1) Don’t put the mountain bike away for two months between races and expect to race well.
2) Don’t start a race feeling real hungry.
3) Don’t roll wet roots like you do when they’re dry.
4) Don’t destroy your bike.
The second race this spring at Camp Hilbert was nothing short of a disaster for me. I hadn’t ridden the old K2 since the first race back on March 9, so my MTB-specific handling and conditioning were absent.
Even though I ate like I normally do pre-race, including a peanut-butter-and-jelly and a banana about 90 minutes prior, I started to feel real hungry about 30 minutes before the start. I should have eaten something else, but I didn’t. I felt hungry and empty throughout the race.
Still I started well enough, getting good positioning as IF rider Jeff Herrick disappeared ahead of us. However, I quickly bobbled several little technicalities, slowing Scott Ramsay behind me. He got by and rode away to ultimately finish third. I hooked up with Kevin and we rolled along for a bit, but along the creekside I took a line across some big roots that I clean when dry. Not this time. The bike slipped out and I slammed my shoulder into a tree. The chain jammed down, so it took me a minute to get rolling again. When I did, my left thumb was throbbing. It hurt throughout the rest of the race. I think I hyperextended it. (Feels better today.)
However nothing hurt quite like just not feeling good on the bike and watching the other classes start to come through me. I ultimately finished dead last in my vet expert group and my lap times were slow enough to place me well down in the sport vet class I was winning two years ago. No excuses. My form just wasn’t there. I need to work to get it back.
But first I need a new mountain bike. The seat tube of my long-serving K2 frame cracked near where the rear shock attaches. Noticed it after the race. That’s the second frame I’ve cracked in a year.
Thanks again to Marc Junkerman and his RunRideRace for putting on a great race. Wish I’d kept my running up so I could do the duathlon he’s got coming up in two weeks (presuming I had a bike to do it on).