Okay, the opening race of the series I’m doing was last weekend, Sunday. It was a time trial format at Yankee Springs in Western MI and was run really well. The format was a rider leaves every 15 seconds and divided by categories (mens/womans in Elite, Expert, Sport, and Beginner) but not by classifications (age groups). This meant the person in front or behind you could be in a different competitive group than you and you didn’t/wouldn’t know.
With such a diverse group around you, it was common to be passed and to pass. There were only a couple of times where I noticed a rider holding up 2-4 others and it was usually cleared by the time I got there.
It’s interesting when you are racing a trail you’ve never ridden before. The rumors and “helpful hints” fly. There was much discussion about a certain hill that had a rubber mat running up it. It was supposed to be the hardest hill out there and around mile 8. Since I didn’t have my computer, I’d have to guess at the mileage and when it was coming up.
Well, that hint didn’t actually help. It seems that more than a couple of the hills had this rubber matting. I thought I had hit it and thought “boy, that wasn’t bad”. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the hill so real one took me completely by surprise and had to walk it.
The only scary part of the race was a wicked pedal strike I had. It was a beautiful little section where there was a fast down hill leading to an on-camber up hill turn to the right. It really flowed well and was a lot of fun until I hit the bottom of the hill. The suspension compressed, my pedal hit a rock which threw the back of my bike to the right and took me a while to straighten it out while lost all sorts of momentum. Fortunately, it was early in the race so I was fresh and could control it. Unfortunately, there was a rider behind me and I felt like a schmuck for breaking his momentum too. Oh well, it happens I suppose.
Well, for the first race of the season, and considering I only had about two real weeks of training in, I didn’t do too bad. I came in fifth in my class. Now I need to get some real training in and prepare for the next race. Maybe I can come in fourth!!