Ft. Duffield

Well last Sunday was the start of the Kentucky race series. Yes it was on Mother’s day. I am not sure a lot of mothers were happy about that or not, but I was told I could go, so I went. As usual, there was some rain Saturday night. I was not too worried about it because it was dry enough that it should not have been an issue. What I didn’t plan on was the rain that seemed to fall most of my way there and kept falling for most of the day.

I got there plenty early before my race and with a smaller turn out, I was not sure what I was going to do. I had some time and took a little hike to check out the trails. To my surprise the trail bed was very solid. The roots and rocks were slippery and the switch backs looked like trouble. I remembered some of the sections that I was worried about, but they were too far for me to check out. On my way pack to the lot, I had talked myself out of racing. I didn’t think it would be worth the damage I could do to my bike.

When I got back, I walked around and talked to a few people. They had me feeling guilty about not racing. I talked to RJ to see where the loop was headed. It sounded like some of the places I was most worried about were going to be skipped or handled differently than previous loops. I checked to see that some people were actually going to race and when it was all said and done I was signed up and getting ready.

I came in to this race not feeling too good about my current racing shape. I was just planning on racing myself in to shape. I took it a little easy at the start and had to fight some other people to go in to the woods toward the back. Not too far down the trail there were a few that were slipping and sliding. With out even trying I passed a few riders. I tried to go as fast enough to not hold anyone up. I normally don’t like going all out at the start and making sure I am warmed up good.

At that point I slowly pulled away from the people behind me, but never did see anyone in front of me. I was riding well and happy about it. I had a couple of close calls, but never hit the ground. When I came around for the first lap, I was still having a blast. When the cheering section started all I could do is pull up for a wheelie. As soon as I pulled up I thought I was in trouble. The last section of trail had my brakes not working too well. If I started to loop out, it was going to hurt. Good thing it never happened.

The rain came down the whole day. Yes, my bike and I were muddy when I left. I know there are a lot of people thinking that racing just tears up the trail. I normally would agree. The trail bed was solid for most of the loop when I was out there. There was water standing in places and some surface mud that splashed up on everything. The sections that were the muddiest were some of the dirt jump sections and that was only because of all the fresh digging had dirt running down the hill. Crossing those sections were bad, but it was the dirt that was just moved there that was the issue. I don’t know if there was much damage done to the trail, but the trail reaction I was getting would make me believe that very little if any damage was done to the trail at least by riding on it.

I was told that I finished 4th over all and later on I got an award for 2nd place in my age group. I really don’t know if there was only two people in there or not, but I do know that I rode way better than expected. I was not sure if the legs would hold out for two laps, but actually I still had some left in the tank. I hate that I left some on the table, but I will get over it. I hope that my legs keep getting better as the season gets going.

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