The week leading up to the race was pretty good, some swimming, fishing, resting, waking up somewhere in the range of 2-4am every night to bring Molson out to play and do his business. Oh yeah, I rode my bike too, Tuesday we were way too far behind schedule to make it to the course in time to ride before it got dark. Wednesday I did 5 full laps and rode a few trails multiple times, I went through about 3L of fluids during the ride. Thurday I headed over there in the afternoon to get a couple laps in and do the weekly race series there. Conlon, Kerton, and myself got hustled by a "firt timer", the race itself was alright, start was much faster than my wave on Sunday. I was sitting in fifth and closed the gap to fourth, I went to pass on a rooty climb and I dropped my chain, lost 2 spots. Tried to pass a little bit later but dropped my chain again and that was it, stuck in no-man's-land. I dropped it one more time before the end, I checked out the limits on the derailleurs and everything seemed fine.
It didn't happen on Saturday's pre-ride with De Cal but my crankarm was suddenly touching my derailleur cage, she was crooked. I didn't feel good at all on Saturday but riding there is always fun so I didn't really mind the lack of power.
Now, onto the race. The start was pretty slow so I tried to make my way up from the very back, the leaders were in sight for quite sometime. I was riding conservatively for the first bit to same some quick bursts for the climbs and steep rock-ups. I was about to make a quick sprint to get on the next guy's wheel as we entered a trail when my pedal popped out and I smashed into a tree with my shoulder and head. I got up, a train of guys went by and I started the chase. Next thing I knew my derailleur was completely bent again, I tried to push it in with my foot but no luck. I rode the rest of the lap in the small ring and realised it wasn't bad at all. The big ring would have been nice for more hammering in the doubletrack and a quick sprint before the downhills but whatever. I passed a few more guys as the laps passed but I guess they were all Masters because my position didn't change at all from the first lap. Trev came by on lap 3 I think so I must have only passed one guy since the wipeout that was in my cat.
I can't say I didn't feel good, I was pushing hard the whole time, am I just a top 20 senior expert rider? No matter how I've felt or what I've done the week before I've been 17th at best. Am I just in denial that I'm not cut out for the post-ride brew, wider-tired-bikes-with-suspension dirt scene? I like the pavement but venturing off-road has always been a part of me, maybe just not on wheels? Whatever, mountain biking is alot of fun, I've never been one to give something up just because I'm having a hard time with it.
I've gotta say that I was super-pumped when De Cal was coming by me on my last lap sitting in 5th spot, I knew he would catch the guy in fourth but to "loose" in a sprint for second, siiiiiiick.
Huge thanks to Liberty! for loaning me a wheel for the race, now that De Cal got his new rims in I'll be running tubeless. Maybe I can top him by running single-digit psi for Kelso.