I had the greatest intentions of doing a full recap of the Stony Creek XC race, but I have successfully waited long enough that I cannot remember much at all.
I cam to this race wanting revenge. The last time I was out here, it was like 308 Kelvin outside, and it was my fist race on a geared mountain bike in a very long time.
This race I intended on at least finishing. It was only 3 laps, and I think about 6 miles each. Our group (Sport 30-34) started with the 19-29 group, so it was a bit harder to track position.
We took off, and there was a mad sprint throught the gate and once we got to the first hill leading into the couse, I made my move (just like a singlespeeder) and passed a few people until I was in 4th position. I hoped it was just the youngin's ahead of me.
I settled into a groove on lap one. I almost made a wrong turn coming through one section. During the marathon we turned left, during the XC we turned right. I went left, and wondered briefly why I was running over a bunch of flags. Once I figured it out, it was back on course.
It was lap two I believe when I got passed by the "Tom's guy" that passes me in every race. Someday I hope to keep up with him. About that time, we came up on a rider from a local team (which I recall, but won't disclose publicly) that would not let people pass.
This rider had decent aerobic abilities, but poor technical skills. As Tom's caught up to him to pass on an open wide hill, this other rider stood up, moved over and blocked the pass. Mind you this is a 19-29 year old blocking the pass of a faster 35+ guy.
Soon enough, I closed the gap on this guy as well. I made my mode on a wide section (road, 2-track, whatever) and pulled ahead. As he started to close, I burnt a match and gapped him.
Coming around the start for the final lap, I was doggin'. Luckily my wife was there to yell at me to "Pick it up!" I though "I wish I could" but could only muster a glance in her direction.
On the final lap, my pace began to slow, and "Poor Passee" caught back up to me. I made a move around him at the same spot as the previous lap. I was doing pretty good, but then my rear tire slid out yet again. I should really do something about that.
So I am stuck behind this guy in the waning moments of the final lap, concerned that #2 was closing on my quick. I made my final move on the last set of rolling hills before the finish. I stood and passed on the first incline, and didn't give up until the final grassy climb before the singletrack leading to the finish.
I felt pretty good dropping this character at the end, however, I know I still need to improve my endurance. I crossed the line with a decent 30 gap on the guy, who I was not even racing, and 40 seconds on the second place in my group.
Time for awards, I went up for my first place medal for the day's race. Then I went back up for my overall Sport Singlespeed award. I was hoping for the trifecta, and at least getting on the podium for Sport 30-34 group, but I ended up in 4th. Not too bad only finishing in 2 races. If I hadn't flatted during the marathon, I would have been up there for sure.
So now it is on to bigger and better categories. I may need to buck up for the actual USAC license next year, and get my but kicked by the big(ger) boys!