Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Ever MTB Race

Here in my early 40s, I figured it was finally time to enter my first ever mountain bike race. Wednesday's at Wakefield was the venue. As I am starting to be more involved with the Haymarket Bicycles Junior mountain bike race team, I figured that I should have at least *one* real race under my belt, so I can speak with some race experience. That said, I think I'm now hooked and will race as many races as I can that doesn't conflict with road and especially in the off season. I also plan to use the new mountain bike for cyclocross rather than purchase another bike.

After purchasing a Gary Fisher Paragon from the Haymarket Bicycles shop and taking it out on a leisurely ride for a couple of times...I was ready to race!

So...what was my first race like? I entered the sport category and lined up next to Stephen Kendall and his brother Brad, from NCVC. It was also Stephen's first MTB race. I lined up at the front on the outside and off the start, I found myself at the top of the first climb in 3rd right behind Stephen and I felt good. I wasn't even a bit gassed after the effort, so that was good. After that I was quickly introduced to mountain bike racing. At the bottom of a short decent was a sharp 180 degree turn, which I completely over cooked and rode off the course. I went from 3rd wheel to 8th wheel (or something). Shortly after that was a BIG log that I somehow managed to get over even though my front crank spent a moment widdling away the log. Ok, maybe I need to pay more attention...45 degree bank turn...rocky concrete...going fast on a short stretch...brake hard...180 degree turn...short run up...sharp S turns...BIG tree roots...sharp turns...creek crossing immediately followed by a very ROOTY section...fell...off the bike, ran up the short hill...overcooked another turn...fell...riding behind slower riders now...leaders getting farther away..passing on wider flat sections. On my last lap, I finally started to feel the rhythm of the course, started to feel like I was warmed up and was starting to really punch the sections where I could accelerate. My legs felt great, my lungs felt great and much unlike I was anticipating, I wasn't even breathing hard. Most of my short accelerations out of corners felt more anaerobic than aerobic and my legs were feeling good. I suspect that the limiting factor in my race tonight was my skills and not my fitness. Even though I am told that Wakefield is one of the least technical courses, I think my skills definitely need some tuning. However, like I said, on the last lap I felt like I was coming around. That race was literally the first time I ever rode obstacles at race pace. Towards the end I really started to have fun. I felt like a kid on a roller coaster ride. So, next week, I'll see if I can manage any better. Not sure where I ended up, but as I crossed the finish line Stephen and Brad were there watching the finishers come in and I asked him how far back he thought I was and he answered "not very" then I asked how many riders were between him and I and he said "not many". Stephen took 2nd. So congrats. Well we'll see where I ended up when the results get posted.

Haymarket was well represented with Joe Dombrowski WINNING THE ELITE RACE. The kid is UNstoppable. Susan Musante also placed 3rd in the Women's Elite race. Awesome.

3 Comments:

At June 25, 2009 at 12:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think of Wakefield as a windy little technical course. ... Not a fitness course. Nice job.

 
At June 25, 2009 at 8:33 AM , Blogger TerribleTerry said...

what about the juniors?

 
At June 25, 2009 at 6:42 PM , Blogger BB said...

the juniors start on monday!

 

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