Sunday, May 23, 2010

First MTB race

Got the housing situation all figured out on Friday, which mean that on Saturday I was able to head on up to Wyoming for a local MTB race. Six of us met at New Belgium, loaded the trailer, and made our way to the land of the wind for the Gowdy Grinder XC race. This would be my baptism by fire into the Fort Collins/Boulder/Denver/Laramie racing scene, I know the pond is much bigger than up in Montana, and I was interested to see what size fish I was. 61 of us lined up for the start of the pro/expert race, with a fair amount of us on singlespeeds. Normally I don't mind racing against geared folks, as long as the singlespeeders are kept track of seperately, but that would not be the case here. The flyer had reminded us that "singlespeeds are a type of bike, not a class", but when the entry fee is 10 bucks, there is no point in getting mad.

Someone said go, and we were off, a nice long climb into a head wind was the first challenge of the day. I settled into whatever you could call a grove or rhythm, and just started to ride. The unfamiliar burn in my windpipes and lungs that can only come from racing, reminded me that riding hard by yourself is no substitute for true racing. Anyway, the course was top shelf lot of rocks to get in the way, and keep you on your toes, and mud to play in. Heading into the final lap I was probably in about 15th place, then some shitty descending combined with a dropped chain dropped me to 20th before all was said and done. If I had to guess I was probably fourth for the SS gang, but they werent keeping track, so I guess I'll never know.

Post race, the combination of high altitude, heaving winds with plenty of dust blowing, and a dusty course gave the a wonderful smokers cough. Luckily the legs feel pretty descent, and I plan to head on over to the 6 day style race today at the CSU oval, to stretch the legs and lungs out again. After that it is on to the humid pastures of the northeast, although I do have plans for some riding in Nebraska and Iowa along the way. I will bring the camera for these rides, sorry for having no pictures of the Gowdy race. Other highlights include annoying my sister for an evening by sucking down Olde Styles and Chicago dogs on her couch, before she even gets home from work.

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