Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall Race #1

I jinxed it. About 40min till start I checked the Blackberry. No rain on the screen. I mentioned it to the guy parked next to me. And within a minute... it was pouring! It poured up till the start.

It's hard to think of a lap around Huntsville as epic, but this one had it all. Rain, a cramp, a fall, a mechanical! Yeeha!

I didn't pre-register. First time that I didn't pre-reg and it sucked. I pre-staged in the back. At the start, I was dead last. Just before the single track narrowed, I realized there were only 4-5 in front, then a gap... I decided to try to move up. I picked up a couple of spots, but *poof* blew up by the first road crossing. Crap. After the short climb I got a cramp in the outside of my left leg. Ugh. Nothing to do but spin through it.

I started feeling better. And remade contact with my group around the spillway. After sliding down the trail at that point, my right cleat was no longer working. (It wasn't until cleaning up at home I discovered a cigarette butt of all things caught in the cleat!) The long CCC climb was supertough without being clipped in. I thought about stopping and cleaning the cleat. BUT! I wasn't about to try to get restarted in the silty-sandy-clayey slop. By the time I got back to the Chinaquipin cutoff, I managed to get clipped in YEAHHA!

From here, I was alone. Knowing I wasn't going to catch anyone in my class, I simply enjoyed the ride and intensity of racing along the trails.

I haven't seen the results. But I'm sure I was way OTB. I'm a bit frustrated. I ridden way faster on that course. Today was slow for me. I'm capable of better; I've done better! It was raining, afterall. Maybe that made some difference. But honestly, the rain packed the sand down. And I don't remember being that bothered by wet trail. The grip was amazing in most spots.

All of this isn't to say it wasn't a fun ride. It was an absolute blaaast! The most fun I've ever had at Huntsville! And definately top-five all time cycling experiences. Those trails got better with the rain!! The holes filled with sand washed; and the sand packed in. The turns burmed up, too. Just wish I'd had the motor to do it all justice!

One dirty bike! I'm still flossing sand out of my teeth!