This weekend was the reschedule date for the first round in the Kentucky Point Series. It was at Ft. Duffield and the hardest trail of the series. This year the trail has had some work done on it and a more permanent loop has been put in place. While it may not be the longest race for the classes, you will not know it when you are done. Plenty of tough climbs, rock gardens and logs to cross to keep you on your toes.
The race starts by heading straight up a steep, long road climb. The bright side to this is the first person to the top can grab a small bottle of bourbon. If you hold on to that bottle till the end of the race, it can be traded in for a larger version. Not sure that makes up for the pain to get there first, but it couldn’t hurt. I knew it would not be anything that I would win, but it is nice for the fast guys.
I was not sure how well I would do in this race. It had been a little while since I have rode the SS and knowing how much climbing is there, I did not have high hopes. I have been doing a lot of riding this year, but not enough trail riding or SS riding. I did so something I normally would not have done. I went out for a road ride on Saturday. A spin in it’s self is not always bad, but the ride ended up a little harder and longer than I had figured. I was not really hard, but there was some wind that seemed to add up on some stretches. I didn’t feel bad Sunday morning, but with all the climbing I really needed to have legs that were as fresh as I could get them.
I woke up that morning hearing rain coming down. I was not sure if the race was going to be cancelled or not. I knew it was dry late Saturday night and the trail can handle some rain with out too much trouble. I kind of figured the race would be on, but I really didn’t want to get out in it so I hit snooze a couple of times. This got us on the road later than planned, but still in plenty of time. Just not enough time to get a lot of riding in to warm up to the point that I normally like. The good news was that all the rain didn’t hit Duffield and the trails were in great shape.
The start came quicker than I would have liked, but there was nothing I could do about it at that point. I just hoped for the best. I didn’t start at the front of the pack since we were at the bottom of a huge hill. I tried to take my time and just work my way up the hill. I did actually pass some people and was not feeling too bad. The top gets really steep and hurt bad. The first section of trail has a few steep sections that are even harder after climbing the road. I tried to get the heart rate back under control and keep moving. I passed a few people in this section and was feeling pretty good. I had an eye opener in a rough rocky section that I thought was going to get me. I did have a water bottle eject from one of my cages. I knew I should have put one at the start finish to pick up in between laps, but I figured I would just save the trouble and carry both with me.
I slowed down for a little bit and tried to pick better lines from there. I could really tell the difference from the 100mm fork on the other bike to the 80mm fork on the SS. There was some sections that the extra 20 mm would have been nice. The only problem with the other fork is it does not have a remote lock out. I used the one I had enough that I was wondering if it would wear out. I was glad that it kept working, because climbing is a lot easier with a locked out fork.
Overall I rode better than I expected. I climbed a lot of stuff that I figured I would not be able to. I hate to admit, but I did walk a few more sections than I would have wanted. I really don’t like having to walk, but sometimes I just can’t help it. I felt good going over all the logs, but the new route seemed to have a few less logs than previous years. This is good, but it is also not good for me since in previous years I would pass people because they were getting off the bike to go over the logs. There was a tree down that was not something that anyone could ride. The SS class didn’t have a huge turnout, but there were no slouches, well, other than me. The top two riders were battling it out for the overall win for the combined class. I had passed the guy in third part of the way in the first lap. I fully expected to see him pass me again, but it never happened. this left me finishing in 3rd place. Not too bad for me. I still have a long way to go to be able to try and keep up with the front of the class, but I do have hope that some day I will be close. I messed up my gps at the start of the race. I almost forgot to turn it on and didn’t get a good look at it before the race started. It seems that I needed to reset it after the ride on Saturday, so both of the rides were combined.
There was tons of prizes to be awarded. If you are not racing the Kentucky series, you really should check them out. This is how I have seen several prize tables for this series that look just like this. Combine that with some great trails, good people and some fast racers. Do yourself a favor and get to the next race in the series!
This was also my first chance to try out my new Endless cog. It seems that all the reviews were spot on. That was the quietest my drive train has been in a long time. I didn’t even have the chain cleaned very good. I never felt like I was going to drop a chain or have any issues. So, not only does it look great, it really does kick ass. I can see why so many people want to run a Endless Kick Ass Cog. So, if you are in the market for a different cog for your ride, you can’t go wrong with one of these.
Next weekend is the Dino Brown County race. I am sure it will be a huge turn out. I will be back on the Niner for this race and hope to be able to do a little better than I did at Warsaw. I have not been to BCSP much the last two years, but I hope to remember some of it and be able to put the hammer down. I just need to be able to climb the road climb strong and get a good start. We have 3 games this week, so riding might be tough to squeeze in. I will have a little more time to hang around after the race. I hope to see you there.