Thursday, September 25, 2008
That's All She Wrote
This was the first season in a long time where I still felt motivated for the final races of the year. In fact, I wish that it could continue on for at least another month. But I guess that means I will be a little more excited to do some epic riding throughout the Pennsyltucky landscape.
Oh yeah, about that race... The fun began on Saturday with the Super D race taking off around 4:00 pm. After my first practice run with Rob and Aaron, I was convinced that Rob was going to dominate this event as he launched off of every lip on the course and railed the turns on instinct. Of course that meant that I got to take a look at his sweet lines, which made this first run equal the experience that I would have gotten after about three runs on my own. With plenty of time to spare I rode back up to the top with Aaron for one more practice run, which was just as smooth. Soon after it would be time to race. I was somewhere around 8th in line to take to the course which was set up to be raced in time trial fashion with 1 minute intervals separating each rider. I could honestly say I was lucky to get an early starting position as it would be less likely that I would catch up to my minute man. With ten seconds till take off I'm in the zone, and my concentration is broken as Rob or someone else lets out a motorcycle noise, so as its time to take off I jokingly return by vocalizing my own throttle through the first sharp right hand turn on the course. Next I find myself blasting through the first rock garden and hammering down the first fire road section. Another section of singletrack followed by a steep drop in and I'm about halfway down the course. A few switchbacks on a rail trail start to burn my lungs and the finish is near. Just one more twisty, rocky piece of singletrack and it's all over. As I hammer on I search for a bigger gear coming up empty handed and press on through the finish. At the bottom I waited around for Rob to go do a bit of a cool down and find that I am currently leading the race... But with most of the racers yet to go, I didn't count on winning being a sure thing. And by the time it was all said and done I was awarded with the 3 spot as Harlan took the win and Aaron in 2nd only a half a second ahead of me. But that half a second wasn't even close compared to the 0.11 sec that separated myself from Rob.
The XC on Sunday was just as fun as the Super D. Matt and I got to the race early to meet up with Bryon, who had a sweet setup displaying a fleet of Cannondale bicycles, which included a couple Rizes, Scalpels, and a Super Six. It really drew in lots of attention from all of the other racers... I can't wait until next season when we will have this sort of set up going at almost all of the regional events. It's gonna be sweet. After a pre-ride of the course with Bryon, Aaron, and Hebe we almost missed the start. Getting to the line just in time made the warm up perfect, but I would not attempt to cut it that close again. Right away I found myself mid pack in a hungry field of elite racers. But soon I would find the course pointing up in my favor, which allowed me to work my way through the pack and towards the front. By the time I came out on the final portion of the climb I was in 4th place and slammed my Rush into the big ring, charging to the top. I was behind only Harlan for the decent, which was crucial as this is where we put a large gap on the chasers. Unfortunately Harlan was also able to put a little time on me by the time we rolled around to the start lap 2. This lap went much the same as lap one as I rode tempo to the top and then killed it on the downhill. By the end of this lap I found myself further back from Harlan and further ahead of everyone else, and figured that short of a mechanical that this is how the race would end. An uneventful third and final lap would prove this as I finished 2nd about 3 minutes back. Next across the line would be Bryon followed by Rob. It was pretty sweet to see 4 bikes with Lefty's taking the top four spots. IF only Harlan were on a C'dale frame it would have been so much sweeter. So that's it for the year, done, finished. Now hopefully I will be able to start working soon so that I can continue racing next season. I've got a strong feeling that I've got a position all lined up and secured, but I won't count on it until it's all said and done. I've heard that song and dance of "I want to hire you" before.
So far the off-season's been great. I went to Michaux to ride with Aaron on Monday and now I gotta get ready to go hit up a ride at Thorpe with Rob and the Skinny Chicken.