Repeat after me, “Speed is your friend. Speed is your friend.”
7 out of 11 in my category. 2 laps, 6 miles/lap = 12 miles with a time of 1:14 minutes. The winner of the sport class, our friend Ryan, won his class with 3 laps in 1:05. Ouch! That dude is a machine.
This was my first race ever and like any newb, I was in for a surprise. Thankfully, I had my mtnbikeriders.com buddies to address my myriad of questions. How does the start work? How many hills? How long is the course? How do I pass someone on the singletrack? Is there anything I should know about the route? Iâ€™m sure they were all sick of me by the time the race was on. Thanks all for being patient.
If you had told me that Iâ€™d come in 7 out of 11 in my class before the race, I would have been happy with my result. After all this was my first time and the race was just a chance to have some fun. As long as my family had a good time hanging around for the race/ awards ceremony and I didnâ€™t come in last or DNF then I was cool with my time and where Iâ€™d place. Of course, thatâ€™s not how I felt after the race.
No full suspension here. Just a rigid Redline 29er
Have you ever gotten done with something and thought to yourself: â€śI could have done soooo much better?â€? Well, thatâ€™s kind of how I felt. And I guess thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m going to use to motivate me to do better next time.
I really have no defining moments of the race for me, but I did have some quick thoughts on it. So here we go.
– The start of the race was anticlimactic for me. I expected a rush of adrenaline or something like that, but nothing. I just clipped in and started riding. I knew I didnâ€™t have the stamina to go all out at the beginning and ride at that pace throughout the race, so I held back on the start. And anyways, it is always nicer to catch and pass people than to feel like you’re being chased the whole race… at least that’s what I convinced myself of!
Outta the way, CLYDESDALE is coming through!
– I never knew there were so many different ways to climb 2 hills. Unbelievable! Climb up on the east side, descend down the west side. Climb the south side and descend the north side. All of this on the same hill. After finishing the race, I had a new appreciation for trail design.
– 29ers make great XC race bikes. I found myself passing a lot of people on the flat sections because I could keep my momentum better then they could. I also cleared some climbs when other riders walked due to a 29ers different contact patch. (You didn’t think you could get through a post of mine without hearing about some 29er advantages now could you?)
Uh-oh! Rider down
– Speed is your friend. The last section of the race is a nice downhill section. It isnâ€™t too gnarly, but enough that it can throw a scare into you. As I rode down it, I sort of let go of the brakes for a good portion because I thought I could control it. I did end up controlling the descent fine and I think it mainly has to do with speed. The more speed you have the easier it is to get through the more difficult sections of that downhill.
Our pop up tent was set up right below descent and we could see people coming down that hill. Those that were going slow were having a much more difficult time with the descent than those going fast. In fact the only guy I saw fall on that descent was going way too slowly. Speed is your friend.
I too want to thank Khoa for all the great shots. Thanks for coming out, hanging with us and taking the great shots. Thanks also for helping lug some of our gear around. Iâ€™m really glad that you came out to support us and the photos turned out great.
Also, thanks to the rest of the mtnbikeriders crew. My family had a great time hanging out with you all.
More pictures here.