Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Addison Oaks Retreat Stage Race
Two days of racing, Saturday brought us two short efforts with a Time Trial in the morning and a Short Track in the afternoon. I'm use to 6, 8 and 12 hour racing, so these two short races would call upon my cyclo-cross mojo. My weapon for the day was my 17.4 lb. Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon Fiber single speed with it's Whiskey No. 7 carbon fork. With my early registration, I started with a 10:23:30 start for my Time Trial. I lined up next to my starting partner and the gun went off and I hit the gas. The start was flat, a few tight turns, some long straights and all on grass, so a little work was required but letting the other racer pull me along helped a little. Once we hit the Water Tower climb I passed my starting partner and hit the single track at my own pace! I came upon the next racer in the single track and they were nice enough to let me by after ringing my handy bell. The gear ratio I selected for today's festivities was a 34x17, which was perfect in the single track, but not the best on the two track, so if I got lucky, I would get behind a geared bike who would instantly turn into my personal domestique. No such luck, I had to spin my brains out, but got to the next single track section virtually unscathed...but wait, there's a little surprise, the single track is blocked off and more two track, which makes the course a little longer. As I hit the final single track section I am feeling good and my timing is pretty good, the only road block is a small technical climb strewn with softball size rocks, I clean it nicely and hit the gas to finish strong with a time of 29:50! I am the only Expert/Elite Single Speed racer for the day, so my 1st place is automatic, but I always like to check my time with the Expert 50+ age group (my racing age is 52) so I was very pleased when I see that my time would have put me in first place in that age group! On to the afternoon's Short Track, the gun goes off and we have a mass start of all the Expert racers. There was some carnage within the first 100 feet and two racers tangled up like they were cage fighters, fortunately I was on the other side of the track and stayed clear of the crash. Holding your line in this tight twisty course was imperative, with that said, I was forced to run over a root and my tire burped and the tire lost some pressure. I thought I would be okay, but all the turns on a single speed requires one to stand up and deliver! But with the low pressure I was afraid of rolling the tire off the rim and I decided to slow down and finish the race as the overall points for the weekends racing were more important than a strong finish. So I limped in with a smile on my mug and looked forward to tomorrow's cross country. Go Ride!