Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fat Tire Challenge

16th place - 1:53 - 14.5 miles - Second race of Bike the Wilds race series

Fatty would be proud of me - a solid mid-pack finish!!!

Drove two hours north to try out the second race of the Bike the Wild series - The Fat Tire Challenge. Easy drive, easy parking. I got me and the bike ready, did a quick warm up, and soon the experts were off racing. I had 10 minutes before the sport racers took off.

The sport category is a big one; it spans the ages of 36-49. There are a lot of fast racers in this group. I got to the start line, made sure I had my timing chip strapped to my ankle. The sport group was let off in a staggered start, the young guys first.

The race began up a dirt road which helped stretch things out. I entered the single track in the second group. The trails were fast, and for a change, dry. Lots of places to pass, until we hit the rocks. Jumped off, ran my bike up a few short hills, and back on the bike.

This race was similar to Creek to Peak in that we had to wind our way up to the top of the peak. The trails changed quickly from double track, to pines, to rock, to long, grinding uphills.

Lots of volunteers on the course to help direct the racers, and at mile seven volunteers were out handing out water. Unfortunately, the volunteers told us we were seven miles in and it was all downhill to the finish. They lied.

At mile nine there was long hill that had us grinding away. And at mile eleven there was a steeper and longer hill. Surprisingly, I passed a good number of racers at these places. I think the single speed training has really paid off.

At about mile 11 or 12 we started hitting some rock gardens. I was getting tired, and didn't ride the rock gardens nearly as much as I should have. The last several miles saw some fun downhills as well.

Passed about eight riders in the last mile, and finished with a time of 1:53. Was a solid race for me, felt pretty strong though tired, and passed more people than passed me. Next up is the Shannock Valley race in July.

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