I played my cards right this time around. A couple of weeks ago I figured that Bone Bender would be a mess if it even happened at all. So I made plans with Travis Donn to head south to Neosho, MO and the third race in the Midwest Fat Tire Series. Right on schedule it was pouring rain Saturday morning, as I heard the race reports trickle into the shop I was happy I was racing the next day.
Travis and I headed down early Sunday morning through a onslaught of rain that lasted deep into Missouri. We kept looking at his phone and seeing that it was not raining in Neosho, but looking ahead we did not see how that was possible. The clouds did begin to break up and we were both getting excited as we pulled in to the race venue.
At registration we were told that it had rained possibly four inches the day before but that it was OK to ride. So we put on our gear and went out for a lap. It was real wet but in that soil type it did not really matter. There was plenty of mud holes and puddles but it was all the fun kind of wet, not the zap the life out you and your bike mud that we know so well in the Kansas City region.
Unfortunately there was not a big turn out, I am sure the weather scared off a lot of folks that had to travel a fair distance to get their anyway. The expert class went of first and I snuck into the singletrack in the lead. I immediately dropped the hammer on the first climb and started to open a gap. I kept on and rode nice and steady the rest of the race. As always with the Fat Tire Series races it was a timed event instead of a set distance, I am not a fan of this style of racing because it promotes me to race conservatively because you really do not know what to expect. Especially in a mud race like that there is a huge difference between racing 18 miles and 24 miles in terms of exertion. It ended up I came through my finishing my third lap in right at 1:30, I still had a lap in the tank and I was a little disappointed that I did not ride harder.
Oh well, it was a great course, good traveling companion (who got 2nd in his sport class race in his second bike race ever), and a good day of racing all around. My Epic again rode sicker than the sickest dog. Even though it was completely wrecked from all the mud I never had the slightest problem and it let me hammer in the big chainring the whole race and never let me down. Looking at the Sea Otter results I think it is pretty clear what the fastest XC bike in the world is right now. Specialized dominated the whole event, even went 1,2,3 in the short track with a win for the new Carbon 29er. Sicker than the sickest dog.
Next week is another Duathlon in Lawrence, then the following weekend is my Dad's race at Lake Wilson State Park. Don't miss it.