Andy Fleming and I headed to Fairport tonight to race the first of three RV&E mtn bike races. On the way there we decided we would “race into shape” despite being sure we would get out asses kicked. After sizing up the competition we were sure of it. We registered, bought our annual cycling license and took off on a warm-up lap. Wow, I am pushing my bike up as many hills as I can ride… wonder if I can get my money back and find an ice cream stand?
Well we made it back to the starting line and have a bit of time to kill, lets change our tire pressure a few times and put on/fix a longer stem on my bike (what better time)
Time to line up.
Experts are off, then Sport, then us. I decided to go easy and try to finish… but on the first hill Andy is in front and I have passed everyone to suck up on his wheel. I know a big descent (over 30 mph) is coming up so I pass Andy (gravity is my friend) and I am leading the race… at the bottom of the hill there is a U turn and up a hill… as I start to pedal, I have nothing, my chain has fallen off on the bumpy downhill, crap, off the bike as 4 or 5 riders pass by. Back on the bike and start passing a couple of riders, including sport riders who started 3 minutes on front of me. Now I am alone in the woods, feeling like Jan Ulrich in the spring… remember the race into shape idea? After I while, I am between sucking in air like a fish on the bank, pushing my bike up a hill (I did feel better as the expert riders lapping me also pushed up these hills) and screaming downhill and loving disk brakes!
OK, I am not seeing anyone in front of me till the end of the second lap, where there is a by-pass for a huge downhill, jump, U-turn, I of coarse did the fear inducing downhill, at the top of the climb, I am passed by a rider from the by-pass, wait he was way behind me, and he’s in my class… by-passes should take longer!
Third lap, I am, lets just say, not my strongest. The by-passer does it again at the end of the lap, but I have gapped him and am not letting him gain on me. I finish the lap, didn’t crash, and survive to finish third overall in my class and win my age group (the by-pass was second in my age group)
Remember my friend Andy, he did OK too, finished just a couple of spots in front of me (it’s about me) in the class ; )