The second round of the Southern 5 series made a stop at the wonderful trails in French Lick. I knew I could not pass up this race, but I was not as excited as I should be. I have had a lot of things going on and I was not riding as strong as I need to be. The night before I ended up staying up later than I need to if I am going to be fully rested. That morning I was not in a big hurry to leave the house and ended up leaving later than I originally planned. This is where it was a good thing the trail was close to home.
I got there with plenty of time to get signed in and get ready for the race. I rode around some, but it was too late to really get warmed up the way I would have liked. I checked out the starting area since this race was starting in a different area and I was not sure how the starting chute was going to flow. It turns out it didn’t go too bad. I took off pretty close to the front and the entrance to the trail went smooth.
I was not riding too bad, but then again the start was more down hill than up. I actually could have gone faster, but not with the guy in front of me. I was not too worried about getting around just yet, but maybe I should have been. Not too much later I had a stick jump up and get caught up in my stomach and chest. Soon enough it fell away and I was not hurt. Then in a few feet I had a stick stuck in my back wheel. I hoped it would come out, but after a little bit I figured I better stop before something gets messed up.
It didn’t take me that long to pull the stick out of the back wheel, but long enough for a few guys to get by me. I jumped back on and took off trying to build up my speed that I had before. There were a few other guys catching up to me and didn’t want to get passed by anyone else. This worked pretty good for a little bit, but when the main trail branched off to the outer loop, I had a little bit of trouble on the inclines.
This was not a shock since that is where my troubles have been. I kept moving as good as I could while trying to keep my heart rate under control. I could not ride the next section as good as I needed to and a couple more racers got past. I started to feel better on the down hill sections and I could make up some ground on the guys in front of me. I ended up passing a couple here and there.
The climb up from the platform went pretty well. I was moving better than I thought and soon enough I was rolling back down hill. This time around the sections that were my worst the lap before, I took precautions to make sure they were not as bad as the first lap. Overall this plan worked and I could climb some sections better than the first lap. I also kept making some good time on the down hill and hoped to catch some more racers and keep the ones behind be that are already back there.
I ended up keeping most of the racers behind me, but could not catch any more. I had some good back and forth racing with a few guys. This was a lot of fun since I was not up front and in the action. I am happy with how I did overall. I wish I could get my heart rate under control and climb better. One thing that I think I can say is that I realized over the last two races that I can ride a bike fairly well. I made up all of my time on the down hills in the last two races. I know I am not as fast as everyone, but I can not complain at all at how fast I can coast. Now if I could only get some climbing legs I might actually be a threat. Now that would be a good change, but I don’t see it happening just yet. I can only hope to get somewhere by the end of the year.
I would like the 40 Lb Sledgehammer team for putting on such a great race. It is refreshing to see a series trying to make it in southern Indiana. The turn out was not as big as I thought, but still not too bad. I really thought there would be some more people from Louisville area show up and even more from a little north. One thing that might have played a part was the face that the Dino race at Logansport was the next day. I know a few of the racers made the trip up there to race even after racing this race. One thing I would like to see is this series and the Kentucky MTB series join together to make both series have some more races and share the racers.
If you are looking to a nice race series in southern Indiana that has plenty of prizes there is no need to look any farther. I know I will be at the next race if there is anything I can do about it.