Monday, November 20, 2006

My bikes are made of adobe

Sunday - Evo 'Cross

I was cooked from Sat. but a big breakfast, including a BELGIAN waffle put some fuel back in my legs.

The course was better...less running, but plenty of mud that was 50/50 as to whether to run or ride. There were definitely some good lines out there and I did my best to find them. Quite often it was riding the tape and stiff arming the stakes like a slalom ski racer.

I'm glad I was able to ride most of the muck, because I left my running legs on the course on Saturday. I was barely getting my feet over the hurdles.

I got a great start following fatMarc, Harshman, and Mayhew through the first big mud bog. We smoked it! I swear mud was flying everywhere. I was running my tires around 25psi. I could push them all the way to the rim with my thumb. They were rolling all of the bumpy stuff smoothly and hooking up like drunk college kids in the mud. I think I was smiling at that point because I had a lot of mud in my teeth after the race.

I settled into a groove (of pain) after the start and conceded some places to guys that were making huge efforts to move up. Once again Morgan came by me on his way to the front. His breathing sounded like a freight train and he was moving like one too.

I got a smooth bike change from my teammate Lisa after a couple of laps. It was just in time because my bike was caked with mud and grass. However, the tires on the pit bike were not near as good as those on bike #1 so I was looking forward to getting a clean bike back for the last half of the race.

After a lap on the pit bike I stopped at the pit to get my #1 bike back. I screwed up by not looking up to see if it was ready. Of course, it was still being worked on to get all the crap out of the drivetrain. Several guys rode past me as I gazed cluelessly around the pit for my bike. After a bit I snapped out of it and headed back out on the course by way of the pit entrance.

I was momentarily discouraged, but quickly put it out of my mind. As I came by the other pit my bike was CLEAN and ready. When I got back on bike #1 I got a huge mental boost and at the same time my legs came back around in a big way.

On the out and back section before the start/finish I passed all the guys that had gotten by me while I was in the pit. I felt like I was riding a paved path and they were slogging through the mud. It was strangely wonderful.

On the last two laps I bridged up to fatMarc and E-Town. I gave them some words of encouragement and was hoping we could work together to hold off the guys behind us. I went to the front after the hurdles and felt really good going up the bumpy rise. I just tried to pedal smoothly and ended up getting a gap.

On the last lap I caught Adam in the same spot, had a brief chat with him, and then rode away. My legs felt incredible and I just felt like my bike was rolling across those fields so smoothly.

As I entered the out and back the final time I could see another guy a little ways ahead. I gave it some gas and started closing the gap. When he had to dismount and run a mucky section I really started to get closer. Just before the u-turn I got by him and put in a huge acceleration after the turn. My legs were still they've felt all season.

At the last turn I was closing on Colin Sandburg. I put in a sprint, but there wasn't enough distance to the line and I finished 2 seconds back for first MAC B top 10 and a big goal of mine this season. It felt really good to have a race where I got stronger each lap and felt confident on the bike.

Morgan was at the front with the guy that won both days and seeing him up there crushing it was a big motivation for me all race long. It was so cool to see him having such a good ride. It inspired me to try just a little bit harder.

Despite the conditions I really had a great time this weekend. I think the most fun was working in the pit on Saturday. I'm sorry I couldn't stick around to help out on Sunday, but I had to get home.

Have a great Thanksgiving and I'll see everyone at Reston!

Now it's time to clean bikes, replace cables, and wrap new bar tape!

No comments: