Ran a XC race today out in Bavington, Pa. The MOM of series is the oldest off road race series in Western pa. Its turned 20 this year.
the Bavington race is the first race of the series and its a time trail. racers leave in 1 minute intervals and compete against the clock. You finishing time determinds your starting position from here on out.
The race loop at bavington is a tight, twisty, rolling hill single track with a couple tech sections and one short hike a bike. Outside of a couple road crossing, and one 100 foot stretch of pavement this is singletrack on dirt.
now on with some pictures.
the first expert is off on a sweet Superfly!!!
one of the few 26 inch wheeled bikes there
this guy likes it
into the tree, ouch
yet another 29er
raced against this guy in a bootleg race past week he cleaned my clock
how many rigs can you count?
these 2 just got married and are trying thier best to break it off by riding a tandem around a XC course.
funny they did not finish last in sport
weinre dog in a bag, negative points to my buddy for not taking pictures of the cute girl as well
On to my run...
after disappointing results in my first expert races a couple weeks ago. I decided that sport was what I would do. Looking at my competitors kinda of psyched me out. A couple SS, lots of 29ers, lots of hardtails, lots of skinny road race types. plus my legs felt like they had no power warming around the parking lot. I wrote myself off before I even started.
Starting the race I saw my buddy who I knew was decently fast 8 racers ahead of me, my goal was to catch him before the end, even though I felt like **** and was nervous as all hell that was my goal.
My time comes and I am still freaking nervous, after watching a couple SS guys rocket away. I am thinking **** there is no way I can ride that fast. Leaving the line to attack the first really rooty climb I suddenly feel ok and just start looking ahead and thinking about being smooth but fast.
chest down helps on rooty sections
On the rivets
after the first climb I settle in to my 90 percent pace, and really start to enjoy the flowly pine needle singletrack. really focusing on smoothness, breathing deeply, and staying off the brakes for the section you could use momentum to get up slight hills. Cross the first road and take my "cheater'(legal but so much faster and so not obvious it felt like cheating) line that is actually off the singletrack. I see my first rider and pass him. over the next 3 miles over some really fun singletrack I proceed to pass a couple more. My biggest difference is being made up in the corner stupid racer boys and their stupid over inflated skinny tires.:FIREdevil I cross the next fireroad and am just feeling great.
short little climb off were the road is
remember stay on those rivets
the next mile goes great I catch more guys and I am thinking man I think I am doing great, let keep hammering. going along I am actaully having a blast rail all the little turns on the trail. then coming up to a area I know is a steep decent, like really steep. I hit a stump on top, endo and get ejected into the woods. My buddy taking pictures didnt see it but heard off noise and me saying I am ok to the rider I just passed and is now repassing me. after taking a minute to recollect everything, I then proceed what is supposely the harder part of the decent a 40 degree 20 foot plunge down roots.
this is much steeper than it looks
Can you say G-out?
after this you shift to a tall sprocket and hammer a quarter mile though a pasture then cross a road make a right and then keep hammering up a slight singletrack that is really smooth for a about another quarter mile. caught another guy in the open single track right before it got tight again. I ride this section really well and feel as if despite that mistake i should still do mid pack right before the next rode I overcook a turn and slam a tree head on. lucky I just do a nose wheelie slash track stand and keep on pedaling.
allways look ahead
right after that picture your on the road for a little bit then you turn left to a hike a bike, 60 feet of cyclocross racing in a MTB race fun right?. I got another guy in the middle of the hike a bike which is the start of the last section of trail. I am pushing really hard now and get 2 more guys on this rollercoaster like section of trail. At the very end I see my target, I end up finishing right behind him which actually meant I was 8 minutes faster than him.
and the results are. I got 2nd, yeah first loser whatever. but this is my best finish at a sport race I have ever done, not only that the next race has alot more climbing which should favor my elevation doped blood alot more.
My time was a 46:23 over the 8 mile course for an average speed of 10.3 miles and hour. the guy who beat me had a minute in a half on me and at the next normal race my goal is to stay in front of him at all cost.
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