I am not a patient man. Once I make a decision, there are not many things I wait to obtain. However, after Iceman last year, it was time to seriously consider training for the 2011 MTB season. It was 23 weeks before I found out if this extra work would pay off.
As I posted last week on this very blob, we went out to Yankee as a group for a ride of the course. As I also mentioned, I also went out for a second lap, a pre-race trail. I rode moderately hard, and completed the course in ~56 minutes. That was a full 5 minutes faster than my 2010 race time. Not bad for a second lap (which I probably could not have done the previous year). I now had my goal time in mind for the race.
I received some of my remaining part in the mail the week of the race. Thursday I got my new wheels set-up tubeless, just as Stan had intended. I received the correct brake adapter, although it still didn't line up nice. Saturday before the race, I was out in the garage shortening brake hoses and bleeding brakes. The rain meant no test ride.
Rain the week leading up to the Yankee TT race day was excellent for the course. However, 30 degree temps and 40 MPH winds were not the ideal conditions. I say "not ideal" because I truly dislike being cold. However, it appears that my legs thoroughly enjoy this type of weather. I never have to tell them to "shut-up" they just keep giving without complaint.
I didn't get a great warm-up, maybe 15 minutes. I wanted to ride the 2 mile warm-up course, but as I got there, the Kid's Race was going on, so I was left to circle the campground on dirt roads, and hoping I did my assembly work correctly.
12:02:10 arrived sooner than expected. I was in line to start plenty early. I was starting next to Pierre, a 50+ Sport rider. As soon as I got the signal, I was off. Au revoir Pierre! I took off down the trail, through the first ditch and water barriers with only one foot clipped in. Soon enough the trail smoothed out, I got clipped in and began spinning. I knew the trail starts mellow, and comes on strong at the end. This is good, because due to an insufficient warm-up, my legs weren't quite up to the task at hand.
A couple miles in, and I was feeling good. I was passing riders and not getting passed. Perfect for a TT. Racing singlespeed this year, instead of age group, allowed me to identify competitors pretty easy. I would catch a rider, take a drink, and pass when clear. No problems, other than when I called out to pass another rider, and he moved over that direction. I shouldered a tree and had to unclip to prevent falling. I was back on the bike in a flash, and now had a shot of adrenalin to get me back going.
7 miles in, plastic hill. I was ready for it, stood and crawled up the hill. I wasn't fast but steady, catching a geared rider hoofing it up the side. Good enough for me. Time to burn another match. I glance at the time, but I had no idea if I was going to meet my goal.
After plastic hill, I was pretty much alone for the rest of the race. I don't recall seeing any more rabbits ahead of me. No carrot for me to chase, I just sit-in and run my own race. The sand had some packed trails I could easily follow, and I had no stupid fatigue related mistakes this year.
I pop out of the singletrack and make the left to head to the finish line. Time to burn the rest of those matches. I throw all the power I have remaining, only slowing for the last left. I stand and hammer across the finish. TT's come down to seconds, and I wasn't risking anything. I shoot across the line, through the finish area, and climb off the bike (collapse?) next to the Expert/Elite awards going on. I got there just in time to see Jorden Wakely get his (Elite) SS award for turning in a stupid-fast time.
Off to the race services computer, there were 3 SS times in already, and I was 52:14.9, in first by 15 seconds. It turns out I was the 3rd Sport racer across the line. Not too shabby. I had enough time to got back to the truck and change before coming back and getting my coffee mug.
I wasn't sure if I would like it, as the wood plaques of years past were kinda nice. However, walking around all day with my cup o' joe has been pretty fun this week. I took the top step with my Fat Cyclist jersey, it was the only Twin Six jersey I had since my Metal kit still hasn't arrived.
I wold like to thank Uncle Fred and his crew for letting us hang in "his" campsite, and sharing the fire. It was a good warm-up after racing.
Saturday is the Pontiac Lake TT. A non-CPS race, but I am still angling for another top finish. I am not sure what to expect, as I have not ridden there before. So far, for my 2 finishes this year, I am a total of 37 seconds over my goal times. Payoff indeed!