Well it is over. I am done racing until next year, but what a way to end things. It all started with the road trip. Since the race was about 3 hours away and started at 8:00am, we decided to head up Saturday afternoon and get a room. Matt run Forrest, Les the International Man of Mystery, John Williams and I all met at The Holiday Motel, which I will not stay at again.
When we got back from dinner I laid back on the bed to watch a little Penn State and found this under my pillow, and yes it was empty. Then I grabbed the other pillow and found a bug crawling on it. Needless to say I was a little freaked out. I thought of sharing a bed with Matt, but that didn't seem like a good idea, I also thought of sleeping in the truck, but it was fucking cold out. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep that night.
We checked out of the roach motel and grabbed some breakfast then headed for the race. Matt and I had a plan to ride together and just have fun, we weren't taking things to seriously. It was a great setting for a race. The air was brisk and the trees were showing off there fall colors. This was a low key event that managed to draw some really strong riders. There were only 3 classes, men, women and single speed. After a pretty flat start Matt and I started picking guys off on the first climb. I don't think either of us was feeling great but we were riding steady.
The course was freaking awesome. It was 50K of nothing but single track. The first half seemed to flow really well. We were enjoying a sweet rolling rocky descent when Matt flatted. We stopped, took our time fixing the flat, watched a bunch of guys go by, then rolled on. I mentioned it will be fun to catch all those guys again.
We were within 3 miles of the half way check point when Matt started having pain in his leg gina. We tried backing off a bit but it just kept getting worse and Matt decided to call it a day at the check point. Despite him telling me to just go, I stayed with him until I knew he would be able to make it back to the car. A nice guy at the check point offered a ride and Matt wished me luck. I felt bad, we were supposed to ride together and have fun, but Matt made the right decision because the second half of the course was a lot harder than the first.
I decided to go for it. I was feeling much better than I did at the start so I decided to see just how many guys I could catch before the finish. The next 6 miles the course got a lot hillier and whole lot rockier. I had no idea North Jersey was this technical. After a couple of tough climbs in a row I decided to take a little break. I climbed onto a big rock, sat down and basked in the beautiful fall day and enjoyed one of these. A couple of guys went by and I quickly caught up to and passed them. The rest of the course was a lot like the first half just rolling and flowing sweet single track.
I crossed the line in just under 4 and half hours wearing a huge smile on my face. This was definitely on of my top 5 courses of all time. Just enough rocks, and the climbs didn't seem to go on forever.
Les had a great ride taking second only 30 seconds behind Rasta Tim Dougherty who happens to be a local. Topher snagged first in the single speed class.
John Williams aka Bike Line Todd, finished 10th in the men's open class. I don't know where I finished or how Matt and I would have done if his leg didn't bother him, but it doesn't matter. We all had fun and we will be back next year with a different plan.