I went to VA this weekend to get a new employee physical and drug test for my new job. I looked online and found there was a MTB race while I was there. Of course I signed up and prepared myself for suffering. I was right about that part, it was a sufferfest. It was 2 laps of 11miles each with 1500ft of climbing per lap. It actually turned out to be the most XC/ least all-mountain course I've ever raced. It was a really nice course. Tight, twisty single track the entire way. There were no fire roads to be found. The best part of it was I managed not to get last place, I got next to last. I realize I need to start doing alot more core work because after the first 5miles every bump I hit felt like someone was punching me in the kidneys. At that point even steadying my body to put pressure to the pedals was a major chore. It was weird because in all of the races I've ever done this had never happened to me before. Oh well, more ab work and maybe next time things will go better. On a lighter note, at one point on my second lap I came around a turn and started my acceleration when a squirrel fell 20feet out of a tree and landed on the path right in front of me. I chuckled to myself and stopped concentrating for a moment, just long enough to hook my bar end on a tree and send me flipping over the handlebars. After the race the race director said that someone needed a ride home so if anyone was going toward Harrisonburg they would appreciate it. I figured this would be a good time to meet some new riders in VA so I decided I'd offer the extra room in my car. It tuned out it was Jeremiah Bishop and a friend of his that needed the ride. So I got to make the trip home with a great pro mountain biker and pick his brain. Jeremiah is a really nice guy and you can tell why he is a pro just by his enthusiasm about training and cycling. Who would have thought I'd come home from my weekend saying I shared a pint of Ben and Jerry's Half Baked ice cream with a World Class athlete like Jeremiah Bishop.
I just registered for the Walnut Creek Chimney Challenge. I don't know why I'm doing this. Racing MTB was a crazy pursuit for me in the first place and now since I've done the expert race at Roaring Run last year and there is no turning back I'm stuck. Doomed to last place for quite some time until I either improve or die. Dieing would definitely be easier but probably not as much fun. I have no idea what the course is like except that there seems to be alot of climbing and descending every lap. It should be fun;-)
Today I took my first MTB ride of the year. I haven't been on my Rush since last year when we were doing night rides on Monday nights. I had my bike out last week to look it over and found that my front wheel was not pointed straight but had been twisted to the right when the bars were straight. It wasn't much so I really didn't realize it and with the front fender on I couldn't see my wheel so that helped conceal the problem. With that fixed I had a whole new mindset heading into today that all of my problems of last year were because of that and not my poor handling skills. It was a beautiful day for a ride with a temperature of 60* at the beginning of the ride but 70* by the end, and it was sunny and cloudless the entire time. I was riding at Roaring Run in Apollo. The trails there were pristine. I must say my new found confidence paid off because I did seem to be riding better than in the past, although not nearly as good as the company that I usually ride with. It was a great day to be in the woods with my bike. Now hopefully it won't rain for every MTB race again this year.
I did a 38mile ride this morning, unfortunately it was before things warmed up. After lunch when I went to get the mail I was elated to get my copy of 24 Solo, the movie I was gushing about in my last post. I also got my copy of Off Road to Athens back from Rich last night so now both movies are comfortably resting in my possession. They really do motivate you to go out and ride especially MTB. Anyone up for a ride?