Holy uphill all the way Batman! Tribble Mill trail raced backwards is a tough one! I'm sitting here on the couch after eating a really bad for me Philly Cheeseburger at Cheeseburger Bobby's and thinking about those poor 9 hour riders who ended up finishing in the rain. It was a hurtful race for me so I can't imagine racing that long and then having to deal with being cold and wet. Blah!
Here the Kid's Race Video!
|Parker Mashburn displays his winnings.|
And then it was time to race. I went out to pre-ride the first few miles and learned a little about how bad I would be feeling this evening. The trail itself was in great shape. It had rained two days earlier so the dirt was packed and fast. The morning dew was heavy on the pine straw which made it good and sticky. But what good is all that if you're climbing and hopping roots the whole time? Trust me...it isn't.
I got back for the pre-race meeting and learned we'd be starting at the bottom of a hill just down from the Start/Finish line. Great.
|The Start at Tribble Mill|
About half way around the course there was a turn to the left where we were met immediately by a creek crossing. At the speed I was going it was impossible to "Go Left" as instructed by the volunteers standing near the crossing. The reason they didn't want me to Go Right is because there's a deep hole under the water on that side. It took me out. An under water endo. A first for me.
Once I got my chain back on I angrily began the climb that follows the creek crossing. Nothing like zig zagging up a mountain to get your focus back. I didn't count how many riders passed me while I worked on my bike but I only passed two of them back before the finish. I thought I'd lost us some serious places in the standings.
In the transition area I told Trace what happened and he just said, "Don't worry, it's a long race." He was right because three laps later we were in 3rd Place but only by around 1 minute to Team# 177. On my third lap I dropped my chain. It bounced off on a downhill and I pedaled through so it got twisted. I had to dismount and lay the bike down to fix it. Once I got going again I had a rider on my wheel. You guessed it...# 177.
I finished the lap with him so basically his partner and mine started the sixth lap together. Just to be clear, 3rd and 4rd places were racing head to head. (Sorry, Trace)
I loaded up with a double caffeine gel, 3 Endurolytes, drank some Hammer Perpetuem and waited for Trace. I started my usual mental pep talk and told myself that the only reason #177 caught me was because I had a mechanical. If Trace could give me a lead...I could hold it. So I waited.
The first place team of Hammond/Chen came through. I new it wouldn't be long.
Then I saw #177 come riding up and make the exchange. The rider then came over to me and told me that Trace was three miles back with a busted rear derailleur. He had dropped the guy on the first climb and was putting together his best lap of the day when it happened. I consulted with the timing folks and then headed down the trail to help him.
|Trace Nabors and Chad Hayes|
|Bill Mashburn and Trent Smith|
Also noteworthy is the effort put out by Team Engine. That would be the unbeatable team of Matt Hammond and Dave Chin. It's hard to tell if they even like each other much but boy do they make a great team. Lite and fast. I like them because I think Matt is as old as I am. They took 2nd Place on the day. Beaten by youth. Great job guys!
Now I'm here watching The Bodyguard and blogging. How millennial of me. And thinking of next weekend and the Hincapie Training Series. My brain can't wait but my legs are not so sure about it.
Blackshear Place. They are so excited about it. And so am I.
That's all for this episode folks! Have a blessed week!