Other than a little bit of time spent on the trainer and one brief ride outside this last week was spent relaxing and recovering. I had a bit of a cold to fight off as well during the end of the week. All in all it was nice and I feel rested and ready to get back to work.
The Arrowhead 135 starts in about 6 hrs. I'm really looking forward to seeing how various riders do up there. Good luck to all. It's too bad we don't have a good way to follow along with the progress. I can't wait to hear Farrow's embellished description of what goes down.
Raced at Hillside today! Beautiful conditions for winter riding. They did a great job of grooming after our slushfest last week and conditions ever since have been cold making for near perfect winter conditions today. That coupled with the "rest week" on the way in and I had high expectations for the my own performance in the race. I had to resort to listening to npr on the way up in order to keep the adrenaline in check as early as 90-120 minutes before race time. I listened to "speaking of faith" from 10-11.
Glad I did! The acumen fund
which I had never heard about before is a fascinating idea. I'm pretty negative about most charities but this one seems like a very good idea (at least at face value- I will research it some more later)
Back on topic-
So, I was super pumped up for the race! Interestingly, there were even more of the 'fast guys' there than normal (I suppose due to the Pugsley class just being an exhibition race this week) Then...
I fell during the prologue and went to the back of the 12? man expert field, struggled with passing people and struggled with my own frustration at having put myself way in the back. Eventually I did settle down and did pass my way up to 4th place by the end of the first lap. At that point I didn't know what place I was in, but I knew that the leaders were certainly well gone but I was hoping I could pick off a few more riders. Then I caught up to Rich on his Pugsley and he let me know that only 3 guys had gone by roughly half a lap earlier (good and bad news eh?). I was in a sort of 'no mans' land where I might not have a visible carrot up front to chase for a while (or maybe the rest of the race). I was slightly frustrated, but it wasn't long until things got exciting. Jeff Colbert had flatted earlier in the race and was out behind me and gaining fast! I had become the carrot. I could see the LCR Jersey back there chasing me down(I was running my mouth a bit online with them earlier in the week...). I knew my strength would lie in hammering up the climbs and that I needed to limit my mistakes by maybe not pushing too hard on the downhills. Over the next 3/4 of a lap the battle was on... there were some spots where I struggled, but I was able to clean it up for all of sections 1 and 2 (the last half lap of the race) and even though he was close behind me parts of the time I was able to stay ahead. That second lap was incredibly fun! And I felt great about holding it together "clean" while still putting it down pretty good for that last half lap. In the end I sprinted hard to take 4th by 1 second. We were about 12 minutes behind Brendan Moore, 7 minutes out of 2nd and only 3 minutes out of third.
Thanks to Rich, all of LCR and all the guys who work on that awesome trail up there! Winter riding on a trail like that just can't be beat.
maybe someone will post a picture or two that I can steal for ya'll
List of Postcards - In the interest of letting folks know that I received their card (without the hassle of emailing each and every one of you... not that it is too much work....
2 days ago