More Pugnago and HIlls Iowa Spring Classic... it's Spring! maybe

This was a really great weekend.

Saturday I got to ride twice and hang out with my daughter a ton.  It was a bit icy out there but I rode the CX bike with regular tires for the first ride to get a little speed.  Then later I rode the fatbike with Kim.  I considered heading out to Stagecoach and seeing how the ATV trails were, but already knew the condition of the trail right by my house.  Franz and I had been out there both Wednesday and Thursday nights from 11-12 or so and it was my kind of fatbike conditions.  Despite the relatively cold temperatures the snow was melting fast and when the snow goes that reverts to lame blacktop so decided to hit it when it could be hit.

yup, I've only really got one fatbike trick

At the time was thinking that riding in the river was a sure sign of spring finally really getting spring here...

Sunday meant up early and off to Hills.   After last weeks (scroll down) non-race I was really happy to hear that it was going to be relatively warm and that the gravel was hard packed.  Took a risk and packed only the Look.

Hadn't gotten to ride it since???  probably September.

Here is the Strava information

I attacked up the 4% or so grade after the very first turn.  The pace just seemed low and I didn't want to go into the very fast/downhill/gravel back-section in a large group.  I expected others to react and just hoped to string things out.  I collected 15 or 20 seconds right away.  At about the half-lap mark I saw that two riders had distinctly come clear of the group and were likely gaining on me.  Decided to allow them to catch as I knew three of us would almost certainly stay away all day.  We rode the next 5.5 laps all together.  No action until past the mid-point of the final lap surprised me, I was most worried about being dropped on a hill and now there were none.  Long paved headwind and some short bursts distanced one rider and again I was clear alone but I was totally out of breath (might have been better off getting less of a gap and not working quite so hard and then been able to hold it to the finish).  From there it was cat and mouse with just two to the finish.  I made final turn in second position and sat in the gutter until opening up the sprint, which was very hard for me as I had picked too hard a gear and the other ride was strong, but I was able to win by less than a bike throw.  Last year at this same race I had felt the learning curve of moving up to 1/2/3 races pretty heavy, so this really felt great.

Took my prize money and some awesome gamjams jackets and headed off to a Mexican place in Cedar whichever on is nicer for Chicken Mole, green chilli and a 34 oz beer.  Glad I had a co-pilot (driver) for the ride home.

Sunday was also St. Paddy's!  Locals were out riding and partying it up and we decided to ride over and check out if any of the fun was still going on.  Got to ride my other Lin Anderson painted frame for the first time in it's current iteration...

It will still need a stem with a touch more rise before it's ideal for singletrack but it's damn fun.

Today we have 2-3 inches of new snow already!  Winter.

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