2012 Race Season initates at Mountwood

I remember Mountwood being a hot and nauseating heat last year and conditions were looking the same for this season.   The trails are fast, flowing and not too technical.  Comparable to north or boyce park but with a bit more climbing in my opinion.  Since there’s no time like the present, let’s get this race season started!

The expert field pushes off and wouldnt ya know.. I’m the LAST one in the single track.  Nothing I havent experienced many, many… many times before.  I’m going to roll with the turtle mentality and “plan” to pick off a few hares later in the race.  Right.  I proceed.. alone.. and focus on finding some rhythm hoping for a solid pace before the sport class starts chasing me down.   Before I know it I feel a sharp sting on my lower back and I’m quickly juggling the bike with one hand and in hot pursuit of one son of a beeyatch on or under my jersey!  Muthaaa!  I’m weaving all over the trail and cant find anything.  I do not want to stop to drop back any further or worse give the jerk or its buddies a chance to hit me again.  I later found out a few other racers got tagged as well and located a bug bite constellation on my back with five itchy bumps.  Meh!  Let the race season itchy bumps begin.  Dang it!

It doesnt take too long before I find that zone I am looking for all warmed up, but I cannot muster up any intended pep in my pedal stroke.  Sport riders start picking me off one by one and instead of being able to jump on and maintain with them they are pulling away one by one.  Hmpfh.  I got nuthin.  The trails are absolutely delicious and the hot sun is making my forearms crispy (in a good way), so I keep trucking along the best I can and enjoy the scenery.  Yeah, I was looking around some.  Whatever!

At the last six mile sport/expert split and also the “one mile to go” kid I try to pick up my pace again and again.  No clue how I really did though.  (Maybe I’ll actually get my garmin warrantied instead of just thinking about.)  My goal for the day is to get a sub 3 hour finish since I had a 3:05 last year.  The last piece of trail feels even faster working my way down the hillside.  Too steep and unexpected kickers burn the last few matches I have in me, so I’m ready to wrap it up for the day.  I charge to the finish line (never catching any of my competition) finishing in.. 2:31.  What the heck!?  I feel like eeyore out there, come in last place and still shave over 30 minutes off my time?  Well, thats bitter sweet.  I’m not even sure how to interpret that.  I later was told the course was about 1/2 mile shorter than last year, but I still cant comprehend the timing.  I compared the 2011 and 2012 results and everyone was noticably faster.  I dont know if the course and/or trail conditions played a significant roll, or if everyone is just that much stronger from such a mild winter.  Hmmm?  I guess we will find out soon enough as everyone starts peaking and/or when we all start burning out for the season. 

Hopefully my race reports will improve through the season with some actual interaction with my competition (yeah, I think that would be nice), but until then this is all I got.  So be it.  I had a great time and weekend with some great friends.  What’s better than racing?  Gathering up my man, a posse of Lads and refueling at the nearest mexican joint.  Good times.  🙂



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