Thursday, June 28, 2007

Columbus GSC Race

off the line i was fourth into the woods. i held this spot, staying in the big ring, through the entire wooded section and out into the short track area. i passed a guy, third now. then someone passed me. fourth again. about halfway through this lap i realized i only had half a water bottle left from my warm up. i never switched bottles!!! continuing around the lake and on new trail i thought to myself, this place looks great. i'm sorry i wasn't able to help with the new trail. i crossed the rock section boldly, as the guy behind me sort of rattled his way across it. into the woods and back to the final straightaway i dropped down to about 7th or 8th place. as i came charging through the feed zone with a guy on my wheel i reached for a cold new full water bottle and only managed to slap it out of darcy's hand. the water bottle flies to the ground, screeching halt, trackstand, she picks it up and hands it to me. two riders pass by. i sort of do my own thing and recover a bit throught the early tight twisty trail. my second trip through the uphill rock garden was better than my first, i dismounted (think cyclocross) and ran all the way to the open trail again and hopped back up to my pedals. i passed one rider here. i began hydrating every second i could and found myself on the wheel of a pro woman rider. i did my best to stay on her wheel through the end of the lap. this kept me moving faster. i pretty much followed her and traded places a couple times with the pro woman through the rest of the lap.

climbing through "my trail" as barry called it was a very humbling experience. when i reached the final straightaway all i could do was pass a 30-39 rider. no 19-29 sport guys were in the way, or i would have surely passed them. big ringing it along the way i felt the great satisfaction of racing on a great trail in my hometown. i'd been cheered on by roadies and mountain bikers, old friends of mine, and been cheered with "go columbus!!" i crossed the line in 7th. about 6 spots lower than i'd been hoping for. but i had water bottle tragedies and general inexperience riding in the 106 degree heat (i'm used to upper 70's lower 80's... come ride in boone!!!) as a weak excuse. i'm happy, though, with my finish, and very happy about the day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

fontana dam jam

for the first time since i've been to fontana village, this past weekend it was dry as a bone. and that meant fast, fast, fast singletrack. as usual, they started us straight up the road with heat beating off the pavement reminiscent of the hill on wildcat rd. left turn onto singletrack, i'm probably #14 into the woods. great... only 4 people behind me. pass a couple guys on a technical uphill turn. 12th place. after the mostly downhill, somewhat technical, too narrow to pass singletrack we spill out onto a very steep fast loose gravel downhill. a guy i'm familiar with, joseph irwin from ocala, florida, comes screaming by on the far left. he loses traction as we try to turn right onto some uphill singletrack, overcorrects, tires bite, he flies off the left side of the trail, over corrects again and slides along on his left side to a standstill, i yell rider down and ask if he's okay as i'm passing. he's fine, just out of the race with a broken derailleur. well, i passed one more guy... 11th place. i'm not exactly happy to have passed him via a crash, but he shouldn't have been going so fast.

blah blah blah, we spill out onto the loop trail uphill and i'm big ringing it along and turn left onto the nasty singletrack downhill. a floridian guy rides behind me and announces "we don't have this stuff in florida!! i am thinking "wow, blatant announcement of the obvious?!?" after a couple steep climbs we dump out on some pavement and he passes me as i'm drinking water. i wanted to yell to him, we don't have 90 degree heat in boone, as my excuse for getting passed but well, i don't think i felt like talking then. back into 12th. little ring climb up and shift to the big ring following the figure 8 trail intersection and middle ring climb it back up to the downhill trail. i am confident to say i didn't lose any time to anyone on this portion, as i only began braking as i neared another rider.

exit onto the main road and drink an enervitene and finish off a bottle. my fiance and her family cheer me on and feed me, then its a turn onto the softball field and a very insane cyclocross steep run-up style thing. i rode it no problem. one lap down. one to go. i'll spare the description of this lap only to say i climbed the big paved road at my pace, middle ring the whole way and rode most of the singletrack on my own. i passed a 19-29 sport rider at the point the florida guy passed me on the first lap. back into 11th. the rider i passed was looking around asking everyone for water. genius, it's 90 degrees bring your own water!!!

i don't think i was passed by anyone on the second half of the lap except for ryan woodall and another pro rider hot on his wheels. after the downhill, passing a female rider i hammered up the main road to the softball hill climb. mostly out of the saddle telling my right leg it would not be successful in cramping, which it was trying to do every second i was out of the saddle. i finished in 11th. i'm happy with my finish since its a climber's course (racking up 2400 feet of climbing on my two laps), and at 174 lbs even though i live in the mountains, i'm nowhere near what you'd call a climber. my finish kept my in 8th place on the SERC points standings and moved me into 1st place for north carolina sport category with so i feel good about that.

i am looking forward to the relatively flat race at flat rock park coming up. see you all there.

darcy and i are planning our wedding. we are pretty much set on 6.29.08. we are planning to have it at crestwood inn.

its in blowing rock. we're both very excited. welp, thats all for now. jg