nate Morse and several more were on hand to rip the short flat course to pieces. The first few laps our local junior rider, Jordan Lewis, led for about 20 minutes. (he'll learn not to do that when he gets wiser in his racing, he's just 15) then Mr. Marion and Mr. Niwinksi took their turn at the front all the while. Mr. Cowie was reeling them all in just like Mr. Morse was doing while the top three were duking it out. In the end Marion was able to hold off a charge from Cowie and take the win. Marion was 2 for 2 this weekend also taking the win at MSG #5 Saturday.
That was the A race. I race the B class and sandbagger unite is what it should be called. There was 54ish riders that lined up on the start 7 rows deep. I was precisely in row 6 where I should be. At the start some goober dropped his chain two pedal strokes off the start and messed the whole left side up which forced me into a mid-pack position, not where I wanted to be but I went with it. I just held on for 20 minutes before I imploded then started falling to the back a few riders at a time. I pulled a line of 6-7 riders around for two laps then let them pass me so I could rest before I gave one last valiant effort on the last lap. The pro woman leader had just caught us (lapped/chic'd us) with 2 to go so I knew there was only going to be one lap left when she rolled with us across the finish line. Just after that bunch came around we came upon the finish line with her and they tell us we're done... ??????? WTH??? I look down on the garmin and it's at 31 minutes and some change. Dammit! Our race is 40 minutes long!
I love the AVLCX guys to death but they SUCK at scoring races. If you're not in the top 10 you might as well roll a roulette wheel for what position you'll get. Although the old saying is "if you're not first you're last - if you're last who cares?" I was scored 46th of 54. Oh well. It was a good workout and I didn't expect to do all that great after a hard effort Saturday. I know... I suck. I am getting used to the flat bars and skinny tires together and feeling more comfy after each race.
This weekend the ETSU team rolls over to Brevard NC for the final MTB collegiate race of the 2013 season, it's also conference finals. My plan is to hit the tiny grassroots race called Fall Fear in Marion, Va. Saturday morning, jet over to NC to catch the end of the gravity races then spend the night with the team. They work hard to provide a small race that draws only about 30 riders so I like to attend each year to make sure it will be around next year and so on. The gravity guys will head over Friday to Brevard as we have a camping cabin rented for the weekend. Sheedz, Brevard's coach, does the line-up of events a tad different than most do at Brevard's race because he hosts the short track on campus premises and the rest at adventure village. The weather looks nice but cool temps are predicted.
PS: I know I write poorly, I just like to blog about the bike events.