I had to work really hard for this one. The weather last night was 50 degrees with a 30mph wind – gusting to 40..but no rain at least. Usually when mountain biking, wind is a non-factor because of trees, slow speed, etc, but the main climb at Buck Hill went directly into the wind. Combine the weather with a tough field (Paul Hanson, Jesse Rients, Chris Fisher, the Oftedahl boys, among others) and I had my work cut out for me.
We lined up near the very bottom of the hill and I made the HUGE mistake of lining up in the middle. We start out on a gravel road…the problem was that the middle where I lined up was extra loose. I didn’t think this mistake would be a big deal, but when the start beep went off, I found myself going backwards…it was like riding on a trainer. If I stood, my back tire just spun in place; if I sat and put a lot of force on the pedals, the same thing happened. I was in about 12th place as we neared the crest of the climb, which is not where you want to be. Finally I started to get some traction, and I gave her some gas…as we crested the hill, I could see Paul and Chris riding away…I gave her more gas and flew past about 8 guys to catch those two. The downside to such and effort was that I was totally gassed for most of the singletrack the first lap…ouch! By the time we hit the final climb up over the backside of the hill, I had recovered, and it was just Paul Chris and I. We couldn’t see anyone else. At that point Chris put in a all out effort on the climb. I followed, and Paul did not. From there, Fisher and I rode the next lap and a half together. On the third of four laps, I was able to get a little gap in the single track, but then I got a stick stuck in my spoke….rather than trashing my rear wheel and my new beautiful red carbon frame=), I stopped to pull it out and Chris basically caught me. It went on like this until the north single track in the final lap, where I put my nose to the grindstone and opened up a 30 second gap. Unfortunately, my legs felt dead on the climbs (which the usually do in cold conditions so I wasn’t too surprised) so the singletrack was where I had to put the pressure on. Anyway, I rolled ‘er home from there only beating Chris by 30 seconds. Paul Hanson came in next followed by Sam O. I keep saying it, but watch out for Chris. We did a lot of early season base training together and I can see it paying off for him big time.
In other race notes, Jen Meyers said she got in a fight with a tree and won??…but there were 2 scabs on her face, so I would hate to see that tree.
Results are posted here: http://penncycle.com/page.cfm?PageID=750
There were lots of pics being taken throughout the race...I will post some if I find them.
Change of plans for me this weekend…I am headed to Mankato for and XC Sat and TT, STXC Sunday rather than the Cable Classic. Cable would have been fun, but it is much closer and my brother gets home from college that day. H would have to do a ton of driving to make it. Also, Jen’s dad’s retirement party is Friday night (way to go BOB!), so we would have to leave at 5:30 am on Sat after a night of whoopin’ it up =)
Thanks for reading…hopefully it gets warm soon…