Well, not really, but thanks for believing in me. I raced my old Bridgestone today in the Sport class at the Sylvan Island Stampede in the Mississipi river. It was cool. Okay, it was on an Island. There used to be an armory out there and there are lots of remnants of foundations and sidewalks and even brick streets. Super fun trails, “flow” was a word I heard a lot today. Also much mention of broken glass as there was lots. Everywhere. I hitched a ride over with Brian Eppen. I am very relaxed about this whole mountain biking experiment so I had done very little research into this event regarding details like start time. So Brian and I took our sweet time and rolled over to registration and they told me it was closed. I got nervous as there was a very good chance I would go bats and register for the Expert event if I could not get in the Sport. They let me in. Whew. Next problem, I am in street clothes, have not eaten or taken the all important pre race poop and I am a good half mile from the car. 20 minutes to the race – GO!

I shot back to the car, changed, pumped up the tires to just over 40 which I seemed to remember worked well back in the day and I even remembered that I had changed gears that morning so I checked the rear wheel bolts and they were loose. Tightened them. Stuffed everything into my pockets that I had planned to put in my seat bag and blasted to the course with Brian’s helpful reassurance that underseat bags are not considered “pro” in mountain biking.

I even had 4 minutes to ride the first eighth of the course! To the line then. Everyone was there in the start shoot and I did not want to step on toes as this is not my scene so I went to the back. The official said there were 80 of us and said GO. There was a long pea gravel bike path section to the singletrack and I spun my 34X17 smooth as I could and passed lots of people, kept the speed until the trail started, I think in 30th or so, nice start! I was a bit gassed but there was no way to move up so I just settled in and recovered while I learned the course.

It was really fun with lots of landforms and such to ride over, rocks to dodge and stumps and what nots. When we hit wide sections I passed people. There were a couple that were really long and I hit them hard and I am suprised to say that throughout the race I never once got passed. I had all the fun mountain bike race stuff happen like clipping rocks with pedals and sliding out in corners and one tangle with a kid who liked to get big air. Fun! I settled into my rythm and am very happy with the way the race went. I finished 11th which I think was very good, considering and I was happy to see that my last lap time was my fastest. I think I could have been up contesting the money spots (top 3) if I had planned better and taken a warmup and pushed up front for a better start position. So there you have it, I raced my singlespeeder.

In other news, Brian won the Expert race for the second year running. Them Experts sure are fast, glad I don’t have to race with them! There were lots of people taking pictures so maybe I can find a couple pictures of the race and share/steal them. Back to the grind tomorrow so later on…


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    dude! sounds like a great reentry into the “scene.” it makes me want to go out and get all muddy. way to go oh great knobby one.

  2. 2

    friendlybook said,

    sooo jealous. i (heart) that race.

    congrats, 11th starting at the back…nice. i’d call it a victory too.

  3. 3

    […] go back and read the archives to kill time.  There is some great stuff back there!  Moral victories, the trip to Portland, onions in grilled cheese, gravel ride reports o’ plenty and lots of […]

  4. 4

    […] with plenty of time to poop, register, and pre-ride the course, which I did in that order.  The last time I did this race I got there just 20 minutes before the start so things were looking up this year.  […]

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