While the rest of the squad was engaging in season appropriate cross racing activities, Rick Hunter and I went to Oakridge Oregon for a 55 mile mountain bike race. Oakridge is amazing, everyone who likes mountain bikes needs to spend time there, huge trees, huge climbs and some of the most entertaining riding I have done. We wrangled seven Nor Cal folks for the journey and stuffed the top twenty with Californians. This race is real mountain biking, propper scary trails and loads of ripping fast stuff, I managed fifth overall, think Hunter was ninth. Quite tired, nice work at the races this weekend everyone.
There is nothing like being a wussy San Franciscan, who is used to consistent 55 degree weather thanks to the wind and fog, thinking its a great idea to go to somewhere like Livermore on a 90 degree day to ride hard. I knew it was going to be rough since I had lost any kind of heat acclimation from mountain biking all summer, but I did my best to drink water and eat early enough to feel good during the race. I can’t say I felt great, but it wasn’t too bad either - I managed 4th. I had the girl who took 3rd right there early on…just couldn’t match her strength on the flats. The course was pretty dead flat with a couple of small bumps, lots of loose dry corners, and one spectacular run up the bleachers (I’m sure Kathleen would have loved it!) followed by a fun and short rip down into more corners and flat. “Power course” for sure. It was quite long for a women’s race, giving me more compassion for my male compatriots in the As that have to race for a full hour. Hearing “4 to go” when I thought it was 2 was pretty demoralizing. That said, I felt pretty good about holding my own out there (despite always insisting that I suck at flat courses) and keeping it upright. And…it’s great to have the first one out of the way.
Despite my total pre-race nervousness, I had a great time and definitely feel excited for more.
I told Daryl I wouldn’t go down early for the B race, he sucked it up and lined up for the A field today. To his credit held it together super well for the whole hour, railing the sandy bits and maintaining composure even after getting derbied by some MASH kid and having to ride in the drops with a loose brake lever. Course was typical Fort Ord, dusty and bumpy with a fair bit of elevation, first lap was pure Grapes of Wrath dust cloud and boy it hurt. First one of the year always gets me, too busy catching up with folks to warm up properly, fortunately my strict training regimen of work, coffee and dehydration had me well prepared and riding well……until two to go when the climbs became Everest like and it was all I could do to not puke on my bars. Good day though, did some very satisfying feet up slides in the sand, and my old sway backed mare of a neglected bike just keeps on ripping. Big up to Mr. Rogers for riding well for the whole hour, no more B races for you. Cameron