So, day one of the festival included two races, the mountain bike biathlon and a downhill (mountain cross) event. I wanted to do both but because I was already taking up a bunch of the weekend for my junk I decided to give the biathlon a try. As I mentioned yesterday, my shooting skillz suck donkey d but how often do you get the chance to ride your bike AND shoot guns? Unless you live in New York City, LA or Texas it probably doesn't happen all that often. In order to prep for the race, we all did a bit of shooting practice. Like I said yesterday, I sucked it big time in practice but I'm all about making a fool of myself so I decided to do the race anyway figuring, at the bare minimum, it would be a good way to open the legs for the next days xc race.
The field was small so at the start I marked who I thought would be my main competitors. My buddy Kevin who is a good rider and did much better in practice than me, a couple of locals who looked young and fast and a new to me Bikeman.com expert racer, John. At the start of the first mtb lap I sprinted to the front so that I could enter the single track first and set my own pace. This wasn't easy since the opener was a 150 yd paved road section but I got my blender on in my 32/18 and dove into the single track first.
I rode pretty solid through the single but failed to shed my main rivals and hit the last descent with only a few second gap over the next three riders. One quick uphill and I was at the shooting range. I ditched my bike, ran over, got into position and hoped to pull one out of my ass. Once I was in position and trying to sight the targets (1.8" at 160 ft) I realized how hard this was going to be since I was breathing hard from my 7 minute mtb sprint. Somehow I managed to slow my breathing a bit and hit my first five targets with no issues. I was so amazed that I wanted to revel in the moment but I had more racing to do so I sprinted back to my bike and headed back out for mtb #2.
zero targets missed baby!
By now, I was by myself (I suspect that everyone else must have had to do at least one penalty lap around the lodge for missing a target) so I cranked out another quick lap, occasionally glancing over my shoulder to look for hard chargers and pulled into the shooting area for my second and final shooting round. This time my breathing was all out of sorts and after spending a few seconds trying to sight my first target, I had to pull my head away and take a few breaths to steady myself. After that I did my best to sight all the targets but to be honest I didn't expect to hit any of them but somehow I managed to nail each one. I was on a roll.
So, I'm back up and heading out for my final mtb session. I had no idea how much of a lead I had at this point so I pinned the final section just to be sure and rolled across the line in first.