I had not been to ride the trails in Emporia for quite some time so it was nice to have a good reason to get down there and see something new. JP Shores of Shores Sports picked Amber and I up in the morning to head south, it took us two tries to get the bikes secured on but we managed. It was a friendly crowd that gathered for the race and it sure was great seeing everyone. Gary, JP, and I rode a pre-lap, a mix of wooded trail-open grass pasture trail-and 3 miles of dirt roads. The start of the race came just before 12:30 and local shop owner Matt Brown was anxious to put the hurt on us. Matt has always been known for his raging starts, but mix that with his local trails and hang on. I was following Matt with Shadd following me. The first up hill I charged around Matt and went for all I was worth for the next two miles. That did not even dent Shadd at all, he came around me on the dirt roads and towed me around at what felt like 30 mph. Back in the singletrack I thought I was recovering some as we started lap 2 of 4. Back through the trails and out on the road and after a quick little drink Shadd ramped it back up and drug me around some more. We got back to the singletrack and I was in serious difficulty. Shadd was riding my legs off and I had horrible cramp in my side from trying to drink Cytomax with my heart rate off the charts. The start of lap three I came unplugged. Hopefully it was just all the intensity of the last three weeks attempting to get ready for 9 mile , but it was pretty discouraging that I could not get recovered and find some legs to enjoy riding the rest of the race. My only reprieve came from Marv, Matts Dad, getting me a cold bottle of water to start the final section of singletrack, that shot a little life into my legs. It always takes me a few moments of being grouchy after a crappy race to bring my mood back around but some Mexican food at Casa Ramos with good company and I was on my way up.
Thank you Leland, Bobby, Matt, Marv, and all the other people that helped put the race on. It sure is fun to drive an hour and a half to a great MTB race, please do it again.
So that pretty much set the tone for this week. Lots of recovery riding on the ticket and leave the upper register alone to see what I can manage in Wisconsin. More than enough work has been done I just got to trust that I can pull it together. Remember that Granny Gear will be posting the lap by lap updates and I will twitter away until my phone dies, hopefully it makes it longer than last time.
Keep enjoying your summer and keep riding bikes more. Talk at you when I get home.