|Sleeping in and getting ready at a relaxed pace was nice.|
Fueling pre-race was the hard part. Normally, it involves just one meal. But today I had to come up with two meals. I had the bright idea of trying to make gluten-free biscuits to go with my eggs. It was like a cross between a rice cake and a hockey puck. And that lead weight sat in my stomach for hours ... I attempted to take in a few more calories around noon, but my stomach was not happy.
Seeing as how I had not ridden here in 4 years, I took Karma (2011 Niner AC9 SS) out for a pre-ride just after I arrived around noon. This was definitely a perfect course for one gear. I rode a lap, just to make sure I chose the right gear ... and I did, a 32 x 20.
|A tight squeeze ... especially at 12-15 mph!|
The temperature hovered right around 90 at the start. The course was technically demanding, with short, grunty climbs, roots galore, rocks that moved with you, and stutter bumps everywhere from the super dry conditions the past month.
The race started out LeMans style, with a 1/4 mile run to your bike. Coach's orders were to ride at 90% and NOT race the boys. However, I intended to run hard so as to avoid as much of the 1st lap cluster as possible.
|Loose gravel, carbon soles, and metal cleats makes for an interesting start.|
The race went off at 3 pm and as I was running up the gravel parking lot, I looked down and saw a bike shoe all by its lonesome. Within seconds, the owner was trying to run against 200 race-hungry individuals to claim his lost "sole." It was quite a push and shove match to get to your bike first. I am just glad that she was in one piece when I arrived to leap upon her and be off on my 6 hour adventure.
I chose to summarize each lap in a few sentences.
Lap 1: Really, not even a mile in to this thing and I am down with a bloodied forearm. So much for avoiding the cluster. Come on people, just "ride that thang!"
Lap 2: Welcome back, my friend Momentum.
Lap 3: Wheeee!
Lap 4: I think there are more people laying trail side with cramping issues than are racing.
Lap 5: Wow! Red Bull does give you wings!
Lap 6: A 100 lumen light might work well on the TNGA, but it does NOT work well on a tight, twisty single track race. Oh, well, I will consider this my parade lap.
|Karma's first race and first win.|
I ended up 1st woman, 1st SS, and 2nd solo overall. And I adhered to Coach's orders. I swear, I was not racing the boys ... they just seemed to keep getting in my way, so I had to pass. I had a great day on my single speed. The legs were happy all day, but my lower back and balls of my feet weren't. The course was very jarring! I was happy to be finished. It was nice to be able to get cleaned up at night and not worry about sweating again.
The bike rode well and had no issues: powerful, yet quiet. Even with a slightly longer wheelbase than my Specialized SS, I had no issues maneuvering around the switchbacks and other tight twisty sections of the trail. Now that I have the fork dialed in, I am quite happy with the Reba.
Lisa Randall (Mountain Goat Adventures), her husband Chris, SORBA Woodstock, and the Bike Patrol executed a perfect race. Inexpensive fees, combined with lots of shwag (pre and post-race), and quick reporting of results made for an awesome race.
|My podium shirt.|
Zeke also rocked it! 3rd place in the SS field. He spanked some guys half his age!