I just got my computer back from a buddy who did some much needed maintenance, but it slowed me down on getting a weekend race report out to my faithful readers, Thank you all very much by the way for tuning in...
Sunday morning Travis, Steve, and myself headed south into the teeth of a rain storm that crashed into our car for the better part of an hour. We all remained upbeat despite the sheets of rain falling from the sky. A few minutes after I joked that I could see it breaking up on the horizon we shot out the other side and were headed towards sunshine and high temps. The turnout looked encouraging as we pulled into the venue and saw all the regulars milling about beginning their pre-race rituals, or whatever they were doing. Travis and I took an eventful pre ride with my getting stung by multiple bugs and him breaking a pedal with several miles to go. There are certain things that my pain tolerance is not particularly high and bug stings is certainly one of them, I complained an inordinate amount and pretty much told anyone that would listen how I got stung not once but twice.
It was a sweater by the time we got started at 12:30. The trails were groomed and were totally fun to ride. The course was basically backwards from the 12 hour I did there last year with some extra mileage thrown in. We were off and rather quickly a lead group of four formed with Chris Ploch, Aaron Elwell, Shadd Shriener, and myself. Chris lead for a lap and a half, we were at a semi race pace with all of us chatting and generally enjoying ourselves. The course had some many turns this way and that, that it was a bit defeating to try and go faster because that just meant more breaking and accelerating. Aaron had a pedal problem and it took him out of the pace line, then on lap two Shadd went around Chris and started putting the screws to us. After letting a few meters slip away I went around Chris and chased up to Shadd and we went into the final lap together. Shadd and I were both riding well and me not being known for my sprinting prowess decided I better go around and make a dig if I wanted to try and win. I passed Shadd at the top of one of the longer climbs which left us with two sizeable climbs and 3 or so miles of singletrack to the finish. As we were descending I got that feeling that makes your heart sink, flat tire time. I stopped and pulled out a thick piece of wire that jumped up and bit me. My first CO2 I shot straight in hopping Stans would fill the whole, no such luck. I put my tube in as Chris and Aaron passed by and I rode into the finish to claim fourth and lucky for me they were paying four deep. All in all it was pretty dang fun, and Steve won a Redline Monocog in the raffle afterwards. The race promoters did a wonderful job and deserve to be commended for their efforts cleaning the trails and making everything run efficiently.
Coming this weekend do not forget about Cramp Alexander in Emporia Kansas. All you need to know is here.