A great day of biking, over 3 hours of single track, most of it all to myself. I started somewhat early and did Owls Roost, Wild Turkey and Reedy Fork for 1.5 hour out, then turned around to negative split the ride backwards. My avg speed was higher than normal and I felt smooth. I added on a bit at the end before lunch!
A day trip to Charlotte, I bought a used bike GPS then had good a Mexican lunch before hitting the trails at Col. Francis Beatty Park. They added some fun obstacles since 7 years ago (last time I rode there)
When I got home I did my domestic chores so I can play again on Saturday, after mowing, weed whacking and chain sawing, Sam and me sat by a fire…. turns out I like Amaretto straight…..
I had planned an easy ride before my USTA tennis match and my co-worker Dhanraj wanted me to take him mountain biking, I had one goal, not to hurt him!
Tennis sucked, my partner never got in a grove, and I was hitting really well, but couldn’t carry us tonight!
I had forgot that the Racing In The Woods Wednesday night series started tonight, till I saw it on Facebook. I really like the race director, and it’s a fun series, so despite having lifted in the morning and walking at lunch, I decided to go race mountain bikes in the evening.
My race started with finding out I forgot to throw a helmet back in the truck after cleaning up from Sunday’s race, and my spare helmet was taken out to make room for camping gear, so I scrambled around to find one to use…. remember the race director? I used his!
I raced Cat 3 40+ and we had a good size field, I had a good start and was second as we climbed before the single track, I had to change my line because of walkers in the road and fell to 4th as we made the turn. 1 through 4 (me) were wheel to wheel for while, and I even moved up to third. As we neared the end of the first lap, I could feel my dead legs and was cramping in my calfs, so I let 3 and 4 by (maybe 5?) I think I held on there, we passed people, a couple came around us… who knows…. I was in the top half of the field, and maybe next week I will skip weights/walking and hydrate better. It is at Hobby Park, one of my least favorite courses, even though I have good finishes there and on Thursday. All in all
4th or 5th 6th is a good result with over an hour of exercise on my legs before the start. It is fun to be back, toeing the line again! *** Results posted, I did let 3,4, and 5 by, finished 6th. 2 minutes behind 5th and 3 mins behind the winner, tight 1-5 race! ***
As promised, race day was rain! My race was 11:30, so the course was soft and we had a lot of rain during the race. I really thought I would be muddier!
Race Report: I could have raced Cat 3 50+ or Cat 2/3 Clydesdale, since I am losing weight and this will hopefully be my last Clydesdale race, plus normally the 50+ is tiny old men who are fast I chose Clydesdale…. wrong choice, more later.
I started in the field of 7 and settled in 4th as we started the fire road climb, I quickly realized I wanted to go faster and pulled into the lead. At the top of the climb, I let one rider by and we settled in, creating a huge gap. For the next hour, we stayed in sight of each other but on every climb I could see 3rd catching me, but I would gap him on flats and descents. I had pre-riden the course and knew what was coming, a long climb at the finish, despite having lost all braking from pad wear in the mud, I continued to push descents trying to build a bigger gap, then I saw first again and made several big efforts to get on his wheel…. suddenly a new guy (formerly 4th, caught me and passed me) then 3rd caught and passed me, I was now in 4th…. with no one else coming, I sat up, I had nothing left in my legs. It was an epic race, the mud, rain and just being Tsali….
The 50+ race, I caught and passed the whole field on the fire road climb at the start… I would have won that race : )
I slept in this morning and decided to ride Tsali’s Left Loop the recommended direction, then turn around and ride it race direction as a negative split. I then rode Right Loop as a cool down, before taking the fire road back.
Fontana Lake is low….
After riding, cleaning up and packing up I did some exploring. First was the tunnel on the Road to Nowhere…. I was disappointed, first it is a short hike, the tunnel isn’t long enough to need a light, but it is still a cool story. I wanted to hike further down to a waterfall, but I misread the description, not a 5 mile round trip, but 5 miles each way…. opps!
Tom Branch Falls in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.
Juney Whank Falls
After a quick bite in Bryson City I drove around a bit looking for primitive camping, but gave up and started home. A great weekend!
Windy Gap Overlook off the Tsali Right Loop! I had planned to pre-ride Tsali before next week’s SERC/Southern Classic race. Bonus: Sam’s prom plans included friends coming over after prom….
I had forgotten how much fun the trails at the US National Whitewater Center are… or maybe I never knew since I have only ridden there twice, once a pre-ride the week before and the next week for a Southern Classic MTB series race. The trails have everything; climbs, slalom runs, and flow-y single track. After I left the center, I was able to ride alone for 2 hours, I don’t think I doubled a trail, and didn’t see a soul! I stopped back at the truck for quick break and then another hour. How is this break down. 1st hour I listened to AC/DC, second hour Oingo Boingo and third hour, The Fools (a Boston based bar band)
The series isn’t racing there this year, but I will go back! Worth the ride!
Do you ever feel tied up? A day in the woods helps!
After a couple of days of mountain biking, the back of the truck is trashed, filled with wet stuff and ready to be repacked for next weekend. I have a goal race to prep for and excited to race again!