Nice reports guys! It was great to meet you.
So I turned forty this year! What better way to maintain my youth than try a GNCC race.
I watched a few of the videos from years past, enough that I got nervous and freaked my self out. But before I knew it we were gearing up on race day!
Like you guys, I was really nervous at the start. I rode in the trailrider category which started the last. (Lets just say there didnt seem to be many first timers in the class)but who cares.
From there, you can really see how big 600 riders in a field actually is. Hell it took forever to even see the starter!. It seemend like a fairly large group and they had us double stacked so if I missed my start I was going to get run over by some dude with a pink mohawk on his helmet.
I got a pretty good start, (read as"bike started") and made it into the first turn mid pack. I was trying to look ahead as much as i could but it was pretty hard to do with all the congestion. Then i hit that first hill. I saw all the carnage and went on the high side and got stuck behind a rider but it looked like they were moving. I got through that pretty quick and then hit that immediate steep ass downhill. Once through that I was able to settle in and catch my breath.
I couldnt beleive In was actually doing this!
It was amazing being part of this, all these spectators, signs in your perifery flying by etc. Then I realized that this usually means some nasty crap is coming up. This was the mud hole with hill climb out of it. I went to the left side and was able to get through without stopping which I was glad but the adrenaline was pumping. I really had to settle myself down and tell myself that I had another hour and forty five of this! The course was amazing though, and I made it relatively unscathed throught the remainder of the hills, descents, mud bogs. I felt really good as I went through the line and completed my first lap.
The second lap was more eventful as I started getting a bit tired and not looking ahead as far. This caused me to pick a couple of bad lines through some hills and mud holes.
About a mile and a half or so in, I'm not sure what happened, but I whiskey throttled it into a large tree. I spent what seemed like forever, trying to get myself untangled from the bike. I went to pick it up and felt pain shoot through my thumb and my hand! Thats not good. I'm seriously screwed! What do I do now.?! I'll have some water and think about it.
I eventually got it back on course and gingerly rode it. It was hurting and I couldnt get out of the way of other guys. I got stuck in the mud after the culvert crossing and couldnt get started. I finally got started there and after taking my time and riding another couple of miles, I got back into the infield. I was riding like hell and could hardly turn it. I fell in one of the hairpins and made it a couple of hundred yards to our trailer. Enough! I got off the bike and got a beer.
I spent yesterday in the drs office getting a splint so I can get my hand pinned back together hopefully later this week.
For my first racing experience, it was amazing! I have very good friends that helped me and gave me pointers that proved invaluable in the course; race the trail, look ahead, dont worry about the start and give yourself room etc etc.
The people, atmosphere, and course were fantastic and it was an experience I'll always remember! I am very proud of myself for trying one.
I'm so far behind I think I'm in first