I know I have not posted much lately, but I really have not done much bike worthy activity. I had a weekend off and did a lot of relaxing and well a lot of driving too. It was a good break, but it would have been better for me to actually get out and ride.
I decided to take another trip in to the Kentucky arena and check out another SS race. This race was close to Ohio, so I knew there would be a more riders. The SS class was good and the Cat 2 class was big. There were a few classes that were not as big as they normally would have been. The race was ran very smoothly and for the first time I got to use a timing chip. It was good to get quick results posted and I am sure that is much easier then trying to manually keep track. The other good thing is it gives you lap times.
The day didn’t start out as good as I would have hoped. I got there a little later then I wanted, but thought I still had enough time to get a good warm up in. I have found that I race much better when I get a better warm up. The problem that I have found is the last two races I went to the lap was longer then I wanted to pre-ride. Not knowing the trail, I don’t know any good short cuts to limit my ride for what I need. I started out thinking that a short cut would be easy to find and there were several other riders out there doing the same thing. I had a few locals near, so I figured it was all good. I stopped to let a little air out of my back tire because it was slick. After I did that the other riders were no longer in sight. I figured I would be ok since they should not be too far in front of me. After a little bit, I started to get a little nervous and figured I was in for the full ride. I could no longer hear the announcer or any other riders. I made a decision to up trails and try and save me some time. I went a little ways and made a few direction changes again. I was all over the place and starting to get very nervous because I was running out of time before it would be the start of the race. I was pushing it trying to figure out what way to go. I did several back tracks and changes, but neither of them were getting me back to the start. I think I messed up with my first direction change and ended up riding much more then I needed or planned on doing.
I finally came across a guy and he told me how to get back to the start area. I was in full on panic mode at that time. My clock had gone way past the start time for my race. It was a good thing they were not starting on time. My legs were really feeling it from the adventure, but not much more I could do about it now. I just ate a little and started the best that I could. There was a lot of traffic at the start. I was working harder then I should have been to do some sections because the group slowed down in the wrong places. It eventually spread out and I could go at my own pace. The problem was that my legs were slowing and it was too early in the day. I tried to recoup as much as I could to keep going.
I was feeling better the second lap and back on the gas as much as I could. There were some tough climbs and some sections would add up much more then others. This is the lap were things went wrong. I thought the day started off bad enough with my warm up adventure, but there was a section that the Cat 3 and first timers would split from the Cat 1 and Cat 2 laps. I was crossing the creek and had two riders right in front of me. They had some issues crossing the creek and I ended up passing them on the hill right after that. I thought things were still going good right up to the point the two trails re-joined. All of a sudden a panic feeling came over me as it felt like something was different. It was not until later down the trail well in to the third lap that I realized what it was. I didn’t take the split correctly. Hell, I didn’t even see the split. As I came around to that same creek I saw were I made my mistake. This is one of the many problems racing some place that you don’t know. If I had been there before, I would have had a better idea of where the split was and I would not have made the mistake.
The air really came out of me on this next section. I was crushed that I messed up and there was nothing I could do about it. I was going to DNF a race that I busted my ass at and actually finished. I have been a fan of all the age groups starting together, but I am not a fan of having two different loops on the trail at the same time. There was supposed to be race marshal’s at the intersection, but it does no good if they are not going to watch who took what way or at least say that the split was there. There is really not much I can do about it now, but it sure makes me disappointed at my finish. The results were posted with me in 4th place. I had 3 guys who finished behind me. I had already thought that if I was not on the podium, I would not say anything. But, after seeing those guys behind me, I didn’t feel right not saying something. It was obvious to me looking at the splits that it made the difference.
So, I figure I finished in 7 th place even though I was removed from the list on the re-post of the results. It is not like I am running for any points or anything. Next year I plan on riding the SS much more and giving this series a better look. I have been very happy with my performance on the SS in the last two races. I thought I would be a lot slower then I would be on the other bike, but I really don’t know. There are some sections I ride better and some I think I ride slower.
There was a section in my third lap that was crazy. There was a racer that was not feeling too good. I heard him behind me and then on one of the hill I decided to walk, I let him pass. I would have climbed it if it mattered, but at that point I figured why. So, here is this guy in front of me and he is coughing or something. Then I see it, he is puking is guts out. He is riding along and throwing up every few feet. I don’t know how he rode a few of those sections puking at the same time. I finally got by him when he had to stop to catch his breath. I was glad there was no chance to get that on me anymore. I don’t think I could have rode and done that. After a little bit of vomiting, I would have called it a day.
Well, next weekend is the Dino final at SWW. I don’t know how well I will do since I have a wedding the night before. The good thing is that the wedding is just down the road so I won’t have to drive there in the morning after a long night. I will get to see how well I race the geared bike again. It should be a blast.