Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sometimes I race and sometimes I blog.

Over the last few years, the blog has pretty much died.  It just became too difficult to come up with something interesting to write about on a nearly daily basis and it became even more difficult to find ways to grammatically bludgeon the english language.  to add to the dearth of interesting stuff to write about, Strava came along and made me not care about racing as much.  I've always had a competitive itch and, for the longest time, racing is what temporarily satiated me.  But, with the invent of Strava, nearly every ride has become a race of sorts and I can quickly see how I compare to other folks.  Is it the same as lining up toe to toe with a pack of shaved leg, 140lb wunderkids?  No, but based on the lack racing in the past couple of years, it must be just enough to keep me satisfied. 

That's not to say that I don't ever race.  I do, just not as frequently.

I already blogged about race numero uno (just read below) but I never did for race number 2, The Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge And Other Various Things.  It's been a long time so I'm going to do the cliff's notes version.

Lined up with the pro/expert class and got a good start for once riding with the elites for the first 5-6 miles of technical singletrack and xc ski trail riding.  I was digging a bit hard for so early in the race but it was fun to hang with the actual fast guys for a while.  Eventually, though, my senses returned to me and I let them slip away.  It was at this point that team manager Big Al caught me and we started a multi hour ride together.

Things were going swimmingly until I had a couple of mechanical issues with my bike and I had to watch Al ride off into the sunset, I assumed never to be seen again.  thankfully though, near the mid-point of the 60+ mile race, I saw him ahead on one of the races longest climbs so I dug in a bit to close the gap.  Again, it felt like I was going a bit hard for such a long race but I figured having a drafting/riding partner would pay dividends later in the race.

At this point, Al and I were the top two experts overall and looking like we'd have a pretty good finish (foreshadow! foreshadow!).  things get a bit blurry from here on out but I do remember at some point on one of the hut to hut trails that Al started to pull away from me and I didn't have the gas to pull him back. Crap.  In the back of my head I hoped I'd see him again but knew it wouldn't happen.

Shortly after losing Al, I noticed Tyler ( read here:   carrabassett 50 part duh ) and a single speeder catching up to me.  Ruh roh.  When they got to me, I literally had nothing left to give and had to sadly watch my 2nd and 3rd place finish disappear right in front of me.  Luckily though, that was the last of the passing and I was able to slowly plod my way to the finish as the 4th non-elite.  Not bad but not quite what I was hoping for. If you are interested, you can see the rest of the results here:  results 

As always, thanks to Team Bikeman and for helping make this nonsense happen. 

Bradbury 12 hour recap to follow shortly.