Thanks to Debbie Baker for the picture
Sunday was the first race in the Kentucky point series. The race was held at Ft. Duffield in West Point, KY. It had been since some time in the 90’s that I had been there to ride. I remembered it having several tough hills. I also realized that I had gears all of the times that I rode there, the thing I didn’t think about was when I did ride there I was racing fairly heavy and riding 5-6 times a week. The fact that I am probably 30 lbs heavier then I was back then and now racing on a SS, it was not good.
There was a rain shower the night before and made some sections of the trail soft and most of the roots very slick. There are a lot of switch backs and tons of logs to go over just to add to the fun. I race started out right at the bottom of a road climb and you of course went up it. I tried not to blow myself up on that climb since we had 3 laps to work everything out. I could have rode this section a little faster, but I am glad that I didn’t. When we rolled in to the woods the pack was not as spread out as you would have thought and it was slow going. The tight and slippery switch back climbs made several get off a walk. All of this on and off again stressed me out some and made the heart rate go up and the recovery from the starting climb not go so well.
When we finally started to go down, it was steep and slick, so there was no pedaling there to recover. I eventually had to walk some sections that I didn’t think I would have, but I needed to settle down and try to recover some. It was going to be a long race. The big logs provided me with some advantages passing people while they got off to climb over them. There were about 3 log sections that I didn’t ride, but way too many to count that I did ride.
The first lap seemed to really drag on. I could not ride a lot of the climbs that were going up the down hill runs. They were steep and soft. On a dry day I could have climbed a lot more, but not with the way my legs were zapped from the start. As the lap ran on and in to the second lap, things started to go a little smoother and I was feeling better. I had passed several riders and seemed to be holding off everyone behind me, well except for Anthony who dominated the Cat 1 race. He went flying by me on the second lap some where near the top of the one down hill run. It took until the top by the Fort on the 3rd lap before second place passed me. That was almost a whole lap later.
The third lap really hurt. I had to walk a few more sections then the previous laps. I didn’t really see anyone around me anymore and figured I was off the back somewhere. I kept hoping there was a carrot that I would see up in front of me to maybe get me a little more spunk to try and catch them, but it never happened. I did have a ghost behind me that I saw a glimpse of that I was busting my ass to keep him from catching me. At one point I saw that he was on a SS, so that meant he was even in my class.
In the end the ghost never caught me and no carrots were found. I was only passed by 3 or 4 Cat 1 racers and no chicks passed me, so over all I felt good about that. My legs and body was completely toast, but I some how found enough energy to ride a sweet wheelie to the finish line. I was so happy to finish and didn’t want to disappoint my inner kid with a crappy wheelie and somehow I represented well. I rode a full on wheelie the whole length of the ribbon leading up to the finish line.
After all the so called dust was settled and we were sitting around the shelter waiting on the results, someone told me they thought I got second. I really did not believe them, but it turns out that they were right. So, I ended up with one of those sweet plasma cut bottle openers and all was good! I am not sure how I ended up 2nd other then there were a lot of dnf’s. I did not feel very strong out there, but I guess I was good enough to hold off third and I know I had at least 1 other SS rider behind me. I think I have a ways to go to get to where I can keep up with Steve Bivens who one the class. My legs were tired before the start, so I hope with a little work they will come alive a little more.
I would like to thank Anthony and Rusty for putting on the toughest race in several surrounding states and all of the volunteers who helped make the race run as smooth as it did. I will be back for more fun. I hope to make it to Bike Butler next weekend for round 2.
The only bad thing about the race was how my legs felt. I could not help but second guess my condition for being able to complete the Mohican 100 in 2 weeks. I know different trails will do different things to your legs, but it was only 15 miles and it felt like 40. I have 2 weeks to figure out if there is enough gas in the tank for the 100 or if maybe I could change to the 100k. I would rather not change to the geared class in the 100 mile, but I also hate to change to the 100k. It will probably be a long day regardless what I end up doing. Maybe I will just gear down even more then planned and let it ride and see how it shakes out. I guess the worst thing that could happen is making it to a check point and them telling me I am past the cut off.