Monday, December 9, 2013

SLUG-ish Me

Up and early we jump in the van and roll over the mountain to Mars Hill NC for the conference finals of the collegiate SECCC CX season. It rained all night, do I need to add anything else?

Their course is all climbing up one side and all down on the other. We, the Men's B & women's B got first crack at the course while there was a tad bit of grass left on the ground in between the green course tape. I did my usual roll off the line in last of a 15 rider field and rode right back up to the back of the pack within 1/2 of the first lap with minimal effort. I rode up to inside the top ten and found my combatants I would duke it out with for the rest of the 40 minute race. A Lees McRae rider and a rider from Cumberland. We traded places several times as we all three had areas of the course we were better at than the other. Mine seemed to be the wooded climb single track into the descent around the crazy ass off camber section that led to the first switchback DH section. The other two out rode me on the lower sections after the start finish line though. After slugging around the course for 5 laps my lower back was ready to leave me out there alone to fend for myself. I managed to hang in and finish 9th, I'll take it. The temps were cold to say the least. As the day wore on the temps kept falling too. I blew off my masters 45+ race because my body felt like I had already ran 2 races as much energy I expended in my collegiate race. We did hang out for Casey's Cat 3 race though. That boy put in a herculean effort to make it to third and hold off a hard charging 4th place rider at the sprint. Great job Casey!

The ETSU and Miligan teams posing for a group picture: It was Kelly's last CX race.

In the A race a LMC rider got about 4 pedal strokes in standing before he flipped over the bars when his carbon steerer snapped below the stem. #ouch

LMC lady managing one of the many messy turns. Real CX weather and conditions finally.

This hill was actually easier than it looks. The ground had enough bite for your shoes to get traction to shoot you up the hill. I wish my lungs would have held out under the stress of running this.

More muddy turns. Turnout was killer at Mars Hill

Down below: I-9 is a local company and they pop for some really sweet trophies for the Mars Hill race every year, thanks I-9!

Like I said there was a great turnout at the race

Casey and Garret - 3rd and 1st respectively. Garret is hitting his stride as a rider. East Tennessee has produced some really fast riders in the last 5 years.

Slippin' and a slidin'

Here's the grand master of Mars Hill Cycling, Hugh Moran. Great job this weekend Hugh.

This is what you should look like when you leave it all on the race course. Casey staggered after the finish and couldn't stand. He gave it hell, great job Casey! Casey is one of the new guys and has been a great asset to the team.

Blair snapped this cool picture of his disc brake Norco beside our trailer. Blair is a new guy on the team just learning his way around cx racing this year.

This is my new motto:

Photo credits got to LMC Cycling, Mars Hill Cycling, Kelly Chism's phone, Mama J and a few others I can't remember.

Those were Saturdays events now there's Sunday's:

Casey opted to stay at home and rest today. Blair and I needed more exercise. Well, that's what I thought. The local weatherman was forecasting ice and freezing temps but we rolled over the mountain anyway. The drive was dry and peaceful until we got about 2 miles from the Kolo bike park where Sunday's race was to be held. It was my first time visiting Kolo and it looks like a fun place with all the zip lines and stuff to do beside the Wingate Resort center.

Sadly the turnout was pretty low. There was only 2 C riders, 2 women riders, 15 B riders and I don't know about the A's because it was freezing cold and we got the heck outta dodge. It drizzled the whole time we were racing on the course. At one time it started sleeting for about 10 minutes.

The course was fun with plenty of MTB single track, 3 run-ups and a couple of jumps too. They had a little bit of everything. They had one barrier that wasn't very high. Hugh heckled me one lap to hop the barrier, which I did with ease, because it was only about 10 in high. In the race I didn't ride very hard at all. First, my legs had nothing left after Saturdays mud climbfest at Mars Hill so I had the mindset to just ride Sunday's race in Zone 3 for it's entirety. Why? Well I missed the collegiate MTB race this fall and I wanted to make it up to Hugh by showing up and supporting his 2nd event at Kolo. By the looks of the turnout everyone drove over to Salisbury NC for the NCCX races.

The next race is the Tennessee State Championships in Chattanooga. We'll drive down early Saturday morning race and drive home afterwards. There's a UCI event in Hendo all weekend too but they have the 3's racing with the 2's together - I'd just be in the way and in the Masters they have the 1's, 2's and 3's all together.. UGH!!!! I'd get lapped 3 times in a 5 lap race probably I'm so outta shape. So I'll probably just stay home Sunday. This will be next to the last CX race for me with my final one of the season being in Stinkport (Kingsport) on Jan 4/5 just before we leave to Boulder Colorado for CX Nats. I'm skipping racing in Boulder to support Casey while he races the A's on Sunday in Collegiate D2. While I'm out there I'm going to take one day to hit the slopes at one of the resorts since I'm not racing. Braappp.

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

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