French Lick Dino

Last weekend was the 3rd round of the Dino series in French Lick. I had not been on a bike much at all since the Mohican. I spend most of the week before at scout camp and had planed on riding BCSP on Wednesday, but a bunch of rain came in that morning and changed my plans for me. I wanted to try and get out later in the week, but I felt like I should not leave camp and was a little worried about wearing myself out too much that late in the week. I was getting plenty of exercise walking around the camp area.

My first plan was to just take the bike that I have the most fun on and that would be my Misfit. I will not be able to make enough Dino races to worry about the overall points, so I might as well have fun for the races I will make. When I changed my gearing from the Mohican, I got some bright idea to not go back to what I had before that race and go with what I had on there early in the year. So, in stead of the 32×20 that I was running, I kept the front ring on there and went with a 34×20. It seems that most of the fast guys are running bigger gears, so I felt that if I want to be fast, I need to start pushing a bigger gear. Worse case I will end up getting stronger for when I decided that it is too big and have to gear back down.

This sounded like a good plan up until the storms came in to camp on Friday night. It was still raining on Saturday morning. So, here I am having only rode once since the Mohican, legs hurting from all the hiking around the camp area, the trail is going to be muddy and I am running a bigger gear then normal. Yea, that all sounds like a good plan. I got up on time and packed all my gear up. I was not sure if the race was still going to be going on or not and tried to get some answers before I figured out what I was going to do. I headed up the hill for the last time with all my gear and took it to the car. I went ahead and age breakfast with the scouts before I decided that I should just head south anyway.

I had pre-registered to save the added money of the race day entry fee and figured if they didn’t have anything announced yet, it would be on. I had the best bike I could for a mud race and if no one shows up, then I guess I could get a good finish. LOL I was running later then planned, but was going to make it there in time. I figured I was not going out for any warm up riding anyway. I showed up in the parking lot and started to get ready. I didn’t have a lot of time to mess around, but got everything ready in time to head over and sign in before the race.

At the start, the field had a few big puddles and the water was quite cold. I got a fairly good start with out trying too hard and made my way up the first climb of the day. I was trying to be patient with my passing as I hate spending a lot of extra energy to pass only to blow up down the trail. There were times I had riders on my back wheel and times we were putting a gap on the rest of the field. The guy in front of my washed out in a corner and around I went. This let me make up some time and start to real in the next group.

The trail was in much better condition then I thought it would have been. There was water and mud, but it was more surface and everything could be rode. I was feeling better then normal and rode everything. I had a few spots where I was getting worn out, but I knew a long down hill was just up the trail. I picked off a few riders as it worked out and maintained a good pace. I was following another single speeder as we started down the hill. I was all over him for most of that section, but was not in a hurry to pass as the legs were feeling it and I figured he would just pass me on the climb anyway. There was the short little climb before the cave and I tried to warn him, but he spun or slid out and I went around.

I figured he would catch me right away, but I never saw him again. My remote lockout quit working at some point and I clipped a tree trying to look at it. The bike went down, but I stayed on my feet. I stayed strong for the second lap and continued to be patient. I passed some more riders, but also had a few from some other classes start to catch me. I tried to keep them behind and was very happy with my effort. As I crossed the second power line opening my drive train started to make some noise. It was making a lot of noise.  It was sounding like a bottom bracket or rear cassette. Either way, I just hoped it would not lock up or blow up before I got to the top of the hill. After that, I could coast down most of the trail to the end.

Some how nothing blew up and I stayed strong. I could feel some heat on my back, but held them off. I spun my butt off in the open field to finish as strong as I could. I was even going too fast to get my wheelie in, but I thought it was ok because it was probably my best races in the last 10 years. I ended up 23rd overall in Cat 2 and 9th in the 30-39 age group. By far my best Dino series since some time in the 90’s.  I started to think I should have passed a couple of people in the end a little sooner, but then again maybe I would not have finished strong if I had. Overall I am very happy with my ride. I rode everything in the mud and in a higher gear then normal. I did not get lapped by any of the experts either. That is a big personal goal to achieve. The best thing is that I did all of this on my SS bike. The bike I have the most fun riding even when it hurts like hell. I have always thought I rode my SS stronger then my geared bike and now I wonder if there is not something to that.

This weekend I hope to make the trip to Tower Park for the next Kentucky race, but the weather is not looking too good. I have one blown bottom bracket and my pedals are not working too good. I still need to figure out why the remote is not working and hard telling what else. I have been too busy to ride at all this week or get the bike rolling again. I guess I will decide Saturday night or Sunday morning. So, if anyone from the South West part of the state wants to share a ride over, let me know. It is much better then driving all by myself.

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