So, I found out about this race to be held on Saturday just the evening before. I had already spent an hour scarfind down pub cheese and crackers, along with a beer or two, have barely ridden in three weeks, and never ridden this trail, but figured I've give it a go. Showed up, paid my money for race and my NORBA day pass, and talked to some of the morning racers about the course. They said it was pretty techy, so I was pumped b/c I've been riding more technical stuff lately and my stamina isn't super great. I figured speed was going to be my friend. There were about 10-12 of us in the beginner class. I didn't really care that much about trying to win, just wanted to ride my own race. They started us with the Junior experts and women's classes for a total of about 20 racers. The course was 3 laps of about 3 miles each.
The lead-in was an old horse trail and I was flying, keeping at the back of the "fast pack" of 5 up front. When it got really techy is when I fell back. Since I've never done the course before, I didn't know where to set up my shifts. You couldn't really see around the corners and hills really well to get set up. So, for about mile, I was mashing gears and trying to get back on my bike on stuff that I'd normally ride over with no problems.
After that, the course smoothed out, but was really loose. Tight switchbacks with 8" deep piles of silt in the corners left over from the expert class made negotiating them fast difficult. I biffed hard on one of those switchbacks, losing a couple more spots. I was still trailing one of the "team racers" there for a bit, but was a little too sketched out by the loose conditions to keep pace. Granted, the dude had pink streamers on his bike (probably lost the last race and a bet), but it was good to be hanging with him. A monster climb up a glorified creek bed led you back up to the start/finish line. Even though I was sucking wind and wanted to throw up, it was cool for the experts to be there cheering me on. I think they liked the blood dripping from my knee.
Second lap went better with no spills and I was able to stay on the bike more. Third lap was a bit slower b/c I crashed hard again. I also managed to mash some more gears as fatigue was setting in and my posture was sagging, so I wasn't head's up.
All in all, it was fun. It was good having my GF there for a little moral support as well. This was the last race of this series, but I think come next Spring, I may decide to get more serious about it and actually practice the courses beforehand. I'll probably never be a weight weenie (don't think I can afford to at least), but knowing the course will probably help alot.
I have no clue what position ended up in. Just that at least one person, maybe two, did not finish and probably 4 finished behind me. Some well behind. So, it was a success I guess. I'll post the results once I find them and maybe some pics taken by some photographers on hand if I can afford them.