Here's the results:
I trained harder all Summer and made more sacrifices than ever before in my life in order to start this season as strong as possible. Not huge changes... But little ones like going to the gym even when I was traveling a few times, cutting down on certain beverages like wine, drinking more agua, eating smaller meals and having a banana every day. Then I added Spin class a month ago. Spinning is not something u do for enjoyment. You do it because it gets you pushed. The bike had a new topend, and I tweaked every setting I could. New chain and sprockets, tires about 50%.
I was really chomping at the bit to find out what the payoff was gonna be after all the changes.
Got to the race super early to get all sorted out. I was rusty at racing. Since I got there Friday nite and didnt race til Sunday am, I got to relax and do alot of tweaking and talking to the veterans ... Little tips here and there. I felt super confident.. But still a bit nervous.
Best advice I got I read online on a thread about Scrambles. Start hard, then back off and remember its a long race... Make your moves when u need to. It's not a 2 hr sprint....
I did a little of the practice lap at 8:30 am.... enough to tell me that the adjustment I made to my bars was too extreme... Causing wrist pain I never had b4.
So I rolled them back a bit, then some more. Presto. Comfort standing and sitting.
Here goes: Race day 11/10/13
We had 25 bikes lined up in Super Senior. That's alot. I def didn't want to get a bad start.
Bike started first kick and I was mid-pack or better into first turn..... Followed some fellas going wide and to my horror i saw we all f'd up as I tried to get back to the track but couldnt and got tangled in the Red plastic tape they had up to guide us thru the first few twists and turns around some pipes. The tape got caught under my visor my as I tried to go under it and back into the pack. As the red tape stretched and pulled my head back... I was looking straight at the sky for what seemed like a while, in that instant I remember seeing double greens that we missed meaning I HAD to circle back now and go thru anyway .... The tape held, I fell off the bike in a really shitty spot ...tons of spectators saw me f'up royally. I got the bike up and back thru the greens within seconds.... Dead last. 25th place. I was embarrassed and pissed for about a half second...then a new feeling came over me.... And released something I didn't know I had.... Rage, the Kraken, aggressive race attitude.... No time for dwelling.... I took off after the pack like a donkey that had been kicked .... REALLY HARD. I passed about 5 guys in the first 1/2 mile.... Then some more.... I was just able to crank and I felt great charging hard.....but safe. I caught up to my buddy 10c in the first Mile .... I got to hollering and yellin as I passed him, as we always do.... Then in the fun I lost it over the top of a weird sandy hill and went down... He passed me right back hootin and hollering..... He didnt know what had happened to me in the start and how it lit me up something fierce.
I went into this first race just wanting to finish mid pack or better and 3 laps without a bad crash.
Because of the crash on the first turn....I had no limits.... I wanted to Race Hard dammit !
I passed back by John after he missed a double green in the woods.... Then I dumped again and he passed me AGAIN. My fitness helped and the crashes did little to stop my flow. I caught back up fast once again, this time I passed him on a tiny section of open field with a ton of hard edge bumps and slippery grass. I was standing, throttle nailed, the right gear, wheelied over all the potholes then up a sandy hill into tight woods...Power on... I went on the the next guy. I never saw my buddy again. was riding hard and doing things that surprised even me. Performance was holding longer than ever.... But will it end... Will I bonk ? When ? I checked in with myself... My left hand was going numb already but everything else was more solid than ever. No time to shake out my hand... Or drink from the camelback really... It was just too tight and rough ...later I found tiny spots to drink and shake my hand out.... But really tiny spots.
There were Lots of new challenges on this course... For me. Lots and lots of off camber in the sandy woods as well as on hard grassy knolls that wound back and fourth across this hill at midpoint. Then there were these ridiculous bowls that had almost a straight vertical entry.... And definitely a vertical exit.... I took the easy way first two laps.... But I got passed by a guy or two in my class each time I took one of the 4 or 5 easy/hard splits. I made a Mental note... Go for it in lap 3 and start taking the hard stuff.
By end of first lap I had passed 15 guys and was in 10th.
Second lap 8th
I was still hungry, still going pretty strong... I rested when I could, charged when I found a guy in my class....I kept reeling in guys one by one.. Passing alot of guys in the other classes .... getting passed back when I had a hiccup.... At the third lap most of the guys who passed me were "A" riders lapping us. To me this was a good sign. The fast riders helped me charge a little harder each time too...
After a pretty smooth lap 3 that had me banging thru some fast flat corners with a few guys in my class I realized I was still good, and could still race hard without losing control.... Last 1/2 mile I found another class mate. I wasn't sure how much track was left but I was determined not to rush/fall and lose him.... I didn't know if anyone was behind me close either ... And there were... Two of my line.... Seconds behind me... It's good I didn't know it.... We were on the real slippery stuff... Hard pack, long grass matted down, bumps hiding everywhere.... I gave it a go and squeezed as much out of my tires as possible.... Near the point of slipping.... Go too far with this stuff under you and you spin out fast and hard.... With a few hundred yards to go I got him... Even rubbed a bit on the last two of the corners.... I finished 5th !
At the end the fella i passed rode up close to me after the chicane....
I turned to apologize for being so aggressive... He said "oh no, that was a blast man !"
Right on. That's Racing.
First race of new season. First Trophy in the sport. Feeling good about those workouts.
Now I have to keep it up.
Back to work.