Wow, it has been a while since my last post. I took 2 weeks off from racing to recover, and because there were no races I wanted to do...
Last week was Hanson Hills. I have only raced there once before, in 2010. That race was about 50 degrees (F) and rainy. I was having tummy troubles and just not feeling well. However, I finished in ~53 minutes and got my first top of the podium finish.
We arrived a bit early, and hung out with team Big Kahuna while waiting for my 2:45 start. 2011 the weather was bright, sunny, and dry. Surprisingly dry. The sand pits came out in full force, causing me to nearly wash out in a couple corners.
There were only 4 singlespeed sport racers, and we were the first wave on the single lappers. When we got the "Go" I took off, not pushing too hard on the 2 track leading to the first climb. I kept waiting for one of the other guys to come around, but nobody ever did. My strategy was pound the two early climbs and see where that leaves me. After the first climb (mile 1), I didn't see anybody for a while. It was mile 7 where I first saw some riders coming in the other direction where the trail loops around close to itself. As I looked to identify the riders, I clipped a tree with the end of my bar which sent me careening into the brush. I didn't crash, but I did stumble-run with my bike for a bit [I did later find out I tore my limited edition pink ESI grip and lost an end cap]. Back on course there wasn't anything much else to report for the remaining 2.5 miles (according to my GPS). I made the last climb at the end, down through the sand, off-camber hill and across the finish.
I ended up being first in my category, first in my heat, and fastest single-lap race time, 43 minutes. 10 minutes faster than my previous result! It was a good day, but it is probably time to consider my future race category.