This weekend was a busy one to say the least. Saturday we had to go out and set up and mark the Granogue race course. Lucky for us it decided to rain all day. The course was in pretty good shape and I thought it would hold up if the rain wasn't too severe. As I was laying in bed saturday night I heard the sky open up. I was over come by a feeling of dread. You see I never do well in the mud, I never have and probably never will. So I laid awake for hours hoping to hear the rain stop and the wind pick up. According to weather forecast, it was supposed to stop raining by Midnight and become clear and windy. I should have known. Weather forecasters are never right, and when I took the dogs out at 5:30 am and should not have been surprised that it was raining. I had the old, "WHY ME" thoughts, knowing it was going to be really muddy. This did not bode well for me.
Might I digress fro a moment. Putting on a quality mountain bike race takes a tremendous amount of work. We put in countless hours getting the course in perfect condition, only to have mother nature change it in the course of 12 hours.
Luckily the rain did stop at about 8:30, and we shortened the beginners lap but made them do 2. It seemed to work out well. By the time the sport racers went off the sun was starting to come out and the course was a little better. Now it was time for me to warm up and race.
A lot of really fast guys came out today. Travis(superfast guy from Pittsburg), Nick Shafer, superfast cat 2 roady, Topher a really fast hippy, And as we were getting ready to rolll up, Ransom Weaver showed up to race SS. Don't get me wrong I was thrilled to see 11 SS racing with me, but Man there were a lot of fats guys out today. We also had the usual suspects, Matty T, who had an ahsma attack then flatted and had to DNF, man I felt bad for him I know how much he was looking forward to this race, Mark ( Peterman reality tour), John Brown(nice guy on the Vicious), Tim, from Guys, and of course Gentle Ben Yoder. I must say this is a great group of people to race with every week.
The race started really fucking fast. I have never gone up the start road that fast before. I felt pretty good though and the leaders were in sight for the first 15 minutes or so. I had to back off because the pace was too much for me. I settled in and was doing OK. Not far into my second lap I noticed my bottle cage was loose, I tried to just let it go but it was in the way so I had to stop and take it off. While I was doing this 2 guys went by me. I was pissed and charged after them, BIG mistake, I bonked hard. That pissed me off even more because I knew I was faster than both of them. I decided to settle in and just ride. The cool part was the course had dried out a lot and I was able to ride almost the whole third lap. I was digging the climbs but Deputy's woods was horrible. Wit out a doubt the hardest part of the course. The mud just sucked the life out of you and made you want to cry.
At one point I was riding in front of Tim Messersmith, he is a superfast master who now races semi pro for Trek. Tim is a very talented cyclist but he is kind of an arrogant bastard, but he gave me a pretty good complement. He said " You ride that Single Speed very well". He eventually dropped me. Much to my surprise I caught him again on the big climb up Weymoths. This gave me a little boost just before the end. The race finished up a long road cilmb and I was able to pass 2 guys on gears on my way to an 8th place finish. I wasn't too upset, but I was hurting like I never hurt before. This was the hardest race I have ever done not my best but definitely the hardest.