By my estimation, upon completion of MNMBS#7 and 10 of the 11 Thursday Night Penn Series I have somewhere in the range of 66 laps in at Buck Hill this year! We have done this course forward, backward, upside down, and right side up. I am not complaining, mind you. It is a good race course in a very convenient location, and the races are always run well with more than adequate facilities.
Sunday was hot...hot AND humid. 88 degrees and 69 degree dew point according to Jen's iphone. While the race was short in time, it was long in pain. I don't think any of the elite racers would have asked for more than the 6 laps that we did. That said, the second half of my race was much better than the first.
I lead the first lap but had some gut rot (maybe due to heat, I am not sure) so I kept the pace reasonable. Cody lead the next lap and went hard enough that it was only he, Eric Thompson, and I left with SamO just dangling. The third time up the main climb, Cody's pace slowed, and I attacked with Eric the only one still hanging on. The fourth lap I did the same and was able to get a gap on Eric. By then my stomach was feeling better and it must have showed on my face because Jay Richards said I looked a lot stronger (and I felt a lot stronger) on the last 2 laps. I finished all alone at the front, not necessarily exhausted, but still hurting from the short, hard, very hot effort. SamO caught Eric near the end and nipped him at the line to round out the podium. The picture above was taken by Jay.
Equipment wise, I did ride the Top Fuel out there rather than the hardtail. I was debating given the climby, punchy nature of the course. I have gone back and forth this year at the Thursday nights, but for me right now the fuel is faster, period. The tire combo of Bontrager 2.2 XR1 front and XR0 rear has proven to be faster and more supple than last years Rocket Ron and Racing Ralph combo, but the Ron definitely has more bite as a front tire in the loose stuff than the XR1. The XR2 is more comparable to the Ron, but you have to trade off weight (100gs heavier) with durability (Ron's cut very easily just ask Jake Richards about his running race yesterday!).
If you get a chance to try some of the new XC Bontrager treads XR2, XR1, and XR0, do so.... if you want to race them, be sure to get the Team Issue compound.
I am not sure what my plans are this week other than commuting. I would like to hit Murphy Wed, Buck Thurs, and the Border Battle Sunday, but there is only so much zoom-zoom in the legs and likely I will only hit one of the weekday races.
Most importantly, we are heading to the Dells on Sunday for our family vacation where we have 3 condos rented to house my parents, the 5 of us kids, 4 grandchildren, 2 spouses, and 1-2 significant others. I am excited to hang with everyone and to get away for some R&R...oh wait never mind, Tegan won't let that happen=) Ben will be there too so I am sure some light pedaling will occur....
Does anyone know if Devils Head still has any trails open? Riding there used to be awesome, and we will only be 20 min away.