I’m just a wee bit behind on my updates here. Real quick on the June race. I’d like to not think about it too much, but if I don’t keep the past in my mind, I’ll likely repeat it. I don’t want that. Junes harescramble at FVOR went like this:
I got a poor start. I was then stuck behind a good deal of slower riders in my class and got frustrated. Not the end of the world, as I started passing people, but I unfortunately let a lot of their mistakes affect me. I went to make a hasty pass on a rider on a downhill section. I attempted to pass him on the outside, which was fine until he crossed over into me. I slammed on the brakes hard, but still managed to clip his rear wheel with my front. Front VS. Rear, Rear always wins. I cartwheeled down the hill. I picked up the bike, noted the bars were tweaked, as was the front fender. Each bump I heard a loud grinding noise. I was a bit mentally defeated at this point, and thought I was having little fun while trying to navigate some arrows & blown tape in the wooded areas. I wasn’t having fun, end o story. I called it quits early. Packed up and went home.
That’s the past and I aimed to do better come next race. This Sundays race, I kept calm. The little B & Big B classes grouped together for 1 line were too big, so they split us into separate lines at the start. I liked this, as I had no one on the immediate sides of me. I wear ear plugs when I race, so dead engine starts can prove to be tricky as I have a hard time hearing the motor start. I kept calm, and pulled the holeshot. I was holding a decent pace, but early on tucked the front in a slick turn. I got back up as quick as possible and kept pushing. I noted I was getting some arm pump pretty bad early on. I don’t normally get arm pump, so I figured it was a combo of not riding off-road enough & possibly having tossed a different set of bars on the bike (and pushing to keep up my early race pace). I calmed myself down and dealt with it.
On the second lap I tried getting a sip of water from my camelbak. Nothing. I thought Ice had clogged the hose, so I kept going. Next lap as I noted I slipped into 3rd place, I again tried getting some water from my camelbak. Nothing. At some point I decided when I had a decent gap from whoever might be near me, I would have to stop. I knew while I was plenty hydrated, I’d have a hard time making 105 minutes without water. The dust in some open sections had been coating my mouth & it was needless to say, not pleasant.
My gap (perceived or whatever) opened up enough where I felt comfortable stopping to fix the camelbak. Bladder out, and saw the quick release hose had released itself. A quick click back in and I was back going. Around 30 seconds loss I’d say. The rush of cool water was an instant boost and I felt a resurgence of energy. Unfortunately a group of guys had passed me (4 or 5). They were in different classes, but it meant I’d have to deal with passing them again. Not a big deal, but each person you gotta deal with passing is precious time lost. I managed to pass them within the lap, so that was good for me mentally.
As the race progressed I could feel I was making some costly mistakes. I let a few riders mess me up on some hill climbs. Both times I had selected alternate lines, only to mess up and lose my momentum. Not the end of the world, but HUGE energy sucks. I felt the end was nearing, and saw there were approximately 20 minutes left on the clock. At this point I had been lapped by the AA guys. I knew my lap times were over the 10 minute mark, so tried to push that next lap to try and maybe find the 2nd place guy. No such luck.
Last lap, my body was feeling it. My tweaked ankle (from a skateboard incident) was really bothering me, and I felt the blisters on my left thumb really cropping up. On the first real downhill, I managed to tuck the front (and subsequently destroy my left footpeg). I hadn’t noticed the footpeg, so I just tried trucking on best I could. I pushed when I could, I kept calm and knew no one was too close behind, and felt OK with the
(unofficial) 3rd. Official 2nd Place
I saw the checkers and relaxed as I crossed the finish line logs. I was definitely sore & out of breath. The early half of the race without being able to quench the dryness in my mouth hampered things a bit. I can really tell I haven’t been riding off-road enough. The past several years I’d been spending almost every weekend riding dirt. Lately it seems I’ve only been riding at the races. This does not help me keep my speed up. I’m going to have to figure out how I’m going to work around that. Having my messed up ankle (rolled it while skateboarding) didn’t help either, though this should be 100% by the next race.
So there we have it. I’ve got an unofficial 3rd place. Overall I’m happy with my performance given the circumstances. I’d really like to be winning every race, but well I’m trying to be as realistic about my situation as possible. I’m looking forward to the next one.
Update: Official result = 2nd in Open B. 28th Overall.
ps – I’ll post pics as soon as I can find any online.