|I love hand made podium awards!|
The thing that impressed me the most about this race is how prideful and devoted BMCC is to their trails. On Friday, I pre rode the course. There had been rain leading up to the event and on Thursday night. This trail system was so well thought out that it was mostly dry, save for a few squishy spots here and there. As I rode, there must have been 10 volunteers out with their trail machine and tools, fixing those spots! Awesome! They take better care of this trail system than most parents take care of their children. And they were out again on Satuday, just before the race, fixing a couple areas and removing some downed trees. Yes, on Friday night there was only a 20% chance of passing showers, but when I woke up Saturday morning, there were standing puddles of water everywhere.
This was going to be my first 6 hour on my single. I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Just 2 weeks ago I had raced gears instead of single at the first SERC XC because I did not feel strong enough at that time. Time would only tell if I chose the right gear and if 2 more weeks of being gluten-free was working.
Endless Bike Company had me ready to go with their cogs and socks! Both Shanna and her friend Laura were there in their usual garb ... flaming tutu's. Nope, I don't think I will ever go there, no matter how good a deal there might be!
No LeMans start (yea!), but about 3/4 of pavement to sort out some 230+ riders before we hit the 13 mile loop of single track. Just another reason why I love this race ... a nice big loop. My gearing was good enough to enter ahead of most of the pack. It was slicker n snot, that first lap. Thank goodness for 29 inch wheels and Specialized Captain tires. They kept me hooked up even during the steepest sections of the course and at an RPM of 40 as I followed behind several trains of gearies spinning and slipping wildly about.
The course was beginning to dry out on the second lap and I was able to open it up a bit more. I rode for awhile with Ruthie's husband. Very cool! I had known about Ruthie for some time but was able to hook up with her after the race and talk a bit. Rarely do I talk in complete sentences when I race, but today I was feeling quite sparkly and enjoying life.
Laps 3 and 4 seemed the fastest. The trail was so hard packed now that my tires "whrrr'd"; you know, like when you hear those silly lifted trucks with their huge gas guzzling off-road tires. This trail is best described as a perpetual pump track. The berms and whoop-de-doos were so well placed that if you knew how to carry your momentum, you could spend quite a bit of time just coasting and pulling "G's." It had almost sort of a roller coaster feel as you would climb for a bit, nothing too steep, and then enjoy a blazing fast ride through dips and tight turns. And, if you were fast enough, could go horizontal!
Silly me, I thought, at the beginning of the race, that I could get in 6 laps. After that first lap, however, my goal quickly changed to how fast could I get in 5 laps. Even though my time on the last lap was within 1 minute of the previous lap times, it seemed WAY HARDER than the previous. My calves were the most tired; hmmm, might have had something to do with them getting sore when I hiked a portion of the course on Thursday. I was thankful that the significant amount of mashing I did on the climbs did not send them to "Crampville."
Speaking of mashing, why is it that most single speeders listen to either their egos or their SS buddies when choosing their gear? Me, it is a collaborative effort involving my LEGS and my BRAIN. Yes, I may get dusted in the beginning, but slowly, but surely, I pick them off, one by one, when they are all mashed out. Oh, well, I have only been doing this crazy one-gear thing for a little over one year, so maybe there are some things I just haven't learned yet.
|We turned around to face the setting sun.|
5 laps in 6 hours was good enough for 1st in the Open Women's class. No money, but a HUGE amount of usable schwag, in addition to the super cool coffee mug. And most of the clothing fit, save for a pair of Specialized Pro shorts, size Medium. Come on, you guys, sizes run BIG in women's clothing. Clothing manufacturers try to make every woman FEEL skinny. I could get two of me in those Mediums.
This was my first race with the Ergon GS2 with the rubber grip inserts on the bar ends. Quite "gecko-ish," I must say. I absolutely love them. In the wet and mud, my hands never once slipped.
The post race barbeque was most excellent. Thank you, Sledgehammer Charlie's.
I give this race an A+, in all respects.