I love mountain bike racing. Even when days go like today. It is so much fun. My day started out with a 5am wake up call to take the new puppy out to pee and get his early morning energy burn. Fast forward about an hour and a few cups of coffee, I was finally shrugging off my early morning grog. I knew Ron was coming in about an hour to pick me up and about the time I realized my time table, my stomach rumbled in a bad way. The super burrito last night may have been a bad choice. When your pre race breakfast consists of half a bottle of Imodium, it can be taken as a bad start to the day, but not today it was race day. It always makes the day a little better. Ron arrived on time and off we went to race at TBF.
It was going to be fast, real fast. There hasn’t been any rain in months and the course was going to be dry, loose and smooth. I hoped that my tire combo that consisted of a glorified slick rear and a fast roller up front might suffice, but I was wrong. It was terrifying at speed in just about any corner. I didn’t really care, it was the first race of the year and I was just happy to be here, racing and having fun. After my warm up, I looked around and saw all the usual suspects and took my place at the line. I had a pretty decent start, moved up a few spots and settled in the group behind the Ron Shev group that is too fast for me. My race was going great, right up until the spot where it turned. The first set of corners was not very fun and I immediately started getting passed. I just couldn’t hold the speed I needed to maintain my position. I don’t posses those skills. I knew then it may be a longer day than planned. I was still ahead of the guys that finished ahead of me in my class, but I just couldn’t corner. The race itself went pretty uneventfully. I was passed by the winner in my class by Beeks Bight, second got me by Dotons and on the second lap 3rd place passed me just after the climb to the bench on the way to Beeks. I held on to each position for as long as I could but every corner was tough as I’d loose time and then sprint in the straighter spots. In January this is not a sustainable thing to do, it was tough. I ended up 4th in the Expert 30-39 class, just a few minutes slower than I thought I would. So at least there was that to make me feel a little better.
All in all it was a fun time, Racing is fun even when it isn’t. You have to take the good with the bad. Days like today can help you later in the year when you hit a rough patch, or have an issue in the middle of the race. I’ll chalk it up as a learning moment and get ready for the next one.