Wow, I guess time has been flying. Sorry it has been a while since I posted anything, but there was a few weeks of not getting able to ride much. Sunday was the next Dino stop that I was able to attend. I was not sure just how well I would do since I had only really rode 2 times in then 3 weeks leading up to the race. I did ride the Surly to work a few days the week leading up to the race, but not sure how much that really counts. It is nice to get some extra miles in no matter how few and I am sure it helped me deal with the heat better then if I just sat around in the AC.
I picked up another set of 29er wheels for the Surly, but they ended up being nicer then what was on the Fuji, so I did a little wheel swap between the two bikes. Since the Fuji was still hanging there with no wheels and I had not touched it since PMBAR, I figured I would just suck it up and ride the Misfit. I have been having better luck on the SS anyway, so what could it hurt?
I got up early and shortly after Mike showed up, we were heading down the road. The drive was not too bad, but could have been a little shorter. The company sure makes the miles go by a little faster. We got there and went to sign in and met up with most of the other team members that were racing.
We went out to drop off some bottles at the bottle table and get a little warm up in before the start. Right before we got out of the woods, there was a little banked turn that I hit kind of like a quarter pipe and kicked it out in the air. I must have landed with the back tire sideways or it had to do with the angle of the back of the berm, but the back wheel belched out a big gulp of air. I thought damn it! This is the first time I have ever had any issues with being set up with Stans. The tire re-seated itself on the rim, but was rubbing the frame. We stopped to check it out and it mostly seemed like the bead was just not centered on the rim.
We headed back to the car and I tried to pump it up and get it to pop on to the rim. This effort helped, but the wheel was far from spinning smoothly. Time was running out before the start of the race and the other team members had to head that way. I pushed and pulled on the tire and did everything I could to try and get it to roll better. I even tweaked the spokes for a crude wheel true to keep it from rubbing the frame. In the end it was not really rubbing, but was still not right. So, I gave up working on it and headed to the start.
The first straight was a little on the long side for the SS. I was not too far from the front, but I spun out and had to watch a pack pull away. I was still in a good group as we hit the woods and was not too far behind from the front pack, so it was not all that bad. I was riding good, but with my normal energy issues at the start I backed off some at the top of the first climbing section so I would not blow up. I was still in visual contact with the group in front of me and there was a little gap behind me.
I was starting to feel the efforts of the start and was getting worried that the lack of riding was going to come and bite me right then. I started to get passed by a hand full of riders and some front runners from the other age groups. Toward the end of the first lap I finally settled down and found a groove. I was riding better and holding my own for a while. I came around and make as quick of a bottle change as I could and hit the second lap hard.
I was doing well and making some good time. I did pass a rider or two and then a train being lead by Gary Dowell came up on me. I figured they were going to fly by me, but I kicked it up a little bit and held on to the front for a little bit until they were finally ready to pass. When they did, I did everything I could to hope on the back. I held it for a little while, but they finally pulled away. I felt like I slowed way down, but I was not getting reeled in by too many and was still passing riders. I eventually caught back up to Gary and held is wheel for a while before he finally told me to go by. It seems he didn’t fuel correctly and was starting to bonk.
I passed and dropped the hammer as much as I could. I was still rolling along fairly strong and passing several riders. This continued until the rocky section along the river. That section was hard to keep a good momentum going, but I was doing everything I could since the race was almost over. I held off everyone else behind me and finished strong.
I was very happy with my effort and how well my body maintained with the little bit of riding had had been doing. I also did not eat very well, but it didn’t seem to hurt me too bad. I only had 1 gel for the whole ride and 2 bottles of G2. I didn’t even touch my bottle that had water in it. I think I am real close to being able to finish a little farther up the list if I would just keep at it. I am riding much stronger then I have done in the last few years. I ended up something like 55th overall in Cat 2 and 18th in 30-39. There was over 85 riders in Cat 2. It was another big turnout for the Dino series.
This weekend I have to figure out what I am going to do. I have a few conflicts and not sure I will make it to Louisville to race. I need to get my back wheel fixed before then and get the Fuji rolling before next weekend. I am thinking about making the trip up to Logansport for the Dino race up there, but that place is too flat for my SS. I also have a bowling tournament this weekend. Normally that would be the easy thing to skip, but I have been doing fairly well in the series so far this year and actually making some money. I am also on the border line in points to make some money in the overall for the series. Then again, I would be happy just sitting in the yard watching the parade on Sunday for Strassenfest. So it is hard to tell what I will end up doing. Nothing is standing out as the must do at this point.
Hope to see you on the trail. Keep the rubber side down!