I had first lap duties and I was feeling pretty good about it. It was going to be a short dash to the bikes and then we were on and rocketing downhill. Craig caught this sweet picture of me emerging from the smoke bomb someone had lit in the middle of the bikes. I love these races.
I was ready to throw down on my second lap. I had traded in my 29er for the Epic we had brought along as a back up bike. I crushed for about 11 miles and then I imploded. I crept in the final miles resigned that I was not going to bring us back and to enjoy riding the rest of the day. From there on out it was all fun with all of the team turning solid laps and basking in the beautiful weather. My third lap was fine, not fast but I had a great time and at least kept everything moving at a reasonable pace. The race for 1st place was intense with the top two teams so close lap after lap. I was trying not to think about how much fun it would have been to be mixing it up in that. All of us had Super Duper night laps. I simply could not have enjoyed mine more, and I found Craig feeling the same way when I came back. Graham did our last lap and he was a champ storming around the lake with a solid time and reeling in a few minutes on the teams ahead of us. He is one tough 17 year old. The days work was still good for a podium finish and warm fuzzies around the camp fire.
Racing all day and then crawling back into the tent without showering only to get up and ride some more the next morning is a pretty unique feeling. That is what the agenda called for and is what we did. The famous Dan Firman of Rolla, MO was our guide for a wonderful jaunt on the middle fork section of the Ozark trail. We rode for an hour of spectacular Ozark woods riding before turning around to do it back in the other direction. We made a dirt road detour half way back that turned out to be perfectly lovely riding beside babbling brooks, green pastures, and happy horses. All the elements of a turn of the century novel.
Dan and Craig lead the way down the idyllic road. Soon after this picture we would be eating cheese burgers and fries.