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Old 06-24-07, 09:02 PM   #1
BluesDawg
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5 down , 1 to go

I set out to try MTB racing this year by competing (ha!) in the GSC series for my LBS sponsored team, Oconee Outfitters. The carrot that goes with this stick is that after racing in 6 of the 8 series races, I can buy a new bike at a large discount. Today I completed my 5th race. I will be out of town when the next race runs, so my final race will be the season finale in Macon on August 5th.

Today's race was at Flat Rock Park outside Columbus Georgia. I left home at 5:45 and drove 2-1/2 hours to the race. My race started at 9:30. By the time I got registered and did about a half hour of warm up, it was well into the 80s with high humidity. I was well on my way to being sweat-soaked before the race even started. I met the guy I've been finishing just ahead of in every race. One of very few older than me in the 40+ beginners class. He is 61 and a heck of a nice guy..
After a group start with a tight turn around a tree and a hundred yard sprint across a flat lawn, we went into the woods for a 2 mile run through very tight trails with no chance to pass. I was about mid pack going into the woods and got stuck behind several slow riders. There were several bottlenecks before we finally came out into more open ground where there was room to pass. The worst part is that the tight twisty sections like that are my strength. I need to make time in those sections. Slow and go riding in all that traffic is more tiring than going faster in a smooth flow. Although the course was mostly flat, I still lose time to other racers on even small climbs like we had today. When we went back into the woods again I had a clearer trail and was able to get into a rhythm through the tight turns, short drops and rises. Then came the one technical section of the course, a fairly steep downhill and then uphill with switchback turns through big rocks. People were falling all over the place. I lost momentum going in and had to run the bike to get through quickly. By then, the heat and humidity started getting to me and I had to take it easy for the next couple of miles to recover. By the time I was able to run hard again, I had lost a lot of ground. Then my back started hurting and I had to stop and stretch a couple of times so I could go on. I finished strong, but once again I was in the last quarter of the riders in my class. I was 18th of 23. My new friend finally beat me, by 3 minutes despite going over the handlebars in the rocky section. Not bad for a guy 10 years older than me.

I'm really looking forward to using my team bike purchase when I can scrounge up the bucks, I'm earning it. I've already decided that my first year of racing will also be my last. I have enjoyed being in the races, but it is just not really my thing. It hurts my back and it is taking a big toll on my road mileage. I have missed a few of my favorite road rides because I either had a race that day or had to rest for one the next day. I have not done a century ride all year.








Last edited by BluesDawg; 06-25-07 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 06-24-07, 09:27 PM   #2
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Would you have finished higher in the standings had you not stopped to take so many wonderful pictures?

Seriously, what a cool ride report. My hat's off to you!
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Old 06-24-07, 09:42 PM   #3
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Ditto what DG sez.

I hate getting bloody, so MTB is not on my list of things to do.

Props to you for hanging in. Goes to show how much we 50+ love the discount, that you're willing to subject yourself to these kinds of torture for the big bargain. I hope it's worth it.

Still, if you're having fun, who cares how cut-up you get?

Love the pics; thanks for posting.
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Old 06-24-07, 09:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Red Rider
Goes to show how much we 50+ love the discount, that you're willing to subject yourself to these kinds of torture for the big bargain. I hope it's worth it.
The discount is a nice bonus and helps to keep me focused, but there's no way I would do this just to save some money. If I weren't having fun, I wouldn't be doing it.
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Old 06-24-07, 10:23 PM   #5
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Gosh, that looks like fun! Great photos... they make me wish I started this at 20.....
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Old 06-24-07, 10:30 PM   #6
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It doesn't look like fun to me!

But I'm glad BD is enjoying it.
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Old 06-24-07, 10:33 PM   #7
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Some other comments and even some video from the races today. I'm in there somewhere.
http://www.sorba.org/modules.php?nam...wtopic&t=14511
http://www.mydeo.com/videorequest.as...799&CID=108030
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Old 06-25-07, 06:50 AM   #8
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Hey, that looks like a motocross track, thanks for the pictures.
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Old 06-25-07, 08:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Yen
Gosh, that looks like fun! Great photos... they make me wish I started this at 20.....
It's never too late, Yen I bought my first mountain bike this year.
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Old 06-25-07, 08:29 AM   #10
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Thanks for the pictures. I doubt I'll ever do any racing but the trails look like fun.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:11 AM   #11
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Thanks for the pictures. I doubt I'll ever do any racing but the trails look like fun.
One thing I'm taking from this season of racing is an appreciation of some of the really fun places to ride. I want to come back and ride some of these trails without the pressure of a race. Some of them are an absolute blast.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:28 AM   #12
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Looks brutal. Looks fun!

You ride in your Crocs? Doesn't all the flex bother you? Seems like a real power killer.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:39 AM   #13
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You ride in your Crocs? Doesn't all the flex bother you? Seems like a real power killer.
No. I wondered if anyone would ask that. The picture was taken after I was back at my car and had taken off my stiff-soled MTB shoes. I didn't notice the scratches until I was changing shoes and notced the blood. I don't remember it happening, but obviously in a minor fall the chainring found the back of my leg. It's really not as bad as it looks, but it did sting in the shower.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:39 PM   #14
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You have my admiration for doing that stuff. Hot, dusty, risky...but challenging and rewarding in its own way.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:02 PM   #15
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You have my admiration for doing that stuff. Hot, dusty, risky...but challenging and rewarding in its own way.
Thanks. The idea that anything I can do on a bicycle would impress you, jppe, is kind of hard for me to imagine. Your exploits in the mountains make my jaw drop.

BTW, a quick salute to my teammate Jason, #583 in the green jersey in a few of the pictures above. He won the single speed class 5-1/2 minutes ahead of the second rider. He's a freaking animal!
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