This weekend in Madison and Platteville was fabulous. Fisher, Jen and I headed down to Madtown on Friday night…the main event for the weekend was an off-road time trial in Platteville, which is only 1.5 hours from Madison. My brother Ben wanted to do the race (he skipped collegiate road regionals for it… and took a lot of crap from his team for it), as he was ready to ride some dirt!
BTW, I decided to race on the Fuel which ended up being the right choice for the course.
We set out around 8 am on Saturday from Madison so we could get a pre-ride in…I am glad we did. The course was just about the most twisty, tight trail I have ever ridden. There was some climbing but not a lot of sustained burners…just a ton of stop, accelerate, stop accelerate. That stuff really wears you down! As an aside, we got to ride part of the dual slalom course, which was very fun, and we got to see the DH course (both races were sunday) which is the gnarliest I have seen in the Midwest…it included a 32 foot gap jump over a stream…coming up short on would plant your right into the side of the stream bank. Yeah, they have some crazy dudes down there. Here is the jump….
They started the 26 comp/expert riders with 1 minute gaps. Jeff Hall started about 5 minute ahead of me, Ben was my 2 minute man and Fisher was my 1 minute man. They started us off at the top of this 8 foot ramp, pretty cool…after you roll down it there was a quick right turn. When I rolled down and turned, my front tire was on the wrong side of little ridge and I did a Superman…in front of everyone, and before I even hit the course. It took me 10-15 seconds to remount and get my water bottle. After that, it was just flat out as hard as I could go for 2 laps. About 10 minutes in, Fisher was on the side of the trail with a chain in his hands. The quick link of his SRAM chain had come undone…he was looking for the second half of the quick link, which he never found. 2/3s of the way through the lap I caught Ben who was having some crashing issues. After the race he said he went down 3 times the first lap just from the front tire slipping out…again, the course was so tight and off camber that it took some pretty nifty skills to navigate it quickly without going down. I just about popped when I caught Ben so I had to ease up a little, and Ben hung on to me for most of the rest of the first lap. As I started the second lap, my legs were on fire..not the good kind of fire. I don’t want to know what my HR was, but I was above threshold for most of the race. I slugged through the course and ended up passing most of the riders who started in front of me. However, I never saw or caught that Salsa jersey. As I finished up the second lap, I was pretty sure I hadn't beaten Jeff with my crash out of the gate and some sections I didn’t ride very cleanly. I was right. The final results show Jeff at 1:01:something , me at 1:03:something, and Ben at 1:08:something (sorry no exact results posted yet). The next racer was about 4 minutes behind Ben. I was gassed, but I know doing a TT that long will help me later this season.
On Sunday, we took a road ride on our mountain bikes. The Madison area has some of the best road riding in the country in my opinion (Wisconsin doesn’t really believe in gravel, so the most remote low traffic roads are paved). Ben and I were hurting, and Fisher laid the hammer down after his DNF the previous day. Needless to say, it is time for some rest, as climbing stairs was less than pleasant this morning.
I forgot my camera, but they had someone taking pics, so I will post a few they are available.
Oh and one more highlight. On the way home we stopped at Taco Bell (we had eaten Subway 3 times already and needed some dog meat). Fisher pulled off the impossible task of eating 10 Tacos, and ENTIRE GRANDE MEAL! Holy crap, I am sure his Jen had to suffer from the effects of that meal.
Thanks for reading…