It is hard to believe it has been two weeks since I have posted anything. normally it is because I have not been riding or something, but I really don’t have a good reason. I have had some things going on, but not any more then I have had all summer. The othe weekend I made it out on the road bike for a nice long ride. One of the guys I rode with all last year was going out on his own and wanted someone to tag along. He has been training for an Ironman and has been hurting some, so he promised not to kill me. Little did he know that it was going to kill me no matter what speed he went. We ended up riding 85 miles and the first 45 or so was running right at 20 mph. We hit a little head wind or hard telling how long it would have been before we backed off a little. I think that was my first road ride over 40 miles this year, so yea I was hurting.
I followed up that good ride with a nice ride at Ferdinand. It had been a while since I have been out there. I had been spending most of my trail riding at French Lick. I think that was not a good thing for my racing. After putting in a good pace out there and climbing those hills again made me think I need to make sure to head out there at least once a week. The only thing I hope happens is some weed clearing since there are several sections with a ton of weeds hanging over the trail. I felt and looked like I was in a cat fight. It made me think of the old days of riding.
This weekend was the AMBC Dino race at Muscatatuck. Leading up to this race I did some work on my bike. I have been getting tired of the shifting not working correctly. I ordered a new cassette and chain. I also swapped out the rear derailleur with the one from the Giant. I cut the cable housing in a few places to get a better cable alignment and also had the hanger replaced as it was bent. All of the changes had my bike running smooth and I was feeling much better about the weekends race.
Marshall stopped by and we loaded up quickly and headed down the road. We got there a little early because I had not been there before and wanted to make sure and not run late. We were told it as only a 5 mile lap or so and after we signed in we geared up and headed out for a lap. The trail was fairly tight and twisty. It reminded me of Scales lake from what I remember, but not exactly. It did not take long before I clipped my arm on a tree that was on the inside of a turn. That threw me down and out. I really did not want to get hurt on a practice lap, but I can’t do anything about it. I don’t know if I should have done a full lap or not, but I am sure it was a good thing for me and warming up. I do not warm up very easy and I think maybe I don’t ride enough before the race starts. I usually stroke out not too far in to the race and then it takes a little bit to recover. This race I felt much better at the start, but it was a very scary start.
With the trail being so tight and roots and stuff all over the place, it was a little scary riding someone’s wheel real close and not being able to see what you were running over. I was not in last going in to the woods, but I was toward the back. I was ok with that since I have not had a good track record with my starts and I hate slowing people up. We went a little way and the guy two in front of us started to fall off the wheel in front of him. The guy in front of me made the pass and I went along. There is no doubt that I made more passes this race then I did at any other race. I was still passed by some of the classes behind me, but with the start gaps only being 1 min. and not 2 minutes like normal, I think I held them off fairly good. I think I was in my second lap or real close to it before Amanda passed me as the leader of Cat 1. I also was half way in my third lap before the Cat 1 men leaders went by.
I did have some low parts where I was getting tired and did have a few issues. One place after riding in the field, when we dropped back in to the woods I could hear a faster rider coming up on me and I thought he was right behind me, but he was actually second behind me. I was not paying full attention to where I was going and ended up side swiping another tree. This one was with my hip and I hit it fairly solid that I bounced off of it and it changed the direction I was heading. I managed to keep it up and going. I held off the guy behind me, but not too far down the trail the leaders of a group behind us made the pass. At one point I also played pinball with some log on the side of the trail. I thought for sure I had just destroyed my back wheel or at the very least broke a spoke. But, the some how the wheel kept rolling.
I was really starting to feel it as I was on the last half of a lap. I just reeled in a rider and could hear another one behind me. I was hurting, but when I heard the announcer I knew I was getting close, so I picked up the pace to try and hold off the guy behind me. I have no idea what class he was in, but I did not get passed before the finish line. I felt really good about my performance. I did a few things that I set out to do. I did not finish last in my age group and I rode the whole race in my middle ring. There were no real big extended climbs, so it really should not have been that hard, but there were a few spots that I had the urge, but held off. I ended up finishing 44th overall and 11th in my age group. I am a little disappointed with 44th because it does not seem that good, but there was 65 riders or so. If you also think about there being 15 or so open riders, that makes it sound a little better. If I would be a little younger I would have finished 3rd in the 30-34 age group. But that class was not very deep this weekend.
I have a few weeks before the next Dino race and have to decided if I plan on riding the DRT race or not. I just need to put in as much good rides before then and maybe I will be able to do even better. If I keep working on my climbing at speed and getting my lungs to be able to handle the starts I will be much better off.