I have a love hate relationship with Time Trails. I hate them cause they are short, intense, and hurt so much more than a normal XC race or even a 50 miler. Heck I actually enjoyed the 2 50 milers I did this year and they werent all that painful. I love them because TTs have alot of elements I like. My extra chunk I carry around is actually not all fat, there are some large muscles in those legs. I should probably lay off my love of mexican food, and ice cream but that is not going happen. I may not be able to climb or respond to attacks in an XC race like the best but I can put out tons of power on flattish course better than most. Course knowledge is another key thing. I am expert course remember, I get this from Autocross. Yes as a younger man I use to burn petrol just because it was fun and was actually quite good at it.
I know everyone I am racing against is probably more fit, and probably has a nicer bike than me so I do what I can. I try to race smart and get every advantage I can get. This weeks key advantage was this, prior to this week I have ridden the first half of the TT loop at least 10 times. In the past week I was able to get 6 laps of the TT course. I basically have it remembered down to the root now. I was going to ride anyways so why not ride the race loop? This knowledge helps alot in TT. Going into the race I knew this was going to be tough to do well with the couple solid climbs in the race.
Race Day was quite a pleasant morning besides the chill, I saw my first frost of the year. Had a decent breakfast, some banana and a gu prior to the race. Fellow SSer Heath Neely helped me in a pinch with a headset problem I should have taken care of the day prior. I choose my normal 32/19 gear today which felt great for everything except was stiff on the 'expert" loop climb and was alot spun out on the start of the decent....but its a SS its almost never in the right gear or always in the right gear.
On the initial climb my legs just didnt like me, what ever it was I was running on 7 of 8 cylinders today. Not horribly bad but not good either. must have been my exuberant preriding the day before and the couple days doing intervals the prior week. Not everyday your going to feel perfect so I pushed on.
the first climb. Thick Monster!
A couple people were actually cheering me by name, whoever you were you guys rock!
Such a little fun rock pump, I am actually smiling despite my pain
it was then up alittle to the first little flowly DH that I nailed! sharp hairpin left and up the next climb.
my old buddy Vaughn got a sweet shot on the climb.
I climbed as fast as the tired legs could go, got up to the next flowly section and just nail it again. The preriding at least kept me going quickly on the gravity assisted parts of the TT. Over the little bridge up the switchback and into the first fun dip of the race. though the first rock gardens which the 29er just rocks on. Made sure to take the right over the log pile that I knew was quicker. up the next climb.
Despite not having a 100 percent legs I literally rode every thing perfectly, no dabs, no washouts, no bar hits on close trees, I was going quick and efficient up to the road cross over. Take the expert loop which has a super sweet log jump/pile thing at the start and just wheelie hop the whole thing(sick brah!) down that fast DH, left on the hairpin of DOOM and now on the last hard climb of the day. The climb goes up gradually at first then turns left and gets looser and steeper. 20 percent grades, with loosen dirt + Single Speed its tough and my tired legs start to faultier half ways up the climb. I end up hike a biking it but at least it gives me a chance to rest.
topping out the last climb its now the start of the final decent, its start rolling and slow. I see Evan Perrone with sadly a flat tire. If not for the flat he would have in the hunt for first for sure. Slight DHs that are straight and not technical are a SSers worst enemy and thats how the decent start. Spinning at a 234 RPMs down the decent I feel good now, I hit a couple of the really fast turns and nail the left handed sweeper on top. Down to the road, up the last 100 yard climb to the final loose and very fast decent. I nailed it. Literally left nothing out there on the decent. stayed off the brakes where I needed to, kept everything just this side of control from the edge. caught MJ(thanks for the cheers I was outta of breath!) in the finish line grass and whew it was over.
4th place out 19 in Single Speed against a bunch of rock stars. the results.
after the race I ate some , then went out on with Brian and Michelle Beitko for some post race riding. What a pretty day to ride. Went up to ride the new pflugstein trail which is coming along. The bridge that you can jump off of to the rock roll down is still my favorite part of that trail but its starting to become alot more rideable than it was mid summer.
Michelle smiling for my camera
Her husband Brian was kicking my tired butt
Fun sweeper on Pflugstein
we then rode up to the swimming pool and I said hi to all my old car racing buddy up there for the NHSCC autocross. They left me while i tried unsuccessfully to sign up to run. I then finished up with Pie Trainer over to koko buki where I called it a day on dirt.
On the road ride back to my car I saw this awesome display of fall
that all for now folk, Little Washington CX, and the MOM finale at Moraine next week.