The MNMBS (Minnesota Mountain Bike Series) kicked off Sunday with the Freewheel Frolic at Afton Alps. Afton is physically the hardest race in the series now that we don't race at Spirit Mountain any more. The 55 degrees (30 degree drop from the day before!) and drizzle made it even harder, especially for me. It is no secret that I don't like cold weather racing because my legs just don't have the snap they do once it hits about 70.
The race started fast w/ a hard charging Doug Swanson taking the lead out. Doug is flying this year, and LOVES cool weather racing (crazy???). I was fine w/ him leading because my legs were cold and tight. Doug proceeded to put a 20-30 second gap on me the first lap. I had to let him go because while my cardio was under control, my legs continued to stay tight. Finally things started loosening and warming up a little in the second lap. By that point, I couldn't see anyone chasing behind us. I caught Doug at the start of the 3rd lap and put a small charge in to gain a quick gap. Then, I pushed solo through another round of drizzle in the last laps and pulled off the win by a couple minutes. I have to admit that much of the race was a mental battle with me asking myself why I wasn't home laying on the couch watching the Stanley Cup playoffs, but how rewarding would that have been?
It was great to see our Freewheel team take 3 of the top 4 spots, and even better that the top 4 spots were all Daddies=) For all you single racers or racers w/out kids, if you think fitting in riding/training/racing is tough now, just wait!
I want to thank Freewheel and all the volunteers for their work on pulling this even off. It was first class, per the MNMBS norm, even given less than ideal conditions.
Pictures are from Jake at Freewheel. Thanks Jake. Also, thanks to Chris "I can out wheelie you" Ames for the handups.
Final equipment note/hint on the race: 7 of the first 8 tires across the line were Bontrager XR1, same as 29-1 (Jesse's front tire being the exception). Trust me that we all have access to different brands of tires...
Next up? Maplelag maybe...it is between that and a family visit down to Madison. Either way, I won't make Buck this week because Tegan is graduating from Pre-School. Because I never graduated from pre-school, this is an important accomplishment for our family. While Tegan and I proposed (after much plotting) forgoing the the graduation and attending Buck Hill instead, we were overruled by the Queen Bee (or Queen J) ;)