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  1. #1
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Race Report - Big Bear, WV

    Sunday was the second race of the WVMBA series. This race was at Big Bear Lake near Morgantown, WV. It is the same location as the 24 Hours of Big Bear.

    Last year when I went to this race there was about 4 inches of snow on the ground, not the case this year. It was around 50 degrees when we arrived at the race around 10:30 or so. By the time the race started it was around 60 degrees or so, perfect!

    The race started at noon with the experts taking off a minute or so before my group, the Sport class riders. This included the high school class, sports of all ages both men and women. It was a pretty decent sized group.

    The race started off with a 1.3 mile road ride then going immediately into tight, rocky, rooty singletrack. I was about the 7th or 8th to hit the singletrack. I was pretty happy with this. As soon as we started people started having troubles which slowed the group up quite a bit. It was pretty heavy traffic for about the first 30 minutes, couldn't really do much of anything. I was able to get around a rider here and there. I was also passed a time or two so it became a bit confusing on what position I was in.

    Most of the people were pretty willing to let me around them, all except for one woman, not sure who she was. I spent ten minutes trying to get around her. I would yell going on your left, she would stand up, speed up and cut me off, same when I tried going around to the right. I just don't understand what she was doing. I finally did get around her and never saw her again.

    Around the 45 - 50 minute mark I passed another sport rider then shortly afterwards I passed another expert woman. I did my best to put some time between her and myself since I was hoping the sport rider wouldn't get around her immediately (even though she did let me by with no problems). I had a nice gap when I came up on a recently downed tree. I jumped off the bike, over the tree and slammed my bike down and jumped on. That's when I started spinning like a hamster. I looked down and saw my chain was off. I took a few seconds to fix it. The expert woman was right on my rear wheel after this, very poilitely asking if I was alright, I said yeah and we continued on.

    We came up on a pretty nasty little downhill. This is when I remembered that I am not the fastest technical downhill rider. I was doing alright though until I picked a bad line and ended up in a swamp with a bunch of rocks. At this point the female expert went right around me. I was passed by a beautiful woman that can ride, there are worse things that can happen I guess. A minute later we started the climb again and she let me right back around and told me to have fun and wished me luck.

    Now I pass another rider that I thought was a vet expert. We then get to the split, experts go right, sport left. The guy followed me. I yelled back at him to find out his class, we were both in sport 18 - 34. Looks like it was going to be a race the next three miles. I was able to put a nice gap between me and him when my rear wheel decided to lock up on me. I had what appeared to be a small tree lodged between my wheel and my rear triangle. I was able to jerk it out but not before I was passed. I followed what I thought was the first place rider for a minute or two when he let me around. That really suprised me, I thought he would make me fight for the position. It's nice to see good sports out there.

    Anyway, about 1.5 miles to go and I just gave it everything I had. I opened up a nice gap on him and kept going. I came up on this one spot a little too fast, I think you are supposed to roll into it but I didn't have time. It appeared to be about a six foot drop down to a bunch of logs across a ditch, I'm sure it was more like a two foot drop though, it just seemed bigger. Anyway I hit it and thought for sure I was going to blow both tires when I landed. I was happily suprised that everything held up.

    I just kept pedaling my butt off thinking I was in the lead, went across the finish and felt like I was going to die. That was when I looked over at the results and saw that there had already been one sport racer to cross the line, I ended up second. I found out later that he was the first in the woods and was able to avoid the cluster at the beginning of the race, a pretty big advantage and an overall good move which I am sure contributed to him beating me by a full three minutes.

    I feel that I rode as well as I have ridden, I felt like I climbed great and I was flying through the single track. I just need to work on my downhill skills some and my confidence. This is nothing new since this has always been a weakness of mine. I ride technical pretty well, just slow.

    Anyway, I ended up with second place out of 30 or so racers in my class. My first podium finish in the Sport Class. I can live with that. Much better than last week.

    Here is my heart rate data from the race.

    14.5 miles
    1:19 (time)
    2nd place
    Aproximately 1,500 feet of climbing (not bad for 14.5 miles)

    avg hr 162 (my highest to date)
    zone 1: 1:05
    zone 2: 2:25
    zone 3: 7:40
    zone 4: 32:30
    zone 5: 35:49
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Good work and nice report! Nice work on the drop, once you know your going over you have to commit, like you did, lots of riders would brake hard and eat dirt there!

  3. #3
    Too Much Crazy
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    which bike did you ride?

    Did you (and everyone else) hammer like hell on the paved section to get to the singletrack first?

  4. #4
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Thanks KrisA.

    unsuspended - I rode my Truth for this race. My Enlightenment is out of commision at the moment.

    Pretty much everyone hammered on the take off, it was 1.3 miles with a couple of climbs. Most people knew it would be important to have good position going into the singletrack, I just thought that being in the first few would be good enough. I should have went a little harder I guess, I just didn't want to hurt myself that early. At that point my heart rate was already going around 167 - 172 (my threshold is 167).
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  5. #5
    Newbie erhan's Avatar
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    good result. a bit unlucky but still good

    The incident with the woman reminds me the race here a week ago. Juniors started with women, and a lot of the young guys were complaining about some women not letting anybody pass.
    Giant Anthem
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  6. #6
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    Way to go, LowCel!! See you at "the Rock" next week!

  7. #7
    "I'm OK!" dminor's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reports, Lowcel! As with your road reports, you really give a feel for what the race was like. Sorry to read about your pedal deal in the previous race. I've dropped a chain (and at a National too ), so I feel your frustration.

    On the passing, I guess I'd say you did your best to do it politely and right - - twice no less - - so the next time you would not have been out of line in my book to use the stealth approach with a little of the ol' motocross block-pass. Might not be pretty, but the gal had her chances to allow you by the right way.

    Sounds like your XC season's off to a good start, especially from a conditioning standpoint. Keep up the good work! Now it's just the details and you'll be smokin' 'em all.

  8. #8
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    I'm thinkin, LowCel, after spending 5 hours returning home yesterady with two guys who can really TALK (and you know who I mean!). Some people are just weird about not letting people pass, and some don't know thier left from thier right while racing, The little guy's solution is to yell "passing!" and wait to see which way they move, and then pass accordingly. However, yesterday, the older one ran into a situation with a deaf guy - probably NOT the lady's excuse. Little One says not allowing people to pass is pretty normal in AMBC & NORBA, rare in WVMBA, because we are so polite!!

  9. #9
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    erhan - Thank ya, I don't know if I could have caught the winner or not had I not been caught up a few times, it would have been nice to have a shot though. I'm still pretty happy with second.

    dminor - No problem on the reports, writing them gives me a chance to reflect on the races. It lets me think about what all I did right and what I did wrong. This race I feel like I did more right than wrong. As for the pedal I figured out what caused it. Come to find out it wasn't my fault. The metal inserts in my carbon crank that hold the pedal are loose on both arms. It is still allowing my pedals to wiggle around. I called FSA today and they told me to send them back and they will take care of them. Nice to have good customer service. I ordered an extra crankset today to have in the future just in case.

    Oh, for the passing the woman I tried much more than twice, I would guess she blocked me at least five or six times.

    apclassic9 - How did they do yesterday? Not sure if you know it or not but Will had a really bad crash in a road race yesterday in Ohio. He was sprinting for the lead when a guy leaned into him really hard and ended up taking both of them down. He has quite a bit of road rash and a busted up helmet.

    As for the lady I really don't think she was deaf. It would have been a pretty big coincidence that she sped up everytime I attempted to pass.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  10. #10
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    on whoever that lady is - poor form, as a Brit might say..

    Thanks for the info on Will - I'll get in touch with him & see how he's doing. He's my favorite puppy!

    JT came in 6th in the SS out of a field of 35 - he was not happy with his place, but even more unhappy with the course - no single track, and lots of moving rocks.

    Cai got 1st in the 13-14 class - beat his competition by about 15 minutes, beat the 17-18 yr olds by 20, but the 15-16 yr olds beat him by 1 and 1.5 minutes.

    Something like 340 racers.... working on getting them in touch with WVMBA for next year so there is no opposing race - imagine 500 at Big Bear?

  11. #11
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Sounds like everyone did pretty well. Will told me that JT is riding really well this year.

    I couldn't imagine 500 racers doing the WVMBA Big Bear race, 24 hours yes but not the regular race. I'll be near the back of the field next year so I guess it won't really matter how many there are. I'm hoping to be racing (surviving) expert by this time next year.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  12. #12
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Pics were just posted from the race. Here is one of me, obviously I wasn't too worried about smiling at this point.

    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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