Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Bedford County MTX #1 Race Report
Bedford Mountain Cross Race #1
Finally a chance to ride outdoors! Sunday was the first of this year's Bedford Mountain Cross series. The course had to be shortened due to the fact we've had an abundance of snow this year. This was only the second time I've ridden outside this year & the first race w/ Clarence & his new gears. (1x9) They would come in handy on this course. We started out on pavement, then a left turn into the first part of single track...more like peanut butter track. it was muddy but rideable. Then a short run up..this would be a mess by the end of the race...then a crazy downhill loaded w/ mud, rocks, snow...I ran this the first 3 laps, then was able to ride it the last 3. Then we crossed a bridge, rode through a field, cross a stream, up the next part of the singletrack which was super muddy & got worse each lap, then back on the pavement to do it all again.
The format of the race was a handicap system. Beginner riders, or slower riders go off first and have more time to do as many laps as they can in 1 hour. They are chased by faster, more experienced riders who have less time. I raced in Vet Women which meant I had 57 minutes to do as many laps as I could. My buddy Jen raced in the same class... When we came through the start/finish area, all of the experts had not started yet. our first lap was slightly over 10 minutes....I knew we were in trouble. Sure enough..at the start of my second lap, the "pain train" passed us. These were all of the super strong, expert males.
I decided to just have fun this race & not worry about lap times. It was going to be a test of my technical skills. Normally I do not race well in slippery, peanut buttery conditions. I averaged just over 10 minutes each lap..but got slower as the race went on. Conditions improved in some areas while others deteriorated quickly. I was very happy with how I rode...I handled the bike very well in the slop. At some points I was riding sideways..it was pretty funny.
I did rely on my lower gears a little too much..that accounted for my slow lap times...but I'm glad I had them. I need to learn to ride the bike like the single speed and not rely on the easier gears so much.
I was in second place for most of the race until the "pain train" caught me again..then I was done. I ended up in the top 10..but that's only because of the handicap system. Had it been a normal race.. I would have been close to the bottom.
Overall I had a fantastic time. Normally I don't like mud but I think I was suffering from a serious case of cabin fever so I didn't care about the mud & slop.
Next week we'll race in the dark....it will be interesting