As stated earlier- couldn't resist heading down since it was so close. Hadn't been able to plan on it all along with the due date/birth of my Daughter nor did I have the funding to keep racing, maybe heading to Chicago, up to the date. Those things had me tempering my expectations, which already weren't sky high. Then I had the abysmal singlespeed race and I was putting pressure on myself late last week to at least have some fun Saturday to justify the $267 I'd given to USAC to be in the races, plus the gas money etc.. I remembered back to how poorly I'd ridden Saturday in the Wisconsin State race and how much I'd turned it around the next day and tried to stay positive. My realistic goal was to finish all the laps despite the 80% rule being in effect and be at a place in the race where I was 'competing' with others (this also explains why I didn't sign up to get lapped/pulled in the Sunday race).
I didn't get the start I wanted and picked a few bad lines trying to move up through traffic and by the top of the run-up the 'race' was away from me. No surprise not to be with the front but I felt good on my bike and like I was doing my best. That pretty much sums up the day actually... felt pretty good, made a couple mistakes that cost me some (bad lines, iced up drivetrain stuck in easiest gear half a lap, bike caught in ribbon and tangled for a while) but all told they were maybe only 90-120 seconds worth of mistakes and otherwise I felt I made the most out of what I had. One time up the run-up I got a $5 from a spectator but then basically ripped my number off to get it into my pocket while running. I later was heckled for poorly pinning my number. Another place I rode directly over the top of someone's bike who had fallen in front of me. I also high-fived some people in the finishing straight and totally reached for/missed a 1.75 of rum. The highlight was the final lap of the race and my season- I was able to close a 15-20 second gap to the rider in front of me and out sprint him. He had gotten ahead when I was stuck on the bike that wouldn't shift. It felt great to have a target and succeed in catching him. I finished 22nd. I was near the back of the people who weren't pulled. The conditions were changing/variable all day but I took some positive out of my average lap time vs. some of the earlier fields, my 30-34 age race was a tough one for someone with my fitness/skill level. Here are some pictures-
Results - Thanks to all who came out to make the 2017 Dirt Bag another good day for the gravel community. The previous days rain made the course a little soft and put...
3 days ago