Ben Hawes Pump Track race – KPS

Thanks to Tiffany Hutchens for the image

Sunday was the latest race in the Kentucky Point Series. It was held at the Rudy Mine trails near Ben Hawes State park. I am ashamed to say that I have never been there. It is not that far away and what a fun trail system. I have always heard how fast and easy it is, so it didn’t make the top of my list to make an effort to go ride. That and all the stories about head on collisions that I didn’t need to be any part of. I did plan on making a trip down there sometime last week, but it just didn’t happen. Maybe a good thing, maybe not.

Thanks to Tiffany Hutchens for the image

With all the talk about how fast the trail is and how little climbing there was, I figured I better gear up some or I would be spinning out all the time. Normally I have been running a 34×20 most places and fairly content with that. I did have a couple of places last weekend at Capitol View where I was spinning out, but normally I don’t complain. Looking at the cogs and chain rings I had available, for some reason I decided to put on the 34×18. It sounded like a good idea until I asked Todd Nix what he ran there and it was the same gear. Humm, maybe I don’t want to run that big of gear. I know I don’t have the same legs that he does, but by this time it was too late and never had the time to swap it to something else.

Saturday was a long day out of town and I didn’t get home til real late. I then packed up my gear and tried to get some sleep. I was very wore out Sunday morning and then had to do some wheel repair on Dean’s bike before we could leave town. I was fairly sure that I would not race very well at all. I was just glad that we didn’t have to drive very far to get to the race. If it would have been a few hours, I would have probably rolled back over and went to sleep.

Thanks to Tiffany Hutchens for the image

I was happy to see all of the SS bikes in the parking lot. It was good to have a few people out there racing. There was a couple of other guys that ended up racing Cat 3 or it would have been even bigger. Cat 2 and SS all lined up together. It was a big pack and I didn’t want to be too far ahead. It seemed that several SS’rs were hanging back to let the geared guys go. I was ok with that, but after we hit the single track, I am not sure that was the best idea, but it is hard to tell how everything would have played out if I started farther up.

Before we hit the single track, I jumped on Biven’s back wheel. I knew I didn’t need to be in front of him, but figured his back wheel was not a bad place to be. I stayed there for most of the first lap. I was pretty happy with this even if the reason was the 5 guys in front of him holding up the train. There were sections I could have gone faster and other sections that were just about right. There was a section where he went around. It took me a minute longer to do the same and as I got by I could see him speeding away on the open trail. The pass I made hurt some and I knew if I tried to put out the same kind of effort as he did, I would be cooked. I just tried to hold my own speed and keep moving at a good pace.

I could feel that the gearing choice was a little steep for my legs in some places. I was hoping they could last for the second lap with out blowing up. The fast sections helped, but it is still tiring going fast and pumping all the rollers. The gearing was great for some sections because when I got in to the zone, I was moving pretty good. So it is hard telling if an easier gear would have been better or worse. I am sure the climbs would have been better, but my overall pace would probably been slower. The rigid fork has been working pretty good for me so far. It has let me corner really well in some races that had a lot of cornering. There was only one rock section I wished I had a shock, but it didn’t last very long at all. I just grabbed on and closed my eyes.

I was feeling good about how well I rode and even better about it for being as tired as I was. I did pretty good about pushing my pace as hard as my legs would let me. I still need to improve a lot. I was not exactly sure where I was in the pack, but I knew no other SS passed me and early in the race someone said there were a few behind me, so I felt optimistic. Unfortunately my placing was not as high as I would have wished. I ended up in 5th, but I was happy to see that I was only 6 min. from the top 3 guys and not too far behind 4th place. Maybe the training and loosing some weight is starting to pay off. I guess I need to quit complaining and just do more about it. The season is ending, so why not start to get faster. LOL

This weekend is the Dino race at Logansport. In the past I have always dreaded this race since it was so flat and too much like road riding and several hours from home. Maybe with all the road riding I have done the last couple of years, I might do a little better up there then I did in the 90’s. I know the trail has changed a lot and after the ATV race they had there recently, I am sure the trail is even more different than before. Hopefully the weather cooperates and my legs find some time to actually show up for a race.

The bad asses – SS podium
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This entry was posted in Ben Hawes, Bikes, Blue Grassroots Racing, kps, KYpointsseries, mtb, racing. Bookmark the permalink.

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