2:22 - 14.4 miles - 9TH place - 36-49 year division
Last time I raced Dash for Cash, it was three years ago, and it totally wrecked me - physically and mentally. So it was with some trepidation that I headed back for another dose.
It rained for several days before the race, and a huge rainstorm was coming in from the west on the day of the race. I registered, warmed up, then lined up to start. Riders are let off in pairs every 30 seconds. I joined a guy who was with his two friends that were fairly new. We took off, and caught up to his friends quickly. They were having a hard time in the mud, and it would be a long day for them.
I passed the three guys in the initial singletrack secion, and just plunged in to all the muddy trails ahead of me. The Jones mud tires I had on might not have the best rolling tendencies, but they did do quite well in the heavy mud on the trails. I passed a lot of people in the initial miles.
The first section had a lot of good rock gardens and logs, but with everything being wet and muddy it was tough to make it through sections. A rider behind me wanted by, I pulled over, and then we both took a hard right turn into a very steep downhill. The last time I rode this, it felt soooo steep. This time, it wasn't so bad, and I'll have to say the new Juicy Ultimate brakes were awesome!
Then I came to the "creek." Last time, the water was mid-shin high, this time it was over my waist. Had to hold the bike above me with one hand, and grab the ropes stretched across the creek with my other. It was ridiculous.
Jumped back on the bike, and continued on. Before I knew it, I came out of the woods and to the long grinder up the gravel double track. Last time I had to walk this section, this time I completely rode everything up to the top.
Back down into the valley, a bunch of creek crossings, lots of rocky, technical sections, steep uphills, and steep downhills. Rode up all hills but two, rode down all the steep stuff easily. Big change from last race.
One creek crossing completely ate me up though. It didn't look deep, but it was easily up to my top tube, and I fell and was completely submerged. But Garmin gps was also completely submerged. I guess it really is waterproof. Pulled the bike from the depths and looked at the gps, it was still running. Whew.
Rode through Birdsfoot golf course and knew I was in the final miles of the race. One of the golfers told me he could never do what I was doing, and I agreed that I didn't think I could do it either. Rode a bunch of wet skinny bridges without falling, and finally reached the final big creek crossing. This water was also chest deep in parts. Felt like I was in the jungles of Bolivia.
Finally finished, and compared how I felt to the last race. I was very tired, legs were heavy from all the pedaling in the mud, but mentally I was okay. My goal had been to be under two hours, and with a dry course, I think I could've done it. I pretty happy with my race, though I'm not sure how competitive I was, I'll have to wait for the race results.
This race was the first in the Bike the Wilds race series, and I hope I got the hardest one out of the way.
Things I did well: used a hydration pack, with all of the mud this was perfect; kept the mud tires on; had recovery drink ready to go, legs feel okay today
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