Sunday, May 11, 2008

WVMBA #4 - Henry Clay

Henry Clay - 2:16 - 6th place master's sport - 17 miles

Mud, rain, lightning, more rain, and oh yeah, mud. That pretty much summarizes what I remember about this race held at Cooper's Rock, WV. Dave and I rode and got registered. While getting ready it started to rain and was windy enough to actually be somewhat cold. By the time we lined up for the start, the sun decided to poke its head out - mostly just to tease us.

The race started on the paved road, but much lower than the previous year. I did better than normal on the road this time, but still entered the singletrack more than half way back in the pack. The dos niner ate up the rocky decent down into the valley. Started riding up out of the valley, but was pretty sure I was off route as I was trying to ride up a creek. No, I was on the trail though it was better suited as a creek.

The riding was pretty much a blur, lots of loose rocky uphills, fun downhills that never seemed long enough. As is my usual routine, I passed a lot of people once into the groove of the race but I think I only passed two riders in my category.

About halfway into the race, the rain came down in earnest. My brake pads were wearing quickly with all the mud on the course, and the trail was only getting worse. And then the lightning came. Luckily it wasn't directly over us, there was a delay between the lightning and the thunder, but it was way too close anyway.

Going down a hill, I tried to make a sharp left in the mud and rocks, but my bike decided to go visit some trees and shrubs instead. My brakes were really worn down. I quickly adjusted the mechanical Avid brakes and was off.

A number of experts passed me, all being very encouraging as they went by. That's what I really like about mountain bike racing, everyone is pretty courteous. They thank me for letting them pass, other riders quickly pull out of my way when it's my rare turn to pass.

I was under the impression that the race would end of that last really steep uphill, but either they changed their mind due to the weather, or I wasn't listening closely (probably the latter) but the finish was on top of the hill by the parking lot. The only thing worse than doing that last hill is when you think the whole race that you won't have to.

Anyway, my overall time was way worse than last year. But then again it was a dry course last year, and this year, did I mention it was muddy? I'm currently in second place in the overall point standings. This is quite humorous to me. My finishes don't warrant a second place standing, but I think there is only a handful of us that have done more than one race in the series so far. Of course I leave that little detail out when they people at work ask me how I did in my "bike race."

Oh yeah, had a chest cold all week. Probably shouldn't have raced, but I don't really listen to that little voice in my head that tries to reason with me. I am completely exhausted today and I took a big step back in recovering, but in the end I'm glad I went. And a big congrats to all the Pittsburgh racers. Dave, Aaron, Don, and Jason all had great races. Now if only I could ride as fast as those guys...

No comments:

Post a Comment