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I believe it has been 4 years since I raced Mt Sac. I still remember that race, RL, Michael Kellogg and myself got our asses handed to us by the course. Being recreational Mountain Bikers, we didn’t know what we were getting into. This year, I decided to give racing another try. Last month’s race at Bonelli Park was a disaster for me, I had mechanical issues and the course simply just kicked my ass.
I was very disappointed on my performance so I decided to make a few changes. First, I had to replace the cassette and the chain on my bike. Since I upgraded the cranks to a sweet XT set, RL suggested for me to change the rest of the drive train. Lo and behold, our team manager/wrench knows what he is talking about. All my shifting woes were gone and my bike was ready to race. I also tried to ride as hard as I could every time we hit the trails, riding with the MtnBikeRiders crew on ‘non-relax vibe’ rides was challenging every single time.
I was a little concerned about the weather, as I left to go to the race it was raining hard at my house. Once I got to the race venue, everything changed and it was nice and dry. As I prepared myself mentally to race, I had two goals in mind: To finish and beat my previous time. Well, I finished alright, however, at this point, I don’t know if I beat my time since the times were not posted at the race. As I stated before, I’m not podium material, but I felt that this is a way of supporting the sport I love and really put to the test all those nice bike parts that I’ve spent more than a few bucks that my wife doesn’t want to know.
My first lap was sort of a ‘recognizance’ lap, I didn’t pre-ride the course and I know that it changed since I last rode it. I’m happy to report that I didn’t walk the bike, except in 2 sections of the course that were rather brutal. The second lap was a different story, I was pushing a little harder and right on the middle of the first hard climb I totally bonked. I quickly ingested a Gu, got some water, almost puked and walked the bike to the top. On my way down, a cool breeze re-energized me (or was it the Gu?) and I started to get on a groove again. As I went under the tunnel for the 4th time, I knew that the end was close, but also that nasty final climb.
As I arrived at the finish line, all the team was there to give me kudos for finishing. All I can say is that I’m really lucky to have such great friends and awesome riding buddies. Congratulations to Priscilla and Kim for your awesome performances and podiums, congrats to ‘The Animal’ on his 5th place on the Singlespeed category, Joe, Ner and Val, you guys did an awesome job.
So is ‘The Moe’ ready to race again? We’ll see you in Fontucky!