Sunday, October 8, 2006

Month of Mud - Brady's Run

1:35.32 - 13th place beginner class

This was my first race last year, and to say it was muddy would be quite an understatement. This year the weather was perfect fall weather. I pulled in and saw Joe. We went out for a warm up ride; everything went well until I tried to do some short sprints. A chain link was bent, and there were 5 minutes before the race began. Tried to straighten it out, but only marginally successful. And only the day before the chain had ran perfectly, oh well.

Lined up for the prologue lap, and off we went. Headed up the hill after the lap around the parking lot. Got up the first steep fire road pretty well, and went along the ridge for about a mile. Then we had to hang a really sharp right and begin the really steep hills. I'm not sure if anyone rode up without getting off the bikes. Mud, steepness, and a lot of riders were all hindrances. On my way up I saw Billy on the side with a broken chain. Found out later that he dq'ed. Because of my chain problems I had to stay in a really easy gear, as any real pressure really made the chain skip, and could break the chain quite easily.

Pushed my bike to the top, and jumped back on. The course, once you're on top, is really a fun course. Lots of winding trails, ups and downs, and a variety of log crossings. I found myself cleaning every log crossing I came to. A feat I was not able to do the year before. Having ridden the course before helped, as did the new bike.

My lower back cramping as usual had another surprise awaiting it. I had to go off the trail to get around a rider with mechanical problems. At which point I got stung. And guess where? Yep, right on the lower back where I cramp. Talk about adding insult to injury. The pain was intense for about 10 minutes, but luckily a later sting on my calf distracted me from my back pain for a bit.

So, I was passing some people, some were passing me, not going too badly. I then recognized we were coming to the end of the first 6 mile loop. I remembered a great downhill section from the previous race. I could see the guy in front of me that I had been trying to catch for miles, and I was hoping that he didn't know the course. As soon as the trail headed downhill, I let off the brakes and let my 5 inches of travel take care of the rest. I quickly passed the rider on the left going at a much higher pace.

We then started back on the lower ridge for lap two. He slowly caught me, and was drafting for about a mile. I think I could've held him off, but I was burning a lot of energy. Once we hit the first big hill again, I had to get off and stretch my back from the cramping. He passed me then.

Over the next miles I kept him in sight, but finally all of the hills took their toll. I ended up pushing my bike up quite a number of hills, that had I been fresh, wouldn't have been any trouble. A goal to work on for next year.

I hit the downhill section again, but never did catch up to the rider. Finished the race farther back than I would've guessed. I think my inability to get near the front of the pack at the beginning of the race really hurts me. It is extremely hard for me to close the gap on people.

But, I had fun, the chain didn't break, and the weather was great! I think Joe got 4th in the sport class.

1 comment:

  1. It's great to hear that you had fun and, fortunately, the chain didn't break, and the weather was great! What else is needed? Our can be of any academic use!