Since I posted the high of winning last week, here is today’s race report. The Southern Classic Mountain Bike Series presented the USAC North Carolina State Championships on the fast course in Mayodan, NC. I decided I wanted to race it hard and from the gun, went for it… my friend Micheal got the hole shot to the woods, followed by 2 fast guys I had never seen before and Chris, then me. The 2 unknown fast guys pulled away from us and Chris and I started chasing…. I got around Chris for 3rd as we finished the first lap but let him back around as we entered the woods again. As I settled in behind Chris we were half way through the lap when my sweaty hand fly off the handle bars going over “whoops” and I slammed into the ground shoulder first, losing another spot…. then Michael and I started closing in on 3rd and 4th when I washed out on a corner, twisting my knee and my leg got tangled in the main triangle of the bike frame. (That hurt) I was now in 6th and I started trying to chase again when I went down for the 3rd time…. I was done…. so a bad day of racing, but a great day with friends!
The Southern Classic Mountain Series returned to Anglers Ridge in Danville.
My race race started well, I could have taken the hole shot, put decided to not “pop” on the climb up the ridge to start, so I settled in third as we entered the woods. Second place was letting a gap form to first, so I was “jawing” that he needed to close the gap… instead he pulled over and let me go. I quickly closed but to first and looking back, we had a gap and so I just followed until he hit a tree and went down. Now I was in first…. it is very weird racing from the front, the mental game, pushing yourself, and not popping or crashing.
As the second lap went on, second and third closed in and I could build a gap back, and back and forth we went, I tried hard to build a gap where they couldn’t see me – a out of sight, out of mind game. I caught the leader of the 19-39 field (they started 2 minutes before us) and passed him….. he said – “damn, being beat by an old man,” and he took my wheel, I didn’t want him to crash me, so I let back around as we entered the last creek crossing/climb when I clipped a tree and went down…. no damage, but I couldn’t get un-clipped and struggled to get off the ground. Luckily my gap was big enough I held on for the win. Only my second win in the series….
My custom made trophy by Josh Miller, the race director!
I had a good start, entering the woods (really a long fire road) in third, and we opened a gap. But I was killing myself to stay with them and let them go and settled into 5th as the single track started. I rode the first lap (just over an hour) in 5th with a guy right on my wheel. Passed an Armadillo (have not seen one in the wild in a while) and started lap #2 (not that I wanted to) made that guy go around me and rode another hour plus, catching some back markers from other fields, but not catching anyone I needed to and not being caught. It was a long race – I suffered, last year I finished 2nd in this race, this year, really lucky to hold onto 6th. I hate being a Cat 2 racer…. 20 plus mile races and I am not fast enough to do them in less than 2 hours.
But I love the trails at Poinsett State Park, fun and flow-ly. More climbing than you expect and the park is beautiful!
The last race of the Southern Classic Mountain Bike Series at Dark Mountain in Wilkesboro. I still have not recovered from my lack training and didn’t expect much. The race started with this up and over drainage ditch and I knew in my race I wanted to be close to the front to avoid anyone crashing (like this guy did) My start was great and I was second over the pipe and onto the first big climb. I dropped to 4th on the climb and bombed down the other side till the next climb. I gave up two more spots on this climb and stayed in 6th the rest of the race. Luckily that was enough to stay in second for the series and second in the North Carolina State Championships. It was a fun summer of racing, riding a bunch of new trails and meeting some great new friends.
The next to last race of the 2012 Southern Classic Mountain Bike Series. I knew going in that 4 rides in a month was not a receipt for success and I was right. (Summer semester kicks my ass) I also learned my worn out Conti Race King rear tire doesn’t like muddy climbs. In the end, my 7th place finish should wrap up third for the series.
Lots of choices to post today, the first small format class and lab, Erin making a silly face while I demonstrated a flash, my boss making a face, but I choose this picture since this was the subject of chatter all day for my racing friends. There are 4 of us racing for the Cat 3 Southern Classic Mountain Bike Series championship, all of us got this e-mail. We have petitioned the series to allow us to finish the series as Cat 3, just waiting for the answer. Fun fact, in the race two weeks ago, I finished second, my lap time, if doubled for the Cat 2 race (assuming I could do another lap just as fast…. read unlikely) would have had me finishing DFL.
The rabbit. Spitz captured this baby rabbit last night. Mountain biking, today was the River Classic in Charlotte as part of the Southern Classic Mountain Bike Series. I had a great start and ran 2nd for most of the first half, I lost a little ground while passing back markers from earlier waves and even fell to 4th… I caught 2nd and 3rd late and set them up for a sprint. I ran out of room, finishing third, second and I were wheel to wheel, I was just a 1 foot behind him. I learned I don’t know how to throw my bike like Tour de France sprints… but I was on the rivet… 5 more yards and I think I had him. As they say in NASCAR, it was a good points days for me in the series. Congrats to Chip Harris on his first series victory!