Monday, July 16, 2012

Bulldog Rump Recap

This race is my team race that we put on each year and is usually a great event and a hard one to race well at. Prior to the event I was so wrapped up in work this past week that the race wasn't even on my radar. I did a few rides this past week but nothing of note and I didn't even prereg as I wanted to give myself an out. Up to the last minute I was still thinking of bailing on the race but I needed a good hard workout to prep me for the Wilderness 101 coming up in 2 weeks. With that in mind I lined up for heck of it. To continue the lack of prep I basically dusted off my bike and went over it and hoped it would be good for the race. I cut a tire the day before the race so I had to mount up a brand new tubeless tire that I hate doing as they normally don't fully set up in one day. Fingers crossed - I hoped that would hold. Plus my shifting was off, so I did a little tweaking and it seemed like it would be all set for race day. So I got geared up and sat on the line.

As the race went off I was in the second row. The rider to my left had a chain/pedal issue and slid to the right cutting me off running into my front wheel and almost taking me out. I had to put a foot down and hop a bit to stop from falling down. What a way to start off the race. I got myself back together and had to chase back on from dead last place. I put some power down and jumped past Brian Kelley as he was on a SS and was just laughing as there was no way to hold the pack's pace on his gear. Shortly after though the field bottle necked going into the first big climb and brought us all back together. I worked my way around Ken Welch and kept on a pace that I thought I could hold as I saw a few ahead. I rode up to Brian Lariviere and Ross Anderson and jumped around Ross to get onto Brian's wheel. We rode together for a bit and passed 2 other riders in the process. So we were riding steady and could hear other riders not too far away. I was happier with this but was not happy with what was going on below me. My drivetrain was doing everything but running smoothly. I didn't have my top gear and every other gear was making noise and not shifting right. I don't know if the cable stretched a bit more but it was really distracting. So we kept on and I felt that my legs weren't doing so good. At least I thought I might be able to keep the power down and save some face. Towards the end of lap 1 I was riding comfortable on Ross' wheel and using him to pull me back to BL. We went around a corner and he just pulled to the side as his bike had some issue. I kept the pressure on and used that momentum to get me back to BL.

Into lap two we stayed together pulling each other along and I knew it was only a matter of time until I fell off the pace. We were still doing ok though I was fighting the loss of power and my non-shifting gears. We passed Dave Kahl as he seemed to be having an issue. Towards the back side of lap 2 we heard someone coming up and it was the leaders of the 19-29 category, Eric and Dan flying through. We made room for them in the tight singletrack and that's where I lost BL. From there I just seemed to power down to try and make the rest of the 3 laps. I felt like crap. My legs just didn't want to turn over the pedals. My shifting was so bad I was hoping that the chain would snap just to end the pain. But then I hoped it wouldn't because I know my stubborn a$$ would then run the remainder of the race and I didn't want that.

Next came Brian Shernce cruising through as he was in a nice comfy lead and riding well. I said hi and kept the pedals spinning the best I could. Sometime after I saw John Lombardo pass through and then came Tommy Wheels chasing the other two 19-29 leaders. I tried to stay with him but I couldn't. At least I was hopeful at this point that I didn't see anyone from my category sneaking up yet. I later looked at my garmin and realized there was only about 4 miles of the race left so I put down a harder surge just to get this over with. So I pedaled steadier and saw Tommy coming back to me. I rode up to him and passed him as he told me he just fell and wasn't doing too well. I tried to get him to come with me but soon after he dropped back and I never saw him again. With one last lackluster effort I capped the last climb and hit the road to the finish and ended the pain in 1:44. I figure I did a 32, 35, then 37 min lap. Not too bad but they should have been more consistent if all was going well.

After all was said and done I was fairly satisfied with the result. With all going against me I still had rode pretty well and kept the shiny side up. The last few races I've found myself surfing more dirt than I would have liked and that's a good day all in itself. I ended up 12th out of 18 and took home some cash as well. So I got my hard workout, a good kick in the nutz, and a few bucks and hopefully some efforts that will benefit me in 2 weeks at the W101. That's the priority. We shall see!

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