Monday, August 24, 2009

Losing End of a Photo Finish

When rolling through the parking lot of Ceasar's Creek this Sunday, I asked a local how the trails were.

"Well, if you're from Cleveland, a lot of the guys from the area don't like it too much," he replied.

Well hot damn his idea of a good trail and mine were completely different. As I had a pretty dang good time. The trail was rooty at parts, but generally was pretty wide and swoopy. Some steep punchy climbs followed by short downhills rounded out the rest of the 9 mile loop.

There was nowhere to hide, and I quickly realized that my heart was going to beating through my chest for the whole two hours of the race.

I was feeling good. Was aboard the new 2010 Giant 29er I decided to pick up. Riding with a suspension fork and gears is much different. Not better, just different. Not going to lie, around the end of the second lap, I was loving the ability to sit down and spin :-)

After getting the holeshot, I quickly was able to get a gap on the field, and as per usual, got into my groove all by my lonesome. My legs felt good, I was riding clean, all was well...

Three-fourths through the last lap, I heard someone's disc brakes squealing, and lo and behold, the second place guy showed up outta nowhere. I probably had a thirty second gap on him, but he was charging hard, so I kept up the pace to make sure he didn't catch me.

So all was well, and hitting the last climb out of the singletrack onto the road section, I attacked, hoping to gap him and ride to the win all by my lonesome.

This dude had other plans. After my attack on the last climb, I got onto the road and did my best time trialist impression. Aero tuck and all. I was able to hold about a 100-yard gap on him until the finish line was in sight. Quickly the gap dwindled to 50, then 20, then holy shit this dude is on my wheel.

As we made the left hand turn, diving to the finish line, he got me by a wheel. Shit.

Good race to whoever that was, you left me deep in the pain cave.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quick Wilderness 101 Recap

This is the abridged version. As some pictures trickle in, I'll do a more detailed write-up.

Decided after the good time at Mohican that I wanted to do a hundred-miler. Wilderness 101 it was.

Man it was hard. Rigid fork was difficult proposition for the day, and as a result, my body got a workout after some 2 mile long descents at 20 miles-an-hour.

First half of the course was fast with a lot of road climbs and double track. After about 50 miles shit hit the fan. The trail was a lot more technical than this Ohio boy was used to. It was a trip trying to ride some of this stuff being as tired as I was.

When all was said and done I ended up 20th in Singlespeed, 77th Overall, at 9 hours 26 minutes. I'll take that.

I think I'm going to do Shenandoah in a month, who's in?